Monthly Archives: May 2014

Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


On the road

Train ride from Boston to NYC

May has been quite a month.

I worked on a project that took me to Boston and New York City. It was my first roadshow outside Europe – image how nervous (and excited) I was! While I spent most of the time walking and driving from one meeting to another, I was glad I got to see some american landscape during my train ride from Boston to New York and spend the weekend in the heart of Manhattan’s concrete jungle!


Weekend scenes

Sendero Las Breñas, El Sauzal (Tenerife - Canary Islands)

Right after the end of the roadshow, I travelled back to Tenerife for what initially was going to be a long weekend, but ended up being an entire week. Until that moment, I hadn’t really realised how important it was for me to be home when I most needed to be taken care of.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona (Spain)

One of the many reasons I LOVE May is because, in the UK, the month starts and ends with a long weekend – And this year the latter one converged with my 30th birthday! I hopped on a flight with one of my closest friends and headed to Barcelona to shop for shoes and jewellery, eat tapas, pinchos and arroz caldoso and drink cava, patxarán and real gin tonics. Oh, and were stunned by the Sagrada Familia (but this deserves a post of its own).


Reads

If there is one thing that my recent trip to Tenerife (and multiple trips to the doctor) has taught me is that you should never be too busy to take care of yourself. Shortly after my time at the hospital, I came across Arianna Huffington’s fantastic new book Thrive. I could perfectly see myself in her words – never-ending to do lists, sleep deprivation, constantly checking for new e-mails. Honestly, this book has been eye-opening and life-changing for me, and I strongly recommend it to everyone (whether you walk around claiming you’re busy and stressed, or not!).

And now to my favourite online reads this month.

  • On travelling. I absolutely love Outmeal’s comics, and with all the travelling I’ve been doing lately, I couldn’t stop smiling when I read the crap we put up with getting on and off an airplane.
  • On adventure. I’m all for extraordinary adventures, and living in a yurt is one I still want to experience. Candace spent weeks sleeping beneath the starts. The way she writes about her time in Salt Spring and her incredible sketches have awaken some serious wanderlust!
  • On learning to say no. Saying no sounds fairly easy if it’s something you don’t want to do. But these words only truly become meaningful when you turn down opportunities you actually want.

Mantra

Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi


June Goals

Morning run in Wandsworth Park, London

  • Stay Active. Continue to go out on at least 2 mornings runs per week. I never thought I could be an early morning person, but since I’ve started to integrate running into my morning schedule, I begin my days with much brighter energy and enthusiasm!
  • Unplug. Mid-May, I picked one Saturday as my technology detox day. Instead of obsessing over my e-mails and my blog stats, I went for a long run, bought myself a picnic and an iced-coffee and read a book in the park. I want to turn this into a monthly habit, to remind myself that the World doesn’t end if I’m not available 24-hrs.
  • Plan. Although June is probably going to be the busiest month at work so far, I’m determined this to be the month I set a date, destination and budget for my summer holidays. I know, I’m starting a bit late – I might as well improvise it!

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April was quite a month. I sprinted from one point to another, rushed through crowds, always thinking of to-dos and deadlines. I multi-tasked through most of my day and usually ate in front of my screen while typing yet another e-mail. I spent 8 hours a week studying the GMAT (which in my case meant 8 hours doing maths!) and brainstormed the future of my blog. I pushed myself to study or read something useful in the evenings, before falling asleep a few hours before picking up the entire race again.

Hiking from Afur to Taganana, Tenerife (Spain)

I knew this wasn’t going to last – eventually, something had to change. And I knew the time to reevaluate my priorities had come when, at the end of the month, my body collapsed of weakness.

It’s not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau

I had been so busy with my career and ambitions that I forgot to take care of myself. I had forgotten about things as simple as eating well, drinking water and getting a good night sleep. Instead, I was constantly being hard on myself for not getting up earlier, for not making more hours to study, for not being more active and for not feeling inspired to write.

After my roadshow finished, I flew home for a long weekend. Soon after, I was hospitalised with severe anaemia – and what was meant to be a short break became a week-long recovery.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

This was my wake up call, so I hit snooze and reevaluated my priorities. When did I allow to get too busy to listen to what my own body is trying to tell me?

At some point in the last few months, I became someone who glorified busy. I thought of busy as a status symbol – one that represents productivity and ambition. But the truth is, there was no end to it. There were always more tasks to tick off the to-do lists, and most of those tasks were self-imposed.

That was my first realisation: I was in this by choice.

It was clear to me that the way I made my choices had to change.

Tulip Festival in Morges

Learn to say no (specially to the things I want to do)

It seems obvious that there comes a period in your life where you have to learn how to say no to things that you don’t want to do, but I think the biggest, trickiest lesson in holding onto the stalwart commitment to your creativity is learning how to say no to things you do want to do.”

