Catching up: Spring Edition in 2018.

It’s June already, so spring is more or less officially over. At least here in Vienna, where we’ve been confronted with 30°C lately. And that’s a summer temperature if you ask me. The first five months of the year have gone by like a whirlwind (or is it only me?) so I thought I’d be writing one of the recap editions and give you guys a heads up on what’s been going on in my life from January up until now.

January

I started the beginning of the year quite optimistic in terms of content for my blog as I ended 2017 super motivated. For my first January blog post, I went back in time (more or less) and took you on a mental visit to a place that I visited during my bachelor exchange in the UK: Edinburgh.

View this post on Instagram

One of the cutest but also saddest stories that I've heard while traveling was the one of Bobby, the Skye terrier of Edinburgh. His master had died and he stood guard over his grave day after day until his own death. At least he's got his own statue (and a pub named after him!) now. 🐶 . . . #edinburghspotlight #weloveedinburgh #hiddenscotland #thisisscotland #scotlandlover #loves_scotland #capturingbritain #scotland_greatshots #scotlandsbeauty #ig_worldclub #picturesofedinburgh #greyfriarkirkegard #bobby #greyfriarsbobby #goexplore #igersviennaontour #passionpassport #living_europe #beautifuldestinations #exploretocreate #seeyourcity #ourplanetdaily #neverstopexploring #wanderlust #adventuremore #justgoshoot #getoutandexplore #neverstopexploring #finditliveit #whatabeautifulworld

A post shared by Christina (@northern_sunlight) on

And I did a lot of my Vienna exploring and was enjoying the architecture of the city to the fullest.

Being busy at my job at the startup, with content creation for the magazine, Vienna Würstelstand, and rather frequent visits to my family, I ended up not having a lot of time for the blog for the rest of the month. But it was the beginning of the year, and January has always been a slow month for me in terms of creativity.

February

February was definitely the busiest month at work as we launched a Kickstarter campaign at the startup (and you gotta try for perfection in order to have a successful campaign). In addition, a few nasty things with my teeth happened, so I had some issues with my dentist and ended up going to a new dentist way too many times for my liking. Again, hardly any time for blog adventures, but I wrote a piece on what to do in Vienna when it’s cold outside. Taking a walk on the empty Schönbrunn palace grounds or hopping on a tram that takes you past beautiful buildings are on the list!

March

In March I was finally able to visit one of my Moscow friends in Lyon, France. I spent some days with her and she showed me the city that she’s currently studying it. I had some wonderful days there and immediately fell in love with the town and had to take hundreds of pictures of the magnificent architecture there. This is probably also the reason why I haven’t really gotten around to writing about my trip, but there will be some articles coming, I promise! ;)

I got to spend some time in the kitchen though and ended up sharing one of my go-to recipes when it comes to an easy and quick plant-based dessert recipe: the mini chocolate cheesecakes with raspberry sauce.

northernsunlight_dessert_vegan_chocolate-cheesecake_3

Other than that, I kinda took a hiatus from social media and my blog. I just didn’t feel like posting. I wasn’t all too happy with social media in general and I guess I wasn’t happy with what I’ve been doing lately. That’s a tough cookie if you gotta be online because of what you’re doing in your job but you’re not liking what you’re doing. And throw in health/teeth problems, and then you got a fine mix there if you ask me. Yay!

April

April arrived and things turned sunnier, both weather-wise and in my life. April’s my birthday month, so things are always kinda sunny for me in April anyway, no matter what’s happening. I finally started to feel more comfortable with social media again. And as my temp job at the startup was ending in April, I started an internship at yet another startup (haha) that is finally bringing me more into the direction that I wanna go.

Besides changing my job, my sister had her first baby, so I spent a few lovely spring days with the family. As every year in spring when I’m home, my family is super into Wild Garlic and I ended up harvesting way too much for my flat in Vienna so I had to come up with a way of preserving it (besides filling up my freezer…). That’s what brought me to share my plant-based Wild garlic recipes that are perfect for spring.

May

I finally got around to writing about the Old Town in Lyon. My first article on my trip to France from March! So I’m slowly getting around to sorting through the masses of photos that I took.

So May was another good month for me, it kinda gave me a motivational booster that I desperately needed. I enrolled in a weekly yoga class, decided to try other sports out and just got more active in general. In addition, I kinda feel at home with my new job now. Oh, and other good news: I finally saw my dentist for the last time, yay me!

