If you Don’t Have Time Now, Will you Ever?

There are many reasons for people not to find time to improve themselves in some sort of way. One of the many things trainers and teachers will hear is that people do not have time to practice or exercise. Be sure that you are giving yourself the time. Nothing is more important than you are. Your friends, your family, and your quality of life are all affected if you do not give yourself the opportunity to thrive physical, mentally, and spiritually.

Even with exercise if you have 20 minutes, help yourself out by going for a walk, moving around or stretching. Meditation is wonderful because you can do it anywhere you want. In the car, in bed, in class…there is no obstruction, only yourself.

You have to be the one who realizes how important it is for yourself and how much you want to grow and evolve your body, mind and spirit. It has to be more than you want to watch that TV show or eat that bag of chips when your not even really hungry. When you have been able to evolve past your physical cravings and reduce overindulging in your senses, then you are able to achieve anything.

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Words from Lao Tzu on Taming the Ego

True Words are not necessarily beautiful.
Beautiful words are not necessarily truthful.
One who is achieved does not argue,
and one who argues is not achieved.
One who knows the deepest truth
does not need segmented information.
One who knows vast amounts of information
may not know the truth.

One of deep virtue
is not occupied with amassing material goods,
yet the more he lives for others,
the richer his life becomes.

The more he gives, the more his life abounds.
The subtle way of the universes beneficial, not harmful.
The integral nature of a person
is to extend one’s virtue unconditionally
And to contend with no one.

Your Basic Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine

•No, you do not have to use needles

•Yes, it does work. It has been proven to help reduce pain and symptoms of auto immune diseases, as well as utilized in cancer therapy and various other mental health problems.

•It is not to replace emergency medical care. So if you get into a car accident, don’t expect green tea and brown rice to come to your rescue. Of course, I didn’t need to tell you that:)

• The doctors are real. It takes a licensed TCM doctor, acupuncturist, or Medical Qigong Doctor just as much training and education as a traditional doctor. They have to learn Anatomy and Physiology and go in depth to learn about interactions to herbs and medicines just like the traditional doctors. In fact, many of the herbs that TCM doctors prescribe are in modern day pharmaceuticals because of their proven effectiveness. They take your health seriously. There are training hospitals all over the world for this.

TCM practitioners utilize multiple modalities, which are used individually or in combination to achieve general and specific health care objectives. Amongst these modalities acupuncture has captured the attention of the world and is fast becoming one of the most popular natural treatment methods today. Following are the modalities of Chinese Medicine:

  Medical Qigong Therapy

Energetic modulation applied to the body to cleanse, gather, circulate, balance and strengthen the body’s energetic system.

  • Self-regulation – This aspect involves the instruction, guidance and monitoring of practices individually designed to meet specific needs.
  • Qi emission – This aspect is applied as energetic bodywork through touching or non-touching methods to rebalance patterns of energetic dysfunction.

BodyWork Therapy

Involves a number of different techniques such as Tui Na, Acupressure, and An Mo to manipulate the soft tissue and influence the flow of energy in the body throughout the meridian system.

 Acupuncture Therapy

Fine, disposable, sterile, one-use needles are used to open or close specific points grouped along certain lines of energy flow called meridians, which go deep into the body. Disease, for example is prevented or treated by stimulating or reducing the flow of vital energy of “chi” through specific points in the body. Vital energy then is strengthened or sedated, monitored, and balanced to achieve the desired result.

 Nutrition Therapy

Programs restore balance within the body using food therapy which recognizes the energetic properties of food specific for individual constitutions with the seasons.

 Herbal Therapy

Considered “special foods”, herbs can be taken in various forms such as: teas, tinctures, powders, liniments, extracts, plasters, capsules, pills, etc. They are very effective in nourishing, strengthening and regulating the flows of energy throughout the body.

