How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

It’s 2018 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 8 counties.

8 wonderful countries!

However did I do that?

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

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 Tall Young Gentleman & The Music Producer, looking very sorry for themselves at Valhalla – Blackpool

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 corporate job 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.

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

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.

I wanted to get on that plane and go to Vienna. I wanted to take that train to Amsterdam.

OMG! I was so broke at the beginning of last year but I was desperate to go to Sweden, so I took a long-distance-inter-country-coach-bus, to Stockholm.

From Berlin!

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Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

It was crazy, and I vowed never to do it again.

But only two weeks later, I did exactly the the same thing!

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!

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Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

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 names (thankfully I remembered where I first saw it. In the New York Times)!

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 was travelling with, 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!

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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!!

In short, I’m enormously happy to go to hostels and we went to quite a few in the last couple of years, but we paid that little bit extra for a private room (since my child is a great traveller too), privacy, calmness, and security. We’ve also been to fancy hotel resorts and even rented a whole house for two weeks in Bali.

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 budget hotel here!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” having fun in Bangkok.

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. If you’re in Asia, you’re gonna have a thrilling great time.

When it’s over, it’s over!

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

Properly!

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Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

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.

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so “The Tall Young Gentleman” & I made our own independent walking tour instead!
  • Our son is 15 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, pinned the places that we wanted to go to, and started doing research and contacting hostels, hotels, villas and castles.

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel in Italy!

Yes, castles!

And the most we paid for our Royal Victoria300-year-old-5-star-hotel-in-Pisa-on-the-riverside was €52.00 per day! For 2 rooms, en-suite including breakfast! For the 3 of us LOL!

We started planning in 2011.

In 2014, we went to four (4) destinations outside Europe where we live. We went to Thailand, Qatar, Indonesia, 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.

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Paella in Spain is just all you need!

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

We started planning it in 2015.

In 2017, all our of family trips were in Europe, regardless of the countless terror acts throughout the continent. We went to expensive Sweden, Austria and England, dependable Holland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, as well as new and exotic parts of Eastern Europe – Croatia and Slovenia.

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A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Again, planning started in 2016, and all were in consideration of the school holidays!

So book your hotel sooner, rather than later.

Right here!

You have to take action to get it!!

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 2018), you can just take the Thursday and Friday off, and you’ve got the weekend on both sides anyway. That makes 11 days off, (including weekends),  but using just 2 days booked off your holiday space!

Boom!!

Taking a taxi in Lisbon.

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. Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are about 2 hours. Turkey, Morocco, Egypt about 3-4 hours.

By train, the sky is the European limit. As for coaches or buses, Linda from Expat Eye on Germany travelled all the way from Latvia (not far from Russia) for all of €50!

We did it for even less!

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!

Or book your hostel or apartment here!

Under the waterfall in Yosemite, USA.
Under the waterfall in Yosemite, USA.
  • We’re comfortable.  And we’re middle-class. Just like you.

What do we do?

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

It took us 2 years and so our budget in Asia was €100 per day.

I went to Korea, but I should have been in Qatar!

We spent about €850 for a flight from Berlin-Bangkok-Bali-Berlin each. We spent about €150 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!

Catching a fish on the Polish Baltic Sea.

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 book B&B’s, pensions, and small or “budget” hotels.

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Between you and me, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, are very much a Berlin fit! –
©Alexi Lubomirski

If you’ve got the cash. Go for it.

There are plenty of wonderful places in which you’ll be treated like royalty!

Cool Britannia!
Cool Britannia!
  • We keep our eyes open and go on various mailing lists. Just like you.

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.

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Or simply, sing for your supper. Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!
  • 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 be flexible.

If you’re looking for an adventure. Use skycanner and go for “anywhere” 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.

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Don’t choose. Go where you want to go – Live a life of style and travel!

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.

Or fly to Argentina.

Whatever.

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

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.

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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, senior citizen / retiree 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.

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.

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Don’t even think of asking me!

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for…..Where am I going in 2018?

Drum roll pleeeeease!

Travel plans this year are:

Romania

Romania

Belgium

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Czech Republic

Norway

Norway

Poland

India

India

And of course, Germany! Ho! Ho! Ho!

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BMW Munich – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

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: LIVE A LIFE OF STYLE AND TRAVEL!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

This article is not sponsored, and the exciting countries that I plan to visit in 2018, all my very own!

In January, I’ll be making an announcement that will probably surprise you. Find out throughout January!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK later in the month!

In a few weeks, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at the most famous burlesque-fantastic Berlin operetta – Frau Luna – Operette in zwei Akten, taking place at TIPI AM KANZLERAMT, between 11th January – 11th March. Everyone’s most excited!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January.

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in January, then where the hell are you?

January is going to be splendid!

See you next week!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

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. Live a life of style and travel!

What do you choose to do with your holiday/vacation time? Where are you going in 2018? Have you been to any of the countries above? 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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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.

Book your hotel here!

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

Book your hotel here!

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!

It’s Black Friday!

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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

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28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!
© Enrico Verworner

It’s October!

