7 resolutions for 2018

I am not a big fan of New Years Resolutions because I think you should just change your life whenever you feel like it and not wait for a certain date to start, but I still made up a list of 7 things I want to try and change about my life in 2018. New year, new life, new me? Who knows.

#1 Do more weekend trips

My ultimate goal is to go away once a month. I’ve already booked London and Dublin for January and am planning on doing Vienna and Milan in the beginning of 2018 as well. Maybe it’ll be more than one trip a month?

#2 Use my days off wisely

I don’t get many days off work. It’s actually the legal minimum in Germany. But luckily we have a few bank holidays that I can use to build my holidays around it to make the best out of my travel year 2018.

#3 Do more daytrips

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Just a daytrip away from Munich – Eibsee

Daytrips are the best anyways! And Munich has so much to offer. Hiking, Skiing, Lakes, you could do a different trip every weekend. So I have to take advantage of that!

#4 Try new things at least once a month

No matter if it’s food, sports or other activities. This might be the hardest resolution to fulfil because I’m doing three different sports already and I’ve tried a lot of different food in my life. But maybe it’ll just be a new restaurant or a day playing paint ball? We’ll see.

#5 Get back into photography more

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Analog Camera (by Conal Gallagher via Flickr)

I used to love taking photos. And then reality happened. So I need to get back into it. Just grab my camera and walk around my neighbourhood in the search of great shots. We’ll see. And maybe I’ll buy myself an analog camera?

#6 Take less planes

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Plane Views

Okay I take it back, this is the hardest resolution to fulfill. Of course Europe is very easy to travel by car, train or bus but it also takes times. And without the right amount of days off, it’s just easiest to take a two hour plane ride then a 20 hour car journey.

#7 Continue learning Spanish

I started Spanish when I came back from Chile in December 2016. And then I got a job and it got harder to keep up with it. But I really want to start again. Maybe with actual classes, maybe with a tandem partner, but definitely somehow.

 

Other than that, I am just going to try to make the best out of every day as it comes. Shit happens but I’ll try to overcome it and be positive. Because there’s no space for negativity in anyone’s lives!
Have a few great last days in 2017 and the best start of 2018 possible!

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Lisbon: A local tourist guide to the Portuguese capital

I wanted to go to Lisbon so badly. For ages. The more stories I’ve heard about it, the more I wanted to go. And it really is a city full of treasures and beauty.

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Whatever corner you turn, there’s so much color in Lisbon – street art, tiles, painted buildings. But that’s not the only thing that’s exciting about this city. It’s all the small alleys you can easily get lost in, the authentic Portuguese restaurants and the viewpoints. Oh, those viewpoints. There are so many of them, and one’s prettier than the next.

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte

Two of the viewpoints I enjoyed most (together with probably EVERYONE else in Lisbon at that time – meaning it was absolutely packed) are Miradouro de Santa Catalina and Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte. The first one offers a bit more areas to sit and enjoy the view, but they are both equally breathtaking. Definitely go and watch the sunset with a can of beer at least once while you are there.

Miradouro de Santa Catalina

Miradouro de Santa Catalina

We also took a trip to Belém. On our way there, we stopped to visit one of the coolest architectural buildings I’ve seen so far: the MAAT, Mueum of Art, Architecture and Technology. To see this modern piece of architecture with the the Ponte 25 de Abril (the bridge that almost makes it look like you’re in San Francisco) in the background was very impressive to me.

MAAT

Belém itself is an area known for two things: Torre de Belém, a tower that was used as a lighthouse and prison before it became the viewing platform it is nowadays, and the Pasteis de Belém. Pasteis are the famous Portuguese pastries that you can actually find in places like Starbucks all around the world. But they are not the originals. So if you go to Torre del Belém, make sure to stop by the Café Pasteis de Belém and either get a Pasteis to go or sit down for a quick bite. It’s definitely worth it!
If you don’t want to take a trip out there (or you don’t have time for it) here’s another tip: The Manteigaria in town offers super delicious pasteis as well! But no matter where, don’t miss out on this Portuguese deliciousness!

