What happens in Venice stays in Venice
Gran Canal, Venice, Italy

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What happens in Venice stays in Venice – my Selfie Stick Fiasco

There I was. In Venice. In Italy. For real. A backpacker visiting a house transformed into a beautiful museum. I had just discovered there was a magnificent terrace perched on the Grand Canal. I completely fell in love with the place. The colors, the sparkling water, the calm of this hidden gem, a real happy place. I wanted to immortalize this singular moment. So I took it out, for the first time, this mystery object that everyone was talking about, this thing that is supposed to be an essential because it takes your pictures to the next level. I had

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Me against the Rest: The biggest Waterfight in the World
Bangkok, Thailand

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My first Songkran – The biggest Waterfight in the World

One day last year our friends asked us if we would like to meet them in Thailand (we live in Germany) and without hesitation we said “yes!” The timing was perfect and we planned the trip around Songkran a.k.a the Thai New Year. Songkran is an experience that is so difficult to describe. Imagine being part of the worlds largest water fight, streets packed full with people at all hours, pouring buckets of water on each other and everyone armed with water guns! Needless to say, my husband, our friends and I relived our childhoods running around Bangkok shooting people

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Two Russian Spies in Rotterdam? A Hostel story

Two Russian Spies in Rotterdam? A Hostel story

„It was a summer, when two young Russian guests came to our Ani&Haakien Hostel in Rotterdam to do the check-in. They were two friendly guys, maybe a bit serious, like people can be :) They were carrying two suspicious long thin hard cover bags with them. With big eyes I was fantasizing about two Russian spies with guns coming to our Rotterdam. I asked the guys, what they are doing in Rotterdam and what they brought with them. They said they would go to an event and that they have their boats with them. So I mumbled a bit „Yeah

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Tinos, Mykonos - what does it matter?
Tinos, Greece

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Tinos, Mykonos – what does it matter?

After 6 hours on a ferry from Athens to Mykonos, my best friend and I got off the ferry to realize our bus that was supposed to get us wasn’t there. Confused, we walked around to no avail. We approached an old Greek man and asked: “Mykonos?” He replied: “Oxi, Tinos.” We. messed. up. What do we do? Thank God for Greek police officers! They were SO helpful. They sent us to a nearby travel office and we were told to take the night ferry to Mykonos. Okay, so what do we do for the afternoon? Food! We went to Palaia

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Sharing a room with glass walls to the bathroom with strangers
Nanning, China

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Sharing a room with glass walls to the bathroom with strangers!

When I came for the first time to teach English in China, I crossed the border on a bus from Vietnam. My journey took around 8 hours and I met two people there, a French guy and a Chinese girl. Once we got of in Nanning, we realized that there were no tickets available for any trains that night, we had to wait till the morning to carry on to our destinations. We decided to share the cost of this night’s accommodation and reserved a hotel room with two beds. Nothing would have been strange about the experience if we

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hunting an Iguana for dinner
Cambutal, Tonosi, Panama

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My Cab Driver hunting an Iguana for dinner – Panama Experience!

Cab fares in Panama are determined in advance. There is no meter running and for good reason. You never know what could happen. There are random stops, occasional detours, and the odd errand that you, as a passenger, should be happy to tolerate. This week, my cabbie stopped in the middle of the road when he spotted a large iguana on the shoulder. He began to chase after it as I sat in the front seat watching the drama unfold with my iPhone. Losing the lizard in the dry leaves, I gave a whistle to the cabbie and pointed to

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We need more white players! Am I a racist?
Barcelona, Catalunya

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We need more white players! Am I a racist?

“We need more white players!“ Yes, this is an original quote from me. Back in the days – jeez, this makes me sound so old – me and a big group of friends played football at least once a week. We play 5  a side so in total there are 10 of us running after a ball. All of us are from really different parts of the world, and we are a mixture of Barcelona Expats coming together trying to score goals against our own friends. 10 players – 10 nationalities. To make the teams, we usually have vests to

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Locked at a Hostels Bathroom And Rescued By a Thai Man
Phuket, Thailand

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Thailand: Locked at a Hostels Bathroom And Rescued By a Thai Man

The day started out like any other, perhaps lazier. We stayed at a hostel in Phuket, Thailand (all 5 Star Hostels in Thailand), and we had to check out at 12. At around 11am we decided to get showered.  I stripped off outside the wet room and closed the door behind me. Next thing I knew I was standing in the bathroom with a doorknob in my hand. Caroline heard the noise and asked what was happening. We laughed until she tried the handle on her side. Nothing. We utilized our cutlery like locksmiths hoping to crack it. I stood

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Taxi driver need 3 things: good breaks, good horn, good luck!
New Delhi, India

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Taxi driver need 3 things: good breaks, good horn, good luck!

