How I went to 10 unbelievable countries, went into a media frenzy over Brexit, and lived to tell the tale in 2016. If you want the sky, you’ve got to reach for it!

Waving the flag of Britishness!
Waving the flag of Britishness!

Happy New Year everyone.

It’s officially 2017!!!!!

My goodness!

2016 was a mixed bag of an incredible year, but that hasn’t stopped me from making plans to conquer the world. I’ll give you all the details next week!!

But first, let’s take a walk down memory lane of all the countries that I went to last year, and what I did. According to my statistics, 76,000 people read my blog last year. 76,000 people!! To think I only started this blog a little over three (3) years ago. Isn’t that marvellous?

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

Thank you so much for reading, making comment, and sticking with me. I love you all!

So let’s start with the country of my birth (England), and end with my new home-country (Germany). Here we go. Choose your poison….!

THE 10 COUNTRIES THAT I WENT TO LAST YEAR WERE:

  • England
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Slovakia
  • Philippines
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Germany

BRITAIN:

The outcome of Brexit was crazy! @Visit England - Rich J Jones
The outcome of Brexit was crazy!
@Visit England – Rich J Jones

The Queen was 90 year last year, and in a world of constant change and in a state of fear, I’m awfully glad that Queen Elizabeth II is still on the throne, ‘cos we need her!

And OMG! The outcome of Brexit was crazy! Sadly, we British Europeans, and others like us who voted for #Remain, lost out. Having said that, you should have seen how many newspaper and radio interviews I did at that time, as well as TV appearances. One newspaper even hounded me for an interview at midnight!

I refused!

Afternoon Tea with the Queen!
Afternoon Tea with the Queen!

Here are the posts that I wrote about being British, and what it means.

ENGLAND:

Lambs being born in Cheshire!
Lambs being born in Cheshire!

The outcome of Brexit was awful. And I’m very, very sad, but I’m still British, and I love my original home-country that is England – the land of Hope and Glory n’ all that! In fact, last year I went back for my Masters graduation convention ceremony, which was full of pomp and tradition, but made me feel very much back to my roots, and proud of not only myself, but of my country too.

Whatever happens. I’ll still always be English.

Here’s what I wrote:

I'm an MA graduate from the University of Chester. Whoopee!
I’m an MA graduate from the University of Chester.
Whoopee!

DENMARK:

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

I hadn’t been to Denmark for years, so it was great to get back there. It wasn’t cheap though, so if you want to visit any Nordic country without selling your mother, here’s what you should do!

LUXEMBOURG:

Part of the Luxembourg summer spirit! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Part of the Luxembourg summer spirit!

Over the summer, I decided to take The Tall Young Gentleman on a Summer European Challenge which consisted of spending the summer going to a different European country! Our boy is 14 years old going on 20, so it was just lovely spending quality time with him, before he grows up, and it’s too late!

Thankfully, he’s as great a traveller as I am, but a bit of a snob. You should have seen him whinge over taking the second class night train…!

Having said that, by the time our son was 5, he had already been to 32 countries, and at 12, he was already talking about spending his GAP year in Thailand, so there’s that!

Anyway, here it goes:

A most delicious Bosso Spätzle! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
A most delicious Bosso Spätzle!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

PORTUGAL:

Lisbon is pretty small so that everywhere is walkable. You can travel around the city by bus, train, funicular or tram. You can also hang on while the tram is moving, but don't do that at home kids!
Lisbon is pretty small so everywhere is walkable. You can travel around by bus, train, funicular or tram.

Our family holiday this year was to the Mediterranean. And we had a most wonderful time in Lisbon, the Algarves, and Porto in Portugal.

I can’t understand why most travellers and tourists don’t seem to go there, as it’s small, historical, not too expensive, the people are lovely, and it’s really rather pleasant to visit. Perhaps, they’re trying to keep it a secret.

Whoops!

Here’s why we went, and you should too!

Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!
Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!

SPAIN:

Paella is Spain's national dish and traditional enough to be a symbol of Spanish streetfood too!
Paella is Spain’s national dish and traditional enough to be a symbol of Spanish streetfood too!

Our family holiday this year was to the Mediterranean. And not only did we spend it in Portugal, but in Spain too!

Even though I had a most stressful visit to Barcelona in 2015, Madrid & Seville in 2016, turned it all around!

Here’s how Spain changed my opinion:

Spanish tapas galore!
Spanish tapas galore!

SLOVAKIA:

But what should I dooooooo? Should you visit Bratislava, or stay at home and not bother!
But what should I dooooooo?
Should you visit Bratislava, or stay at home and not bother!

