This will be the last post about my travel in France – it’s about Bordeaux where I’ve been one week during the summer.
This time, the entry is a bit different because it’s just a photo diary. The reason for that is that I’m a bit late with this entry and probably can’t recall all the places I’ve been to haha. But enjoy nonetheless.
“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” – Caskie Stinnett
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten
“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
I’ve done all kind of work in my life so far – from bringing around two newspapers a week, cleaning toilets in Australian hostels, selling slushy ice-cream on a showground to building boxes on a banana farm. But since last June, in about one year, I’ve done the 6 most horrible jobs I’ve ever had and I learned A TON about it.
Professional slushy ice-cream-seller in fancy wardrobe and saving a frog while building banana boxes.
So, if you’re curious (you definitely should be) about these jobs, then keep on reading and also find out why it was by far the worst year of my life.
Now, after I concurred these tasks, I’m proud that I never quit even though I could have just take the easy way out. Then I would have missed out on these learning opportunities for sure!
The jobs in itself were alright. It was more the surroundings, co-workers and bosses who made it an absolute bad experience. This was also a huge learning factor because it made me realize it’s incredible important to have nice co-workers and good working conditions to be able to enjoy the job you do. If you can work with awesome people who you genuinly like, it gets less important to find your ‘dream task’.
I went back to school which will last for two years. After this time I’ll be qualified to attend universities. In the first school-year I had to do an internship for one year which I splitted it into three different internships and at the same time I had to take classes for two days a week. And as a poor student I had to take side jobs to be able to get money to afford traveling and other stuff.
Looking for the next job like…
I start with my first job which seemed totally normal at the beginning – I was working as a waitress in a café-bar. But not long into it, I discovered that the boss was an absolute asshole. For some reasons, in the 6 different waitress jobs I had over the years, I experienced that in the gastronomy, the bosses and co-workers are pretty nasty in general which is worth an entire blog entry on its own.
But this boss was on top of the list of the asshole-league. He screamed a lot. For no good reason at all. There’s never a good reason to scream anyway. One time, a costumer came up and whispered to me: ‘Your boss is an asshole.’
This taught me that it’s extremely important to control your temper and don’t just let your anger out because you ALWAYS make a bad impression on other people and you’re more likely to not get the response you actually want. It’s so important to stay nice because if people like you, they are more likely to actually do want you want and do a better job at it. That’s a pretty obvious one but I guess not for everyone. My boss couldn’t learn it in about 50 years, so don’t do the same mistake.
I recommend kissing dogs when you have this urge to scream at people again.
The second job was my 6-month-long internship in a women’s shelter. Ooooh… it was the most stressful job I probably ever had and it was so bad for so many reasons but on the other hand it taught me a lot. About myself, about other people and where my future career should NOT go.
I had 5 co-workers who kind of were a little bit weird in their own way but they were still one of the nicest co-workers I had so far.
The cases of illnesses amongst the employees were extremely high, they were complaining a lot and two even didn’t want to do the job and told me they would rather do something else. And of course, their mindset effected their work and they didn’t work as efficient as my other co-workers.
All this stress from work got to me, too. I had to take care of 5-8 traumatized children aged between 1-10. Of course, I don’t have any background knowledge of that but I still had to do the job because as an intern, you don’t really have a choice. I was absolutely overwhelmed and after every working day, when I got home, I sat over one hour in the kitchen and I couldn’t bring myself to get up because I was so exhausted. Most of the times I starred blindly into the wall.
That was the result of getting too much stress because I was in a situation I didn’t belong in. I realized that my strength lies somewhere else and I would do a much better job if I realize my true strengths.
It’s so important to listen to the signals of your body and realize what makes you stress out. It made me realize that you should choose your career path wisely and based on what you REALLY want. These two co-workers who were always ill and complaining about their job didn’t do that for sure. They were near their retirement and they spend their whole life-career in the social working field. One told me that it was always her dream to work as an engineer and the other one said when she was in her 20s she became depressed for many years because of the stress from work and if she could go back, she would change her career into something else. I told her that she still had time to do that but she just laughed and said it’s too late and she’s too old to do that.
But for me it’s just the beginning and I’m eager to find out what I’m truly passionate about.
Everyone should do that – Try to discover yourself a bit every day. There are so many ways to do that: Write out your thoughts, write down what you love and what you absolutely hate, read books about self-discovery… and you will find out what your dream job would look like. And not when you’re about to retire.
