23 November 2017

Things I Love in Berlin: Tag des offenen Denkmals

Back in September, several monuments and cultural institutions opened their doors to the public. The Day of Open Monuments is an initiative in Germany as part of European Heritage Days, which is in turn an initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Several countries hold such events once a year, as a way of spreading cultural knowledge to the public. And of course, I also planned my day trying to visit buildings that are typically closed but were open during this time.

21 November 2017

A Long Weekend in Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle

As it was my first visit to Edinburgh and to Scotland, it was just appropriate to pay a visit to Edinburgh Castle, which is one of Scotland's most atmospheric sights. We already booked our tickets online even before we arrived, so it allowed us to skip the queue of people trying to buy a ticket at the entrance.

19 November 2017

Goodbye Academia: When Slaves Answer their Calling

When I left academia, one of the things that made it quite easy for me to do so was the fact that I never considered academia to be my calling. Heck, I never had the mentality that it was my calling to do something specific. I found myself in academia simply because I was curious how far I could push it. It was never my calling to have good grades in university, good enough to get a funded PhD studentship. It was never my calling to devote 7 years of my 20's to earn MA and PhD degrees. It was never my calling to conduct experiments and publish my research for the next 4 years. None of this was my calling: I just found myself in that situation because I was curious how far I could take it. And when a barrier appeared, which remained even after being challenged, then I shifted course.

So for me it was an easy exit. Yet for others, this is not the case. Mostly because they believe that it is their calling and true passion to do what they are doing. And the sad thing is that this sentiment is being abused by the system, by universities who want cheap labor.

17 November 2017

A Long Weekend in Edinburgh: Various Views of the City

As I mentioned before, we spent a lot of time walking all over Edinburgh. However, in addition to that, we also climbed a few high places which allowed us to take some panoramic views of the city. The city is pretty and dark at the same time, the bricks aren't colorful, more morbid and dark, but it does add to the character, I must say.

15 November 2017

Book Review: Ohne Plan durch Kirgisistan by Markus Huth

Urgh. I didn't like this book.

See, the sentiment about travel that is endorsed by this book is something I don't agree with. Plenty of people, including the author, seem to think that travel will change their life. For the author, he lost his job, and his girlfriend also broke up with him, so now he wanted some form of soul-searching. So he decided to go to Kyrgyzstan without a plan. I have nothing against traveling without a plan, but I have a lot to say against thinking that travel will be some cathartic experience.

Just go to Reddit and see how many people ask questions about how to have a life-changing backpacking experience. But is traveling to some exotic land with a backpack really going to solve your problems? You still have no job. Your girlfriend still doesn't want to be with you anymore. So what are you actually trying to accomplish? You are just trying to be an escape artist. When you fly back home, your problems are still there.