Tag Archives: phone

How To Fill The Time While You’re Traveling

What a lot of people don’t tell you about traveling is that it isn’t all fun. Although you get to explore some incredible cities and see new things every day, there are times when you’re waiting around for a bus or sitting on a dark train through the night or trying to get over jet lag at 3AM in an uncomfortable hostel room bed, and at those times, traveling really doesn’t seem like as much fun as it’s cracked up to be! Here are some tips to help you get through the hardest and loneliest parts of traveling the world…

Start Reading

There’s nothing better than an e-reader to get you through some rough times. Download your favourite books to dive into whenever you feel a little blue – try Harry Potter or the Game of Thrones series for exciting reads that you’ll be able to dip in and out of. Not only will it provide you with something to do, but if you don’t feel like talking to anyone then reading is a surefire way to tell them that you’re busy and to back off.

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Get A Streaming App

Streaming apps can enable you to watch movies and TV shows on your devices, whether that’s your smartphone or your tablet. Being able to watch a half-hour comedy on your tablet with your headphones on underneath your sheets as the hostel you’re staying in will help you feel a little more grounded and it’ll put you in a much better mood. ShowBox is a popular app among Android users – the latest version APK download link is here if you want to check it out. Just remember to take an extra charger so your devices don’t run out of juice too quickly.

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Plan Your Trip

One of the best things to do if you feel a little bored and down is to start planning the next phase of your trip. Even if you’re about to head home, why not start a list of the next countries that you plan to visit? If you’re feeling a little lost and you miss your friends and family at home, opening up your guidebook and deciding what attractions and cities you want to visit next will remind you why you wanted to start traveling to begin with. It’s also a good idea to start looking at your budget to make sure that you have a decent money situation – you want to make sure that you can travel in financial comfort.

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Make Friends

Finally, use any moments of loneliness to start making new friends. Other people traveling will be remarkably friendly and could prove to be friends for life – and even if they’re only backpacking friends, that’s okay too. Some people are perfect to have as friends for a certain part of your life before parting with goodwill towards each other. Strike up conversations with people who seem friendly but make sure that you stay on your guard and remember that if any situation makes you feel uncomfortable it’s totally okay to remove yourself from it.

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Forgetfulness

I hold no shame when I say, I am terrible at names, be it regular people I meet randomly, colleagues or celebrities. I sure take my sweet time to remember names, and sometimes I forget again when I lose contact or I stop watching a TV series (in case of celebrities!). I have never been one who learns by heart, but instead i learn logically or things which in my head make sense. It kind of explains that the only 3 phone numbers I know are my mum’s, dad’s and mine. All of which I have learned more than a decade ago. I can’t even for the life of me remember my landline number. Funny I know!

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I think it is rather ironic that I struggle with this, yet there are events in my life and sometimes people too, who I would much rather forget about… And why is it so easy to remember song lyrics (especially when they are so damn silly!). I swear, it has to do with the rhythm of the music…Maybe such things are taking too much of my “brain space” – space which I can use for more fruitful and useful things.

Are you with me on this one?

Stuck For Words: Supporting A Grieving Friend

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The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things we go through as human beings. You can’t fathom the depth of pain and sadness without experiencing it firsthand. It’s also difficult watching a friend go through a bereavement. It’s natural to feel helpless and to worry about saying the wrong thing. You can’t bring their loved one back, but you can help them through the pain.

Stay In Touch

The important thing is to stay in touch. You may not know what to say, but don’t let that stop you from being present. Your friend is likely to feel hurt if you avoid her. Be honest and explain that you have no words. Tell her that you’re so sorry and that you’re there for her in any way she needs. Take a little token of your friendship, such as flowers or chocolate. This is not to make things better. It’s to show you care.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Tears

Your friend may cry, and that may be painful to watch. But tears are important. They are a way of releasing the painful feelings. Don’t run away and don’t try to make her stop. There are few greater acts of friendship than holding someone else’s pain.

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Practical Things

When someone dies, there are lots of practical things that need to be done. People need to be notified, and funeral preparations need to be made. Often this is overwhelming. Find out if there’s anything you can do to help. It may be little things like making phone calls. Or your friend may need help with sympathy and funeral flowers.

