Tag: Munich

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Cheryl Howard from Cherylhoward.com

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Current city: Berlin, Germany

Age: 30 something

Total countries visited: 32

What makes you interesting: After living the majority of my life in Toronto, Canada, I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and moved to Berlin, Germany in June 2011. I came alone, without employment, and any knowledge of the German language. During my 18 months in Berlin, I freelanced as a project manager and travel writer, as well as travelled all around the continent. For personal reasons, I moved back home to Canada for two years, where I spent all my free time eating sausage, learning German, and plotting my move back to Berlin. I returned in November 2014 and now work as an Agile Coach for a tech startup, run a popular travel and expat living blog at cherylhoward.com, host monthly expat meetups, and currently working on a book project about refugees in Berlin.

What brands do you love: I’m going to sound like a snob as their products are pretty high-end, but I love Tumi travel gear. I’ve a carry-on suitcase and a laptop bag from them which have lasted me for 5+ years now. While the laptop bag has seen better days, the carry-on still remains my favorite piece of travel gear.

What are the least appealing qualities in a travel companion: A few years back, I spent a weekend in Budapest with a guy I was dating. Budapest is my favorite city in the world (after Berlin), so I was pretty excited to be there with him. The trip turned out to be an absolute disaster. He wanted to sleep in, when I wanted to wake up early and explore. Hanging out at ruin bars was not his thing. He thought I walked too slowly and hated how I stopped to take so many pictures. He pretty much embodies all the things I don’t like in a travel companion. I need someone who wants to wake up early with me, explore as much as possible, hang out at unpretentious places, and is cool enough to let me do things on my own.  Weirdly enough, we continued dating for a while, but we made an agreement to never travel together again.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: It’s difficult to answer such a huge question with only a handful of sentences. At the risk of sounding painfully cliché. I’d say that travel has changed me for the better as I’ve become more open minded and appreciative of what I have. It motivated me to make a concerted effort to help others and this is why I’m now working on project to document the stories of refugees in Berlin.

What are your travel rituals: A couple times, I almost missed flights due to my absent mindedness and related tardiness. Last year, I arrived for my flight to Bangkok 5 minutes before they closed the gate. As such, I now absolutely loathe being late and will get to the airport several hours earlier than needed, just so I can get through check-in, security, etc. without feeling any stress. I’ll usually buy a coffee and get some work done to pass time, before my flight’s departure.

Describe the last time you tried something new: I try new things all of the time, but the one that stands out the most for me was paragliding through the Italian Alps. I’m scared of heights, so that moment when we literally ran off the side of a mountain was terrifying. But suddenly, we were flying through the air, in this really picturesque setting. My feelings of fear were soon replaced with ones of joy and exhilaration.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: By far, the most interesting person I’ve ever met while travelling was Jorge Selarón in Rio de Janeiro. He’s an artist who transformed a dilapidated set of stairs into a beautiful work of art. The stairs are decorated with brightly colored tiles sent to him from fans all around the world. Before his death in 2013, he regularly used to change them. I was fortunate enough to meet Selarón in 2010. He asked me where I was from and showed me a tile for Canada and another for Toronto. I also bought one of his paintings, which he personally autographed. I still have this painting today and it sits on a bookshelf in my Berlin apartment.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: My first international trip happened at age 26, when I went to South America to cruise the Galapagos Islands and hike the Inca Trail.

Next travel destination: As I’m currently sorting out a new German work permit and in the process of renewing my Canadian passport, I have no plans to leave Germany over the next few months. That said, I think some weekends away to Hamburg and Munich are in order.

Bewitching October: How You Should Experience Autumn Around The World

By: Jennifer K. Velez, TWIP

There’s no greater place for a traveller to gain a better understanding of a culture then to experience a festival where people come together to celebrate and appreciate food, listen and dance to live music, and much more. The changing colors and cooler days in October draws out locals and travelers to some of the world’s most famous events.

Oktoberfest, September 19-October 4

Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy of worldfestivaldirectory.com

Autumn in Germany symbolizes the beginning of a 16-day folk festival where six million people from around the world gather together in Munich to celebrate Bavarian culture and the start of fall. The original Oktoberfest was created to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese where guests indulged in food, drinks and horse races. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular yearly festivals celebrated worldwide. Today, festival goers can enjoy a variety of traditional beers ranging from pale gold to deep amber lagers and meats such as Scheinsbraten and Würstel. If these traditional German flavors don’t suit your taste, you can indulge in more malty flavored German and American influenced beers. If you cannot make it to Munich, fortunately there are smaller Oktoberfests held all over the world where one can enjoy the delectable delicacies of Germany.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 3-11

If you find yourself in Albuquerque around the start of fall, you may catch the annual ascension of hot air balloons. The fiesta is enchanting to new Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta visitors, as over 500 balloons take to the sky. You can see hundreds of colorful balloons floating up and over the city. For nine days a variety of events are held. In the evening, Balloon Glow allows enthusiasts to enjoy the sight of these magnificently lit balloons. Special Shape Rodeo allows for non-traditional balloons, such as animals, covered wagons, and everything else in between, to launch at the same time. Many have said that the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the most photographed event in the world. You don’t need to fly in a balloon to enjoy the fiesta. You can simply walk around, eat delicious food, and watch in awe as the sun sets over the Sandia Mountains.

