Bucket List 2018

Bucket List 2018 – New year, new plans

Another day in December, it’s grey outside and I have just realized that I haven’t posted in more than a year. This year, though, has been a busy one for me with lots of changes, both good and bad. 2018 which is just a few days away looks promising, I’m already excited for what lies ahead. That’s why I decided to work on my bucket list 2018: The things I want to start or finish or simply experience once.

Bucket List 2018

1. Finish my dissertation

The hardest and probably most important item on my bucket list 2018 is to finally finish my dissertation thesis. I have been writing that huge amount of pages for almost 5 years now and it feels like my personal Mount Everest: I know I can do it, but I need constant focus, training and stamina. As of right now, I feel confident that I might be finished by October’18. Life is unpredictable though, I have learnt that in 2017.

2. Practice Yoga at least twice a week

Sometimes I wonder what holds me back: I have my yoga mat on the floor and I’m on Adriene’s awesome newsletter in order to find what feels good. Still, I often can’t drag myself away from that new TV show or my computer with work stuff on it. As I know how good it would be for me to practice yoga more often, it’s on the second position of my list.

3. Travel (more)

2017 has been a quiet year – travelwise. Besides going to the Czech Republic in January, I have only been away twice, both times for conferences and both times within Germany. Will I be able to plan something bigger for 2018? Probably not. At least I get to start the year with a short trip to Dresden, a city that I liked a lot the last time. I also hope to go abroad for a bit after I hand in my dissertation for some much-needed rest. However, I have no idea where to go so far – any suggestions are very much appreciated!

4. Get out more

I admit that I can be a couch potato – if you ask me what I’ll do on a regular weekend, my answer probably is: Watch Netflix and/or read. I’d hope to go out more in 2018. Not that I plan to go to clubs or dancing a lot, just simply leave the apartment and treat myself with a little fresh air and a short stroll.

5. Read/ Write more for pleasure

That would certainly include blogging more regularly or after a hiatus in 2017 to blog at all in 2018. It’s hard to make time and find input on what to write when I’m not planning a vacation or traveling. I know, though, that writing relaxes me as does reading for pleasure. Maybe I should pick a book for every month, something that is not at all related to my field of study or join a book club?

6. Be kinder to myself

It feels like I have been doing ok in 2017: I switched jobs which was a huge step, led to some anxiety but overall I’m less stressed every evening when I come home. I also taught a tutorium for four months this spring/summer and didn’t freak out every time before class but learnt to be more easy-going. I also (almost) stopped to pressure myself into getting stuff done faster than I can. 2018 will include some major life-changes, I’m quite sure of that and I hope to be able to manage that without any pressure. However, I need to start listening to my body – sleep more, eat healthier, be more active and, as always, drink less coffee…

What are your resolutions for 2018 – what’s on your bucket list 2018? I’m excited to hear from you!



Things to do in Bardolino

You might have noticed that I couldn’t keep up with my travel diary. Writing was just way more work than I could or wanted to do after 11 PM. Also, it seems that I am still on a war path with the WordPress App and its functionalities. So instead of several posts it has to be one with a more general guide on things to do in Bardolino. This was my first holiday after a year of working and writing that I spent without books or any plan, so I had a wonderful time relaxing and exploring the town.

First of all, Bardolino is probably the busiest town at Lago di Garda, especially during Bavarian holidays or during one of the two wine festivals in May and October. But if you catch a less busy time and once in a while step off the tourist streets, you will see great places! Here come my favorite things to do:

1. Take a walk along the lake shore, watch the ducks and be active.

All the pathways have been worked on in the last few years, so you can walk along the shore between most towns undisturbed except for some people on bikes.

2. If you don’t like walking, you can also decide on taking a boat.

It’s fairly cheap and compared to the bus actually on time. Another option would be getting a taxi, but traffic gets quite busy during the day and you’ll be stuck most certainly. The boat ride is a lot of fun, you’ll get a good overview of the lake and catch some fresh air as well!

3. Explore other towns!

I especially like to go to Lazise or Garda (which has the best bakery ever!!), but next time I will make sure to go there on a day when there is no market. The crowd was crazy and made it almost impossible to find a café to enjoy some cappuccino.

4. Choose a bar or café close to the lake!

Put your legs up, order some vino and simply enjoy! If you are into people watching like me, that’s the best way to do it. I loved watching the boats on the lake, the people playing with dogs in the water or simply families strolling by.