Once upon a time, I used to live in the Czech Republic, and for a very short time in Slovakia too. Over the summer, we took a trip down memory lane, and Slovakia was OK, but ultimately, I wasn’t impressed, because of the scamming that took place in our restaurant!

The Tall Young Gentleman wasn’t impressed either. He found Bratislava drab!

Srop scamming us in Slovakia!
Srop scamming us in Slovakia!

Read on though, and make up your own mind:

THE PHILIIPPINES:

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

I was very excited to be back in Asia, not only ‘cos outside of Europe, Asia is my favourite continent, but because I was going to not one new Asian destinations, but two! And, I was at a travel bloggers conference called TBEX, and on a press trip around the lovely beaches of the Philippines too!

I haven’t actually written about any of the beaches yet, but I shared many of the “on-the-spot” activities and photographs on Facebook and Twitter, so if you’re not following me there, you should!

Is Manila a crime-ridden place or is it something completely different?
Is Manila a crime-ridden place or is it something completely different?

SWITZERLAND:

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Switzerland was one of the countries that I decided to travel to over the summer. Even though it’s not far from Germany, I hadn’t actually been before!

And my verdict?

A lovely, lovely country!

Read on:

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so "The Tall Young Gentleman" & I made our own independent walking tour instead! Seen slightly before walking on the medieval Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, and Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne!
There is plenty to do in Lucerne so “The Tall Young Gentleman” & I made our own independent walking tour instead!

TAIWAN:

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

As part of my visit to Asia last year, I opted to choose a Chinese-inspired country. And as much as I absolutely loooove Hong Kong, I chose a new destination.

I chose Taiwan.

In fact, I liked it so much that on our next family holiday to Asia, Taiwan would be one country that I would happily choose again. My German husband would adore it!

Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!
Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!

GERMANY:

Take me to the Baltic Sea in Geeeeermany! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany! ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
Take me to the Baltic Sea in Geeeeermany!
©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

I spend a lot of my time travelling abroad, but last year, I wanted to make a huge effort travelling more around Germany. And I did!

Most of the destinations centered around the sea, and sailing, and for those of you who hadn’t thought of the seaside and Germany in one breath, well. It’s different, but really quite nice!

This year, I went to Usedom, Bremen, Osnabrück, and of course, my beloved Berlin.

Try if for yourself:

BERLIN CULTURE:

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

BERLIN:

Oh yeaaaah! Berlin baby! I’ve been living here as an expat for 15 years. I know Berlin that’s why I am The British Berliner! So without further delay, here are the lovely posts that I wrote just for you:

OTHER PARTS OF GERMANY:

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

GERMAN CULTURE:

Beer for everyone in Germany 'cos the drinks are on meeeee!
Beer for everyone in Germany ‘cos the drinks are on meeeee!

OTHER STUFF!

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

But 2016 was an interesting year, and even though in some parts it went terribly bad with politics and terrorism, in other ways it was great.

My own brother wrote a book which was taken up by a publisher in London, and I completed my MA (Education Management) at the University of Chester which had me flying in and out of the UK every 6 weeks!

I did a lot of media appearances not only about Brexit, but about the British monarchy too. I was recently invited to an exclusive Christmas celebration at the German parliament, with members of the House of Lords, the European Parliament, and the British Embassy!

My husband – The Music Producer – worked on two EP’s, mixed songs for several artists, and produced the music sound track of an independent short film, which is now applying for competition at international film festivals around the world!

My husband - The Music Producer
My husband – The Music Producer

I started a new job as the Vice School Principal of a Language School which might also lead to one of the biggest projects of my life. I can’t talk about it at the moment, but as I said last week, if it works out, it’s going to be huge. And if it doesn’t, well…!

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

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done, so I’ll leave with you with some of my most inspiring motivational posts!

If you’ve noticed, you can now use the translation tab at the top of the page, to change my posts to the language of your choice. You can also check out some of the places where my writing and media appearances can be found, on this page here!

Heart-shaped Coeur d'Arras cheese in Nord-Pas de Calais.

In short, I had a blast in 2016, and there’s many more exciting things about to start for me in 2017!

I have a family and I have a life. Most importantly, I’ve already found my home-base – Berlin – and I’m extremely happy with where I am and who I am.

52 fantastic posts!

Thank you so much for your support everyone. 2016 was a great year. Here’s to the next.

Bottoms up!

I'm not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them!