In a few days, Germany will celebrate the Re-Unification of Germany, otherwise known as, German Unity Day or Der Tag der Deutschen Einheit!

This most important day will take place on October the 3rd.

October 3rd is a public holiday given to the German people to honour the Re-Unification of the two German States previously called the German Democratic Republic (GDR) or DDR (Deutsche Democratic Republic) otherwise known as East Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) or Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD), otherwise also known as West Germany!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

I cannot under-estimate how much I love this city.

I mean, I shout about it loud enough and it was just four (4) years ago that I introduced myself to you on this blog, when I wondered what the heck Berlin was all about anyway!

Oh yeah, and then I wrote a cheeky article which most people didn’t seem to get. And the title? Germany is Boring.

Oops!

I mean, what is the big deal?

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

I’ll tell you what the big deal is my good man.

It’s the fact that the city of Berlin.

THIS city of Berlin.

Has been together in peace and harmony for 28 years.

That’s right.

28 years!

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28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

WHY WAS THE BERLIN WALL SET UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The Berlin Wall after the opening of the Wall near Brandeburger Gate on November 11th, 1989!
@25 Archiv. Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung – Uwe Gerig

It’s a little complicated but after WWII, Germany was split and divided by the allies as punishment for Nazi Germany. And you only had to look at the city of Berlin to see who the Allies were namely; Great Britain, France, USSR and the United States.

It was not long before arguments and squabbling took place in the international political arena and simply put, the Eastern and Western Bloc decided to go their separate ways, and an Iron Curtain ensued.

East Germany went one step further and built a wall in Berlin, cutting a line through the entire centre of the city!

This wall was supposed to prevent East Berliners and citizens of East Germany from fleeing to the West, but the Wall was unable to stop the mass of people from escaping. As a result, in 1961, the ruling Communist Party in East Germany began adding more border fortifications to the Wall, creating a broad, many-layered system of barriers.

In the West, people referred to the border strip as the death strip because so many people were killed while trying to flee.

I have seen this death wall myself as I live in East Berlin and not 10 minutes away, is the main local park called Mauer Park.

The suburb of Prenzlauerberg where I live, is now enormously trendy and gentrified, and if you’re “in,” or want to be “in,” you strive to live here.

However, let it be noted that “Mauer” in German, means “Wall.”

The Death Strip in now East Berlin but formerly French – Soviet Germany!
©Joyce, S. A.

With the downfall of East Germany in 1989, the Berlin Wall that the Socialist Party tried to use to maintain its power, also fell. The Fall of the Wall marked the definitive end of its dictatorship.

The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989.

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STREETS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL?

The Berlin Wall.
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

A couple of years ago, I wrote about one of my favourite places, and where I first lived in Berlin – Kreuzberg. You can read all about it right here! In my post, I mentioned that Kreuzberg had the Berlin Wall running right through the middle of it and that during the happy confusion, when the Wall actually fell, young people were leaving the East to go West, or leaving the West to go East!

In fact, I liked Kreuzberg so much that when I first made a documentary about being a British person in Berlin, we did the filming there!

OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

In Prenzlauer Berg where I live now, we’re about twenty (20) minutes from the original East-West border, and about ten (10) minutes from the first border crossing on the bridge of Bornholmer Straße. If you’ve ever since the videos where East Berliners were running through the border with everyone clapping and giving out free beer, it was that one!

I always take my friends to where the original wall used to be!

And let me tell you.

I always weep tears of joy because even though I wasn’t in Berlin when the Berlin Wall actually fell, living in Berlin means that I’m able to touch, see and sometimes smell, what it was like to live here pre-1989!

Potsdamer Platz today!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

In fact, I can still remember when Potsdamer Platz was nothing more than wasteland and a piece of the border strip known as No Man’s Land. And looked like it too!

Not far off from Prenzlauer Berg, is a street called Bernauer Strasse, also known as Bernauer Straße!

Bernauer Straße as part of the Berlin Wall in 1961 – Frank Baake © Thomas Gade

As you can see, the Berlin Wall used to go right through it!

In fact, it was pretty horrid for all concerned, as you could actually see the other side of the Wall from your kitchen window, but you couldn’t go to the Western side without being shot!

Smashing through the wall! ©frizztext
Smashing through the wall!
©frizztext

Imagine the frustration, pain, and horror.

Many people tried to escape to freedom and found ways to be creative by sailing across in a hot air balloon, digging tunnels underground, pretending to have a funeral and lowering the “dead” person into a pit, hiding inside the seated lining of a Volkswagen car, etc. All for a life of freedom.

Not much of the Wall is left today, which was chipped off and destroyed almost in its entirety, however, three (3) long sections are still standing:

The Topography of Terror. You can still see parts of the Berlin Wall right behind it!
©Britta Scherer

An 80-metre-long (260 ft) piece of the first (westernmost) wall at the now Topography of Terror, but which used to be the site of the former Gestapo headquarters!

But obviously, the original building was razed to the ground.
The Berlin Wall, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

A longer section of the second (easternmost) wall along the River Spree near the Oberbaumbrücke in Kreuzberg / Friedrichshain, which you can see throughout the 1988 cult film Run Lola Run, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

Bernauer Straße in both East & West Berlin!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

 

And a third section that is partly reconstructed, in the north at Bernauer Straße, which was turned into a memorial in 1999.