One of my all-time favorite countries to travel in is India. If you have ever been you know that this is one of the craziest countries in the world to drive in. The streets are crowded, the cars share the road with cows, camels, horses, dogs, bicycles, huge trailers, tuk-tuks, buses and pretty much everything that moves. The rules: there are no rules. They use their horn for pretty much everything and if you want to drive past someone you just honk your horn and drive around. When we took taxis in the northern parts of the country I saw

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Chickens, Goats, and Abba - the bizarre bus through Ethiopia
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

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Chickens, Goats, and Abba – the bizarre bus through Ethiopia

I always use public transport; I believe it is the best way of getting to know a country. On route from Lake Wenchi to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia I had not only the bumpiest journey of my life but also the most bizarre. Chickens casually strolling around nibbling on my toes, two goats strapped on the roof, people sitting on my lap meanwhile the driver also acted as a DJ playing only ABBA tunes for 3 hours. Loved it.

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I yelled at the Thai Monkeys, but they did not speak Italian
Lopburi, Thailand

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I yelled at the Thai Monkeys, but they did not speak Italian

While traveling across Thailand we arrived in Lopburi, a small city with archaeological sites and monkeys. They are everywhere: in the streets, on the trees, trying to enter the houses and waiting at the platform for the next train to arrive. They are cute, but they are definitely too many. One day we were walking to the hostel with our bag stuffed with teas and amazing thai snacks when someone ripped it off… no, it wasn’t someone, it was a monkey showing us its teeth! Suddenly a monkey-gang gathered and shared our food: one took a bottle, one had the

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I believe I can fly - Tobogganing down a 3km narrow piste
Corvara, Italy

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I believe I can fly – Tobogganing down a 3km narrow piste

It was reassuring when, before trying out tobogganing for the first time, my friends admitted to being a little apprehensive. Staring down a 3km narrow piste, with a flimsy wooden sled between me and the compact snow, I took a deep breath and pushed away. Before long we were racing around bends and hitting speeds that sent the trees into a blur. Suddenly it didn’t matter if we tumbled into the powder or got damp from the melt – we were once again 6 years old with absolutely no fear or a care in the world.

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Once in Sayulita, Mexico, I told my Life Story to Paco the Dog
Sayulita, Mexico

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Once in Sayulita, Mexico, I told my Life Story to Paco the Dog

Two margaritas, some shots of the bartender’s prized tequila, two veggie tacos, now time to make it back to my tent on the beach.  The day was spent surfing the mild waves of Sayulita Mexico. My new best friend was a dog I named Paco who waited for me at the door of the bar and yes he liked that leftover veggie taco, there was no saving it for morning, he was insistent. That night I found myself telling my life story to Paco. I know he knew what I was talking about, I could tell by the way he looked

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Ramallah, Palestine

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I had the Worst Coffee of my life in Ramallah, Palestine

I love to think back and getting reminded about my travels in Palestine. It was highly interesting to experience both Israel and Palestine by my own, to talk to people, and see the daily life outside the news. We left Jerusalem in the morning, and when we arrived in Ramallah, I felt like a coffee. So we looked around, and walked into an old café: heart-warming people, Arabic music, and the worst coffee of my life! The coffee had caraway in it which is a great spice but not within a mix for coffee. However, as a caffeine-lover I drunk

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Flattering Disasters in Paris - Kissing in France?

Flattering Disasters in Paris – Kissing in France?

Before exploring the city of love, I wandered into a nearby park to enjoy some long-awaited down time. Unbeknownst to me, my blissful repose would be cut short by a disheveled meandering charmer. He made his way over, sat down, and began his flirtations, selectively oblivious to the fact that I was deep in that whole writing alone thing.  No matter, within minutes he somehow managed to kiss my hand, write his number in my journal, and propose that “all French and Americans kiss on the lips.”  With swift persistence, I joked my way on out of there oddly curious about

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What's not to like about Texas? I laughed

What’s not to like about Texas? I laughed

I stared out the window as the bus crossed the state that had the most pride. I tried to like Texas. I wanted to see why Texans were so proud of Texas. But I saw nothing but empty, parched land. I headed to the Backpacker Hostel in Irving. I saw an overweight girl with Texas stars dangling from her ears, wearing a Texas T-shirt that clung to her spare tires. At the hostel, I talked about it with my new friend Gabrielle, from Holland. She pointed to signs on the walls of the kitchen: “American by birth, Texan by the

