The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!<br /> ©2017 Mints &amp; honey
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
©2017 Mints & honey

It’s my blog birthday!

Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

OMG!

I can’t believe that on Saturday, October 21st, my blog was 4 years old.

Honestly, I can’t quite believe that just 48 months ago on an Autumn Sunday evening, I decided to put pen to paper and open up a social media thingy.

I mean, when I first started I didn’t even know what social media was all about, and I had never ever met a blogger.

Never, ever.

In real life!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin - ©Natalie Deduck - Loveandroad.com
Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

And apart from Facebook and who isn’t on Facebook? I knew zilch about social media.

Yep! Yours truly had known nothing about Twitter. Nothing at all!

I mean, I knew it, but I didn’t know it – know it!

But I quickly learnt.

A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!
A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!

I went to the ITB in Berlin and one afternoon, the Head of the European Branch of Twitter did a workshop and showed us step-by-step how it worked. And that was it!

My Twitter page was open and ready to go!

Oh, I used to have a travel diary that was purely set up for friends and family, but this blogging thing was something else.

This.

Was.

Real!

I'm looking gorgeous in the Philippines! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
I’m looking gorgeous in the Philippines!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Four years.

Wow!

So much has taken place that I can hardly stand it.

As a result, this week’s post is going to be about that journey from when I wrote my first blog, to right now. Four years later. Here we go!

THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 4 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Before we go on, why did I start this blog anyway…..?

At the beginning of 2014, I told you that The Tall Young Gentleman was a member of the Boy Scouts of America: Troop 46. Some of the American mothers were new in town and not only was I the only British parent but I was also the New Parent Co-Ordinator at the time….

One of the mothers asked me about skiing in Europe. I recommended the Czech Republic.

Lots of my corporate clients ask me about Britain, I recommend London and my original home-town – Manchester. Thousands, OK, hundreds of people asked me about Germany. I recommend Berlin and then I thought, why don’t I write about my favourite places and they can see for themselves?

So here we are!

Happy Birthday to meeeeee!
Happy Birthday to meeeeee!

My blog is four years old.

Golly!

It’s been an amazing ride. In fact, the last four years have been fantastic!

My blog is a thriving toddler.

And I am exceedingly proud.

He's right in the middle of all the action. Just like my blog!
He’s right in the middle of all the action. Just like my blog!

I’ve had an amazing collection of marvellous stories, visits, and adventures like how I met Prince William.

As you do!

A lot of people, bloggers in particular, don’t like the notion of luck and quite frankly, I’m not one to talk of fate, but when I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I don’t know what else to call it.

So I’m going to say it as I see it.

Are you ready?

Here it comes!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I'm about to sing! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

My toddler blog has been a resounding success because of the jolly good luck I’ve had, flowing with masses of enthusiasm, buckets of really hard work, and shaken and stirred with all the people I have met along the way, who have helped and supported me on my quest to being a fabulous British blogger.

There. I’ve said it!

But before we go any further, I would just like to thank some very important people.

I would just like to thank some very important people - YOU!
I would just like to thank some very important people – YOU!

You!

Yes YOU!

All of you.

Where would I be without your comments, your likes, your opinions and your reads?

Without you this blog would just be an empty piece of cyber-paper floating in the blogosphere. You have all been so amazing and supportive, reading my blog every week, and sharing it with all your friends, family, and associates.

I’ve even had people smiling and recognising me on the streets.

Berlin - very British - rbb
Berlin – very British – rbb
I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin -<br /> © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

In Berlin.

One woman’s smile was so wide, when she discovered that I was just about to sit opposite her on the commuter train! Another guy saw me on my residential gentrified street and screamed outside his van window “Are you that blogger? The British one!” In German of course, so it sounded rather different!

A group of teenaged girls followed me about and giggled as I went shopping in my local supermarket. And being that I live in Berlin and not New York, I got thumbs up, the gruff “I saw you on TV” and appreciative looks when running around town with my signature stripped, dotted or Union Jack pop socks!

I’ve spent an evening with Prince William & Kate Middleton. I’ve been flown to London for the BBC.  I’ve been on TV as a sub-presenter on a panel of British experts – Die Queen in Berlin. I’ve been featured in a documentary. I’ve been on the radio. I’ve been in the newspaper.  I’ve been in lifestyle magazines. I’ve been put on the postgraduate recruitment poster of my university! I’ve been invited to the German Parliament (Bundestag). I’ve spoken at serious academic panels on the issue of Europe, British people abroad, and Brexit. I’ve been given awards as an expat writer. I’ve even been in an independent film!

I’ve already travelled to 8 countries this year. Some of them even twice!

And all because of you.

Thank you all so much!
Thank you all so much!

Thank you so much! I love you all!

So let’s go back in time.

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WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?

At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It - 2015. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It © Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Brexit, the Royal Family, Europe, and being British in Berlin!