Pasteis at Manteigaria

Pasteis at Manteigaria

Talking about deliciousness: There are a few places we’ve tried and I really enjoyed, so I want to give you a few tips:

  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab. I guess that clean Scandinavia look for cafés has found its way into the shabby-chic Lisbon and Copenhagen Coffee Lab is a great example for that.
  • So is Hello, Kristof (can you tell by the name?).
  • Dear Breakfast was a place, we actually didn’t have time to visit but it spoke to me when we walked past it, so I decided to still include it into that post. Also, their Instagram account gives me food envy all the way!
  • Another Breakfast Café (and one we actually went to) is Heim Café. This place was really packed on a Saturday, so bring some time, but the food was really good and I liked the atmosphere there. So check it out!
  • And now for Dinner. We went to a place that was so edgy and cool that I wished Munich had more edges than it actually has: Damas. The restaurant doesn’t have a printed menu, but you can find their dishes written on the tiles next to the bar. Don’t fancy any of the 3-4 main dishes they offer each night? Then you’ll definitely find something among the tapas they have on their menu to share.
    But watch out for the red crosses on the menu – they symbolize that the dish of your choice might not be available anymore.
    And if you fancy dancing and drinking after the delicious food you just had, you don’t even have to go far – the backroom of the restaurant turns into a club with pretty cool electronic beats and the same edgy but cool atmosphere.
  • But if you want to go out somewhere else, check out Bairro Alto, an area full of bars and nightlife that you will definitely find a place you’ll like.
  • Another place, just right down by the water, is Mez Cais. It’s a Mexican restaurant with a big menu full of deliciousness – Burritos, Tacos, Nachos; just anything your stomach might desire. We sat outside, so I can’t tell you much about the atmosphere inside but the little wrestling figures leading the way to the bathroom made it clear that it’s a pretty cool, unique and alternative place that’s definitely worth visiting.

What else? The main thing we’ve basically done during the weekend was walk. From A to B, from B to C and all the way back from C to A. And to many places in between. I guess I’ve told you before, that’s my favourite thing of discovering a city. And during all the walking we did, I couldn’t help myself but to take trillions of photos to share with you. Here are my favourites.

But this isn’t even everything. Probably my favourite activity was our trip to the beach – to Praia da Cresmina to be precise. It’s a pretty cool, wide beach with lots of rocks to climb around on. Since it was December and the sun was about to set, we were the only ones there, which made the trip even more magical!

Me at Praia da Cresmina

Me at Praia da Cresmina

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Praia da Cresmina

So. This is it. A little overview over my time in Lissbon, the places I’ve seen and the pictures I took. Maybe one day I’ll go back during summer and see that side of the city, but I gotta say, December wasn’t a bad time to go. A bit of sun to soak up and way less tourists than in the summer month – a perfect combination!

A first aid kit for traveling – The 7 essentials

I guess we’ve all heard with a heavy heart what happened to the two girls in Cambodia last month. Reading this, I remembered once again how important it is to take all the essential medicine with you. It might be a pain in the ass because it’s an extra weight but as you can see, it might be life saving.
And even if it doesn’t go that far, it still saves you money. I remember when I had bed bugs in Vietnam (well my hostel claimed it wasn’t bed bugs, but whatever it was, it was itching badly and I had bites all over my body), I went to the pharmacy and they sold me two things, one of them were actual pills. Turns out they were not for anything close to bites but for something to do with your nose. While it might not have killed me it wouldn’t have been helpful at all either. So lesson learned, I’ll bring my own first aid kit with me from now on.

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Travel First Aid Kit via Flickr (Credit by The NRMA)

But what does it have to contain? Let’s go through the essentials.

#1 Aspirin

It doesn’t have to be aspirin, but anything that helps with a headache or maybe any other type of pain you might have, such as sore muscles. Or maybe even the start of a cold.

