Author: travelforsearch

PLAN A WORLD TRIP

0 commentsTravel Advice

Traveling Advice

OUR DECISION TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

We wrote this article before our trip around the world. Actually, we always update all of our articles on world travel planning . But we leave this one exactly as we wrote it – with a few comments afterwards. So have fun reading in our heads before the trip around the world:

In our first travelogue we wrote about Vietnam and the famous culture shock that everyone is talking about only that it wasn’t waiting for us there, but back in Germany – that’s the sentence with which the travelogue ends. And it basically goes on like this:

So after 3 weeks in Vietnam last year we were at Düsseldorf Airport, got on the bus and drove home. Our own four walls welcomed us, our own bed, our own bathroom, at home. Knowing: In a few days work and university will resume.

We put our backpacks in the apartment. And somehow the air seemed tense. We were very quiet (which we are seldom) sat down, looked around, as if we were thinking at the same time: “Hm. So here we are. Return. At home. ”Emotionless.

No thought of “Well, wash your clothes first! Have a shower! And we have to shop for the week! What do we have in the fridge? ”
We just sat on the chairs at the table. At the bottom of the jeans there was still sand from the Vietnamese island. Like refusing to understand that we’re back. Friends would often say “Yes, it’s always like that after the vacation!” That was different. Completely different. And much more intensely.

Now we know: what was in the air was simply the beginning of understanding what we really want.
We have started to uncover our deep desire, buried under everyday life, and to take it seriously: We want to travel the world. Thank god we got that!

YOU ARE CRAZY!

People are different.
A short sentence.
That says everything.

It is important to make this clear to yourself again so as not to let the thought get to you in the first place: “You are crazy. Better find a job, then you’ll have peace of mind, a smooth résumé and live a more relaxed life! ”Such sentences are unnecessarily discouraging. Just because the majority thinks that way doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

There are people who have the “Finally! At home! ”- feeling. Be happy that life is back to normal. And that’s exactly why you’re so satisfied. Just like there are people who would not give anything to come home after work in the evening, to have a secure income and thus to enjoy their evening carefree.

And then there are those who would give away exactly that – for a trip around the world. Because they are plagued by wanderlust every day and get goose bumps at the idea of ​​camping by the lake with the mountains in the background and cooking their canned food over a fireplace in Iceland! We belong to that.

Oh yeah, and then there are guys like baseball player Daniel Norris . Who earns millions and still prefers to live in his VW bus. Great guy!

Do you have a guess that you’re the kind of guy we are?
Regardless of whether you are currently studying or already in the middle of your job.
Do you long for the world and traveling?
That you are afraid to regret never daring?

THEN THIS WILL SURELY SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU:

“Is that really supposed to be the only point of work? So that at some point I will get a pension, then have the free time, but may no longer be able to fulfill my true dreams? ”

“Work is there to finance my life but I use it to finance something in which I have to put my plans and dreams behind because of work – that’s a vicious circle.

“It pulls me out. I want to see how other people live, I want to get to know cultures and not experience them from documentaries – I want to see the world. With your own eyes. ”

Thoughts of someone who is stuck in the office job and someone who is just doing his master’s degree at university. Every day. And we started to question more and more. If you also have such mind games, be sure: They pile up, become more and more present and louder.

YOU ARE WELL ON YOUR WAY TO SEEING WHAT YOU REALLY WANT

It’s a process. After all, you don’t just throw away everything you’ve built up so far. But that’s no reason to ignore what’s slumbering inside you. Because plans, goals and dreams change, just like us humans. And yes, that’s okay! Just because when we were 15 or 20 times we decided to have XY as our career choice, it doesn’t mean that this will change and that you can tackle new dreams.

And here it is important to first become aware of this: that you might really want to turn the dream into a plan. We have now decided to do this! And once you get there, the buts are waiting for you, rubbing their hands and grinning.

