My Sweet Escape Garden

botanic garden dublinIt is good to get to know the city you are living in. This is something that easily gets forgotten, when we are living our daily lives. We are going to work and once it’s time to go home, we just feel the need to relax in our four walls, especially when the weather is not as nice as we wish it to be.

I am very guilty of this. After spending 3 months in Dublin now, a certain routine has set in and I often find myself staying in front of the computer all night instead of going out.

botanic garden dublinThat’s why, a few weeks ago, when it was warm and sunny, I decided to overcome my laziness and spend my time exploring my new home a bit. Out of all the things to do, I liked the idea of being surrounded by nature the most. But a lot of my favorite points of interest were located too far outside of Dublin city and I didn’t want to go by train all by myself. (I enjoy day-trips the most with friends.)

So, after a bit of research, the best option was to hop onto a bus and drive to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. From our center it is about an half an hour ride. (I took bus number 83, but number 4 and 9 also get you there. For more information, click here.)

The entry to the Botanic Garden is completely free, except if you wish to attend a guided group tour.

They have several glasshouses with different themes, but the palm house was my favorite. It’s warm and very humid in there, but look at these big purple blossoms hanging from the walls amidst all the big green leafs. ♥

botanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinNonetheless, the outdoor gardens are also nothing to sneeze at. You can easily get lost following all these little paths, taking you to small birch forests or fields with local flora and fauna.

botanic garden dublinThe only slightly sad thing was, that most roses in the rose garden weren’t fully opened yet, although all other bushes and plants bloomed like crazy. After spending the next 20 minutes following and watching squirrels hopping through daisies and meadow, I reached this beautiful hangout.

botanic garden dublin
I wish, I could have sat there for a longer time, surrounded by pastel purple blossoms, but it was getting colder and more cloudy, so I hurried up to finish my visit before the big rain clouds would come.

I recommend everyone, who is tired from seeing nothing but city buildings or hearing the noise of the streets, to go to the Botanical Gardens. It is a truly inspiring, mood-lifting and refreshing experience. ★

With this, so long and see you next time!

How to prepare a year abroad in Dublin

How to move to DublinIt’s been a long time, since I updated my blog. I know, I am sorry!

In the meantime I moved over from good ol’ Munich to Dublin. My plan is to stay here for at least a year (although everyone I talk to tells me, that they planned the same and ended up staying for years – uh oh?!)

But back to the beginning, December 2014, where I parted ways with my old company. I planned to do so for quite a while and when my former school mate Steph Ohwhat asked me, if I wanted to spend a year abroad in Dublin, it was a very welcoming idea. In January I started applying, enjoyed my sweet spare time with a bit too much reality TV and finally found a new position in February. In only one and a half week I prepared everything for the big trip and flew over to the emerald island.
Samuel Beckett BridgeThe first week was a bit overwhelming – leaving the plane and being greeted by a very irish accented taxi driver (whom I payed too much money, ugh), a very cold and windy weather and not exactly knowing how things are working. It took me good three days to get used to the changes and getting started to settle

In about two weeks, after a few more or less successful viewings, I found my apartment in Dublin city center, conveniently located only a few minutes to walk from my office.

While I plan on sharing more of my adventures in Dublin over the time, here are my first tips if you want to head over, too:
Trinity CollegeWhat to do before moving

 find a job
It’s not absolutely necessary to do that before you move, but it surely makes everything less stressful. I recommend sites like monster.ie or irishjobs.ie. You will learn, that you will be in contact with a headhunting agency at first and if you are suited for the position, you applied for, they will forward your CV to the company and come back to you with their answers. They arrange phone or Skype interviews, give you tips for moving and may even call you back after the first day of your new job to know, how you liked it.

★ getting health insurance
Maybe this applies for Germany only, but I arranged for a health insurance for working abroad in Germany, as the irish health insurances don’t cover everything and you may need to pay for things yourself. (For example, mine covers only hospital visits, but no doctor appointments)

★ book flight
Well, obviously you need to get from A to B. Or D. It is possible to go by car and take a ferry, but it takes sooo long. To bring more stuff with me, I simply booked additional luggage (70€ well spend). Tip: Check online, if there are currently any deals for your airline!

