Oh Nepal

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The news of the earthquake in Nepal have left me utterly heartbroken.
So many lives lost, so many ancient historic buildings and temples destroyed, so many homes in ruins. And so many villages not even accessed yet.
We are fortunate because so far, all of my relatives are safe. The same goes for close family friends. We’ve been in contact with them and the stories they’ve told are devastating.

My grandmother is afraid to go back inside, my uncle has been wandering the streets of Kathmandu and a close family friend who’s also a heart surgeon is almost constantly fighting ti save lives. People are being treated in hospital hallways, out in the open in front of hospital buildings and everywhere else where it’s needed.

Nepal is a country with a rich culture and history. The people are warm and friendly, welcoming to everyone and they need our help.
The infrastructure of the country is weak at the best of times so I cannot even imagine what it’s like now. The government barely said anything so far and neighbours are trying to safe neighbours sometimes with just their bare hands.

#prayfornepal seems like a popular hashtag and I’m thankful for it all but let me be clear: praying alone, being sad alone isn’t enough. Please consider donating whatever amount you can to help to a reliable charity of your choice.
Right now getting basic supplies, medicine, clean water and food and equipment to save people buried in the rubble is probably the top priority, but the rebuilding of the countr y will take a long time and for that too, ressources are needed. Please don’t forget that.

The New York Times has listed some charities here. Austrian readers can also donate to the Austrian Red Cross.

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ETA:
I forgot: Facebook has enabled the safety check, where people who are in the affected regions can mark themselves as safe and let their friends and families know that they are alright. Should you be looking for someone, the google person finder may be able to help you. And last but not least, viber has made calls to nepalese landlines free using viber out.

World: Athens, Greece

If you are following me on Instagram you may know that I went on a short trip to Athens, Greece in February.

My decision-making process kinda went like this: “I’m bored, I don’t have much money, I don’t want to wait for someone to join me… – wait! I don’t need anyone to join me… let’s go!”

So within a week I ordered a little travel guide, booked a hostel and a flight, packed my bag and went my merry way

It really is as easy as that. And it should be.

Here are some impressions of my time in Athens – a wonderful city with a lot to discover!

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A week of pushing limits.

One of the first things I booked and planned when I decided to spend my summer in the US was a bus and adventure travel tour. The route would take me down from San Francisco along the rugged coastline of the Big Sur, back to Los Angeles. I’d then spend some time in Joshua Tree National park, Las Vegas, and Zion National park before heading back to San Francisco.
It was a week of long bus rides, new friends, camping, dirty hair and exhausting but exhilarating hikes.

I was never and probably will never be a huge fan of camping but I enjoy it every once in a while. I feel better after having been uncomfortable and dirty for a couple of days. It makes me appreciate what I have more, learn how to deal better with awkward situations and exercises my patience. It grounds me in ways other things cannot.
This is why I’d urge anyone to put themselves out there and feel uncomfortable at least once a year. Go out there, smell like campfire and have sticky hands from all the S’mores you just made. The laughter and occasional shooting star will more than make up for that. I promise you.

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Charming San Francisco

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After my whirlwind time in LA, I headed up to San Francisco for a couple of days. My time there was far more laid back.

Here are a couple of my observations:

The hills are far steeper than I imagined them to be.
It’s an easy city to navigate. I had almost no problems finding my way from and to certain spots.
I love the fog.
The weather is nothing like in other parts of California and I love it.
Redwood trees really are massive.
Layering clothes is the way to go.
70s music videos are the best.
Alcatraz tours are booked out weeks in advance (such a bummer).
Ghiradelli dark chocolate sea salt caramel is the holy grail.
Sausalito is a picturesque spot to eat lunch (or breakfast. Or dinner.).
The Mission district has great graffiti.
Guacamole is everything.

Thank you, Gina and Staci for welcoming me in your charming apartment. For showing me around and for loving food as much as I do. I had the best time.

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Paris so far

My stay here has been filled with rain and sunshine, baguettes, eclairs, mussels, snails and croissants (not at the same time, obviously). With white wine and red wine, with family arguments and kisses on the cheek. With picture-taking, rolled eyes and joyful laughter. With long walks and afternoons spent sitting on a café watching the busy boulevards.
Paris, you are lovely. In fact, you are so beautiful and perfect it’s almost unreal.

I’m sure we’ll meet again, until then I’ll enjoy my last day here to the fullest.