Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Sofia, Bulgaria (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

July 20, 2017


Traveling Around: Sofia, Bulgaria

Can you relate?

• Passing by a house that had a whole car in its front yard as a lawn decorative item!
• Going through a city market, not a big touristy one, and enjoying all the little shops there; had a great “conversation” (many language barriers) with one store owner/worker about her honey, jams and nuts.
• Checking out the biggest city park in Sofia and realizing how amazingly big it was. There were also some martenitsas tied to a number of the park’s trees. Didn’t know what those were, but now I know; interesting tradition.
• Having a nice walk through the downtown area of Sofia and running into some of the most beautiful buildings on a nice sunny day!


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• Walking through the city neighborhoods and spotting a really cool local bird that was grey but with fluorescent blue markings on its wings.
• Seeing a bunch a stray dogs and cats lounging around all the streets and sidewalks.
• Watching a local group of little school kids and their teachers walk in line together as they go along their field trip for the day.
• Smelling the amazing smells of a local bakery. Geez, how could you not stop and check out their goods?!

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• Choosing one of the many day trips that I could have taken and doing it with 4 strangers and having a great time.
• Checking out the nearby mountains, thinking that there would be some green nature and then finding out that it was all snow still there.
• Being immersed in a completely silent place surrounded by beautiful trees and nature.
• Challenging myself to walk up a steep mountain incline, getting to the top and enjoying the view!

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• Finding a really little Mexican restaurant on one of the streets in Sofia (didn’t eat at it), a kind of restaurant that looks like a food truck but was actually part of the nearby buildings. You could only order through a window.
• Checking out the main market in Sofia and deciding what I wanted to buy. I ended up going to a local lavender farmer and buying two jars of their lavender honey.
• Shopping in Sofia is great because the price of certain produce and products is so cheap!
• Enjoying the fact that I can read most Cyrillic letters and some basic Russian, so I wasn’t so in the dark when confronted with an important street sign or store sign for example.

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• Seeing certain produce items (omg, the tomatoes) that I can get in my host country, but not as tasty as these ones looked! Feeling very jealous of the expats living here.
• Noticing that some of market stands had a really long line of people wanting to buy their specific produce. The locals know who to buy from I guess!

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• Going to an out-of-the-way restaurant, walking in and realizing nobody else was there. Started talking to the owner and worker and learning about their lives and the life of the restaurant. Great, unexpected cultural exchange.
• Deciding to take a short cut to get to a certain place while using Google Maps, but only to realize I was getting myself into a bit of a dangerous area for walking pedestrians (really close to a fast highway).  Making it out safe, and happy because I found a really cool spot to take a picture of some graffiti.

Currently we have 106 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 55 of them have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few of those schools:

Albanian International School (Tirana, Albania)19 Comments
International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)39 Comments
QSI International School of Sarajevo (Sarajevo, Bosnia)18 Comments
Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria)49 Comments
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)29 Comments
International School of Brno (Brno, Czech Republic)25 Comments
International School of Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia)22 Comments
Britannica International School Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)19 Comments
International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)33 Comments
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)89 Comments
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland)46 Comments
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)66 Comments
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)59 Comments
Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine)122 Comments

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Madrid (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

April 21, 2017


Traveling Around: Madrid

Madrid
Can you relate?

• Visiting a city that you once visited 20+ years ago, and not really exploring it again like you did back then. Awesome!
• Finally going somewhere to practice the language you actually can speak (well kind of fluently speak)
• Walking to go to the same store every day hoping that it would actually be open because you really want to buy something there.
• Traveling to a city during a time when the local culture is celebrating a big holiday; meaning that many of the stores and restaurants are not working during their normal working hours.

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• Walking through the streets of the city to get to a certain location and then running into a huge American food grocery store. It was closed when we walked by, but still don’t think that we would have actually gone in. They always seems to stock stores like these with weird and unhealthy products that I wouldn’t normally buy if I was still living in the USA.
• Thinking about checking out the nightlife in the city, but realizing how tired you are after dinner; tired from walking around all day. Even taking the bus and public transport for most of the day makes you tired. Being a tourist somehow does make people tired, even if they are not doing so much strenuous work.
• Going to the Retiro park to watch many locals enjoy the nice weather and the green areas, but then also watching the tourists just act loud basically destroying the peacefulness of being in the nature of the park!
• Realizing that in this city, it is important and almost standard to make reservations at a restaurant for lunch AND dinner times. Many of the restaurants are quite small, so this may be the contributing factor for making sure to book a table ahead of time.
• Not turning on the tv in our airbnb once to watch some local tv programs and commercials.
• Having a love/hate relationship with how the local buildings were constructed. I think they were built to keep people cool during the really hot months of summer. But in the colder weather, the lack of insulation really makes being in an apartment a really cold experience (even when it is also cold outside, so you can’t escape it!).
• Enjoying listening to Spaniards just discuss mundane topics at length. I’m sure people who are native speakers of English do this as well, but it does seem like Spanish people really like to talk about things in detail that I think really don’t need to be talked about that much.

