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I started these monthly updates to tell you about my current whereabouts, my most recent travels, what went well and what didn’t, plus a little sneak peek of what’s next for me.

Life Lately

If you have seen my last Polaroid Of The Week, you already know where I am right now – if not: I am back in New York! I certainly didn’t think that I’d be back here so soon when I left last month, but I couldn’t resist the chance to visit again for Halloween (I happened to be in NYC for Halloween last year, too) and the New York Marathon (I entered the lottery in March but sadly wasn’t picked – I do, however, get to run on my favorite running routes in NYC again) and to cheer for the runners, like I did last year, and to visit some places that I didn’t get around to exploring this past summer. Plus, I have been continuing to eating my way through New York which has been great, to try out new coffee shops and bars, and to see the beautiful fall foliage.

central park views new york
Not many leaves are changing their color yet, but the ice rink is already open!

I am here only for a short visit in between trips (although I realize that three weeks in New York is what most people consider a loooong trip, and not a quick stint), and what brought me here was the invitation to try out Norwegian Air’s transatlantic flights and review their service, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Experience in particular. They are the only low-cost airline that offers transatlantic flights at extreme bargain prices (Los Angeles – Copenhagen for $196, anyone?!) and I was happy to accept the invitation. Since I have yet to take my return flight, I don’t want to share my excitement about Norwegian’s U.S.-Europe routes just yet and will wait until I have landed safe and sound in Europe again.

norwegian airlines dreamliner
Norwegian’s Dreamliner

Where else have I been in the past four weeks? I started my month in Israel, spent some not enough time in Germany with my family, squeezed in a short trip to Berlin and a few days in Munich, where I went to Oktoberfest. Which has been the highlight of my month – at least until now. That said: I haven’t been to the Halloween Party I’m invited to yet, which is supposed to be pretty epic. So far, Oktoberfest was the most fun thing I’ve done all month, although I have to say that it’s also been fantastic to catch up with friends in New York and to go on a ‘leaf peeping’ road trip upstate to marvel at the fall colors, and to hang out with my nieces and nephew for a few days.dani oktoberfest 2014

What went well

Work-travel balance: Okay, to say this went well would be a little bit over the top but since it has improved hugely from last month, I wanted to highlight it here. I am still struggling with this, especially during my hectic travel schedule in Germany I felt constantly overwhelmed, but since I’ve arrived in New York, I made a point to focus on work and to resist all the fun temptations this city has to offer. I have also gotten back into a workout routine, managed to sleep more than a few hours per night and decided to extend my Christmas break in Germany to recharge my batteries after a much too busy year.

homemade chili
What also went well: Making a home-made vegetarian chili!

What went wrong

Of course the month couldn’t go by without another tech incident. My iPhone died, which is annoying considering I upgraded the battery when I had my screen repaired at the end of August, so that I would have an almost new phone again. Like I’ve said before – I am just not lucky with expensive gadgets and have yet to decide how much I am willing to spend on a new (read: used) one… definitely no iPhone 6 for me.

I also managed to loose my debit card, the card I always use to get cash out, after having it replaced only a few months ago. Luckily, it happened in New York where I can survive pretty much cashless. This reminds me that with all of last month’s mishaps of breaking technology and being sick, I completely forgot to mention that I lost my wallet in Israel (with about $50 in it – no important credit cards, but still) and misplaced my other debit card. Coming to think about it, I shouldn’t be trusted with gadgets AND money / bank cards.

fall colors new york
Luckily I didn’t need any cash for my road trip upstate

What’s next?

Exciting news – I am off to Sri Lanka in a few days! I have been a proud member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association for nearly two years now, and the association is organizing its very first conference – TBC Asia which will take place next month in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The conference is the first travel bloggers conference in Asia, and presented by Cinnamon Hotels in partnership with SriLankan Airlines and the PTBA. After attending the Social Travel Summit in Leipzig this past April, where I soaked up every single word in the excellent sessions on social media and working with tourism boards, I am even more excited to attend a conference with similar workshops, fabulous speakers and a well-rounded conference program, put together by Cinnamon Hotels. And then there’s of course the networking aspect – it is always great to exchange ideas, see how other people do certain things and talk about running a blog professionally, since there are not many people I can talk about this stuff with (especially as a nomad!).

israel beach sunset
I am ready for some beach sunsets again! This one was taken last month in Israel.

If you are a blogger – a quick word on the PTBA: The PTBA was only founded in 2011 and is hence still a pretty young organization, but I think it is important to have an association that represents bloggers who do this professionally, just as journalists have their association (and most other professional groups have theirs). The PTBA puts a lot of effort into connecting travel PRs with bloggers, to provide support and advice to its members whenever possible, and now with this first conference put together by the PTBA, I am even more glad that I signed up to be a member of it, and think the membership will pay off even more in the coming years.

I will use the conference as a jumping-off point to explore Sri Lanka on my own for almost five weeks and am hoping to squeeze in a detour to the Maldives while I am there – fingers crossed that I can make it happen. Did you know that the Maldives are only a 90-minute flight from Sri Lanka, and that return flights can be found for as little as $150? I feel like I have to take advantage of being so close to my absolute dream destination!halloween dogs

Happy Halloween!

If you have any tips for Sri Lanka for me, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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Tags : Life latelyTravel Reflections

10 Comments

  1. What?! Los Angeles to Copenhagen for less than $200? If those prices are for real that would be a dream come true! For a budget traveler like me that could actually help Europe be a more affordable destination. I’m excited to hear how your flight goes! Also, have a blast in Sri Lanka. It’s a big dream destination for me so I can’t wait to read all about your time there. Safe travels!

    1. Yes, that fare is REAL! Obviously there’s only a certain contingent at that price but if you know your dates, you can book well in advance. Am tempted to return to California just because of these cheap flights! 😉 I’ll be reporting from Sri Lanka in a couple of weeks – excited for that!

  2. This sounds so exciting. Would love to be in New York right now.
    Loosing stuff totally sucks, just like things breaking. Hoping you’ll get all together again.

    xx Cheyenne

    1. Thanks, Cheyenne! It’s getting a wee bit too cold for my taste in New York – counting down the days until Sri Lanka 😉

    1. Oh, that’s awesome! By then I should have some posts up about Sri Lanka (and hopefully the Maldives). Thanks for letting me know about the posts on 20yearshence, I have to admit that I haven’t done a whole lot of travel planning yet *blush* Will check their articles out right now 🙂

  3. That is a steal LA to Copenhagen how could anyone pass that up. That sounds like an amazing upcoming trip can’t wait to hear about the conference and yes, you must take advantage of the location to get to the Maldives.

    1. Thanks De’Jav! Fingers crossed that the Maldives trip works out 🙂 And I’ll report about Norwegian Air in full detail shortly 😀

  4. Have fun in Sri Lanka! I went with my partner to attend a wedding and it was beautiful – we spent a night in Colombo, took the Viceroy Special to Galle and had a wonderful weekend there. No overt tourism; amazing food and relaxed pace of life. You will have lots to look forward to : )

    1. I just got to Sri Lanka and it’s so good to be back in the tropics 🙂 Can’t wait to get to Galle, heard great things. Apparently there is a beautiful train ride from Kandy to Galle. Still haven’t planned a lot for my stay here, guess it’s time to get on that 😀

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