Tag Archives: Christmas

My Warm-Hearted Christmas Travel-Thoughts

Christmas travels
Christmas travels

The Christmas days are now over and I hope you had a great time! I first had the need to sleep many many hours to recover from all these cheerful Christmas celebrations – but I have the feeling I am not the only one who is tired after the last festive days.

Everyone I am talking to tells me how stressful this time of the year is. The organization of all the presents, the Christmas decorations, the food preparation, the organization of the trips to the families…. All this paired with a huge amount of stress at work. I have the impression that every kind of working place gets stressful before Christmas. Everyone feels the need of completing everything before the year ends, as if there would be no tomorrow.

But wait, wasn’t Christmas the festivity of love and peace?

I think that sometimes the pressure of the things you “must” do ruins the special moment of sitting with your family, with your parents, with your friends, and enjoy these days. Instead of thinking about how perfect the dinner must look like or how noisy the neighbors children will be or about the awful present from grandma,… one should think about how special every moment with the grandma is. These family moments together are something that money can’t buy or bring back later and a not-so-perfect dinner cannot ruin. And with family I do also mean friends or anyone you are celebrating Christmas with. This is what I have learned.Christmas Candles

What’s this got to do with travel? Well a lot!

Most of us travel to reach the place where their family is. It is not such a spectacular kind of traveling, so that you will not read too much information about it, but I think it is the most sincere kind of travel. People basically travel to reach someone they love to see. This is the thought that lies behind every kind of trip: see someone or something you would love to see. There are people that only travel to meet their family or friends and people that travel to meet new friends and new families. It is this feeling of warmth that pushes you to travel, a warmth that cannot be found somewhere else.

Here is a nice quote I read today: “We are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”

But please, do not underestimate the (mental and/or physical) trip “home” to your families. Don’t let the stress prevail and try to enjoy the warmth – I will try and do so too!

Have some wonderful remaining festive days and a great start into the New Year!!

Pinkvel 🙂

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What did I learn? Pre-Christmas Edition.

What did I learn?
What did I learn?

It is a relaxing weekend and you can already feel the Christmas atmosphere everywhere. It is raining outside and everyone who can enjoys staying in the warmth of home, with candlelight and the smell of Christmas cookies… Ok, you see, I am in the right mood! 😉

Thinking about what I have learned lately, a great Twitter workshop I visited during the IAB Forum in Milan comes into my mind. Among many other things, I have learned the following:

  • Twitter became “The largest couch in the World”. As per a research among Twitter users, 60% have the feeling to watch a TV Show with other people in the room. I found that interesting, as also the TV now has to handle a completely new behavior: a direct feedback and mood that can be read in real-time during the TV Show. I must admit that I am also one of thesepeople that looks at the Tweets in order to see how people are talking about the show I am watching, and I find it quite amusing as people are often very ironic and funny in their comments. Are you tweeting too while you sit on your couch and watch TV?

    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
  • Talking about the interaction between TV and social media: My idea was that the TV advertising is suffering a loss of importance, giving more space to social media advertising. Well, that is wrong: more and more people do not change TV station anymore during the advertising as they use the time to look at their Smartphone, maybe writing some tweets on the TV show they are watching or chatting with friends… while they unconsciously hear the advertising and are automatically influenced. I absolutely recognize myself in that and I am impressed!
  • A great quote that perfectly explains how one should act to be successful with social media: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be” Wayne Gretzky

  • I have learned to bake Christmas cookies! I tried for the first time and I think the marine look with the seahorses looks great! (and of course they are delicious too! 🙂 )

Pinkvel Cookies

  • But not only: I have also learned to bake a traditional Engadin Nutcake!! This is a typical case of how tastes can bring you back to far away places and experiences. So I tell you a secret: most of my Christmas presents will have to do with my newly discovered fun for baking! 😉
  • Do you also think that it is impossible to live healthy and make some sport while traveling? Of course some hotels have a fitness room, but not everyone has the time and the discipline to use it (I do not! 🙂 ). The news is that you automatically have your sports done while traveling. Have you ever thought about how much you walk even only to take a flight? Here are the airports with the longest ways to the gates:

– Peking (PEK): 3.20 km, which is 46 minutes walk!!
– Atlanta (ATL), 2,09 km, which is 27 minutes walk
– Frankfurt (FRA), 1,88 km
– Hong Kong (HGK), 1,58 km
– London Heathrow (LHR), 1.22 km
– New York, 1.13 km

Well, imagine this with your heavy luggage and when being late (and I am constantly late).

