Wanderlust – the Need of Travel

Stella Pioli, Italy

I love to travel. Don’t you love that feeling when your first waking thought is, “Oh, yeah…I’m going somewhere today!”?. My parents and grandparents always told me to explore the world, because if we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.

 

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A word that we always hear more often is “Wanderlust”. For those who don’t know what it is, it means a strong desire for or impulse to travel and explore the world. It may reflect an intense urge for self-development by experiencing the unknown, getting to know unfamiliar cultures, ways of life and behaviors, or may be driven by the desire to escape. For them, it’s not only travel, but a challenge; they explore places where they are likely to be pushed out of their comfort zones or encouraged to take risks.

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Not everybody is meant to travel. There are some people who never feel the urge to leave the house. Staying in the city they came from, hanging out with the people they have known since they were kids, sitting on the same the couch, and staying in the 360 degrees that immediately surrounds them: they’re happy with that. A lot of people in this world don’t see the point of travelling, and most say it’s a waste of time, money, or it’s scary to travel to places that are far away.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – Saint Augustine

Then there are the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still and always keep their passports on them – just in case. In fact, if we did not love to travel and explore a new culture we would have never taken this trip to Santa Barbara. It doesn’t matter if you stay for 4 weeks or 9 months, you had the impulse to travel, you were bitten by the travel bug. We are still finding and preparing ourselves for school and career. The skills and experience we gain from traveling abroad gives us life-long personal benefits as well as a leg up in the professional world.

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But have you ever wondered why some people need to travel more than others? For those people, it becomes one of life’s essential needs, as important as food and shelter.

Well, a study shows that such behavior traits with a gene variant known as DRD4-7R, which is thought to be present in around 20 % of the population. Some have even nicknamed it as the “wanderlust gene”. DRD4 is a dopamine receptor that helps control the levels of dopamine in our brains. The 7R allele is associated with increased risk-taking, curiosity and various psychiatric disorders including ADHD, alcoholism and drug dependency.

 

The Earth is filled with infinite experiences, wonders and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Imagine, camping out underneath the aurora borealis in the Canadian tundra or hiking through the Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu. I believe that a lot of education is experienced in a classroom or through a textbook, but it isn’t nearly as fulfilling or effective as traveling the world.

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We are inspired to live better, to be happier and to give back to those in need. Our lives are defined by experiences. The greater the number of experiences, the better the definition of life becomes.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” – Mae West.

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7 German Foods You Have To Try

By Kira Maria Wasserthal, Germany

My name is Kira. I’m from Germany. I have lived there since I was born for 19 years. I’m really into German food because it’s so delicious and multifunctional. So I think everyone should know something about our really good food.

  1. Pretzel

In Ge1rman you don’t say “Pretzel” you say “Bretzel” with a long “e”.

A Pretzel is a type of baked bread product made from dough most commonly shaped into a twisted knot. It also has salt on it. Salt is an important part of the Pretzel because with salt it tastes way better than without.

      2.Käsespätzle

Käsespätzle is my favori2te food here in Germany. Käsespätzle are a kind of soft egg noodle scalloped with cheese. You also put fried onions on it. This tastes so good!

For really good flavor you have to make the noodles by hand. It’s really easy.

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3. Sauerkraut

“Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage.” This is the definition of Sauerkr6.aut from Wikipedia.

But I have to say that Sauerkraut isn’t really good food for everybody. To be honest I don’t really like it because I just don’t like the taste of it. But some people really love it. So you have to choose for yourself!

      4. Weisswurst

Weisswurst is typical Bavarian food. In the part of Germany where I live (Hessen), it’s not as common to eat Weisswurst like it is in Bavaria. But when I go to Munich (it’s the capital of Bavaria) I always e7.at it because it’s soo good!

I would say Weisswurst is similar to the normal Bratwurst (sausage in English) because the form is the nearly the same, but it looks different. In the image below you can see how a sausage looks if you have never seen one before:

Grilled barbecue sausage

Weisswuerste are usually eaten as a mid-morning snack. They are made fresh every morning. It has a really mild taste. That’s why it’s also really popular for children.