YES, THOSE FAMOUS NASTY BUTS

We’ll lovingly call them the bosses. You just have to face them, otherwise this whole thing with fulfilling your lifelong dream would be a little too easy. If you had to localize them, we would say: They seem to stand at the limit of the system in which we live and wait there for you as soon as you try to break out of your mind. After all, it’s the system we learned from an early age. That this is how you live your life.

Here are the buts that awaited us:

I want to travel! but the money!

Doing an office job for work will never make me happy.
but that’s just the way work is. It’s just not fun for everyone. I shouldn’t pretend to be like that.

I would like to start right after graduation! or: I would like to quit and do what makes me really happy!
but that is too risky and unsafe. Salary, a secure job.

Security is not as important to me as being able to do what I really want and what really fulfills me!
but that is perhaps too naive. Security and regular income in life are important. I shouldn’t underestimate that!

Yes. How do you approach it now?

CHASE YOUR DREAMS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Jaaaaa … of course, the sentence always works. You almost miss it because it’s so worn out. This is a mistake. Because let’s be honest: Almost all grandparents in the world agree on the point: “Do something with your young years before it’s too late! Otherwise you will only regret … ”

So – WHY the hell do we listen to these people so little? We buy and give away postcards, coolly designed, of course, with such wisdom for their birthday, it feels like every second person has something as a cover photo on Facebook and maybe also as a status on WhatsApp. But that’s where it stays. “Nice sentence, that’s right somewhere. I like! ”And that’s it.

Not so long ago an article was circulating on the internet about a book: by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care worker who accompanied people to death on their deathbed, wrote about the 5 things the dying regret most * .

We pick two important quotes that she described:

“’I wish I hadn’t worked so much’ – Almost everyone worked too much and lived too little – because they were afraid of not making enough money or because of their careers.”
“We are free to choose. (…) Many patients only realize this at the end. They are stuck in old patterns and habits and the comfort of habit. ”

Here is a question that you can ask yourself again and again when you have doubts: “Would I regret it in old age if I didn’t dare to do it now?” Our answer is without hesitation: “And how!” It helped us a lot .

And the more often you answer this question to yourself, the clearer it becomes to you what you want and what you should do for it. Nevertheless, one would like to confront the doubts more specifically. We did.…

Kick-off in Brazil’s capital of sex tourism

0 commentsSex Travel

Sex tourism in Brazil

Ortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará in the northeast of the country, has big plans. Tourism, which already accounts for ten percent of the economic power of Ceará and provides work for 75,000 people, is expected to continue to grow vigorously. In 2012, the nearly 154 million euro congress centre was opened, where the Brazilian government will host the summit of the BRICS countries in three weeks, right after the end of the soccer world championships. At least another 90 million euros will flow into Fortaleza’s tropical aquarium, which Governor Cid Gomes wants the city to enter on the “World Map of Tourism”. Above all, it wants to attract more visitors from North America and Europe. Because there is still a lot of space on the white sandy beaches of the almost 600 kilometres long coast of Ceará, they say.

Of course, Governor Gomes and all the other political leaders in Ceará know that Fortaleza has long had its place on the “world map of tourism” and that the city doesn’t just need more tourists, it needs others. It is literally just a few steps from the glittering construction of the “Arena Castelão” football stadium, in which Germany is playing against Ghana this Saturday, into the dark present of Fortaleza tourism. Dusk falls early in the tropical metropolis with two and a half million inhabitants, and then dozens of young women stand on Avenida Juscelino Kubitscheck and Avenida Alberto Craveiro. The “programa”, as sexual services are called here, is offered for the equivalent of an average of 16 euros. The prices can also drop to less than five euros.

