This goof was my dream come true when I was nine, has been the main source of fun and action for our family for the past ten years, and he is snoring next to me this very second.
Some days are special. They stand out when looking back. They give you that tingly feeling in your tummy. They are hard to plan; You can try, but in the end it is a combination of adventure, companionship, nature, and a bit of magic that will set my heart on fire.
I had one of those magical days on my Highland tour in Scotland. The day would have been great in itself, but what turned into one my favorites was how it ended: topless on an isle amidst castle ruins during sunset.
After a long day in the Highlands, we returned to our hostel in Kyleakin, which is right next to the bridge. There used to be a toll on the bridge, but far before the bridge there had already been a Norwegian princess making money from tolls: Saucy Mary.
Legend has it that Saucy Mary and her husband, a Scottish clansman, laid a heavy metal chain from Castle Moil on the Isle of Skye to the Scottish mainland. They then demanded a heavy toll from passing ship captains. Saucy Mary thanked them for paying it by flashing her boobs to the ships.
I could not find any secondary source anywhere online, however, our tour guide told us if we flash our breasts from the castle ruins it is believed to bring luck.
We decided to go for it. Six girls, one husband. The tide was coming in, thus we did not have much time. The way up was already quite the mudflat hiking. I was the first and showed no mercy to my boots. So eager was I to reach the castle before the sun had gone down that my shoes were already soaked within two minutes.
We reached the castle ruins ten minutes before the sun disappeared. We were all out of breath, sweaty, and disgusting, but we had a laugh about it. All of us had only met the day before — we were practically strangers. However, in that moment it seemed like we had been friends forever.
That’s what travel does to you: It makes you bond with people you have nothing in common with except the love for adventures.
Speaking of adventure: We then all took off our tops, grabbed each other by the hands, and started cheering. That was the magical moment: Standing on that hill, sweaty and disgusting, on the Isle of Skye during sunset with a bunch of newly found friends flashing the whole Isle of Skye and Scotland and the Atlantic ocean. All the while howling and giggling.
I felt very alive in that moment.
Strive for the moments that make you feel alive. I know, I know, sappy sunset and sunrise pictures always make me say that, but seriously: Start living! Stop worrying. Get out there, get sweaty and disgusting, make new friends, seize the sunset.
The way back was very cold and wet and hysterical: Six girls on adrenaline wading through mud with their white converse can create quite some noise. But the moon was shining, and nothing could dampen our mood. Not even the smell from our armpits.
That night was a really good night, too. A lot of jokes on the guys who had missed out on our flashing, a lot of Guinness and a lot of Scottish folk stories.
Turns out, we are all just strangers with memories.
Today I am here to talk to you about my bullet journal, because as a prospective adult it is important to be organized. Plus, bullet journals are so pretty.
What It Is
The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.
This quote is from the official bullet journal website. This ‘analog system in the digital age’ was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer. Here you can see an overview of his successful system:
His idea was adapted by many people across the globe, who also chose different approaches. It is the biggest advantage: There are no limits and no rules. I encourage you to look it up on Instagram or Pinterest; There are so many inspiring ideas.
I started bullet journaling this January after spontaneously purchasing a black Moleskine soft cover in a dotted layout at the Cologne train station. I had been using the Moleskine calendars for years, but my bullet journal is so much more than any calendar, and thus I am not planning on going back. It has become my pensieve — Harry Potter fans, raise your hands — or my brain dump (if you are a philistine).
So, let’s begin looking at my bullet journal after 2.5 months of usage:
Basically, a bullet journal is set up to track your past, organize the present, and prepare for the future. It is divided into an index, a future log, monthly logs, and weekly logs, (daily logs are an option), and additional pages. That is the basic structure; there is an infinite number of page ideas to be added.
I use the index to keep track of my tracker, so to speak. All my pages are numbered and logged in my index. Looking at it, you get an idea of my set up and additional pages.
The Future Log
The future log gives me an overview of the year ahead. If I need to check a date, this is very convenient. Especially, since I continually add my monthly and weekly overviews instead of having it set up in the beginning already.
The Monthly Log
My monthly log consists of a calendar with important dates, which are also explained below, and goals for the month. Additionally, I have my monthly gratitude log to practice thankfulness and my habit tracker to keep track of certain habits I want to maintain.
The Weekly Log
I do not do daily logs, because my weekly already satisfy me. In the beginning of the week I set up goals. My to do list of tasks not bound to a date is continually added to and continually checked off. During the semester most days are full to remind me of chores.
I keep a lot of important pages in my bullet journal. As I mentioned before, it is my pensieve, thus I contains almost everything I want to keep track of. An example is my bucket list, however, there is much more. For example, I use it for:
I love the system of bullet journaling because of these additional pages. It is all about making it your own, trying out different systems and adjusting them. It is a creative outlet and some real me-time every Sunday night, when I sit down with a mug of tea and some good music to set up the next week.
You do not have to be artistic to try out this system of organization. There are many journalers who are much better at lettering or drawing than me. There are just as many journalers who prefer minimalistic designs. Ryder Carroll himself does not do fancy headers.
Just make it your own.
I hope I could inspire you a bit with my bullet journal. Have it a go, if you like. It has already turned into one of my highlights of 2017. (Because I am a freak and love organization and calendars and lists.)
March has flown by, because I did sooo many things this month. I traveled, reconnected to my inner Swiss alter ego, and made all of my friends jealous by not being busy with uni / being busy with voyages.
It’s time to look back on a really good month.
Here are 17 memories I made in March 2017:
1. I traveled as a Swiss tourist for the first time. After being mistaken for being an American, it feels great to say, ‘Oh no, I am Swiss.‘ (Especially in this day and age.)
2. I also traveled all by myself for the first time.
3. I had haggis. It wasn’t that bad, however, it was my only portion of meat this month and quite possibly my last in a long time.
4. On the Isle of Skye, I had an American encounter.
5. I pulled an all-nighter at the Edinburgh airport. That wasn’t as glamorous as I had expected it to be.
6. Surprisingly, I started liking coffee after years of complaining about not liking it. I may have made a mistake, though.
7. I am officially no longer a citizen of Bern, but will be a Swiss citizen forever.
8. I bought a bike. It’s green and fabulous.
9. I met up with so many friends. It felt like I had never left.
10. I visited continent #4: Asia. Didn’t feel very Asian.
11. I rode a camel.
12. In the Dead Sea, I realized painfully I shouldn’t have shaved my legs.
13. In Jerusalem, I experienced what impact religion has.
14. I bought a sign that says ‘Shalom y’all.’ No shame.
15. I legendarily pranked my best friend at Tel Aviv airport by making him believe I was denied leave of Israel.
16. In Bern, I watched the sun set over my favorite city surrounded by blossoming cherry trees and knew I will always come back to this place.
I love Bern with all of my heart: It is my home with my friends and family here, the most beautiful river, my beloved and incomprehensible third language, and sunsets as the one I witnessed this weekend.
17. After a travel intensive month, I am more than ready for my tiny dorm room, my America-obsessed squad, and a new semester doing what I love.
Have a great April!