Funny moments from our Europe tour

A good travel story is usually the result of something that has gone wrong.
We call it the matzic effect, those moments when you know, you feel, it’s gonna be something unpleasant but it will make a very good story. And it usually happens when we are the most sure we are on the right track.
Like the moments I’m gonna talk about now – from the Europe tour.

That time when we couldn’t find the border
First day of the Europe tour. Just wanted to leave the country and head to Budapest. All good! Until we wanted to cross the border and we didn’t seem to reach it anymore.
We drove in circle for nearly 2 hours; around small lakes and quite dark atmosphere. First time the GPS showed us a road where we could cross – but we didn’t. The border was at the end of a small town, in the woods – it could be crossed only by foot or bike. What a joy!
Second time, following the classical map. It didn’t help much because a dead badger was put on, by a possibly mad man, on the road sign covering everything written on it.
In the end we followed our gut and made it out.

That time when we booked a hotel room in the Red District in Zurich
Iei, we are now on the Europe tour! We book each day the hotel for the next stay. After a full day of traveling from Barcelona to Geneva across France with a flat tire, 70 km/h on the truck’s lane, arriving in Geneva on the 14th of July (France national day that they celebrate) and without any spare tire, we forget to book for our stay in Zurich. Saturday, after half-day spent in a service trying to find a good and fitting spare tire, we arrived at sunset in Zurich.
First of, no internet – so we headed to the first McDonalds we saw – to eat and get connected. And that was the most expensive McDonalds menu I had in my life. However, we did the booking and headed to check in.
When at the reception desk the front man got a look at us, checked the reservation – which was on my name and was freshly printing in a corner – and then asked surprised: „are you staying the whole night?”, „you want the breakfast?”, „should I use the name on the id card?”.
Not long after getting the room we saw what was starting to happen in the street.
We were in the Red District and the fun was starting.
That night, while wondering around towards the old center in Zurich, Mau held my hand the tightest.

IMG_0416That time when we joined the Gay Festival in Munchen
Same Europe tour! Rainy and cold day in July in Munchen. We headed to have a wurst and we ended up at a festival in the old city center. People having fun, beer, shows, all good until Mau wanted to get closer to the scene. „I don’t think you want to get any closer. Have you looked around? They are going to steal you from me”, I joked. He wasn’t aware we were in the middle of the Gay Fest in Munich. Obviously we stayed and had great fun.

DSC_0353Do you have any fun, embarrassing travel moments?

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10 things to do in Golden Sands Bulgaria and nearby

Even if I don’t write much about travel, we do travel.

For example, we went for a weekend getaway in nearby Golden Sands Bulgaria. Pretty much every year in the past 4 we went there for a weekend.

Golden Sands is a very well known (for us Romanians) sea destination in Bulgaria and probably the most popular. Cheaper and better than some of our resort on the Black Sea coast, this is a destination for young people with plenty of activities.

1. the beach – all beaches here have sand and are very clean, you can pay for sunbeds and umbrella or you can sit in the classic way with towel on the sand; bartenders from beach bars come on the beach to ask if you want drinks; the water is shallow and you can swim long distance.

 2. infinity pool at International Hotel Casino – I’ve always wanted to enjoy an infinity pool and by mistake we ended this time at  the outdoor Skyfall infinity pool.Very nice place!

IMG_0370 - infinity pool 3. Varna karting track – follow the main road from Golden Sands to Varna city centre, on the road to Vinitsa (you will see the signs). This is the largest in Bulgaria and has 200cc and 270cc karts.

varna karting 4. Muppet Bar is my favorite – one of the hottest night clubs with a wide variety of drinks. You can enjoy karaoke with your friends until 11PM and after join the club’s party.

 5. shopping – all you can think of is here – and it seems like there is a new trend of cat faces on t-shirts.

 6. trips – if you want you can book a trip to the monasteries, do off road, scubadiving (I have to try it someday).

 7. portrait painters and tattoo artists – there are a couple of people which do incredible paintings and some others which have beautiful tattoo saloons. Let me know what you think about them.

 8. Varna’s city center is beautiful – a park, the naval museum, open air exhibitions, some kitty cats having siesta. For a hot summer day is perfect!

 9. Dalboka restaurant – situated in a very nice location (great view of the sea from all tables), in a small bay, 30 minutes away from the Romanian border, in Kaliakra. They have the mussels farm just off shore and all dishes are freshly made. I recommend the mussels soup, rapane and the desert which is, surprize, mussels with caramel. You have to try it!!

dalboka restaurant 10. And if you have tryed it all – then take a bottle of wine, some friends and have your own party in the hotel room!