Hands always tell a story – what will your hands say about you when you’re about to retire after a life full of work? Will they be stiff and wrinkly from hard work and adventure?
And then during the internship I quit the first waitress job because I was too fed up with it… You would think that I chose a job which would not be a waitress job. But I got the glorious idea … hey why not work in a shisha (also called hookah) bar?! Even though I never smoked in my life. If you want to kill your lungs, then go ahead and start working in such a bar. It will do the job for you.
And during this time, I met the most arrogant, superficial and material-obsessed people in my life. I didn’t fit in AT ALL because I’m pretty much the opposite. I like to talk about deep topics, I try to not care too much about material things because I know that the meaning of life lies somewhere else and I could list another 100 things.
But my point is that I tried to fit in, even though I could have never managed that. Maybe if I went to an actress school and got brainwashed into thinking that buying designer clothing, having an awesome car and pretending to be cool would determine my self-worth. And I can’t pretend I’m cool even if my life would depend on it. I just can’t hide my awkward goofiness. What I’m saying with that is that you should not hide your interests, your personality and your quirky side to be able to make some friends even though you don’t really like the people in the first place.
I got caught… pretending to be cool again with my fancy car.
Now it gets funny because I kept repeating the same mistake. I didn’t learn my lesson, obviously. After I quit the job at the shisha bar… guess what… I applied for another waitress job at weddings and other events. Soooo, what did I learn this time around?
It started when I worked with a co-worker. Let’s call her Dora. She was a bit… how can I say it politely? Not my type of juice. Dora had this Mona-Lisa smile and the habit to tell me what I was supposed to do even though she was just another waitress. I had important conversations with her. Like this one time she told me that her parents own three houses but in the house, she lives in, the swimming-pool is shaded by the trees in the afternoon when she wants to take a bath and that she’s not amused about that. Lol. That’s all I have to say about that.
When she kept acting like a boss, I got too furious at one point and literally told her: ‘Stop telling me what I should do. You’re NOT the boss.’ And oh boy, she freaked out. She said to me that she will go to our boss and tell her what I said which is too ridiculous beyond words. (She didn’t tell the boss though)
I swore to myself on this evening that I’ll never find myself in this kind of situation again. I’m not gonna waste my time with this kind of people in the first place. I usually stay nice and keep on the conversations but if someone tells me again their parents own three houses… I’ll drop everything and run as fast as possible. I’m not going to waste my precious time like that again.
My face when someone tells me about their fancy holidays… I’m like… well, I lived in an Australian hostel with cockroaches for 5 months and did a roadtrip for two weeks where I slept in a tent without mattress. #dontgetjealous
And while I was a waitress for weddings, I also worked as a dishwasher which was extremely exhausting – I worked with 4 other dishwashers and we had to wash a huuuuge pile of dirty dishes, pans, cutlery, bowls and so on. Each time I felt like Reinhold Messner who was about to climb the Mount Everest, except that it was a mountain of dirty dishes. I was always so relieved when I conquered 7 hours of washing, stacking and polishing these dishes. At the end, I felt like I was standing up on this mountain and looking down and realizing how much I achieved.
And I will probably never forget this one co-worker I came across. We did get along but it was a bit difficult to work with her because she absolutely hated this job. And because of that she turned into a negative person who was always complaining about other co-workers and her job in general. I asked her why she worked there for over 5 years when she obviously couldn’t stand it. She told me that it had been her dream to open her own speech therapy facility but she thought she couldn’t handle the stress that comes with being a boss and so, she NEVER even tried. Now, she was working as a speech therapist but it was the facility of someone else and she wasn’t happy with her salary. So, to get some extra money to buy an extra pair of pants without having guilt for spending too much money.
I’m not sure if it’s sadder that she didn’t follow her dream or that she just had this awful job to buy an extra pair of pants.
The last internship I had was with mental-ill people. This time, I was working in two different facilities for mental-ill people which was led by one big constitution. To put it in a nutshell – the co-workers from the first facility were mean douchebags who treated me like I was below them and the other one’s from the second office were extremely nice and respectful to me. There couldn’t be a bigger difference than that.