I have so much to say, so next week I will be sharing some of my travel destinations for 2017 with you.

It”s a New Year. Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

HOW I WENT TO 10 UNBELIEVABLE COUNTRIES, WENT INTO A MEDIA FRENZY OVER BREXIT, AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE IN 2016. IF YOU WANT THE SKY YOU’VE GOT TO REACH FOR FOR IT!

 If you want the sky, you've got to reach for it!
If you want the sky, you’ve got to reach for it!

This article is not sponsored, and the exhilarating countries that I visited in 2016, were all my very own!

In January I’ll be making an announcement 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, then where the hell are you?

January is going to be splendid!

Watch this space!

Please also note that there is now a Booking.com affiliate link (for the very first time) connected to a few hotels. Please consider using the link, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my link I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I went to 10 unbelievable countries, went into a media frenzy over Brexit, and lived to tell the tale in 2016. If you want the sky, you've got to reach for it!
How I went to 10 unbelievable countries, went into a media frenzy over Brexit, and lived to tell the tale in 2016. If you want the sky, you’ve got to reach for it!

Where did you travel to last year? Are there any particular posts that you enjoyed? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

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

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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The British Berliner is 3 years old. Hurrah! Let’s go out and play cricket!

Happy Birthday. My blog is 3!
Happy Birthday. My blog is 3!

It’s my blog birthday!

Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

OMG!

I can’t believe that on Friday, October 21st, my blog was 3 years old.

Honestly, I can’t quite believe that 36 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!

Kash (the Budget Traveller) & I, at a bloggers after-ITB party!
Kash (the Budget Traveller) & I, at a bloggers after-ITB party!

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.

Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!
Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!

I went to a workshop at 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

Three 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. Three years later. Here we go!

The British Berliner is 3 years old. Hurrah! Let's go out and play cricket with the penguins!
The British Berliner is 3 years old. Hurrah! Let’s go out and play cricket with the penguins!

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…..

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 three years old.

Golly!

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

My blog is a thriving toddler.

And I am exceedingly proud.

She's as pretty as my blog!
She’s as pretty as my blog!

I’ve had an amazing collection of marvellous stories, visits, and adventures.  As I told you when I published my 100th post, 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

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 been on TV. I’ve been on a documentary. I’ve been on the radio. I’ve been in the newspaper. I’ve even been in an independent film. I’ve already travelled to 10 countries this year. 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.

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.
2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, 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.

THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER

Jesus in Warsaw.
Jesus in Warsaw.

The most popular post is 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 received 145 comments and up to 42,000 hits in my social media feed!

Forty two thousand (42,000) views, hits and shares!

This is what happens to children who don't eat their greens - boiled fish for dinner, and only boiled fish!
This is what happens to children who don’t eat their greens – boiled fish for dinner, and only boiled fish!

Can you imagine that I wrote it two years ago. And it’s still going as strong as ever!

Absolutely Amazing!

Thank you Poland!

I looooove you!!!

THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH POST

I'm the British Berliner - a British European. And I'm proud of it!
I’m the British Berliner – a British European.
And I’m proud of it!

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 my post about Bristol and were intrigued by the wealthy maritime city after reading this post: 48 hours in Bristol – 48 things to do! I’m sure the Visit Bristol people are delighted by the number of people who have decided to visit the city because of my post. When you do, let them know that it was me!

THE MOST POPULAR GERMANY POST

Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!
Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!

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

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

It received 72 comments and over 5,000 views, shares and hits! I wrote it exactly three (3) 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 twenty-two thousand (22,000)  views, hits and shares!

THE MOST POPULAR INTERNATIONAL POST

It was snowing when we got to Latvia, but thank you so much everyone!
It was snowing when we got to Latvia, but thank you so much everyone!

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, and I received 77 comments and up to 25,000 hits in my social media feed!

Twenty five thousand (25,000) views, hits and shares!

Absolutely Outstanding!

Thank you.

Thank you Latvia!!

THE MOST POPULAR MOTIVATIONAL /ADVICE POST

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

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.

Wow!

I have promised you a post about how to travel by train in Europe which I will write very soon… and I have also been asked to consult a few people on this very issue.

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

THE MOST COMMENTED POST EVER

Auschwitz - Poland
Auschwitz – Poland

You people!

As you know, Poland is one of my most favourite places. And so was this post: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! Interesting stuff it seems. You couldn’t stop talking about, it so I received 145 comments and up to 42,000 hits in my social media feed!

THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT BRITAIN

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days - GB / UK.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days – GB / UK.

