Tag Archives: Europe

What’s in store for the foreign exchange rate in 2013

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Alright, folks, I’ve decided to open up Adventurous Andrea to guest posts and will be featuring more guest writers as time goes on. I love hearing other’s adventure, travel, informational, and life stories, and figured you do too! Because of my upcoming travels to Europe, a topic I’ve been researching more and more is exchange rates. When Peter shared some of his content with me, I was intrigued and figured I’d offer some of his knowledge to you. Without further adieu, I give you…

What’s in store for the foreign exchange rate in 2013

08.04.2013
by Peter Lavelle

Are you planning to move to Europe, like Andrea? If so, find out here what’s in store for the foreign exchange rate in 2013!

So far in 2013, the US dollar has been king of the hill where the foreign exchange rate is concerned.

On March 12th for instance, the greenback hit its highest against the UK pound since June 2010, or almost 3 years.

And on the 27th of March, the buck touched its strongest against the euro since November 21st last year, or close to 6 months.

How come? Well, it’s because, while the economies of Europe are still stuck in the mud, the US has been entering top gear.

For instance, the US has created close to 215,000 jobs each month since last November, which is no slow going.

Moreover, there’s an excellent chance the foreign exchange rate will reach fresh heights before the year is out.

First, this is because, if the US keeps creating jobs at this pace, the Federal Reserve will decide the economy no longer needs support, and stop printing money. That will quickly lift the buck.

Second, Europe is in recession, and looks set to stay there. That will put continued pressure on the UK pound and euro.

Given that, not only is it a good time to exchange currencies, but the foreign exchange rate could continue to pick up this year!

About the Author

Peter is an economist at foreign exchange broker Pure FX.

If you’d like a personalised forecast for the foreign exchange rate, pay him a visit! He’d be delighted to tell you what he thinks will happen next to the US dollar.

Exchange Rate

Steps to Become an Au Pair in Europe!

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1. Explore websites
-www.greataupair.com
-www.aupair.com
-www.aupair-world.net

2. Determine personal stipulations
– What country/countries do you want to work in?
– What length of time do you want to be in Europe?
– Do you want to live in a city or the country?
– Is it important for you to have the weekends available?
– Are you willing to work weekends?
– Do you want to live-in or live-out?
– What is the minimum amount of money you are willing to accept per month?
– Are you willing to do (light) housework?
– How many hours are you willing to work per week?
– Will you work with single parents?

3. Make detailed online profiles
– Many pictures
– General letter to potential host families
– What sets you apart from other au pairs
– Ideal weekly schedule
– Ideal pay rate
– Other relevant qualifications

4. Reach out
– Mark profiles as “interests” or “favorites”
– Send families messages expressing your interest
– Create a blanket message to send out and cater it to each family

5. Skype with serious interests
– Discuss expectations
– Express concerns
– Clear up any confusion
– Meet the children
– Get a virtual tour of the home (specially, your bedroom)
– Figure out about the surroundings of the family’s home
– Decide on a length of stay

6. Finalize
-After deciding which family you will be an au pair for, confirm that plans are in order
– Research visa options (if necessary, visit a consulate)

