What Do You Think? – Decisons Aren’t Easy

Hi everyone! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve last been here, but I’ve got something I’d love to hear your opinion about so please do leave a comment if you feel like it.

So I’ve been at uni for a while now and since my bachelor studies are slowly coming to an end my mom is kinda pushing me to do a semester abroad, which I have been thinking about but I am that kind of person that WANTS to do all the things but basically never does them until someone pushes me to do them. I know that this could be a really great opportunity for me to grow, become more independet and get out of my very comfortable comfort zone more.

Now my first instinct and thought was to go to Saint Petersburg, Russia. I have never been there but have always had a huge fascination with the city. I think you could call it my New York City. It migth be because of my favourite childhood movie Anastasia that plays partly in St. Petersburg, but ultimately I do not know the reasons, it’s just the way it is. So, their State University has an agreement with my uni and offers courses in classics, which is my major. They are however in Russian and requier a level of at least B2. Although I am starting Russian as a minor this fall, I’ll only reach level A2, maybe B1, by summer next year. There is however a possibility to visit a Russian course in summer that will prepare you specifically for the Russian courses at the St. Petersburg State University. To conclude, St. Petersburg has always been a city that’s been on top of my list and if I’ll be there for one or half a year it will be a great spot to discover lots of other places I haven’t been to before, like other cities in Russia, Finland or the Baltics. It would have benefits for both my major and my minor. However, I feel like classics, especially the latin and ancient greek classes are hard enough in my native tongue, and will be much much harder in Russian.

Now however, last week I’ve been to Innsbruck, Austria. It is about 4 hours away from Zurich, where I currently study. And I have absolutely fallen in love with the city. I never would have expected it and honestly I haven’t felt this way with any other city or place yet. So naturally I went to check out their uni and they do offer courses in classics too as well as Russian. So again I could do my major and minor. Another plus is of course that it will be all in German, my mother tongue. At the same time of course it is a great possibility to learn and improve another language while staying in the country, but the already challenging courses will be a lot more manageable this way. There would also be no Visa troubles in Austria. I have been to a lot of places in the region already, like Switzerland of course, several places in Northern Italy and Germany. So there will be less to discover than from Russia, but there should still be more than enough. Especially since the tyrol region offers breathtaking landscapes and mountains. And a last point is after falling in love with Innsbruck I have actually been thinking of maybe moving there after my studies. I have always thought about moving to another country but haven’t found a city or place that I truly felt like I wanted to be there for more than a couple weeks. With Innsbruck I feel like I might have found just that and studying there for a year or a half would be a little test for me to find out if this really could become a home to me.

I feel like Russia would definitely make me come out of my comfort zone a lot more and would do for a spectacular time. Austria on the other side is so close to home that I feel kinda weird about chosing it for a term abroad but then again I thought to myself it doesn’t always have to be far away and my choice doesn’t have to impress other people.

So what do you guys think? Where would you go? What pros and cons do you see? Have you been in similar situations?

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Am I a Bad Person?

Well, how’s that for a dramatic post title?! Granted I don’t think it’s THAT bad with me (yet?) but the more I read, hear and watch about minimalism, ethical fashion and zero-waste movements the more I feel like maybe I’m not doing enough. I know (and it’s important to always keep in mind) that minimalism isn’t a competition and that it’s not perfect. But my inner perfectionist? It wants to be perfect. So badly. So whenever I take a step forward I feel like the goal I’m striving towards is also moving further, and I’ll never get there.

One of the first measures I’ve taken when becoming a minimalist was to consume less especially given clothes and other fashion items. I was feeling more free, I was spending less and was helping the environment through it too. But then I came across articles and documentaries (e.g. The True Cost) and I realized that maybe alone consuming less wasn’t enough, I also needed to consume in a right way, in an ethical way. So my euphoria over consuming less was quickly dimmed by the realization that I nevertheless wasn’t consuming ethically. And that is something I still struggle with. I want to be good to this planet and its people, but I’m also a student trying to become financially independent from their parents. And let’s be real, ethcial brands ARE more expensive than fast fashion brands. OBVIOUSLY. They use better materials, they pay better wages, the list goes on. And in theory that is what I want. I’m an idealist. I regulary have some kind of breakdown because of how unfair the world seems to be sometimes and how much greed is destroying. But I’ve also grown up this way. I’ve grown up always looking for the cheapest price and that is hard (way way harder than I ever expected) to get away from.

