BeNicoMa Feature: Introduction of Chelletravelfoto Blog & Photography

The second BeNicoMa Feature is played and I have the honor to introduce Michelle from Kentucky to you who can be found as @chelletravelfoto on instagram and via http://www.chellexplore.com for the blog. Get in touch with the American way of travel, in a narrow shedule. As you will see, if there is a will there always is a way!

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In case you read this blog from time to time and use the sources, you have already heard of the opportunity to be featured on the instagram feed and here, when you won the overall voting in the follower voting. It is the second time that the BeNicoMa Feature was played and this time I want to introduce a nice traveler lady from the USA to you. This opportunity is not just interesting for me, since I get insight into the travel habits of other colleagues – it might also be interesting for your own inspiration and help to connect with like minded hobby artists.

The second Winner is Michelle and in the following interview you find some points that keep her going, some motivation, how you can do it yourself although you might face a tough shedule and of course, some of her outstanding photography, she used to document her adventures with… And this is the winning photo, that received the Feature!

BeNicoMa: Hi Michelle, congratulations on the BeNicoMa Feature (Click to view the other winners). A well deserved victory with so many impressions from all over the world. How did you get infected with the travel virus, at what age and what was the first experience, that you can remember, that got you hooked?

Chelletravelfoto: Thank you so much! As for the travel virus, I have always been very interested in history and nature –¬†and I think these are two things that one gets to experience in depth while traveling. As a child, I was¬†always fascinated with reading ‚ÄúNational Geographic‚ÄĚ magazine and watching all the nature¬†documentaries that I could, and I think these contributed to my dreams of traveling. When I was 13, I¬†had managed to save up about $700 from babysitting jobs that I put in a shoebox labeled ‚Äútravel‚ÄĚ, and I¬†presented this to my mom and asked if I could buy a plane ticket to England. She generously allowed me¬†to indulge in my dream, and that was my first international trip. I would say that trip was the first one¬†that truly got me hooked, and it all began because I wanted to see where my favorite childhood stories¬†had taken place!

BeNicoMa: You have seen Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas… What was your favorite travel so far and why?

Chelletravelfoto: It is so hard to pick ‚Äúfavorites‚ÄĚ among locations, but I think I am most inclined to say that at this moment¬†South America has my heart. I studied Spanish in University, and am now working on my Master‚Äôs¬†degree in Spanish Education. I think my sincere curiosity and interest in the language, peoples, and¬†culture of Hispanic countries has me most intrigued in these destinations. Each South / Central American¬†country I have been to is so vibrant, colorful, and full of friendly and lively people – it definitely has me¬†hooked.

BeNicoMa: Nice to hear that, although I haven’t seen those 5 continents so far, I can agree, that the Latin American life is very beautiful – Pura Vida! I for myself am not interested in shopping anymore, although it’s great to restock the closet while¬†in the USA. It’s the culture and the experience you find with people from different cultures that keeps¬†me going. I experienced that one has to leave the comfort zone to experience a travel that remains on¬†the memory. But we are all different in this regard. What keeps you going and what is your motto¬†while you travel?

Chelletravelfoto: Initially, I wanted to travel to see beautiful sights, historic landmarks, or stunning natural settings.¬†Over time though, my goals shifted a bit towards wanting to experience cultures and the ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ part of¬†the destination, not just the places that make photos look beautiful. I agree that leaving your comfort¬†zone is great for not only personal development, but for broadening your viewpoints and understanding¬†of the wider world around you. There have definitely been many times while traveling that I have felt¬†sad, angry, confused, and uncomfortable, but I think that is all part of what it truly means to travel.

What keeps me going is knowing that I can truly experience different cultures by interacting with the¬†people and environments, even though I may have to leave the ‚Äúcomfort zone‚ÄĚ to do so. I don‚Äôt know¬†that I have a motto necessarily, but I do know that I try to visit at least one ‚Äúoff the beaten track‚ÄĚ city on¬†each trip that I take. Going to Italy and only seeing Rome for example would not truly allow one to¬†experience Italy for all that it is.

BeNicoMa: Well said! In your personal description I saw that you are from Kentucky. How is life in the middle of the USA¬†and what is special about it? When I’d go there one day, is there anything that I would need to see?¬†Please feel free to advertise your home as if you’d have to give an interview to a tourists office ūüôā I¬†believe the storm-chasing might be interesting in the Midwest, have you ever done that?