It’s about a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, Europe, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.

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THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER

Jesus in Warsaw.
Jesus in Warsaw.

The most popular post is still the one that I wrote about Poland.

It was very tongue-in-cheek. Most people got it, but at the same time most didn’t, so I got a lot of abuse for it.

Ah well!

The blog post was called: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! This post shockingly went VIRAL and I have received 233 comments and up to 113,000 hits in my social media feed!

One hundred and thirteen thousand (113,000) views, hits and shares!

On the Polish Baltic Sea
On the Polish Baltic Sea

Can you imagine that I wrote it three (3) years ago. And it’s still going as strong as ever!

Absolutely Amazing!

Thank you Poland!

I looooove you!!!

THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH POST

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate &amp; the Many-Faced God!
How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

There’s no point in being The British Berliner if I can’t tell you how to, in fact, be British.

You found this post charming: How to be British: Oh and by the way, you need to queue! And so did the trolls and naughty people. Some were so naughty that I had to ban them from my blog!

You also liked, and were impressed by the fact that I was one of the distinguished invited guests of a private event to meet Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and not only that, but I also got to meet one of the stars of Game of ThronesTom Wlaschiha!

How to be British!
How to be British!

If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will…

The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

THE MOST POPULAR GERMANY POST

Best of Berlin - 4 years and counting!<br /> An Affair with Chocolate - ©Sarah Robinson
Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

The most popular post is still actually the very first post, that I ever wrote on my blog! The title: Germany is Boring. Ooops!

Yeah, I got insults and abuse for this post. Mainly from people who never read it.

It received 108 comments and over 18,000 views, shares and hits! I wrote it exactly three (4) years ago, and it still hits a nerve!

Ah well, I’m famous now.

Right. Right?!

THE MOST POPULAR BERLIN POST

At Queen Nefertiti's Party!
At Queen Nefertiti’s Party!

It seems that when you think of Berlin, you think of it as creative, intense, full of energy and free. Yes, you like music, entertainment, glamour and suspense. You loved the Friedrichstadt-Palast – the venue that is the Las Vegas of Berlin in the post: It’s bizarre. It’s quirky. It’s THE WYLD!

Guys. It went VIRAL too and I don’t know how, but you must have loved it, ‘cos I received close to thirty thousand (30,000)  views, hits and shares!

Life is a party. If you've only got 24 hours, then dance on!
Life is a party. If you’ve only got 24 hours, then dance on!

It seems that you guys like to paaaaaarty, ‘cos you were enormously interested in some of the hard-core underground clubs that I mentioned in this post: If you’re going to dance the night away – Do it in Berlin!

Back in the day, I was a serious clubber.

Now I hardly go dancing unless I’m on the VIP list and there’s a driver to collect me…!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017<br /> ©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography

Yay!

THE MOST POPULAR INTERNATIONAL POST

The most popular international post so far was....Latvia!
The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

This title went to the post about Riga. In Latvia which was my most popular post in 2015!

The people of Latvia were astonishing and really came out and supported my blog on the following post: Riga is gorgeous. Go there right now! This post shockingly went bloody VIRAL too. You really appreciated what I wrote and you liked it, tweeted it, shared it, and shared it, and shared it!

I received 88 comments on my blog but I have absolutely no idea how many comments were made throughout the social stratum as I couldn’t follow them anymore. I also received more than 72,000 hits in my social media feed!

Seventy-two thousand (72,000) views, hits and shares!

I was just over-whelmed in a lovely way.

Absolutely Outstanding!

Thank you.

Thank you Latvia!!

Thank you so much!

Dutch children in traditional costume.
Dutch children in traditional costume.

Having said that, you’re all pretty much liberal-minded and are tolerant on the European lifestyle circuit.

You were shocked, but not too upset to read the following post about what happened at the sex-show in Amsterdam! So here it is: I went to a sex-show in the city of red lights and thin canals: That’s right. 48 hours in Amsterdam!!!

THE MOST POPULAR MOTIVATIONAL /ADVICE POST

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

You obviously love, or want to travel, and need help doing so, as the most popular post of advice was: How to use the train in Poland: 10 tips to help you.

You also liked: How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

Wow!

I have been asked to consult and give advice to people, because of the recent terrorists acts throughout Europe, and to calm people’s fears.

If you’re concerned about travelling in Europe, and need a helping hand, I would be available by Skype or by Email to advice you for an initial introductory fee of €50.00 for 60 minutes. Communication would be either in English or German. Send me an Email with your details, and we’ll take it from there – victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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LET’S EXPLORE AND TRAVEL THE WORLD!

You have to take action to get it!!
You have to take action to get it!!

At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year and what you’re going to do this year.

Travelling and living a life of quality struck a chord with many of you, as readers were worried about how to travel on a budget, how to get holidays / vacations, or even how to take the first step, so I told you how I do it in this post:  How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!