You love British people. You love how quirky we are and the fact that we tend to be particular about certain things, and you said so in the post about being British: How to be British: Oh and by the way, you need to queue! I had 82 comments. Thank You so much!

THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT GERMANY

An organic burger and a beer at Bread & Butter - Berlin Fashion Week

Well, umm – Germany is boring!

That post gave me 72 comments and over 5,000 views, shares and hits! More comments than shares, but then, you can’t have everything!

Coming in second (2nd) place was food. Contrary to expectations, even though German cuisine has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring, food in Germany can be pretty awesome, if you know where to look! You obviously did look and you proved it with 67 comments in this post: 10 surprising reasons why food in Germany isn’t just grit and stodge but is pretty awesome, in my opinion! Yummy!

THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT BERLIN

Choose an alternative walking tour in Berlin!
Choose an alternative walking tour in Berlin!

You felt that the post that spoke to you most was the one that I wrote about an alternative walking tour, in the cool trendy neighbourhood suburb of Kreuzberg. I used to live there so I know what I’m talking about.

Kreuzberg has some of the best gay clubs, quirky bars, underground vibes, and great food. It’s not as cheap as it used to be unfortunately, but it’s still a great neighbourhood with a river, and teeming with tourists looking for the “real” Berlin.

In fact, I made my German TV debut right there! Here’s why: If you’re looking to make a change: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a family. Choose an alternative walking tour in Berlin! It had 72 comments.

PREMIUM – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
PREMIUM – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

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: 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 ©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography

THE MOST COMMENTED INTERNATIONAL POST

Delicious, yummy, spicy Tom Yum Goong soup in Bangkok, Thailand.
Delicious, yummy, spicy Tom Yum Goong soup in Bangkok, Thailand.

THE MOST COMMENTED MOTIVATIONAL / ADVICE POST

How to unravel the mystery of the map and claim the treasure! Ship ©Alina C photography
How to unravel the mystery of the map and claim the treasure!
Ship ©Alina C photography

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!

In beautiful Wales.
In beautiful Wales.

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, rabbits or giant iguana?

No seriously. Who?!!

In 2015 I travelled to 11 countries however, in 2014, this post got me a whopping 73 comments!

Myself with Naren, the ultimate prize winner, at the Berlin Music Video Awards in 2014.
Myself with Naren, the ultimate prize winner, at the Berlin Music Video Awards in 2014.

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. It had 50 comments. I know the big bloggers have a hundred comments and more, but 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?

Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE!
© 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 with 49 comments.

I’m delighted!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Popcorn and stuff watching basketball in Berlin!
Popcorn and stuff watching basketball in Berlin!

THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR COUNTRY, OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG IN 2016

  • USA
  • Great Britain
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Canada
  • France
  • Australia
  • Holland
  • Latvia
  • India for the exotic factor!
India - for the exotic factor!
India – for the exotic factor!

Surprisingly, I also get a significant number of readers from the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, & Singapore!

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: http://twitter.com/britishberliner

Not too shabby I might add!

COUNTRIES I HAVE BEEN TO IN THE LAST 1 YEAR

Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!
Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!
  • Germany
  • England – three times!
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Philippines
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan

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 Northern France is my first press trip, it’s very much worth writing about, so the most popular post was: 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?

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!
  • Making a documentary about being a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger
  • Becoming Germany’s answer and expert on modern-day Britain and the monarchy!
  • 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!
  • Going to four (4) new countries!
  • Keeping things light but still throwing in tiny issues about the appalling circumstances of Europe’s refugees. #RefugeesAreWelcome
  • 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

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 3 years old. Hurrah! Let's go out and play cricket!
The British Berliner is 3 years old. Hurrah! Let’s go out and play cricket!

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!

Next week, it’s back to work. It’s November and I’ll be starting a new job!

Winter’s coming.

Yay!

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

Happy Birthday. My blog is 3!
Happy Birthday. My blog is 3!

Do you have a blog? How long have you had it? Was there anything that you found surprising?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I feel I should ‪‎rant‬.

The Brexit vote stunned us all.

Even though the outcome was expected to be close, the final opinion polls had pointed to a narrow victory for Remain in Europe, and was given a mighty blow when the real outcome stuck at Leave!

Britain’s decision to leave the EU is the biggest assault on the unity of Europe since World War Two!

I’m not ‪‎shocked‬ anymore just ‪‎angry,‬ and bitterly‬ surprised‬, at how close we came to establishing ‪‎common sense‬ with Vote Remain, on the ‬UK’s EU referendum!