So yes, I want good conditions and fair wages. Yes, I want eco-friendly methods used. I want all of that and more. Yes, $40 for a shirt makes sense given all those circumstances. But to a person growing up spending $5 or $10 on shirts and not earning much it’s sometimes still really hard to spend those $40 on a plain shirt, even though I understand all the reasoning behind it and even support it.
Writing it down like this it sounds even more horrible than when I just whisper it in my head. But it is the ugly truth. While minimalism comes fairly easy to me, ethical consumption (and the price of it) doesn’t. It is a hard battle, that as of now I still often (mostly, okay) lose, but it’s better than not fighting at all. Some day I’ll get there.

January Favourites 2017

Welcome to my first favourites post! This is kinda late because I wasn’t originally planning on doing this, but since I’ve tried to be more concious about life in general lately I ended up thinking about what I liked about January, so I thought I might as well make a post out of it. Especially because I really enjoy reading these kind of posts on other blogs, giving you more of an idea who the person behind the blog is and what type of things they like besides what the theme on their blog is. And it’s a great way to write about things that usually wouldn’t make it into a post. So, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy reading your favourites.


Fashion Faves

Headband
My very favourite piece this month was this headband for the winter that I got some two or three years ago (before I got more concious about my buying habits). Now, you have to know that I’m not the kind of person that wears hats or anything on their head, and we do have proper minus temperatures in the winter. But as so often in the past I thought “It’s kinda cute. I will TOTALLY wear this, even though I never wear these kinda things.” My mom was also skeptical. In those two/three years I’ve worn it exactly twice well, before this month that is. We had family from Poland visiting us for a week so we went a lot of sightseeing and taking long walks in freezing temperatures (coldest January in 20 years WHAT) and since this headband is literally the only Thing I own to protect my head/ears from the cold I had no other choice but to take it, and I LOVED IT. I wore it like 10 times this month. And what makes me even happier about it is that it didn’t go to waste. I love re-discovering older pieces.

Dress
 
This dress I was first very reluctant to try but I found that a lot of times those pieces that you’re not completely convinced by on the hanger can become absolute favourites when you put it on. I’m also usually not for that much print but I simply fell in love when I tried it on. It has a nice length (I don’t like them too short) and the cut out at the back is done so perfectly that you can wear a bra and it isn’t visible. Anyhow, while it already was on sale I waited some more because I knew that eventually it would be marked down even more and a lot of them were left. However, when aforementioned family visited they ended up buying it for me. Not complaining, although I do love a good hunt. 😉


TV Faves

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
My most most most favourite reality TV show is always on in January and I legit look forward to it the entire year. It’s the German version of I’m A Celebrity. Originally a British show (theirs is on every December), where twelve “celebrities” (most of them aren’t that known, but you not really knowing them is part of it, really) spend two weeks in the Australian bush. They get different trials (really gross stuff, such as eating cockroaches, worms, different animal parts and really all you can imagine, but also action challenges) and whoever is left at the end of the two weeks (audience calls) is King or Queen of the Jungle. Okay, listen I know it doesn’t really sound like fun but it is the most. A lot really depends on the hosts and the jokes being made, and also the German Twitter section is amazing. It’s a real fest. The British and German versions are the longest running ones, there have been I think two seasons in the US but it has been discontinued as in a lot of other countries, too. Australia has just picked it up again for a second season that I believe is currently airing.

Australian Open – Fedal
An absolute favourite has been the epic Federer vs. Nadal final at the Australian Opens. I was so wishing for it to happen and then it did! I love them both and was kinda hoping they could somehow both win, HA. It was such an intense match and I loved both of their speeches at the end. I can’t believe how humble and nice they both are. It was simply amazing. Roger definitely deserved it after his long break due to an injury (Fun Fact: Roger lives right on the other side of the lake from where I live), and I have such a soft spot for Rafa, when he said that maybe Feds deserved it more than him I cried. Oh dear.


Random Faves

The Kindness of Strangers
I had the whole month of January off from Uni but I still had to go there a couple times to get a few things done. One time I went on an early friday morning. At the first station the tram driver greeted everyone, when People got out at the second station he wished everyone a good last day of the week and then a nice weekend and finally at the third station where I had to get out he said: “And to everyone who has to work on the weekend, don’t worry about it. I have to, too. But at least it means we’ll have off next week instead.” And it made everyone laugh and smile on a cold and early morning. My whole day was made and I still think about it sometimes. It’s amazing how just a few simple words from a person you don’t even know can bring so much joy. Thank you, stranger.