So the start of the year wasn’t the shiniest moment during my life, but not everything can go the way I wish it would. But that’s fine. I was fine with taking a break from my blog’s social media accounts and from blogging on a more regular basis. There are things that are way more important than social media or the online world in general. You gotta take care of yourself first. I’m still working on accepting that my day only has so many hours and my week has so many days. But I’m taking steps in the right direction I guess :)

Catching up: Summer Edition 2017

I thought it was time for a small update about what has been going on in the past few months and what I was up to. There has been a lot going on lately: I graduated from university, I moved apartments, became an aunt, did some travelling, and am currently figuring out what my next steps in life should be.

In my last update – the Spring Edition – I was ranting on how little travelling I had been able to do but ended up discovering that I’d actually been doing a lot. In this post I could go in a similar direction as I have had the constant feeling of being restricted to my desk at home with the occasional family visit here and there. However, I think this is the typical feeling students have – always being tied to their laptops with the need to write a paper or study for an exam. Despite being the truth this time as I just finished my master studies and had to write my thesis during spring and early summer, I know that this is not true and I was able to actually do some travelling and there has been something going on in my life. So no ranting this time hopefully! ;)

May

At the beginning of sweet sweet May my friend Carina and I finally handed in our thesis (yes, at my university we had to pair up and write a thesis together). I guess we were both surprised how satisfied we were with our final version in the end, and that we managed to be done two weeks prior the official deadline so we could have it printed properly and sent via mail to our uni. I still remember one of my first ‘free’ weekends that I spent in Vienna – just taking a stroll after a rainy day in the tourist area of Vienna after a month of hardly any joyful activities. I also had time again to do some proper cooking and baking – yay – for example the mini versions of the traditional Austrian Nussschnecken.

Together with my friend Madlene I flew to London to visit our friend Daan, so I had my first little Moscow reunion over there. We had a great weekend where we explored some parts of London, went on a Street Art & Graffiti Tour, and Madlene and I even took a train down to Brighton for a day.

June

In June my friend Carina and I had to fly to Copenhagen for one last time to defend our thesis, and to finally finish our studies there. Everything went down smoothly, we spent some great last days in the capital of Denmark, visited friends, spent some time in the beautiful Botanical Garden of the city and pondered about life, the past, the present, and the future on the beach.

In June I went on my first solo trip ever. Nothing big, nothing dangerous. Just to the Culture Capital of Europe 2017 – Aarhus – located on Jutland in the west of Denmark. It was a great trip to a great small city with a cute canal and a beautiful museum – the Aros.

July

In July I spent a great deal at home with my family as I became an aunt at the end of June, and I had my family try a summer cake that I had included in my recipe repertoire. I also moved apartments in Vienna, so there was a lot of packing and unpacking happening and many IKEA visits necessary. It was a relatively unspectacular and unproductive yet busy month for me.

I was able to do some travelling (besides going back and from Vienna & Upper Austria) in July. I spent 24 hours in Graz, the capital of Styria, to have brunch together with my bf and some of his friends.

Another Moscow reunion was taking place in July, and this time it was in Vienna. My former Russian travel buddies Marcel (NL) and Frederik (DK) came to visit Madlene and me in our beautiful capital Vienna. We did some great sightseeing over the weekend, went to a traditional Heuriger, and had a few drinks while listening to some good local music at the Popfest. I really got to see my own ‘home town’ through a tourist’s lense with them.

August

August was my travel month. Together with my friend Julia I took a train from Vienna to the western end of Austria. We did some exploring in Bregenz and took the Pfänderbahn cable car up the local mountain, spent a day in the town Lindau which is situated on an island on the Lake Constance, and on our way back to the east we stopped in Innsbruck. There we got to see the beautiful capital of the alps and we took a cable car up to the Nordkette where we had a beautiful view over the city and the surrounding alps.

Back in Vienna I was finally able to do some exploring in the city and its surrounding, and was able to hike around the northern parts of Vienna and explored the Leopoldsberg, Kahlenberg, and Hermannskogel.

At the end of August my friend Carina and I spent 2.5 days in Amsterdam, where I was meeting another friend from Moscow – Katharina! We did some exploring in the city, had a lot of fries and sat in cozy cafés to enjoy the great weather. A very good ending of August I must say. Check out my blogpost about my trip ;)

As you can see I have been rather busy lately, there has actually been a lot going on in my life in the past few months. It’s been quite hectic and busy at times – especially during the process of writing the thesis – but I could definitely see the progress that I was making – not only when talking about the thesis, but also in my personal life :)

 

 

Catching up: Spring Edition 2017.

I haven’t been able to post as much or as regularly as I wanted since the start of 2017, especially in the past few weeks, as the end of my master studies are near and I am about to hand in my thesis so I was pretty much glued to my desk and haven’t been able to do anything else. No socializing, no trying new food places, enjoying the spring weather, no nothing for me but writing writing writing and the occasional Sex and the City episode in between to get my mind of things. So of course there was no time to do much traveling much to my dismay. However, this will soon be over, and I have already planned and booked some trips, so there’s something that I can look forward to!