Let’s imagine the names of the guys from the first office were Laurel and Hardy. Laurel told me that she likes to watch reality TV which made her feel better about life because there were people who had a worse life than her. Besides that, she had an emotionless face like a statue and when she talked to me, she usually didn’t look at me and stared into the air or at her computer. And Hardy liked to gossip a lot about, well, basically everyone who hadn’t the same opinion as her. Her favourite task was looking over my shoulder and register every little mistake I did. She pointed out everything and I had to do it exactly the way she wanted. It went like that for four months and I couldn’t handle it anymore. When Hardy told me some ridiculous shit again, I starred at her and I literally rolled my eyes which I had never done at any job in my life so far. She totally freaked out and because of that I got the worst internship reference I EVER had even though I didn’t deserve that for sure. The work of four month was for nothing.
On the other hand, when I was working with the absolutely nice co-workers, I started to feel immensely grateful for them. I was happy to work with them because of how respectful and nice they were. They made me feel like the work I did mattered. We had awesome conversations about many topics and I could ask them everything. At the end of the internship, they gave me presents and the best reference I ever received.
And what did I do?! I concentrated too much on this bad experience I had and worried that the bad reference would get me in the way of doing something. I started to act like a clairvoyant and imagined horrible scenarios. And guess what… nothing happened and it will not matter in my career because I’ll never work in the social field anyway. Worrying does nothing for you, except it will make you feel bad. Instead you should focus on the good stuff that happen to you which is way more productive.
Now, I prefer animals for obvious reasons.
Even though it was a really shitty year for obvious reasons, I’m still grateful for it in many ways. It became the worst year of my life though because I neglected my needs – spending time with friends, relaxing and doing stuff I truly enjoy. I didn’t take care of myself and I experienced the downside of it: This constant stress built up over time and I could feel the effects: I was getting insecure, my skin got worse, I had trouble falling asleep, I didn’t feel a purpose in life anymore and even worse… I became like these negative people who were hateful and always judging other people.
On top of that, I just felt like a robot who woke up, went to work, ate and slept again. That’s not life, that’s just slowly going to your grave.
But I turned it all around because I didn’t want to make the same mistakes like the people I met during this time.
What makes you truly happy? I love seeing the sun go down at the beach while being with good friends. These are the moments in life that matter.
I will NEVER choose a career path I’m not satisfied with. I will take time to find out what makes me the happiest version I could become. I will choose more wisely which people I want to be surrounded by and I want to live the hell out of my life because life is too short.
EVERYONE should do that and we should start now.
‘If you believe it will work out, you will see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.’ – anonymous
After I spend one week in Toulouse, I would say that I could get to know this city pretty well. I explored the city, I went to the must-sees, sat in cute cafés and had lots of ‘doucements matins’ which means slow mornings because there’s nothing better than that when you’re on holiday, am I right!?
So, I should not write too much. Have fun with the pictures I took during this time!
An artist displayed his art alongside the river ‘Garonne‘. If you look closely, it looks a bit bizzare but at the same time really interesting and you start to wonder what’s the meaning behind that. It’s always inspiring to see the work of other artist.
This was taken on a bridge in the area ‘Les Bordes de Garonnes‘. This wheel reminds me of the wheel in Marseille but the one in Toulouse is smaller.
And of course, another flower picture. I found it while strolling alongside the river. This part was called ‘Le canal de Brienne‘. It was so relaxing to walk and look at the calm water. Except when a ship full of tourist showed up next to me on the river while I took these pictures.
Le couvent des Jacobins which is a beautiful cathedrale.
Inside of ‘Le couvent des Jacobins‘.
If you see a cathedral like that you’re absolutely stunned what people could achieve in the past without all the technology we use nowaday. In the book ‘A brief history of humankind’, I’ve read that people from the last centuries where by far more intelligent than the people in the current age. You wouldn’t believe that if you think of all the techniqual revolutions we had but it’s also making the mass population on average dumber because we just leave the thinking to our technology…
Le musée des Augustins – it’s a museum full of art from the last centuries. The entry is free for students! I didn’t even have a student card but I still got in for free which was so nice.
And more art in ‘le musée des Augustins‘. The portraits were all so incredible and beautiful. I started to think that our temporary art nowadays is kind of bullshit compared to these masterpieces.
This is what you see before you enter the museum. The architecture is stunning!
And some more flowers… I got a cramp in my neck while squading down on the floor and taking this picture in a really weird position but it was definitely worth it.
Toulouse is also called ‘La Ville Rose‘ which means pink town because of the many pinkish looking buildings all around.