Chelletravelfoto: Life in the Midwest is generally great. While there are times I get bored or annoyed with my surroundings, I think traveling has made me have a greater appreciation for what we do have here. I live in a clean, safe, and family-centric area, and have access to all of the creature comforts in the world. It is easy to complain about all the little things, but overall it is a great place to work and live.

Living in¬†Kentucky specifically, I have a large amount of pride for my home state. It is essentially the ‚Äúgateway to¬†the south‚ÄĚ, and has several things about it that are quintessentially American. The rolling fields (i.e. wide meadows or cornfields), the¬†horses, the white picket fences, the southern hospitality – all of these things work together to make¬†Kentucky awesome.

Kentuckians definitely have a lot of pride in their state, and I can understand why! If¬†you come to visit I‚Äôd definitely recommend visiting the city of Lexington – ‚Äúthe horse capital of the¬†world‚ÄĚ –¬†going to a horse race at Keeneland, visiting a few distilleries on the Bourbon Trail, and then¬†heading up to the Northern part of the state to try some goetta and learn about the history of the¬†Underground Railroad in the area. I‚Äôd also definitely recommend a visit to Mammoth Cave (the world‚Äôs¬†largest cave system), and Red River Gorge for some hiking and rappelling with incredible views!

Storm chasing is more common in the prairie or central states- I have not done that but I am scared of tornadoes!

BeNicoMa: Many thanks for all the advice, I checked your recommendations and obviously never heard of it, but it sounds pretty cool, for me it is the caves, the Bourbon and the Hiking, and the next morning the special German-American breakfast… ūüôā

What destination claims the top spot on your bucket list of places that are still to discover for you and what activity would you like to do there?

Chelletravelfoto: Argentina is the main place that is on my radar right now. Seeing Iguazu Falls has been on my bucket list for years, and I would love to be able to go there, visit the city of Buenos Aires, see the Perito Moreno glacier, and then journey down to the southernmost town in the Americas, Ushuaia.

BeNicoMa: Sounds like a great plan, it’s on my list as well, plus snowboarding in Patagonia. As far as I know, Americans do not have lots of vacation. How do you manage to get around like you¬†do? What is your profession, that allows you to travel and how long is your average journey?

Chelletravelfoto: It is true, most Americans have just 10 days of vacation per year, if they are lucky. The way I have¬†been able to travel has been from a combination of things. When most people look at my travel photos¬†for example, they do not realize that they have been taken over a period of about 8 years. Essentially¬†though, I work, save, travel, repeat. There is no ‚Äúmagic formula‚ÄĚ really, just a strong desire to explore¬†this world.

Studying Spanish has also opened a lot of doors for me too. I went to Europe in the summers during my¬†time at University, and in one of these instances I studied abroad in Spain. After graduating school,¬†before I found a job, I backpacked through South America for 30 days. I then worked for two years in an¬†office job, and lived with my parents to save money for traveling. I then left my job, moved to Spain for¬†the rest of the year, and did a lot of traveling from there. While I worked in corporate America, I was¬†able to take a 20 day trip throughout Asia by combining two different calendar years‚Äô worth of vacation¬†days, and then this past summer I studied abroad in Costa Rica for 2 months. I would say my average¬†trip is 20 days. If I‚Äôm going to spend the money to fly there, I want to stay in the place as long as I can¬†afford to be away. Most people are surprised to know that I have never had a free flight from miles, I¬†have never worked for the airlines, and I have never had a scholarship. All of my trips have been funded¬†by me simply making travel a priority ūüôā

BeNicoMa: I really like your spirit and honestly I do it pretty similar. I always try to combine the work at a certain place on earth with the traveling and so far it always worked good – but there is so much more to see. I didn’t start with 13, but this is pretty decent and cool!

This last part is solely for you. You can tell a story or give information about you, that you’d like to¬†share. Many thanks for your time and effort. I am happy to have you around. Have a great week!

Chelletravelfoto: I am currently working on starting up a new travel blog, called Chellexplore please check out my new website and let me know any questions or feedback you may have! Thank you!

BeNicoMa: Many thanks for this interview Michelle, I enjoyed it a lot and your a likeable¬†colleague ūüôā¬†– Guys check out Michelle’s Travelblog via Chellexplore¬†it”s well structured and you will find worthy information on your planning of your own journey there!

