A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
What a year!
As far as travel is concerned, it’s been fantastic!
And as far as my personal profile is concerned, it’s been on a continuous rise!
So let’s see how we’re doing…!
I became the media darling of the German press last year and made a documentary for the largest TV station in the region of Berlin & Brandenburg, which was also picked up by other national German TV stations! I also went on LIVE TV and had to speak in German. Gulp!
I was interviewed in a radio production broadcast about British expats living in Berlin called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin, I did a [VIDEO] interview as a rep. of the Berlin Travel Massive Blogger Community at the ITB Berlin and, I was asked to participate in a short silent independent movie made for a film school application called: “Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.” Very, very short!
I was interviewed by one of Europe’s largest online newspapers – The Local in Germany – and for the British press via The Independent Newspaper, as well as in the Huffington Post, Travel Massive and by other well-established bloggers.
I also did TV “expert” interviews about William & Kate, and many magazine, newspaper and radio interviews about Brexit, and the implication on British expats abroad!
There’s way too much for me to put on this post, but you can read more about it here.
And on my Facebook feed!
And before we go on, A BRIEF REMINDER!
If you’re a British expat living abroad within the last 15 years, you should have registered as an overseas elector. This entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June has passed.
For more information on overseas voting, please go here.
At the beginning of 2016, I told you that travel plans this year would be:
As you know, I’m a lifestyle expat travel blogger. And part of this lifestyle is spending an awful amount of time writing and spreading the love on social media.
If you don’t get yourself out there, it can be quite lonely.
Thankfully, I’m a bit of a social butterfly and a little bit of a show-off, so meeting other bloggers is always going to be a good thing. One of those ways to get-together is to attend a TBEX conference.
TBEX is the holy grail of the travel blogging world and stands for Travel Blog Exchange.
According to the TBEX website, it’s the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, digital publishing and social-media-savvy travel industry professionals. It’s also a medium for the creative minds of the travel industry to come together, to network, to learn, to negotiate with the travel industry, and for those who are so inclined, to take the business of blogging to the next level.
Last year, I went to the TBEX conference for the very first time.
TBEX EUROPE promised us an exciting night life, delicious food, outdoor locations and enlightening cultural excursions. And they delivered on their promise?
However, due to the budget airlines that I flew with, I had an absolutely awful time!
Drum roll please….
I’ve decided to go to TBEX again!
And this time, I’m attending the TBEX ’16 Asia Pacific in Manila!
In the Philippines!
Isn’t it amazing?!!
I’ve been to Asia many, many times but I’ve never been to the Philippines!
The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean!
It consists of about 7,641 islands, and the capital city is called Manila.
While I’m in that part of Asia, I aim to visit a few other countries in the vicinity too.
Now because I’m going to the Philippines, my summer plans changed somewhat and thus, I’ve come up with the campaign below.
Get ready for…..
European Challenge what?!
Oh. Cooooome. On!
Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.
For six (6) weeks!
So, since I’m a happily married woman, a responsible mother, and it’s going to be the summer holidays (being smart here), I’m going to be taking the “Tall Young Gentleman” with me!
We’re going to be travelling only by train!
We’re going to:
Denmark is a Scandinavian country, and the southernmost nation of the Nordic countries.
It is south-west of Sweden, south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. In fact, you can either take the cruise ferry across the Baltic Sea, or drive across Northern Germany, via Flensburg!
The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises of Denmark itself, two autonomous constituent countries – the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, of which roughly only seventy (70) are inhabited, and a population of 5.7 million people!
I’ve been to Denmark many times, but it’s been twelve (12) years, since I was last there!
Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal city or Bundesstadt!
It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!
Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.
Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.
I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…
Shock & Horror!
I’ve never actually been!
Mainly ‘cos it’s frightfully expensive!!
This time I’m going to cough up, and just go for it. And with a demanding growing lad too.
Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a country in western Europe.
It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.
Its capital Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, and the seat of the European Court of Justice, which is the highest judicial seat in the EU!
The culture, people, and languages of Luxembourg’s are highly intertwined with its neighbors, making it essentially a mixture of German and French!
With an area of just 2,586 square kilometres or 998 square miles, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, and about the same size as the state of Rhode Island in the US, or the county of Northamptonshire in England!
Luxembourg has a population of just 524,853 and is one of the least-populous countries in Europe!
It is a democracy with a constitutional monarch, headed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and is the only remaining grand duchy in the world! Not only that, but Luxembourg is considered to have the world’s highest GDP per capita!
Luxembourg will be a new country for me, and I’ve heard lovely things about it, so I’m pretty excited to visit!
Slovakia, otherwise known as the Slovak Republic, is a country in Central Europe.
It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, and Hungary to the south. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres or 19,000 sq miles, and is mostly mountainous. The population is a little over 5 million!
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which later became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia, and on 1st January 1993, Slovakia became an independent state, after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
A prime example of how two nations, even after separation, still live together and or are, connected to each other, without hate and strive!