‘Place Saint Scarbes‘ which was also a lovely place where some people played chess beside the fountain.
La place du Capitole by night – the main center of Toulouse.
And the ‘Japanese Garden‘ which was definitely a highlight of my visit in Toulouse.
So, that’s it! A pretty short entry about Toulouse because I kind of get fed up with the series ‘through pictures’ and also with writing English. I’ll probably change some things about this blog soon.
Have you ever thought about forced labour? About 168 million children work in different countries around this globe and almost 21 million people are forced into labour which means they’re slaves to their workplace. Therefore, it’s also called modern slavery. They have to work under bad working conditions, they’re physically violated and most of the times, they can’t escape this situation.
And for sure, this is by far not exactable! Not many people are aware about that and even less people are actively doing something about this issue.
But when I was in Toulouse, I came across a person who does an amazing job: His name is Aziz and he works for a non-profit organisation called ‘RHSF – Ressources Humaines Sans Frontières’ which wants to end forced labour around the world.
And so, he actively fights for human rights every day and this way, his job makes a big difference for many people.
[In their office space, they have a wall full of art which displays forced labour. Here you’re able to find more information on the pictures and the meaning behind them.]
When he told me about his job, I was interested at once because I came across this topic several times. Especially, when I started to inform myself about how the majority of our clothes are made: Big companies go to undeveloped countries in order to make the cheapest clothes possible. They hire people who have to work under bad working conditions, they get a ridiculous amount of money for that, they get sick from all the chemicals which are used for the clothes and it’s also destroying the environment because we use too much of our resources like water and fields which could have been used to feed people.
[A postcard with a serious massage to raise awareness – we should ask us: What is behind our cheap clothes which we can find at every store in every city?]
Aziz became interested in this topic when he stumbled across an article online – it was about Qatar, a country in the middle east and it explained how people from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh were building a stadium for the soccer world cup under bad working conditions. Since he is a big soccer fan, he didn’t want that his sport is standing for something so cruel.
So, first he started to read more about human rights and he also started to volunteer in this kind of area. Later, when he had the job opportunity, he started to work for this organisation.
[Their office in Toulouse. To see their website click here.]
The organisation ‘RHSF’ has two main topics – forced labour and child labour. They want to have better working conditions for everyone in this world.
They already accomplished amazing things. For example, they went to a big factory in China where the workers had over 80 hours of work every week and the workers even slowed down the process of work, so they would be able to work more and get a higher salary. RHSF made a big accomplishment: they changed the way the company paid the people, so the hours of work were reduced from 80 to 60 but the salary, productivity and quality of the products were even increasing!
They also went to Panama and did a study on child labour in coffee- and banana-fields. The study had the purpose to make clear why children and teenagers work on these fields and what can be changed to end the child labour. Based on the study, they could write a guidance for the local minister of labour, so he can make a law out of it to make this change.
[You never know what you’re going to get… more info here]
I was working on a banana farm myself in Australia for about 5 months and it was the most horrible job I ever had. I had to stand in a humid, hot shelter and had to pick out the bad bananas from the good one’s – I had to do the same task for 8 hours a day, breath in all the pesticides they put on the bananas and so, it was boring and difficult. But at least I got a good salary. I could not imagine working like that in bad working conditions and getting a horribly low salary. And it must be even more horrible for kids!
At a normal day at work, Aziz does projects and his main project is to eliminate forced child labour. And to reach that goal, he’s raising awareness on this topic through organizing events, conferences and film festivals. In this way, people become aware of their buying habits because behind every product is a long process until it’s made and it can be a good process or in worst case, it’s the opposite. Therefore, many people are not aware of the damage their buying habits cause.
Of course, he tries to implement this on his own life. He stopped buying clothes from big clothing companies and instead, he buys his clothes at fair-trade and organic shops. And if his clothes are damaged, he tries to repair it and not just throw it away at once. He also looks out for food which is locally made and if he buys coffee, it’s always fair-trade.
‘Everyone can make a little difference like that in their life’s.’
Aziz has a big goal for the future: He wants to reduce the amount of people who are forced into labour to zero. There should be definitely more people like that with this amazing energy and optimistic vision. So much could be accomplished if people become more aware and want to make a positive change in this world:
It all starts with yourself and the right time is now.
