Beautiful Adventures: Featuring My German Friend

Beautiful Adventures: Featuring My German Friend

26 countries later..

Traveling is something that most people want to do, definitely a must on your bucket list. There’s something about getting away for a while, experiencing different cultures and eating food from different cities. Just last week, I sat down with my German friend, Maddie and I asked her a few questions about her life as a traveler. It was quite an interesting conversation, 26 countries later here are 43 questions answered.

What’s your name? Madita

Where were you born: Germany

When? April 1996 (21)

How many siblings do you have? I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.

How many languages do you speak? German, English, some French and Spanish

Occupation: Solo world traveler

Where are you living right now? I don’t know, I cant answer.

Do you like flying? Mhhm I love it, cause you just sit there and there’s nothing to do so you get to relax and be gone for a few hours.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? New Zealand

How many kids do you want? I don’t know, depends on how much money I have.

Where did you learn how to walk? In Denmark

Where was your first trip to? I think it was Spain, I was 6 months old.

How many countries have you visited? Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Egypt, Tunisia, United States, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, The Czech Republic, Netherlands, and France.

How were you able to afford that? In Europe, everything is pretty close so you can just drive and flights are pretty cheap. When I went to Australia for a year I worked as a nanny for 2 different families 6 days a week and I got paid really good money and I saved all the money. I always choose cheap flights in the middle of the night and I always sleep in hostels. I never eat out, I always buy food in the supermarket and cook in the hostel. I don’t shop while I’m traveling and yeah, I just kind of watch what I spend my money on.

Which country has been your favorite? China because the culture is amazing, Bolivia because the people are pretty cool and Australia because their nature is pretty amazing. I can’t decide.

What place is on top of your bucket list? That’s difficult, but I really wanna go to South Africa.

How old were you when you decided to study abroad? Fifteen probably, I came when I was 16 and I turned 17 here.

How did you decide where to go? I chose California because I just always wanted to go there. I would probably choose a different place now though.

Studying abroad: It was quite interesting how things are different here and how you had to ask for a pass to go use the toilet. And then they were selling those chocolate bars, it was weird how the principal even knew my name.

Who is the most interesting person you've met so far? I’ve met many amazing and really interesting people, I learned a lot about different cultures and different ways of life and I’m glad that some of those people are still in my life. I still keep in touch with many of them and I’m pretty sure I’ll see them again.

What can’t you travel without? Sandals, to take a shower. Because showers can be pretty nasty in hostels. And a good book.

What’s your favorite band? Kim Hurchill

If you were another person would you be friends with you? Um, I hope so. Yes.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Probably blue.

Solo travel or with someone else? Alone, because you can do whatever you wanna do.

Who is the person at home that you miss the most? My siblings, all of them.

What do you miss the most from being at home? Having a full fridge.

Which country had the friendliest people? The Dominican Republic.

What's been your scariest moment while traveling? Being in a hostel in Bolivia because we couldn’t lock the door and there were weird noises outside all night

What's the longest you've been away from home? A year, September 1st to September 1st.

What is your dream job? A flight attendant, if they would pay more. Or be a teacher.

Where would you most like to live in the world? Sydney, or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

What's your top travel tip? Don’t pack too many things, and don’t make plans

Do you call yourself a traveler or a tourist? A traveler.

Train or bus? Probably train but I have to take the bus, it can be pretty lumpy.

Which country has the best weather? The U.S and Australia could be good, depends on where you are

Where are you going next? Hawaii, New York, Paris, and then London, I don’t have plans after that.

What's the most interesting animal you've seen? Southern Cassowary

Why did you want to come to California? I have my friends here.

Do you ever plan to settle down and get married? Yes but only with a person that likes to travel, if not NO.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done? Bungee jumping in Australia.