‪As a result of the appalling outcome, the British Prime Minister – ‎David Cameron‬ ‪- had no choice but to ‎resign. 

And so he should!

David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I don’t usually write about politics on my blog, but what an ‪‎idiot!

David Cameron will be remembered as the man who orchestrated the ‪‎split‬ of 369 years of the Scottish joint establishment with the ‪‎United Kingdom‬, and probably go down in ‪‎history as the person ‬who began the wave of the breakdown, and fracture, of a 43 year international relationship with our neighbours – members of the ‪‎European Union!

To get my reaction, I was pretty much everywhere last week, making one statement after another, in this or that form of media.

But the one that I liked the most was the lovely TV news piece that I did with a German TV station called Deutsche Welle (DW), which is one of the world’s biggest international broadcasters, providing a broad picture of political and cultural life in Europe. A bit like the BBC, but mainly about Germany!

I was contacted by the Culture Department who wanted to do a piece for their TV magazine – Euromaxx. They wanted to talk to well-known British people who live in Berlin and to record our response to the awful outcome of the referendum.

I was looking forward to talking about how happy I would be. On June 23rd, I was sending social media messages on all my social media feeds, right, left, and center, pretty much all day.

And then.

It wasn’t a happy outcome!

But you know, I'm a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn! @Toby Melville / Reuters
But you know, I’m a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn!
@Toby Melville / Reuters

But you know, I’m a professional and so with my shoulders back and my head held high, I put on a pretty dress and went for my TV interview.

See for yourself: Bye-bye Love: Reactions to Brexit and auf Deutsche – Bye-bye Love: Reaktionen zum Brexit.

I think I did a good job!

This referendum was a complete and utter mess, and revealed the multiple cracks in a disunited kingdom – London and cosmopolitan, intellectual, middle class, younger Britain, on one side, and rural, provincial, working class, old-age pensioner England on the other.

Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It. 2015 © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It.
2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I’m so glad that I live in Germany right now!

On the assumption that the people have spoken, and democracy has taken effect, Britain will have to live with the political, constitutional, diplomatic, and economic consequences, and that starts with the shockwaves effect of other European nations calling for the same thing, and thus, creating a domino effect.

WHAT HAPPENED?
A referendum was held on Thursday June 23rd, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain, in the European Union.

Leave won by 52% to 48%.

HOW DID PEOPLE VOTE?
Both England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. I’m proud to say that both Manchester and London voted for Remain.

BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

On paper. Nothing!

There’s no need for anyone to panic just yet!

It all depends on negotiations with the other EU member states. As I told you last week, no nation-state has ever left the EU except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

However, the first goal is to calm everyone down!

The financial market is all in a frenzy, Europeans are wearing shrouds and the Americans are having a bit of a laugh at our expense!

For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Once this is invoked, the formal legal process of EU separation will begin. Britain will have two (2) years to negotiate its withdrawal.

This article was only written up in late 2009 and hasn’t been tested, so no-one really knows how the Brexit process will work.

EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time. Until then, the UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiates a withdrawal agreement, and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc!

I'm British! Now what?
I’m British! Now what?

WHAT ABOUT UK CITIZENS WORKING IN THE EU?
It depends.

If the UK remains within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights, allowing UK citizens to work in the EU and vice versa. However, if the UK opted to impose work permit restrictions, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning Brits would probably have to apply for visas in order to work.

Working in the EU could become more difficult for UK expats, if host countries ask them to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to permits, and setting up businesses. They may lose their automatic right to work within the EU area, and be asked to apply for Blue Cards.

It’s very unlikely that people already living and working abroad will be sent back to the UK, but it could become substantially more difficult for new expats to find work on the Continent, due to employment laws in 15 member nations, which states that non-EU citizens can only be hired, if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area.

She's an EU citizen. Just look at her gorgeous clothes!
She’s an EU citizen.
Just look at her gorgeous clothes!

WHAT ABOUT EU CITIZENS WORKING IN THE UK?
Again, it depends.

If the UK decides to introduce a work permit system (as it applies to non-EU citizens), then entry will be limited to skilled workers, in professions where there are shortages.

WILL A VISA BE NEEDED WHEN TRAVELLING OR ON VACATION?
Highly unlikely as the tourist pound will always be welcome.

British citizens can already visit many non-EU countries for up to 90 days without needing a visa, so it’s possible that such arrangements could be negotiated with European countries.

