Why a blog?

 

It is a very simple answer: because shared experiences do wonders. By retelling different kinds of first-hand experiences in life in the form of stories I want to pass on knowledge and little insights that might be helpful to potential readers. There are four main topics through which I will weave the contents of this blog: stories, fashion, wanderlust and lifestyle. Fashion and travelling (a.k.a. wanderlust) are my two life passions, which inspire my lifestyle and many stories I would like to share.

I know what you guys are thinking: it’s just one more blog talking addressing the same subjects as every other blogger on the world wide web. Well, you are wrong. I aim to entertain you with my writing using humour, something many sites lack if I may say so. I want to incite people think andabout important aspects of life like love, freedom and self-empowerment. I want to share with people what I have learned from my own experiences in life. Why? Because I believe that we learn and grow for a reason and I can’t find a better reason than helping others by passing on the knowledge we acquire from the school of life. Shared experiences do wonders.

How Coco Chanel saved my life.

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For a few weeks now, I’ve been searching inspiration. Life is a continuous boom and bust cycle of inspiration and motivation. Sometimes you burst into a million rich colors and other times
you are left with only grey tones. When you get trapped in the bust and the colored ink has run out it is very difficult to boom again. You might be thinking I am talking about the professional side of life like one’s career. Nevertheless, let me tell you there is no such thing as different sides of life – everything is interconnected.

Emotions drive success and failure in many ways, one just has to learn to use them in a wise way to gain success and avoid failure. This, of course, is easier said than done. When one’s mind and emotions are hindered by life circumstances or tragic events and hope is gone, grey is the only color left to work with. This doesn’t mean grey can’t be the bearer of these lost colors. Let me explain myself.

How did I come to this idea?

 A while back I had broken up with my first big love. He left and took all the colors out of my life, just like that. Every day that past, the grey left behind tormented me, it made me cry myself to sleep. Then, one day, I woke up and asked the grey to call back my colors. I asked the grey to give me back my love. My endless hope made me suffer because I expected something that I had lost forever and would never come back.

Loosing myself happened effortlessly but finding the lost Julia has been a search to no avail. I spent my days looking for any kind of distraction; as for being alone with my thoughts would be the end of me. Countless movies on Netflix were not enough to help me through my healing process, so I began to read instead. I read many novels and every time I finished one I went in search of another. The second hand bookstore at the corner of my street was my temporal savior. One evening, in search of a new novel to read, I came across the biography of Coco Chanel. Her life has inspired me and that is why I’m writing this blog post today. The French fashion designer who had revolutionized the female clothing style of the 20th century and had remained a prolific fashion creator even after her death has changed my way of thinking.

Chanel’s life was an endless process of suffering. She was left orphan at a young age because her mother had passed away and her father had decided to abandon her. All her lovers, including the love of her life, Boy Capel, had abandoned her with a broken heart several times. Still she remained strong. Mademoiselle Chanel was able to turn all that grief and heartache into motivation to pursue her one passion: fashion. Designing was her continuous escape to the injuries of life  and this eventually made her great.

Thank you Mademoiselle Chanel for saving me from the grey. You are my great example in life. This bust i’m going through today is slowly coming to an end thanks to you. Chanel, you are my inspiration, the one who brought back the colors in my life.

 

 

Berlin – Inspirational Adventure

 

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Thinking about a city trip? Berlin is the place to make new discoveries!

 

I randomly booked a trip to the German capital about two weeks ago. I had a small budget, so I searched the Internet for cheap flight tickets. Eventually I found a two-way passage from Rotterdam to Berlin for 66 Euros! Now just fix a place to stay and I was set to fly off… I decided to look for cheap hostels near the city centre and (lucky me) found one that offered a 4-night stay for 60 euro, yaaaaay!

