Wonderlost Wednesday: Bath

Let me just state what you’ll later have no doubts about: Bath is one of my absolute favourite cities in England! Located in south west England, this city dates back to the Roman times – actually it was the Romans who founded the Bath we know today. Even though the city was established before that and known for its hot springs, it was the Romans who took advantage of these and build Roman baths. As a result, the city became known for these and has continued to expand since the Roman times. Especially later, when a cathedral was build and the city became a religious centre.

Bath Roman spaBath hot spring

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Bath is still known for its roman baths with hot springs, old beautiful buildings made of limestones and stunning scenery. However, there’s so much more to this amazing city: The Georgian architecture and scenery aside, this city has everything – museums, theatres, cathedral, universities, sporting venues, shopping opportunities, nice restaurants and cafes not to forget a lot of history and culture.
If you, like me, are into history and culture on your travels, you’ll adore Bath. Even if you’re not, this city will steal your heart with its beautiful architecture and scenery. I cannot stress enough how worth your time this city truly is. I believe we spent one day there, however, I could easily have spent several days exploring the city as well as the area around Bath. Next time, I’ll bring a car so we can discover more of this lovely area!

xo P!

Bath CathedralBath city

Attending Concerts: It’s all about that musical epiphany

…It’s all about that musical epiphany…

To me, music is a life passion. As I’ve touched upon in previous posts, I cannot go a day without listening to music. I need it to de-stress and switch off. I wish I could sing well or play an instrument (I would love to play the guitar or piano), however, that’s not the case. For now, anyway. I’m certain, I’ll learn eventually. Until then, I’ll have to do with recordings and attending concerts of gifted artists, which is quite the adventure.

Music notes

Although a rather expensive passion, attending concerts is something I highly value for several reasons. Of course, you can always enjoy music by listening to recordings. However, attending concerts is not only about seeing my favourite artists and listening to their music – no, it’s also about feeling the energy from these artists as well as fellow fans. …Being part of the fan community raises my spirit every time and gives me a boost and an experience that lasts a life time. Not to forget: It’s the perfect way to switch off for a moment and forget about every day troubles – just relax and have fun with friends and fellow fans. …Simply, immerse in the music.

By now, I’ve attended various concerts – both concerts of famous and non-famous musicians. As a result, some concerts are more memorable than others. They are more memorable for various reasons. For example, respectively Coldplay and Ed Sheeran concerts I remember specifically because they were dreams come true. Their music has had and continue to have an important part of my life. Hence, seeing these artists live, listening to their music, feeling everything and nothing at the same time in the company of good friends and fellow fans is something I will never forget. These concerts, simply, had an emotional impact on me – an emotional impact that continues and one that I truly treasure. However, I don’t only attend concerts of my idols… I like to attend all sorts of concerts – whether I’m a fan of the music or not. Sometimes it’s just for the experience itself and can be at arenas, concert halls or pubs. This was also evident when I attended respectively Snow Patrol’s and One Republic’s concerts. I didn’t know their music too well. As such, apart for a couple of hits, What I expected before going was to discover new music. However, these two concerts turned out to be so much more than just that. They, namely, turned out to be musical epiphanies to me. And that’s what it’s all about when attending concerts. At least to me. That musical epiphany. That moment when you fall in love with music all over again because you discover a truth in life through music – a connection. That moment exactly. It’s priceless. …Even though you can do that through recordings as well, it’s just not the same. At concerts, not only do the musicians open up, the audience opens up too. For an hour or two, this ”concert community” is a safe haven amongst fellow fans with open minds and hearts.

Throughout the last couples of years, I’ve attended lots of concerts and festivals in Denmark and abroad. As a result, I’ve among others experienced Dúné; Mads Langer; Coldplay; Florence and the Machine; James Morrison; Rihanna; Rizzle Kicks; Snow Patrol; Westlife; Christina Perri; Ed Sheeran; Elton John; Kaney West; Kings of Leon; Lady Gaga; One Republic; Passenger; Pharrell Williams; and many more. For 2016 in Amsterdam, I hope to join Hozier’s, Ellie Goulding’s, Adele’s, Coldplay’s and Rihanna’s concerts. I have no idea if this is financially possible at all. However, one can always dream and then make sure to chase those dreams, right!?

xo P!