 Other modalities commonly used With the above

  • Moxabustion – a form of herbal heat therapy
  • Cupping – suction cups are used for the purgation of pathogenic factors as well as stiffness and pain
  • Scraping – sometimes called “coining” has similar use as cupping as well as deep massage
  • Magnets – used to influence the polarities of the energetic flow to manage pain and other ailments

Source: http://www.longevity-center.com Longevity Center Clinic and Institute in

San Jose, Ca

Tai Chi – Scientific Studies to Inspire Your A$$ to Move Slowly

  Tai Chi versus brisk walking in elderly women

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/388.long

Outcomes:  A short style of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) was found to be an effective way to improve many fitness measures in elderly women over a 3-month period. TCC was also found to be significantly better than brisk walking in enhancing certain measures of fitness including lower extremity strength, balance and flexibility.

 

 Evaluation of the sustaining effects of Tai Chi Qigong in the sixth month in promoting psychosocial health in COPD patients: a single-blind, randomized controlled trial

The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824309/

Outcomes: Tai Chi Qigong (TCQ) has sustaining effects in improving psychosocial health; it is also a useful and appropriate exercise for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

 

 Impact of Qigong on quality of life, pain and depressive symptoms in older adults admitted to an intermediate care rehabilitation unit: a randomized controlled trial

Hospital Sociosantari Pere Virgili, Barcelona, Spain

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927783

Outcomes: According to our results, a structured Qigong intervention, together with usual care, might contribute to improve quality of life of patients admitted to a post-acute intermediate care rehabilitation unit, compared to usual care.

 

  Improving Sleep Quality in Older Adults with Moderate Sleep Complaints: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Tai Chi Chih

University of California, Los Angeles, USA

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2491506/

Outcomes: Tai Chi Chih can be considered a useful nonpharmacologic approach to improve sleep quality in older adults with moderate complaints and, thereby, has the potential to ameliorate sleep complaints possibly before syndromal insomnia develops.

 

 Research on psychoneuroimmunology: tai chi as a stress management approach for individuals with HIV disease

Integrating Wellness, Inc., Richmond, VA, USA and School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2211366/#R9

Outcomes: As a stress management strategy, tai chi may enhance one’s coping ability and potentially impact neuroendocrine responses and, ultimately, immune function. We investigated this mind–body intervention, along with two other intervention groups and a wait-listed control group, in a randomized clinical trial to discover its specific biopsychosocial effects in individuals living with various stages of HIV disease. This article focuses on the novel tai chi intervention and provides preintervention and postintervention

Let’s Talk About It – Domestic Violence

 

Domestic Violence in a family has a major influence on a persons life. It is never good to experience and most of us who have parents who have been through it, have a lot of work to go through. It is also most difficult to understand why and how it happens because it seems to be something that not many people are keen to talk about openly. For example, women might be easy to forgive and conjure up an excuse for their partner, telling friends and doctors that the bruises are from an accident. A man may omit sharing any experiences of humiliation and psychological abuse from his partner out of fear or embarrassment. Why does this happen? Why don’t these people just leave the person? It doesn’t make any sense! Well, it could be any reason from financial dependency to fear that they won’t have the support that they need to keep the abuser away after they leave. Sometimes people live in fear long after they have left the unhealthy relationship.

Some of the most frustrating times of my life have been spent trying to get someone to understand that possessiveness, codependency, and intimidation does not equal love. Was I successful? Not really. Did it affect me as a child? Of course, it did. Did I make it through? The answer is a big fat yes. It was not easy, but I took full responsibility for my life and how it turned out and I am grateful.

So, how did I make it through life this far without letting my past and my mother’s example of love pin me down into a life sentence of feelings of unworthiness and pity?

The answer: Time, education and inviting quality people into my life. The first thing I had to do was stop letting my past control me. I had to stop thinking I can rescue someone who does not want to be rescued, and understand that I am worthy of all of the things in life I have always wanted, a loving partner, good friends and unforgettable life experiences. It was time to stop playing the victim and take control of the wheel. After I did this, then everything changed.  I was free.

The point of this post is not to talk about how to get over this experience, that will be another time. The point is just to talk about it. Not everyone has the resources and the opportunities to get out of the situation they are in, that is why there is a lot of work to be done. The more we talk about it and let it be known that it is not normal and that we do not have to go through these things alone, the more men and women feel like they will have a voice and are able to steal their lives back and start living fully.

