moving abroad, all by yourself

I've been living in Munich for three weeks now. Whereas it is an exciting, big, sparkly adventure on the one hand, moving to a foreign country all by yourself can be pretty though and confronting as well. For everyone who is on the verge of setting foot in a new country for a job, internship or studies, or perhaps even just moving to a new city in your own homeland, but doing this all on your own, this is what the past three weeks have taught me about making home, all by myself.

flowers make a new home

Make it feel like a home
After a long train ride, plane flight or being dropped off by a loved one, that moment when you are in your new place, all alone, kinda stings. Nothing makes you feel more alone like those bare walls, a single, unmade bed, empty closets and a desolate desk. Feeling at home in my new place became much more easier when I hung up some cards and letters from my best friend and filled out the open closet space with my books and pictures. I also bought myself a bunch of flowers, a little plant, spread out candles all throughout the room and bought myself a big cosy comforter. Make it your new favorite place to come home to after work or class.

Get back into your regular routine
Though those first few days are pretty hectic, running around, organizing things and buying even more. But getting back into the little routines you had before you moved might help feeling more at ease. For me, these are working out and cooking healthy and regularly, the two things that make me feel good about myself, but also tend to be pushed back first when times get busy. So if you ran three times a week, baked cookies every Sunday or worked on a scrapbook Monday evenings, keep doing that!

Actively meet new people
Personally, I find it really hard meeting and connecting with new people; I'm always a bit more introverted and concerned about the impression I make. However, moving to a new city does force you to actively go out and meet people, if this doesn't happen naturally in your work place, university or building (though also in these cases, one needs to put an effort into actually meeting these people around you). I knew there weren't going to be many interns at the museum, nor is my current housing a very sociable place. If it were up to me, I'd be good with curled up on my bed with a good book, but five months of solitary reclusiveness isn't going to make a person happy. A big help in this case was Facebook. I joined a group for girls and women of all ages who were new to Munich, either foreigners coming here to work, intern or study, but also Germans from cities all over the country, who had made the switch to Munich. One the one hand, it's a very accessible tool: post a message, people respond, and off you go! However, for some (me) it still might be scary, meeting up with a bunch of people you've never met before, other than an enthusiastic comment on a Facebook-page. However, you must realize: they are in the same situation as well. By no means do I support random meetups with people from the internet (always be safe and know what you're doing, where you're going and make sure it is in a public space), but so far it has worked out really well. The get-togethers have always been very casual, relaxed and without any further obligations - so if you didn't enjoy it, you're off the hook as well! I've met many nice people over drinks and dinner, making me feel a little less alone and a little more at home.

Plan some fun activities by yourself
Meeting new people is always good, but you should also be able to enjoy you're own company. Though many people might not enjoy going out by themselves, I love wandering through the city by myself, discovering new shops, cafes, parks or museums, and getting a feel for the city's structure. Being able to find your way in your new hometown will start making it actually feel yours.

Get comfort food!
A while back I read an article's title which said that comfort food doesn't exist (refused to read the article instantly). Let's just forget that, okay? You don't need to stuff yourself with every pack of candy that you find on your way or all the french fries your fryer can take. But cut yourself some slack and let yourself indulge a bit. We all have certain foods that make us just feel a bit more happy, right?

Watch as many movies and shows as you like
I still hear my parents shouting, 'don't watch too much TV!' But during those moments when you feel alone, and don't see any chance of getting out or calling home, movies and TV-shows can be the perfect company. Many have pulled me through some long and lonely nights, curled up in bed. Stick around for some of my favorites next week!

Give yourself some time
Maybe the most important one: give yourself some time to feel at home. All these new impressions, new faces, new places, they can be quite overwhelming. Maybe you wont get it all together within the first few days - lords knows I haven't. I've been beating myself up for not being in an optimal work-state or the social butterfly I'd like to be. But it takes some time. So be nice to yourself, give yourself some time to relax, to accommodate, and it will all be fine in the end!


cheesecake challenge: bailey's cheesecake.

My love for baking and cheesecake is not a secret. Nor is my love for Bailey's. Every year when I visit my father and his family, these three loves get stimulated very very very strongly. This year these loves even met in very close and intimate way. Specifically ordered by my family, I present: the Bailey's cheesecake.

Bailey's Cheesecake

I don't drink a lot. Really, not even on a weekly basis. Sometimes a glass of wine when I'm out for dinner, and a cocktail or two when I'm feeling really wild during a girl's night out. But to call me a real drinker? Not really. I don't particularly love it - I'd rather eat something delicious than have an alcoholic drink. But! There is one exception. I absolutely love Bailey's. Now, I don't drink it that often - gotta keep it special. But sometimes, while watching a movie, crawled up on the couch, a Bailey's is all I need. I'd say it hardly counts as a real alcoholic drink, it's like milk!

