Berlin Life Updates: November 2019 A Visit Home

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Berlin Life Updates: November 2019 A Visit Home – October was a busy month when I visited Kyiv for the first time, hosted my buddy Adam, published loads of blog posts, got treatment for my fractured foot, and generally, really enjoyed life in Berlin.

Recommended reading: Read last month’s recap, Berlin Life Updates: October 2019 Was Freaking Busy.

When November came around, things really slowed down as I prepared for my vacation and then spent the last half of the month home in Toronto.

Read on for this month’s latest expat life installment, “Berlin Life Updates: November 2019”. 

Berlin Life Updates: November 2019 And A Visit Home

1) I’m No Longer Robocop 🤖

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Word

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After four weeks of attracting needless attention by wearing my Robocop foot brace in public, I went back to the orthopedic doctor to have my foot checked out and x-rayed once more.  I was given a clean bill of health and told that I no longer needed the brace. Even better is that this happened just before I left for Toronto which made getting around during my vacation infinitely easier. 

While I’m more or less on the mend, my foot still tends to get really sore if I walk for more than 45 minutes. I’ll keep an eye on whether or not that continues and  if it does, get back to the doctor for another check. 

2) Handling Anxiety On A Long Haul Flight ✈️

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Toronto from above and a fine way to say 👋🏼 👋🏼👋🏼

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Since I’m not that famous of a blogger who can score free flight upgrades on the regular, nor a rich person who can afford anything else other economy, the best I can do to make it through a long transatlantic flight is to book a window seat in an emergency exit row. This turned out to be one of the wisest decisions I’ve made in a while. 

While I had one of those seats close to the toilet where everyone queues, I was able to stretch my legs and get up at anytime without disturbing anyone. For any future flights, I’ll book the exact same spot if the cost is not too great – reserving that particular seat was only about €20-30! 

Other things that made the flights bearable? One was purchasing these noise cancelling headphones. Having been a person who’s never had anything more than a basic Apple headset, it was amazing how well they block out chatty neighbors, crying babies, and other things which can otherwise disturb you. Another helper was ordering a lactose free meal in advance which meant healthier food options and no upset stomach afterward. 

3) My Vacation Home Could Have Been Better 🤒

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hey Toronto!

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This was probably my least fun vacation home to Canada yet. Before I left Berlin I was really stressed and I think between that, travelling, and the cold weather in Toronto helped contribute to me coming down with a nasty flu.  I ended up suffering from a few other ailments  as well – hello massive breakout on my face and a spontaneous itchy rash that spread itself across different parts of my body. This resulted in me cancelling meetings with friends, plus some other fun things I’d planned. 

Of course, there were wonderful and lovely moments. Seeing people I adore, especially my grandmother, and having Adam come to Toronto to do silly things like watch Charlie’s Angels and spontaneously get manicures and pedicures were the highlights of my vacation. Eating some of my favorite North American food was also a treat – one of my top meals was eating a decently spiced jerk chicken (yummy).

My main lesson learned is to avoid visiting Toronto over winter and to conscientiously spend  time putting myself into a better state of mind before any planned vacation. 

While being home was much needed, I missed Berlin the entire time I was away to the point that coming home was a joyous and momentous occasion. If we were lovers, our reunion would have played out in a slow motion sequence of us running into another’s arms, embracing, sobbing, and confessing how much we missed one another.

4) I Celebrated A Major Milestone 🥂

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This vacation involved day drinking – breakfast mimosas with @travelsofadam

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While Adam was visiting me in Toronto, I realized that I was about to celebrate a very special occasion and that was FIVE YEARS of living in Berlin. While it was weird to celebrate it in Toronto with a friend from Berlin, it feels like an amazing accomplishment. 

I’m hoping to write some sort “reflective” looking back styled five year blog post by year end. In the meantime, read my recap from when I celebrated my four year anniversary.  

5) My Blog Has Been Another Source Of Major Stress 💻

 

 
 
 
 
 
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👧

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Rather unexpectedly, things took a turn for the worst with my blog and dealing with it has been anything but fun. 

I found out earlier this year that my web hosting company had cherylhoward.com on such an old platform that I could no longer update the backend of my blog. To move to a more modern platform would require upgrading to a new plan and paying them about €300 to perform the related migration. It was an expense I wasn’t prepared to absorb until the end of year. I held off for as long as I could but in early November my site started experiencing severe technical issues and  I was left with no choice but to undertake the upgrade then. The work was completed the day before I left for Toronto and I spent a great part of the night doing behind the scenes fixes to get things back to normal. 

Then in a cruel twist of fate, things only got worse over the following days. First off is that Google made algorithm changes affecting a lot of blogs and my traffic tanked by more than 50%. Furthermore, my site was no longer accessible and throwing out tons of errors. Turns out that my web hosting company had placed me a new platform (a more expensive one by the way!) that didn’t have as much capacity as the old one. When I contacted them to very rightfully complain, they informed me I’d have to upgrade to yet another plan which cost almost five times more than my current one in order to have the issues resolved. I exploded, calmed down, held firm, asked for a supervisor, and came to a “compromise” which didn’t involve me spending further money. They were not only scheming to rob me financially but harming my online business which had just started to do well. I spent about four to five hours on the phone with them that week, never mind countless hours behind the scenes trying different things to help my site. 

As shady as my hosting company has acted, I also found out that my website had a lot of problems that I hadn’t been aware of that need addressing so I can regain the Google love I lost. I’ve purchased several plugins and a new theme which I will be working to implement over the holidays.Yep, I spent even more money. 

I’ve been overwhelmed and feeling pretty down by the whole thing and that’s why there is no new content from the past month save for this update. I’m hoping to regain inspiration over the holidays when I’m off work and can spend more time creating content versus all of the other technical work I’ve been doing. 

What’s coming in December?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday night in #Berlin

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I’m hoping (fingers crossed!) for a sexy looking revamped website, a bunch of new blog posts, and a simply relaxing time when I have a vacation between Christmas and New Years. After a rough November, I need this to relax and regain some perspective. I’ve even gifted myself with a weekend in Poland to eat pierogis, drink beer, and enjoy some spa time. 🧖

This concludes my “Berlin Life Updates: November 2019” post. Stay tuned as the December update will be a special one as we review the entire year in terms of travel and expat life. Meanwhile, if you’d like to read my past monthly updates, browse through my “Berlin diaries” archives.

Berlin Life Updates: November 2019 – Good To Know

cherylhoward.com Newsletter1) Book one of these tours when you’re hanging out in Berlin:

 

2) Need a place to stay in Berlin? Check your options on booking.com.

Booking.com

3) If you’d prefer an Airbnb apartment, first time users should definitely check this link to get a €34 travel credit.

4)If you’re travelling to other parts of Germany, rent a car.

5) There is even more Berlin life and Germany related posts on the blog – check some of our festive content:

💖Berlin Christmas Market Guide: WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt – If you’re looking to experience a Christmas market in Berlin, then visit the atmospheric WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt in the heart of the city.

💖Berlin Christmas Market Guide: Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg – One of Berlin’s most beautiful Christmas markets is set at the foot of the city’s largest castle, the Schloss Charlottenburg.

💖The Cost Of Living In Berlin (Personal Details From a Local) – Many wonder what is the cost of living in Berlin? One local (me!), reveals average personal expenses for things like rent, electricity, phone plans, & more.

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*Disclosure – This post contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour, car rental, or hotel through any of these links, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

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