And this post: How I can afford to travel around the world. Live the life you want!

And also on this post: How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!

My family &amp; I in Thailand - All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.
My family & I in Thailand – All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.

Most of my readers are professional upper-middle-class people. Just like me.

Staying at a €5.00 hostel or jetting off to Cambodia on a whim, just isn’t an option. I mean, who would look after the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabiits or giant iguana?

No seriously. Who?!!

In 2016, I travelled to ten (10) countries and in 2017 so far, I’ve been to eight (8)!

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OMG! Don't I just look like a city babe!<br /> ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Nevertheless, I shouldn’t fail to tell you that the post that totally changed my career from being just another blogger to being totally awesome was: A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards That post was written in May, 2014. A little after the 6 month mark!

You were fascinated by the fact that Queen Elizabeth came to Berlin and I got to be a part of that story, and had more requests of interviews that I even knew what to do with. I actually had to turn some of them down!

And why?

No need to worry. I'll do the talking!<br /> © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
No need to worry. I’ll do the talking!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms. That’s why! – I hope I did you all proud. You seemed to think so!

I’m delighted!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!
Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR COUNTRY, OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG IN 2017

  • USA
  • Great Britain
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Canada
  • India
  • Australia
  • Holland
  • Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • And Singapore for the exotic factor!

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Singapore for the exotic factor!
Singapore for the exotic factor!

Surprisingly, I also get a significant number of readers from France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Norway, the Philippines, and Taiwan!

It’s amazing that even though I only blog once a week, consistently I might add LOL, I still manage to attract a huge number of subscribers and happy Twitter fans who read my blog on a daily basis, and all my funny two-line quips! You too can join in the fun and games right here!

Not too shabby I might add!

COUNTRIES I HAVE BEEN TO IN THE LAST 1 YEAR

At Ljubljana Castle - A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Philippines
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • UK – twice

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THE MOST POPULAR GROUP PRESS or FAM TRIP

One of our French guides - Raphael - in Nord-Pas de Calais.
One of our French guides – Raphael – in Nord-Pas de Calais.

Even though I have been to many a press trip my very first press trip to Northern France, seemed to resonate with you most.

It’s still very much worth writing about, so that most popular post is: My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

It was amazing. I’m so honoured to have been invited. It was great, but bloody hard work LOL!

The readers have spoken, now what do I think?

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MY TOP BLOG ACHIEVEMENTS

I'm sorry but I look amazing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro
  • Starting this blog. Hurrah!
  • Getting a MA – University of Chester
  • Becoming The British Berliner
  • Getting on prime-time German TV – Live!
  • Being flown over to London by the BBC!
  • Making a documentary about being a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger
  • Becoming Germany’s answer and expert on modern-day Britain and the monarchy!
  • Being in a feature by Germany’s largest Sunday newspaper!
  • Talking on German TV about Brexit
  • Doing various newspaper interviews about Brexit
  • Getting interviewed on the radio. In German
  • Acting and making an independent silent film with an aspiring German/Finnish film director!
  • Promoting and showing you Berlin
  • Getting newspaper interviews
  • Getting official invitations to Berlin Fashion Week
  • Hanging out with VIP’s at the Berlin Music Video Awards
  • Organising Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!
  • Being invited on my second press trip to Bristol / Bath!
  • Being invited on my third press trip to Luxembourg!
  • Being invited on my fourth press trip to Usedom!
  • Being invited on my fifth press trip to the Philippines!
  • Being invited on my sixth press to Sweden!
  • Being invited on my seventh press trip to Slovenia!
  • Going to three (3) new countries in 2017!
  • Keeping things light but still throwing in tiny issues about the disgraceful situation of Brexit
  • Being invited on discussion panels to talk about Brexit and Europe
  • Being invited to take part in a Twitter conference
  • Being an active member of Travel Massive (the Berlin Chapter)
  • International Travel
  • Regional Travel
  • Local Travel
  • People believing in me, encouraging me, and motivating me
  • Updating my blog website image, logo & business cards
  • Hanging out at the Berlin Film Festival (the Berlinale)
  • Attending the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference – the holy grail of the travel blogging world – for the second time
  • Being recognised among my peers
  • Making an established name for myself as The British Berliner
  • Meeting other real-life bloggers. That was awesome by the way!
  • Talking to and hearing from YOU. Yes, YOU

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MY TOP 6 FAVOURITE POSTS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.

THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 4 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

Happy Birthday. My blog is 4!
Happy Birthday. My blog is 4!

Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it lots.

Thank you for making this blog real, reading, commenting, and connecting. You’re all amazing.

Here’s to the next blog year. Cheers!

Winter’s coming.

Yay!

This article is not sponsored. It’s my blog birthday!

