24 Hours in Dublin

When two travel bloggers go on a trip, you better expect something like this.
Co-authored by Anne Steinbach 

If you are a student with innate wanderlust, you take opportunity of every free weekend. Naturally when studying in London, going to Ireland is a must especially when 1) It’s only an hour away by plane, 2) RyanAir and Aer Lingus offer competitive flight deals, and 3) Guinness tastes better at its source.

So, we found a free weekend in November and hopped over to the land of leprechauns.

Our first stop was the cute capital city of Dublin. More pints of Guinness are poured annually in Dublin than anywhere else in the world. From street performers on Grafton Street to Gaelic football fanatics, Dublin is brimming with all kinds of quirky characters. In all honesty, 24 hours is probably not enough to get a full flavour of the city, but we tried and this is how we did it.

Dublin

7 am Getting from the airport to the city

Hop on the convenient 747 bus that runs regularly between the airport and the city. Costing £6 one way for students, the bus has several drop off options in the city. But, make sure you press the stop button ahead of time because our bus driver just sped past our stop. Luckily, Dublin isn’t too big so it was easy for us to just cover the distance on foot. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Aarhus Guide

AarhusOne of my friends recently moved to Aarhus to start the Mundus Journalism program, so I thought I’d pen down some tips for her. That list has now expanded into this blog post because I have too much to say. And after all, sharing (travel tips) is caring.

I am going to preface this post by saying this: I didn’t realize how much I liked Aarhus until I left Aarhus. It’s easy to find yourself complaining about the expensive prices, cold weather, steep hills that break your back while biking, the fact that everything closes at 5pm and nothing is open on the weekends, lack of daylight… you get the point! But, it’s been over six months since I left Denmark and what I remember the most isn’t any of the above; it’s the hygge, the coffee culture, the live music scene, awe-inspiring art, breathtaking scenery and the clean air.

So, if you find yourself in Aarhus, and aren’t sure how to navigate this little big city, then check out my tips: Continue reading

Top Five Things I’ll Miss About Sydney

Sydney skylineYesterday, I bid adieu to Sydney, hopped on a plane and scooted over to Singapore. I was struggling to finish all my uni assignments until the last minute (that’s something I won’t miss), so unsurprisingly I didn’t get a chance to fully reflect upon my amazing Aussie experience until now.

I was so busy over the last four months exploring the East Coast, meeting the most amazing people, sun bathing, kangaroo-spotting (but in vain) and attempting to become a better journalist, that I may have skipped on actively counting my blessings, so here we go: the Top Five Things I’ll Miss About Sydney list (in no particular order).

Access to the beach

Not that I strongly believe in the Zodiac, but being a water sign must explain my affinity for wanting to wade in open waters despite being an average (read: comical) swimmer. [PS: Remember this?] While Canadian lakes will always be my first love, it was joyous having the beach at your doorstep. I lived at Coogee Beach, which in my very biased opinion is the best beach among the Eastern suburbs, but IF one ever gets bored of Coogee, then there are so many other beaches and bays to bathe in. Read about my favourite ones hereContinue reading

Exploring Coogee Beach

“Home” has become a very arbitrary concept for me. Last month my home was in Aarhus, now it’s in Sydney, and very soon I’ll be going home to India. Meanwhile, a case can be made that my real home is in Toronto. Exploring this dilemma is just a little bit less interesting than exploring my new neighbourhood of Coogee Beach a.k.a. my current home.

My friends (and now flatmates) scored us this awesome top-floor apartment overlooking the Coogee Beach and walking distance from the aforementioned beach, several trendy cafes and restaurants, cool bars and entertainment venues. Naturally, a cityscape explorer like myself was thrilled to have so many exciting options at my doorstep.

Over the last week, I have split my time between attending classes in the middle of the city, and enjoying the laid back lifestyle of the beach suburbs. Check out some photos of this cool blue, trendy neighbourhood that I am so happy to call my home.

Settling down in Sydney

I have become a true nomad. After I arrived in Sydney last Thursday, it took me less than 24 hours to get a phone plan, understand public transit, attend a lecture at my university, and also manage to check out the Sydney Opera House. Sleeping for most part of my 22-hour journey helped me adapt to the new timezone, so when I got to Australia I was already in full “time-to-re-settle” mode. My new roommates seem to have just given up hope that jet lag will eventually take me down and I’ll stop being a whirlwind of an explorer, but I don’t think it’s me; it’s Sydney! This city has so much life, energy and enthusiasm that an extrovert like me can’t help but feed off it.

I have been here for a week and I must admit, I feel quite at home. I am living in the beach neighbourhood of Coogee with awesome roommates (sorry, flatmates) who pick me up from the airport and build me IKEA furniture. Our apartment is at top of a hill and the view is just stunning. Check it out:

Coogee

Continue reading

The Last Danish Chapter

GuidebooksGoodbyes are never easy, especially when you are leaving behind an exciting country where you have countless memories with a lot of interesting people. (However, the pain can be eased with the knowledge that I am trading the cold Danish climate for a beachside apartment in Sydney.)

While I have been somewhat diligent in blogging about my travels within Europe, I haven’t written much about my day-to-day life here in Aarhus, Denmark. However, I have been reporting From the Field for Verge: Travel with Purpose magazine as a guest blogger. Over the last six months, I have written about how I adapted to a small city, my struggles with the language, getting used to a new (and weird) grading system, and more recently my biking adventures. If you haven’t checked them out already, here are my favourite articles that are worth a click:

Falling in love with Aarhus

I ditched the big city exchange experience and ended up in Denmark biggest village. One can bike across this city in less than 20  minutes. In December I wrote, “Naturally, I had my inhibitions when moving to Aarhus. Most people are nervous about moving to a bigger city, but I was really worried about moving to a smaller city. There is something about rush hour traffic, packed TTC subways and perpetually angry nine-to-fivers that makes me feel at home.”

How did I learn to love Aarhus? Find out! Continue reading

Hej fra Danmark

Directly translated, that means “Hello from Denmark”

If you are my Facebook friend and/or have been following me on Twitter, you will know that I have left my beloved Toronto behind and moved to Aarhus, Denmark, to start my Masters degree. I am getting my MA in Journalism, Media & Globalization with a specialization in Business & Finance Journalism. This course is one of the Erasmus Mundus programs and is taught over two years. I’ll be spending the first year in Aarhus, Denmark and moving to one of my favourite cities, London, for my specialism year. Some of my other classmates will be specializing in different fields of interest: war and conflict (Swansea), EU politics (Amsterdam) and reporting on cultures (Hamburg).

My program

At last count, there are 45 nationalities that make up this program. You are probably wondering, “That sounds just like a Toronto classroom.” Well… that’s sort of correct. I loved living and studying in Toronto because of the diverse backgrounds students came from.

But, my masters is going to be a very diverse Toronto classroom on steroids.

At least everyone in Toronto was Canadian. While, they represented a plethora of cultures and values, the Canadian identity resonated throughout the class.

Now, I have the important job of representing Canadian ideas and values in group discussions at the masters level. I share this responsibility with three other Canadian ladies (one of them from Ryerson!) who are also in the program.

My first official lecture is tomorrow, but from the two days of introductions and orientations we have been having, I can safely say this: my program is going to be challenging, demanding, but also really interesting.  Continue reading