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May 13th – Advice for College Graduates

Advice for Graduates

Today’s Blog Everyday in May prompt is to offer advice to college graduates. I finished school only two years ago – I’m not sure if this makes me unqualified or extra-qualified to give advice. Either way, this is what I have to say.

1. Don’t apply only for jobs that fit your studies perfectly.

Unless you’ve managed to already lined up your dream job – in which case, you should offer me advice – you don’t want your search to be too narrow. This means you need to broaden the type of job you’re looking for, the location range you’re looking at, or both. I person went for looking further and further away from where my family lived, and it did make things difficult at times. Sometimes I wonder how that year before moving would’ve gone if I had worked as an aid or a sub instead of a full-time teacher, but stayed near my parents.

And depending on your field, it may not matter how far you look. You might not find anything if your requirements are too narrow. Flexibility is key as well as prioritizing what in particular is important to you. You might also find out that your dream job is different than you expected.

2. Travel somewhere new.

I think it’s always important to gather new perspectives as you grow older in order to avoid the trap of believing that everyone is just like you.

If you don’t have roots, move somewhere different for a little while if it’s within your means! If you don’t like it, you can go back, or go somewhere else. Living in a place for awhile allows the novelty to fade a little, which can give a slightly different perspective.

If you’ve already put down roots, you can take trips and consciously interact with people from different backgrounds. In the US, there are many cultural differences between regions – you don’t have to backpack across Europe to start seeing the world from a different point of view.

3. Find a hobby.

If you already have a hobby, continue making time for it. Your routine will change, but having something outside of work/searching for work will help keep you sane. Knitting, writing, playing a sport – it’s nice to have something you enjoy to help your mind recharge.

If school was so busy that you didn’t have time for a hobby, this is a great time to try out some things. Your routine is already changing, so this is a good time to work something new in. And if you’ve moved to a new place, your hobby can help you meet people. If you like sports, see if a local gym offers any team sports that you can join. If you like crafting, join a knitting circle. If you like cooking, see if any stores or night schools offer classes. You can even connect with people online if that’s where your hobby takes you (like writing, for example).

For those recent graduates – congratulations! You’ve worked hard, so find ways to enjoy yourself as you start the next chapter of your life!

May 12th – Favorite Blogging Tools

I feel a bit inexperienced for today’s prompt for Blog Everyday in May, which is about favorite blogging tools, but I am very excited to read what others have to say. I just started seriously blogging in March, so I’m still working out what works best for me. I’m excited to see what programs or items more experience bloggers tend to use, and reading through some of their posts, I’m already getting some ideas that could improve my blog quite a bit (Evernote and Canva have come up a few times and I plan on checking those out).

The most important tool that I use is my phone.  It is basically an appendage, and I’ve written quite a bit on it so far. I generally prefer to read through things again on the computer, and it’s easier to add pictures to my posts through the web program for WordPress.com – though the majority of my pictures come from my phone.

My phone with it's dorky wallet case. I drop it a lot, and the wallet adds some cheap extra protection.
My phone with it’s dorky wallet case. I drop it a lot, and the wallet adds some cheap extra protection.

If I decide to actually work on my photography skills, I might start using a real camera. But right now, I just snap quick shots of things I find interesting, so the phone is good enough (and I always having it anyway!).

I also use the WordPress app on my phone, which I quite like. I don’t know how things may change if I ever move over to self-hosted, though. If anyone has more info about moving to self-hosted, I’d love some tips! But for right now, it’s nice to have a lot of options right at my fingertips.

wpid-screenshot_2015-05-12-17-35-18.pngTo my blog friends, are there any tools you think I should try, especially mobile apps?  I would love to hear suggestions!

May 3rd – Travel Bucket List

Today in Blog Everyday in May, we are discussing our Travel Bucket Lists – I put together my top travel destinations as of now, but of course there are so many more places I want to go!  Thankfully, the Verlobter loves traveling as well and we have a lot of fun planning our adventures.

  • Go back to London
    I went to London once for only a few days and desperately want to go back. There’s so much to see that it’s hard to get to everything you want in such a short time. I also love history, so the museums and other historical sites are a huge draw.
Debot at Dutch Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Debot at Dutch Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Japan
    The Verlobter had spent some time in Japan while studying and loved it. He’s talked it up quite a bit. Ideally we’ll go there for a sort of delayed honeymoon – we want to time it to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. I’m also a seafood and sushi nut, so the Verlobter has really played up how much I’ll be able to eat.
"Shoboji Nishikyo-ku Kyoto Japan13s3s4410" by 663highland - 663highland. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoboji_Nishikyo-ku_Kyoto_Japan13s3s4410.jpg#/media/File:Shoboji_Nishikyo-ku_Kyoto_Japan13s3s4410.jpg
“Shoboji Nishikyo-ku Kyoto Japan13s3s4410” by 663highland – 663highland. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoboji_Nishikyo-ku_Kyoto_Japan13s3s4410.jpg#/media/File:Shoboji_Nishikyo-ku_Kyoto_Japan13s3s4410.jpg
  • Venice
    Venice just looks so gorgeous that I want to see it in real life.
By Ghouston 18:18, 6 May 2006 (UTC) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ghouston 18:18, 6 May 2006 (UTC) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Palace of Versailles
    See Venice’s reason. I also love looking at palaces and castles for some reason – particularly ones with opulently decorated interiors. I saw several while living in Bavaria, but Versailles is at the top of my list – as it inspired so many gorgeous palaces that were built later.
By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  • New York
    Just because I’m American, doesn’t mean I’ve fully explored America. It’s much too big. One of the places I’ve always wanted to visit is New York. I want to see a Broadway show, walk around Central Park, and window shop as though I’m a fancy person (that’s what New Yorkers do, right?).
By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The Grand Canyon
    Like with New York, I have yet to see the Grand Canyon. It commonly comes up when talking to Germans who have traveled or want to travel while in the US. I sometimes feel like I fail the American checklist when I haven’t seen it (or been to New York or LA). I’ve heard that pictures just do not do it justice, so it’s on the list of things I would love to see in person.

By chensiyuan (chensiyuan) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By chensiyuan (chensiyuan) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Any other places that you think I must see?  Let me know in the comments!

A Lesson in Latitude

Maybe it’s because of my American sense of geography, but I have trouble grasping how far north Germany actually is. Where I live now has fairly similar weather to where I grew up – just slightly less extreme highs and lows. But I now live over ten degrees further north.

For reference – the 49th Parallel, the line that forms much of the western border between Canada and the US, runs through my state here.

Original Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, 49th Parallel marked in red by me
Original Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, 49th Parallel marked in red by me

I noticed it over the summer when the sun seemed to stay up forever, but it’s gotten worse – I blame the Daylight Savings Time change.  I think I had adjusted to the dark German winter with its sunsets in the late afternoon. I’m a night owl and a fan of computers and artificial light, so that didn’t bother me too much.

This evening sun, on the other hand, is driving me crazy. I’m used to later sunsets in the peak of the summer, not in April. I keep getting surprised at how late it is when I notice the clock. How can it be seven in the evening with the sun blazing in through the window?

The hour jump forward definitely exaggerated the problem. The clock shifts a few weeks later here than in the US, so I almost think my body thought it happened already with the way the sunsets were lining up. Now I always feel like it’s two hours earlier in the evening than it should be.

I don’t have any problem with the sunrise, though, because Germans prefer heavy shutters that block out all light. The rising sun will never wake me up because our apartment turns into a cave overnight.

I assume I’ll get used to it eventually, but it’s still crazy to me the difference latitude makes.

Full map here if you want to brush up on your geography.