★ contact your bank
Your bank needs to know, it’s really you, who is suddenly withdrawing all that cash overseas and not some shady card thief! You also may need to unlock your bank account for oversea withdrawals.

★ check your equipment
Keep in mind, that the UK has different sockets, so buy an socket adapter in advance or before departing at the airport. Also check, if there are any differences in Volt usage (hair stylers and such).

★ visit your hairdresser for the last time
Arrive in your new destination in style. I didn’t have the time to find a new hairdresser before my first day at work with all the formalities going on. Plus, if for example, you want to dye your grown out roots, you need to make a skin test at every hairdresser beforehand, meaning they will apply the product on your skin and if nothing happens for two days, you can show up again for an appointment. While this is for their personal insurance, it’s also your latency.
Sandymount Housewhat to do after moving?

★ get a PPS number
You need a PPS number to be able to do the next steps (finding an apartment, getting a bank account,…). Show up at their office in the morning with your ID card, your contract of employment and a prove that you are living in Dublin, such as a bill. (Fun thing, since you need a PPS number to get an apartment. I stayed with my school friend for the first two weeks, so I got a bill from them and switched addresses, after I found my own residence.) The process itself is easy, show the stuff to the desk lady (/guy), get a ticket number and wait until said number appears on the screen in the waiting area. After filling out a form, you are done and wait for a week, until they send a card with your PPS number to the address you stated as your current residence.

★ search for an apartment
There are many sites, but daft.ie is the most popular. Right now, rent prices have gone up a bit, so a shared apartment may be a good option to save some money. Be prepared, that the pictures online are not always the reality and that although they write “central heating”, it’s often “electric heating”. (The latter is the most common, but also the most expensive).
The first apartment, I viewed, wrote nice things like “build in wall TV”, “luxurious and modern” and “with “basketball court”. Arriving there I was greeted by the smallest flat, I have ever seen; missing the TV and glamour, and the basketball court in the backyard was full of waste.

★ get a bank account
This will be the hardest challenge. This should’ve been Odysseus’ last trial. No, I am exaggerating, but it was a bit annoying. Again, you will need a prove of address aka bill and your ID card to make an appointment. Since I just moved into my own apartment, I didn’t have a bill, so my employer had to write me a letter, that stated, that I was, in fact, living and working here.

★ mobile phone card
I recommend getting a TESCO mobile card, since it’s cheap and you can just easily switch the SIM cards from your mobile phone.
Samuel Beckett BridgeOnce done with all the formalities, it’s finally getting more fun, as you can enjoy strolling through the city without to-do lists in the back of your mind.

It’s a bit of work at first, but it won’t take longer than a month to go through all the stuff.

It definitely doesn’t feel like “just a month” for me, after so much happened. On the good side, now I am mostly used to how things work over here and go with the flow.

What’s it for you? Do you plan to spend a year abroad, too?

Are there more things you want to know about going to Dublin?

Enjoy your Eastern!

So long,
See you next time!

Oktoberfest Impressions

Schottenhamel tentIf there’s one thing Germany, especially Bavaria, is known about, it’s beer (and women). Like every year, right now, thousands, even millions of people from around the world are gathered together to celebrate for 16 days, while drinking beer or eating Hendl.

But what are they even celebrating? On October 12, in 1810, King Ludwig I married the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and invited all the citizen of Munich to join the big party. Since then, the Oktoberfest was held year after year, growing larger over the time. (And so did the prices, heh.)
Oktoberfest balloon kitty DSC06520I visited the Oktoberfest, better known as “Wiesn”, last Sunday together with my coworkers.
Super-German as I am, I arrived half an hour too early, so I took the time to take some first pictures and bought an oversized Kitty Balloon. (I had my eyes on these for years and finally did it!)
beer mug decoration Obazda plateAbout an hour later we took our seats inside the Schottenhamel tent, second stand, with view over the large crowd below us.
The second, the music starts playing, it’s nearly impossible to held conversations, but I guess, that’s not even the purpose of this festival.
Drink instead! And then drink even more, hooray!