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The Purge – Book Review

The Purge it’s a dark read, a metaphor for all culpabilities that an individual buries within him until one day when everything has to come up to the surface. From this point of view the main character, Aliide, is complicated and you can’t place her in a certain category: the victim, the villain, the selfish woman, the good samaritan, etc.

purificareThe book tells the story of two women: Aliide Truu, who lives alone in the Estonian countryside, and Zara, a girl whom Aliide finds in her backyard one morning and which brings to life all of Aliide’s past.

The plot is set in the early 1990s when Estonia was under the communist rule of the Soviet Union. Unemployment, poverty, inhumanity, sexual violence and military occupation, all together create an incredibly sad and wise story.

The two women are a different kind of survivors – nothing proves that their destiny could have been any different in the given times.

This book wasn’t my kind of read but kept me impatient and waiting for the grand finale.

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Packing smart and traveling light

I remember being a child and going on vacation with my parents. They used to take me everywhere. Together with some big suitcases where I could fit in – it was like packing up our lives to move elsewhere for several days up to a week.
In my first years of traveling I did the same – packed all the possible clothes and shoes, moisturizers and body lotions – all together in no particular order in a big wheeled luggage. What if something happened and I really needed something? I had to be prepared.
And so I did. Until I had to pack for a week in Italy. A small carry-on bag to take on the plane (56x45x25 cm) which is more or less like a school backpack. Can you imagine?
That’s when I learned:
I have to plan outfits in advance. Usually 2 pairs of pants and a skirt which can go with several t-shirts (up to 6) and one pair of extra shoes, goes fine for me. Whatever you choose, remember to always pack your swimming suit.
I have to roll my clothes. Yes, rolling your clothes not folding them saves up space and prevents wrinkles. Putting them in a zip bag and taking the air out – even better.
Toiletries have to be small – travel size.
Band aids and some pills (for headaches, colds, etc) fit in my wallet.
Usual electronics: photo camera, phone and chargers.
– I can buy my book at destination.
Everything will fit in a small carryon bag.

And you know what’s best?
– You are free and flexible on the road
No more waiting in line for baggage checking and reclaim or fear of losing something.
Lavender Gri fits comfortably in the same carry-on and I have a happy Mau and a light travel.
Once you do this, you’ll never make the mistake of over packing.

And then again, less stuff is happiness 😉

My luggage in Germany.

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How to save money for travel – Create it!

Looking on how to save up money for traveling I found so many articles revealing “the secrets of saving”.

And let me tell you – it’s all the same and it requires for us to give up on every little pleasure of life in order to get some more pennies. Give up on cakes, on cigarettes, on drinks, on going out with friends – on everything that gives joy in the present moment so you could enjoy the future – which may or may not be happening.

I have a simple life and I’ve got a pretty balanced life style. If it were to give up on something, I don’t think I would have from where to choose.

I do agree on making a plan (creating a budget) and spending less – on clothes, on processed foods, bottled water, services that are not really needed (magazine memberships, cable, etc).

Selling stuff that I don’t need it’s great too – less stuff, more happiness. I already did my list – mainly books, jewelry and some clothes.

piggyBut to cut out on small life pleasures having in mind that someday (sooner or later) I will be doing X or Y? No way.

So if saving up money for a dream trip doesn’t really sound appealing to you too, try to create that money.

If you already work a lot, it can be tricky and I suggest you don’t do it.

But if you have the energy and the willingness try a side job. It can be from your hobbies (hand-made artsy crafty things), your free time, your skills and qualities.

Start small and go big. Dreams worth it.

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Careers with Sociology degree – En & Ro versions

It’s been 7 years since my Bachelor in Sociology and 5 years since graduated my Masters in Human Resources and Sociology is still a relatively new subject for Romanians and goes through a rough time in establishing a reputation. However, sociology graduates can be found in a wide range of occupations.

A bachelor in sociology should appeal to both careerist’s and the idealist’s people and the truth is that no one with any kind of degree is going to just walk into a job nowadays.

