In 2014, via the youth mobility (tier 5) visa, I had moved to London without a job or a place to live. I packed my bags in a couple months and hoped for the best. Looking back there’s quite a few things I would have done to prepare myself for a smoother transition. I hope whoever reads this will find it helpful should they choose to make the same kind of journey across the Atlantic.
Kiev is at the top of my lists of places to visit if you’re a fan of learning about World War and Cold War history. Although, Krakow is still at the top of my list. I had the opportunity to visit the city when my dad was in the continent on a business trip. It was great because not only did I get to see my dad but we had some of his local co-workers take us around the city. It made it super easy to navigate the language by asking them to translate, rather than me stumbling with my Google Instant Translate app. The city has some really great sites and museums to visit. Like most cities in Eastern Europe, they’re only really starting to recuperate from the devastation of the Soviet regime and more recently the corruption of their ex-President, Viktor Yanukovych. However, the city is really developed at the same time. It might be an inexpensive city but it isn’t some backwards country like you hear in the media. It’s like any other major city in the world. They have large grocery stores, street markets, a brilliant night life, large scale hotels, and much more. As always though, be safe and use common sense when exploring.
One of the perks of my job is I get to travel between the UK office and our global office in S. witzerland. It’s in a town (or is it a city?) called Lausanne. As it was my first time going in late March, I thought I try and make the most of it by visiting another town nearby. I ended up picking Montreux. It’s actually most famous for its connection with the band Queen. There’s a whole museum dedicated to them and even a pretty big statue of Freddy Mercury in the middle of the town, right by the lake front.
Venice is one of those cities that give you a bit of a shock when you arrive. It’s like one of those cities where you hear lots of about but never really lives up to expectations. It’s not to say it isn’t worth visiting though! Just don’t expect a whole lot of dazzling lights and people dancing everywhere. If you like live music, good wine, pasta, and boat rides, this is your town. The most surprising thing about the city though is that it feels quite dead at night. It has a lot to do with the fact that there aren’t very many lights lighting the streets. It can get really dark in some parts and even a bit frightening with the narrow walkways and path you need to travel down. Generally the rule is to not walk down dodgy looking alleyways but in Venice every street looks a bit dodgy. The graffiti that litters the main tourist areas don’t really help those who are a bit paranoid, but trust me it never ever felt that unsafe. There are quite a lot of police in most of the public areas all the way through the night. Continue Reading
In early September 2015, I took a short trip to Stockholm. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from my trip there alone, but it turned out to be a lot more fun than expected. I did the usual walking tour, wandered around aimlessly the first hours of arriving, ate at any local dives I could find, and did a bit of research whenever I found free wi-fi at a nearby coffee shop. However, what made it really fun was being able to meet even more randoms visiting the city! This time around it was more Californians, who also happened to be Asian. The level of nostalgia was an absolute high. It’s not to say I don’t get along with anyone else, but there’s a really strong sense of familiarity when you meet fellow Overseas Born Chinese.