 

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Wonderlost Wednesday: Bristol

Being a huge fan of the English graffiti artist, Banksy, and his street art, my motivation for visiting Bristol was solely based on exploring the city through his art. As such, my dear friend and I made it a themed trip with Banksy as the focus point. However, as it turned out, the city has so much more to offer than just Banksy, and my friend and I decided to stay a bit longer than originally planned exploring the city and its charm to the fullest.

Bristol City CentreFrom Cabot Tower

 

 

 

 

With a beautiful city centre, habour, parks and gardens not to forget the stunning Clifton Suspension Bridge, this city is perfect to visit during the spring or summer time in order to spend some time outdoors. Needless to say that there, of course, are both cafes and shopping opportunities that we ended up indulging ourselves in. Moreover, we spend quite some time exploring the beautiful city with old buildings and parks – in particular the cathedral was a treat. Furthermore, we also spent time at Brandon Hill with the Cabot Tower, where we had full view over the city – with our sandwiches, this was a really lovely experience.
All in all, Bristol is definitely a city worth visiting (during spring or summer) – especially, if you visit with a car. Because then, you’re also able to visit various estates and castles close to the city. I would definitely recommend that – or join a day tour with a tour operator.

xo P!

BanksyClifton Suspension Bridge

Christmas: It’s the season to be jolly…

…Fa la la la la, la la la la!

It’s official! It’s Christmas! …Finally! My all time favourite holiday characterised by the Christmas spirit has arrived, and I can’t wait to dig into all the traditions that belong to the month of December.

Although I am not religious – rather cultural Christian if anything, I quite enjoy the traditions linked to Christmas. I do so for several reasons – all linked to the Christmas spirit. As such, I find that people, in general, are happier and more complaisant during this month. Coming from a culture that is characterised as cold and isolating, you can imagine that the Christmas spirit truly gets to the Danes. I mean, what an excuse to be the total opposite…and not being labeled as weird for acting so. Furthermore, being interested in multiculturalism, I find it rather interesting to look into foreign Christmas traditions. Hence, I wanted to share some Danish traditions with you here in this post. Then, hopefully, you might want to enlighten me with some of your cultural determined Christmas traditions as well in the comments section? I would love to learn more about foreign traditions – of course, also traditions during December that might not be linked to Christianity at all.

Merry Christmas

Danish Christmas Traditions
In Danish, Christmas is translated into ”jul.” What ”jul” means is ”feast.” Personally, I think that feast perfectly pictures what Christmas is all about in Denmark – namely, the Christmas spirit, ”hygge” and food…and lots of it. …Seriously, lots of it. We may be highly healthy in general, however, when Christmas comes… Let’s just say that the healthy diet is not linked to Christmas here in Denmark. …At all! (…Thankfully!)
Anyway, when it comes to Danish Christmas traditions, we have a few unique customs. However, we also share some with other Christian cultures out there. As a result, I here present you with, in my opinion, the most noteworthy Danish Christmas traditions.

Christmas Decoration
Like most Western Christian cultures, the streets are decorated by the given municipality with spruce garlands and lights in all shapes and colours – there even are some occasionally Christmas trees placed in the city squares etc.

In our homes, we decorate with figures, Oranges with Clovespaper cut-outs and lights – mainly shaped as pixies, Santa, angles, hearts, stars and baubles etc. Occasionally, you might also see a nativity scene with baby Jesus, Josef, Maria and the three wise men. Moreover, also the mistletoe and, especially, spruce are highly popular. We put pieces of spruce everywhere: On table decorations, outside around the house etc. Its pine cones are also used in table decorations and sometimes as garlands on the Christmas tree. One thing, though, that you’ll most likely see in a Danish home is the smell of Christmas: Oranges with cloves hanged from the ceiling or in the window in a red string – yep, this is the smell of Christmas. Furthermore, many Danish homes put figures of Santa and pixies in the garden along with fairy lights in the garden trees.