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The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!
The British Berliner is 4 years old. Hurrah! Let them eat cake!

Do you have a blog? How long have you had it? Was there anything that you found surprising? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

OMG!

Last week was just fabulous!

As you know, I was invited to take part in a radio programme. At the BBC!

It was so exciting.

More about that below!

It happened so fast, that I didn’t even have time to tell anyone that I was going to be in the paper!

But just before we go into it, remember when I told you that there was a call going around, for British people living locally. And that  I was featured in the national Sunday paper, and that the feature had to be axed in order to make room for the passing away of the well-respected and most honoured, former Chancellor of Germany – Herr Helmut Kohl.

Well, guess what?

It wasn’t actually axed!!!

Obviously, it was greatly reduced. GREATLY REDUCED!!

But who cares? Right!

BILD AM SONNTAG – GERMANY’S BIGGEST NATIONAL SUNDAY NEWSPAPER!

Bild am Sonntag is the largest-selling national Sunday newspaper in Germany!
©Axel Springer

The feature was for a national Sunday paper called Bild am Sonntag, which is the largest-selling German national Sunday newspaper!

The LARGEST-SELLING German national Sunday newspaper!

It was a great opportunity, and, as I told you last week, I was a little nervous as it’s a tabloid paper, similar to Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World!

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
The British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

They wanted to write a feature on Britain and British people living in Germany, because of Article 50 and the question of EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK.

The feature was called – Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! Or “Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!” It was a description about how many British people were living in Germany, our successes, and if, due to the horror of Brexit, we had thought about changing nationalities, and what it was like if we had!

After much contemplation, and a promise that I would get final approval of everything we discussed, I went ahead.

The journalist who contacted me was as good as her word.

And as you know. I thought the piece wouldn’t be published, so I sent the journalist a message to say how pleased I was nevertheless, only to hear that the feature had been published after all!!

YES!

Amazing news don’t you think!

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
The British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The original interview was much, much longer and actually had to be cut to just a few lines! But when you’re featured in a newspaper such as Bild am Sonntag, you’re just grateful for the opportunity.

Which I am!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©AFP / Getty Images

I wasn’t able to buy the newspaper as I only knew about it a few days later, and the issues had been sold out, or returned!

NOTE: A copy of the newspaper has recently been sent to me!

I do however, have a little excerpt, as the full article can only be read by subscribers.

It’s only €0.99 for the first month of the digital version. If you can speak German, or are just interested, here’s the link!

They also booked a photographer who was very sweet and took quite a few photographs, which I liked very much. At the location of my choice.

I chose the gardens of the Humboldt University in Berlin!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

Don’t I look pretty?

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HOW I WENT ON THE RADIO FOR THE BBC!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

So the BBC!

Yeah!!!

I was asked if I would like to be a part of BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour.

I accepted!

BBC Radio 4 is a huge deal in the UK.

A HUGE DEAL!

WHAT IS BBC RADIO 4?

Being on the BBC Radio is a huge deal!

BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history.

It replaced the BBC Home Service back in 1967 and is part of BBC Radio and the BBC Radio department.

The station is broadcast from the BBC’s headquarters at Broadcasting House, London.

And let me tell you, when I got the call, I was leaping up and down in excitement.

And sweat!

Bathed in sweat. Eek!

BBC Radio 4 is the second most popular domestic radio station in the UK!

It broadcasts  throughout the UK, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands AND can be received in parts of Ireland, the north of France and Northern Europe!

It’s also available through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and on the Internet. Its’ sister station, BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC Radio 7), complements the main channel by broadcasting repeats from the Radio 4 archives, extended versions of Radio 4 programmes, and supplements to series such as the The Archers and Desert Island Discs!

Wow!

Gulp!

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BBC RADIO 4 – WOMAN’S HOUR – LATE NIGHT WOMAN’S HOUR

BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour hosted by Lauren Laverne
©Phil Sharp

Woman’s Hour is a radio magazine programme broadcast consisting of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women.

I’m going to be on the spin-off series called Late Night Woman’s Hour, presented by Lauren Laverne.

The series airs on a late night slot and each episode is on a single topic for discussion every month!

The topic for June 2017, was on Travel and Adventure!

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WHO WAS THERE?

We were a panel of 5 professional women and experts in our field, including the host:

  • Lauren Laverne – radio DJ, model, television presenter, author, singer, comedian, and host of BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour
  • Rana Rahimpourjournalist and news presenter with BBC Persian TV
  • Lois Pryce – a writer, journalist, co-founder and curator of the Adventure Travel Film Festival, and adventurer who’s ridden her motorbike across much of the world!
  • Carolyn Pearsoncreator of Maiden Voyage, a travel network for women
  • Victoria Ade-Genschow (me) – The Editor in Chief of The British Berliner and a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, writing about Berlin, Britain and Europe, her love of culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language and travels around the world, living a life of both style and travel. Described by the BBC as “a passionate advocate of travelling with a family and on a budget, she blogs at http://www.thebritishberliner.com and her motto is “just go!”