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013: Sightseeing in Boston

Boston can be seen as an Eldorado for tourists. With its plentiful markets, the secure streets (even at nighttime), beautiful architecture and some major sights, the city is a contrast to many other Northamerican cities and should be on your list, when you visit New England.

You could get a firm impression of the Universities in Cambridge¬†and of the Boston Nightlife. Now it’s time to present some sights to you, covered with the photography of this beautiful city to address your imagination. This is the view on Little Italy. The district of Boston is also called Northend.

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Boston and Cambridge are basically one unit, woven into each other, not separable.¬†The elite is found in Cambridge, though. The campus of MIT looks quite industrial, the people of Harvard, that I dealt with have a certain kind of arrogance. I preferred the MIT definitively over Harvard, it seems more suitable for scientists, a place where excellence is born with every semester of inscription. The people you meet there remind you of the famous TV series Big Bang Theory, IQ > 150, very polite but a tad nerdy.¬†In contrast to the busy Universities, Boston is quite a touristic playground, very secure for a Northamerican city and beautiful. This is an impression of downtown. This church¬†“hides”¬†in the big skycrapers.

You already could see the skyline from Cambridge, so I will just give you impressions from the city itself. It has great markets, it’s clean and you find top notch dining for a bargain. For seafood you should check out the Union Oyster House close to Haymarket. On Haymarket you can buy all kinds of fresh food for you, if you have an apartment during the time of your stay. And since I have been to Miami and New York City as well, I can compare and state, that¬†you never have an uncomfortable feeling, walking around, not even at night. It seems very secure and people are in the streets at night as well. On the picture you see the Union Oyster House. I enjoyed the best oysters I have ever had at this place.

The oysters you get in Union Oyster House are from different areas. The personnel tells you exactly where they are from, and it’s just delicious.

The mixture of modern skycrapers, cultural offers, markets, old brick houses and the feeling of Northamerica make Boston special. It’s like good ‘ol Europe manifested in this city. And although I live in a tad rundown area of Boston, kind of a Hood compared to the rest of this shining city, I never feel uncomfortable. This security and minimal crime rate is due to the healthcare program of the city, that offers food and healthcare to homeless people for free – so nobody has to suffer hunger. In downtown you find the world famous Freedom Trail and some more touristic food and arts markets, like e.g. Quincy Market. Another impression of downtown, seen from the freedom trail and many more in the attached gallery.

When I walk around, I finally make it to the areas of the Boston Public Garden and the¬†Commonwealth Ave.¬†Should have spent more time there… Discovered this beautiful area too late, since I was busy one full day in Cambridge. It’s very European, very beautiful and exclusive. The second picture you can see, taken with the cellphone, is from a market along Newbury Street, the Copley Square Farmers Market. Check this area out, longer than me.

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On my last day, just before I continue to Maine,¬†I walk all around the Southend. There is a market, which you should not miss, it’s called SoWa Market and Maura told me to go there, before I continue to Maine. I have the best coffee there, I ever had so far in the United States of America¬†– quality comes close to the coffee in Austria! And the market is great, so many antique stuff, linen, foreign wares and great ecological food is offerd there. Make sure to hit it on Sundays!

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Boston is a great city, colorful, diverse, classy and secure. I would definitively go there again and can recommend it to you, as a contrast to many other Northamerican cities. It is very different from those and the many markets – I did not bring pictures from Haymarket here, that you definitively should visit as well – offer a great alternative to American Mall shopping, that can be found everywhere else over the country.

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston nightlife, an inner monologue

A small report about my nightlife experience in Boston, where I attended a concert of a faous rockbank, the Two Door Cinema Club.

F*ck, they really start on time… First thought when I enter the concert hall. Today I attend the concert of the Two Door Cinema Club.

WTF a small beer costs $7?! Glad I came here by car. A band plays some decent rock music, a group of about 50 people is nodding to the sound, they form a little block right in front of the stage. This is obviously not Two Door Cinema Club. Going out in the USA is certainly different. You have to leave the building to smoke and on return line-up again, a good reason to let it be.