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We learned our lesson in Seville's bull ring

We learned our lesson in Seville’s bull ring

It was whilst standing staring at the golden sand of the bull ring in the city of Sevilla, Spain that our sun burnt legs decided that they had had enough for the day and gave up on us. The remainder of our tour of the site was an informative half hour of agony. The day before we had decided to spend the day sunbathing on a deserted island near Faro, Portugal and as it was windy we had forgone all sun protection. The result was clear when we awoke the next day transformed into two lobsters. However, we only had

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Freezing Christmas Sea Swim and I survived
Clacton beach, Essex, United Kingdom

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Freezing Christmas Sea Swim and I survived

The annual Christmas sea swim has been taking place for almost 60 years on Clacton beach, Essex, United Kingdom. The low mumble of excited folk, showing off their Santa hats whilst sipping mulled wine, increase the tension as everybody stands, half naked and raring to go. Without much warning, hilarity sets in and the crowd go storming towards the calm sea’s chill – the low-risen sunshine flickering on the tide, screaming his invitation to jump right on in. Arms flail and cameras click; toes hit the water and it is now or never, keep running or quit? Within what feels

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Camino de Santiago And The Priest Cannot Find The Stamp!
Los Arcos, Spain

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Camino de Santiago And The Priest Cannot Find The Stamp!

My daughter and I were pilgrims recently on the Camino de Santiago. Typically, pilgrims have a pilgrim’s passport that is stamped at each stop to prove that you did indeed walk to Santiago de Compostela, the object of the pilgrimage. My daughter and I went to a pilgrims’ Mass in Los Arcos, one of the tiny villages. At the end of the Mass, I asked her to see if the priest would stamp our passport. And the priest was funny! He told her that when there are more pilgrims coming through, say, in June and July, he kept the stamp

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Coffee Experience With A Cute Sense Of Humor
Krabi, Thailand

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Coffee Experience With A Cute Sense Of Humor

My days must be started with a cup of coffee. Otherwise, it might be a total mistake and I would feel very depresso for the whole day. As a coffee addict, wherever I go and travel I would love to taste local coffee and it has become one of my obsessions, to taste different coffee from around the world, enjoying the aroma, acidity, flavor and the packaging. Yes, I mean I love the way they serve the coffee. Some places have a uniqueness and brilliant way on their coffee culture. One day in Krabi, Thailand,- while waiting for the rain

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Sandboarding with 65k through Namibias Dunes
Swakopmund, Namibia

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Sandboarding at 65k through Namibia’s Dunes

We left Swakopmund, Namibia early in the morning and drove out to the dunes with the sand boards. It was a difficult trudge to the top and I gulped when I got there and looked down the slope we would be using. Too late to wimp out, though. I smeared the bottom of the board with wax, clipped in my boots and performed the backwards somersault they had shown us how to do to get started. Then I was up on my feet and scudding diagonally across the dune, balancing better than I imagined, and picking up more speed than

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Kuala Lumpur

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From Hell to Heli-pads

From monkeys climbing on my head to sleeping on train floors to cocktails on top of the world… Travelling gives you the greatest opportunities and the weirdest lessons, both teach you a lot about who you are (and what you can handle). One night it’s an overnight bus with jagged metal arm rests, A/C in your face and two Asians crammed on one seat watching you sleep and the next night you’re being taken for cocktails on a helicopter pad overlooking Kuala Lumpur. 12 hours can make a big difference. One night we were sleeping in a floating bamboo shack

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A Paelle Pan and a Harpoon, please!
Malaga, Spain

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A Paella Pan and a Harpoon, please!

My very first backpacking trip by myself started in Malaga, Spain. It was also my first time at a hostel, so I was really new to all this travel scene. At the hostel I met lots of nice people, and two 18-year old guys from Berlin. We talked, had a beer or two and after a while they told me they were celebrating their high school graduation with a flight to Malaga to travel around Spain. They only had €80 with them for 2 weeks of travelling, and they spent already €15 on a paella pan and €25 on a

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EXPELLIARMUS - Beach Soccer in Lagos, Portugal
Lagos, Portugal

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EXPELLIARMUS – Beach Soccer in Lagos, Portugal

“I was with 3 friends in Costa d’Oiro (Lagos, Portugal), and we were playing beach soccer with some students. We said the last goal decides the winner. We were running in a counter attack and my best friend was running all by himself towards our empty goal. As I would have never ever reached him, I just yelled from behind “EXPELLIARMUS“ – this Disarming Charm from Harry Potter. He was laughing so hard that he fell over and actually missed the goal. We lost in the end anyway, but this was by far the funniest moment.“

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