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Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Co-Dependency is not always physical

Taking money from the other person whenever they get paid and not letting them have any personal say in how they spend it, controlling every aspect of finances.

Requiring a partner to accompany them everywhere, making them feel rude or unfaithful because they choose not to.

Degrading her or him or making fun of the others personal hobbies, to the point that they neglect their own interests.

Limiting access to the partners education.

Asking the partner who he or she is trying to impress or calling them names when they attempt to put on make-up or dress up nice, leading to the point where they begin to wear nothing but unisex and baggier clothes that does not show off any of her form.

Any form of hitting or physical violence, for any reason.

Pressure to do drugs or drink then putting the other person down for getting hooked on substances.

Having sex or sexual contact with the other partner while asleep or without permission, no matter how long you have been together or if you are in a serious relationship.

Any form of manipulation or intimidation

Not giving a partner privacy and stalking them at work

Not giving them privacy at home for personal care or family matters

Not letting the other partner have their own non-mutual friends or accusing them of cheating every time they make any.

All of these are tactics that break down a person to make them things that they are not capable of having a loving partner who treats them with respect.

At this point, the partner forgives easily because he or she does not understand the level of respect that he or she is entitled to or deserves. When a child sees this, this is what they are taught. They will expect nothing more than this from their own relationships. This shows the children that they use force to get what they want, and not their words.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 5.45.57 PMDomestic Violence Does Not Only Happen to Women

Men can be abused. Men can be abused by women. It is common for a man to let a woman abuse him and not do anything to protect himself out of fear of abusing her. Men can be also psychologically abused just as much as a woman. Partners can do so many things to hurt the other without raising a hand, such as using a child against one another and taking advantage of custody rights or withholding child support.

Abuse Can Continue After the Relationship is Over

Sometimes partners can use money as a leverage to get their way, making their ex feel like they have no power and will lose any court case or fight. Partners can use tactics such as talking bad about the other parent to the child to get the child to favour them. Other tactics include constantly being late on child support payments, not honouring agreements with custody and shared responsibilities as well as blackmail to name a few.

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How can you help someone who is in this situation?

The answer is simple, let them know that you are there for them when they are ready to handle it. Give them resources. Give them resources to education.  Give them resources to counsellors, to domestic violence shelters, to anonymous hotlines.

Sometimes the person will not be able to get away from the abuser and even deny that there is anything wrong. At this point, all you can do is give them the resources and let them know that you are truly there for them and are willing to help in any way you can.

TALK ABOUT IT, even if you are not being abused. Awareness helps people understand the problem and identify it as well. When a man or a woman being abused feels like there is a major support group to go to for help, they are more likely to think about it as a realistic alternative.

CONCLUSION

There is no perfectly normal family, and these challenges can help us grow and empower us to make a big difference in the lives of others. We can take responsibility for our place here on earth and pass down the knowledge to others who are in similar situations and to prevent them from happening.

Below are a list of resources for people who feel like they may know someone who is being abused or is being abused themselves. Nobody should have to feel alone. Spreading the awareness helps educate potential abusers as well and may save a life.

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http://www.beckysfund.org/story/my-testimony/  - Becky’s Fund strives to address domestic violence in all sectors of our community, establish prevention-based educational programs to counter domestic violence, and collaborate with others in the community to find ways to change the behavior and thinking behind issues that cause and perpetuate domestic violence.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

www.ndvh.org

National Dating Abuse Helpline 

1-866-331-9474

www.loveisrespect.org

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 

International Toll-Free (24/7) 

