An American in Amsterdam

The Dam Square

This very scenic spot is only a 5 minute walk from the Central Station. The square is packed with tourists and locals relaxing or traveling to their next destination.  From the Dam Square almost all the tourist attractions are within walking distance including the Red Light District, various shopping/restaurant and entertainment, and multiple museums.

 

 The Ice Bar

One attraction we were interested in experiencing is the Ice Bar of Amsterdam. For only 25 Euros, 3 drinks and 40 minutes in the bar are included. Trust me… 20 minutes is plenty of time to chug your drinks and head out into the ‘warmth’. Drinking from ice cups, sitting on ice, and in -10 degrees was  definitely worth the temporary frost bite.

De 9 Straatjes

The nine streets of Amsterdam are the small allies and walkways created by the water that runs through the city. These streets contain several museums, clothing stores, coffee shops and most importantly…the famous Red Light District. Below is a photo of an authentic Dutch beer with a sneak of the district in the background. The culture and different lifestyles in the city is outstanding and very eye opening to the tourists. Overall it was an incredible day trip!

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!

MUSIC: Your Savior or Your Downfall?

People say that music actually helps them to focus better. But, doesn’t it mean that if you are hearing music, you have two things to focus now? Does it really help?

Here are some facts that shows how music can help you concentrate.

#That annoying sound! 🙁

Imagine you are in a library and you are trying so hard to study as tomorrow is your exam, but there are small annoying noises like a student constantly sniffing or the sound of keyboard hitting that affects your concentration. Perhaps, that is the time to listen to some music to help you focus. Or, you can just ‘cringe’ your way through those noises…

Hahaha

#Instrumental music

Notice how certain airports use slow, instrumental music to help reduce tense and anxious atmosphere or coffee shops like Starbucks playing the same ambient instrumental music.

This fact is quite spot on because instead of doing your Digital Marketing plan assignment, you might be doing your own version of Bruno Mars concert!

 

#Your personality says it all

It is said that introversion and extroversion of a person can also affect whether listening to music while studying works or not. Introverts prefer things quiet and thus, works better without music or only a little at best. Whereas, extroverts, being as they are, prefer it loud, so we can say they work best with music.

 

Personally, I prefer to work with music as it helps to psych me up! How about you? Leave your opinions and comments below. 🙂

Passion on Piano – River Flows In You

Once, my friend played ‘River Flows in you’, to me and I suddenly felt so touched and peaceful that I did not even realise my friend had already finished playing. I later checked who composed this piano piece. When I learned that Yiruma composed this music, I listened to all of his compositions which includes ‘Kiss the rain’ and ‘If I Could See You Again’. All of his pieces deeply touched my heart so much.

I love his all the compositions but ‘River Flows in you’ is my favourite one. It is also the most popular piece in the ‘First Love’ album. This album was released in 2001.

I remembered that I listened this piano piece repeatedly, and then I promised myself that I had to learn how to play it. I found the piano sheet online, and printed it out to practice.

After few weeks, I could play it completely. This piano piece means a lot to me, it is soothing and most importantly, brings me peace. Whenever I feel hopeless or sad, it can always make me feel that everything will be fine. I think this is also the reason why I wanted to learn how to play it.

This version was the first time I recorded myself. Even though it is not my perfect version it can prove the progress of my piano skill.

If you are interested in learning it, here is the link:
http://sheetmusic.web44.net/SheetMusic/Yiruma-River-Flows-In-You.pdf

Photo Credit: yiruma.manifo.com, 588ku.com, youtube.com

4 Reasons For Making Borneo As Your Next Holiday Destination!

Fancy going for a vacation a little bit further this holiday? Or perhaps in Southeast Asia? The land of Borneo is perfect for you!

The Land of Borneo

Here are four reasons why you should make Borneo as your next holiday vacation.

1. Beach Freak!

For those that just loves to enjoy and relaxing under the hot sun and sand beneath your skin, with the sound of waves ringing in your ears, here’s a few famous beaches in Borneo.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Shangri La Rasa Ria beach

Pulau Sipadan

2.Hike your socks off!

Mount Kinabalu is perfect for the hikers. As one of the main tourist attraction in Borneo, you can either do a jungle trekking around the foot of the mountain or conquer the whole 4 095 meter mountain by trekking up to its peak.

