Travel Inspiration: Champagne in Photos

The first time I lived in Europe (I know, kick me) was nine years ago, in 2009, to study abroad in the Netherlands. Ask any American college student studying abroad, and we’ll tell you—one of the best parts of it is being able to legally drink. I was a bit of a late bloomer when…

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How to Drive in the Sand at Sossusvlei

Driving in sand is one of those things that sounds way easier than it is. Though we were cautioned repeatedly about how hard (and dangerous) it can be, we remained swaggeringly confident that it couldn’t be that hard. So it should surprise no one that within thirty seconds of hurtling off the tar round into…

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Visiting the Dunes at Sossusvlei

“Tim, I give you permission to drive up to 100 km/ph. If anyone stops you, they’ll see you’re with the big boss of the park.” We were on what must be the nicest tar road in Namibia. In front of us, the heat warped the perspective of the road. On either side, flat yellow ground…

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Throwback: An Unexpected Weekend in Riga, Latvia

An old dear friend from my study-abroad days stayed here in Berlin with me last week. Over the course of the weekend, we traded turns teasing each other over our naive, first-time-in-Europe stories. Speaking of, did I ever tell you about the time I meant to fly to Rome and wound up in Riga? No?…

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Christmas at Tava Lingwe

“May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white…” Merry and bright were for certain, but we’d traded a white Christmas in bitterly cold Germany for the equatorial climes of South Africa. We arrived Christmas morning at O.R. Tambo International Airport, where the silver trees bedecked in orange and blue…

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From Hamburg to the Haupstadt

The other day I looked at the calendar and realized it’s been a month since I moved to Berlin. In that month, a ton of things have happened. To whit: Another move. Since I was 17, I’ve moved 17 times. Which is kind of staggering. But it also makes the moving process a bit ritualistic.…

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Things We Are Not Taller Than

“Excuse me, would you mind taking our picture? We have a little tradition we do—just hold on and we’ll get into place.” It started as a little gag—Tim had once put me on his shoulders and I said I was taller than anything else around. When I came to Aachen to visit him, I found…

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In-car dance party

I’ve got travel booked for the next six weekends in a row—by trains and planes, but no automobiles. (I was going to insert a Sadface emoji here, but actually, the Autobahn has been so congested lately I don’t know if it’s really a miss.) While I’m not missing out on the Public Works-induced traffic, moments…

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Culture Shock #2: Those Doors Are Closin’

We’ve all been there—at the base of the stairs as the train you need comes rushing into the station. As you make the effort and sprint up the stairs, people inside of the carriage spot you, throwing an arm across the door to keep it from shutting before you slip inside. “Thanks,” you gasp, trying…

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Black, Gold, and Red Tape: Getting Started in Germany

The past few weeks have been an bit of gnarly snarl. Like with any international move, there’s a lot of moving parts, bureaucratic processes, and exhaustive red tape. In my experience, however, the “moving parts” in this move to Germany have been less of a logical Domino effect (first you need > then you need), and more of an interlocking web of gears (consider it a cuckoo-clock of chaos). Case in point? My “Moving to Germany as a non-EU citizen” flowchart, exhibit A…

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