Christmas Candles
Candles are popular in Denmark around Christmas time: Not only do we Danes have a candle with 24 dates that we burn every day – one each day; we also have an advent wreath consisting of four candles – one for every advent. I’m not sure where this tradition originates from or why, however, it’s a Danish Christmas symbol and a perfect way to count down for Christmas Eve.

Advent Candles

Christmas Bakings
An important part of the Danish Christmas includes the baking of various and different traditional cookies – among other the pepper nuts, which can be traced further back than any other cookie. Moreover, marzipan in all shapes, colours and with or without chocolate and other toppings are a firm tradition. This is not to forget æbleskiver – delicious æbleskiver, which are Danish fluffy, round cake dough served with icing sugar/sugar and marmalade – sometimes even Nutella.

Pepper NutsAeblskiver

 

 

 

 

Christmas Chocolate Calendar
It’s mandatory for children (sometimes also adults) to have a Christmas chocolate calender – or…it’s not really mandatory, however, every child has one (or several). This chocolate calender is, basically, a calender with 24 windows. Behind each window is a piece of chocolate – one for each day of Christmas. Also, daily Christmas calender presents are popular in Denmark, where children (sometimes also adults) receive 24 presents – also one for each day of Christmas.
Some have both the chocolate as well as the daily present calender, while others only have one of the two. However, sometimes it’s combined with the advent present calender.

Christmas Chocolate CalenderDaily Christmas Calender Presents

 

 

 

 

Advent Present Calender
Some children (even some adults) receive an advent present calender from their parents. Actually, depending on the family, sometimes Santa also brings them, which was the case in my family. As such, every advent Sunday, the child/children receive/s a present from Santa. In my family, we had a Christmas sock in which Santa would put a present every Sunday morning before my sister and I woke up. We were lucky, as ’Santa’ usually brought big presents, however, the amount of money spend on advent presents varies and depends on the family and whether or not they also receive daily Christmas presents.

Advent Present Calender

Christmas Television Specials
Christmas Television specials is big in Denmark. We, among others, have a ”Julekalender.” A Julekalender is a Television series in 24 episodes made for Christmas. There are made a few every year mainly for children, however, there are also some for adults. It must sound strange to foreigners – I can even sense the weirdness writing this now, however, they are generally very good and is a good way to make Christmas a bit more special. Of course, we also follow foreign Christmas films etc., and Home Alone is part of the Danish Christmas tradition in most Danish homes as well. In my family, we always watch Home Alone 1 the 23rd of December, also known as Little Christmas Eve (I’ll come back to that in a moment), and Home Alone 2 during the day on Christmas day, the 24th of December.

Christmas Markets and Glögg
As in most Western countries Glöggaround Christmas time, it’s the month of Christmas markets. Here, you can not only try various roller coaster rides, however, you can also buy all sorts of different things – also a lot of food and beverages, of course. Glögg, which is hot mulled wine with raisins, nuts, cinnamon and oranges, is very popular in Denmark along with the cold Christmas beer.

Christmas Company Parties
Christmas is not only celebrated with family but also friends and colleagues. As such, there are a lot of Christmas parties around the country at the time – even throughout November. Usually, people meet up to eat, drink, dance and socialise.

Santa Lucia
Originally, a Swedish tradition, Santa Lucia is celebrated on the 13th of December around the country at schools, daycare institutions, hospitals, nursing homes etc. Basically, she is celebrated by a group of young girls dressed in white holding a white candle who walks along the corridors singing the Santa Lucia song. I must admit that I’m not sure why we celebrate her: She died a Saint after a martyr death and is known as the Saint of Blindness due to the way she died.

