When you are traveling or moving to another country, it is important to know about the cultural differences you might encounter there. Sometimes I wish we would just receive a list of things we should not do in every country when we are crossing the border. I even think these ‘don’ts’ are sometimes more important than knowing the local language. When I moved to Germany 2 years ago, I thought that I was fully prepared. My German was good, I had no problem communicating with people and I thought I knew quite enough about German culture. But still, I run into a few situations where I felt a little stupid because I didn’t know that I was doing something wrong. Germany is not that different from the rest of the world. If you follow the simple rule “treat others as you want to be treated”, you are going to be ok. But if you want to bring your cultural awareness level to the next level, read this list of things that you shouldn’t do in Germany:
It’s been more than one month since I came back from the trip to New York but I still didn’t write a post about it. The main reason is that I was just being lazy. The second – every time I looked at photos from this trip, I felt a desire to go there again right at that moment. I think the reason why I liked New York so much was that I arrived with zero expectations. New York has never been in my top 10 cities to visit and it is so different from the charming little European towns that I love so much. But I got a chance to go, so there I went, expecting nothing and, no matter how cheesy it sounds, fell in love with this city. I hope to visit New York again and spend more time exploring but those are the highlights from our first short trip.
You want to learn a new language but not sure which one to start with? Many people are simply attracted to a particular language, so choosing a language to learn is a no-brainer for them. Maybe they have friends from this country, they are interested in the culture or just fell in love with the sound of the language. Others think more about the practical benefits of learning foreign languages and don’t want to spend their time learning a language that they might never use. No matter how much I love the German language, I am not insisting that this is the best language for everyone everywhere in the world to learn. Depending on where you live, which job you have and your future plans, it could make more sense for you to learn Spanish, Chinese, Russian or some other language. But for everyone who is thinking to learn German, in this post, I attempt to answer why learning the German language might be an especially good idea for you.
For most first-time visitors in Switzerland Bern is usually not the top choice for a day trip. I totally understand it. In the country with such beautiful nature, why should you waste your precious vacation time to visit cities? Bern wasn’t also on my radar for a long time. I knew it was a Swiss capital but I didn’t know what was so special to see there. Finally, this spring, I went to see it on a one day trip from Zurich. And the only thing I regret is that I waited so long.
Bern offers lots of things to do and you can easily stay 2-3 days here but even if your time is limited, one day is enough to get an idea of the city. Bern is easy to reach by train from almost every part of Switzerland and if you travel by car, the day trip from France and Germany is also possible. Here are some ideas what you can do if you only got one day in Bern.
I think no one can deny the fact that living abroad changes you. From simple things like what you eat and drink to the way you think and behave in certain situations, there are lots of changes that you might not even notice at first. Recently I’ve been reflecting on the changes that happened to me since I moved to Germany almost 2 years ago. I started to realize that my eating and drinking habits changed a lot. When I first came to Germany, I lived as au pair with the German family. Later I moved to the hostel to work and didn’t have to think about cooking because the meals where included. This gave me a chance to get a glimpse into what people in Germany really eat and drink.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about writing a travel bucket list. There are so many places in the world I want to see that sometimes it is hard to keep them all in mind. Whenever I nee to plan the next trip, I spend a lot of time thinking where to go instead of just picking one destination from the list. It will also be fun to look at the bucket list a few years later and see how much has happened already.
I wanted to write a list of countries to visit first but it didn’t work well. Some countries are more exciting than other and there are lots of things I want to do there. That’s why I decided to create a list for every country I want to visit. The first post is going to be about France for a special reason. At the moment I live right on the French-German border. I only need to cross the bridge to go to France and I can see the other side from the window of my apartment. However, the only part of France I have been to remains Alsace. And here is what is on wish-list.
Some time ago I wrote a post about how great the free walking tours are. I like taking walking tours when visiting a new city and the idea of tip based tours is quite interesting. However, I felt that that post was incomplete. It described the free walking tours only from the positive side and ignored all the bad things. During my trip to Vienna, I went on a free walking tour and finally got inspiration to write something negative about the free tours. It’s not what you think, my tour was great. In fact, it was the best free walking tour I’ve ever had before. I kept thinking about how this tour was different compared to all the other tours I’ve taken in the past and this is how this post was born. If you are not new to the free walking tours, you might have also experienced some of those things before. And if you are only about to try them out, here is what you should be ready for.
My best friend from Ukraine came to visit me in Germany recently. As we were discussing what to do during her stay, I suggested going to Colmar. This French town is located just a 40 minutes bus ride from my current home and it is so pretty that I went there a few times already. To my surprise, my friend never heard of Colmar before! Sometimes I see Colmar on the lists of hidden gems on the Internet but you just need to go there once during Christmas to understand that this is no more an off-the-beaten-path destination. I will write a blog post with the tips to visit Colmar soon but here are some photos to inspire your wanderlust if you don’t dream of visiting Colmar yet. 😉
There are so many great things to say about Switzerland. Gorgeous mountain landscapes, world-famous cheese and chocolate usually come first but if you look at the map you will notice that Switzerland also has one of the best possible locations a country can have. Just look how perfectly it is located in the middle of Europe. Thanks to the expanded railway network it is easy to travel across the Switzerland and to the neighbor countries even if you have only one day for a trip. A car is also a good way to travel around but buses are much less common in Switzerland for a long distance travel, so possibilities of day trips by bus are quite limited in Switzerland.
A little story how I came up with this random post.
A few months ago I started learning Hindi by myself. At first, I really enjoyed it but as it often happens when you are doing something without a strict schedule – my motivation started to fade slowly. Due to other things happening in life and about one month of travelling Europe I totally stopped at the end. Now that I am home again I have absolutely no excuses not to continue studying but starting again is extremely difficult. I started looking for some Hindi songs to listen to, hoping that it will raise my motivation again. After watching few music videos I noticed one interesting trend. Many of those videos were filmed in beautiful locations around the world. Even if you have absolutely no interest in learning Hindi, I bet you will want to pack your suitcase and go on vacation right after watching them!