If she can do it. So can you!

WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING AT THE BBC?

And then I went to Covent Garden!

It was greeeeeeat!

I flew in from Berlin on the day, and after checking into my business hotel – The Wesley – promptly left to go to the museum!

Yes.

I’m that girl!

Book The Wesley or your London hotel here!

I flew in & after checking into my business hotel – promptly left to go to the Charles Dickens Museum!

I went to my favourite museum – the Museum of London – and to a new find – the Charles Dickens Museum.

And then I went to Covent Garden!

I’ll tell you all about it next week!

On getting to BBC Broadcasting House, I switched shoes (don’t ask), and walked briskly into the confines of the BBC building, but not without taking some photographs first!

If you squint, you can see the BBC building behind the temple-like structure at the front!

Then I went to the BBC Reception Desk, made myself known, was given a visitors pass, and then waited.

I was soon picked up by the BBC Radio 4 producer for the show, and taken up to meet the other ladies.

Was I nervous?

A bit!

Well, I needn’t have worried. They were a jolly lot!

Phew!

And after introducing ourselves over a few cups of sparkling wine, some cake and biscuits, and a cup of tea, it was time to start.

We went into a smaller studio room that was filled with sofas, armchairs, and cushions so that we had a more relaxing atmosphere. The sound engineer came over and fixed our microphones, and off we went.

We weren’t given the questions previously or prepped, but of course, we were all travel experts, so it was never going to be an issue on what to talk about!

Here we are – professional women who travel – Carolyn Pearson, Lois Pryce, Lauren Laverne, Victoria Ade-Genschow & Rana Rahimpour
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Lauren Laverne – the host – directed the questions to us individually, and then it soon ended into friendly banter, as we began chatting away, laughing, and giggling. In fact, at one point, the Sound Engineer couldn’t hear what I was saying as the microphone kept sliding off my ear!

Something to do with my specs… so I had to take off my glasses and answer some of the questions again!

Here’s the BBC Radio 4 download of our travel and adventure June 2017 programme!

My voice sounded clear and bright. Even if I say so myself!

We were in the studio room for about two (2) hours or so, then we took a couple of fun photographs, and chit-chatted a bit more.

However, we were soon the only people left on the radio station floor, and we really had to go as our cars were waiting for us.

The BBC laid out very nice cars. But not this nice. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Yep!

The BBC laid out very nice cars to take us all back to our individual hotels.

I had an absolutely fabulous time!

Thanks so much BBC Radio 4, Lauren Laverne, the Late Night Woman’s Hour team, my fellow travel experts, and Bild am Sonntag.

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here! 

HOW I WENT ON THE RADIO FOR THE BBC & WAS FEATURED IN GERMANY’S BIGGEST SUNDAY NEWSPAPER!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the thrilling time, I had at the BBC & Bild am Sonntag, are my very own!

In July, I’ll be writing about the awesome time I had in Slovenia, and spending the summer in France and Germany!

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

On August 23rd, I’ll be at Gamescom!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin right now, you’re missing out!

Save the Date!

July & August are going to be awesome!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

What do you think of adventure and travel? Should women be out there? Do you like my radio voice? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!

You have to take action to get it!!
You have to take action to get it!!

It’s 2017 and it’s January. At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year and what you’re going to do this year.

Last year, I travelled to 10 counties. 10 countries!

However did I do that?

My husband - The Music Producer and I in Milan - Italy.
My husband – The Music Producer and I in Milan – Italy.

I’m not a multi-millionaire. Neither is my husband!

I didn’t win the lottery.

I didn’t quit my job.

I didn’t change my lifestyle.

I didn’t throw my one and only child into boarding school.

I didn’t re-locate to a warmer (cheaper) climate.

I didn’t sell my stuff!

The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” - Fixing bikes. As boys do!
The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” – Fixing bikes. As boys do!

So how did I do it?

Well, if you look at my About Me page, you will see that I am married, I have a son, and I have a job as a School Vice – Principal / Social Media Manager in Berlin, as well as this wonderful lifestyle, travel, expat blog!

What I mean to say is that I live a normal life. Just like you.

I’m married, in a relationship with someone, or have been single. Just like you.

I have family responsibilities. Just like you.

I have a full-time job. Just like you.

And by god. I have a daily budget. Absolutely, just like you.

"The Tall Young Gentleman" in Switzerland!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” in Switzerland!

And yet.

And yet…..

There was something that I did differently that might have been slightly the opposite of you.

I wanted to travel to more destinations last year, and I did.

Me at the Grotto in the Algarve - Portugal!
Me at the Grotto in the Algarve – Portugal!