In reality, the age limit is insignificant

Brazil sex cityProstitution has been legal in Brazil since 2000, but only from the age of 18. Of course, this age limit is insignificant in reality. Fortaleza is, ahead of the coastal cities of Recife, Salvador and Natal, the capital of Brazilian sex tourism – mainly because of the prostitution of children and young people. The direct charter flights from Europe and North America to Fortaleza are not filled with congress tourists or family vacationers. This is not only known in the town hall and in the governor’s palace in Fortaleza, but also in the capital Brasília. There President Dilma Rousseff has. A few days ago, in the presence of a lot of press and celebrities, the so-called “Lei da Palmada” signed. The law places all forms of corporal punishment and the sexual exploitation of children and young people under severe punishment. The government has made the equivalent of around 2.6 million euros available to fight child prostitution. For comparison: The “Arena Castelão”, a mighty structure made of steel and sun-reflecting glass with a seal of approval for environmentally friendly building, cost 171 million euros.

It wasn’t just yesterday that people knew that there was a connection between football and prostitution. In Germany in 2006 and in South Africa in 2010, the predominantly male football fans caused a surge in sales of sexual services. For years, however, it has mainly been men who have come to Fortaleza looking for sex with children and adolescents for sale. The UN Children’s Fund Unicef ​​assumes that the number of underage prostitutes in Brazil has risen from 100,000 in 2001 to more than 250,000. Brazilian organizations put the number of child prostitutes in the country at around half a million.

In north-eastern Brazil, the problem of child prostitution is exacerbated by the deeply rooted macho culture, says Glória Diógenes, sociologist at the University of Ceará in Fortaleza. “The violence starts in the families,” she says: “Child abuse is widespread.” More and more girls are coming to Fortaleza from the poor hinterland of the Sertão, neglected or even abused, angry and sad, and filled with the urge for freedom Hope to find the Prince Charming. The identity papers that identify them as of legal age would be provided by an “industry of document forgery,” says Diógenes. “In Fortaleza, economic growth has widened the social divide,” complains the sociologist.

And to an increase in violent crime in general. Because where there is prostitution, human trafficking and drug abuse are not far away. With an annual rate of 73 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, Fortaleza is the most dangerous city in Brazil after Maceió in the state of Alagoas. When the city’s bus drivers went on strike shortly before the first World Cup match on June 14th in Fortaleza, it was not about higher wages. Rather, the drivers asked for more security after one of their colleagues was stabbed to death in a robbery on his bus. In total, nearly 600 robberies were recorded on the city’s buses in the first three months of the year. At the “Fan Fest” organized by the international football association Fifa in the twelve venues of the World Cup games, This week a seven-year-old boy was critically injured by a stray bullet on the beach in Fortaleza. To protest against the rampant violence in Fortaleza, a citizens’ initiative recently called on the Internet to hang white sheets, towels or tablecloths in the windows or on the balconies. One could confuse the silent protest against violence, clearly visible on the facades of the neat skyscrapers on the beaches of Iracema and Meireles, with the gesture of surrender.

Discover Havana: Tips & highlights for 3 days

0 commentsTravel Advice

Discover Havana Tips and highlights for 3 days

If you travel to Cuba, you cannot avoid the capital Havana. I also started my 3-week round trip through Cuba in “La Habana” . I recommend you plan at least two, preferably three days for Havana. I was in Havana for three days.

Havana is the largest city in the Caribbean with a population of 2.1 million. Every fifth Cuban lives here and Havana is also five times bigger than the second largest city in the country: Santiago de Cuba .

In Havana I explored the old town Habana Viejo , which is under UNESCO World Heritage protection. I visited the Havana Rum Museum , Hemingway’s favorite bars high up in the air , strolled along the Malécon promenade to name just a few places.

Havana is like an exciting book. You start to run and you don’t want to stop getting lost in this city. There is no shortage of sights in this city and I could stay here forever.

History buffs as well as classic car fans get their money’s worth in the third largest Caribbean metropolis. There is something interesting to discover on every corner.

At the end of the article you will find tips on what you can do in Havana in 3 days, a note about our accommodation and other impressions from Havana.

In 2021 the best credit cards are the VISA card from DKB Bank (as an active customer) and the GenialCard from Hanseatic Bank . With these cards you can withdraw money from ATMs for free and pay on site without paying foreign fees abroad in foreign currencies!

My tip for a sustainable account is Tomorrow Bank . I like to use this credit card in Germany and Europe (Apple Pay also works with it).

