Monday, August 8, 2016

Guest Post: The Vienese Cure

 Hey everyone! My friend Nina went to Central Europe for nine days and wrote a post on it. She wanted to write for This Fashion Girl, but you can also check her post out at Her blog is starting off, and she is a very good writer and I think you should follow her for future posts.

The Viennese Cure

    I often hear the phrase, “that changed my life,” get thrown around in conversation as 
much as like or literally,but tend to ignore its inappropriately casual use. 
After this summer break, however, that phrase carries much more weight - my family’s 
whirlwind excursion to Central Europe genuinely changed my life. This may sound a bit 
cliché but, over a period of 9 days, I discovered my passion, found my ground, and learned 
the secret to happiness.
    In July, my family and I went with Adventures By Disney to the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria. In Prague, we visited famous sites like the Astronomical Clock and the Charles Bridge. Surrounded by the Alps in Berchtesgaden, we hiked up the mountains and saw the old towns and majestic castles below. Finally, in Vienna, we walked along the Ringstraße and marveled at the beautiful city brimming with rich history and culture. Although these awe-inspiring sights alone are enough to spark change in a person, it was my observations and experiences that made my vacation transformative.
    Over the years, I’ve changed my dream job more times than I can count. I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer, a chef, a screenwriter, and, for about three days, a lawyer. Despite this rotation of varying professions, a few things have always remained true: a love of travel and exploring unknown places, a passion for getting to know and making friends with all types of people, and a steadfast motivation to learn new things. After telling my parents on the first night of the trip that our tour guides, Giselle and Andy, have the most amazing jobs in the world, my life goals took a sudden and major turn. I left behind all other notions of future profession and decided that I want to be an Adventures By Disney tour guide when I am older. Imagining I was in a cartoon, I pictured the clouds over my head rolling away and the sun shining down on me. Thinking about who I am and the things I have always loved and desired, this career path seemed to make the most sense. In that moment, my future seemed clearer than it ever has, which is the greatest possible breath of fresh air for an anxious teenager like me.
    Growing up as an only child with parents who have full-time jobs, I’ve learned how to entertain myself. This independence mixed with a very active imagination has, in the past few years, turned out to be a disquieting combination. Instead of living in the here-and-now, my mind is often off in a daydream. However, after my sudden change of ambition, I became much more focused and snapped out of my fantasy world. Rather than dreaming about how great my life could be, I started taking steps to better myself, like learning German online and going on college tours. I’ve moved from wishing good things would come my way, to working to make my dreams a reality. Armed with my newfound motivation, I feel ready for all that life throws at me.
    Many have written books, articles, movies, etc. on man’s never-ending search for happiness. Although some will disagree, I believe the Viennese have uncovered the secret to happiness in the proverbial feeling of gemütlichkeit. A German word with no direct English translation, it is often compared to our feelings of coziness and contentedness. Gemütlichkeit describes the atmosphere of the famed Viennese coffee shops, a social spot where one could meet and chat with friends or just sit quietly alone for hours on end. However, gemütlichkeit can be felt on the streets of Vienna as well. Coming from New York City, I feel the need to always be rushing somewhere or be stressed about something. It is the opposite in Vienna - everyone strolls through the small streets and alleyways, window shopping and admiring the old buildings. I could tell that even the locals had the time to stop and smell the roses. Because of this laid-back lifestyle, there exists a high quality of life in Vienna. Although I bought souvenirs on my trip, the most valuable thing that I’ve taken back is the gemütlichkeit mindset, something that I think will be especially helpful during stressful times in the school year. It’s important to remember that, despite how many things you have on your to-do list, you always have time to relax for a minute and adjust your mood so you never lose that gemütlichkeit feeling of contentedness - that’s the Viennese cure for an unhappy life of chaos and stress.
    Although I may change my dream profession some years down the line or one day snap back into my habit of daydreaming, my Central European vacation has helped to focus my thoughts, motivate me for my future tasks, and teach me how to go about my life in the most productive and fulfilling way possible. In addition, I’ve learned about fascinating histories and cultures, and saw some of the world’s most beautiful sights. Above all, this trip has instilled in me a beckoning sense of adventure and a curiosity for what life has waiting for me just around the corner. 

 Nina's Instagram: @n.curran (you can see more pictures like the ones above + other things because she lives in New York like me)

Have you ever been on a trip like Nina's? Comment below 

                                                           Christina Madeleine


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