100 Things to do in San Francisco

Hi everyone,

as promised and to celebrate my imminent move to the San Francisco Bay Area, I wanted to share my bucket list for that area with you. Similar to my Berlin bucket list, this one is composed of items from my own list and of things that I have done myself and can strongly recommend. I am planning to edit the list as I go and add links and more recommendations, so come back once in a while. Enjoy!

Food

  1. Dottie’s True Blue Cafe
  2. Twirl & Dip Ice Cream Truck
  3. Smitten Ice Cream
  4. The loving cup
  5. Trouble Toast Coffeeshop
  6. Sightglass Coffee
  7. Brunch at Zazie’s
  8. Dynamo Donut in Mission
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One big update

Hi everyone,

it’s been forever that I published something here. This is mostly due to plenty of things happening out there in the world and me struggling to keep up. However, now I am taking a little break from all of this so I finally have time to fill you in on all the big news.

First of all, the very obvious change: I switched to a self-hosted blog with a new design. So from now on the URL is even easier to remember. It’s just yoursjuliet.com. Now, there are still some minor design flaws roaming this site but so many people advised me to make the switch rather sooner than later. So apologies if something is not working correctly just yet. Let me know about it and I will try to fix it asap.

Second, I basically finished up my Master’s program. I recently handed in my thesis and now I am just waiting for the defense to be over (which won’t be until mid-September). This means my days are not filled with scientific writing and graph making any more and can now be filled (at least partly) with blog post writing and photo editing.

And last but certainly not least, I AM MOVING TO CALIFORNIA! I am still having trouble believing it since everything happened so fast. I got into grad school in Santa Cruz ,where I will be starting mid-September already. So there are some stressful but also very exciting times ahead of me. I’m excited to go back to all the places I loved so much, discover new ones, and blog about it all.

Also, I will try to use my time off to catch up with blog posts that I meant to write ages ago. So as you’re reading this, I might be working on my Bay Area bucket list or the next posts about Prague, Lisbon, and Porto.

Hope you like the new design!

Yours,
Juliet

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10 Things to do and not to do in Prague

Hi everyone,
Prague is a very beautiful and unfortunately also very touristy city. To help you avoid some of the worst tourist traps, I compiled this list of things to do and not to do in Prague. Some of the very famous sights will definitely appear on the not to do list, which doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to cut it out of your itinerary, just take my negative experiences with those spots as a warning. In general, there is a high risk of getting pickpockets in this city, so be careful with your belongings at any time. And last but not least a little disclaimer: We are all different and what is a negative or uncomfortable experience for one of us doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for everyone else 😉
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Things to do
1. Strolling through the big park in the western part of the city: This was one of my favorite spots in the whole city. There was plenty to discover in that park and on top of it, you have an amazing view over the city (for free). There are also little cafés for refreshments and some snacks.
Adventure walking: This is what I call walking around a city without a definite aim and an idea how to get there. Prague was a perfect city for random discoveries by walking. I haven’t found any shady areas, so it is super safe to just explore
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A long weekend in Prague

Prague
To celebrate being midway through our allotted time for our Master thesis, a friend of mine and I decided to take a day off. We further decided to use this three-day weekend to go to Prague and explore the city. Best. Decision. Ever. Prague is such a cute and laid back city and definitely always worth a trip. So let me share a little of my weekend.
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Tips for planning & booking a budget trip

Hi everyone,
instead of just talking about all the great places to go, I decided to talk about something different this week: About how to save while planning and booking a trip. So here come the tricks that I found work for me. Let me know what yours are and stay tuned for the next post about how to save money at your vacation destination.
Save on the transportation:

 

  1. Skiplagged, Skyscanner, and Kayak are the websites I like to use to compare airfares. Skiplagged is actually my favorite because you can see the fares for a couple more days than your chosen date, so you can see which dates would be cheaper. Once you’ve identified the cheapest airline, double check the price of the ticket without going through one of these sites. Sometimes that is even cheaper
  2. Book on your tickets on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, most likely it will be cheaper than on the weekend.
  3. Before booking your tickets, delete your browser history. Apparently, there are algorithms that increase prices when they notice you are looking for certain tickets
  4. Collecting miles and using them on flights and upgrades really pays off. I am still taking my first steps in that business. However, the Points Guy is a true expert in that matter. Check out his website for tips on how to effectively make use of airline miles.
  5. Consider booking round trips even if you won’t need them. I know, I know, it hurts me too. But one-way tickets are just ridiculously expensive.
  6. Enough about flights, consider other modes of transportation. In Europe, it can be super-affordable to take the train. Check out the inter-rail options, a ticket valid for several weeks that can take you all over Europe. Other train tickets are the cheapest if you buy them exactly three months in advance.
  7. In other countries (the US comes to my mind here), road trips might actually be a fun and cheap alternative. Think about it. The one-way rule applies to a lot of rental cars, too, by the way.
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How to deal with culture shock and homesickness