Havana – city of contrasts

This grandiose architecture at first sight and the decay of the buildings behind the showcase façades make me sad. Just like the stark difference between our life as tourists and that of the Cubans. Despite poverty, nowhere else (except in Africa) have I met such a proud and cheerful people.

Nowhere else do so many shops open to tourists with tourist currency (peso convertible) and lock out locals with national currency. A negative phenomenon that many tourists turn a blind eye to or not even notice.

We have the privilege of enjoying our mojitos in fancy bars while locals line up next door with food stamps for rationed goods.

Street names and signs

In Habana Vieja and Centro Habana there are often alleys that either have no street signs or two: one old and one new. Sometimes only the new street names are written on, but Habaneros still use the old ones.

So if you ever need to ask for directions, find out what name is given to you. But you can get along quite well with a city map.

havannaHighlights and sights in Havana

Habana Vieja – the old town of Havana

Habana Vieja (Spanish for Old Havana) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many buildings have been falling into disrepair since the Cuban Revolution. Some have been reconstructed and restored. Many have now been evacuated due to the risk of collapse.

You should do that

Discover the old town on your own. Walk through the alleys and discover hidden places and corners. Even at night you can move around the old town without having to be afraid. Don’t always believe travel guides. The old town is really safe.

This picture is not exactly picturesque. I still love it and I can proudly say that it was featured as a double page in the 2nd German issue of Lonely Traveler magazine:

The picture shows the mixture of beauty and decay very well.

Calle Obispo

One of the most beautiful and popular streets in the old town is Calle Obispo, once Havana’s first paved main street. You can find interesting shops, cafes and bars here. In addition, the Hotel Ambos Mundos , Hemingway’s favorite hotel , the Hotel Floridita with its impressive lobby or the Bank Nacional de Cuba .

Since the street has been extensively restored, you can best imagine how radiantly beautiful Havana must have been. Leave Calle Obispo and turn into a small side street. Here you can see the actual Havana: ruins of houses, decaying and partly threatened buildings, which must once have been as magnificent as the restored buildings.

Definitely avoid: Have a drink at El Floridita. Completely overpriced.

What you should do: You shouldn’t miss a visit to one of the two old pharmacies “Taqueche” and “Johnson” . Here you feel like you have been transported back years.

Malecón – promenade

Everyone walks past the 7 km long promenade at least once during their stay in Cuba. I was out here every three days. The former boulevard extends from the old town to the Rio Almendares and connects the districts of Habana Vieja, Centro Habana, Vedado and ends in Miramar.

The most beautiful part is to the east at the Castillo de la Punta. Couples in love and “Habaneros” meet here to chat when meter-high waves don’t crash against the wall.

Views: Havana from above

I love views of cities from above. In Havana I had the opportunity to enjoy several:

View from “El Torre” on the 33rd floor over the whole city

Plaza de la Revolución

Pictures from HavanaThe Plaza de la Revolucioón is located between Avenida Carlos M. Céspedes and Avenida Rancho Boyeros (Vedado). Major events such as free concerts in Cuba are held in this huge square. From a distance you can see the 139 m high obelisk in honor of José Martí, Cuba’s national hero.

Around the square are the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Economics, the National Library and the Telecommunications Office. Until we visit, we are more familiar with the buildings (and the faces on them) than their function:

Revolution Museum Museo de la Revolución

The former presidential palace from the Batista by Fidel Castro and Co. is now only a museum. The bullet holes in the marble on the stairs inside the museum are testimony to the fight.

The museum is super interesting and shows the history of the Cuban revolutionaries – unfortunately often only in Spanish. The yacht “Granma” is also exhibited here. With this luxury yacht, Che and Fidel came from exile in Mexico to take up the fight.

The large dome of the building and the hall of mirrors, which are modeled on the one in the Palace of Versailles, are also impressive. Where receptions once took place, today you can only find an oversized Cuban flag.