1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)

www.866uswomen.org

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

www.childhelp.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline 

1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

www.rainn.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

National Center for Victims of Crime 

1-202-467-8700

www.victimsofcrime.org

National Human Trafficking Resource Center/Polaris Project 

Call: 1-888-373-7888 | Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)

www.polarisproject.org

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights 

1-510-465-1984

www.nnirr.org

National Coalition for the Homeless 

1-202-737-6444

www.nationalhomeless.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 

1-800-537-2238

www.nrcdv.org and www.vawnet.org

Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence 

1-888-792-2873

www.futureswithoutviolence.org

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011

www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org

CHILDREN

Childhelp USA/National Child Abuse Hotline 

1-800-422-4453

www.childhelpusa.org

Children’s Defense Fund 

202-628-8787

www.childrensdefense.org

Child Welfare League of America 

202-638-2952

www.cwla.org

National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Child Protection and Custody/Resource Center on Domestic Violence

1-800-527-3233

www.ncjfcj.org

Center for Judicial Excellence 

info@centerforjudicialexcellence.org 

www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org

TEENS

Love is respect 

Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

www.loveisrespect.org

Break the Cycle 

202-824-0707

www.breakthecycle.org

DIFFERENTLY ABLED

Domestic Violence Initiative 

(303) 839-5510/ (877) 839-5510

www.dviforwomen.org

Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN) 

Email: Hotline@deafdawn.org 

VP: 202-559-5366

www.deafdawn.org

WOMEN OF COLOR

Women of Color Network 

1-800-537-2238

www.wocninc.org

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence 

incite.natl@gmail.com 

www.incite-national.org

LATINA/LATINO

Alianza 

1-505-753-3334 

www.dvalianza.org

Casa de Esperanza 

Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line 

1-651-772-1611

www.casadeesperanza.org

National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities

1-651-646-5553

www.nationallatinonetwork.org

IMMIGRANT

The National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

(202) 274-4457

http://www.niwap.org/

INDIGENOUS WOMEN

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center 

855-649-7299

www.niwrc.org

Indigenous Women’s Network 

1-512-258-3880

www.indigenouswomen.org

ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence 

1-415-954-9988

www.apiidv.org

Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) 

1-212- 473-6485

www.caaav.org

Manavi 

1-732-435-1414

www.manavi.org

AFRICAN-AMERICAN

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community 

1-877-643-8222

www.dvinstitute.org

The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute 

1-770-909-0715

www.bcdvi.org

LESBIAN, BI-SEXUAL, GAY, TRANSGENDER, GENDER NON-CONFORMING

The Audre Lorde Project 

1-178-596-0342

www.alp.org

LAMBDA GLBT Community Services 

1-206-350-4283

http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/orgs/avproject/main.htm

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 

1-212-714-1184

www.ncavp.org

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 

1-202-393-5177

www.ngltf.org

Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse 

1-206-568-7777

www.nwnetwork.org

ABUSE IN LATER LIFE

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life 

1-608-255-0539

www.ncall.us

National Center for Elder Abuse 

1-855-500-3537

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

MEN

National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) 

1-720-466-3882

www.nomas.org

A Call to Men 

1-917-922-6738

www.acalltomen.org

Men Can Stop Rape 

1-202-265-6530

www.mencanstoprape.org

Men Stopping Violence

1-866-717-9317

www.menstoppingviolence.org

LEGAL

American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence 

1-202-662-1000

www.abanet.org/domviol

Battered Women’s Justice Project 

1-800-903-0111

www.bwjp.org

Legal Momentum 

1-212-925-6635

www.legalmomentum.org

Womenslaw.org 

www.womenslaw.org

National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women 

1-800-903-0111 x 3

www.ncdbw.org

EUROPE 

AMCV- Associação de Mulheres Contra a Violência

http://mulher.sapo.pt/J92/276923.html

APAV- Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima

http://www.apav.pt/home.html

CIDM- ComissĂŁo Para a Igualdade e para os Direitos das Mulheres

http://www.cidm.pt

ComissĂŁo para a Igualdade e para os Direitos das Mulheres

http://www.cidm.pt

Cooperativa Sociale - Italy

http://www.gaf.pt

Escola C+S de Almeida Garrett

http://www.malhatlantica.pt

GAF- Gabinete de Atendimento Ă  FamĂ­lia

http://www.promosud.it

UMAR- UniĂŁo de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta

http://www.terravista.pt

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-373-7888

help@humantraffickinghotline.org  |  www.humantraffickinghotline.org

International Directory of Domestic Violence - http://www.hotpeachpages.net/europe/