I wanted to get on that plane and go to the Philippines. I wanted to visit a Chinese-speaking country. I wanted to give Spain another chance, so we went to other parts of Spain. In fact, we loved the region so much, that we added a week to Portugal as well! I wanted to take that train to Switzerland, so we did. OMG! “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I were spending money over the summer, as if it were going out of fashion, so we decided to invest in sandwiches, salad and cake whilst travelling to Luxembourg. We sort of missed our transport in Denmark, and had to buy a new ticket in Copenhagen. Again!

We were desperate to travel through the peak season of the summer holidays, so we used all the summer weekends!

We took the long-distance-inter-country-night-train.

From Berlin.

Book your hotel here!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" didn't look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

I’m totally mad! But I did it anyway LOL!

The point I’m making is that you don’t have to do anything drastic if you want to afford a life of travel.

You don’t have to choose between having it all and having nothing at all, and you definitely don’t have to quit your lifestyle!

I'm looking gorgeous in the Philippines! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
I’m looking gorgeous in the Philippines!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

I’m living proof of that.

Oh yes, I’ve done my GAP year, and my backpacking era. I’ve slept in a casino, I’ve been in a hostel where not 1 but 2 complete strangers, were sleeping on my €2 /$3 per night bed! I’ve been to Scotland where my B&B (which I had already paid for mind you), had completely disappeared. Completely! I’ve booked hotels in Italy and couldn’t remember the name of our 5-star historical hotel. (thankfully, I remembered where I first saw it. In the New York Times)! I had an awful time in Barcelona, had two flight delays and ended up having to spend the complete night at the airport as my final destination was two (2) hours away, and there was no transport that could take me there!

Heck! I even missed my flight to Qatar and had to go to Korea instead!

I’ve adjusted my travelling style over time according to my circumstances, who I’m travelling with, my budget, and my mood!

And let me tell you. I’m not 20 anymore so those fleapit hostels, motels, cheap-I-don’t-wanna-know-who-slept-here-previously are definitely now gone!

Yes, I’m going to keep an eye on my hard-working money, but no, I’m no longer going to be sharing a room with 20 people, 10 people or even 5 other people!

Book your hotel here!

Our bedroom at the Villa Akacja, Leba in Poland.
Our bedroom at the Villa Akacja, Leba in Poland.

Nope!

Those days were fun, but they’re over.

Absolutely.

I think!!

So book your hotel here!

This is how we felt when we discovered the outrageous hotel / hostel prices in Copenhagen. I really couldn't justify the cost!
This is how we felt when we discovered the outrageous hotel / hostel prices in Copenhagen. I really couldn’t justify the cost!

In short, I’m enormously happy to go to hostels and we went to quite a few last year, but we paid that little bit extra for two (2) private rooms (since our child is a teenager and a great traveller too), privacy, calmness, and security. We also went to fancy hotel resorts and even slept in an antiquated classical castle, on the German seaside!

So, how can you have it all?

If you’re under 25 years old, you don’t need it all, and that’s the darn truth!

Book your hostel with free cancellation. Here!

Get yourself a backpack for motivation, work hard, then take a gap year!
Get yourself a backpack for motivation, work hard, then take a gap year!

Get yourself a backpack, work for a couple of months in a local shop, pub, or business. Take a gap year before university or after university, in the summer, in the winter, or whatever, and whenever, have about €1,000 / $1,000 or £1,000 at the initial stage. and you’re good to go!

I’m not talking about an around-the-world trip here or flight costs, just the old let’s-see-how-far-this-money-will-take me scenario. Grab an old car, grab a few friends, and off you go. If you’re in Europe, stay on the continent and do a road trip. Ditto the Americas. But my goodness, the USA is good for the greatest roadtrip of your life. If you’re in Asia, you’re gonna have a thrilling great time.

And when it’s over, it’s over!

You come back, buckle down, save up, and then do it again.

Properly!

Grab a few friends, and off you go. You're gonna have a thrilling great time!
Grab a few friends, and off you go. You’re gonna have a thrilling great time!

Now for those of you over 25 years old with jobs, families, responsibilities, and crossroads in front of you, do what I do.

I live life to the full, I work hard at my office and on my blog, and I get creative.

Yes, creative.

"The Tall Young Gentleman" having fun in Bangkok.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” having fun in Bangkok.
  • Our son is 14 years old which means I can’t travel in the low season. Just like you.

What do I do?

I book ahead. Far ahead!

In 2012, we went on a 3 week trip to Tuscany. In August!

I know. I know. I forgot it was going to be boiling. Don’t judge me!

Anyway, I took out a map, planned the places that we wanted to go and started doing research and contacting hostels, hotels, villas and castles. Yes, castles. And the most we paid for our 300-year-old-5-star-hotel-in-Pisa-on-the-river was €52.00 per day. For 2 rooms, en-suite including breakfast! For the 3 of us LOL!