Mount Kinabalu,Sabah

3.Become one with the apes

Borneo is also famous for its Orang Utan, one of the species of the great ape. There are a few national parks around Borneo that you can found them. Here’s one of the famous ones.

Sepilok Nature Resort

4.Attention to music lovers!!

In middle of July in every year, the Sarawak Rainforest Music Festival will be held in Sarawak Cultural Village. It is a three day of an all-out music activities from workshops and performances from musicians throughout the world!

Rainforest World Music Festival

   

INTERESTED? ?

Your amazing journey starts by clicking the picture link below. Or, just leave your comment.

See you in Borneo! 🙂

              

Photo Credit: http://rwmf.net/facts-on-rwmf/,  http://www.amazingborneo.com/

Top 5 ways for fresher’s to build a social life at University

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

  1. Start early: the first week at University defines the rest of the year
  • First day: KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN!! Therefore people can drop in and say hello anytime
  • Don’t spend too long in your room, if you see a group of people chatting don’t be scared and get involved as your all in the same boat.
  1. Get involved on Campus!
  • Join! Join! Join! Fresher’s is the perfect year to join an intramural team and get involved in social events is a great way to meet people.
  • During fresher’s week hit every event you can!
  1. Lecture attendance key!!
  • Introduce yourself to people around you during the first week of class just puts your face in their memory and offer help whenever you can.
  • Bonus: helping others with assignments helps solidify your own knowledge and confidence in the course.
  1. Don’t be the odd one out
  • From personal experience being the drunkest on the first night of fresher’s is never a smart idea. Go slow and make sure to focus on making friends before making cocktails as it never ends well.
  1. Earn extra cash with on-campus job
  • If you feel there is time in your schedule for a part-time job then why not apply?
  • Working a job related to your intended career can give you useful leads when you’ve graduated and need contacts.

Why it is worth to visit the most northern city of Germany

Have you ever heard of Flensburg? No? It doesn’t matter, because as an international travel destination, Flensburg is rather unknown. With a population of approximately 90,000, Flensburg is not the biggest city in Germany, but there are many reasons to visit Flensburg.

Here are some tips that you should know as a visitor of Flensburg:

Flensburg is the most northern city of Germany

Flensburg is located directly on the German-Danish border. For this reason, many Danes visit Flensburg for shopping and to experience the Scandinavian culture.

        Flensburg on a map of Germany

Flensburg citizens are handball crazy

Handball is the second best-known team sport in Germany after football and the local team SG Flensburg Handewitt is one of the best handball teams in Europe. The Flens arena is a venue that holds 5000 seats, therefore the atmosphere in the hall is fantastic, especially when the north derby between the SG Flensburg Handewitt and the THW Kiel takes place. Click to see tickets and prices information.

Holger Glandorf a handball player from the SG Flensburg Handewitt in action

The best fish buns are available at the museum harbour at Bens Fischhütte

It is an institution in Flensburg! You can choose between matjes, fried fish and smoked fish such as salmon or mackerel. The fish is served in a warm bun with homemade sauce, fresh salad and onions.

Bens Fischütte

Have you been to Flensburg before? Comment below and let me know how your trip was!

 

Photo Credit: www.plz-suche.org, www.sg-flensburg-handewitt.de, www.facebook.com

 

Study skills: Procrastination – Don’t wait until tomorrow

Do you know the feeling when you have to do something but you do not have the self-discipline to start? It is called Procrastination.

The Latin word “procrastinatio” is composed of “pro” = for and “cras” = tomorrow. Procrastination is a behaviour that is characterized by the fact that tasks are not done at all, in spite of existing opportunities and abilities, or only after a very long time, and often too late.

Three tips that might help you:

 

  1. Start

It may sound trivial, but it is crucial in the struggle against procrastination: Don’t put off starting as quickly as possible. Perhaps you know the effect: When you have done the first step, you often become a self-motivated person and enter into a workflow.

 

  1. Make a Plan

Especially in the case of complex tasks, you should make a clear plan in advance in order to take the first steps. Proceed systematically. What do I need? How much time will I take?

 

  1. Avoid deflection

When dealing with a difficult task, you should avoid all potential distractions. Turn off your mobile phone and computer when you do not need it. It will help you stay focused.