I will continue with these series ‘Through Pictures’ for now. So, after every city I’ve visited, you’ll get a little inside of these cities through my lense.
My next stop was at Montpellier and I’ve rested here for four days. It was not as exciting as Marseille because this time, I was not staying with a couchsurfing host and so, I didn’t get insider tips from a local.
Instead of looking up which would be the best spots to explore, I got really lazy and hang out a lot at the hostel with people I met there. But the relaxation was much needed after these busy days in Marseille. Every night I went to sleep in Marseille, I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow because I was so extremely busy the entire day and therefore got really tired.
That was pretty awesome when I consider I always laid awake an hour on average at home because I was so stressed from school, work and my internship. I never want to experience that ever again. When I go home I make sure that things change for the better. And I will start listening to my body a lot more.
Oops, that was a bit off trail. Back to Montpellier.
Therefore, I was trying to relax and didn’t feel the urge to force myself to explore the city. I just explored the centre of the town and I went to the beach for one day to get the worst sunburn in my life so far. But it was still nice to enjoy the beach.
[I forgot the name of this place lol]
[Same place… maybe I should have looked for the name while I was there. I still need to figure out how travel blogging works..]
[I present to you… a park without name.]
[A lamp by daylight]
[I met two girls in the hostel who studied literature, so of course, we had to stop at multiple book stores.]
[Library with old french books]
[This pic reminds me that I have to re-do my nail polish.]
[A random street with palm trees]
[I’m pretty sure this place is called ‘Place de France’! At least Google told me so]
[Old building with cute balconies]
This entry was all over the place and I tremendously failed at travel blogging but keep an eye out for my next post ‘Toulouse Through Pictures’ cause it will have many awesome pictures and I’ll show you some beautiful places you have to visit while you’re in Toulouse in case you’ll ever go.
Whenever I travel, I always experience some kind of travel stress because I’m super sensitive. And being introvert and shy doesn’t make it better.
This morning, when I got ready to leave the hostel in Montpellier and had to catch the bus to Toulouse, I got so stressed that I got a sick sensation to my stomach. And when I experience stress I’m like a hyper bunny jumping around on a field of thorns – totally unorganised and confused.
If that happens, I’d just like to drop everything, meditate for two hours (even though I never meditate) and go to a lonely island to rest on the beach for the next few years. Maybe I should consider a real holiday one day – book a hotel for two weeks and just rest.
[Travel fail #1: When I took this picture, an angry driver almost didn’t see me.]
But no, I always have the desire to see as much as possible and explore every city I go to. So, I also have to deal with the travel stress that comes with it or maybe I just have a poor stress-management. I think it’d rather be the last one…
Last night I set my alarm almost three hours before my bus left and I packed everything neat and tidily into my suitcase. You would think it would be totally easy-going and I had enough time to catch my bus the next morning.
Ha, I wish. I woke up at the right time in the morning, I ate slowly and then I went to the supermarket. As I was slowly going through the aisle to pick up the best looking lunch, I realized… oh shit, my tram is coming in 15 minutes! Where did the time suddenly go?
[Travel fail #2: Maybe I should consider cleaning my camera lense.]
I rushed back to the hostel, grabbed my suitcase and went quickly to the tram station. When I went to the ticket machine to get my ticket, people were standing in front of it with their suitcases and waiting for their tram. Oh yeah, that’s the absolute right place to wait for your tram!
After they slowly pushed their suitcases to their site, I could get my ticket. Then the question was… which site of the tram station will the tram arrive? I almost fell of the sidewalk and into the tram tracks when I looked for it.
Three minutes later, the tram arrived and I hopped in. As I was looking for a free seat, my suitcase accidently rolled over another person’s feet. I was lucky that her gaze didn’t kill me. Finally, I found a seat, sat down and placed my suitcase next to me.
On the other side, there was an elderly person and suddenly she spoke to me in French and seemed pretty angry. My French isn’t that good but I kind of understood that she was angry that my suitcase was standing there. Sorry, but where am I supposed to put my suitcase then? I’m not Harry Potter, so I can’t magically turn it into a pocked-sized suitcase.
[My evil suitcase and I… it even has the nerve to photobomb my pictures!]
I looked at my bus ticket again to make sure, that I was taking the tram to the right destination. It said ‘Place de France’… wait… I remembered that my bus would be leaving at ‘Odysseum’.. did I remember it wrong?? I jumped up from my seat and ready to jump of at the next station to find out how I could get there in the next 20 minutes!