Family Visit
As I’ve already mentioned my mom’s uncle and his wife came to visit us for the first time. I’ve only met them last summer when their son got married and my mom being his godmother got invited and took me with her. Therefore, I was quiet nervous since I’m generally very anxious about visits and even more so when I don’t know the people very well. But it turned out to be absolutely wonderful. Other then when my grandparents or someone visits, I felt like they were actually treating me like an adult. We had great conversations and we went on a lot of different small trips, and I just felt comfortable and at ease with them in the house.

Snow
As always we didn’t get any snow on Christmas, but then in January it snowed and it snowed and it snowed and it was absolutely gorgeous and beautiful. I marvel at how every single time snow is still so magical to me.


What did you enjoy most in January? I’d love to hear about some of your faves!

I’m a Bad Blogger – and I Like It

The last time I’ve written to you was right before I left for my summer vacation. I had a few posts scheduled, but not nearly as many as i would have needed to keep my schedule up. I suppose that’s why I’ve never really been and never will be a good blogger. Maybe I’m more of an in-the-moment person. I want to write when I’ve got something to say and something to share, and feelings don’t really have schedules so maybe this whole blogging thing never really made sense to me. I love writing and I will continue using this blog from now on but on my own terms. It shouldn’t be a chore to me, and that is one of the many things I realized in 2016.

I know we’re all supposed to hate THAT year, but honestly? For me personally, it’s been a really good year. I don’t really care about the Kardashian-Jenners, but maybe I do have one thing in common with Kylie – 2016 has been the year of realizing things, HA. I think I now know more about what I want to achieve in the next few years and how to do it and I think I know more about who I am and what’s really important to me and how to stand by my principles. And I also know that THAT is something that matters in life. Well, to me it does. I’ve changed a lot this year and for all I know, that’s a good thing.

There’s more to come and it might not all have to do with books and reading, because well a person is made up of more than just one passion. While some people like to just update on one topic (which is absolutely fine and actually what blogs are probably supposed to be) but I just don’t feel it’s right for me. I want this to be authentic and I want it to be me. That being said, 2016 was the year of thinking, hopefully 2017 will be the year of doing. And I don’t think it’s ever too late to wish you all a fulfilled and joyful new year!

See you soon,

Diana

I’m Leaving – But I’ll Be Back: Short Holiday Update

Hey everyone! By the time you’re reading this I’ll just have left for my holiday. I’m someone who really enjoys to be not available once in a while so I’m not taking my laptop with me, my phone I’ll have but I don’t know how often I’ll check up on you guys.

I really wanted to keep my usual posting schedule but somehow these last few days and weeks have been busier and more exhausting than I thought, with exams, finishing up papers, driving lessons and whatnot. I’ve been reading a lot lately, too, but just didn’t feel like preparing posts, yikes. Anyhow, I had to remind myself that this shouldn’t be something that I have to force myself doing, so I won’t. I do enjoy blogging, no worries, I just didn’t have the energy to prepare posts for two and a half weeks in advance, I rather like taking it week by week. So, there will be a review on each sunday still but no other posts. There will also be no June wrap-up , as I can’t really prepare and schedule that one beforehand.
As I said, if I have wifi and feel like it I might check in in the evenings but otherwise it might take me a bit longer to reply to your comments and look through your posts, but I’ll get there eventually.

I hope everyone who’s on vacation too enjoys their time and everyone else is hopefully having a good time, too!

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger recognition

First of all a big thank you to the lovely Stevie @ Stevie’s Bookshelf , Inside My Minds and Going Through Books for nominating me for this nice award, do check out their respective posts (and their whole blogs!).

Here the rules:
Write a post to show your award.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to


HOW MY BLOG STARTED

Sorry to disappoint but there isn’t much of an exciting story here. I’ve been having Twitter for years now but I never used it for book related stuff, I’d occasionally tweet about me reading something etc., but it’s more of a general account where I want to be able to tweet about everything. So when I felt like being able to talk about books more I knew I didn’t want to use Twitter primarly because I personally use it for something else. Then I tried Instagram because I saw that there was a quiet big book community on there. But who was I kidding? Instagram and me? It doesn’t really fit. I don’t really like taking pictures and am also not very creative in that perspective, since I just don’t enjoy it. And I always found it so weird to post a picture and then having a caption that totally didn’t fit with it, and I find long captions on Instagram weird. So that wasn’t for me either. But I saw a few people on Insatgram linking to their WordPress blogs and I found that I really enjoyed reading them. I was first hesitant to start one myself, but then thought that if I want to talk about book (which I do), then a blog is the best way for me personally. And now here I am.