A British passport will still be valid as a document. @Reuters
A British passport will still be valid as a document.
@Reuters

WILL A BRITISH PASSPORT STILL BE VALID AS A DOCUMENT?
Yes!

It is a British document – there is no such thing as an EU passport, so it will stay the same although in theory, the government could, decide to change the colour, which is currently standardised – red – for EU nations.

WHAT’S THIS SINGLE MARKET MALARKEY?
The European Union single market developed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money, and people, within the European Union, as if it were a single country.

The idea was to boost trade, create jobs, and lower prices. However, it requires a common law to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and level of quality and expectation. Critics say it generates too many petty regulations, and robs members of control over their own nations. Other critics state mass migration (free movement) as having been abused by poorer East European countries who flock to wealthier West European nations.

No nation state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland - an overseas territory of Denmark!
No nation state has ever left the EU.
Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

HAS ANY MEMBER STATE EVER LEFT THE EU?
No nation-state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SCOTLAND?
Scotland’s First Minister – Nicola Sturgeon – is very unhappy, and said that it is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland faces being taken out of the EU, when it voted to Remain, and that a second independence referendum for Scotland is “highly likely!”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NORTHERN IRELAND?
Deputy First Minister – Martin McGuinness – said the impact in Northern Ireland would be “very profound,” and that the complete island of Ireland, should now be able to vote on reunification with the Irish Republic!

The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson. Illustration @Martin Rowson
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.
Illustration @Martin Rowson

BRITISH POLITICS – WHICH WAY FORWARD? 
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.

What lies ahead is a complicated renegotiation of our relationship with our closest neighbours and most important markets. The talks with EU leaders will require seriousness, finesse, diplomacy and a capacity for building trusting relationships. It will also require flexibility.

On the other hand, we could become like Norway!

The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative. Close to the EU but alone in the cold!
The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative.
Close to the EU but alone in the cold!

WHAT IS THE NORWAY OPTION?
Experts believe that the UK could follow the Norwegian initiative which is not to be a member state of the European Union (EU), but to have a close association through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA).

EEA membership gives Norway full access to the EU’s internal market, allowing it to trade goods with EU states without customs fees, except food and drink, which is subsidised by the EU. Iceland and Liechtenstein are also members of the EEA.

In return for that access, Norway is obliged to implement all the EU’s laws relating to the internal market implementing about three-quarters of all EU legislation, including the working time directive.

Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!
Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!

ANY OTHER OPTION?
We could of course, go all the way, cut our losses, and opt out of any EU association completely, trading as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which deals with the global rules of trade between nations. However, experts agree that this is definitely not the way forward, and would only lead to an economic crisis.

Perhaps more!

On the other hand, Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union either but has a slightly more “hands off” relationship with the EU! In this case, relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties that allow Switzerland to participate in trading agreements.

In short, having our cake and eating it!

Brexit won't be the birth of "New Britain," but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!
Brexit won’t be the birth of “New Britain,” but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!

THE BIRTH OF “NEW BRITAIN”?
I doubt it!

The United Kingdom itself could break apart and begin the disintegration of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales – all countries who formed that most beautiful nation – otherwise known as the United Kingdom!

The leaders of Leave might have won the Referendum, but they have not won the battle, instead they have opened Pandora’s Box, and by doing so, unleashed profound economic instability, crushed relations with our closest allies, toppled a prime minister, and jeopardized the unity of the United Kingdom!

OMG!

BREXIT: SO BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. NOW WHAT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Quite frankly, in the political mess that we find ourselves, nobody is a winner!

So Britain has left the EU. And most of us didn’t want to.

So what!

We can leave the EU, but we can’t quit Europe.

Because Europe is our continent.

We’re stoic.

We’ve got a stiff upper lip.

We won’t let those leaders determine our future with Europe.

We’ll somehow make it through.

Haven’t we always!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what? We'll somehow make it through. @Melissa Barreiro
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what? We’ll somehow make it through.
@Melissa Barreiro

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions connected to this most important referendum, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing about my love for Europe!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week from June 28th – July 1st.

Strictly Stand Up – English Comedy Night – will take place on June 29th, at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin!

The Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive and Terminal 3, will be hosting True Stories. Told Live. Digital Nomad Style as part of the Tech Open Air Festival on July 14th, at Spielfeld Digital Hub.

I’ll also be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th.

Save the Date!

July is going to be sunny!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in July, you’re missing all the fun!

Watch this space!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Were you surprised by the fact that Britain voted to leave the European Union? Do you think the UK is right to leave the EU or wrong to leave the EU? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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