What language would you like to be fluent in? Mandarin

Do you plan on studying? After High School, I didn’t know what to study so I went to South America to do volunteer work for kids. Then I still didn’t know what to study and decided to go to Australia and work there for a while. I stayed there for as long as I could. I still didn’t know what to study. While I was there I missed my California friends and I decided to go there for a while. Somewhere between Australia and California I decided to study to be a teacher. I won’t begin that until a while so I will have time to travel more and visit friends from Europe during that time.

What is your advice for people that want to travel, like yourself?

My advice if you want to travel is to open up to new cultures as much as you can, you’ll get to know the countries or cities so much better. Also make sure that you spend enough time in a place to actually get to know it rather than just going for a few days because then things get really hectic and you can’t enjoy it that much. I also always tell myself to enjoy my time traveling as much as I can because things always work out somehow in the end and if things go wrong to just laugh about it and move on. Traveling can educate you in so many different ways than college or work does, so just go and enjoy all those nice countries we have in this world while you are young enough

Instagram: maditaserafina

Cover Image Credit: Madita Bothe

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Vegetarianism: The Truth Revealed

"What causes us to call one animal food while viewing another as worthy of being a family pet with privileges and rights against abuse?"

It is not uncommon to meet a person flaunting their vegan or vegetarian lifestyle as if this mere choice deserves a form of unanimous glorification. Many choose to take on these diets simply for the attention—to have something to tell others the first chance they are given after meeting someone new that separates themselves a little more from the norm. Though it should go without saying, regardless of their reasons for transitioning their diet, those who choose to broadcast their 'lifestyles' subsequently spoil the reputation of others who opt against such displays of bragging.

Vegetarianism and the like was originally meant to be adopted only by those who held a sincere concern in the well-being of animals. However, it was later found that these diets also provided extensive health benefits such as the potential to extend one's lifespan by 6-10 years in comparison to carnivores. In addition, vegetarians were found to have doubled their chances of preventing heart disease and significantly reducing vulnerability to diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and kidney stones by simply cutting meat out of their diet.

Moreover, allow us to delve deeper into the foundational reasoning for seeking a vegetarian lifestyle.

Cows: The kill floor is off limits to journalists and the curiosity of the public. What little information we do know about the cruelty that occurs behind those doors are only provided through the words of slaughterhouse workers themselves. Cows are coerced to form a single file line just outside the kill floor as they are brought forth to a conveyor belt that lowers them individually. Standing on the catwalk above, the slaughterer uses a stunner to inject a metal bolt between the cow's eyes and into its brain with the intentions of causing it to go brain dead. The cow is then chained and lifted by its rear legs as it is transported to a second terminal on the kill floor where its aorta is to be sliced causing the animal to be bled. Bill Haw, CEO of Kansas City's National Farms stated in an interview with Frontline that "animals come there to die, to be eviscerated, to be decapitated, to be de-hided -- and all of those are violent, bloody and difficult things to watch. So your first and foremost impression of at least the initial stages of the packing house are a very violent, very dehumanizing sort of thing."

Pigs: At six months old, factory farmed pigs are scared into submission by being beaten on their backs and snouts as well as proded with electrical rods that are shoved in their rectums. If packed too tightly as they are transported to slaughterhouses, some pigs experience their internal organs forcing themselves out of their rectum causing approximately 10% to arrive already severely injured or killed. Prior to their arrival, some pigs are found frozen along the lining of their transport truck or die from heat stroke due to extreme climates. Others may fall and suffocate to death or experience heart attacks if they become frantic and stuck between one another. Live pigs that are frozen to the truck upon their arrival are cut loose by workers wielding knives. They are then led inside the slaughterhouse where they are stunned similarly to cows and then bled before being taken to scalding tanks while many remain suffering alive and fully conscious.

Poultry: Upon their arrival to the slaughterhouse, chickens are shackled by their legs and hung upside-down. As they attempt to break free, many suffer broken legs from their rough handling. Carried by the shackles, the chickens are submerged in an electrified water bath that causes them to become paralyzed for easier bleeding. These chickens are still conscious upon the slicing of their aorta and millions remain alive for their scalding in the defeathering tanks.