Nonetheless, I thought I wanted to give you a short update on what I’ve managed to squeeze in in the past few months.

January

January was the first month back in Austria after my time abroad in Russia. I spent a lot of time with my family in Upper Austria, but also some time with friends and boyfriend in Vienna. It was freezingly cold in Vienna, and it was the first time in my life that I saw the Danube being frozen. I even walked on it! I sorted out my exchange things so I could close the chapter ‘Exchange Russia’ and finally started with my thesis.

February

In February I had the possibility to go and do some exploring in a part of Austria that I am not really familiar with (despite its closeness to Vienna) – Burgenland. I visited the capital of Burgenland, home of composer Haydn, for the first time, which you can see in my post about Eisenstadt. A week later I had a delicious, yet slightly expensive brunch right at the seafront of the Lake Neusiedl, another great place in Burgenland. It was so beautiful and still partly frozen so it was such a nice location for having a nice, relaxed morning there.

When talking about February I can’t skip Maslenitsa – Butter Week – and the fact that I had pancakes almost every day in one week. I guess I should feel a bit ashamed? But to my defense – the pancakes that I made are at least vegan and healthier? At least that’s what I am telling myself… Here you can also find a traditional Russian recipe for some type of pancakes that they make – Syrniki.

March

March – the beginning of spring! The beginning of the ice cream season (for me there’s actually ice cream season 24/7/365). And the beginning of beautiful flower bouquets.

My thesis brought be once back to beautiful beautiful Copenhagen so I could have a quick meeting with my supervisor, plus meet a few friends, enjoy a few drinks, and go and see a cool light exhibition at Ofelia Plads. Despite the bad, rainy weather I enjoyed a nice weekend there. It was good to be back!

April

April is usually one of my favourite months as it is at the beginning of spring, and the beautiful pink cherry blossoms are everywhere. I found the time to spend a few hours in a beautiful Japanese garden in Vienna, which unfortunately has been the only exploring that I was able to do lately. The rest of April – even my birthday – was full of thesis thesis thesis. Oh and a quick Easter weekend that I spent in Carinthia, Styria, and Upper Austria. So at least I saw a bit of Austria, revisited the beautiful Lake Wörth, and had a lot of local food at relatives’ places, such as the nettle cream soup that I talked about it in my last blog post.

Today’s my birthday and as I am writing this and thinking about what I have been doing in the last few months I realised that it was actually more than I remembered :D A lot has happened in the past few months, and a lot is going to happen in the next few months. A new chapter of my life will begin sometime soon, and a huge chapter of my life – my student time – will come to an end. I am looking forward to new challenges, new experiences, and I hope you will be part of my journey :)

What to do in winter: ice skating!

Do you remember the time when you first stood on ice skates? Mine was when I was very young. Growing up on the countryside with a lot of space around the house we had our own small ice skating rink. I assume it was thanks to my brother and my dad; and yes, rink is too fancy a word. We (they?) just poured some water on an empty spot next to the house. Not big and far from perfect – it even had a small gap because of a mortar joint or something like that where we had to be really careful not to fall. Even ‘owning’ our own skating ground did not mean I was any good at it, but I enjoyed it at that time. Still, in my teens I hardly ever went on the ice, only when our gym teacher made us go. And only once during my student time in Vienna did I manage to go on the beautiful Eistraum in front of the city hall.

Continue reading

Looking back at the adventures of 2016.

We are already more than a week in 2017 and only now I got around to looking back at 2016. I ended 2016 sick and started 2017 sick – the flu got me. I mostly slept through Christmas and New Years and only now had time to review my past year – what I’ve been up to, what I have accomplished and what my plans for the future might be.

January & February

The first few months of 2016 started with taking a step back from all the things that have been bothering me for such a long time. I realised that it’s not a big deal to blank an exam and just re-do it a couple of months later. I spent a lot of time with my family, my friends and my pets to get the needed motivation for my studies and my life in general.

March

After a personal setback in February I managed to get back on track with everything. At the beginning of March I went on my first travel adventure of the year with my boyfriend: Budapest, one of my favourite cities. It was my second time in the city and my boyfriend’s first, so we did a lot of exploring and a lot of sightseeing. We also got to enjoy some really delicious vegetarian dishes and desserts in some really cool places in Budapest – my favourite still being Mazel Tov where I had the best hummus in a great location.

Budapest_from above_Parliament

Danube_me_again

April

In April my sister and my cousin came to visit me in Copenhagen and I had to be a tour guide and show them the most interesting sights in town. I hope I did a good job! I also flew home to Austria in April to host my sister’s bachelorette party, attend the ‘Long Night of Research‘ at the UNO headquarters, and celebrate my own birthday in Vienna.

