Tag: What I love about

The 6 things Israel have taught me so far

As another warm and early day started here in Haifa, Israel, Ive spent some time thinking about what Ive experienced so far. Israel is definitely a completely different world, but maybe not in the ways you’re thinking. It is located in the Middle East, byt yet so different from what I experienced in my travels in Saudi Arabia. It is probably one of the biggest political discussions that is going on, and it is a case thats far from black and white. But I wanted to let you know the 10 things Ive learned by volunteering here so far, side by side to Jewish and Arabic people.

  1. I believe Israel will for long time still be a country with issues, and there will always be people who have opinions about the conflicts going on here. But thats far from all thats going on here. Israel is a country of so much history, beauty, vibrant food scene, undiscovered beaches and so much more. Just because Israel is a place of great conflicts, doesn’t mean its not safe to visit or worthy to see. Ive walked through the city at night and day, been through remote areas and still haven’t stumbled upon anything that made me feel unsafe.
  2. It is expensive. And thats coming from someone from Denmark you guys! It’s at least as expensive as in Denmark, if not more. I bought a shawarma the other day, and it was 40 shekel! Id say thats the double of what I’d have paid back in DK.
  3. The Sabbath. Whether its through Jewish or Arabic religion, the Sabbath is a special day. For the jews it starts friday night and lasts until Saturday night. No one does anything, most shops are closed, no one is working. Even the secular jews save this day for family and friends, and nothing is allowed to come between this. I think we in the western country could learn something from this. Just having 24 hours each week with nothing to do.
  4. Tel Aviv plays, Jerusalem prays. Whether you’re religious or not there is something special and “holy” about Jerusalem. In several religions it is the, or one of the, most holy city. To stand by the Western Wall, visit Jesus’ tomb or see the Dome of the Rock will definitely make you feel small and walking around here even as a non-religious tourist you will definitely feel the Holy Spirit.
  5. There is diversity for everyone. After by travels to Saudi Arabia, I wasn’t sure on what to be expecting about Israel. Would men stare and give me looks if Id go to the beach in a bikini? Yell something at me if I was wearing short shorts and a crop top? If I smiled at a stranger on my way would he take it the wrong way and start approaching me? But none of my worries turned out to be needed. Maybe because the diversity in religion, the country has grown into acceptance of other people travelling around in the country – but still staying within their own beliefs and laws.
  6. It is amazing. Many friends were surprised to see me going here, sending me messages telling me to be safe, stay out or harm and to come back asap. Most often I think that is because they do not truly realise what is going on here. Im not saying terrible things aren’t happening, and I cant even start to describe how my heart aces when I hear about the terrible things going on by the Gaza. But that is not all of Israel, far from. It is such a beautiful, gorgeous and special place to be. I feel so blessed to get to experience all these things and I will definitely be coming back in the future.

 

 

Why you need to leave your comfort zone while you’re young

“Paris, it seems, was the beginning of letting go of who I was and grabbing hold of who I was to become.”

We go to school for a big part of our lives, and when we’re young it’s all our lives are about. To do our homework, to make our assignments, to get good grades so we can get into good universities, so we can get good jobs. It seems like that’s what it’s all about. And the society, our parents, maybe even our friends, puts this pressure on us. Makes us think that’s what we should do.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 6 months, it’s that there’s so much more to life than that!

Don’t get me wrong here, I still think an education and to get a job one day is important, and I’m planning on going to university soon. But come on you guys. If all you’ve ever known is being a student, how do you know who you are? What you like, and thereby what you want to study and one day work with? School is good and it’s important to have knowledge, but how about knowing life? I have been way more challenged living abroad than I ever have in my 13 years in school. I’ve learned more about myself, what is important to me, what I want from life and which values I have.

By going out of my comfort zone I have (sorry for the cliché) found myself. I feel like I know who I am and thereby I feel so much more secure that what I have applied for at university is what I really want. When I applied 6 months ago I wasn’t even sure I ever wanted to go to university.
Leaving my home country has been the best decision in my life. It’s so important that you try to escape, try something new. Taste the world and experience what it means to be truly alive. We’re only young once and we only live once. Get the best out of it, before we grow old and full of regrets.