Hi everyone,
let’s talk about feelings today: especially the nasty ones that come along with homesickness and experiencing culture shock. These are the things everyone who moves to a foreign country has to deal with sooner or later and to different extents of course. However, I feel like everyone gets overwhelmed by these feelings at some point. I myself had a rather mild case of culture shock and barely experienced any homesickness. It did kick me in the butt, though, as soon as everything wasn’t all smiles and sunshine (especially when I had the flu over Christmas and had to stay in my bed for a week). In order to make it easier for other exchange students or expats to deal with these nasty feelings, I collected my tips and tricks of how to handle culture shock and homesickness.
  1. Be aware of the phenomenon culture shock: Do your research and learn about the different stages. That alone can make it easier to deal with, because you know that another phase will come up soon and change everything again.
  2.  Accept it: Don’t deny it, think about what phase you’re actually in, and remember that you’re not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.
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Chocolatiers Fassbender & Rausch in Berlin

[featured photo by Caribb  Creative Commons]
Hi everyone,

 

today I have a different kind of post for you. Instead of giving you top 5 or 10 of anything, I just wanted to share a fun experience with you. Over the easter weekend I had friends in town, so we went out exploring together. I always enjoy these visits, because usually my friends have a few ideas about where to go and then I get to check out some new spots in Berlin.
That’s exactly how it was this time. After I showed my girls my favorite spots in Berlin, and then they told me about the Chocolatiers Fassbender&Rausch they’ve read about on the internet. So we went to see their shop and restaurant at the Gendarmenmarkt.
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A guide to San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood

Hi everyone,
as some of you know, I was lucky enough to call the Sunset District in San Francisco my home for a year. And while that time happened to be one of the best in my life, I know that the Sunset District wouldn’t be the number one choice of a lot of people for living in. But living out there has its perks: Life has a completely different pace out there, everything slows down, it is an amazing spot to come down from the buzzing excitement the city gives you. Besides, there is, of course, the actual sunset, views over the beach and the golden gate bridge, and a bunch of places to go to and see:

Bars

My list here is quite short, but that doesn’t mean that there are not plenty of places to go out to for a drink, I just tried to limit myself 😉
The Riptide is an awesome small bar with casual atmosphere right next to the beach. My absolute favorite!
The Little shamrock is my first choice when I am longing for an Irish pub. It’s small, it’s cute, it has an awesome atmosphere. The best drinks: Irish coffee and White Russian.
Yancy’s saloon is another super casual sports bar. It offers free popcorn, you can play darts, and ask for dice. And they make great cocktails. If you’re brave, ask for a Bay City Bomber or an AMF 😉 An apple martini is always a safe choice.
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Oslo in Photos

Hi everyone,

I posted my travel tips for Oslo a few weeks ago, but I didn’t want to squeeze all my photos in that post. So here is a follow up with a bunch of additional photos. Unfortunately, there are all taken with my phone. I promise I’ll get back to using my DSLR soon!

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I actually thought this beautiful building was a hostel, but it turned out to be an advertisement company. Too bad, I would have gladly stayed there.

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Travel books worth reading

Hi everyone,

I am constantly looking for the next book to read, especially before my next trip. I hope some of you feel the same, because I have collected my favorite travel-related books of all time for you. I hope, you’ll enjoy them as much as I did. Let me know, which books are your favorites 🙂

  1. Bill Bryson, Notes from a small Island (Reif für die Insel): This is the first travel-related book I have ever read, which is probably why it is so dear to me. I got it from my great uncle after telling him about planning my first ever solo trip, which I wanted to spend in the UK. After reading this book, I wanted to reread it immediately and plan out the exact same itinerary that Bill Bryson followed as he traveled around the UK. This trip never happened, but it definitely stoked my excitement for travel. It would recommend it to anyone, who is interested in the UK and intrigued by Bill Bryson’s exquisite style of writing.
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