 

You will find more useful tips in the youtube video: How to Stop Procrastinating.

What are your experiences on the subject? Do you have special tips or suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment!

 

Photo Credit: mytimemanagement.com, collegecareerlife.net, gruenderszene.de

5 reasons why it pays off to go with a camper van on tour

Do you feel like you just need holidays and just want to travel? Me too. If I was not studying and had enough money available, I would only travel. There are many ways to travel. My dream since my childhood is to own an old VW Bus and travel the whole world with it. For me this is a very special way to get to know new people and cultures and a real adventure.

I’ll tell you 5 reasons why you should travel with a camper van this year.

  1. You start the day with your feet in the sand or in the meadow. If you do it right, you can live in the most fabulous places in the world. There are countless cool hotspots to stay with a mobile home. In some countries it is even possible to camp everywhere.

  1. You can choose your own speed during your holiday and do not spend your time at airports in transfer busses and hotel lobbies.
  1. You like to surf and you want to stay at the best surfing spots. Spend your days and nights on the beach. As soon as the perfect wave arrives you are already there and you can surf it.

  1. You can travel extensively and stay as long as you like in your favourite place.
  1. You are independent and free, do not have to reserve anything and when the weather is lousy you simply continue to travel to another place.

 

If the reasons convinced you, then give me feedback and start your camper van journey!

Photo Credit: tumblr.com, graybit.com, vantripper.com

Exit Visa: One Last Month Around the States

As I’m sure many international students at Hull and elsewhere will agree, one of the best things about studying abroad is travelling in your free time. This is especially true in the United States, a country that is essentially a continent. So I did just that after my year at the University of Maine came to a close, spending a month journeying across the US until my return to East Yorkshire normality.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater in the heart of Hollywood
The hills of San Francisco (Clint Eastwood car chase not pictured)

I started in Boston and caught a dawn flight to Los Angeles. Living in a small New England town for a year meant that the sprawl of LA was an arresting sight. A few days there and further north in San Francisco and I had become accustomed to the heat just as I got to Las Vegas – which was even hotter…

Bright light city gonna set my soul…
A New Orleans streetcar – not named Desire

Surprised at how much I enjoyed Vegas – the clash of garish neon and Nevada sand side by side is weirdly pleasing – I moved onto New Orleans, which affected me greatly. The French Quarter was charming but seemed almost offensive sitting only a twenty minute walk away from neighbourhoods still gutted from Hurricane Katrina, a decade on. It was time to go back to New England and then home. My wallet cried all the flight back, but it was definitely worth it. Maine might be my second home, but that last trip only confirmed that it was the entire country I had fallen in love with. Hopefully your own travel will allow you to say the same.

Maine Attraction: Four Things to Love About the Pine Tree State

Think of Maine – the largest and northernmost of the New England states – and for many people all that comes to mind is Stephen King. This is a real shame, as “Vacationland” boasts attractions that rank with any other state in the union. Here are just a few of these.

Fall

Fall on the University of Maine campus

It’s the one cliche everyone knows about New England, but it really cannot be overstated: their autumns are beautiful. About 90% of Maine is covered in thick forest, and this results in a dazzling orange-red hue wherever you look once the fall rolls around.

Acadia National Park

A view from Mount Desert Island, heart of Acadia

Centred on Mount Desert Island (basically the Maine version of Cape Cod – think rich summer houses and tourist traffic in the busy season), Acadia hosts the highest point on the east coast in Cadillac Mountain.

Moxie

The famous (north of New Hampshire) Moxie logo (Image: Moxie)

Originally from Massachusetts but now the state drink of Maine, Moxie is Mainers’ version of Marmite – you either love or hate it. It’s difficult to compare it to anything else – almost bitter, it really offers a unique flavour – but no visit is complete without a sip.

Portland

Fine words at Portland harbour

Voted as one of the best small cities in the US, Portland is Maine’s largest town. The city enjoys a quiet pace of life, cultural events and most importantly, a renowned local shop that sells maple bacon doughnuts.

The best $2.31 you’ll ever spend

So if you ever find yourself in New England, be sure to head due north. Just try to avoid the occasional ice storm!

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