Elizabeth Gilbert – The Intelligent Channel interview

I’m curious and enjoy acquired new knowledge and skills. Maybe my only hope to beat overwhelm is to limit what I am willing to get overwhelmed by. This will mean saying no to plenty of things I want to do, like a photography course, blogging 3 times a week or drinking that 3rd glass of wine on a Thursday evening.

Be more intentional about my choices and focus

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with choices, but by aligning my choices with my core values, the array of alternatives are narrowed to those that are in line with who I want to be.

My goal is to learn to pick more wisely. Instead of constantly adding new projects to my to-do list, I want to choose what I really want to do and focus on doing that one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is evil, seriously. You might think you are being productive, but you’re actually doing things half-heartedly without being really present and involved in any of them.

I’m starting to realise that I’d rather have a few meaningful projects than a stressful over-scheduled calendar that doesn’t allow time to recharge my batteries.

Unplugging more often

Today’s technology has allowed us to be available 24/7 – which means that we never really rest from work on any day of the week.

I am conscious about my dependency on electronic devices (specially smartphones) and feel uneasy and sort of naked when I don’t carry my phones with me – it’s like leaving the house without wearing shoes.

And while I’m already on the path of creating a habit of limiting my plugged in time, I’m still battling against the unconcious reflex of checking for new e-mails every few minutes.


Everyone I know is busy. So, tell me something – What do you do to stay healthy and focussed?

If you’re feeling inspired, why not hop over and read a bit more about the glorification of busy and intentional choices? Below are my favourites:


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Last September, I promised myself to return to Terrazas del Sauzal when I was back in Tenerife. Several flights back to the island and I finally got around returning to one of my favourite terraces on the island.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I never get enough of this view. 

As we sat down and scanned through the menu, I noticed that, since last year, the menu had taken a twist, offering some new and refreshing choices. As much as I enjoy their tuna tartare (ah, one of my favourite picks from last time!), I was on the mission of trying out their latest creations.

The first thing that caught my attention was the tuna goldbrick. I pictured a brick of tuna – carefully decorated, resting on a delicious avocado puree and was immediately sold. After each of us chose a starter and main, we waited, expectantly, for the food to come.

It didn’t take long for our appetiser to arrive.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I’m a big fan of small portions, and this cherry tomato and mozzarella brochette dipped in home-made pesto sauce was no exception.

Shortly after, our colourful starters were placed on the table. We ordered a vegetable tempura salad with iberian ham and prawns, decorated with mango sauce and caviar, and a foie strudel with goat cheese, topped with caramelised apple and combined with duck ham and papaya. The foie brick (which to be honest looked like a crema catalana) was an incredible combination of flavours that I hadn’t expected at all!

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

By this time, I had eaten so much of their delicious bread and starters that I was a bit worried about being able to eat the tuna brick. Note to self: put a limit on the amount of bread you want to eat that evening and actually stick to it!

Anyway, when our mains arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with my choice.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

My tuna goldbrick was actually, well, gold!

I had read before about the trend of using edible gold in restaurants and always thought: “Well it can’t be actual gold. Who would eat gold?”. The truth is, using gold in cuisine has become more and more popular – and there are different types of edible gold. If you’re living in NYC (or like me, are just curious about the crazy things some people do for marketing) – you might have heard of the Douche Burger (a burger sold for 666 USD – which, among many other luxuries, includes gold leafs).

My tuna was not covered in gold leafs (I doubt I’d be able to afford a meal at a restaurant that did!). Instead, it was sprayed gold – a much more affordable version of decorating your meal. While there was no difference in taste (it didn’t taste metallic, by the way), it was a creative touch that made me smile. 


There’s a lot of debate about the trend of adding gold to food and drinks – although these debates do refer to the much more expensive gold leafs (which are, in fact, thin pieces of the metal). For some, eating gold is an act of inexcusable opulence. For others, the ultimate in gourmet luxury. 

Would you try edible gold?

PS: I’m linking up on Treat Yo’ self Thursday with Treasure Tromp and The Happy Type!


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At the end of April, work took me to Boston and New York. The last time I had visited the Big Apple, newsmen advised not to stay outside longer than 15 minutes to avoid frostbite or hypothermia. While I still dream of the snowy sunsets from the Empire State, I’m actually glad that, this time, I escaped the big freeze and instead experienced bits of the cities in walkable temperatures.

After two days in Boston, I hopped on board of a regional train to New York. While most of my business travel experience so far has involved last minute flights, tight schedules and breathless check-ins, I was really looking forward to the opportunity to disconnect, sit back and enjoy the view. It was my first time in Boston and my first long distance ground travel experience in the US – and I had no idea of what to expect.

Always take the scenic route - from Boston to New York by train

I left Boston behind and soon reached the country side – a part of the States I had only seen in movies. As I watched the world pass from my seat, I spotted old school buses, corn fields, farm houses, lakes and solitary sailing boats.