By the way, this monologue comes right out of my mind, exactly like that! ūüôā

My way here was crazy: I am quite late so I decide to take the car. And have an accident with an afroamerican guy, I hit the brakes hard… but my car touches his, when he suddenly brakes, while I check the way with a quick peek on the map. – He jumps out of the car, I tell him I am foreigner and needed to check the map, that I am very sorry and I could call the cops, if he insists. The magic word, he says I better take care the next time, there is no damage at our cars, and he doesn’t seem to like the cops, so he leaves. Man that was close and I was really lucky…

But back to the happening in the concert hall. It was just a pre game band, but they were good. I ask at the bar, they tell me, there will be two more groups before the main act starts. It’s really weird how the people in front of the stage form this block. The emotions are not yet at climax. It seems a bit like they are waiting to be invited to enjoy themselves.

Besides me sits a kid of 10 years with its mom. Isn’t it a tad late for such little kids? Thought it’s AO in the USA to get into a nightclub, at least in regard to drinking. And the kid really sleeps now on the lap of the mom. It’s so loud in here but it sleeps. Crazy!

Next pre band coming up, it’s getting full. The band sounds like a synthesis of Coldplay and Bloc Party.

Damn, just saw Mount Kimbie hits this place next week, they are really great! Just saying Made to Stray Morning High Remix. I will not make it to that concert, and this is one of their songs I really worship and you should check it out. A pity I will miss that.

The plan is to discover Maine¬†for two days and the wilderness and do some¬†Indian Summer hiking in¬†Baxter State Park. The summit is the aim and without that I don’t want to continue… A preferable plan in my opinion, since the mood it still not bursting and a summit experience beats that by far. Hey but the band has a really hot keyboarder girl! ūüôā

Just now a tad obese person gave some ear protections – the ones you put in the ears – to the mother of the little girl. Awww, hope they are unused. The pre-band just finished, I go for another cigarette, the whole lining-up shit included. Seems to me like a musical with plentiful breaks and I hope in that moment, that first of all Placebo appears in concert in NYC and second, that the NYC crowd rocks a little bit more, than people do here. The pre-bands have been Smallpools and St. Lucia, they were actually pretty decent, just for your info, when you want to study Indie Rock that is outta there and need some ideas. And what I notice as well… The floor is covered with carpet, I hate carpets and in a place like that, where thousands of people go around, it’s probably not the best choice.

It’s quiet… nothing goes on stage… And then they start¬†Limp Bizkit from the record with Keep Rollin’ – alright! But not necessarily what I expected.

Harpoon Beer is actually quite tasty… This thought of mine is followed by Nelly with Must be the Money… Alright, what a mix of genres! What’s up in the almighty land of entertainment? Seems to me, Europe is far ahead in the meanwhile in regard to nightlife entertainment – especially Berlin¬†– but even¬†IBK in some regards. When the Two Door Cinema Club does not deliver properly, even newcomer¬†Milky Chance, who I saw in Innsbruck‘s Weekender last week,¬†was better.

The hall is huge by the way… Hope you can see it on those cellphone pictures.

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It’s as huge as the hall Tyrol of the IBK convention center, the biggest lecture hall of Free University of Berlin in Rostlaube or has the double size of our foyer in CCB.Not so easy to draw a comparison here, which will be understood by everyone.

Ahhh Still D.R.E. is played – good old reliable Hip-Hop. And it is still alive in America, which I love. Memories of my time as teenager come up.

And there it plays… Eric Pryde, Call on me… Followed by Darude with Sandstorm. 1999 here we are! Some rednecks dance discofox to that song (!!!), epic fail. On the other hand: For those images alone the admission fee von $75 was worth it! Then: Hedaway, What is love (baby don’t hurt me), back to the early 90’s ya!

Finally Two Door Cinema Club hits the stage, the girls scream, some probably lose their conscious, awesome! It’s 8:05 PM, pretty much on time! I head to the crowd now, to experience this concert right up front.

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The concert is awesome and I am in the 10th line in front of the stage. Party is on and when the concert is over all too soon at 9:20 PM the crowd yells, screams, and due to that asks for another round of concert awesomeness – even without the necessity to ask for “One more song!” – this is delivered automatically by the band. Have to say the mood was really cool when the actual band attended, the wait until they attended, not.

Now everyone leaves the hall all in a sudden, I don’t know why? I look around and walk up to a guy from the security what’s the matter. They tell me, the underaged need to leave and from 10 PM the party starts again, with the door selecting all the underaged, i.e. < 21 years.

I am hungry so I decide to go to Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown, right around the corner. I ride home and get more cash, than I return Рand find out that I am numb after this experience.

