Creating & Maintaining a Blog

If you decide that you want to blog, then that’s great! There are many different reasons why people blog. People blog to share their experiences to the world, to inform others about topics they are passionate about, to write their opinions, etc. No matter what the reason why you want to blog, there is a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, you have to consider where to write your blog. There are many different free blogging websites to choose from: WordPress, Weebly, Tumblr, and so on and so forth. Once you have explored the different blogging websites and have chosen a website that works best for you, then you have to create a domain name aka your blog/website name. Make sure when you are creating a blog name that is something unique and easy to remember. After creating your name and password, then it’s time to start customizing your blog’s theme and background. There are many free themes to choose from. Once you finally finish customizing your blog, then it’s finally time to start writing! 

You can write as much as you want or even as little as you want. If you really want to maintain your blog, then try creating a schedule or write as much as you can. Sometimes life does get in the way and you don’t get to blog as much as you would like to. And that’s okay. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and there are some times that I go on a hiatus. I am guilty of forgetting to write, because I’m so busy with schoolwork or doing other things. But I always try and write after I travel or want to talk about something I care about like culture, language, photography, etc. Your blog will always be there whenever you decide you feel like writing.

So if you want to blog then blog, add pictures, and most importantly, have fun!

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5 Months Down, 5 Months To Go

*Written in February

It’s been about a month since I last posted. Since then, I went to Bamberg and Forchheim for my HZC (Halbzeitcamp/Half stay camp). Unfortunately, I can’t post any of my own pictures from Bamberg or Forchheim, because my camera recently broke.

Anyways, I still can’t believe that I’ve already been in Germany for 5 months. It’s amazing how fast time flies.  During my exchange since now, I learned a lot about the German culture, I got to know a lot of people from other cultures, learn a new point of view and values, and so on. Everything I am learning is definitely not something you can read or learn in a book. It’s something you need to try for yourself. When you go to a foreign country, don’t just be the average tourist. But actually try to learn about the culture, and get to know one of the locals. You’ll be amazed just how your point of view of other cultures and people changes.

Before I came here, a lot of Americans have the stereotypes that Germans eat sausages and drink beer all the time. Also when they speak, it’s like they are always shouting.  And that is definitely not true. It’s the same thing with other people from other cultures when they think about America. It’s not true that we all eat hotdogs and hamburgers, and are obese.

But that’s the whole point of a foreign exchange. Dispel stereotypes from your mother country, learn the culture and values of a foreign land, and then dispel stereotypes from your hosted country.

Gedanken und Meinungen

Ich wohne schon in Deutschland seit twei Monate. Ich habe viel Unterschiede zwischen amerikanischen Kultur und deutschen Kultur gemerkt, und unten steht meine Gedanken und Meinungen von meiner Beobactungen.

I’ve already been in Deutschland for 2 months. I’ve noticed a lot of differences between American and German cultures, and below are my thoughts and opinions from of my observations:

  • Germans are more direct, and they don’t beat around the bush like Americans do
  • Chocolate and cakes taste 100 times better here than in America, especially chocolate.
  • German food is delicious. Schnitzel, Maultaschen, und Bratwurst, oh my!
  • German fashion is more stylish
  • It’s completely normal for guys to wear scarves, and nobody judges them for wearing scarves
  • Some guys seem to care a lot about how they look, the same way girls do
  • It seems like I’ve seen more people with blue or green eyes than brown eyes
  • German TV shows are longer than American TV shows, and the commercials are longer too (but instead of having multiple short commercials, they have only 1 or 2 long ones)
  • The meat is bigger, and products are bought locally
  • It’s okay to wear the same outfit for a couple days in a row
  • Germans care less about sports than Americans (except for soccer)
  • Not everything is made in China
  • Clothes and some other products (like soda and water in a restaurant) are more expensive to buy here than in America
  • Deutsche Sprache, schwierige Sprache” (German language, difficult language…it sounds better in German, but absolutely true)

Struck By Wanderlust

Last Saturday night, I attended the local AFS Potluck Social. I was amazed when I first walked in. There were exchange students from all over the world: Italy, Thailand, Japan, Iceland, Belgium, Pakistan, Germany, etc. It was so fun to be able to meet these students and even meet returnees, volunteers, host parents, parents of students currently abroad, and several of my fellow Speedwell recipients.This night was an eye-opener. One day, I’ll be attending an event just like this in Germany. I’ll be meeting other foreign exchange students from all the world in Germany, and perhaps meet future German exchange students. And maybe, I’ll be giving advice to those nervous and excited exchange students.This night also was a reminder of my passion for foreign languages, culture, and travel. Speaking of travel, meeting everyone the other night made me think of my memories of traveling..
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For as long as I could remember, my family and I would always go on vacation for two weeks in the summer. That’s when my love for travel started. The two states that we usually vacationed in was Florida and New York, because my relatives lived there (and we would always stop in North Carolina to visit more relatives when we drove down to Florida). For the past 17 and a half years of my live, I can remember at least vacationing or being (for whatever reason) in 16 states/districts: Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Arizona, California. 

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However, it didn’t stop there. I also went to Canada (for about 2 hours), and my family and I had ice cream. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to South Korea and Germany during the summer. I left school about a week early (I had to finish my finals a week early), and my family and I (excluding my dad) boarded a flight to Japan. After we arrived in Japan, we later departed again to South Korea. I was so excited last year to go to South Korea. I remember counting the days down since January. Going to South Korea was all I would talk about. I never met my Korean relatives before, and it was the first time I met them. I spent two weeks in South Korea, and absolutely loved it. I went to Lotte World, Oeyeondo Island, Itaewon, Gyeongbokgung Castle, Namsan Tower, the beach, the Korean Folk Village, and quite a few other places. 

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After I came back from South Korea, I had about ten days before I departed to Germany. Those ten days, I became even more excited for Germany. When it was the day to leave for Germany, I was completely stoked. I was exhilarated by the feeling of traveling again. I said my goodbyes to my parents and left for the airport with my German teacher and several of my German Club members (it was a school trip). We boarded the plane (about 8 hours later?) and headed to London. Then, we boarded another plane and headed to Germany. I spent about a week and a half in Germany. Two of those days, we stayed in Switzerland (we spent an hour in Austria and Liechtenstein since we had to drive through the two countries). All in all, we were in Frankfurt, Rothenburg, Munich, Heidelberg, somewhere in Austria and Liechtenstein, and Lucerne. Some of the places we visited were Munich’s town hall, Olympic Stadium, Dachau, Neuschwanstein Castle, Nymphenburg Castle, the Black Forest, the Rhein River, and Lake Lucerne (which was absolutely beautiful).

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When I returned from my trip, life wasn’t the same to me. I missed traveling around, experience these cultures that were foreign to me, hearing the foreign languages everywhere, the delicious food, the people…I so badly wanted to return or go somewhere. That is when I realized that I was struck by wanderlust-a strong desire to travel. I also realized that I want to travel the world. I want to travel to all of the countries in the world. There are 196 countries in the world, however, and I only have so much time to live. Is it possible? Perhaps. But my goal is to visit at least 98 countries before I die-I would die happy if I accomplished this goal.

So far, I have only visited 9 countries. 89 more countries to go!
However, I still have plenty of time to travel around. Right now, I’m just going to focus on Germany. Oh the excitement of returning to Germany once again!