Kayla: “Say You Did It”

My friend Kayla keeps inspiring me with her words. Check out her latest blog post.

People are so afraid to enjoy life and follow their dreams. I say just go for it! Time is waiting for no one which is why I’ve positioned myself to be able to follow my dreams, achieve goals, take risks, and enjoy life! Jobs, bills, school etc shouldn’t stop you from doing any of that! It’s your choice, everyone. I won’t look back one day wishing I could have or should have, but will be able to say I did it” -Kayla

Hi guys! First off, I want to thank you so much for checking out the newest features of my blog! I really appreciate your patience and your ongoing support!! It is so exciting to be back, and to be able to share some words of inspiration with you every week 🙂 I know I said to be on the lookout for my newest blog post, “Stop Waiting”, but after my latest trip to Miami, I felt intrigued to write about something else that was on my mind all weekend.

 As many of you have seen on social media, I’ve been traveling all over the country this year. This past weekend, I had the privilege of going to beautiful Miami for the 2nd time in the past 2 months with some close friends and family! How many people can just get up and go to Miami every month? This girl…

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Ruhrgebiet: Urbanatix – NOW!

Have you ever seen free runners, dancers, acrobats, bikers, trickers, acrobats and live musicians performing a show together?  No? If you think “That sounds pretty amazing”, you should definitely not miss out on visiting an Urbanatix show in Bochum.

Urbanatix has been founded as a project for young artists in 2010, when the Ruhr Region was named European Capital of Culture – RUHR.2010. Since everybody liked the young innovative artists’ shows so much back then, it has become an institution in this region ever since.

That is why what is now one of the region’s greatest crew of street artists and acrobats presented its new show in Bochums’ Jahrhunderthalle, a great event center, past Friday. About 50 regional and international artists will be playing a total of 16 shows until Tuesday, November 24th, in front of a total of about 20.000 spectators .

I got to have a glimpse at their dress rehearsal past Thursday – and I loved the show even more than I did past year. “NOW!”  contains everything a good show needs in my opinion: great music by a percussionist, beat boxers and a great DJ, incredibly skilled and versatile artists and an impressively dynamic scenery put together in 100 minutes of a uniquely dynamic, varied and entertaining show.

Thank you to the Urbanatix media team for supplying me with pictures and giving me a chance to watch this show once more. 

Workcamp in Nordindien

Scroll down to read the English version of this article.

Im Sommer 2013 habe ich für ein Praktikum acht Wochen lang in Vadodara, Indien gelebt. Seitdem hat mich das Land nicht mehr losgelassen. Ich wusste: da will ich noch mal hin. Als Leiterin eines Workcamps der Kolping Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (JGD) werde ich im Sommer vom 8. August bis 5. September 2015 die Chance dazu haben. Und du kannst dabei sein!

Unser Projekt: In Punjab in Nordindien arbeiten mit mit benachteiligten Kinder und Jugendlichen aus dörflichen Regionen zusammen. Durch Fußball- und Bildungsangebote sollen sie eine Perspektive bekommen.

Unsere Aufgabe: Wir werden das Sport- und Freizeitprogramm mitgestalten. Unserer Kreativität sind dabei fast keine Grenzen gesetzt: Du kannst was? Gib dein Wissen weiter! In Workshops zu den Themen Fußball, Tanzen, Kochen, Computer, Englisch, Basteln, … werden wir zusammen mit unseren indischen Freunden jede Menge Spaß haben.

Nach drei Wochen im Projekt werden wir eine Woche lang die Möglichkeit haben, gemeinsam als Reisegruppe und auf eigene Kosten weitere Teile Indien kennenzulernen. Danach fliegen wir mit Rucksäcken und Herzen voller einmaliger Erinnerungen und wenn du magst auch einem Sari, Henna oder leckeren Gewürzen wieder nach zurück nach Deutschland.