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After the party, my impressions from the party – it’s 2:00 AM. The club became empty at 1:30 AM all of a sudden and outside everyone was fighting for the Taxis – good to have a car, it started raining as well. And I hope, it won’t rain or even snow, when I go hiking, it’s the least I would wish for.

The look back to this event: 11:55 PM. Now we talk party but truly PAAAARTY! I didn’t expect that to happen anymore – and there are again ladies who heat up the mood of the people in short clothes – to bring the mood to the climax. The music is mediocre but I have a Red Bull, that builds me up after so many kilometers of walking this day. I have some nice flirts, a hot girl pours me a drink, but when I ask her out to talk somewhere else where I can understand her better, she neglects. Strange world.

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The resumee: It was a stunning concert but the nightlife seems so controlled in the USA. You can not just go to a public event / party and enjoy yourself and the fact everything is over at 2:00 AM was not really appreciable. But after all this experience was great and the Two Door Cinema Club in concert is worth to be visited!

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston Arriving & Cambridge

The beginning of my stay in Boston and Cambridge is focussed on Cambridge and the best known Universities on planet Earth. I discover the campus, learn to differentiate between MIT and Harvard people and discover a stunning city in between.

Leaving Cape Cod is a tad sad. It’s beautiful there and the last day was vacation at its best and my hosting family was very nice. On my way to Boston I stop at the Mayflower¬†memorial in Plymouth. It showcases the rebuilt Mayflower II of the first pilgrims who came to young America back in the day. At 1 PM I reach my Airbnb in Boston

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This is the rebuilt Mayflower II, a memorial for the first pilgrims who reached America. You find it in Plymouth, between Cape Cod and Boston.

I am a bit shocked in the first moment of my arrival. I will stay in Roxbury and the area looks a bit rundown, like in a hood. There are lots of people hanging around on the street. My host is not there, still at work. I follow her directions and claim the key out of a little lockbox, which lies on the porch. I need to sleep, am totally worn out, the jetlag is stronger than the days before. Want to be fit, when I discover the campus of the big two, MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. That is the plan for the afternoon. 

In the afternoon I start with Cambridge and get an overview over both Campi, starting in Harvard. My plan to meet up with a Professor from MIT manifests, I want to do it the next day, since it is already late. So I just continue to discover the campus and visit the Technics Museum of MIT, which is really cool! Sun already sets, when I come out and the mood over Cambridge is great and the view to Boston stunning!

I have to say, from the people I met, I liked the guys from MIT much more, nerds like you and me. The personell of Harvard is kind of¬†arrogant, as some of the visitors have been at as well. I ask myself “Why?” – Shouldn’t people on the top of society be glad for their status and be grateful and polite? Especially the brats, who get this once in a lifetime opportunity by their dad, who they probably rarely see, because otherwise they would have better manners. If I compare both elitist factories, I prefer MIT for sure.

At night I speak to my host, she tells me I don’t have to be worried, the crime rate of Boston is really low because everyone in this city receives healthcare, even if people can’t afford it and nobody is just left behind¬†to suffer poverty. And I can confirm that as far as I can walk around without any incidents – you get used to it very fast. My dinner is pasta and afterwards I continue the sightseeing and head into the touristic parts of Boston, but the pictures of Boston will be showcased in another entry, this one is focussed on Cambridge in regard to the photography.

At late night, around 10 PM, I hit the restaurant & jazz lounge The Beehive –¬†I¬†enjoy live music, a great blue cheese burger and awesome IPA beer. A really great experience to get enjoyable American beer!

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The dark lounge of ‘The Beehive’ is cosy, food is great, beer good and the live music really cool. Thank you for this recommendation from Toronto, Oli!

This is the first time, as far as I can remember, that the beer was actually good – I remember my times in Florida of 2008, where I never appreciated the offered beer on liquor stores.¬†Scenic and en vogue South End really seems to be the place to be in Boston! And those are some impressions of my way home, since the Metro and Bus does not ride too long anymore, I have to walk home about 45 min…

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The next day starts again in Cambridge. I have a good overview how to get there – by Metro – and what to do. I want to see a Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the MIT, but sadly she is on travels and a second Professor I had on my list, as well. But the Koch Institute of Cancer Research is an impressive building. Should I ever remain in Science, I’d be honored to work there.¬†

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Inside worlds famous Koch Institute at MIT
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The Koch Institute of Cancer Research, MIT

After this attempt – hey it worked great at Yale University – I take a walk over the campus of Harvard and decide to continue from the main campus to Harvard Medical School in the late afternoon.