Mermaid

Birthday

May

In May two of my best friends came to visit me in Copenhagen, so I was back in my role as a tour guide. May was also the time when I finished my classes at university, moved out of my apartment in Copenhagen and back home, and helped my sister prepare for her big day in June. So May was full of university, enjoying my last days in Copenhagen with my friends, saying goodbye to my favourite places, but also catching up with my people in Vienna. May was also a ‘big month’ for Austria as the presidential election mayhem started. (Summary of the mayhem: we voted from a pool of 7 people, 2 weeks later was the run-off vote, the good guy won, the result was very tight though, the ‘losing’ party sued, elections were supposed to be held again in October, something was wrong with the envelopes so they rescheduled again, the final election was in December and the good guy won again.)

Beach_selfie

header

June

June was the big month for my sister. She had her wedding and I was her maid of honour. What an honour. haha. I had my first manicure & pedicure (didn’t like it), I got to drive a Tesla car for the first time, and I got to ‘enjoy’ all the wedding traditions for the first time. Even the stupid ones. yay. However, June was also the month where I had to finish all my exams and I had to return to CPH for oral exams. This was my final time in Copenhagen for 2016 as I wasn’t returning in fall. June was also the month in which the EURO 2016 happened and Austria was part of it for a little while. And it was the month in which I finally got to spend some time at home and not worry about university or life.

Tesla_me

Bride_me

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Home_stm

July

July was my big travel month. Together with my boyfriend I managed to travel a lot through Austria. We spent a few days with his grandparents in Carinthia where we could explore the southern parts of Austria – something I haven’t managed to do before. I visited Klagenfurt and Lienz for the first time, I saw some beautiful lakes such as the Wörthersee and Weißensee. My boyfriend and I also travelled to the western end of Austria – Bregenz and Feldkirch, which also gave us the perfect opportunity to go on day trips to our neighbours Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Vaduz turned out to be a very cute but really expensive city located in a valley which is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Zürich was really really beautiful and one day wasn’t enough. Not at all! At the end of July, my sister, my bf and I took my mom to Italy as she has always dreamed about going to Venice. On our way there we also spent some time in Udine and on the beach in Caorle. Our family trip has been great and my mom really enjoyed it.

header

liechtenstein_vaduz_city_above_

August

August was a bit calmer, more relaxing, not so hectic. I still managed to travel to another neighbour and see the Czech town Brno. We were just a day there but it was totally worth the trip. In August I spent a lot of time at home with my family and friends. Enjoying the nature and good food was the motto of the month. Plus I had to organise a lot for my exciting plans for the rest of the year.

September

September was the month of the big move and the start of something exciting: my exchange semester in Moscow! It was a thrilling first month in Russia – full of new impressions, meeting new people, adapting to the local culture, trying to speak Russian after some years again. Really exciting I must say but also hard as I had to say goodbye again to my home, my family, my friends and my boyfriend.

header

header

October

October was the month in which I truly arrived in Russia. I had settled in, established closer bonds with the people that I felt most comfortable with and did a lot of sightseeing already. I also went on my first trip to another city in Russia. I hopped on a train to see Nizhny Novgorod with my friends, a good place not too far away from Moscow and perfect for seeing something less polished and more ‘real’.

header

header

November

November was my real travel month in Russia. My boyfriend came to visit me and despite all the sightseeing we did in Moscow, we also spent some time outside of the city and explored part of the ‘Golden Ring’ (towns near Moscow). We saw the snow-covered Yaroslavl with its beautiful promenade along the frozen Wolga and we also spent a day in Rostov Veliky to see the white kremlin that is located on the then frozen lake Nero.The most exciting adventure in November, however, was the trip to Murmansk – the biggest arctic city in the world and the northernmost place I have visited so far.

yaroslavl_heart_selfie

December

In December my family came to visit me in Moscow. I was once again a tour guide and showed them the most interesting sights and of course the local cuisine. I also went on my last city trip and saw Kazan with its beautiful white kremlin and the amazing mosque inside it. Of course December was also all about looking at beautiful decorations and going to Christmas markets. I also managed to see a ballet in the famous Bolshoy theatre. Unfortunately, December was also full of saying goodbye to a beautiful city, an interesting country, and – moreover – some great people that I will deeply miss. However, it was also great to see my family, friends, pets and boyfriend again. I have missed them.

img_8722

Even though I had to end the old year and start the new one in bed with the flu and a sick boyfriend beside me (and some other sad things on my mind), I could only think positively about 2017. All the good memories that I made in 2016, all the great places that I travelled to, all the great people that I met. I already have a lot on my mind what I want to do and where I want to travel to in 2017.

So here’s to the new year and to new experiences!