I know this post is filled with cliches from movies and so many books. But I gotta say I’m serious about it too. Life is too short, and there’s no point doing something you hate when there’s a whole world out there, waiting for you to discover it. Leaving your comfort zone is the scariest and best thing you can ever do to yourself. It’s not easy, but I’ve never regretted my choice.

 

4 lessons in 4 months or Why I love my job

If you’re going to be sad, you might as well be sad in Paris.

Once again I have no idea where the time went and it’s been too long since my last post! I really can’t believe it’s almost christmas and in just 15 days I’m going back home to see my friends and family again. I’ve been in Paris around 4 months, and I gotta tell you it’s been some of an adventure so far. I think we all have these big expectations of how a year abroad will be, but to be honest I feel like most of my expectations has turned out to be fulfilled. Everyday in Paris is like a fairy tale. Not that Im saying you don’t have bad and challenging days too, but all in all that’s how I feel. And here I’ll give you the best parts of being an au pair in Paris:

  1. The city in itself. I mean, it’s Paris. Do I need to say more? All that you read and and hear about this city of lights is more or less true. Everyday I get to go out, and whatever it is I’m doing, I get to do it in Paris.
  2. The children. I know some people become au pairs only for the city or only for the cultural experience, but for most it’s also because I really like children. And even though it can be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, it’s also the best decision I’ve ever made. I mean getting to look after 3 absolute amazing children day after day and even get payed for it? Yes please!
  3. The friendships. As you know from my previous post I have experienced that amazing people can be found everywhere.  And even though all my friends are from completely different countries than mine, I’ve discovered that some of the friendships I have are the best I’ve ever experience. I believe I’ve found friends for life as an au pair, how cheesy that may sound.
  4. You get to experience and see another culture up close. When you become an au pair and get close with your host family, you get to see the culture as it really is. Not just as a tourist passing by, but as every other french family who lives in France.

That’s all for now!
A bientôt

5 things that made me fall in love with Paris

So it’s been 1 week since my crazy drama, where I ended up on the street. Living in my own appartement in Paris has really turned out to be just as magical and amazing as I thought it would be. I’ve almost been here a month now, and I’ve met so many amazing people, seen many of the famous sightseeing. However, the things that made me fall in love with the city, has nothing to do with being on top of the Eiffel-tower or walking on Champs-Elysees (not that those experiences aren’t really great!) However I’ve made a list of the 7 things that really made me love the City of Love:

  1. The absolute beautiful architecture. I do not know a lot about architecture or art in general, but to not notice the beautiful buildings or bridges in Paris, you must be blind. No matter where I end up, if it is a small and old street in the edge of Paris, or the modern skyscrapers in La Défense, I can’t help to adore the unique and gorgeous architecture.
  2. The café culture. For a coffee lover, who has the Danish “hygge” with me, one of the first things that made me fall in love with Paris was the café culture. You can just sit with you coffee for hours, if it’s with friends for a good talk, or just to relax and watch as the city goes by. I think I could go to cafés everyday for hours if I had the time for it.
  3. La cuisine française. This is definitely one of the biggest benefits of being an au pair: being a part of a french family means you’ll taste plenty of french food. And I gotta say I’m a big fan! The food in france is so different from the typical food we eat in Denmark, but I’ve loved ever bit I’ve taken 😉
  4. The markets. That’s definitely a new and exiting thing for a Dane like me, because we don’t really have markets in Denmark. I know the most famous one is St-Ouen, but I haven’t been lucky enough to experience it myself yet. But there are markets everywhere in Paris, some just for food, others with more interesting and cultural things to buy – and often to prices my wallet is pretty happy about 😉
  5. The people. I guess this part is the same in most capital cities: there are so many different people everywhere. So many people with different cultures, backgrounds and stories you could never imagine. Even though I’ve only spent a short time here so far, I fell like I’ve had the change to talk to many strangers. A lot fo them have been open to share a part of their stories, and I’ve never been as inspired as I am now!