Santa Lucia

Christmas Mass
Characterised as a rather cultural Christian country, Denmark and the Danes do not practice religion much. Except for at Christmas. Here, you see Danes visit the church especially around the 23rd, 24th and 25th of December depending on your family tradition. It’s sort of the one day of the year, where you honor the true spirit of Christmas – namely, Jesus (…although Christmas originally, of course, was a pagan holiday that the Christians later used to spread Christianity…)

Little Christmas Eve
We Danes celebrate ”lille juleaften” (little Christmas eve) the 23rd of December, which is the last day of work before Christmas. There are various and different traditions linked to this day depending on family traditions. In my family, we decorate the Christmas tree, bake and make marzipan for the following Christmas days. It’s very common for the cook of the family to make desert for Christmas eve this day, which is eaten for dinner. Other families also play the Christmas Present Game (I’ll come back to this later) and sing Christmas carols.

The Danish Christmas Tree
The Christmas trees in Denmark Christmas Treeare decorated like most other Western countries do it: With figures, baubles and garlands – not to forget the star on top. However, Danes also puts lights (living candles) and garland(s) with the Danish flag on it.

Christmas Eve
In most Danish homes, Christmas Eve kicks off with dinner. During the day, the cook of the family will cook while the others help when needed. Otherwise, it’s a big Television day where lots of series and film are shown – and lots of bakery and candy is eaten.

For dinner, generally the main course is roast goose, duck or pork (sometimes all three kinds) with brown sauce/gravy, sour-sweet red cabbage and potatoes as well as caramelised potatoes. With dinner, most families drink wine, Christmas beer, snaps and/or soda. For desert, we either have rice pudding or ris á alement with cherry sauce served with a glass of glögg. In this sense, however, we have a unique tradition: In the desert bowl, the cook puts an almond – whoever finds the almond in his or her portion receives the ”almond present,” which traditionally is a marzipan pig.

Christmas Dinnerris á alement

 

 

 

 

In my family, we play a game of Christmas Present Game between dinner and desert. The game goes like this: Every person at the dinner has brought 3 presents – two useful and one funny. Then either you play with cards or dices until all presents have been given to people around the table. Then it ends and you can open the presents for keeps.

At last, when it’s time to open the actual Christmas presents, a Danish tradition is to dance around the Christmas tree. As such, all family members join hands in a circle around the tree and sing Christmas carols while dancing around it – and then the Christmas unwrapping can begin. Following, the evening generally ends with Christmas films and lots of candy and chocolate.

That’s all, I think – a bit of insight into the Danish Christmas. How do you celebrate Christmas in your culture?

xo P!

 

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A Dane Abroad: Cultural differences

Living in a foreign culture is interesting for various reasons: Not only do you among others gain perspective on a foreign culture, however, also on your own culture. As such, I just had to write a post on going abroad as a Dane including personal experiences I’ve made on my abroad relocations. Because, it’s true, you don’t realize the extent of cultural differences before you travel abroad and see for yourself. In this sense, being a Dane abroad, you quickly realize that things are quite different abroad in some aspects, and that us Danes can be somewhat weird to foreigners. Let me elaborate on this by presenting you with 30 cultural differences I’ve experienced as a Dane living abroad.