Was kostet’s?: Die Teilnahme am Projekt kostet für 18- bis 26-Jährige 1650 Euro, für ältere Teilnehmer 2100 Euro*. Darin enthalten sind die Flüge von/ ab Frankfurt nach Amritsar, der Transfer zum Projekt. Unterkunft und Verpflegung im Projekt, die Projekt- und Reiseleitung, Kranken-, Unfall-, und Haftpflichtversicherung sowie ein dreitägiger Vorbereitungsworkshop in Köln/Bonn. (* Der Preisunterschied ergibt sich daraus, dass das Workcamp vom BMFSJ als interkulturelle Jugendbegegnung vom gefördert wird).

Die Kolping JGD bieten Workcamps in vielen Teilen der Welt an, zum Beispiel auch in Thailand. Eines davon durfte ich vergangenen Dezember/ Januar leiten. Wenn du mehr über meine Erlebnisse im Projekt Skills for Life in Chiang Mai lesen möchtest, klicke hier.

Wenn du dich für Workcamps in anderen Ländern der Welt interessiert, findest du hier eine Übersicht aller Projekte der Kolping JGD.


Workcamp in Northern India

I have spent eight weeks of the summer of 2013 in Vadodara, India, in order to do an internship. What should I say? I loved it. That country stole my heart. When I left it I knew: I will come back. As a tour guide and team leader for the Kolping Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (Kolping International Youth Services), I will get the chance to do so from August 8th till September 5th 2015. You can join me!

Our project: We will work together with deprived children and teenagers in Punjab, Northern India. The soccer club YFC Rurka Kalan aims to provide them with perspectives for their lives by offering sport and educational activities.

Our job: We will be support the sports and spare time activity program. We can be as creative as we want. You’re good at something? Share it! We could offer almost any workshop such as soccer, dancing, cooking, computing, English, crafting, … We are surely going to spend a great time with our new Indian friends.

After supporting the project for three weeks, we will have the chance to visit further places in India for one week as a group and on our own expenses. Our backpacks and hearts will be full of unique, unforgettable memories as well as sarees, henna, and spices, after heading back to Germany after a total of four weeks.

How much is it?: Participating in this workcamp costs 1650 Euro for people aged 18 till 26. Older participants need to pay 2100 Euro*. The price includes flights from/ to Frankfurt to Amritsar, transportation to the project, food and accommodation throughout the three weeks of the project, a tour guide (me), health, accident and legal liability insurance as well as the participation in a three day preparatory workshop in Köln/ Bonn. (* Der price difference is a result of the fact that the workcamp is financially supported by the German government as in intercultural youth encounter.).

The Kolping JGD offer Workcamps in numerous places in the world, in Thailand, for example. I had the pleasure to team one of those camps past December/ January. If you would like to learn more about my experiences with the Skills for Life project in Chiang Mai, click here.

If you are interested in participating in a workcamp in countries other than India, you can find an overview of Koping projects here. 

Blogparade (#4): A_Way

My fellow student Malou from Dortmund, whom I am spending my semester abroad in Debrecen together with, is blogging about her experiences as well.

She recently drew a great analogy between reading a book and settling at a new place:

[…] You might […] fear that you will remain a figure outside of the story, the mere reader, depending on the bits and pieces delivered by an omniscient narrator. That you read letters forming a name, and yet the characters remain distant to you, too obscure and held at distance by a limiting, selective narrator. […] You fear clues and twists passing before your eyes, unnoticed, only later to be remembered as the moments in which you should have known how precious they would be for the story. You fear missing this, because you think these missed twists would have created the “right” feeling, the “actual” atmosphere of the story. Another page turned.

And yet – fear not. Read on, let the story unfold. […] The plot is not to be followed, it is to be shaped with your own reading. You read, you write the story. […]

Read the full analogy here.

Blogparade (#3): Travel while you’re young

Once again, I would like to share a cool post from Canadian travel blogger Hannah Logan with you:

13 reasons to travel while you’re young

You May Only Have Now

You never know what tomorrow may bring. Not to be morbid, but no one can predict the future and there’s no knowing that what may happen. A wise man once said, “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today”. (Hannah Logan)

By the way: my next adventure starts on Monday, February 9th, when I will leave to Debrecen, Hungary for an exchange semester 🙂 I will keep you posted about that, too 🙂

Dating a Traveler?