Always take the scenic route - from Boston to New York by train

Always take the scenic route - from Boston to New York by train

As we approached New York, the clouds opened up to allow the sun shine through painting the city with bright greens, blues and reds.

Always take the scenic route - from Boston to New York by train

Always take the scenic route - from Boston to New York by train

Would you choose to travel by train instead of taking the plane?


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Most of the time, I’m hopelessly addicted to technology. I have the habit of answering e-mails while I walk, placing my phone next to my plate while having a meal and dropping anything I’m doing whenever the red light blinks on my Blackberry. My news feed is filled with inspiring article on behavioural psychology, entrepreneurship and travel waiting to be read. Throughout the day, I take a picture of everything worthwhile. Then I crop it, enhance it, and instagram and tweet it.

London Eye, London (UK)

While technology has in many ways contributed positively to my life, I am constantly battling electronic temptations that threaten to take over more of my time available than I would like to commit. The promise of half an hour surfing the web rarely ends after 30 minutes. A quick Facebook fix can easily become a 20 minutes distraction. One interesting article links to another one, and without realising it another 40 minutes have passed. After an hour and a half of meaningless browsing, I wonder: where did my time go?

On a regular morning commute, I stopped immersing in my Kindle and looked around me: most of my fellow commuters were too engaged in their phones, their music or e-books to acknowledge anything around them. If George Clooney walked into that wagon, nobody would have noticed.

It was then that I realised we are missing out on the real moments. We are missing out on the opportunities to be moved by something real instead of a photo or a Youtube video. We are missing out on the chance to experience something unique instead of reading about it on someone’s Facebook wall.

Sunset in Thailand

As part of my 2014 goal to simplify, I’ve started to be more mindful of my use of technology – not only because I want to be more present and available to real experiences and connections, but also because the overuse of technology causes unnecesary stress and busyness. Does our technology addiction make us think that we are more essential than we actually are?

I have started turning off my iPhone at night and only checking my e-mails after breakfast. I regularly take my 45 minute commute without electronic distractions, taking this time to think and observe. And whenever I get the urge to check my phone, I first asses whether I really need to or it’s just a reflex. And I’ve come to a great realisation: the world did not end while my phone was turned off or without reception.

I want to be conscious of how I spend my time and figure out ways to reduce the importance of it in my daily routine. Being addicted to technology is simply a bad habit that needs to be broken.

For the rest of 2014, I’m going to explore more of the art of unplugging: picking a phone-free day and putting my iPhone and Blackberry away from the table when I’m not on a live project. Limiting my texting and e-mailing to times when I’m not in a social environment.

Do you unplug regularly? What are your best tips?


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Hello and welcome.

My name is Katharina, but you can call me Kate. This blog is where I share my thoughts and impressions of the places I go and the adventures in life and work I experience abroad.

Katharina

I created my first blog in 2010. I started a travel blog using Blogger and was overwhelmed with new concepts and the technicalities – I had no idea about what RSS, CSS and SEO stood for, let alone understand what I could do with it!

I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy blogging. After all, I wasn’t the type of kid that kept a Diary – I was the kind that would return home and do maths. For fun. This probably explains why my first posts were unstructured and disorganised. It became clear to me that if I wanted to take seriously improve my English writing skills, I would needed some serious practice.

Little did I know that writing would soon become a passion.

A year later, in 2011, I gave my hobby an upgrade – moving it from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress platform. However, after 3 years and plenty of back-office coding work, I was feeling burnt out. At times, I felt as if blogging was more of a chore than something I do for fun.

But instead of letting my blog die, I want it to evolve, change and find new paths. I want it to be simpler to allow me to focus on what I enjoy the most: writing and photography. And this takes me the to here and now.

Today marks the day I say goodbye to 100 Miles Highway and hello to Kate goes Global – a blog focused on traveling and living and working in an intercultural environment.

So, where do we go from here?

The blog uses a very simple design with only one Menu at the left, which contains:

  • Home – Which leads you to the main page. Home is a collection of circular images representing individual blog posts. If you hover over each image, the title is revealed.
  • Start Here – If you’re new to this site, I strongly recommend you to start there as it’ll point you to the best posts of each category.
  • About Kate – A bit more about myself (but don’t worry, it’s much shorter than this post!).
  • Contact Me – Please use this online form to get in touch with me.
  • Portfolio – The portfolio contains my favourite travel images.
  • Archives – The best place to dig into my past writings. 
  • Featured – Here you’ll find my footprint in other parts of the web: guest posts, awards, interviews and mentions.
  • Inspiration – A list of my daily inspiration from the web.

And lastly….

Thank you again for joining me on this journey and I really hope you’ll stay for a while! If you would like to receive all my blog updates straight to your RSS feed, please sign up for it here!


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