We started planning in 2011.

Book your hotel here!

Ouch! I'm still smiling. I'm still smiling! Even though there's a monkey on my head in Bali! Photo @Frank Böster
Ouch! I’m still smiling. I’m still smiling! Even though there’s a monkey on my head in Bali!
Photo @Frank Böster

In 2014, we went to four (4) destinations outside Europe where we live. We went to Thailand, Indonesia, Qatar, and Korea. We started planning it in 2012.

In 2015, we went to the Baltic regions of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. Actually, we took a ferry to Helsinki, but still! Anyway, we took a bus-coach. The journey took us 26 hours, and we were knackered and exhausted, but we didn’t die!

We started planning it in 2014.

In 2016, I went back to Asia, but our family trips were firmly based in Europe. Brexit or not! We went to Spain, Portgual, Denmark, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and other parts of Germany.

Again, planning started in 2015, and all were in consideration of the school holidays!

So book your hotel sooner rather than later. Right here!

The outcome of Brexit was crazy, but it shouldn't stop you travelling! @Visit England - Rich J Jones
The outcome of Brexit was crazy, but it shouldn’t stop you travelling!
@Visit England – Rich J Jones
  • If you live in Europe, you get a minimum of 24 holidays per year and between 11-15 public holidays on top of that. That makes 35 days. Many get more! If you start your holidays on Friday evening or Saturday morning, you’ve got the weekends too. When I went to India, I went for 4 weeks but on paper, I actually went for 17 working days or 2.5 weeks!

And how did I do this?

Over Easter and May Day weekend. And depending on the year, if the public holiday is in the middle of the week (like Xmas 2015) you can just take the Monday and Tuesday off and you’ve got the weekend on both sides anyway. That makes 9 days off but 2 official holidays.

Boom!!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" skiing at Rokytnice nad Jizerou - the Czech Republic!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” skiing at Rokytnice nad Jizerou – the Czech Republic!

If you live in Europe, everywhere is so close. Poland is 1.5 hours away from Berlin. Denmark about 4-5 hours. By car.

England is 1.5 hours away by plane. France, Greece, and Italy, are about 2-3 hours. Spain, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, and Egypt about 3-4 hours.

By train, the sky is the European limit. As for coaches or buses, we travelled all the way from Finland for all of €50, and we didn’t die!

In short, distance isn’t an issue.

You can fly, take the car, train, bus, sail, or even cycle! Europe is great for the bicycle. If cash is short, camping is available all over Europe, as well as bunkhouses, hostels and couchsurfing for absolutely free!

if you’re nervous about couchsurfing, you can book your hotel here!

My family & I in Thailand - All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.
My family & I in Thailand – All smiles and bunny ears at the end of a great day at Baanchang Elephant Park.
  • We’re comfortable. We’re middle-class. Just like you.

What do I do?

We save, budget and plan how much we can reasonably spend.

It took us 2 years to save for our Asia trip, and so our budget in Asia was €100 per day. We spent about €850 for a flight from Berlin-Bangkok-Bali-Berlin each. We spent about €150.00 flying around in Asia itself each rather than taking the rickety all night train, and we spent between €18 per person for a lovely wooden chalet in Thailand and €70 per night for a complete house in Bali! We were there for a month.

  • Book ahead.

Far ahead!

And as for Poland, I paid €26 per night for the lovely floor-heated-free-WIFI-on-the Baltic-Sea double room!

If the budget is “reasonable” then use B&B’s, pensions, and small or budget hotels.

Book your hotel here!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" with the Pearly King in London.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” with the Pearly King in London.

If you’ve got the cash. Go for it. Plenty of wonderful places in which you’ll be treated like royalty!

  • We keep our eyes open and go on various mailing lists. Just like you.
20 years of EasyJet flying!
20 years of EasyJet flying!

So go ahead and register with airlines and transport corporations that you like, and as many as you like.

Register with hotel and hostel brands that you like. They always have special deals and discount offers for their members. I once flew to Krakow with EasyJet for free! And why? Because I was on their mailing list and it was a new destination.

If you’re travelling miles apart, book ahead and take a plane.

It’s generally not worth travel hacking within Europe as flights are so cheap, and destinations are short.

If money is an issue, there are plenty of no-frills, low budgets airlines available to you such as EasyJet and the like. If you book ahead, fares can be as little as €4.99, sometimes less!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" taking to the sails in Mardorf.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” taking to the sails in Mardorf.

You can also go by boat and sail away onto the sea which is exactly what we did when we went to Finland!

In many cases, trains are cheaper than planes if you book ahead, and certainly in Germany, children under 15 years old are completely and utterly free! We travelled to Budapest from Berlin which was a thirteen (13) hour train journey and it only cost €69.00 for myself and my boy. First class!