10 Reasons Why Becoming an Au-Pair is Exactly Like Online Dating

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  1. Obviously, to get the best results, you need to actually make an online profile.
  2. Said profile contains descriptions, photos, and general qualifications, all meant to portray yourself as the ideal candidate. If you’re lacking detail in one of these facets, you become substantially less appealing and the same goes for the other party. You stare at your profile, trying imagine how viewers of it will perceive you. You also start wondering if you’ll ever find an ideal match.
  3. There’s an intricate balance between being fully authentic and showcasing your finer attributes (Obviously, you don’t want to mention that you can belch loudly, before you’ve even met them…). This all is occurring within both parties. Sometimes, you’re left wondering about the validity of certain profiles (e.g. “Is this host family really able to pay me €500 per week?” or “Can this au pair actually fluently speak/read nine languages, including ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics?”).
  4. You spend hours sifting through hundreds of profiles, marking “interests” or “favorites” along the way. These people get notified and there’s a moment of elation whenever they send back that they’re also interested in you. Unfortunately, you can’t help but feel a bit of rejection, whenever you get a notification that the party you were very interested does not reciprocate.
  5. If both parties are interested, one reaches out to the other and a message chain is started. Likes, dislikes, mutual interests, and what each party is looking for in the other are discussed.
  6. After realizing that the other party is everything you dreamed of, the excitement sets in. You find yourself talking about them to friends, many of whom will think it’s odd, seeing as you’ve yet to meet them. You have pictures of them on your cell phone. You have your friends sit with you and pour over their online profile. Overall, you’re just so thrilled that you found your ultimate match online, that you’re willing to tell anyone and everyone who will listen.
  7. There may a time when you haven’t heard from them in a week or so. You get very worried. You wonder if you’ve done something wrong and look back through old messages to see if you missed anything. The same people who you gushed about them to now get to hear how concerned you are. You realize you may have to accept that they’re not really “the one” and move on. Right when you’ve been about to give up, you get a message from them apologizing for the delay and explaining what had happened. You’re so relieved!
  8. Around this time is when you think it’s serious enough to tell your parents. You’re excited and nervous about what the future may hold. You gush about how great they are to your parents and show them an exorbitant amount of pictures.
  9. After much online communication, you decide upon a time to meet.
  10. Finally, you’ve realized they’re the one for you and decide to move in.
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    This is the face you make when you finally find your host family!

Vlog: Travel Update

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Hi, lovelies! A lot of people have been inquiring as to my current game plan for Europe. Here’s a quick update on my plans!

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  • During late July and early August a few girlfriends and I are trying to arrange it so we can travel around together! The biggest hinderance is finances! Any tips on ways to make/save money on the road? We’ll be using http://www.helpx.net, http://www.couchsurfing.com, and staying in hostels to travel as cheaply as possible. 
  • At the end of August, I will move to Lausanne, Switzerland to be an au pair for a spectacular Spanish family! This is a great opportunity, because I adore Switzerland and would love to brush up on my Spanish. Although I will be doing some traveling on the weekends, I will be saving a lot of the money I make to put it toward further travels. Additionally, I’ll have to be putting a portion of it toward student loans.
  • The last week of November will mark the end of my Swiss living. That means I have December to travel around and hang out with friends…
  • If you are around wherever I am, I’d love to meet up! There’s a small possibility that my parents will try and come over and visit during this time. That would be great, seeing as I have no idea if I’ll be spending Christmas alone in a hostel (I doubt that would happen, though, as I have a knack for randomly meeting new friends!)…
  • In January, I will move to Torino, Italy to become an au pair for another beautiful family. I am thrilled!  I will stay here for a least six months.
  • After Italy, I will hopefully return to Switzerland for another three months.
  • Then…who knows!

Lost in Zurich

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ImageIn May of 2011, I boarded a plane for my first European adventure. Despite not sleeping a wink on the plane, I was full of energy when I stepped foot into Zurich, Switzerland. It was still daytime there and I had a full day day of me! After getting settled into the hotel, we all changed clothes and prepared to explore the city. The group I was there studying psychology with ended up separating. The two groups of energetic American co-eds split ways to experience our respective guided tours. My friend Michelle and I stuck close together and chattered continuously. This is where my ease with being in foreign environments came into play…

ImageAll of a sudden, Michelle and I realized that we were with the wrong group! We laughed about how distracted we had become and looked behind us to see our original group crossing a bridge. We quickened our steps to try and catch up to them and hurriedly crossed the bridge. The group walked around a corner, but we were gaining headway and it didn’t really concern us. When we rounded the corner, they were gone! We spent the next 15 minutes fruitlessly searching for the gaggle of students. It was as if they’d vanished into thin air. Image