5.Fleischkäse

The next one is “Fleischkäse”. You can also say “Leberkäse”. It consists of corned beef, pork and bacon a9.nd is made by grinding the ingredients very finely and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust. You can also eat it with bread. I always eat it like this at school. It’s way better!

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    6. Schnitzel

Schnitzel is also a really typical food in Germany. Even though it’s originally from Austria (Wiener Schnitzel) it’s still popular in Germany. In every part of Germany!

German people often eat this with fries or with mashed potatoes. Some people ea11t Schnitzel without any dip. Some eat it with ketchup. It depends on your taste.

You can also eat your Schnitzel with different kind of sauces like cream sauce (then it’s called Rahmschnitzel) or mushroom sauce (then it’s called Jaegerschnitzel) and so on.  There are many different options.

      7. Schweinshaxe

A “Schweinshaxe” is a roasted ham hock. “The ham hock is the end of the pig’s leg, just above the 12ankle and below the meaty ham portion”.

It is especially popular in Bavaria! In my part of Germany it’s called “Eisbein”.
You can eat Schweinshaxe with “Knödel” or Sauerkraut.
Here you can see Knödel:

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Expedition America

Emma Andersson, Sweden

emma yoseExpedition America is a travel provider that works with staff from examples EF schools to plan and create packages for every people unique needs. The organization main goal is to create a memorable and safe experience for everyone. I went to the Yosemite Park with Expedition America and I liked it a lot. The guide was really good and gave us good information about everything.

Expedition America is a full service tour and offer trips that includes hotel accommodations, activities, event tickets, sightseeing and transportation.  The organization prioritizes safety and security and keeps sure that every guest has an enjoyable and safe experience.   As I mention before, the guide we had on our trip was very good and it’s because everyone who works for Expedition America must undergo a training progress with several interviews. It is a high standard of the staff and its zero tolerance policy!

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The travel provider offer trips to examples Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Yosemite Park and a lot more. The Organization offers also their customers to create their own trips. You can choose between several options of sightseeing, theme parks, museum and shopping, as you want. While I was in the Yosemite Park, the guide took a lot of pictures that he shared and sent to the whole group later.emsi yose

From my own experience I liked it. We got a lot of free time and the guide was always available for our questions and helped us when we needed that. It was a long bus trip, took about 6 hours but Jeremy, our guide, made a Whats Up group that everyone could be a part in and decides together when we wanted to take a break or if we just wanted to ask any general questions.

The Three Most Beautiful Beaches in The World

By Honoka Tsukakoshi, Japan

Do you like beaches? If you are beach lover, you should go to the three most beautiful beaches in the world before you die.

IMG_0163First, you should go to Thailand. There is a nice beach in Phuket named Surin Beach. As you can see, the beach has very clear water and you can enjoy seeing a beautiful emerald green sea and wonderful nature. Also you can enjoy doing marine sports such as diving, snorkelling, and surfing.

IMG_2733Second, Bora Bora island is a good place to go. International Thalasso Beach is the most famous beach there. This island is one of Tahiti islands. If you go there, I recommend you stay at the cottage on the sea. You can see the beautiful blue sea when you get up or you go to bed. However, the cost of staying at the cottage is a little expensive. If you would like to stay, you have to save money.
IMG_2735Third, do you know that there is a nice beach in Japan? Okinawa Prefecture is the best place to see beautiful beaches. The most beautiful beach of Okinawa Prefecture is Maehama Beach. This beach is located on Miyako island in Okinawa Prefecture and people who live there said this beach is the best. If you go there, of course you can enjoy marine sports and also local foods in Okinawa Prefecture.

What do you think about these three most beautiful beaches in the world? Do you want to visit there? I wish you can enjoy staying there and you will be a devoted beach lover!

Santa Barbara Moments

Michaela Kopecna, Czech Republic

For someone who wasn’t born in Santa Barbara some things can be completely new and strange. Every country has its own customs or traditions. Some of them could be normal, but some of them could seem little bit weird.

I am a girl from a small city in Europe and I have never traveled across the ocean before. So the words like “jet lag” or “culture shock” were, for me, completely new. I never understood the meaning of them because in Europe we all go to sleep at same time. That means that we have different traditions, but close and similar to each other.time

What time is it?