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Inside Harvard’s holy halls
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Inside the Institute of Chemistry of Harvard University

The way to Harvard Medical School is interesting, since I go back to Boston by Metro, followed by tram¬†I see a lot – the campus of HMS is not in Cambridge but in Boston. I would need more time in Boston as it seems… I can’t access the main building of the Medical School, stroll around a little more and by surprise run into the Pharmacy school. What an incident! I take a look around there as well, then I return home to plan the next tours, potential interviews and what to do at night…

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Beautiful Cape Cod

Indian Summer can be like true summer as well. The two days on Cape Cod are amazing, the sea is still warm, swimming possible, the city of Provincetown beautiful and the seafood great. This is true vacation and a very relaxed part of the roadtrip – perfect to recover from the flight and New Haven with Rolli!

While I planned this trip I haven’t had Cape Cod on my radar. I heard about¬†it from a friend of mine a couple of days before I left from Europe. A spontaneous adjustment¬†of¬†the journey¬†– a little beachlife never hurts! And it was worth it, it is a fabolous place and I found an affordable and great location with Julie in Orleans

After I come home from the beach, I am freezing a little bit. The sunset was worth it, though. The shower is outside under the porch of the house, I like that gimmick! The only thing that is not too nice about it, I have to take a cold shower and would be in need for a warm one at this moment. Doesn’t matter, we are not out of sugar, are we? I got my own room in the basement of the house which has access to the garden. For the night my plan is to prepare my pizza¬†and teach Julie and her kids how it is done. They are a very nice family and Julie tells me that there have been travelers staying with them¬†who creeped them out – I try my best to not do that and I think I am quite successful with that… ūüôā

After a little chat with them I have my plan for the next day, I want to visit Provincetown – a gay and lesbian el dorado, at the tip of Cape Cod, like a Key West of New England – and I want to see the beach of Truro

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Provincetown is really peaceful. Some older gentlemen try to flirt with me while I do my workout at the beach, first jogging and afterwards push-ups and sit-ups. Beaches are perfect for that. I tell them that I am into girls, they chuckle and leave me alone. It’s no big deal and the people are very friendly here!¬†I even can go swimming with pleasure. Compared to last night it is¬†very enjoyable with 27¬įC and sunshine on this beautiful day! Here you get a little impression of the Herings Cove¬†beach (just the¬†cellphone shots, the others are in the attached gallery).

On my return to Provincetown I have lunch at Mojo’s¬†– Julie told me to go there and she was absolutely right. The food is great, fresh from the sea!

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After this very welcome snack I continue to the beach of¬†Truro. That’s the one the locals attend. Or nobody at all. I am¬†alone for two consecutive hours and enjoy the calm, while I observe some harbor seals a little bit offshore. I go swimming again but listen to Julie’s advice, not to go in too deep where the seals are – Cape Cod is a known spot for Great White sharks and just in 2012 there was a severe accident. I prefer just to dip into the shallow water to cool down and sleep and dream the day away…

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And to finalize this wonderful day a little shopping never hurts, especially since the US prices are a steal compared to the German / European prices – I go to T.J. Maxx at night and get me a bunch of cloth – have done that the last time in 2008, when I lived in Florida to attend UF. What a great day – life could always be like that, I would not mind! Ah and there are some more pictures to come… ūüėČ

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Round of three states

Throwback to the USA and Canada Roadtrip 2013: The second episode of this roadtrip begins in New Haven (CT) and since New England’s states are not too big, you can easily do three states in one day. The first stop is Mystic (CT) where you can have a look at the historic shipyard. For lunch and some gawking I chose Newport (RI), where the wealth of New England accumulates and the final destination of this trip is Cape Cod (MA), where I stay the next two days, before the trip continues to Boston (MA).

I continue, New Haven (CT), albeit of one of worlds finest Universities is not really a favorable place to live, not for a long time at least. At 11:00 PM life ends spontaneously, i.e. the streets get really empty, and everything of this city which is not directly on campus looks rundown and I heard the crime rate is really high if you leave the campus regions, where the campus police takes care to keep criminals off. The more it’s time to continue. Bobcat Cody woke me up early, he is awesome and I had the feeling I miss my cats at home in Berlin.