Danish flag

  1. Foreigners are usually not as isolated, reticent and restrained as Danes
  1. Being approached with a ”how are you?” is just, simply, very weird for an isolating, cold Nordic person. I mean, we’re trained not to look strangers in the eyes let alone talk to them (Exaggeration, however, not far from the truth)
  1. ”The Law of Jante” is definitely not part of every culture, which is a good thing if you ask me (LoJ is not a law per se, rather a set of cultural norms)
  1. Nor is the concept of ”hygge”
  1. Vikings may not always be as popular abroad as back home – especially not in England
  1. Foreign countries rarely have rye bread – and when they do it’s just not the same
  1. Nor do they have smoerrebroed (rye bread with delicious, various and different toppings)
  1. In my humble opinion, they don’t have (proper) licorice outside the Nordic countries either
  1. With gained perspective, equality is far along in Denmark
  1. So is the environmental movement
  1. However, certain Danes could learn much from foreigners and their welcoming and open hearts (here, specifically considering the current refugee crisis)
  1. Bikes are not as popular abroad as in Denmark (except for in Holland/Amsterdam, of course)
  1. Students outside Scandinavia don’t go to college or university for free
  1. Nor do they get paid to go study
  1. They do, however, not have to pay approximately 50 percent of their salary in taxes as all Danes do
  1. The cost of health care abroad is expensive
  1. It’s just not appropriate to put your national flag on your birthday cake abroad
  1. … Or on the Christmas tree
  1. Christmas is not celebrated with dinner AND gifts on the 24th of December all over the world
  1. It’s not common to dance around the Christmas tree before opening gifts on Christmas eve either. In my experience, foreigners find this Danish tradition very strange
  1. Nor do foreign cultures burn witches every summer on the beach
  1. … Or ”shoot in” the new year on New Year’s day to receive candy (only children)
  1. … Or hide candy for children to find in the highly decorated garden for Easter
  1. In general, people abroad don’t throw pre-parties before going out partying/clubbing
  1. … And the bars and clubs close way too early – I mean the party doesn’t even start before 1am…
  1. Maybe it has to do with the viking genes, however, foreigners really can’t hold their liquor too well
  1. They are, however, way better at socialising without alcohol as the center of attention
  1. Foreigners generally speaking don’t find the Danish Band, Aqua, and their song, Barbie Girl, as interesting as Danes
  1. They do, however, seem to find the Danish LEGO pretty neat
  1. … And the fairy tales of the Danish author, H. C. Andersen (The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale etc.)

There you go… Some cultural differences (and facts about ’Danishness’) I’ve experienced abroad.
What about you? What cultural differences have you experienced on your travels?

xo P!

 

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Wonderlost Wednesday: Egeskov Castle

I don’t only love to explore foreign cultures and their histories, I also like to explore my own culture. As such, I wanted to highlight one of my favourite Danish tourist sights – a real Danish treasure: The privately owned Egeskov Castle.

Egeskov CastleEgeskov Gardens

 

 

 

 

Egeskov Castle is this renaissance castle located on the island of Funen. Dating back to the 16th century, the castle has a lot of history, which my family and I explored through various exhibitions inside and outside of the castle back in 2013. The castle, namely, exhibits not only furniture and clothing from the era, however, also a vintage collection of automobiles and motorcycles along with airplanes and helicopters. Moreover, as the exhibitions are not solely restricted to the area, we also got an insight into Denmark at the time: Social norms, behavior and agriculture. As if this wasn’t enough, we spent hours in the stunning gardens where we enjoyed a delicious meal at the castle’s restaurant.
All in all, Egeskov Castle is definitely one of the tourist attractions worth visiting should you ever find yourself in Denmark.

xo P!

Wonderlost Wednesday: Stockholm

Earlier this year in March, a friend and I visited Stockholm on an extended weekend tour. Although, I’ve grown up in Denmark so close to Sweden, I had never been to the country before. Needless to say, I was excited to explore the capital of Stockholm due to its reputation. In this sense, I must say that it didn’t disappoint me. At all! Compared to Copenhagen, Stockholm has a lot to offer – and not just in city life but also in scenery – and atmosphere.

Stockhom Harbour...

Comprised of 14 islands and numerous areas and districts centered around medieval Gamla Stan (Old Town), Stockholm is nothing but exciting to explore as a mosaic of unique areas and districts. This little adorable, lively city full of beautiful architecture and scenery captured my heart immediately. It’s a city in which I could very well imagine myself growing old at one point – once I’ve explored the world, of course, and am ready to (to some extent) settle.

On our trip, I, especially, came to adore Gamla Stan. Dating back to the 13th century, this district is my favourite part of Stockholm. The architecture, scenery with habour views, cute stores, pubs, restaurants and cafes – the atmosphere – are just in my spirit and I could spend hours exploring this district. However, in general, Stockholm with its various and different areas and districts are quite exciting and I wished we had had more time in Stockholm.
Normally, I’m not much of a museum enthusiast. However, some of the museums of Stockholm such as the Vasa Museum, Astrid Lindgren Museum (Junibacken), the Royal Palace etc. are interesting museums that take the concept of museums to a new level as more interactive museums – I like that.