Visit a grocery store in Havana

Cubans still shop with grocery stamps. Only people who have the convertible peso (CUC – tourist currency) are allowed to go shopping in “real” supermarkets. It is written on boards who can get how much per product.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas means weapons place. Nowadays you can only find books here. Old books on revolutionary literature and postcards. But you should also keep an eye on the buildings around the restored square. The Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (City Museum) and the Palacio del Segundo Cabo (National Book Institute) are particularly magnificent.

Capitol – landmark of Havana and next to it the Gran Teatro

It is not only reminiscent of the building of the same name in Washington, it should also look like it. The Capitolio was once the real seat of the House of Representatives. Today you will find the National Library, an internet café and the Academy of Sciences in it. Unfortunately, the interior was closed for us due to construction work.

The Gran Teatro is right next to it.

Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña and Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Mognos del Morro

Plaza HavannaJust because of the great view of Habana Vieja and the Malecón is worth a visit. For a small surcharge to the minder, you can take a seat in Che Guevara’s former chair behind the barrier. We refused.

University of Havana

It’s a little uphill to the Universidad de La Habana. From the Malecon on Calle 23 (also called La Rampa), turn left at the famous ice cream parlor Coppelia towards Uni. The university is located in the Vedado district.

Personalities like José Martí or Fidel Castro studied here. You can rest for a few minutes in the courtyard. 

Rome: visit the Vatican – all tips & information

0 commentsUncategorized

Rome - visit the Vatican - all tips and information

A visit to the Vatican is one of the must-see sights in Rome that you shouldn’t miss. Unbelievably world-famous sights are located here in a very small space. In the smallest state in the world is the center of the Catholic Church and thus important places and buildings.

 You should  plan a whole day for your  visit to the Vatican. Because for the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Peter Square and St. Peter’s Basilica with dome you need time.

The Vatican is visited by almost 5 million tourists every year. That is why you should be well prepared for the visit. I admit it: we weren’t there on our first visit to the Vatican.

So that you are well prepared for your visit to the Vatican, you will find all the important information and tips here. Everything about opening times, entrance fees and avoiding queues.

This saves you time and money and allows you to relax and enjoy the tour.

Have fun with our tips for visiting the Vatican!

In 2021 the best credit cards are the VISA card from DKB Bank (as an active customer) and the GenialCard from Hanseatic Bank . With these cards you can withdraw money from ATMs for free and pay on site without paying foreign fees abroad in foreign currencies!

My tip for a sustainable account is Tomorrow Bank . I like to use this credit card in Germany and Europe (Apple Pay also works with it).

More Rome tips:

  1. My experience with the Roma Pass – save money with the CityPass? (+ Alternatives)
  2. All my Rome tips (accommodation, tickets, activities, …)
  3. Visiting the Colosseum: this is how it works without long lines!
  4. The tour of Rome for the Illuminati film on your own through Rome
  5. Eating out in Rome – tips for restaurants in Rome
  6. How to get from the airport to the city in Rome

Tickets for the Vatican

RomeThe entrance fee for the Vatican (Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel) is currently 21 euros for adults. 12 euros reduced for children.

You can buy the tickets on site, but then you have to deal with very long queues on site. With us it was several hundred meters long and went around several corners of the walls (waiting time at least three hours). Therefore, you should definitely reserve your tickets before you  travel !

The tickets cost a little more on the Internet, but you save yourself pointless standing around in the sun.

There are different tickets for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel:

  • Ticket on the official website for 21 euros
  • Skip-the-line ticket for 21 euros  (simple ordering process from a German provider)
  • Ticket with guided tour including St. Peter’s Basilica for 41 euros

My tip:  With the  Rome City Pass  , entry to the Vatican, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel is free. Without queuing and queuing. These Rome Passes bring you further valuable and time-saving advantages. This gives you more time to discover Rome.

Tickets for St. Peter’s Basilica and the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica:

visit the VaticanIn principle, entry to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica is free. Nevertheless, there are long queues at the entrance on public holidays, bridging days or during the main season. Because the security controls are very strict here. The waiting time is shorter than at the Vatican Museums, but it is clever to avoid it.