The first stopover is in Mystic. It’s just a little village which became famous due to its shipyard. There is a relatively nice museum and it’s a nice place to stay for some hours, take a coffee, or like in my case, have some breakfast. It’s is nothing really special, though and you could skip it as well, when you want to push miles. As you can see, Indian Summer is there, the leaves of the American oaks shine in bright red!

My next stop is Newport in Rhode Island (RI). It’s the place of the rich and famous, at least it was very dominant as a summer residence to those families. I enjoy my first lobster and I have to say, it is a delicacy which I would not be able and willing to afford in Europe. American pricing is just different, in regard to consumption, no matter if it is for cloth, electronic devices, or more or less luxurious food. The poor lobster was awesome – it’s true, New England is famous for its seafood for a good reason. What I love about America: Several older people wonder where I am from, when I skype with my cousin in Canada to assure that I will arrive in a couple of days – German accent most likely included. We get into conversation quickly. They ask me if the lobster really is as great as it looks. “Yes Ma’am it is!” ūüôā

The cribs in Newport are very impressive РI show you some shots in the attached gallery. You can certainly see the wealth of this region and you feel it in the pricing compared to CT in regard to tobacco, beer, softdrinks Рyour daily needs.

At 5:15 PM I reach my final destination for the day, the half-island of Cape Cod. I stay in an Airbnb in Orleans with Julie and her family – she is not there on my arrival so I decide to head to the beach which I reach easily by car, passing through a dense forest. It is just beautiful and I decide to take a swim – it is not too cold after all!

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That’s me, just out of the water. It was fresh but not unbearable cold!

The day ends with a most beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. I love those moments, when I am alone, able to let the thoughts pass, not worried for a short time, just silent and in a status of meditation. It is beautiful and I feel blessed to be able to see all of this – already, although there is so much more to come!

My plan for the next day is to spend the day at the beach. I want to talk to Julie later what she can recommend. The weather is supposed to be splendid with up to 25¬įC – a perfect day to enjoy these nice beaches and to explore Cape Cod.

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – The arrival to New Haven

Throwback to the USA and Canada Roadtrip 2013: The first part of the trip from Innsbruck, over Frankfurt / Main to New York City and the first roadtrip to New Haven is tough – if you sum up the hours and the distance made. My first stop is the worldwide known Yale University.

28.09.2013 IBK (Austria), Late afternoon. My French tenants arrive in my apartment, I receive cash Рnot the desired transaction to my account. I finish to clean the apartment last minute. I bring my car to the University with all the luggage, from there I take a cab to the trainstation.

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Chaos, luggage and maps for the different sections of the trip

When the train reaches¬†Munich, it gets really¬†overcrowded with smelly and wasted Oktoberfest visitors, one vomits into the train as if there would not be any tomorrow, really awesome! In the middle of the night I reach Frankfurt, meet old friends of the family, who I haven’t seen for ages. At their home, where I stay for this night, I am pampered with delicious carrot soup, √Ąpplvoi (this is an alcoholic beverage made of apples) and we sit together quite some time on their balcony. Afterwards the deepest sleep you could ever imagine…

Servus USA, servus NYC, here I come!

29.09.2013 Frankfurt (Germany), In the morning everything works¬†in accordance to plan, just the transaction of my cash to my account won’t work, not even to my German account. My friends bring me to the airport, everything is routine. I buy a bottle of Wisky, The Dalmore Valour – it’s quite mild but very enjoyable.¬†Flying with¬†Delta Airlines¬†is really comfortable. The flight is great and the service outstanding – basically no wish remains unfulfilled.

Just landed in New York City JFK a little overdose of impressions overcomes me. Sooo many people, everywhere! And where can¬†I claim my prebooked rental? I get the directions, take the shuttle train to Federal District Circle, take another shuttle and claim my rental at 6:15 PM. Not really a small car – that was ordered (that’s great!) – I get a VW Jetta with quite some horses.¬†Many thanks to Lisa, who booked everything from Austria, everything perfect! A tad scary is the situation when I claim my rental and the nice bro behind the counter asks me, if I would not live in Oxford Manor, Archer Rd, Gainesville, Florida anymore – I lived there in 2008 and returned to Europe for five consecutive years without being in the USA. Big Brother is watching you!