AUSTRIA

IBF - Intervention Centre for Victims of Trafficking in Women + 43 1-796 92 98

BELGIUM

PAG-ASA + 32 2 511 64 64

Payoke +32 3 201 16 90

SĂĽrya +32 4 232 40 30

Multilingual brochure for victims of human trafficking

BULGARIA

National Hotline for Victims of Violence(operated by Foundation “Animus Association”): 0800 186 76

National Hotline for Children (operated by the State Agency for Child Protection and Foundation “Animus Association”): 116 111

National Human Trafficking Resource Line: (operated by A21 Bulgaria): 0800 20 100

CZECH REPUBLIC

La Strada SOS Hotline +420 222 71 71 71

DENMARK

 - 

ESTONIA

Human Trafficking Prevention and Victim Help Hotline +372 6607 320 

FINLAND

System for victim assistance +358 71 876 3170

FRANCE

National Coordination for protection of victims of human trafficking hotline (Ac.SĂ©): 0 825 009 907

GREECE

Human Trafficking Resource Line (operated by Α21 Campaign): 1109 (for international calls please call 0030-2310-525149)

HUNGARY

Hotline telephone number for victims of domestic violence or Trafficking (Available 24/7)

In Hungary: 06-80/20-55-20 – Crisis Management and Information Hotline.

Abroad: 0036 80/20-55-20

IRELAND

Hotline for the confidential reporting of suspicions of trafficking:1800 25 00 25

ITALY

National hotline against trafficking 800 290 290

LATVIA

Hotline against trafficking (in Latvian) 80002012

LITHUANIA

Klaipedasocial and psychological services centre 8 800 66366

Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau mailbox for providing information in connection with human trafficking.

LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourgnational contact for expertise in the field combating and preventing of trafficking in Human Beings (Police Grand-Ducale) +352 4997 6210

Out of hours contact: Centre d'Intervention National: +352 4997 2341

MALTA

Vice and Economic Crime, Police General Headquarters, contact for victims of human trafficking or reporting a crime in relation to human trafficking +356 2294 2000

NETHERLANDS

CoMensha (in Dutch) +31 33 4481186

POLAND

National Intervention and Consultation Centre for Victims of Trafficking +48 22 628 01 20

PORTUGAL

Hotline against trafficking 800 202 148

SOS Imigrante, hotline for all migrant situations 808 257 257

ROMANIA

Hotline against trafficking 0800 800 678

SLOVAKIA 

Slovak Crisis Center DOTYK + 421 903 704 784

SLOVENIA 

KLJUÄŚ KEY- Society, Centre for the fight against trafficking in persons: 080 17 22

SPAIN

Institut de la Femme 900 191 010, 900 152 152

SWEDEN

National Support line, a national telephone support line for women who have been subjected to threats and violence: 020 50 50 50

Terrafem, a non-profit organisation that runs a national helpline for immigrant women: 020 52 10 10

Report child trafficking (in Swedish)

For more information please visit website of the National organisation for Women’s and Girls’ Shelters in Sweden.

UNITED KINGDOM

CRIMESTOPPERS, for victims of human trafficking or people having information that will help lead to the identification and recovery of victims in the UK: 0800 555 111

Women in El Salvador are Punished for Having Miscarriages

These are only some of the people seeking refuge in other countries.

Threats of being imprisoned for half of your life doesn’t exactly make you feel like you live in the best place in the world, doesn’t  make you feel free, or even human for that matter. This is just one of the reasons why people migrate.

I recently had the chance to work with Amnesty International for the Feminist and Women’s Cultural Festival on March 12th. We mobilized against the total ban on abortions to some members of the legislative assembly of the Commission of that country to tilt their vote in relation to the reform of the current law on abortion. Many people did not know that this was still happening. Here is a link to stories of women in El Salvador who are still imprisoned and waiting for help.