Well, I am not fond of beer, so I drank a Spezi Maß, an orange-cola softdrink. Seriously, one litre is more than enough. How can people gulb down eight Maß of beer?!
DirndlI like Dirndl, the traditional dresses women wear. They come in different color schemes and price ranges, but if you don’t want to get strangled by some angry Bavarians, please do yourself a favor and don’t buy the cheap plastic glitter-tulle ones. Standard prices range around 100€ (fashion chains like H&M) to 300€ (traditional stores), but like everything, the sky’s the limit if you want to go really overboard.
augustiner bräu tentfigure decorationAfter about 2 hours our time inside was up and we had to leave the reserved tables. A coworker and I took our time to wander around the place for a while, bought some gingerbread hearts and chocolate fruits.
tent decorationAs it were getting darker, we headed back home.

Have some of you been to the Wiesn, too? 
Or do you feel more like fleeing from all the drunken people in the streets?

Either way, have a good time!
See you next time again!

So long, good night.

Creative Days

graffiti1Currently I am working for an agency near Munich East. When I am walking there from the station I am surrounded by countless graffities in all variations. The creativity these artists put into their pictures is truly astonishing! So much love to detail and abstractation.
graffiti2graffiti3While I think simply scribbles of names (like on the right side of the picture) are a violation of a building or property, I love looking at graffities where artists put a lot of thought or personal meaning behind it.
delicious waffleWhen I met up with a friend at the Central Station last week, there were no way around the new waffle-to-go shop, that had opened a few months ago! If you’re near there, check it out, it’s sooo delicious. They have a small selection of choices, such as waffles with banana, ice-cream, cream and chocolate topping, strawberries, chopped almonds,…
It’s not even that expensive and when you’ve collected enough stamps after a few visits, you get a waffle for free, yay!
nail designAfter almost 4 weeks I also had to renew my fingernails. This time I chose a full cover in glitterish red, with a gold line and a white flower. I think this design fits my personalty the best out of all the designs I had so far.
I never did a fullcover before, simply because the grow-out is a lot easier to notice. But after collecting way too many shades of nailpolish, I think I have a color that fits this shade really well.
radical self love bibleOkay, and here’s some pictures of my current personal project: My Radical Self Love Bible.
I am following Gala Darling for a little more about a year now and her positivity and sparkling is something which inspires me on a nearly daily base. She adds to the things, that helps me to pull myself together, trying new things and growing as a being.

Nevertheless, I can be quite a cheapskate, so I didn’t bother buying her RSLB School Course until she had a Summer Sale.
Although I am a graphic-designer, I’m not super-crafty with things, well, but since it’s just for myself – no hard feelings! Just doing what feels right.

And it’s soooo much fun! 
At first I had to overcome my inhibition of cutting magazines. Since they had cost me money at some time in my life and I didn’t want to waste the beautiful pictures on the pages for something, that would look stupid in the end, I never did collages or the likes in my life. (Aside from school projects.)
After braving myself enough to do this, I couldn’t stop tearing pages, snipping and glueing them together, haha.

Then, I followed the step by step instructions of what to write about. Soon I even got my own inspiration, what topics I’d like to add, such as the Guilty Pleasure page shown above. (Which is currently my favorite page design-wise.)

Radical Self Love Bible is a long, long, probably neverending process of discovering oneself, so I am looking forward how my pages will evolve and what things I will learn.

Are you crafty?
What kind of things do you create to express yourself?
Please tell me in the comments!

For that, goodbye!
See you next time again!

Days Spent Laughing – Recent Stories

DSC06112After yearning for it for about two weeks, I got swimming again. I like to do that as late as possible for a couple of reasons. First, I can only do that after work and it’s usually dark anyway when I arrive back at home. Second, I save a few Euros when I am using the “night rate” and third… there are less people there. It’s so much more relaxed.
My personal aim is to swim at least for half an hour. After months of not doing anything swimming related, the first five minutes I thought to myself “I can’t do it.”
But once I overcame that point, things went pretty easy.

After the time was up, I went straight to the steam bath, deeply breathing in some fresh citrus scented oils. When sweating in this heat, I imagine my body to leak out all the black toxic stuff inside my body. About 15 minutes later I went out and showered myself with cold water. What a refreshing experience!
(It was also the first time, I didn’t crave for junk food after swimming. Wow!)
Since it was near closing time then, I went back on my way home, but not without stopping when I suddenly saw a cute orange-striped cat.

