It’s that time of the year again. We fight the darkness with colourful lights and give back to the ones we love, warming up the atmosphere and our hearts. Well, that is what they say. Reality always looks different, but don’t let me be the pessimistic one here – in every saying is always some truth. You cannot deny that Christmas time … is different! People do more good, give to charity and spend more time with their families. And this is reality. The whole gifting stress is just like noise, it’s irrelevant in the end.
While many people think it’s hypocrite that people suddenly become „good“ during the Christmas holidays by arguing that we actually should aways be like that, I think that this sudden behavioral change is better than nothing. We get so soaked up in our daily lives that we loose perspective on the important things. Are we to blame for that? I don’t know. All I know is that if we can break free from that, at least once per year for a couple of days, it is better than nothing. This is what Christmas really means to me. It’s a little wake-up call. Some time for reflection. A complete shuffle of priorities. For some this phase only lasts for the holidays, for others it might extend even longer. And yea, the longer the better. But falling back into old habits is just human.
So my Christmas holidays are probably exactly that. Plus, of course a little bit of party and turning off the overthinking mode. I havent quite figured out what I will wear yet, but this glittery top from Desigual or the red dress I’m wearing on the pictures… I’ll see!
Oh and by the way – you can win this beautiful rosegold Bracelet on my instagram! Just head over and comment under my last post :)
I’ve done so much traveling during my exchange semester in Sydney, I did not really find the time to post about all the amazing places I have visited and experienced. But this has got to change now. Let me start off with one of my highlights.
Here is my Fiji Travel Guide for Broke Exchange Students.
When you happen to be on the other side of the world, you should definitely exploit the fact that you are much closer now to certain places – So I decided to take the 300€ flight from Sydney to Nadi, an amazingly cheap deal considering you would probably pay more than 2000€ flying there from Europe. But to be honest, I only knew the Fiji Islands from the movie The Truman Show, in which the main character so desperately wants to go to this remote and beautiful place. So… I kinda wanted the same thing. I teamed up with two other exchange students and we decided to just go, knowing we would try to spend the least possible.
In Fiji you don’t book an accommodation – you book islands
When visiting Fiji, you do not go prepared; you go with the flow. We had nothing planned for our trip, we only got some advice from a couple of people who already went there. The only thing we had booked was the flight and our first stay at the hostel in Nadi, the main city in the west. The reason was that we wanted to be spontaneous and get the best offers from the locals. Highly recommended to us was the Bamboo Hostel, which was full of students and young people from all over the world, where we stayed in a 32-bedroom (!!!) for like 12€/night. Sounds horrible, but the hostel had an amazing fireshow, pretty good food and most importantly, really cool people.
So on the first day we sat together with the local travel booker from the hostel and made up a plan for the next 5 days. The woman told us that in Fiji you don’t book an accommodation – you book islands. A little geography lesson for you: The Fiji Islands are, as the name implies, a collection of many little island groups. Each island has a maximum capacity for carrying people, which is why you kinda “book the island”. Also, each island is rated with stars, like a hotel.
When the Cheapest Islands still feel like Paradise
One island group is called the Mamanuca Islands and known to be the backpacker islands, since it is one of the cheapest options – perfect for us broke students. After calculating through all options, we decided to spend two nights in Beachcomber Island and another two on Bounty Island before a last night back on the mainland. Booking an island you basically get everything inclusive: the transfer to the island on a boat and back, the accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, towels and an amazing entertainment slash getting to know the great, great Fijians living on the island. Let me give you some more info about those islands – I know this is what you are waiting for.
Beachcomber Island had a capacity of like 40 people and was somewhat mid-priced within the Mamanuca Islands.. You sleep in a super cool wooden shack, sunlight enters the room in the morning and fans create a light, fresh breeze. Waking up in a bunk bed could never be more relaxing I think. Beachcomber is so tiny, you can walk around it in 15min. The sand is white and soft and snorkeling is also possible. They say it’s the party island, however when we were there it was pretty empty – we did not mind though. The funny local DJane still played her songs every night and it was fun listening. It was definitely my favorite island.
Bounty Island: This island was a little bit more expensive than Beachcomper. The reason we decided to go there was probably that we were thinking we are going to the island which is always shown in the Bounty Chocolate ad. Well, that was not quite the case, but it was still a really amazing island.
Nadi: Beaches at the mainland are not that great, but there are a bunch of other activities you can do, like visiting temples and markets, hiking or going to their famous mud pools. We decided not to book any activity (you know… broke-student-life) but we took a bus into the city and discovered the main road with its shops and a nice Buddhist temple.
They say Fijians are the happiest people on earth
Yes the beaches are great, the water is extremely clear and the sun is just perfect – but one thing that fascinated me the most were the Fijians themselves. I have never ever met such nice people. The moment you enter Fiji, a group of Fijians already stands at the airport, sings and plays the guitar. And you know what? It does not seem like a tourist thing – I truly believe they loved that they were making music and with that, other people happy. This was also the case when we went into the city and met real locals in their daily life. They were always so friendly, helping out when we looked clueless, with a constant smile on their face. I don’t know why they are so happy, but maybe the more appropriate question would be why are we not happy most of the time. A little sidenote – you find people of all believes in Fiji living side by side in harmony. Muslims, Christians, Hindus… It was really nice to observe that.
So, when going to Fiji, be open and get in touch with the locals. Have a Kava (You know when you get there!!) and sing with them in front of a bonfire. It makes you reflect so much about yourself and the way we live our life. What does matter, what doesn’t matter. I remember the calm nights on the island, talking for hours with my friends about life and the future, looking at the bright stars.
