Posts for Guest Posts Category

Should You Go Back To A Destination You Loved?

Guest Posts - Ross French - September 15, 2011

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By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Let’s say you see a comedy movie with someone you like, you’ve had a great day and you are in a good mood. The film makes you laugh a lot, then a few months later someone asks you if you’ve seen the movie. You will undoubtedly reply, “Yes! It’s great. So funny”, because you have a nice memory of that time and the movie. But it may happen that you see the same movie on another day in which you are not in a good mood, or maybe you watch it alone, and do not laugh as much as that first time you saw it.
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This is the reason great Spanish singer-songwriter Joaquín Sabina warns in one of his songs that donde fueras feliz, no debieras tratar de volver (wherever you were happy, you should not try to go back). This happened to a friend of mine who had the time of her life when she was living for a year in one of the Budapest apartments. Four or five years later she wanted to go back to visit the city and old friends. Most of her friends were still there, the city had not suffered many changes, even her favourite bar was still run by the same guy. The only difference was herself; she was not in the same mindset that she was before when she lives there, not the same motivation, not the same objectives, not the same emotions.

This is the same reason why people prefer the book over the movie, because most people normally read the book before they watch the film (amongst other reasons because when a novel is great, then it is adapted to cinema). According to research, if a story is good, the impact that it causes on our brain the first time we have access to it is so strong that it’s impossible to create such a strong impact  the second time, resulting in dissapointment.

So, hey, travellers, don’t end up like my friend who was upset because she went back to the apartments in Budapest. If you find a destination you love, don’t let this hold you back from  visiting it a second time. Just be aware, it will not be the same as the first time you went. Make new memories and emotions in that destination.

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Barcelona’s “La Mercè” And My First Blind Date

Guest Posts - Ross French - September 8, 2011

By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

At the end of September, Barcelona celebrates La Mercè festivities in honor of the patron of the city. The actual holiday is on Sept 24th and the celebrations in city are planned for the days around this date. 2011’s date for the festivities is the 22nd until the 25th of September.


It’s one of the biggest celebrations in Barcelona and it will always have a special meaning to me, because two years ago I arrived in Barcelona at the start of these festivities.

I was still in limbo about where to live, stuck on a few apartments in Barcelona, I made my final decision after a few days and had the most amazing time going to concerts, performances and all sorts of other events during La Mercè 2009. The most memorable concert wasThe Hives.

Unfortunately during the exciing festivities I also thought it was a grand idea (despite all my better judgement) to go on a date with a stranger.

Before I start telling you about this mishap of mine, I must inform you that I’ve never been on a date like this before. I’ve only been on dates with people I was in some sort of relationship with or already knew somehwhat well.

Anyways, I was at a concert with my roomate and a group of guys stopped us. I couldn’t really tell who, but one of them asked for my number. I’m usually very hesitant to give out my number and at that point I didn’t even have one yet, but I thought to myself “You are new in this city, just give it a try and see.” I was all about being more outgoing, so I decided to give him my email address. After having exchanged a couple of emails we decided to meet up for dinner and drinks the following week.

I was the first to arrive at the resturant, so I was nervous. I had no idea what this guy looked like. He eventually arrived and we ended up spending a really nice evening together, but I knew pretty fast that I wasn’t into him. This whole experience just confirms my thoughts about dating. It is one of the most awkward and unnatural social situations for me.  It makes me so uncomfortable, but I guess it’s a good thing that I know what I want.

Thus, the morals of my story are: If you’re not convinced about doing something don’t do it and when you happen to stay in  Barcelona apartments make sure you go to La Mercè if the dates match up, because it’s one of the coolest celebrations I’ve ever been to.

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Pros, Cons and Tips For Travelling With Your Family

Guest Posts - Ross French - August 25, 2011

By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

I would like to share a personal travel story. Two weeks ago I made a trip to Berlin with the women of my family. This includes my mother and her two sisters and my younger sister. I can tell you that the experience was… ehm… uproarious -in the good and the bad sense of the word. Actually, it was not the first time we travelled together; two years ago we went to Dublin and we had such a good time that we decided to establish family women trips regularly.

After my second family women trip I’ve gained enough experience to tell you the pros and the cons of it:

I’ll start with the cons.

I assume your family speak English, mine don’t. This was the main reason why the idea of travelling together emerged: my mother and my aunties thought it was a good idea to get us (well get me, as I’m the eldest sister) as a 24-hour translator and guide –even if I had never been to the place before.
Traveling with the women in my family also meant me having tons of patience and no nightlife fun, unless you understand fun by having an ice-cream in the city centre.
Of course, we didn’t have the same biological clock, this meant that, despite staying in one of the Berlin apartments and not sleeping in the same room, at 7 am one of them would knock on my door to ask what we should do that day.
Listen to me well now guys: don’t let them get so used to being guided they shut their own brains down! When you detect the first symptoms of this occurring, curb it immediately!

Pros:

My mother always says: after a trip you will not remember how much money you spent, you will just remember the good moments of that trip.
Perhaps I am immensely lucky to have an extremely funny family, they laugh all the time and of course have an infectious laugh. In a matter of seconds we’re  all laughing our asses off. I love these awkward moments in the middle of the Berlin underground, cracking up under the astonished look of the other passengers.
Keeping good relationships with your direct family is more important than we think. When we grow old we tend not to give them the importance they deserve. Sharing experiences and good times with them will undoubtedly increase you happiness levels.

