Big Life Questions: Work or Travel?

by California Globetrotter

Photo: Public domain, Photographer: Shayna Hobbs

Photo: Public domain, Photographer: Shayna Hobbs

To be very honest, I never ever had the money to travel. But somehow I make it work. As hard as my parents tried to teach me to save my money, keep track of my savings and checking accounts with one of them fancy adding books, it never stuck. I hated it. That’s what online banking was for. But it has never stopped me from buying that ticket and booking that hotel.

I just had to have it!

Before I moved to Europe, I was working a full-time, 40-hour, Monday-Friday job. I loved my job, I loved my spunky customers and I loved my coworkers. I saw myself settling down and spending the rest of my life working there.

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Hamburg, #180sec

With One Another – Against One Another: 180 Seconds Hamburg

In Hamburg live about 1,200 homeless people. For many it is difficult to reintegrate themselves into society. But in the centre of Hamburg there is a place of solidarity: the editorial office of “Hinz&Kunzt”, one of the first German street newspapers. Over 4,000 homeless people sell the newspaper in the streets and the Underground. One of them is Klaus. In “180 Seconds Hamburg” the Austrian-born Klaus explains why “Hinz&Kunzt” means much more to him than printed paper.

For those who don’t live in Hamburg, the street magazine “Hinz&Kunzt” is available online:
http://www.hinzundkunzt.de/

Hamburg, #180sec

Click on the image to start the video.

More about the #180sec project on goethe.de/180sec

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Expat Life: How Germany Has Changed Me

by Alie of The Erlangen Expat and Starting Over in Stuttgart

Photo (cc) flickr user Shelley and Dave

Photo (cc) flickr user Shelley and Dave

Living for the holidays is something common to I and most of my friends back in the UK. Working very hard is commonplace, and after family, taking care of yourself, renovating your home, seeing your friends you don’t end up with a whole heap of free time to ‘be’.

When we arrived in Germany (and lived in hotels for three months) quiet time (1pm-3pm), shops closing at 8pm and very little being open on Sundays wasn’t a big deal, in fact it was refreshing and really relaxing, which was great considering the stress of the moves so far. However when we moved into our apartment (which came with its very own set of rules) I began to understand other expats hostile reactions to what they saw as the restrictive elements of German life.

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Brussels, #180sec

With One Another – Against One Another: 180 Seconds Brussels

With its winding alleys and multi-lane roads, Brussels offers little room for bicycles. How to get to where you are going? The film director Marie Pynthe ventures a self-experiment: with a camera fastened to the handlebars of her bike, she pedals from the Royal Palace into the European Quarter. She gets caught in the crossfire of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, encounters unexpected obstacles and discovers almost paradisiacal bike havens.

More about the #180sec project on goethe.de/180sec

Brussels, #180sec

Click to start the video

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The Week in Germany: Berlin Food, German Dust, Free Apps

Photo copyright Wolfram Steinberg, dpa

Photo copyright Wolfram Steinberg, dpa

Eat Berlin

Sole Satisfaction shares her five favorite food events coming up soon in Berlin.  Meanwhile, Deutsch, Bitte has written about the Berlin Ice Cream Market.  I Heart Berlin has you covered for Berlin breakfasts and brunches.

How to Catch Dust Like a German

“German slang has a funny word for all those trinkets whose sole purpose seems to be to accumulate dust: Staubfänger (literally “dust catchers”). While we have a bunch of those around our house (who doesn’t?), only a few give away my German background. I do not collect beer steins or Hummel figurines, nor I do not have a cuckoo clock.

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Seven Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

by California Globetrotter

Photo: Gratisography

Photo: Gratisography

My first encounter with learning a foreign language started at the young age of 8 or 9 when I temporarily had to go to a predominately Mexican school. I remember struggling to learn math because my teachers would often speak in Spanish. This was no easy task for a native English speaker. Needless to say, my math is terrible. But I remember the joy of standing in our school auditorium, wearing my best dress and singing Feliz Navidad fluently with the rest of my class at Christmas. Ever since, I have had a love affair with this song and languages.

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