Sometimes asking what the person needs isn’t helpful. They may be inundated with offers and not know what to say. Therefore, suggesting ways in which you could help is an option. Food is always a good place to start. Even at the most difficult times we still need to eat. People will be visiting, and food may need to be provided. Preparing some meals is likely to be welcome.

Avoid Cliches

In difficult situations, it’s easy to reach for cliches. However, where grief is concerned, they are not always well received. If you have just lost someone you care about deeply, you don’t want to hear that they are in a better place. Or, that God only sends you things you can deal with. This is likely to provoke sadness and even anger. Keep it simple. Be honest and truthful. It’s better to acknowledge you don’t know what to say, rather than reaching for a cliche.

Don’t Tell Them What To Do

Everyone grieves differently. There is no right or wrong way of navigating bereavement. Everyone must find their own process. So don’t tell your friend she’s doing it wrong. Don’t tell her the ‘right way’ to do it. Let her experience this for herself and steer her own course.

Like grieving, there’s no right or wrong way to be there for someone. First and foremost, show up. Be honest if you don’t know what to say. Try to be helpful. And then take your cue from your friend. Listen to her and be there, in whatever way she needs you to be.

Hobbies To Take Up As Summer Is Approaching

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The clocks have officially gone back! It’s no longer pitch-black at 6 pm. That’s right folks; spring is here. And what does that mean? Summer is just around the corner! Hurrah!

There is a still a little time, though. So how to make the most of it? Here are three hobbies to consider taking up as summer approaches.

Baking

Whether you’re slightly addicted to Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off or not, baking is a great hobby. Sure, buying all the ingredients can be quite costly at first. But actually, once you’ve built up a collection of the basics, you’ll save money on buying the products fresh. A bag of self-raising flour, for example, will be good for at least a handful of bakes.

Baking is also a great hobby for people with strict dietary requirements. It can be a real challenge to find products that are wheat-free or dairy-free. Plus, they tend to be pretty rammed with sugars and sweeteners. By making your own, you are in control of what does and doesn’t go in them. You can also make recipes just the way you like. You can make amazing brownies without pecan nuts if you don’t like them. Or make a triple chocolate cake with whipped cream in the centre; the world is your oyster. You can really let your creative juice flow.

Need some ideas? Facebook groups like Delish post different inspiring recipes every day, both for baking and cooking.

Photography

The days are getting longer, and nature is looking beautiful again. Capture the magic by taking up photography. You can focus on any genre you like, be it people, wildlife, landscape or cityscapes. Or just snap whatever takes your fancy from day to day.

Photography is one of those hobbies that can be as versatile as you like. If you like fast-paced environments, take shots of shoppers, or runners, or sunsets. Or, if you want to take it a bit steadier, go for landscape or nighttime shoots.

Don’t just use your phone either. The pixels might be high, but the quality just won’t match up. Invest in a good quality camera, and a sturdy Camera Bag to keep your purchase safe.

Getting fit

We expect way too much of ourselves when we sign up for gym memberships on New Year’s Day. Yes, the deal they’re offering is great but it is such a good price for a reason. Because hardly anybody then goes. The days are short; the nights are long and there is still loads of leftover chocolate in the cupboard…

Early spring, however, is a far more sensible time to join. Looking at summer holidays gives you some real motivation. Plus, you’ll find going to the gym after work far more appealing. Or, if you don’t want to join a gym, spring and summer weather and light lets you get fit outdoors. Go for a run in your local park. Take the dog with you. If you have one, that is. Don’t just take a random stranger’s dog…

 

Which language do you think with?

This is a weird one, I know.

I have been, for years on end now, thinking and “talking to myself” in a foreign language. By foreign language, I mean English. Malta is a bilingual country, and in fact we start learning English at the young age of six. I always loved the language and the literature that came with it. I always carried a book with me and preferred British TV and movies over Italian (I’m mentioning Italian because all of my friends watched Italian TV when I was growing up).

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Although I love the English language, I knew that there is one barrier that I won’t be able to surpass. This is, because even though I know that my spoken and written English is better than the average Joe’s, I will never have enough practice verbally to become super fluent and master it as it was my first language.