If you plan to visit the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, you can buy a ticket in advance for faster admission.

Here you can find a detailed  experience report on the Roma Pass with alternatives for sightseeing passes .

Tickets for St. Peter’s Basilica and the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica:

In principle, entry to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica is free. Nevertheless, there are long queues at the entrance on public holidays, bridging days or during the main season. Because the security controls are very strict here. The waiting time is shorter than at the Vatican Museums, but it is clever to avoid it.

If you plan to visit the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, you can buy a ticket in advance for faster admission.

Entrance to the dome in St. Peter’s Basilica:

  • Entrance to the dome on foot to the top ( buy on site , long line): 8 euros
  • Entrance to the dome with elevator: 10 euros ( buy on site)
    Note: 
     Not worth it in our eyes
  • Priority admission ticket and audio guide : 19.80 euros
  • Ticket for the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica with Vatican Museums and Sistine Museum

Is it worth buying tickets for the Vatican visit online in advance?

An absolute must for us. Because we don’t feel like queuing for three hours. If you visit Rome on Christian holidays, long weekends with bridging days or in summer, it is worth buying the tickets in advance.

Alternatively, I advise you to use one of the  sightseeing passes for Rome  . Bypassing the queues is often included.

Rome Travel TipsWhat sights are there in the Vatican?

The main attractions in the Vatican are:

  • Peter’s Basilica  with its  impressive dome  from which you have a  360 degree view of Rome  and the  Vatican  .
  • St. Peter’s Square , right in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. Particularly known for the proclamation of the  “Urbi et Orbi”  by the Pope at Easter and Christmas.
  • Vatican Museum with the Sistine Chapel  and the famous  “Michelangelo” painting .
  • Vatican gardens

All around you will find some  pizzerias  and  cafés where you can relax in between.

Order to visit Vatican City

Here are tips and information to explore the more than 2000 year old center of the Roman Catholic Church without stress and long queues.

In the following order we visited the Vatican in one day. I would do it again next time:

  1. Vatican Museums (and Sistine Chapel)
  2. St. Peter’s Square
  3. Climbing the dome
  4. St. Peter’s Basilica
  5. Castel Sant’Angelo

Best time to visit: Vatican Museum and Vatican

We were in Vatican City on a long weekend (Wednesday – Monday) in June.

Our tip:  Avoid Christian holidays or take possible waiting times into account in your planning. We had booked our tickets in advance and were therefore able to walk past the waiting people in a good mood.

Crowds can hardly be avoided in the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Nevertheless, I have written down the best time to visit the Vatican:

What day in the Vatican?

In a nutshell: We recommend a visit to the Vatican on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

Why these days of the week?

On Wednesdays the Pope holds his papal audience in St. Peter’s Square. Many believers then make a pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. That is why we would avoid visiting on a Wednesday.

The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays . Except on the last Sunday of the month . From 9 – 12 is then free admission .

That also means: on the  last Sunday of the month all hell breaks loose  in the Vatican Museums  .

This also means that all short trip travelers want to visit the Vatican Museums on Saturday . Then you have to expect crowds as well .

If you are in Rome for several days, you should  avoid visiting on a Saturday .

If you are only in Rome for a weekend, Friday is the ideal day for a visit to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica with St. Peter’s Square.

In summer, the museums have even Fridays from 19 – open 23:00 .

In general, there is a lot going on in the Vatican. We therefore advise you to reserve tickets in advance.

Reserve tickets for various Vatican tours here in advance and buy them online

Duration for a visit to the Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel

It took us  about 4 hours to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel . With a short break in the garden and something to drink. We noticed that we hadn’t even seen all of the rooms (unfortunately the signs and the free map leave a lot to be desired).

In general, I recommend that you plan 3-4 hours for a visit.

Note: You can save yourself a lot of time by booking a tour of the Vatican Museums: You will then be able to use an exit in the Sistine Chapel on the right back that leads directly