Old Town, StockholmStockholm Harbour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you wish to explore Scandinavia, I would definitely choose Sweden or Norway as these two Nordic countries just have a more diverse scenery. And should you find yourself in Stockholm, I can warmly recommend visiting the Ice Bar by Ice Hotel. Although it is a bit expensive (even for Scandinavian prices), it is quite the tourist experience.

xo P!

Ice BarIce Bar.

Wonderlost Wednesday: Potsdam

Brandenburg Gate

Living in Berlin for a longer period of time this year with the royal Potsdam right around the corner, I simply had to visit the city. As such, so I did, and I was stunned by what I saw. This breathtaking little city full of charm, history and culture just 25 minutes with train from Berlin city centre has made a lasting impression on me. Not only is the city itself diverse with an old town, new town and a Dutch Quarter as well as various shopping possibilities etc., no, the city also has its own palaces just outside Brandenburg Gate.

Sanssouci Park.Sanssouci Park

 

 

 

 

Residence of the old German royal family up until 1918, this city is nothing but spectacular! The old royal seat at Sanssouci Park is absolutely beautiful and definitely exceeds its reputation. The area doesn’t only include the well-known Sanssouci Palace, however, also several other palaces and its gardens as well as various other spectacular buildings open for the public to explore – it’s truly magnificent. I spent an entire day here just exploring the area. As you can actually see the palaces from the inside and get a glimpse of royal life, a day is packing the schedule and I had to come back to explore the rest and just take time to enjoy the many acres of garden with beautiful flowers, trees and lakes.
So if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, this little city of Potsdam may be quite the adventure for you to explore – I know I really enjoy exploring the city and Sanssouci Park.

Sanssouci PalaceNew Palace

 

 

 

 

 

xo P!

Intern Abroad: My 10 reasons why to intern abroad

It’s no secret that I’m fascinated by interculturalism and cross-cultural communication. I have not only among others studied it at university, however, I’ve also made sure to practice it in real life by relocating to foreign cultures. One of my abroad stays that has made a tremendous impression on me was my internship in Dublin, Ireland. Of course, any relocation abroad makes a lasting impression on you, however, working in an intercultural environment abroad is quite a unique experience. As such, this blog post concerns a reflection on my own experience and presents you with 10 reasons why to intern abroad.

1) Explore a Foreign Country and its Culture
By interning abroad, not only will you have the opportunity to explore a new country and its culture, no you’ll do it from the inside – so to speak. By working with locals (maybe even in an intercultural setting), you have the opportunity to dig deep and immerse yourself in a new culture on a much deeper level than other types of abroad programmes offer. If the work place, furthermore, is intercultural, you have the possibility to discuss the culture’s norms and believes from an international angle. As such, working as an intern abroad not only provides you with an understanding for a foreign country and its culture, however, also its work environment(s) and the social norms linked to this.

2) Develop Global Perspective and Understanding
When you live in a foreign country, you automatically acquire insight into its culture from various perspectives. As a result, you gain a broader view of current (international) events and/or situations as well as your field of study and the concept of a work environment – both professionally and personally. This insight leads to understanding, which gives you perspective. This will most likely help you to view future challenges (and opportunities) differently and solve problems from a different aspect than what you’re used to.

3) Improve Language Skills
If you move to a foreign country, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your language skills and become more confident in speaking the foreign language in question. Furthermore, if you’ll be working at an intercultural work place, you’ll also have the possibility to learn other foreign languages that your colleagues speak. And let’s face it: Living in an increasingly international and intercultural world, the ability to speak multiple languages will make you more marketable to future employers.

4) Theoretical vs. Practical Knowledge
An internship abroad is the all time opportunity to gain some practical insight, understanding and experience in theories linked to your studies. In other words, you’ll have the possibility to use the skills you’ve been taught in the classroom in a real-world setting. As such, it’s a chance to prove the worth of your qualifications, turn theory into practice and show your employee as well as yourself that you can perform in the role you’ve been given and the future role you strive for.

5) Try Out a Possible Career
Like me, you might have various and different ideas of a future career. Hence, an internship presents you with the perfect opportunity to try out a possible career. Moreover, as internships are generally short-term, they allow you to test a career (or an industry) without committing to it.