Masskara, October 16-18

bacolod inns masskara images

Photo courtesy of citigrandinn.com

Every year 450,000 residents join together in the street exhibiting a multitude of vibrant masks in Bacolod, Philippines, “city of smiles.” Due to the depressed sugar cane prices in Negros Occidental, the government and local artists collaborated to lift the city’s spirits and created the Masskara Festival. Locals get together to exhibit gorgeous masks with plumes of feathers, exotic flowers, glitter, beads, sequins, and more. This is a sensory experience, with its bold colors, joyous music, and vibrancy. The festival is a reminder to the people of Bacolod to remain optimistic through times of misfortune and to always remember to smile. Don’t have a mask? No problem. Just put a smile on your face and you will fit right in.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Yvonne from Just Travelous.

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Current city: Berlin, Germany

Age: 35

What makes you interesting: I think the most interesting thing about me is that I am me. Like with every other person in this world there’s just one of my kind. I am a very open-minded person, I love to meet new people and hear the stories they have to tell. I love traveling solo without talking to anyone, just to emerge into nature and have time to talk to myself. I am extroverted and introverted at the same time. I love being an adventurer but in the same time I’m a chicken. I do things because my inner child wants me to do it, not because I’m super brave. Joss Whedon is my god and I absolutely eat dessert first.

Total countries visited: 40

Most magical place on Earth: My sofa. Just kidding, or am I? Besides my sofa in Berlin I’m a huge fan of Brandenburg, the state which surrounds Berlin. It’s a hidden gem and it’s one of the most beautiful places in Germany. Check out my blog post to see why I find Brandenburg the most magical place on earth! http://www.justtravelous.com/en/2014/07/brandenburg-germany/

What does “travel” mean to you: I think the most important thing in life is to find out what makes you happy and do this as often as you can. For me, it’s traveling by making people happy with my stories from the road and inspire them to do the same. Life needs to be lived and filled with things which makes you happy. In the end no one wants to say, “If I only…” but rather “Hell, yeah, what a ride!”

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Can I say Munich? Urgh, I really don’t like this city.

What people say when they travel with me: “You must be kidding” is actually a sentence I hear often. I’m game for everything and nothing. That’s what my friends like about me, they know I’m totally into doing weird stuff and that they also can count on me when they just want to chill in our hotel room and watch TV shows.

What is the furthest northern, eastern, western, and southern point you have traveled: Northern is Norway. Eastern is Indonesia. Western is California and southern is South Africa.

Next travel destination: Thailand in March to go diving and enjoying some beach time.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Lauren from Lauren on Location.

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Current city: Madrid, Spain

Age: 22

What makes you interesting: Well, this is a pretty subjective question! I guess just like any other Twipper, seeing the world is my great passion in life! It’s become such a part of me, and I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be happy without travel. I’m a new blogger, just starting out, and I’m not sure where it will take me, but for now I’m enjoying the ride!

Total countries visited: 21 and counting.

Most magical place on Earth: Oy, do I have to pick one?! How about 3 ?! Positano Italy, Sintra Portugal and my own backyard on Long Island, NY!

What does “travel” mean to you: For me travel is SO much! Travel allows me to open my eyes to diverse parts of the world and explore different places, cultures, peoples, foods, etc. I’ve learned to accept and understand parts of other cultures, as well as question parts of my own! Without a doubt, my travels have shaped me into who I am today!

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: Airplanes!! There is just something about looking down on our world from above that gives me an incredible high!

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: San Sebastian, Spain! It’s the perfect combination of everything I love: beautiful beach, incredible shopping, plenty of parks, friendly people and of course AMAZING FOOD!

What is your most favorite travel memory: Hmmm, it’s hard to pick just one! When I was younger I used to love to travel, especially by plane. I can still remember the feeling I used to get when I would throw together my tiny backpack before a trip. I would fill it with all kinds of activities (picture books, coloring books, journals) and of course snacks to keep myself busy while traveling! There was nothing like it.

Next travel destination: Galway, Ireland for my birthday! Than heading to the US for the holidays. After that Munich and Salzburg in January!

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