Just a while ago, I had an interesting talk with a friend of mine. We wondered why it seems to be hard for some people to commit to self-assured, ambitious, intelligent, … persons- especially to those who appear to be always busy and abroad for a vast time of each year: constant travelers.

Her take on it: they’re afraid. Afraid of not being able to keep up with that person, afraid of only being a minor concern to him or her.

Apparently, numerous writers have thought about this issue before we did and already answered to it – in glorious words, if you ask me. Read some of my favorite notes on why no man should be afraid of dating a self-assured, ambitious, intelligent, curious, sensitive, awesome, caring woman:

She spends her weekends jetting around Europe, her holidays trekking through Uganda in search of gorillas, volunteering in a school in Ghana or lying on a beach in Sri Lanka. She spends her evenings reading travel books, watching travel movies or following travel bloggers on Twitter. She might appear to be independent and solitarily happy but, in reality, she would really like that perfect companion to be able to enjoy all of these things with.

She is inquisitive, curious, and intelligent; after all travel is the best form of education. She can talk for hours about her travel tales, (…)

So is she worth it? She most definitely is! She might seem a challenge to pin down, or to arrange a date with, but if she likes you, she will pull out all the stops to make sure it happen. A girl that travels has seen so many places and met so many people, so if she likes you, you should grab the opportunity with both hands! She has dated the romantic Parisian, the fun-loving Australian and the sensual Brazilian, so if she has chosen you, there must be something special there! Don’t let your insecurities or jealousies get in the way, if she likes you, she will always come home to you and, for once, she might even look forward to coming home too.

Travelling is a journey of self discovery; often learning as much about yourself as you do about the destinations you are visiting. She loves to travel, but if you play your cards right, she just might love you that little bit more. And perhaps that next romantic Goan sunset can be admired by you both… Date a girl that travels and your life will never be the same again. (Hayley Gemma Wright)

Kissing a cake fish in Thailand

Life as a butterfly: Date a Girl That Travels 

Huffington Post: 7 Reasons You Should Date a Girl Who Travels

Huffington Post: Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels

Lifehack: 10 Reasons to Date a Girl Who Travels

Katie Aune: Why I Love the Posts About Dating a Girl or Boy Who Travels

James Russell: Date a Boy Who Travels

Raphael Alexander Zoren: Date a Man Who Travels… Wait, What? Date?

 

Many writers seem to glorify dating travelers while forgetting the hardships of long distance relationships (I’ve never had one but have seen more than enough lonely tears, Skype fights, and SnapChat promises, …), others appear to be quite negative about striking up a relationship with a traveler:

We travelers are gypsies and vagabonds. Plain and simple. We will be there for you today but we probably won’t stay for going to the movies tomorrow. We are not dating material, please understand that. Don’t try to make us to commit because it simply isn’t in our DNA. We are free spirits who are capable of love and yes, we will fall madly for you and yet, we will be selfish enough to try our best to lure you into trying our nomadic lifestyle with us instead of adapting ourselves to your sedentary one.

And, if you are brave enough to take the risk of getting to know us, well, prepare to have the best of times when we’re together in the same city…and brace yourself for the sadness that will come when we’re not.  (Raphael Alexander Zoren)

What’s the Matter?

Despite all that has been written and said so far (there are countless further blog posts about why (not) to date a girl/ boy/ man/ woman/ fish/ … who travels), I am not sure what to think of those notions. Of course, I’m aware of all the stereotyping and generalizing that is going on in these articles. However, after reading them I still wasn’t satisfied about the output.

Isn’t it all up to two individuals what to make of their relationship? They might need to face (unexpected) obstacles on their road to happiness. But they can stand through it – and live happily ever after. What if they don’t manage to? Well, that’s fine as well. Living in the present and enjoying life to the fullest is something, traveling teaches ones, too.