[Always looking for the right way to go]
But I turned on my GPS and google maps and then I saw that I was moving towards the place Odysseum and the ‘Place the France’ was also there. Oops… I panicked a little bit too early.
After all this unnecessary stress, I arrived 20 minutes before my bus was supposed to leave and I could catch it easily.
What do I learn from it? Maybe I should consider working on my stress-management for once.
[This picture simbolizes myself kept prison by my poor stress-management lol]
This story remembers me of one accident I had at an airport last year which raised my stress levels to 100%. I went through the whole security procedure at the airport and 20 minutes before my flight, I slowly went to the waiting area and sat down in front of the exit of my plane.
I thought.. wow I really nailed it this time! I was on time and I could just relax for the rest of the time. And then I was looking for my phone to load my online ticket… I searched my entire backpack and then the realization kicked in… shit, I forgot it at the security point when I put my phone into a separate box to let it run through this machine where they can see inside the backpacks!
[This would be me on the left side… on the inside I turn into an angry pink monster whenever I get annoyed.]
I ran like a maniac through this huuuuuuge airport, back to the security but when I arrived, I couldn’t go back to the security because I had to show my passport before! Guess what… I left it in my bigger backpack in the waiting area because without the 18 kg backpack I could run faster.
So, I ran back, still looking like a maniac, to get my passport. When I returned at the security, they finally let me go through and my phone was still there! I was so happy in this moment and I was still able to catch my flight even though I was too late and the last person to go onto the plane.
To conclude this entry: here is a cat showing you the way how it’s done the right way.
After a looooong time of not writing a blogpost because I was super busy with school, internship and work for the last few weeks and therefore lacked the motivation and creativity to write anything, I’m finally back!
Now I have a summer break of 5 weeks before I go back to school for one more year. So, of course, I have to use the time to travel again and clear my mind from all the crazy stress I experienced during this time.
I’ve decided to spend my summer holidays in France because I’m excited to see the south and west of France, go to amazing cities and enjoy the beach when I travel along the coast.
My first stop was Marseille, where I spend the last 5 days and I could see some amazing places.
So enough with writing… you will see for yourself and maybe you can feel the artistic atmosphere of this city through these pictures.
[Gare Saint Charles – Train Station]
[Le Vieux Port – Harbour]
[Notre Dame de la gare]
I didn’t plan to go here but I was so happy I did because the view was just stunning!
[Notre Dame de la Gare]
The awesome view.
[Ile du Frioul]
The wind on this day was absolutely crazy, so the ferries didn’t run regularly and so I could just spent little over an hour on this beautiful island. So, I quickly went to the famous Calanques which is a pretty touristic spot.
[A day trip to Arles]
My couchsurfing host and I went to Arles, which is an hour drive away to visit some photography exhibitions.
[Also taken in Arles]
[Along the coast]
[Along The Coast]
[Le Vieux Port – Harbour]
[Streets at Le Panier]
[Streets at Le Panier]
[Streets at Le Panier]
[Street Art at Le Panier]
One thing I absolutely loved about Marseille was the street art which could be found almost everywhere.
It was always exciting to discover new pieces of arts hidden in narrow alleys.
[Somewhere at a skater park]
Photo Gallery – Pictures from Marocco
I hope you could get an image of this city and maybe you’d also like to visit it now.
I’d definitely recommend it because this city has a special atmosphere to it but it’s also pretty dirty and you can also see the poverty if you go into the northern parts of this town.
But overall, I really enjoyed my stay and one day I’ll definitely come back to explore it a bit more.
“There are 7 billion people on this planet who I have not met,
and 195 countries I have not visited.
Yet I am stuck in this insignificant town,
Being pressured into making decisions about my future,
When I barely even know who I am.” – Anonymous
Following your passion is scary for so many reasons. And it was quite a long journey before I realized what my passions are (and I’m still discovering them) and trying to change my unhappy state of life.
I was and I’m still doing a job which I don’t enjoy AT ALL, just because I wanted to have that feeling of ‘having safety’ in my career choice. So, I wouldn’t end up living under a bridge in ten years. Yeah, I know, it’s a bit dramatic.
[Somewhere on an island in Thailand – Found in an abandoned hostel – 2016]
But that is tremendous stupid for so many reasons! Don’t get me wrong – of course we always need a stable income to buy food and pay rent and all that jazz – but we don’t have to forget all about our passions like I did.