 

The week after I was sitting in the plane, full of excitement, wondering what new experiences I would have. I had great expectations of Berlin, which were fulfilled but not exactly in the way I expected them to be… I thought I would arrive in an extremely modern airport, well organized, clean, maybe even fancy but that wasn’t the case. It all looked pretty old-fashioned, as if I had gone back in time and had landed in the 60s or so. I didn’t speak a tiny bit of the language but could understand a considerable amount of words, as German was similar to Dutch.

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I made my way to the train station and while I was travelling north towards the area were my hostel was (in Gesundbrunnen– I will never forget the name of that station), I started having my first impression of the city (and it’s citizens). First of all it is a very multicultural and mixed citizenry. Then, it also came to my attention that people from Berlin have adopted a rough style/ appearance, which makes them seem depressed and rebellious. This might have remained a way of self-expression people use to express all the suffering the city had gone through in its past. The style of people actually reflects the decadent, messy, destroyed appearance that remained in Berlin and had been conserved to remember the past. The deeper I started observing the more beautiful and enchanting the city became.

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Art, history and culture are a major theme in every corner of the city. Ranging from different time periods you can find a variety of creations or simply conserved areas of the city that tell fascinating stories about Berlin’s past. The place that I thought was most characteristic of the trashy style the city possesses is Haus Schwarzenberg in the area of Spandauer Vorstadt. It is one of the hidden jewels of urban culture. In the 90’s students and artists transformed the place into an oasis of colors with their elaborate graffiti. The impressive street art paintings found here are conserved as a monument. Other jewels of Berlin, I believe, are the Neue Synagogue and the Berliner Dom. Both the church and the synagogue are a symbol of the city’s early multicultural sphere. They can literally be considered jewels, as they are the shiniest and imposing buildings I have encountered there.

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Of course my list of favourites is infinite… haha. Berlin has showed me many unexpected sides and hasn’t ceased to surprise me throughout my whole stay. I was literally running around with excitement until the very last day of my trip. If you are looking for inspiration or if you simply love art, want to discover a new culture, or want to get new perspectives (from the old ;)), then you’ll probably find yourself on the plane to Berlin in the near future…

 

Cheers!

Fashion and Style are a Lifestyle

 

 

“And I think there’s a difference between being childish and keeping a quality that’s childlike. I’m very grown up in a lot of ways, but I think that’s so sad – it’s good to maintain a sense of wonder.” (Iris Apfel, qtd. in The Guardian)

Watching the documentary Iris I got inspired by the youthful and passionate mind of the American fashion icon. With her 94-years of age she is still mind blown by her profession, which keeps her busy most of the time. Her spirit is what makes her young and her extravagant outfits show the uniqueness of her style.

“It is better to be happy than well-dressed” she states, giving fashion a broader and more encompassing meaning than what ordinary trends say about what can be denominated “stylish” and what is seen as “passé”. Shop where everyone shops and you’ll be one more individual in the crowd, but follow Iris’ advice and you’ll find the best way to stand out feeling comfortable with yourself. Coming back to the opening quote, I wanted to add that fashion is an art, one of many, but nevertheless it takes creativity and insight. Wonder will always lead you to try out new challenges, maybe changing your view on the attributed meaning given to the outside world. This gives you the opportunity to create something genius no one else has thought of because others simply follow the crowd.

After watching her documentary and finding out her strategy of shopping and creating outfits, I started experimenting with that. She goes to random markets, and second-hand shops where she finds peculiar artifacts that give the unique touch to her outfits. So I started doing the same and I found myself loving the process. Creating the perfect outfit had now become an adventure, never knowing what exactly I was looking for but always bumping into items that end up being the ‘cherry-on-top” of my fashion creations. The work pays off when you finally get to wear your creation; that is the most exciting part for me.

I encourage people to get out there experimenting! You can do it simply for fun, if you are bored, or maybe if you have an identity crisis, this would be the perfect way to try and find yourself. And then for all the fashion addicts out there like me, fashion is a way of life, when are we not shopping?

Cheers!