For train travel all around the world check out the website of The Man in Seat Sixty-One . . . or Deutsche Bahn.

Keira Knightley on the passenger train in Poland!
Keira Knightley on the passenger train in Poland!

But remember, if you’re using the Deutsche Bahn website, change the location to Germany and use the English word for Deutschland which is Germany! NOT the UK/Ireland one! And then change the language to English!

  • Be creative with flexibility! We have school and jobs. Just like you.
Just because you have a fixed job, doesn't mean that you can't look for an adventure!
Just because you have a fixed job, doesn’t mean that you can’t look for an adventure!

Just because you have a fixed job, doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible. If you’re looking for an adventure. Use skycanner and go for “anywhere” within your budget and then go on the airline’s own website.

It pays to be a little flexible if you can. You don’t have to limit yourself. You don’t even have to make up your mind. Use your home-base as a starting point and then go for “anywhere” and just keep trying out different destinations until you’re happy with it, or the location is within your budget.

Go to Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe.

Go to South America instead of North America.

Go to Wales instead of England.

Or not.

Don’t choose. Go where you want to go.

If you're American, and you only feel comfortable visiting other American cities, that's alright too!
If you’re American, and you only feel comfortable visiting other American cities, that’s alright too!

If you live in North America, I know that it’s more complicated. However, if you’ve worked hard, don’t feel guilty. TAKE your holidays and USE them for your own pleasure. Don’t paint the porch. The porch can wait.

Go to that place that you’ve always wanted to go to. Do the road trip. Fly to Argentina.

If you feel more comfortable staying in North America, then stay in North America. North America is an amazing destination and so beautiful. I’m not here to guilt trip you. It’s your holiday.

If you feel more comfortable, going on a package tour. Go for it.

If you feel more comfortable travelling with the whole family. It’s your call.

Book your hotel here!

Stuffed sticky rice wrapped up in a banana leaf in Bangkok. Go on. Try it!
Stuffed sticky rice wrapped up in a banana leaf in Bangkok. Go on. Try it!
  • Don’t forget to ask. We love a bargain. Just like you.

Ask for discounts. Ask for a bigger room. Ask for an included breakfast. Ask for WiFi. Ask for an extra bed. Ask for free parking. Ask about children prices, student prices, “elderly” prices, corporate prices, even regional or local prices. If you’re from “there” let them know. You never know. If you don’t ask, they can’t help you, or reduce the prices.

Ask, and ask again.

Being a British European means being widely travelled.
Being a British European means being widely travelled.

As far as international relations is concerned, last year was a disaster so I’m taking part in bringing the world together as part of a Pledge to Travel campaign.

I’m going to #ExploreMore2017. You should too.

It doesn’t matter if it’s “only” 2 months, 2 weeks, or 2 days. Just know that you can afford to travel. You can have it all.

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for…..Where am I going in 2017?

Drum roll pleeeeease!

Travel plans this year are:

Romania
Romania
  • Romania
  • The Czech Republic
Croatia
Croatia
  • Croatia
  • France
Lake Bled in Slovenia
Lake Bled in Slovenia
  • Slovenia
  • Holland
Sweden
Sweden
  • Sweden
  • England
Russia
Russia
  • Russia
  • Poland
The next TBEX Europe Conference is in Ireland. Again! Ho! For the the luck of the lovely Irish!
The next TBEX Europe Conference is in Ireland. Again!
Ho! For the luck of the lovely Irish!
  • Ireland for TBEX (the Travel Bloggers Exchange Conference)
  • Austria
Austria
Austria
  • And of course, Germany! Ho! Ho! Ho!
Beer for everyone in Germany 'cos the drinks are on meeeee!
Beer for everyone in Germany ‘cos the drinks are on meeeee!

I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure. I live in Germany which many consider to be an expensive Western nation.

I can afford a life of travel and a comfortable Berlin lifestyle.

I choose to have it all.

HOW I CAN AFFORD A LIFE OF TRAVEL. DON’T CHOOSE. HAVE IT ALL! BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION TO GET IT!!

I pledge to travel and to share others how to do so too! #ExploreMore2017
I pledge to travel and to share others how to do so too!
#ExploreMore2017

This article is not sponsored, and the thrilling countries that I’m going to visit in 2017, are my very own!

It’s January. Well, hello there!

I’ll be making an announcement this month that will either having me jumping up and down like a Jack-in-the-Box, or crying over my hot cocoa! Find out throughout January!

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.  Save the Date!

At the beginning of  January, I’ll be going to Holland, and at the end of it, I’ll be skiing in my favourite place, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, in the Czech Republic!

If you’re not in Berlin in January, you’re missing out!

January is going to be spectacular!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don't choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!
How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don't choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!
How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all! But you have to take action to get it!!

Do you have any travel plans for 2017? Join me and let me know where you’re going to #ExploreMore2017!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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