It was in 2011, when things changed for me. Leaving Malta meant that I had to leave my mother tongue behind (to an extend). When I landed in Manchester airport, I knew that at this point,  I have to deal with people in English. I think, that this is when my head decided that I should start thinking in English. I think, this was rather beneficial (yes, I googled it):

  • Apparently, if you think in a foreign language, you are not only practicing the language itself but also learning new vocabulary. It’s almost like when you are reading a book for the very first time.
  • Another reason according to a study is that since a foreign language provides psychological distance because you need to make a bit of an effort to use it, it will affect your reasoning and decision making in the sense that they become less biased, more analytic, and more systematic.

In reality, in my daily life, unless I am speaking with my friends and colleagues, everything else is done using the English language, which means that I was very surprised that it took my brain this long to switch languages:

  • Reading news, blogs, articles
  • Google searches are conducted in English
  • Reading Books
  • Listening to music
  • Making use of laptops (or computers) and phones using an English interface
  • Watching TV, Movies and Series

Am I the only one who took this leap? Do you think in your native language or did you choose another familiar language to do so? I want to know! 🙂

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//Obviously this is targeted to users who can speak multiple languages rather than just the one.

Best European Country to purchase Tech Stuff

Being the techiest (and probably, geekiest) person in my group of friends, I am the go-to person when it comes to technology questions and suggestions. Although I no longer informed about all the latest IT discoveries, I am very keen on it, and I seem to have the right answers to most of their dilemmas.

I do love this, and I enjoy the fact that I can help my good friends. But, I always fear that I might get blamed if I don’t give them the best solution.

One of the questions I get to answer, is ‘Should I buy gadget X from Malta?‘ If this gadget is something which was released in the last 6 months (or year), the question is likely to be no. Due to importation expenses, and the fact that Maltese businesses seem to always want to make a lot of profit, the prices are usually high.

Lets take an example. This week, I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S6.

Price on the Samsung Importers website in Malta:

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Price on German Amazon:

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If you are a bit more patient, you can even get it cheaper from eBay. In fact, I purchased mine for 500 euro. That’s over 200 euro cheaper than what I would have bought it for locally!

This is one example, but I can confirm a huge reduction in prices for both GoPro as well as my new Samsung Tablet. Lets say, that thanks to the German technology market, I have around 350 euro still in my pocket from just 3 products.

The sun has set on… Rock the South Malta

Attending a festival such as Rock the South, makes me realise how much talent there is in such a small island, and how unfortunate it is that most of these bands will not make it far because of lack of proper marketing and how difficult it is both money-wise as well as luck-wise to get recognised and heard by music labels; Let alone being chosen to tour within Europe and further away.

It’s very hard to chose and pick my favourite bands that participated within these 4 amazing days, but my favourite picks are:

1. For Strings Inn – My top favourites from the whole 45+ bands. I have followed these guys since 2009 or 2010 and they have come a long way. The vocals has improved so much and the music is not repetitive whatsoever. These guys rock my socks.

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2. Massacre House Party – Loved their music videos but never seen them live until this festival. Must say they do not disappoint and sure know how to party and get the crowd going! Won’t be the last time seeing these guys.

3. Brodu – Seen them live twice in a month; varied music, sometimes serious, sometimes almost funny. What about the jokes? All the guys are hilarious, especially the drummer!

4. Cosmic Erotic – Mentioned them once, but will mention them again. Just amazing, with the right promotion this band could make it far.

5. Sempliciment tat-Triq – A pleasant surprise for someone like me who’s not a big fan of hiphop and rap. That French guy did certainly give them the edge!

Honourable mention goes to… The Silent Disco! I have never experienced this before in my life, and I most certainly wish that events like this will happen again, possibly with a bigger spectrum of music genres.

One of my huge disappointments during this festival, apart from the fact that it had to end sometime, is that Cable 35 cancelled their participation pretty much at the last minute (on the day) and left their fans baffled. No words can be said when I looked at people’s faces… I am not their biggest fan but I can say that it also killed some of my buzz that night.

One other mistake I made from my end is taking my camera without an SD Card. Yes, I was really pissed at myself, but these things happen I guess…

I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the organisers of this festival as well as Zion for hosting it. I look forward for a bigger and better one next year! For now we can only dream and hope… But the count down has already begun!