And of course, isolated fragments, lampposts, a few watchtowers, and other elements, remain throughout various parts of the city!

On the border between East & West Berlin in Germany.

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SO HOW DID THE BERLIN WALL ACTUALLY FALL?

It’s easy to forget that this situation was only 28 years ago. Most of you reading this blog, are probably older!

Let’s get some history!


2 May

Hungary begins dismantling the fortifications on the border to Austria.People demonstrate against the election rigging in front of the Sophienkirche (church).


7 May

Local elections in the GDR. Opposition groups prove that the results were faked. People demonstrate against the election rigging in East Berlin on the seventh day of every subsequent month.


4 September

First Monday Demonstration in Leipzig. 1,200 people gather outside St. Nicholas’ Church. Their demands include freedom of travel and democracy.


9 /10 September

New Forum’s initial call-out becomes a signal for change. Further grassroots movements follow.


11 September

Hungary officially opens its western border for GDR citizens, risking a breach in its diplomatic relations with East Berlin.


30 September

West Germany’s foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher informs the East German refugees in the Prague embassy, that they will be allowed to leave the GDR.


3 October

The GDR government bans travel to Czechoslovakia without passports and visas, to stem the mass exodus. Special trains transport people from the Prague and Warsaw embassies to the West, through the GDR. There are violent clashes with police along the railway line, as well as in Dresden.


7. October

On the 40th anniversary of the GDR, several thousand people demonstrate in Berlin outside the Palace of the Republic.  In numerous East German towns and cities, similar protests are broken up by force.


9 October

Despite fear of military repression of the Monday Demonstration, 70,000 people take to the streets in Leipzig. The police, military and civilian forces do not intervene.


11 October

The single ruling political party calls for people to stay in the GDR, offering a “dialogue” concerning the country’s further development.


16 October

The number of people at the Monday Demonstration in Leipzig doubles. The security forces do not intervene.


18 October

Erich Honecker is forced to resign after 18 years in office. Egon Krenz is made the new secretary-general of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).


24 October

Krenz is also elected chairman of the State Council and the National Defence Council. 12,000 people demonstrate against his appointment in Berlin that evening.


30 October

300,000 people take part in the Leipzig Monday Demonstration.


4 November

The largest demonstration in the history of the GDR takes place in Berlin.


7 November

The government of the GDR, and the Council of Ministers collectively resign.


8 November

The Central Committee Politburo, the highest body in the GDR, resigns. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl links economic and financial aid for the GDR to three conditions: the opposition must be legalised, free elections must take place, and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) must renounce its claim to sole authority.


9 November

The Wall falls, prompted by a vague, but now famous, announcement of new travel regulations at a press conference. Tens of thousands of East Berliners rush to the checkpoints and force the border open.


22 December

The Berlin Wall is officially opened at Brandenburg Gate. The first concrete section is removed from its beams at 0.30 a.m.


23 December

The offices issuing passes for the GDR in West Berlin close for good. West Germans no longer need a visa, or have to change a certain amount of money, to enter the East.


1990 Chronology


31 August

The Unification Treaty is signed in East Berlin.


3 October

Germany celebrates the “Day of German Unity” also known as “Re-Unification Day.”


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28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

Climbing up the Berlin Wall for Freedom! Freedom!!

It was the people who took to the streets en masse and courageously resisted a dictatorship, enabling both the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Peaceful Revolution.

The 28th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall is important because Berlin will continue to invite locals, expats, eyewitnesses who were here, and people of the world, to participate in the anniversary celebrations, and to tell personal stories about the Berlin Wall.

Outside Bernauer Straße in Berlin. Everyone is going to be here!

Everyone is going to be here!

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ANYTHING ELSE?

Yep! The Festival of Lights!

Festival of Lights ©Kerstin Röhner

Once a year, Berlin’s world famous sights and monuments become the canvas for spectacular light and video projections.

From 06.10.17 – 15.10.17, the Festival of Lights will transform Berlin’s most famous landmarks and historical monuments through light projections and video art whereby different artists will light up the capital, and illuminate buildings in many parts of the city!

Not only that, but the Festival of Lights also includes various art and music events, photography workshops, open house opportunities at selected buildings, and charity events, as well as guided tours by bus, boat and on foot!

Most of the participating monuments will be focused on the city centre, and will be illuminated from 19:00 until midnight.

Every day!

For a full list of participating buildings, maps, and photographic displays, go to the official Festival of Lights website here!

WHAT IF THE BERLIN WALL ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Two sides and periods, of the Berlin Wall.

As if!!

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

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28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL: BERLIN, I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO!

Festival of Lights ©Alexander Meier

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the currywurst and bratwurst that I’m sure to be happily scoffing in the next few weeks, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yipee!

October & November is going to be smashing.

The Berlin Wall – 28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

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!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Have you ever been to Berlin? Do you remember where you were when the Berlin Wall Fell. Where were you in 1989? 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!