My dad's wife is well aware of my love for Bailey's, and also this year a nice big bottle was being chilled for my arrival. During a lazy Sunday afternoon, when a discussion lead to the millions of cakes I should be making for them during my stay, she came up with the brilliant idea of a Bailey's cheesecake. And I just couldn't resist.


owning up to my stories pt. two - anxiety

A while back I read the book ‘The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by BrenĂ© Brown. She talks about the power of vulnerability, and owning up to our stories – that is, the painful ones that might be seen as imperfections in this world of ours – to reach happiness in your life and with yourself, which she beautifully describes as Wholehearted living. As someone who is constantly striving for happiness, while in a constant battle with my imperfections, this book seemed as if it were written for me. During the next couple of weeks, I will take a leap, and share my stories with you. Feel free to share yours as well!

sun tree

taken during one of my many 'panic walks'.

That little big voice of perfectionism doesn’t leave you untouched. From inside it has sprung into a million little sidetracks, affecting my day to day life. Being in a state of constant high pressure, being brought down from morning till evening takes a toll on oneself, physically and mentally. The stress of my mind always first goes straight to my body. Migraines, nausea, upset stomach, back- and neck pains – but it is the state of constant anxiety that was the hardest to deal with.


hello munich!

hello munich hello munich hello munich
hello munich hello munichhello munich

Things happen, and sometimes they happen fast. Where it was still 'in a few months' just a little while ago, the day had finally come: I moved to Munich! Last sunday I touched ground after a six hour train ride through Germany's landscape of mountains, rivers and forests. I have to admit - I left everything behind with a little knot in my stomach. After a stressful week of organizing and packing, I truly felt unprepared to go to a country for half a year, all on my own. I hardly had time to say goodbye to my mother, I wasn't able to see all the friends and family I wanted to see and boyfriend even had to leave before I left for the train station. So with a heavy heart and a nervous feeling (since I didn't reserve a seat on the train) I travelled six hours towards my new home in the Bavarian state. After an impressing and somewhat tiring week of getting into a nine-to-five routine, a new house, no internet and still a million things to be taken care of, I am slowly finding my place and making my home, with a little bit of help of lots of Milka chocolate and Suits-episodes. This is a fresh start, the beginning of something new, and I cannot wait to discover this city and see what it has to offer!


seattle hotspots, pt. two

Summer is slowly, slowly slipping away. Here and there I’ve managed to catch some rays of sunshine, though my days right now are mostly filled with working hard, and working harder. Goodbye summer vacation! What better way to get back just a little bit into the summer spirit by browsing through pictures of a perfect, perfect summer holiday in Seattle. See how boyfriend and I went on the tourist tour during out time in the States.

Eight - vist Woodland Zoo
Visit the Woodland Zoo!
Usually I'm not one to promote zoo's. A part of me loves strolling through them all day and seeing all these magnificent animals, and part of me, well ... doesn't. However, Woodland Park Zoo definitely is one park I enjoy being at. Roam the broad park, see the flamingos, eat bad food and yummy ice cream!


seattle adventures, pt. one

This summer, my boyfriend and I hopped on a plane, crossed the ocean, and landed in Seattle ten hours later. For the past five years, Seattle has been my summer hometown, visiting my dad and his family over there nearly every year. It was boyfriends first time over there, so we touristed out as much as we could. Here is part one of our Seattle adventures!

One - go on a hike
One - go on a hike 2
Go on a hike!

What I love about Seattle is that it just has everything: it has a bustling down town, the ocean for boat rides and swims, but also beautiful nature and mountains good for hikes and even skiing! I love getting out into nature for a long hike, which we did this time as well. We took the car up to Snoqualmie and took the Twin Falls Hike. A beautiful hike through the woods leading towards a beautiful waterfall. There are many more hikes to be done, check them out here!


cheesecake challenge: raspberry cheesecake brownies

I have a long lasting, strong love for the delicious sweet dish called cheesecake. Already as a little girl, I always loved the thick, creamy texture. As one of my 23 before 24 goals, I've decided I want to expand my repertoire with ten new cheesecakes, at least!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

When I was a little girl, my mom, aunt and grandmother would take me to this particular bakery in the little town we lived in. I remember this bakery being in a tiny house, with a small facade - a window stalled with huge cakes and a tiny door surrounded by a golden frame. Once you were inside, the tiny house expanded into a grand room, filled with hundreds of tables and cakes everywhere. Now, I don't know if the imagination of my five-year old self went wild, so perhaps the bakery does not look like the golden walhalla that I remember. But! It is the place where my love for cheesecake started. Even to this day, I can still remember the taste, the texture, the smell of that specific vanilla cheesecake. Is that creepy?