What a year!
As far as travel is concerned, it’s been fantastic!
And as far as my personal profile is concerned, it’s been on a continuous rise!
So let’s see how we’re doing…!
I became the media darling of the German press last year and made a documentary for the largest TV station in the region of Berlin & Brandenburg, which was also picked up by other national German TV stations! I also went on LIVE TV and had to speak in German. Gulp!
I was interviewed in a radio production broadcast about British expats living in Berlin called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin, I did a [VIDEO] interview as a rep. of the Berlin Travel Massive Blogger Community at the ITB Berlin and, I was asked to participate in a short silent independent movie made for a film school application called: “Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.” Very, very short!
I was interviewed by one of Europe’s largest online newspapers – The Local in Germany – and for the British press via The Independent Newspaper, as well as in the Huffington Post, Travel Massive and by other well-established bloggers.
I also did TV “expert” interviews about William & Kate, and many magazine, newspaper and radio interviews about Brexit, and the implication on British expats abroad!
There’s way too much for me to put on this post, but you can read more about it here.
And on my Facebook feed!
And before we go on, A BRIEF REMINDER!
If you’re a British expat living abroad within the last 15 years, you should have registered as an overseas elector. This entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June has passed.
For more information on overseas voting, please go here.
TRAVEL IN 2016 SO FAR.
At the beginning of 2016, I told you that travel plans this year would be:
- 17 reasons to visit Cheshire in the English countryside, quite close to Wales!
- An English Education: The misadventures of a post-graduate student at the University of Chester.
- 12 Unique things to do in the Algarve!
- 17 reasons why Lisbon is the next top European place to be!
- 11 reasons why you should visit Porto – the city of wine – and why it matters!
- 7 remarkable things to eat & drink in Portugal!
- Oh what fun! Tapas, Sangria and a food walking tour in Madrid!
- 72 hours in Madrid – 72 things to do! Oh God!
- Oranges & Lemons say the Bells of St. Clement’s. Say the ancient bells of Seville actually! Awesome!!
- Spanish food & how to eat it! Spanish plonk & how to drink it!
I’M TRAVELLING TO THE PHILIPPINES!
As you know, I’m a lifestyle expat travel blogger. And part of this lifestyle is spending an awful amount of time writing and spreading the love on social media.
If you don’t get yourself out there, it can be quite lonely.
Thankfully, I’m a bit of a social butterfly and a little bit of a show-off, so meeting other bloggers is always going to be a good thing. One of those ways to get-together is to attend a TBEX conference.
TBEX is the holy grail of the travel blogging world and stands for Travel Blog Exchange.
According to the TBEX website, it’s the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, digital publishing and social-media-savvy travel industry professionals. It’s also a medium for the creative minds of the travel industry to come together, to network, to learn, to negotiate with the travel industry, and for those who are so inclined, to take the business of blogging to the next level.
Last year, I went to the TBEX conference for the very first time.
However, due to the budget airlines that I flew with, I had an absolutely awful time!
Drum roll please….
I’ve decided to go to TBEX again!
And this time, I’m attending the TBEX ’16 Asia Pacific in Manila!
In the Philippines!
Isn’t it amazing?!!
I’ve been to Asia many, many times but I’ve never been to the Philippines!
The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean!
It consists of about 7,641 islands, and the capital city is called Manila.
While I’m in that part of Asia, I aim to visit a few other countries in the vicinity too.
Now because I’m going to the Philippines, my summer plans changed somewhat and thus, I’ve come up with the campaign below.
Get ready for…..
VICTORIA’S SUMMER EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN!
European Challenge what?!
Oh. Cooooome. On!
Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.
For six (6) weeks!
So, since I’m a happily married woman, a responsible mother, and it’s going to be the summer holidays (being smart here), I’m going to be taking the “Tall Young Gentleman” with me!
We’re going to be travelling only by train!
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
We’re going to:
Denmark is a Scandinavian country, and the southernmost nation of the Nordic countries.
It is south-west of Sweden, south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. In fact, you can either take the cruise ferry across the Baltic Sea, or drive across Northern Germany, via Flensburg!
The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises of Denmark itself, two autonomous constituent countries – the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, of which roughly only seventy (70) are inhabited, and a population of 5.7 million people!
I’ve been to Denmark many times, but it’s been twelve (12) years, since I was last there!
Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal city or Bundesstadt!
It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!
Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.
Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.
I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…
Shock & Horror!
I’ve never actually been!
Mainly ‘cos it’s frightfully expensive!!
This time I’m going to cough up, and just go for it. And with a demanding growing lad too.
Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a country in western Europe.
It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.
Its capital Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, and the seat of the European Court of Justice, which is the highest judicial seat in the EU!
The culture, people, and languages of Luxembourg’s are highly intertwined with its neighbors, making it essentially a mixture of German and French!
With an area of just 2,586 square kilometres or 998 square miles, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, and about the same size as the state of Rhode Island in the US, or the county of Northamptonshire in England!
Luxembourg has a population of just 524,853 and is one of the least-populous countries in Europe!
It is a democracy with a constitutional monarch, headed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and is the only remaining grand duchy in the world! Not only that, but Luxembourg is considered to have the world’s highest GDP per capita!
Luxembourg will be a new country for me, and I’ve heard lovely things about it, so I’m pretty excited to visit!
Slovakia, otherwise known as the Slovak Republic, is a country in Central Europe.
It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, and Hungary to the south. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres or 19,000 sq miles, and is mostly mountainous. The population is a little over 5 million!
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which later became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia, and on 1st January 1993, Slovakia became an independent state, after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
A prime example of how two nations, even after separation, still live together and or are, connected to each other, without hate and strive!
In those days, there was hardly any difference at all, so I’m going to have to find out if it’s still true!
And because this is my blog and I can do whatever I like, I’m going to add two German destinations!
Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!
Bremen is a commercial – industrial city, with a major port on the River Weser.
It’s part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region and is with 2.4 million people, he second most populous city in Northern Germany!
Bremen is a major cultural hub and home to historical galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums.
I’ve been to Bremen a few times, but I remember the very first time that I visited. Over twenty (20) years ago…!
I couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!
You can imagine how I felt when I found out that Hamelin from the The Pied Piper of Hamelin fame, actually existed and is based on a true real event….!
About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The other side and the largest city on the island, are part of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship!
The island’s total area is 445 square kilometres (172 square miles). The German part is 373 square kilometres or 144 square miles, and the Polish part is 72 square kilometres or 28 square miles.
With a population of just 76,500 people – 31,500 on the German side and 45,000 on the Polish side, Usedom is the sunniest region of both Germany and Poland, and it is also the sunniest island in the Baltic Sea Region!
I just can’t wait to get a bit of the sea, and a sunny old beach!
I live in Berlin.
And Germany is right in the center of Europe.
It has airports, train stations, bus stations, bicycle stations, cars and every possible means of transport.
I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure so we’re going to be travelling by one of my favourite forms of transport.
We’re going to be travelling by train!
See you next week!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions, and the great adventures that I’m sure to have, are my very own!
On June 13th, there will be the first Book Launch of Sophie Kinsella, at the British Embassy, in Berlin!
From June 28th – July 2nd, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.
Save the Date!
June is going to be dazzling!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in June, you must be potty!
Watch this space!
Which country have you been to? Which country would you like to visit? What do you think of my Summer European Challenge Campaign!
See you in Berlin.