Nearly all animals are denied food and water on their long journeys to slaughterhouses as many travel hundreds of miles from the farm they were raised. Most companies refuse to euthanize their animals because their local laws prevent them to sell the meat of a euthanized animal. Thus, despite the use of stunning devices that often fail to render an animal brain dead after the second, third, and forth attempt, countless animals remain fully conscious, their hearts still beating, their minds fully aware and feeling everything that is being done to them.

Therefore the question remains, how we can justify turning a blind eye to the gruesome, inhumane bloodshed of a factory farmed animal while pointing fingers and attempting to criminalize someone who so much as kicks an innocent puppy on the streets? What causes us to call one animal food while viewing another as worthy of being a family pet with privileges and rights against abuse? Though the Bible gives us little to work with, it declines to blatantly say whether eating meat is neither wrong nor right. It simply says that people did once sin was born and death entered the world. Swallow that for a moment. Perhaps the decision to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle was meant to be made in the eyes of the beholder. If one educates themselves on the journey and treatment of the animal that came to rest on their dinner table and recognizes that treatment as cruelty, perhaps it is wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Munchies

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5 Ridiculous Claims That Showcase Just How Insane Fox News Really Is

Fake news alert.

Fox News is one of the most well-known news programs in the United States and it is known as a conservative, right-wing network. One of its most loyal viewers is President Donald Trump who often constructs tweets based on news stories the program covers that day. This is quite disturbing given the President's influence and the Fox New's tendency to utter many false, ridiculous statements on air. Here are five of the most ridiculous ones.

1. “Santa is white”

During a broadcast, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said, “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”

There are obviously many glaring problems with this statement given that Santa is, you know, not real and can be any race children want him to be. Since when did Fox News become the authority on Santa? Reindeer can pull him in a flying sleigh and the most unbelievable thing is that a black person can be Santa.

2. Bob Beckel denies that rape occurs on college campuses

Former analyst and Fox contributor Bob Beckel made headlines when in an appearance on the show “The Five”, he claimed that, “...rape doesn’t really happen on college campuses.” While there are many studies, such as this one from RAINN that directly contradict this, Beckel has held fast to this claim. The network has done little to adjust its stance on the issue with Brit Hume later claiming that liberals have created an “almost entirely false narrative” around the issue of campus rape. Being a college-aged woman with two working eyes and many female friends, I can tell you there is no false narrative

3. Erik Erickson claims women being the sole breadwinner is “anti-science”

On “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, conservative commentator Erik Erickson said, “When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and female in society, and the other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it's not antithesis, or it's not competing, it's a complementary role. We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it's tearing us apart.”

Sorry, Erickson but this isn’t the 1950s. Women can work and have children and those children will grow up to be fine. In 2015, it was reported that 42% of working women were the primary or sole breadwinners of their household. If you relegate these women back to the position of the housewife, the economy will tank.

4. A host thinks people should profit from natural disasters

ox Analyst John Stossel wrote, “ Prices should rise during emergencies. Price changes save lives. That’s because prices aren’t just money — they are information.” As someone who had to evacuate for hurricane Irma, I can’t even begin to describe how insulting this is. No one should have to shell out thousands of dollars to escape a disaster that threatens their lives.

Natural disasters are also hardest on the poor and marginalized populations as seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. No one's life should be sacrificed at the expense of a company trying to make money.

5. Democrats made up sexual harassment

Here we are again with Fox and sexual harassment. In 2006, popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson said, “[Democrats] made up the concept of sexual harassment. ‘You look great today.’ Boom, I’m charging you with a crime. Do you know what I mean? It’s not a group I associate with fun. You want a sex scandal, the Republican party, baby, that’s where you go.” Sexual harassment is definitely not made up with one American being sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. I guess it's easier to blame an entire political party than the perpetrators themselves.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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