When you land at the airport your first thing you must check is the time, because in Europe it is 12PM. What time is the right one? That’s the question. Here in Santa Barbara it’s 12AM, so should I go to sleep? No! And that is what jet lag is.

How to use the toilets?

It could be strange, but the toilets are also different. And for someone from Europe it’s a shock. Are there really gaps when you close the doors? So everybody can see me through the gaps, right?hands

Are people here my friends now?

This could happened that you are standing at a bus stop and some stranger starts to talk with you. Just in Santa Barbara. The people here are so kind and helpful. They just talk with you and at the end of the conversation you are friends. How easy. That’s why I feel so welcome in this country.

How to say hi?

Hear Spanish in Santa Barbara is really common. All the names of the streets are in Spanish and also in some public buildings you can hear this language. That is because Santa Barbara used to be a Spanish colony. However, for every day use, just learn how to say hi in Spanish. That will be enough. So “hola” and “gracias senora”!freez

I’m freezing!

Sometimes you can feel cold here because of the air-conditioning or cold weather. Don’t underestimate it and take a  warm sweater into your classes. Even if Santa Barbara has the ocean it isn’t warm all the time. Suprisingly.

Goal!

You can say you are citizen when you help tourists get to the beach. You won! Santa Barbara is not so hard to orient oneself. So after a short time you will feel here like you are at home. Culture shock is gone and jet lag is your very old friend.

WELCOME TO SANTA BARBARAsanta-barbara-lifestyle-itineraries

 

Today’s China

Chuwen Wang, China

 

China has been in the high speed development stage after entering the twenty-first century, but still there are a lot of foreigners who have the impression of China from twenty years ago or even longer. So I want to show something about today’s China.

Life in China today

Getting by without a wallet in China: Mobile innovation brings new experience.

Now people usually leave home without cash or credit card in China. They can do everything with their cellphone, such as eating and buying things. When you want to buy something, you just need to scan a QR code via your smartphone or the store scans your code to let you pay, and transferring money in this way can also be used between friends(but the money between friends doesn’t need to be scanned with a code. You can transfer money directly to friends in the app).

China’s bike share.

In order to give people more convenience, bike sharing provides a lot of help for Chinese people. You just need to scan a QR code on a bike via your smartphone. Then you can use the bike, and you can park your bike anywhere (don’t forget to lock the bike). Meanwhile we have many workers to check and repair bikes every day. If you find any bike is broken, you can tell the bike’s company via your phone when you are using it.

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High speed trains.

High speed trains, which travel at speeds of 250-350 km/h. Almost every city has these kinds of trains and there are also general trains for people to choose. So people have more choice to go places.

Chinese cities.

Most foreigners only know Beijing and Shanghai, but in my opinion, other Chinese cities also have different sceneries. Let me introduce some cities for you.

Chongqing, which is famous for spicy food. Even though their food is spicy, it’s really delicious. I advise that, if you go to China, you should go to see this city, especially the entire city at night, which view you will enjoy much better than you thought.

Xi’an, which is my hometown and this city used to be one of China’s ancient capitals. There’s one main attraction that many people know about–Xi’an is the city with TERRACOTTA WARRIORS. In addition, there is also a plenty of delicious food.

As we all know, China is a developing country, which also has a lot of problems we need to solve, but all of us in China believe that our country is improving and we just need time. If your impression is that China is like Chinatown in the U.S, I think you should go to China to see for yourself because China and Chinatown are completely different.

Finally, China will always welcome friends from all over the world.

Things To Do in Los Angeles

By Larissa Riegel Germany

What can you do in Los Angeles? What are the best places to visit? How can you have an amazing weekend there?

First of all Los Angeles is a really big city, so there are a lot of things to do. There are many interesting museums, some really good restaurants, many sight seeing spots, some nice beaches and of course a lot of good shopping areas. There are also different sides of the city. It depends on you and what  you want to do. For example you could visit Beverly Hills, go shopping on Rodeo drive and after that you could go to an expensive Restaurant on a Rooftop. On the other hand you could  visit the Universal studios, where you will have a lot of fun and experience action, then go to Hollywood and visit a movie museum and after that eat at In and Out and just enjoy a classic, cheap but also very good burger. That’s one thing I really love about Los Angeles. There is something for everyone, every age and every interest.