I decided the next best option would be to find the hotel we were staying in. We figured it had to be within a couple miles of us, so we started asking locals for directions. Every Swiss person I’ve encountered since then speaks multiple languages, but for whatever reason, no one we approached could understand our plight!  Well, they may have just been laughing at the silly American girls…

It was when Michelle started to get concerned that I had a beautiful realization. I thought to myself, “We are in Europe! Specifically, Zurich, one of the safest places to be. It is 23 °C outside and there’s no rain!” I wondered why the heck we were spending our time being flustered, instead of enjoying this experience. I convinced Michelle to enjoy a drink with me, at a little outdoor cafe by the Limmat River. We sat there for awhile, chatting and people watching, before continuing to search for a group.

 Amazingly, we saw our trip guide across the street. We flagged him down and were able to reunite with our group. While our professor was quite displeased with us, I still look back at the time I was lost in Zurich with great fondness. We were able to see many historical sites, explore the city, and even watch a game of chess!

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Cafe in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Outdoor chess game

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Zurich, Switzerland.

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Lovely garden!

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Exploring the city.

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Retrospect

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While procrastinating on completing my studies today, I was pleased to re-discover a video I’d taken during an early-morning jog in May of 2011. This rudimentary filming was done in the foothills of the Alps, near the border of Switzerland and Germany. Being still jet-lagged and running around at 6:30 in the morning wasn’t exactly conducive to a fully awake video…

I hope you’ll be able to look past my sleepy eyes and gravelly voice to witness me falling even more in love with Europe. If someone had told me during that trip that, not even two years later, I would be planning a trip to Europe with no definitive ending point, I would have had trouble believing it! I felt this ineffable enchantment with Europe from the moment I stepped off of the plane in Frankfurt. It’s hard to explain, but it almost felt as if I was home. Even when completely lost in Zurich (I’ll make a post about this soon!), after only having arrived a few hours prior, I felt completely content.

Releasing my need to constantly plan and be overly futuristic has been such a blessing. I encourage all of you to open yourself up to the natural journey that life will take you on. I am so excited to see where my coming adventures take me.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
― Eckhart Tolle

P.S. “Traveler” = tourist/student-ish

Vlog 1: I need your travel advice!

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I’m planning my trip and I’d love your help!

What do you guys know about…

  • Travel tips (especially on being a solo female)
  • Trip preparation (visas, packing, work permits, travelers insurance, etc.)
  • Money saving ideas
  • Best places to exchange money
  • Cheap places to visit
  • Navigating public transport systems
  • Interacting with locals (Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Czech, Greece, and Croatia)
  • Getting a cell phone that works across various countries
  • Avoiding theft
  • Shipping and receiving mail
  • Random tidbits of information

Hello world!

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Well, this is my very first blog…ever. I’m definitely looking forward to having a place to record all the exciting things I encounter!

For many years now, I have wistfully spoken of all the places I hoped to travel. Heck, I even made a “Travel” board on Pinterest dedicated solely to pictures of everywhere I wanted to go! I would longingly flip through friends’ albums of their adventures abroad and wonder if I would ever have a chance to experience life so fully… Now, it’s finally happening!

During the past four years, I lived with the mindset that I needed to get into a top grad school program and immediately begin after graduation [this spring]. I had internalized this idea to such an extent that the prospect of deviating from it in the slightest seemed unthinkable! After speaking with some close friends about the matter, I came to see that I wasn’t as confined to that path as I’d thought. In fact, I wasn’t trapped at all! This realization opened up so many possibilities!

I have now set my intention (I’ll upload my video on setting intention as soon as I’ve figured out the set up on here) travel around Europe, starting this spring. I am thrilled that my dreams are finally coming to fruition and can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you!

-Andrea

 

With my lovely friend Bekah on the ferris wheel of Vienna.