Okay, Don’t Freak Out

One of the things I learned about on my study abroad is the value of keeping a cool head and realizing everything is going to be alright. One week I was traveling alone in the grandiose city of London. I was preparing to leave London and my flight to Budapest was at 2:00pm So, naturally, I try to get their two hours early; that’s what you’re suppose to do, ya know. So. I’m sitting on my bus, watching Les Miserables and enjoying life. However, I think to myself, “How weird is it that my flight from Budapest to London was at 2:00pm and that it’s the same time on the way back…” I hurriedly pull out my ticket to check the time and in big bold letter it says flight leaves at 12:15pm. Holy crap! “Okay, don’t freak out.”

My bus arrives at 12:00pm and I grab my luggage and take off running. I get to security and the line is long but luckily the dude at the front let me skip him (shoutout to dude). I throw all my stuff off and ask the lady, “Yo, I need to take my shoes off?” She’s like, “Nah, you good.” Walk through the detector, my shoes set it off. I have to wait to get patted down. The clock is ticking. I finally get passed security; I put my shoes on (don’t tie them) grab my belt (don’t put it on), my jacket, throw my backpack over one shoulder, grab my small luggage and take off running. So here I am dashing through London Stansted airport sweating bullets as I hold my pants up, trip over my shoelaces, and drop my mittens and accessories that I am also carrying. I looked like a damn fool, I’m sure. A few women verbally expressed their concerns, “Shoes untied, jacket barely on, he must be in a rush,” They had no idea. The monitor says “BUDAPEST FINAL CALL”. My gate is 10 minutes away walking but I’m running so I make it there in 4 mins. OH MY GOODNESS there are still people boarding! I MADE IT. I throw all my stuff down and take a breath…go to pull out my passport and ticket…”where’s my passport?” In my frenzy to get to my gate I dropped it at security; I missed my plane. “Okay, don’t freak out.”

This was specifically bad because it was the end of Spring Break week and I had a huge project due the next day (that I admittedly had not done nearly enough work on). The security eventually was able to give me my passport back and then I found out that there were no more flights from London Stansted to¬† Budapest. “Okay, don’t freak out.”

I looked up prices for nearest airports to Stansted, found a flight to Budapest, made sure that I could get a bus there and headed out. I arrived in Budapest the next morning at 2am and stayed up all night to finish my project.

Christmas Market in Germany!

Christmas is a wonderful time full of family, friends and celebration. What better way to bring everyone together than a traditional Christmas Market? I traveled to Nurnberg to see one of the most popular German Christmas Markets, and I can say that it was an amazing experience. Drinking Gluhwein (hot wine), eating warm chestnuts and hearing the German quires sing festive songs brings it all together. Now when going to a Christmas Market, I have a few things that I recommend doing, and these will be the main point of my post today.

Step 1: Get some food!

Germany is chock full of delicious street food at these Christmas Markets. Classic things to go for are any kind of sausage (Bratwurst, Rotwurst, Currywurst), Gluhwein (as mentioned before is a form of hot wine, perfect for the cold weather!), and we cant forget the sweets! Germany has long been the place to get rich cakes and oh so sweet chocolate, so don’t forget to grab some!

Step 2: Shop!

Christmas Markets are more than just a gathering of people, they are also a great place to get some amazing gifts for you or for friends and family. Stop by the shops and check out whats for sale. You will find a lot of local crafts made by residents of Nurnberg. See the picture below of handcrafted German Decorative Houses. But don’t forget about the local eatery when shopping! Germany has a plethora of dairy producers, local and national, that make some great cheese, which will go perfect with the wine that you got in step one.

Step 3: Enjoy!

These Christmas Markets really bring the festive Germany to light, Seeing everyone enjoying themselves naturally makes for a fun environment… so enjoy it! Listen to the music and try to speak with the locals (just a few German words will spark the conversation!). This is the most important step in the Christmas Market travel, so don’t miss out on it!

Thank you all for reading my quick guide to German Christmas Markets. I have added some pictures below to show you some of the things I mentioned, but I cannot capture the true feeling you get when traveling to these Markets with just pictures… go do it yourself!