Some tips for traveling with your family:

If you know that you’ll be responsible for guiding the others around, don’t expect anything in exchange, that’s not love.
If you’re a group it’s always cheaper to stay in apartments in Berlin rather than in a hotel, also, you will have more flexibility.
Under no circumstances take a trip for more than 5 days.
Whatever happens, look on the bright side of things: enjoy your time with your family; travelling with them is a good way of getting spiritually closer and creating memories and emotional links you wouldn’t have otherwise.

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Friends in New York

Guest Posts - Ross French - August 23, 2011

By: Philip Barnes

If you want to travel to expensive places, then you better have friends. Why? Because Hotels are just so expensive these days- wherever you decide to travel to.

planeIt’s annoying, especially if you’re as desperate to see the world as I am. However I’ve found that if you’re a nice person; able to hold decent chatter with just about anyone, you can be rewarded. You build-up contacts which you can use later on in your travels.

For example, there’s no way I could have afforded to fly to New York AND stay in downtown hotels. There just isn’t enough money in my account to pay for a standard night’s accommodation along Lexington Avenue. What I needed was a couch to sleep on; people I could befriend who would hopefully let me freeload off them.

It sounds a bit harsh, but when you really think about it: meeting different kinds of people, whether locals or fellow travellers, is a massive part of travelling. Of course you can visit all the ‘unique’, ‘interesting’ places your Lonely Planet guide book tells you about, but ultimately what you later remember about these places is the people you’ve met.

To be brutally honest, I can get sick of seeing tourist attractions. Seeing one Buddhist temple in Asia was enough in my opinion. And I’ve felt the same way about Europe: one Cathedral in Spain looks EXACTLY the same as one does in Italy. For me, what really makes the places I’ve visited memorable are the people I’ve meet there. The people I got drunk with, the people I shared funny stories with- basically the people you live with for short periods of time.

My trip to New York could easily have cost two, three, even four times as much as it actually did if I had to make my own arrangements and sort out my accommodation in overpriced hotels. However what actually happened turned out to be a real fortune saver. Luckily, friends I had met in South East Asia were from Manhattan and happily let me stay with them throughout my time in the city. Of course, this not only saved me loads of money on hotel bills, but they also showed me round the city- taking me to cool places camera happy tourists would have most likely miss out on. I got to drink in rooftop bars, listen to the beats and bop of New York Jazz- and I even went to a frat party one night at Columbia University (which was simply amazing).

I saw everything I wanted to, and more, had a great place to stay and got free food too, bonus! I’ll never forget my time in New York, it’s a wicked city. But it’s not the Empire State Building I’ll remember or that super sized Big Mac I had in McDonalds either. It will be Ryan, Bradley and Kyle- my American buddies who happily put me up for 4 days and made that trip memorable. I can’t wait to return the favour when they come to visit me later on this year in London.

So, basically, do your best to make friends whilst travelling. Besides being there for you when the rain starts to fall… they can save you money!

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Things To Do In Barcelona If You Want To Follow A Healthy Life

Guest Posts - Ross French - August 19, 2011

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By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Before I begin, I would like to say that this post is a kind of homage to Hogga after reading her last post, which has also served me as inspiration to write about something I wouldn’t have thought otherwise, ahem… Hogga is right, life is not just about parties, nightlife and dealing with hangovers. Eventually you start to think of alternative activities that make you grow spiritually, make you feel like a more interesting person, of simply help you get up not hungover in the morning. One last thing: it is focussed in Barcelona but these activities can be found in any other city, so Hogga, pay attention.

sushiSushi workshops: Japanese food and specially sushi and all its varieties are lately a growing trend in Barcelona. Thus, there are many options if you want to learn how to prepare it and impress someone with your culinary abilities. Moreover, cooking relaxes, it helps you evade from other problems and concentrate on what you’re doing. Among all the options of taking sushi lessons, I recommend Maguroya sushi, in the neighbourhood of Gracia, where for just 48€ you can have personal lessons with a real professional.

Flotarium: It consists of soaking yourself with treated water that makes you float. I’ve never tried it -yet- but they say it’s like going back to our mother’s womb or staying in a 0 gravity area. Isn’t that amazing?? –Except if you suffer from claustrophobia. And it is supposed to provide a profound mental and physical relaxation that isolates you from external stimuli.

paintingPainting workshops: You may be an atrist inside and never know it until you try. Stimulating your artistic side is always interesting, you get to know yourself better, even if it’s to find out that you have no artistic charms… There are some great studios near apartments in Barcelona, as there are a lot of schools of art.

Get a massage, or even better, learn to massage! Oh wait, did I say better? Anyways, stress caused by giving up a habit can be removed with a good, relaxing massage. And there are many variants, from hot stones, to chocolate and aromatherapy…

Tantric sex: Why not? Sex can help you relieve stress even when it’s not the spiritual kind!

We all know that changing habits is very traumatic and probably one of the most complicated things a person can do. Thus, starting doing “abnormal things“ like going to spend a time in one of the Barcelona apartments or to another part of the world will do nothing but help you in the changing habits process. Good luck!

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