5. Leave the crowded streets and take a different way back to the hotel.

If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see so many things: Beautiful houses and gardens, flowers, street art or even funny coincidences such as the walking frame next to the Harley Davidson sign.

6. Go to church.

Or rather go into churches. I’m very often bored when I have to walk into every church in a town or city, but Bardolino is home of my favorite church. It is called San Severo and I am in love with the Romanesque frescoes. Some time ago, I had to do a presentation on Romanesque frescoes and one of the examples that I could choose from was San Severo in Bardolino (what a coincidence!).

7. Follow the locals.

As creepy as this may sound, I found the nicest park to hang out!

8. Go to the markets.

If you can, choose smaller ones that mainly sell food. The bigger ones mostly sell clothes and shoes, but the food markets are great and have so many things that you won’t find at home like those sweets and little cakes!

9. If you happen to be there when there is a wine fest/ tasting, try to enjoy it.

There will be a lot of people and later a lot of drunk people, but on the upside, the town will be decorated beautifully. For the Palio di Chiaretto the chosen color was obviously pink. You could take a picture on Juliet’s Balcony and go from booth to booth tasting samples of the new Chiaretto from app. 20 different wineries.

10. Most importantly: Enjoy yourself, put on sunscreen and soak up the sun.

You’re on a holiday, so eat, drink and savor every moment of it!

I hope you’ll all have the chance to go to Bardolino (or any town at Lago di Garda) any time soon, it’s a great place.

I’m already busy planning my next trip to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco and I’m so excited. The To-Do-List writing has begun!

Tell me: What’s on your packing list? What shouldn’t I forget in any case?

Talk to you soon,


5 things to bring with you on a roadtrip…

Probably the most exciting thing of last year’s trip was the fact that I was going to rent a car on my own and drive a lot – also on my own. Most of you might know that you have to be 25 to rent a car in the US or you will have to pay a fee to ensure them that you’ll bring back the car in one piece. So obviously the last time when I was still under car-rental-age, I was not allowed to drive the rental. Picture my excitement this time! I seriously love driving, especially when it is an automatic car! I started planning my road trip almost right after I had booked my flight and I also rented the car at that time. However, there are still things that I couldn’t totally prepare for, some of them I even had to learn the hard way. Read about my “5 things to bring with you on a roadtrip”:

1. Bring your own GPS!

I know most rental car companies offer them in addition to the car, but bringing your own GPS ensures that it is updated and has all important addresses pre-programmed. Insert all the places that you want to stay right away, as that will save valuable time. After most days I didn’t feel like sitting on the bed and type in my addresses for the next day, when there is either so much going on around you or you are simply dead tired and you just want to go to bed. I used my old TomTom that I bought in 2009 and updated the maps for USA and Canada beforehand when I had enough time at home. It cost me around 25$ and an evening of installing, but I had a GPS that I (kind of) trusted and knew how to work with.

2. water, water, lots of water… and snacks

It’s really important to stay hydrated while driving and always have a bottle of water next to you. I started driving in Boston after a few days exploring the city with a bad sun burn and just my luggage on me, no water, no snacks. The thing is that you will have to focus a lot on the road and on the unfamiliar car so that you forget to drink and eat or that you are hungry in the first place. It’ll hit you the moment you leave the comfy air-conditioned car… so stock up on your supplies!

3. Music

It’s nice to travel alone but it can also get really quiet in that car when there is no one to talk to. I enjoyed listening to the radio for a while but when you drive longer distances you’ll notice that the channels change a lot and you’ll probably get annoyed as well of the static sound echoing in your car. So it’s a great idea to make your own CD beforehand, and that will even increase the excitement!

4. Knowledge of traffic rules

Brush up your knowledge of the local traffic rules and look up how to react in certain situations. The first minutes after renting the car, I met a school bus on the road and I actually had forgotten that it is a big NO-NO to drive past it when it stops. Everyone honked at me and scared me so much that I almost drove into a fence. I felt like I would get arrested after that, so that was terrifying! Avoid that by spending 10 minutes before the trip googling traffic rules!

5. Lots of money… cash and credit card

Even though gas is a lot cheaper in the US, a road trip can still get pretty pricy after a while. So try to calculate beforehand how much you will have to spend on gas and make sure to have enough money on your credit card. Also, try to find out how much you will have to pay on tolls. I actually had to leave the interstate in Manhattan during rush hour and drive through some really sketchy neighborhoods in order to find an ATM because I had only 3 $ left. The next toll bridge ended up costing 17 $ so I was actually glad I did find an ATM. Try to plan ahead and maybe ask some locals about how much it will be!