I let her sniff my hand and once she decided I was a good-willed being, I petted her for a bit.
DSC06128A few days later I met with a friend of mine to eat and chat.
We laughed so much, reving memories of our school life back then and recent travel stories, while drinking alcohol free mixed drinks with limes and mint. I haven’t had laughed so much for ages!
DSC06146DSC06123I also renewed my nail-design to a darker theme. The cross-painting was something I really longed for quite some time, though I think next time I am going to do something more cheerful again.
DSC06152The last thing I did was visiting my uncle for his birthday get-together. I hadn’t seen him since 18 years and also never met the sister of my mother before. They welcomed my parents and me warmly, telling funny stories from their lives and had a reaaally hard time letting us go to sleep despite it’s gotten late.

Those fun days end so fast, you better treasure them while you can, huh?

Well then,
make lots of good new memories!

See you next time again!

Sunny Days in Kirkwall And Amsterdam

030814-13Here comes part two after this post, talking about my adventures on a cruise.

After our three stops in Iceland we arrived in Kirkwall, which is the small but very charming capital of the Orkney Islands, near Scottland. We’ve got some spare time to explore the city before and after a short bus tour. It felt so great to finally do something on our own!
DSC05033We visited the boutiques and shops with expensive, self made gold jewellery, ate the most fantastic ice-cream in the world (Apple Crumble, oh my!) and counselled an old store owner which Whiskey to buy. 030814-11Red telephone booths!
030814-12Our bus brought us to the Standing Stones. Like Stonehenge no-one really knows why and how people many hundres of years ago put up these large, heavy flagstones, aligned in a circle. A tale goes, they were trolls, having a party and dancing so wildly, that they forgot to hide when the morning arrived. The sun came up and turned them into stone.
DSC05152DSC05128My favorite place of all there the cliffs, where we watched the waves break against dark stone, sparkling under the sunlight. I could have stayed there until nightfall.
030814-7Each day on the ship we enjoyed free drinks at the different bars, mine mostly alcohol free.
DSC05577Our last cruise stop was in Amsterdam. Even though I don’t really like the language, I fell in love on first sight. No house is the same, there are just sooo many cyclists and blooming flowers everywhere. DSC05739After the short bus tour and a bit of spare time we made a canal tour and headed back to the cruise ship. Goodbye, Amsterdam, hello again, Germany.
030814-8Constant companion had been my new cat bag, which I bought on ASOS. I could only fit in my camera and my purse, which was perfect for travelling lightly. Otherwise I might have ended up taking too much with me on each trip.
030814-3To cruise in style I also went to a beauty salon beforehand, getting my nails done. Since then I try to go regularly. I don’t have to worry about broken nails or chipped nail polish like that.

All in all, it has been a wonderful trip, full of new, fantastic and inspiring things. I recommend taking a cruise in one point of your life. It’s a nice experience and you get to know many places in a short time. If you like one in particular you can always take a second trip again by yourself.

So long,

I hope you’ve enjoyed my travel report. See you next time!

My Cup O’ Tea

flickr-substituteWhen it comes to tea, it is the same for me as coffee is for 90% of the business population. Even in summertime I like to start my days at work with a nice cup of Earl Grey with sugar and milk. Most times I prepare a carafe for the rest of the day, letting it cool down to drink as a juice substitute. I think, fruit tea is especially good for that.
(Unfortunately I couldn’t find a “real” summertea, which you can make with cold water, yet. The ones I tried tasted too bitter and chemical.)

My passion for tea didn’t rose with my travels to Japan, as some people think, but because I fancy this as an old british lifestyle.
From time to time I imagine myself to someday sit on my own balcony, drinking loose, freshly brewed tea from small cups painted with Victorian roses. (Oh, so romantic…!)

While I have a thing for this kind of kitsch, I also fall for more plain but stylish designs with gold elements, such as these:
cups0808141. Winter Landscape Mug 2. Ceramic Mug 3. Reiko Kaneko Lip Tease Mug 4. Mikasa Confetti 14-Ounce Mug 5. DIY Cup from the winthrop chronicles 6. MOBIUS cup 7. Flawed Gold-Plated Cup 8. Luxe Mug

See you next time again!

Intro picture: helloimwild