LET ME GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE...

As for advice, I’m sure you all have heard it a hundred times before but liking and especially commenting and just generally engaging with other bloggers is the most important thing. Get to know people, be interested and they’ll be interested, too. And really, isn’t that the point of blogging anyway, to talk with other people and share?

And as second point, don’t try to imitate other blogs and bloggers. Sometimes you’ll see a blog that you absolutely adore and you might be tempted to try and make yours look like theirs, but don’t. You might love when someone uses a lot of gifs but personally don’t like using them yourself, so that’s okay, don’t do it. Find your own style in writing, the look of your blog and your posts. Sure, some inspiration for posts is fine and even needed sometimes but still try to always give it a personal twist. People come to your blog to see you and read your writing, not that of others.


I feel like most people I know on here have done this one already, so I’m not tagging anyone for now.

Epic Reads Tag

epic

Hello! I saw this tag a few weeks ago on Going Through Books (loved her answers, click to get to her post) and thought I’d give it a go. It should be a fun one. Hope you enjoy.


If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to lunch, who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Oooh so many, I think Markus Zusak would be fun, since I practically know nothing about him personally and I feel like he’s got some great stories to tell. And I would ask him to bring Rudi from The Book Thief with him (SPOILER: it would be great to see him alive again) and I would like to think that he grew up (I know, I know). It sure would be a funny evening with him. We’d get a nice steak since I don’t think Rudi’s seen much meat during the war and after it (I know, living in denial here).

What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?
I think prequels make most sense with dystopias and sci-fi since with contemporaries and such there wasn’t really “happening” much before, to be harsh. And I feel like most of the books were prequels are really exciting already have one (The Maze Runner, Throne of Glass…). So, I’d go with Divergent. Maybe about how they started the whole “project” from the perspective of Tris’ mom.

Which two characters (not from the same book) would make a good couple?
Kenji from the Shatter Me series and Nehemia from Throne of Glass. Just because Kenji is an absolute amazing and loveable guy, although he doesn’t always seem like it. He likes to cover up his feelings with humour and I feel like Nehemia could totally deal with him and get him to talk about personal stuff. And I feel like they’re quiet opposites so they have what the other needs but also have enough in common.
This is the first time I ever thought about this, but I actually do think they fit! Where’s the fanfiction?

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and only could say one sentence to them, who is it and what would it be?
I would never just talk someone up in public, even if they were my favourite celebrity ever. I wouldn’t know what to say at all, especially not in one sentence only.

What book made you a reader and why?
I’ve been a reader since I can remember, so it wasn’t any book in particular. Already in kindergarden I’d spend a lot of time looking at (and trying to read) books. I’d always go to the library a lot and pretty much read everything that was for my age. But of course, as for so many 0f my generation Harry Potter was very important.

Your bookshelf just caught fire. Show the book you’d save.
What a nightmare. I’d try to grab as many books as possible tbh. But one of the favourite ones I own is definitely my copy of Clockwork Princess which is signed and is generally just beautiful and shiny and that I’ve actually held so often, hah. And to cheat a little, also the boxset of the first four Harry Potter books that I’ve had since I was a kid (by the time I could read well enough the first four books were out already I suppose).

Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one? Why?
Dystopia? Honestly? None. They’re all horrible to actually live in. I’m not nearly badass enough to survive in any of them for even a day. There are some pretty nice fantasy worlds, but dystopia definitely not.

What is your most epic read of all time?
Hmm, well some of my favourite books I definitely wouldn’t describe as “epic”, they’re rather quiet but in the best way possible. As for epic, I think it must be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which everyone who’s read it knows that this doesn’t need an explanation. It’s pure magic.


Aaaaand that was it. Either this tag is older already and that‘s why I haven’t seen this tag around much or not many people have done it. Anyhow I’ll nominate a few, feel free to do it or not:
Kayla @ kdrewkthebookworm
Calliope @ Calliope The Book Goddess
Louise @ geniereads
Ashleigh @ A frolic through fiction