El Salvador: Scandalous proposal to increase jail terms for women accused of abortion

12 July 2016, 14:52 UTC

A new proposal by a group of parliamentarians from opposition party ARENA in El Salvador to increase jail terms for women accused of having an abortion to up to 50 years is scandalous, irresponsible and flies on the face of basic human rights standards, Amnesty International said.

“Parliamentarians in El Salvador are playing a very dangerous game with the lives of millions of women. Banning life-saving abortions in all circumstances is atrocious but seeking to raise jail terms for women who seek an abortion or those who provide support is simply despicable,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Parliamentarians in El Salvador are playing a very dangerous game with the lives of millions of women. Banning life-saving abortions in all circumstances is atrocious but seeking to raise jail terms for women who seek an abortion or those who provide support is simply despicable.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Instead of continuing to criminalize women, authorities in El Salvador must repeal the outdated anti-abortion law once and for all.”

Following a change in the Penal Code in 1998, abortion in El Salvador has been banned in all circumstances – even when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is at risk. The current jail term in the Penal Code is from 2 to 8 years. The change in the law has led to wrongful prosecutions and misapplication of criminal law where women are immediately assumed guilty. Women with few economic resources are particularly affected by the ban.

 

Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/el-salvador-scandalous-proposal-to-increase-jail-terms-for-women-accused-of-abortion/

Stories:

An American Moves to Luxembourg

I have been in Luxembourg for about 4 weeks now. It is said that every girl must  experience living abroad at least once in her life, and now, here I am.

Why  Luxembourg? I will explain another time.

For now, here are a few things that I have learned since arriving:

      •A lot of people think that Luxembourg is in Germany. Poor Luxembourg lives in the shadows of its larger siblings.
            •I can’t even work at a grocery store here with a degree. Every cashier speaks almost five different languages including

Spanish, French, German, English, Portuguese, Dutch, and Luxembourgian. 

        • As an American, I feel so deprived of the language and cultural education I received in school growing up. On the other hand, Luxembourg natives are endowed with at least 3 different languages in school, but many feel deprived of other subjects once they reach college. The grass is always greener on the other side.
          •It is illegal for Luxembourg shops to be open on Sundays, except for grocery stores (which are open until 12). Shopping malls are closed and all offices are closed. Most restaurants and cafes are open. If you want to go shopping you have to go 20 minutes to France, Belgium or Germany. This means your choices are to rest and do nothing or travel, not bad choices.
fullsizerender
Sunday Stroll along a castle. Seriously, it makes you feel like a princess in a fairyland at times

• Luxembourg is incredibly culturally diverse, almost more than any other country in the world. There are people from 15 different countries, not in the EU, in my French class and I am the only American. It’s refreshing.

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-4-59-05-pm
Matteo and I spotted at an expat meetup

• The cost of living is incredibly similar to California. This is because the city has a housing deficit, so it resembles San Francisco in some ways, making me feel like home. On the other hand, the minimum wage is 2.000 Euros per month.

• There are totally good places to have American food just as modern, happening and delicious as those I see in SF or New York City.

• The grocery stores and produce are amazingly luscious compared to the US. Think Whole Foods at Safeway prices, and even cheaper. I’m always in awe.

• Unlimited choices of great Belgian beer and Rosé at very cheap prices.
Luxembourg also has their own brewed beer called Diekirch.

• There are really fun and eclectic places to go out, it isn’t boring. Some of my favorites include a live theater restaurant, an American burger place called Brooklyn where a polish guy sings amazing folk Americana music, and cafĂ© where you make your own spiked hot chocolate.  Not that bad for a country whose population is half of San Francisco.

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Chocolate House to the rescue

• It’s easy to feel sad, especially if you move here in the middle of winter and the sun hides 80% of the time.  I totally underestimated the emotions I would feel relocating my life and leaving so much behind to start new and fresh. The thing I have learned is not to be so hard on myself and to keep going out and meeting new people. Travel. Workout. Enjoy the opportunity that I have. I asked for it, I got what I wanted, now it is time to embrace my gift. Many people will never get the chance.