Fiji is more than just a pretty place – it’s a little escape from the life you know.
I am a total pants-girl. Maybe it’s because I simply like wearing pants, as they are comfortable and you can just sit in any position you like to sit, haha. But maybe it’s because – nonliterally – I like to wear the trousers. Already back in school I never minded to take on responsibility of a task or lead a group towards a goal. While back then I was not that much aware of my tendencies, in university it became super clear. While others might call it being a control freak, I call it endurance and ambition. You can exercise control in many ways, and yes it can be done super wrong, selfish and can leave others hurt. But control does not necessarily need to carry that negative connotation. I feel lost when I loose control – in no matter what situation in life. So don’t you dare to take my pants away ;)
Anyway, let me go back to praising how amazing these grey flared plissee pants from Mango are. They are super chic, but wearing them gives you a little pyjama feeling – which is actually great. I combined them tone-in-tone with a grey, chunky knit, making them pretty wearable for the colder temperatures. And I decided for black, pointy boots, to really just prevent the look from being to much pyjama-style. However, they are definitely a bit more suitable for spring temperatures, due to their light material. What do you think about them?
// I’m Wearing:
Grey Knit – ZARA
Flared Plissee Pants – Mango
Boots – Zinda
Bag – Stella McCartney
Teddy coat, fake-fur jacket or 90’s bomber – I feel like we can finally mix up our coat wardrobe a little bit. The last years we were all a bit more classic with wool coats or parkas, but just like with Jeans, I feel like we are getting a bit more experimental. And what can I say? – I like! Quite surprisingly those teddy or fake-fur jackets are also pretty warm. Okay, for temperatures around zero degrees they might not be the perfect choice, but they definitely work with around 10 degrees, with some layering and a big scarf. My teddy coat would be perfect when spring starts; also due to its light, sensitive colour I would not wear it when it’s raining or snowing.
Oh and it’s been a while since I posted a look with sneakers! I was never the biggest sneakers fan and still I prefer leather shoes, but I actually do like some models, like those super cool Reebok Classics I bought in the Mid Season Sale – woop! I guess when you work for a company full of sneakerheads and where it feels like sneakers belong to the dress-code, you cant help but also start to like them. But again, I think it’s more of an „early-spring“ thing to wear… Please let winter pass quickly, so I can wear all my nice stuff :)
I always say that one day I will buy an amazing designer bag. Damn, those Chloé Faye bags are just so beautiful. I go to a department store, bag section, and try on this designer piece worth 1600€. Damn again, it looks so good on me – but then I just go home. This has been me for the last couple of months, maybe even years. I am pretty much aware that I am a mess when in comes to shopping. My closet is bursting from all sides and I could make a new combination each day until probably the end of my life and I would not have to repeat one single look. Thinking about all the stuff I have and still wanting more makes me sick sometimes. But then I see the next thing I like and totally feel it’s worth buying it. My consumerism is unreasonable and I know there would be so many better things to do with this money. Not quite sure if saying that the economy needs me to spend my money in order keep it going counts as a valid argument. This conflict in my mind is always present and I can say, finally with a good consciousness, that I just cannot square with my conscience to spend so much money on a bag, no matter how pretty it is and no matter how many fashionbloggers advertise for it. Honestly, maybe this one will change one day, at a different stage in life, but I dont know now.
So anyway, I still needed (okay wrong word again), wanted a new bag, which is premium quality, but of course not in the Chloé price range… and I found this beautiful bag from the Pinko Love me Tender Capsule Collection. And I bought it. And my mind is not kicking my ass… which means it was a good decision.
// I’m Wearing:
Teddy Jacket – Irisies.com
Mom Jeans – Monki
Turtleneck – ASOS
Watch – Daniel Wellington Black Edition (15% off with „ranhelwa“)
Bag – Pinko Love me Tender
This is a somewhat more personal post, but I just wanted to write down some thoughts about a topic that is keeping me busy lately. You must know, I’m an overthinker when it comes to certain aspects. However, I’m not making things necessarily more complicated, I just like to think through them.
The heading says „Let Memories be Memories“– it’s a conclusion I made that fits into a lot of situations in life. Let me give you a current example of my life.
I studied International Business at Maastricht University. Getting there in the first place, was not that easy for me. Fighting for your own will when your parents had planned a completely different life for you. Knowing that eventually the support was there, but the acceptance was missing. I had to prove that I made the right decision, whereby the hardest to convince was myself. It took time and the realization that I was good at what I am doing and that it made me happy. This decision had helped to grow, which is why I will always connect my time in Maastricht to the time I learned so much about myself and what I wanted in life. But Maastricht was so much more. The people I met, the many conversations I had, the countless parties I went to – I wasnt only forced to step out of my social comfort zone, I also had to give up the image I had of myself; the image people in high school had about me, that I simply believed. And then there were simply the careless fun times, getting out there no matter what and not wasting any second. Maastricht was good to me. It was so good to me that I know for a fact it would not be the same if I went back again for a Master’s Degree. I’m afraid of messing with my memories. I’m afraid that I would be trying to get back the time I had and then failing at it. I decided to let memories be memories and move on.
I believe this applies to so many situations in life, to any kind of good memories you have – let it be a relationship with a person, a travel destination you loved or whatever. You will never feel the same way as in your first time, even if everything seems the same. Sometimes you have to give up on a person, even if you had a deep connection with him or her. Accept the end of something and keep the good memories rather than to force something that is not there anymore. Don’t ruin your memories, dont let the present interfere with your past.