In sociology you can:

  • Learn how business works through the study of economic processes, organizations, institutions, human interactions – therefore sociology is probably better than business studies because having transferable skills will allow you to move between business sectors.
  • Learn how markets are developing and shaping society, culture, religion, family – so marketing is a good choice for sociology graduates. Marketers are interested in mapping society, identifying different types of people and characteristics, lifestyle, choices, behaviors and attitudes in order to target a certain segment of the population for a specific product.
  • Learn how society creates opportunities and inequalities and analyses these. If you add a bit of writing skills then you will have a great start in journalism. You could write on topics like politics, social affairs, social change, do research on certain events. Also this could relate also to an academic career by starting publishing academic papers in different journals or university programs.
  • Also think about combining sociology with modern languages and by all means try to get a scholarship (for Europe an Erasmus Scholarship). This experience abroad will have a huge impact on you and your future career.

Another thing to do is presenting yourself and your skills in an employer-friendly manner. Society considers that sociology “it’s not about the real world” (I think mainly because many sociologist have criticize the social order and the status quo) and so you have to be pretty damn real in your presentation.

Good luck in finding your career path!

Versiune limba romana:

Au trecut 7 ani de cand am terminat facultatea de Sociologie si 5 ani de cand am obsolvit si Masterul in Resurse Umane iar Sociologia a ramas in continuare un subiect destul de nou pentru romani si intampina in continuare greutati in stabilirea unei reputatii. Cu toate acestea, absolventii de sociologie pot fi intalniti intr-o varietate de ocupatii.

O licenta in sociologie poate multumi atat pe cei idealisti cat si pe cei aflati in cautarea unei cariere. Oricum ar fi, in zilele noastre, indiferent de diploma pe care o ai este destul de dificil sa-ti gasesti un loc de munca, nu este sociologia un caz aparte.

Sociologia te invata:

  • despre cum se misca lumea de afaceri studiind procesele economice, organizatiile, institutiile, interactiunile dintre oameni – astfel, sociologia este mult mai indicata decat studiile de business in sine pentru ca iti ofera abilitati si competente care iti permit sa te misti intre diverse sectoare de afaceri.
  • despre cum se dezvolta o piata si cum aceasta creaza in jurul ei societatea, cultura, religia, familia – astfel marketingul este o alegere buna pentru absolventii de sociologie. Marketerii sunt interesati de felul cum este impartita societatea, de diferitele tipuri de oameni si caracteristici, de stil de viata, alegeri, atitudini si comportamente astfel inca sa vizeze un anumit segment din piata in functie de produs.
  • despre cum societatea creaza oportunitati dar si inegalitati si cum le putem analiza. Daca adaugam si ceva abilitati de scriere atunci sunt sanse mari pentru un job in jurnalism. Se poate scrie pe teme politice, schimbare sociala, afaceri externe sau se pot face investigatii pe diverse teme. Toate aceste pot duce si spre o cariera academica incepand cu publicarea de lucrari in reviste de specialitate si programe din cadrul universitatilor.
  • deasemeni, gandeste-te la combinarea sociologiei cu limbile straine si incearca prin orice mijloace sa obtii o bursa in strainatate (Erasmus). Aceasta experienta va avea un impact foarte mare nu doar asupra ta ci asupra carierei tale.

Un alt lucru de facut este prezentarea intr-o maniera prietenoasa dar bine pregatit in fata viitorului angajator.

Societatea considera inca sociologia ca neavand legatura cu lumea reala (cred asta din cauza sociologilor care de-a-lungul timpului au tot criticat ordinea sociala si au contestat status-quo-ul) si astfel tu trebuie sa fii cat se poate de real si autentic in prezentarea ta.

Mult succes in gasirea propriului drum in cariera!

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Angelology – book review

Last week I finally managed to finish Angelology by Danielle Trussoni – a book that I bought, again, because of it’s fabulous cover. Who does this covers? I wanna know.

angelologiaThe story follows the classical good versus evil, man versus fallen angels, different mythologies combined in order to give you the feeling that something big is going on in this world without you knowing.

The concept of Nephilim – a hybrid between man and angel – for me, is beautiful. A creature with the strength and beauty of a angel and a bit of more welfare and malice than anyone human, it’s breathtaking.

Going back to the story – the heroine is a nun – sister Evangeline,leading a quiet life in a convent in New York receives a letter from Verlaine asking for access to the convent’s archives and from here starts a chain of events connected to the secret society of Angelologists and the humans enemies, the fallen angels, in the quest of finding the Lyre.

For myself, the book has a bit too much of descriptive paragraphs. I would have loved to see more action for some chapters.

Overall it was a good book that opened my appetite for the seductive Nephilims.

Also, I saw a bunch of books lately with angels as main storyline. Are they the new vampires?

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