Somehow I enter a status of trance now. The highway flies by, the lights of the cars are passing by like in a dream. It’s still a good piece of way from NYC to Westhaven in Connecticut (CT) and at 9:00 PM E.T. I finally reach my AirBNB. Short brake then I make my way to Yale Campus, where I meet Rolli, a friend and colleague of mine from the Chemistry department of the University of Innsbruck. We go to the bar BAR and to my surprise it has really good pizza and what surprises me even more… On the restrooms hangs a picture of … well see for yourself – uncovered boobs.

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Uncovered boobs in the USA, I wonder to find that in a bar close to Yale Campus.

Did not expect something like that at all. But you never stop learning, I mean as European you are not bothered by that. The interior with those cow skins reminds me a little bit of a Tyrolean hut. Another unexpected finding. Nice. I’m very satisfied, everything worked fine and yet in accordance to my bucketlist.

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Those cow skins remind me of the huts of Tyrol

In the meanwhile it’s 5:00 AM on 30.09.203 in Westhaven. I already slept short and good, but I will have trouble to fall asleep again, since it’s already 11:00 AM in Europe. Well, a sip from the Wisky and it might work. Good night America, good morning Europe.

Miami Beach – The Place 2 Be

Miami Beach is one of the main reasons why you should visit Florida. The city at the turquoise Atlantic ocean with its great nightlife, beautiful people, lots of different cultural influences and an outstanding climate is like a playground for adults!

One of the main¬†reasons why plenty of visitors come to Florida is¬†Miami Beach and the beaches along both coastlines over here. This city is special. You have downtown Miami, which is underwhelming if you have watched CSI Miami and have a certain impression of it¬†and you have Miami Beach, the place to be if you are looking for a leisure experience, great music, fun loving people and warm turquoise water during daytime. It’s a bit like a playground made for adult audiences combined with splendid nature.

Our friend Ruben had to return home to the Netherlands so Tim and me decided to go southwards with him to give him a proper farewell. We all had a great time together!

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PIMP MY RIDE

The evening hours at the beach are most beautiful. The colors of the sky represent the art-deco of the houses very well and the party people, all in great shape¬†over there, fill the streets. You see crazy cars and people wear extraordinary accessories¬†to impress. Buzzing electronic beats encounter your ears from everywhere and in regard to variety it’s tough to decide where to go to party and to have a good drink. It’s quite expensive for guys tho. Admission to one of the roof tops can easily be $30 and you should not take it, since there will always be another place offering free entrance or reduced cover!

We decided to hit Nikki Beach¬†a huge beach bar at daytime, kind of an open air nightclub during the night and until 5 a.m. in the morning. The whole place was loaded with people, most of them being on drugs tho and some of them having an aggressive attitude reduced the fun for me a bit. The night was cold as well for a night in Miami, truly a tough winter over here this year! I am not used to party until 5 a.m. anymore, so I chose to relax on one of the plenty big mattresses which are all over the place and sleep a bit while Tim and Ruben were dancing. At 5 a.m. we left the club exhausted, haven’t booked a hotel and brought Ruben to the airport. Time to say goodbye for now!

Tim and me had to find a place to park the car, our place for the night. We rode up Ocean Drive several blocks until we found a space at the beach where you could park, not easy in Miami, comparable to California and since everyone rides a car alone clusterfuck is your daily friend on the road…

There will be no sunset to observe on the Atlantic coast but therefore you have a great sunrise all for yourself while the party folks are still in bed – and since Tim already slept I made my way to the beach to observe it. Everything was calm and peaceful the total opposite of daytime, when you are surrounded by a crowd.

We had some breakfast in a hotel and went back to the beach, to the southern end. The beach where all the nightlife takes place is also called South Beach Miami – a lazy day after a long night, the right thing to do over there. Ruben was already on his way back and he promised – via WhatsApp out of the plane – he wore his bathrobe still when he checked in and on the whole flight. A great move of a great bro! ūüôā

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Everything comes to and end, so did our beach day. We hit the roof top party of the Playboy hotel, more to just have a look and because the sound was great. The party was pretty cool, there was a pool and plenty of ladies were in the water. We were definitively surrounded by thuggish guys and silicon. Stayed there about 20 min. to get an impression then left to the harbor to have our dinner while we watched how the night came over downtown Miami. A bunch dolphins was playing in the bay, just another cool and appreciated extra of that day. A long trip home was in front of us…