 

• Going on a day tour to some nearby cities, like Segovia. Taking in all the beauty of the countryside and views of the hills and olive tree groves.
• Being very pleased with the local transportation options and their efficiency. Always nice to see people using it and it being dependable.
• Getting to the airport was so easy from where we were staying in the center of the city. If we lived in Madrid, it would be nice to have an option to get to the airport using public transportation that is cheap and quick.
• Watching and kind of participating in some local cultural traditions. We got to see some Easter processions in the street.
• Just enjoying walking the streets of the city and looking at the wonderful designs of the building facades of the apartment buildings there. I wish more cities would consider spending the extra money to make their city buildings beautiful to look at!

Currently we have 32 international schools listed in Spain on International School Community. 11 of them have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few of those schools:

American School Madrid Spain, Madrid 65 (Total Comments) 3 (Members)
American School of Barcelona Spain, Barcelona 157 (Total Comments) 17 (Members)
American School of Bilbao Spain, Bilbao 44 (Total Comments) 1 (Members)
American School Valencia Spain, Valencia 21 (Total Comments) 0 (Members)
Benjamin Franklin Int’l School Spain, Barcelona 66 (Total Comments) 3 (Members)

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Ukraine (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

January 26, 2017


Traveling Around: Ukraine

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Can you relate?

• Listening to the local radio stations in our rental car and laughing at the unbelievably rapid speed of the disclaimers at the end of each advertisement.
• Getting a Thai massage in the best rated massage place in Kiev, good price too!
• Eating at a Georgian restaurant (delicious food!) and enjoying watching the Ukrainian tables next to us and how they (very often) toast to each other so that they can drink for alcohol.
• Staying at probably one of the nicer hotels in the city. The pool/spa was in the basement of the hotel and was decorated like a tropical tiki-style holiday.

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• Visiting one of the main markets in Kiev and getting crazy high prices from the stall workers, tourist prices, though in the end scoring a huge jar of local honey for only like five Euros.
• Spending the night eating at a really posh restaurant in Kiev and trying out some very unusual teas and very unique appetizers and entrees; very good quality food in Ukraine!
• Driving around the city center in our rental car and actually doing it without any issues, so many people (even locals) warned us that the driving in Kiev was dreadful and dangerous. Not the case for us.
• Trying to talk in English with the locals and encountering many confusing conversations and misunderstandings. Though both parties kept a positive and friendly, fun-loving attitude in the process.
• Going from eastern orthodox church to eastern orthodox church to eastern orthodox church to eastern orthodox church to eastern orthodox church, well those are the most ornate and beautiful buildings here. Though to be honest the other buildings have pretty amazing architecture and design as well.
• Scoring some really cool local beauty products for really cheap prices at a very nice organic grocery store in the city.
• Making an outing to find the statue of the motherland. Man, this HUGE statue is so cool. I think all cities should have something like this. I was in awe of it.
• Watching the local Ukrainians take groups pictures of their family and friends and finding it hard to find one where even one person was smiling in the picture.

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• Loving our tour of the city and then on the last day finding a really cool part of the city where there was a new development of houses, but the houses were style to look like how they looked long ago. Very cool, want to go back and see more of that part of the city.
• Making it a point to visit the local, famous chocolate shop in the center of the city. The locals loved this place! Roshen. But I actually also loved another chocolate shop called Lviv Handmade Chocolate. Now that stuff was delicious!

Currently we have 105 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 54 of them have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few of those schools:

Albanian International School (Tirana, Albania)19 Comments
International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)39 Comments
QSI International School of Sarajevo (Sarajevo, Bosnia)18 Comments
Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria)28 Comments
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)29 Comments
International School of Brno (Brno, Czech Republic)25 Comments
International School of Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia)22 Comments
Britannica International School Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)19 Comments
International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)33 Comments
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)82 Comments
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland)46 Comments
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)66 Comments
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)34 Comments
Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine)122 Comments

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Slovenia (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

August 14, 2016


Traveling Around: Slovenia

slovenia
Can you relate?

• Enjoying a nice walk along the river that runs through the city of Ljubiana. I definitely had thoughts that it would be nice to live here in this city.
• Loving that the symbol of Ljubiana is the dragon. I quite enjoyed the cool sculptures of dragons on one of the bridges going over the main river, Ljubljanica.
• Walking across the whole city, from our airbnb, to go to a restaurant that we had planned to check out only to find out that they had run out of food already. We never went back there!
• Running into a food fair in the center of the city. The food fair was very unique and had stands that sold so many different, delicious cuisines. We found out that the next day had another, different food fair in the same spot. We went back again the following day to check it out. 🙂