There are some general sight seeing spots that are a must to visit when in LA. You have to go and see the Hollywood sign. There are different ways of doing that: if you want to get really close to it, I would recommend you to do a hike. It takes some time but its definitely worth it. There is a really nice hike in Runyon Canyon. If you are too lazy or do not have enough time I would recommend you to visit Griffith Observatory. It’s a planetarium and from there you have an awesome view of the Hollywood sign, but also over the city. You can also go there in the evening . Its really beautiful to see the city with the lights on in the night.

Then you should visit one of the beaches: Venice Beach is pretty cool. There is also a skate park and the “Muscle Beach” where all the bodybuilders are practicing. Another cool Beach is close to the Santa Monica Pier. Its great to walk around the Pier and the Promenade is beautiful. There is also the “Pacific Park” where is a little roller coaster and a big wheel. There are a lot of good restaurants too and a good shopping mile near the Pier.

If you want to go shopping and to spent a lot of money and buy something expensive. You have to go to Rodeo Drive which is a famous Street in Beverly Hills. If you are looking for shops like H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Levis and so on.. I would recommend you the Santa Monica shopping area. But there are many shopping malls in La which are pretty good too.

If you want to eat at an excellent restaurant. You have to go to Downtown La where you can have dinner on Rooftop Restaurants where you have an amazing vie w over the city. But there are good Restaurants everywhere and some really nice Cafes too. For example Earth Café is a really nice place to have a good and healthy breakfast. They serve fresh food which is so delicious.

Another cool place to go is Hollywood. You can walk around and see the walk of Fame and some Theaters. There are some interesting museums and of curse some great shows too. And maybe you even get to see a celebrity!;)

The Maldives

By Patrick Schnauffer from Stuttgart, Germany

Do you want to travel to paradise?

The Maldives are definitely the perfect destination for you

Located in the Indian Ocean the Republic of Maldives consists of several atolls with altogether 1196 islands. On 220 of them live the Maldivian citizens and 87 are for touristic purposes. Back in the past when the Maldives were under British occupation the local people gained a living just with the fishing industry. This has changed in 1965 when the Maldives became an independent republic. Since this time the importance of tourism has grown enormously, so that the country developed into one of the most significant travel destinations worldwide.

If you travel by plane, you will arrive in Male which is the largest and likewise the only “city” of the Maldives as well the capital of the country. There are living approximately one third of all the citizens what makes this main island quite crowded.

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So if you want to spend your vacation on a lonely island having the feeling of being apart from the rest of the world, instead of experiencing city life, you can choose several types of accommodation located on the beautiful atolls spread around the capital island of Male.

Beginning from common hotels till the most luxurious resorts, you can barely imagine until you have visited them, there is a wide range of apartments where you can select from.

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Typical for the Maldives are the resorts where you live in your own house out in the ocean which is built on wooden stakes. A private pool and direct access to the sea is included! Those apartments are connected to the main island of the hotel with a wooden footbridge so that it’s easy to reach the restaurants and SPA areas of your resort.

While spending your vacation on the Maldives it never gets boring. You definitely should not miss to go diving in the Indian Ocean and exploring the amazing coral reefs all-round the atolls which provide unique flora and fauna waiting for you to be discovered.   Moreover it is quite worth it to rent a kayak and paddle to some lonely islands by having the chance to relax where you are the only one far away from mass tourism. Likewise I would recommend to you a scenic sightseeing flight over all the Maldivian atolls.

Depending on the hotel you are staying in you are being offered the possibility to enjoy a dinner directly at the private beach of your hotel meanwhile watching one of the most beautiful sunsets you have very probably never seen anywhere else before.

So in my opinion it is a perfect decision to travel to the Maldivian Republic because you got so many different things to explore on those amazing islands with its unique nature. Nowhere else in the world you will have that feeling of being definitely in paradise. So pack your suitcases now and book your unforgettable trip to this gorgeous country. I promise you won’t regret this decision!

Just have a look inside this travel destination by checking out the link below!!

Maldives Introduction Video