I personally do consider myself as a traveler – but not as a (slutty) vagabond (sorry, R.A. Zoren). I rather identify myself with the traveling girl H.G. Wright describes: independent but reaching for  that perfect companion to to enjoy life’s beauty with. However, I am not sad at all about not having to manage with a long distance relationship but being able to enjoy my journeys by myself and with all those wonderful friends I make on the road. Together, we’re not afraid of anything: Neither of fellow girls/ boys/ fish who (don’t) travel nor of being alone or feeling lonely. You’re never alone, when you’re at ease with yourself and amongst friends.

So in case you wondered what my take on that commitment question is: Good things take time. If that one guy who I thought to be a great match for me turns out to be different from what I’m wishing for, that’s life. If I meet someone along the road to have a great time with – let’s spend as much of it together as possible. If we turn out not to fit together anymore, let’s leave it, stay friends and move on. You’re never alone, when you’re at ease with yourself and amongst friends.

Melancholie ist Teil des Abenteuers

Meine wunderbare beste Freundin Janina hüpft zeitgleich mit mir ein ihr Erasmus-Abenteuer und bloggt ebenfalls darüber. Sie spricht mir aus der Seele:

Zu Beginn eines jeden neuen Kapitels schleicht sich eine gewisse Melancholie in den Alltag. Man beginnt wieder, Dinge zum letzten Mal zu tun. (…)  Ich habe (während meiner letzten längeren Reise nach Kambodscha) etwas über Liebe gelernt und über das Leben, am meisten aber wahrscheinlich über mich und ich kann es nur jedem ans Herz legen, den Schritt zu wagen und die gewohnte Umgebung zu verlassen, denn man bekommt so unendlich viel mehr zurück als man es sich jemals erträumt hätte.

Als ich ihren Post las, stiegen mir die Tränen in die Augen. Ersetzte man Kambodscha durch Indien, könnte er von mir stammen. Auch in meinem Herzchen und in meinen Gedanken macht sich so kurz vor dem nächsten Abschied allmählich die Melancholie breit. Auch abgesehen von der Nummerierung der Auslandssprünge empfinden wir wohl derzeit sehr ähnlich (wie so häufig):

Meine zweiter alleiniger Auslandssprung steht endlich ins Haus, und ich blicke dem mit einem vor Lachen funkelndem und einem sehr traurigen Auge entgegen. Denn für mich ist es kein Spaziergang, meine Lieben zu verlassen, auch wenn ich es gleichzeitig liebe, anderswo zu sein..

Friendship is colourful

Friendship is colorful

Dem ist nichts mehr hinzuzufügen. Ein Teil von mir sprudelt permanent über vor Tatendrang und Vorfreude auf mein nächstes Abenteuer, ein anderer kämpft ständig gegen den fetten Klos im Hals und Pipi in den Augen beim Gedanken an die bevorstehenden Abschiede. Am Donnerstag steigt meine Abschiedsparty. Sie wird feucht fröhlich.


Melancholy is part of the adventure

My wonderful best friend Janina is starting her Erasmus adventure abroad at the same time as I do and is also blogging about it. She just wrote exactly what I’m thinking:

There is a certain melancholy before a new chapter in life starts. You begin to do things for the last time. (…) (During my last longer trip to Cambodia) I learned something about love and about life, but most importantly a lot about myself. I can only encourage everyone to dare taking that step into the unknown – you get back infinitely more than you could ever expect to.

My eyes got wet when I read her post. If you replace Cambodia with India, it could be mine. Melancholy is also spreading within my heart and thoughts at this very moment. The next goodbyes are getting so close… Besides the stay abroads’ numbering, Janina and I do probably have similar feelings right now (as we do quite often):

My second solely stay abroad is just ahead of be and I am facing it with smiling sparks in one eye and many tears in the other one. You know, it’s not a walk in the park to leave my loves – eventhough I do also love to be somewhere else in this world…

I don’t have much to add to this. A part of me is constantly looking forward to new adventures, another one is fighting the tears when thinking about the goodbyes getting closer. My goodbye party is on thursday – we’ll have a blast.