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• Renting a car and doing day trips in and out of Ljubiana. Enjoying the freedom of having a car, but as I was the driver, I couldn’t fully enjoy the beautiful views of all the mountains and landscapes.  It is dangerous trying to take pictures and drive at the same time!
• The level of English of Slovenian people is quite high. Everywhere we traveled to in the country had locals that could speak in at least a conversational level of English.
• Going up at just the right time to enjoy the views of the Ljubljana Castle, which you can see from basically every part of the city. We went during the sunset.
• Appreciating the older buildings throughout the city, with their colorful facades and intricate designs. I wonder why we don’t make such cool buildings any more for our cities. They really make a city special and unique. Plus, they are great to look at and I would imagine they would make the locals very proud to live there.
• Checking out all the graffiti around the city. I wonder who are the people who actually do this graffiti. I would feel so bad defacing city property. Well some people don’t see it that way, but some day I would guess. I suppose the graffiti artists think they are making boring buildings more beautiful to look at.
• Loving the beautiful weather that we luckily got during our trip here. The view from our top floor airbnb was great!  The fresh, clean air too was very nice.
• It’s true that Slovenia really has everything. It has a seaside on the Mediterranean, which isn’t too far away (Piran is a super cool city). It also has mountains (the ALPS) which are awesome to look at. Plus their climate isn’t that bad either.  The nature on offer is just unbelievable. We found a number of amazing spots with great landscape views, and there weren’t hardly any other people around. Very serene!
• If there is one place that you should definitely go on your trip here, it is Lake Bled. This place and area is just so beautiful. It is truly like a storybook fairytale there. Loved it!

slovenia slovenia

Currently we have 105 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 52 of them have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few of those schools:

• American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)29 Comments
• International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)33 Comments
• 
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)66 Comments
• 
Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine)51 Comments
• 
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)34 Comments
• 
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland)46 Comments
• 
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)74 Comments
• 
QSI International School of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia)9 Comments

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Cyprus (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

May 6, 2016


Traveling Around: Cyprus

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Can you relate?

• Driving on the left side with a steering wheel on your right side and feeling weird by every crossing.
• Thinking it was going to be much warmer than it actually turned out to be. I guess hanging out on the beach was not in the plans.
• Going into the mountainous region in the middle of the country and finding an empty cafe to sit down and have a drink to enjoy the view. We tried a local drink made from almonds. They served it warm like a tea, and it was actually quite tasty.
• Staying the whole time in what was probably the coolest AirBnb I’ve ever seen. This place was so unique and was a refurbished old monastery.
• Our AirBnb host was so great. We wanted to buy the best olive oil on the island and we asked him for his advice. He ended up showing us a secret bottle of olive oil he received from one of his relatives. He said he would ask his relative for another bottle and get it to us during our trip. He ended up just giving us his own bottle!  What a nice guy!
• Very much enjoying the city’s stray cat population. These cats would hang outside our AirBnb as well, mostly during night-time. We tried to feed them some food one night, but they were picky on what they would eat.
• There was a holiday happening in Cyprus during our stay there. They were celebrating the Greek liberation from the Turkish empire. We were so lucky to run into a huge parade. The local military dress was very interesting. Also in the parade were big groups of students, each from a different college. They all had to walk in a very special way, lifting both arms up as they walked down the street.
• Waiting in a long line to get to the Turkish side of the downtown area and watching some people trying to pass without having to show their passports.
• Enjoying the Turkish side of the country, but feeling bad that we didn’t explore more. We rented a car, but we weren’t allowed to drive our car on that side.
• Loving the first breakfast that I had in the country. It was a very cozy restaurant with lots of locals in it. I got served a piece of toast with avocado with asparagus and poached egg on top. Then they drizzled olive oil on top. It was so delicious. Too bad that we never went back to that place.
• Arriving to a seaside town and having to choose a fish restaurant to eat at. The one we ended up sitting down at didn’t serve us at all in like 15 minutes of sitting there. We left and try another restaurant that was full of people. Right when we walked in a table opened up. We sat down and within a minute our order was taken. After another minute we were served our food! The fish dishes were so delicious. It is funny choosing restaurants when traveling. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
• Driving off the main road in the mountains to find a beautiful hidden waterfall.
• Coming back to Lefkosia in the night and seeing a huge Turkish flag made of lights on a hill in the Turkish part of the city. During the day, the flag is painted on. Seems like the rivalry between the two nations is still very high.
• Visiting the coastal towns of Limassol and Larnaca, to find many shop and restaurant signs in Russian. It seems like they do a lot of business in Cyprus.
• Stepping into the Mall of Cyprus and getting disappointed how empty does it looked. Maybe the business is better during the summer tourist season?
• Finding out that the capital has two names – Lefkosia and Nicosia. Road signs only say Lefkosia, though.
• Eating healthy breakfast in hip cafes in the central Lefkosia and finding an Icelandic woman’s vegan restaurant in Lefkosia.

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Currently we have 4 international schools listed in Cyprus on International School Community. Here are two that have had comments submitted on them:

•  American International School of Cyprus (27 comments)
•  International School of Paphos (77 comments)

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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