#2 Aloe Vera creme/gel

Especially in all the typical backpacker countries around South East Asia or South America, I saw plenty of sunburnt girls walking around. Clearly, you are on the beach all day, going in and out of the water constantly and you might forget about putting on sunscreen all the time. Try not to forget, since sun burns are very very bad for you, but if you end up having one, it’s such a relieve to put some aloe vera on it!

#3 Medicine for your digestion

I want tell you any brand here, because it depends on what’s helped you before. But definitely take something for your stomach! Because no matter how careful you might be while traveling, you can always get some type of stomach problem, either from drinking the water, eating something that wasn’t cleaned properly or swallowing dirty ocean water (that’s what happened to me on Bali for example).

Tip: If you have a sensitive stomach as it is, always wipe your cuttlery with a clean napkin before you eat, make sure you don’t drink anything with ice in it, wash off the fruit you buy on the street with bottled water and only eat where lots of people are eating. Just to make sure.

#4 Anti-bite creme

Yes, bites. It doesn’t have to be bed bugs it can just be any type of bites. So take any creme with you that you can put on them for you to stop scratching and for them to heal more easily. And if you are at it, take bug spray as well.
And maybe take something a bit stronger on top of it, in case you’re as lucky as I am and get bed bugs!

#5 Any medicine against a cold

That’s probably a pretty common thing. You might think you’re in a hot country and you won’t get a cold, but there are always things that might trigger a cold – ACs, swimming in the cold ocean, sleeping with wet hair.. You name it. So make sure to pack something that helps you with a cold every time!

#6 Band Aids

No matter if you’ve walked too much and got a blister, stepped into a shell or cut yourself with a knife – Band Aids are always useful!

#7 Anti-inflammatory medicine

Okay, I would have not thought of taking that before my last trip, but now I’ll definitely think of it every time.
When I was in Australia last year, I got bitten by a fish (don’t laugh, I might tell that story another time) and it got infected pretty badly. Lucky enough I was still in Australia (left for Vietnam a few days later), so I just went into the pharmacy and got the right medicine. But who knows what they would have given me in Vietnam?
It doesn’t have to be pills, I just used a creme and it helped perfectly!

Other than those 7 essentials, make sure to pack medicine against any issues you might have a lot. I, for example, always have problems with my sinuses whenever I get a cold, so I try to take my medicine for that with me. And never forget the protection you are using – birth control pill, condoms, whatever you need and use.

AND always make sure to get all the shots you might need for your destination. Check with a doctor or a specialist a few months before your trip (or at least a few weeks, depending on how spontaneously you planned it) what shots you might need to cover. Because trust me, you’d rather be safe than sorry.

The Power of Color – Streetart around the world Part VI: Lisbon, Portugal

I was looking forward to coming to Lisbon for a very long time. And one big reason was the amount of street art I’ve heard was to be found all around the city. And I wasn’t disappointed!
On my first day there, we even went to an exhibition by Bordalo II, an artist who makes art out of trash (a pretty cool idea if you ask me). You can find his pieces all around Portugal, but also in Dublin or Hamburg.

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This is one of Bordalo II’s pieces

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Another Bordalo II

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I’m sure I’ve only see a small percentage of all the street art around Lisbon, so I’m very excited to go back (maybe in the summertime) and discover some more!

10 songs I can’t live without: Christmas Edition

It’s this time of the year again: Cookies, Candles and lots of cozy nights inside. And what’s more fitting than a few Christmas songs I love to kick off that season?

#1 Mariah Carey – All I want for christmas is you

#2 Train – Shake up Christmas

#3 Kate Winslet – What if

#4 Sia – Santa’s coming For Us

She has a whole christmas album out – so excited for it!

#5 Christina Aguilera – Oh holy night

#6 Coldplay – Christmas Lights

#7 Do they know it’s Christmas – Band Aid

#8 Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

Not a real Christmas Song but it definitely sets the mood.

#9 Foy Vance – Guiding Light

Technically this is not a christmas song but it gives me that feeling every time I hear it so I just added it – rebel me.

#10 John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War is over) 

A classic for sure.

Cover Photo: by Thomas via Flickr