There are so many ways to make your dreams come true and still make money out of it. You just need to be creative and find solutions because the opportunities and knowledge are endless nowadays… everything you need to know about ‘how to make your dreams come true’ is easy to find online or it’s already written in a book.
[Stockholm – Winter 2017]
What is the reason why I’m trying to finally change my life? It’s because I got too unhappy with the career choice I’ve forced myself to go on.
At the beginning it was easy to convince myself that I like the job. I tried so damn hard to see just the good parts of it and that I could help so many people with it.
[Antwerpen – March 2017]
But not long after, I got more and more stressed and I felt miserable when I started thinking that I still needed more than four years before I finally would get this degree. I kept telling myself I would be ‘financially free’ if I would go this way and THEN I could follow my passion.
It sounds so strange to me while writing this down but back then, it totally made sense in my brain because I put this illusion on it and became blind… and that’s why we need to realize how big the impact of ‘the rules of society’ is on us.
Of course, on the other side, ‘society’ is not totally wrong about ‘going the safe way’ either but if we put the rules which would suit most people in our society also on us and it makes us depressed and hopeless – then it’s the wrong way to go.
I’m sure not a fan of ‘just doing the f* you want’ because I will still finish my degree (but then definitely not going further with it) next year and that way I will have more options of doing all kinds of jobs but in the mean time I will make sure that I do something I love. I will get creative and find solutions to get a stable income but not by doing a job I clearly hate for the next ten years or so.
So, here I am and trying this scary thing of putting my voice online after I kept my opinions to myself for too many years.
I have this little vision in my head of making this world a better place and I’m sure I can achieve many things if I just keep believing in myself.
And I hope you will too.
[Thailand – National Park]
‘Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.’ – by Ayn Rand
‘Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.’ – by Gail Devers
‘If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.’ – Anonymous
After being stuck at home for months and months and getting stuck in a daily routine and didn’t feel inspired by anything anymore, I took the oppurtinity to go on a weekend trip to Paris.
One of the best things was that I just paid 50 € on this three-day-trip! Perfect for a student on a tiny budget. The reason behind this is that a city next to my home town has a partner city near Paris called Rosny-Sous-Bois and we could stay with a host family for two days. So we were staying with locals and could experience the french way of living a little bit.
My host family consisted of an elderly couple around 80 years old. Their names were André and Andrée. I think they were just meant for each other.
They were the lovliest people I’ve met in a long time. On top of that I was forced to speak french with them because that is the only language they speak.
I got so inspired by them because of their kindness and caring. They always had the biggest smile and joined every planned tour, even though Andrée seemed pretty ill but she never complained about the long walks she had to endure during the tour. And in the three days I always just saw them talk nicely and with respect to each other. When I’m old, I want to achieve the same for sure.
When we arrived on Friday evening at around 9 o’clock, we drove to their cute house at first and had a proper dinner with three menus in french style. Afterwards I was super tired and just wanted to sleep but they took me out to Paris at night and it was totally worth it because I had an awesome view at the Eiffel Tower at night.
The first thing we did the next morning was a bus tour with the entire group. And when I was sitting on top of the bus – feeling the wind and sun in my face – this moment felt so right for me and I was thinking ‘Can it get any better than that?’. It made me realize again that I should follow my passion and do the things more that I enjoy.
Everytime I’m traveling I feel freedom and I’m grateful that I found this passion in my life.
Afterwards we went on a boat tour and firstly, I was really excited for it but soon after we started, all the tourist jumped up from their seats and ran to the ceiling to take one million selfies and pictures of the scenery. André and I, we looked at each other and smiled. Because of the language barrier, we couldn’t express our thoughts but we were properly thinking that this cleary destroyed the romantic flair of the boat tour.
In the evening the group came together again to eat dinner in a nice restaurant and I took the oppurtinity to take some nice pictures on the balcony.
The next morning I woke up quiet exhausted and tired because of the lack of sleep but I was still motivated for the last group activity – a walk through Rosny-Sous-Bois. We visited the national french circus and went to a little market.
After the walk it was time to say goodbye and we started our journey back home.
This little trip left me with so much inspiration and passion and how exciting this summer is going to be when I will go on holiday in France for one month.
So stay tuned for more travel-journeys.