  • If you’re thinking about living abroad, here is a chart with the cost-of-living index, which I think can also be considered when planning a trip to these cities:
    CostofLiving

That’s all for now. Enjoy the Pre-Christmas time and try not to be too stressed with the presents, put some love in it and it will work out perfectly! 😉

– Pinkvel –

10 Things I have Learned…. (9/11/14)

Relaxing Sunday evening...
Relaxing Sunday evening…

It is a very relaxing Sunday afternoon, and I think the time has arrived to sit down and think about all I have learned this week that I would like to share with you.

I have booked some flights this week, so that I have learned (again) some new things regarding the world of the flights and the travel awards.

1) A look to the supermarkets clearly shows that Christmas and the end of the year is slowly but surely approaching. And as every year, and like every traveler and frequent flyer, my thought at the end of the year is: Will I be able to keep my Frequent Flyer Status this year?!
The answer is no 😦 And this is the first thing I learned this week: Some of the long ray flights I did last year are missing to reach the requested Miles. Few long flights give you more miles than many short flights.

2) If you book a package with a Tour Operator which includes a flight, you cannot earn miles with the flight.
As I am not a real Tour Operator type, I did not know it and was happy to give my Miles&More card details to the lady during the check-in. It all sounded as if the miles had been earned… but they never appeared to my account. Now the airline hotline finally confirmed my suspect: no miles for tour operator flights. I don’t see an explanation for this… Do you have one?

3) For those of you that are in need of only a few more miles for this year: Have a look at this year’s Christmas Calendar Apps offered by the airlines. There are sometimes very nice little presents for traveler. As an example, Lufthansa offers the Xmas Shaker App. It is a Calendar that allows you – with a little bit of luck – to earn a gift every day, from 1st December until Christmas.
Possible gifts are Extra-Miles!

4) Lufthansa is actively helping with the weather forecasts, as some of the planes have special instruments for the measurement of the temperature. They collect different data from different heights, which help the scientists predict the weather. Isn’t it quite strange if you think that the predictions you hear on TV arrive from the measurements on the plane you were seated in?

5) I have heard about it but I had never seen them: Gloves that allow you to use your Smartphone! I know, we are all crazy and too Smartphone-addicted. Well, what to say… I admit to be Smartphone-addicted but I don’t think that’s so bad. There are things which are worse! 🙂
I should have had them when I lived in the Swiss Alps and felt the need to communicate while walking around in the evening with -30 degrees!!
They work perfectly (of course I bought them!), and I think they are a great Christmas present too.

6) Thinking about my Smartphone addiction: I read that Bryant Park in Manhattan NY offers free Internet Access. Ok that’s not so spectacular. The nice thing is: if the battery gets low, you can charge it at the portable Solarstation City Charge! It has 6 cables to charge the most common Phones and Tablets. It is attached to a round table which animates the people to sit down and talk to the others while their Phones are charging.
I like the idea of a “real” social moment while sitting at that table and hope this idea will be copied in many other places too.

7) I have learned a lot about small, low weight Notebooks. But don’t worry, I won’t bother you with that. Just know that I will soon buy the one that I have already chosen. Nothing will stop me then from writing even from the strangest places! 🙂

8) For those of you missing some Italian lifestyle and food in Germany: there is a funny “Ape” car in front of the Italian Consulate in Cologne, offering great Espresso, Cappuccino and Italian pastry and finger-food (I am not only Smartphone-addicted, but also Espresso & Cornetto alla Crema addicted :-)).
It was so nice to see all the people from the offices nearby standing there and chat while drinking a good cup of coffee. Such a precious social moment and meeting point between Italian and German culture!

ApeCar
Ape Car in front of Italian Consulate in Cologne

9) You don’t need to go to developing countries to experience real transportation chaos. This can happen also in Germany. Deutsch Bahn (the German railway system) is striking for 4 days in a row now and the entire land is experiencing big troubles which not only affect the travel industry, but also the economy. It was always seen as a guaranteed system, but now please inform yourself before planning a train trip to Germany as the reason for the strike has still not been solved.

10) Pink Floyd has released a new album. I never liked them particularly.
Maybe it is because I am (a bit 😉 ) older now, but I really like their new single “Louder Than Words”. Check it out!

That’s all for now.
I am looking forward to your comments & why not, what you have learned?!

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