6) Valuable Work Experience
Even if you eventually choose not to pursue the career you test in your internship, an internship will add valuable work experience to your CV. Upon graduation, hands on experience within your field of studies will no doubt give you a head start, as you’ll have practical and not just theoretical experience within your field.

7) Networking Opportunity
What better way to meet people within your field of studies than through an internship!? Even if you have relevant work experience, knowing people in the industry never hurts when chasing a career. Therefore, an internship might give you relevant contacts within the industry you’re trying to break into and end up helping you get a job after graduation. If not, references from people in the industry will definitely add weight to your application.

8) Transition into a Job
Some companies perceive interns as prospective employees. As a result, if you do a good job during your internship and leave with a good impression, your intern company might be interested in hiring you full time after graduation because you’ve already proven your worth and know the company.

9) Personal Growth and Development
By now, there’s no doubt that an internship will gain professional value. However, an internship will definitely also gain personal value. Because, during the months you intern, you learn much about yourself as a student, co-worker and, ultimately, person – not to forget…

10) An Experience You’ll Never Forget
Living abroad is an experience you’ll never forget – for good and bad. You don’t only grow and develop as a person, gain cultural insight and understanding, get to travel around the country and meet new friends, no you also have a lot of different experiences linked to various aspects of your new life abroad. …Yes, it’s not just good for your CV.

So… What are you waiting for? There are so many good things to gain from an internship abroad. …Maybe you’ve already undertaken an internship abroad? So you may agree with my ten reasons why to go abroad to intern? Maybe you have other good reasons to do it? Please, feel free to share.

xo P!

Christmas Party, Dublin

Exploring the Harry Potter Universe: Behind the magic

I was 11 years old when the first Harry Potter film came out in theaters. I was hooked. This magical universe consisting of such a diverse assembly – or community – filled with real human beings with complex and paradox feelings just captured my heart from the beginning – just like is captured the hearts of so many others around the world.

When I watch the Harry Potter films, I’m immediately transported into this enchanting universe in which magic in all its variations is the overall theme. However, it’s so much more than just that. As such, when I lived in London three years ago, the Warner Brothers Studios opened their ”the Making of Harry Potter” exhibition. There was no doubt: I was going to visit the studios as soon as possible. Within the first week of their opening, some friends and I were on the HP bus on our way to explore the Harry Potter universe. Needless to say that we were nothing but ridiculously excited.

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When you travel around the world, you always go somewhere magical because you travel to explore something new and learn from it – for me, that’s magic. This experience at the Warner Brothers Studios wasn’t any different. Having grown up with the Harry Potter stories, this magical world was indeed a travel destination for us – we weren’t going to a studio. No, we were going to an ’actual’ place. However, going to the Harry Potter Studios, I truly was going somewhere magical. Especially because, as a fan, there’s nothing more liberating – yes, liberating – than to dive into the world of fandom …in the real surroundings.

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Getting off the bus and into the studios, we were amazed by the authenticity of it all. Although a tourist attraction, it was true to the universe and not in a touristee way, which is highly important! The exhibition itself features film sets, props, costumes etc. – whatever film, scene or character is your favourite, you’ll find it there. Even Dobby. And Dementors.

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The visit itself was nothing but spectacular! We were diving into the film and their various scenes. It was exactly as being part of the Harry Potter universe for a couple of hours, which we took full advantage of. We spent a lot of time on the different film sets exploring among others Private Drive, The Weasley’s house, Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s chambers, Hagrid’s house, Diagon Alley along with hundreds of props and costumes. Not to forget the gift shop. I think we spent an hour there alone. At the gift shop, you can buy almost everything down to the very replica of clothings and wands! It’s quite the adventure for HP fans! Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive and I had to do with some candy (the chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, of course). Had I known that there was so much stuff there, I would have brought a bucket full of money.

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Anyway. As it turned out: Behind the magic, there’s more magic – it’s all just magical! Especially as a fan. So if you’re a fan and in or near London, I guarantee, it’s worth your money to explore the studios!

xo P!

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