As you know, I used to live in the Czech Republic and whilst there, I lived briefly in Slovakia too!
In those days, there was hardly any difference at all, so I’m going to have to find out if it’s still true!
And because this is my blog and I can do whatever I like, I’m going to add two German destinations!
Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!
Bremen is a commercial – industrial city, with a major port on the River Weser.
It’s part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region and is with 2.4 million people, he second most populous city in Northern Germany!
Bremen is a major cultural hub and home to historical galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums.
I’ve been to Bremen a few times, but I remember the very first time that I visited. Over twenty (20) years ago…!
I couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!
You can imagine how I felt when I found out that Hamelin from the The Pied Piper of Hamelin fame, actually existed and is based on a true real event….!
Usedom is a Baltic Sea island in Pomerania which originally used to be one single island region but since 1945, was divided between Germany and Poland!
About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The other side and the largest city on the island, are part of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship!
The island’s total area is 445 square kilometres (172 square miles). The German part is 373 square kilometres or 144 square miles, and the Polish part is 72 square kilometres or 28 square miles.
With a population of just 76,500 people – 31,500 on the German side and 45,000 on the Polish side, Usedom is the sunniest region of both Germany and Poland, and it is also the sunniest island in the Baltic Sea Region!
I just can’t wait to get a bit of the sea, and a sunny old beach!
I live in Berlin.
And Germany is right in the center of Europe.
It has airports, train stations, bus stations, bicycle stations, cars and every possible means of transport.
I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure so we’re going to be travelling by one of my favourite forms of transport.
We’re going to be travelling by train!
See you next week!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions, and the great adventures that I’m sure to have, are my very own!
On June 13th, there will be the first Book Launch of Sophie Kinsella, at the British Embassy, in Berlin!
From June 28th – July 2nd, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.
Save the Date!
June is going to be dazzling!
I’ll be there. Will you?
As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!
If you’re not in Berlin in June, you must be potty!
Watch this space!
See you in Berlin.
Amazing plans! Cool beans..you’re going to have a swell summer!
I have been to Switzerland, on a study trip that was heavily discounted.very expensive country indeed, but worth it….we went to Geneva and it’was beautiful..then I’ve been to Zurich (touch and go..on transit)..
I have plans to visit a european city..but undecided..because I’m hoping I don’t change my mind and go to Kenya instead.
Thanks so much Caroline! This summer is sooooo going to be awesome! I’m really looking forward to visiting Switzerland for the first time so you’ve got to give me some tips! I’m with you girlfriend, Europe for the summer. Yeeeeeeah! 🙂
Very exciting plans and great idea to have a mother and son adventure together.I will look forward to hear all about it. I am staying home for the summer, but will be off to Paris and Amsterdam in October.
Thanks so much Gilda! I’m so excited to spend some quality time with my son. He’s 14 now and growing up fast, so these are the years to get some 1 on 1 time with him before he zooms off to university!
Paris & Amsterdam in the Autumn? Oh yeah! 🙂
That’s exciting news! I’m still considering TBEX in the Philippines, because I’ve never visited the Philippines either. Though I’m also eager to visit Korea again, since it’s been so long since my last visit and I don’t think I will be able to squeeze in more than 2 trips to Asia this fall. At least I can read about your experiences on your blog. Really cool that you’re visiting Copenhagen. If I’m in town I hope we can meet for a chilled Danish beer:)
Thanks so much Mitzie Mee! It would be soooo much fun if you came. Korea sounds brilliant too as I’ll probably have a week to play with at the end lol! I’m quite excited to go back to Asia as I can usually only go every 2 to 3 years and now is as good a time as any! 🙂
I’ll let you know when we get to Denmark, closer to the time…!
These sound like such great travel plans! I hope you enjoy the Philippines and your European city trips. I’d be interested in hearing how Usedom is. I was in Bremen last December; the old town is really nice!
Thanks so much Danny! I very much look forward to visiting the Philippines. Have you ever been? Funnily, I’ve never been to Usedom, so it should make interesting reading lol!
And yes, Bremen is quite nice. The last time I was there, the houses reminded me of England somehow!! 🙂
Unfortunately, I haven’t been to the Philippines. A friend of mine was just there a few months ago and loved it. I’m sure you’ll have a blast!
Thank you Danny! I’ve heard mixed messages, but very much looking forward to seeing things for myself! 🙂
Exciting, you are going to love the Philippines! It’s one of my fave countries in Asia, you should definitely check out the rice terraces in Batad and Banaue. Congrats on all your success this year so far too!
Thanks so much for your kind words Amy! I won’t have as much time as I would like but I’m soooo excited! 🙂 🙂
I got back from London yesterday and going to Brussels in a week, from where I am doing kind of an insane 3-day train trip through France. I’m kind of freaking out because some of the connections will be TIGHT!!!
Thanks so much Anna!
I’m sure you’ll make it #cos you’re just that type of woman! Sounds like a challenge indeed lol! 🙂
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