Follow 

American in Europe

Don't Lose Touch, What to do Now that Google Reader is Going the Way of the Mixed Tape

Feedly vs blog lovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have been on the internet at all in the last week, you have probably seen the news that Google Reader will be as extinct as the T-Rex in July. I don't know if you were as heartbroken by this news as I was, I've used the service practically everyday for the last four yearS. Regardless, it sucks! But, when a door closes, somewhere opens a window and this means that until the time the reader is no more, we can explore newer and better? options. 

This week, I have been exploring two possible replacements for RSS feeds. Feedly and Bloglovin'. Both have pro's and con's, here are my opinions. 

Feedly.

Pro's

I really like the look of feedly and it's ability to connect your twitter feed so you can instantly follow sites tweeted by people you are following. I really like how easy it was to transport my feeds over from google reader. Plus if your google reader was a mess like mine, it is really easy to organize your feeds with Feedly, you just go to Organize and drag the blogs to the category you want them to be in. Feedly also makes it incredibly easy to share the post you are reading with your social networks. And finally perhaps the best feature, like google reader you can read the whole post in feedly. It is super customizable so you can choose which view you want.

Con's

You have to install a plugin. It is not really a big deal, unless you want to read blogs while on a school computer. But, if you are on the go you can always us the app. Also, when I have tried to add blogs directly in feedly, a few times it has not been able to find the site. For now, I can just add the site to reader because they link directly together, but since reader is disappearing... Also, and this is really, really, really minor, but the name of the blog the post comes from is written really tiny so a few time I have been unsure of who's blog I am reading the post from because you can so easily scroll past it. 

 

Feedly FeaturedThis is the main screen, from here you can decide what you want to read. 

Feedly OrganizeOrganizing is soo easy!

Feedly Social MediaEach post has an option to share with Social Media. 

Blog Lovin'

Pro's

Blog Lovin' is great for discovering new blogs. Think of it kind of like a blog search engine. Plus you have the ability to follow a blogger. If you are in the mood to discover a new corner of the internet, I would totally head over to Blog Lovin'. They have a feature that email's you when new posts come up of the blogs you are following. If you are a got to have it the second it comes out type of reader, this feature might work best for you. 

Con's

As far as I can tell, you can not read the whole post in Blog Lovin' and it is not super social media friendly. Let me know if I am wrong about this and just can't see it. Plus it seems that their interface is what you have to use. For me personally with the 400+ blogs I subscribe to, having to go to each individual blog to see the whole post is not something I have time for. So, this is kind of a deal breaker for it being my main replacement. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Blog Lovin HomepageThis is the homescreen. 

Blog Lovin PostNot the whole post, but a snapshot.

So easy to discover new blogs! You can even search by terms.

My Advice.

With the impeding death to google reader, I am planning on using both Feedly and Blog Lovin'. Feedly will be my go to for actual reading of posts, I personally like it better for reading and Blog Lovin' will be my new place to discover all the blogs I love so much. It is actually not as complicated as it sounds.

How do you feel about the death of google reader? What do you currently use to follow A Georgia Peach Abroad and the other great blogs you read? Do you have a favorite blog I should check out? I really want to hear from you
 
Screenshots taken by me. 

Section: 

5 Things

Lily called me out on this one, and since I love any chance to over share, I'll contribute my 5 things to the pot.

1. I can not stand silence. Seriously, much to the chagrin of my 5 hostel roommates last week in Berlin, I have to have noise. Unless, I'm sleeping. Which is why if I am home alone, there is always background noise.

2. I'm double jointed in my knees and elbows. This means, I can lick my own elbow and that when I stand, my knees are hyper extended backwards. Great, now if you see me in real life, you are going to check my stance.

3. I love soup! I could eat soup everyday. It is so versatile and can be incredibly easy to make. My favorite is my Aunt Jan's Potato Soup or my mom's Cilantro Soup. Sooo yummy!

4. I have never been further West than Texas. Sometimes, I really wish that I had traveled more in the US before packing my bags for the undetermined future to live in Europe. Seriously, it is embarrassing when you meet a European who has been more places in your home country than you have. 

5. I love hip hop. People have a certain image of me. It has been suggested on more than one occasion that I am a hipster. For what it is worth, I'm not. I'm not anything. I like all sorts of music. But because I wear my glasses now almost on a daily basis, people think that I do not like hip hop as much as I do. Somehow, people seem to forget that I am from the ATL! If you take me to a club, I will dance all night. Except Techno. Sorry Europe, no matter how long I live here, I will never.ever.get.electronic.

Want to make a list of your own? Head over to Lily Wanderlust and linkup with her!

Section: 

There is a New Little Lady in Our Lives

I'm still hanging out in Berlin, but I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of our family. This is Lulubell. She is four years old and we adopted her from the Utrecht Dieren Asiel, a no kill shelter here in Utrecht. We adopted her at the end of January, but I wanted to give her time to get used to our family before I introduced her to the world. 

When Loek and I went to visit the shelter, we both were not sure what to expect. Loek and I had looked at numerous cats on the website and had a few that we wanted to look at. We first had an interview with the staff at the shelter to make sure that they could match us with a pet that would be a good match for our family. We were then taken to a few  different rooms to look at some possible matches. Lulu was in the last room. When we saw her, we knew she was the one, even though she had a huge attitude and wouldn't come out of her box. Because Lulu was so new to the shelter, she came in on Friday and we saw her on Saturday, it was a few days before we could take her home. 

When I went to get her, it was the first day of major winter weather. Poor kitty had to travel to her new home by bus in the snow. When she first got here, she wasn't so sure about us. She spent a lot of time swatting at us, Loek and I were pretty bloody. In her defense, it was probably a big adjustment for her, former owner to shelter to new home in less than a week. A little over a month later and she is a completely changed cat. She has almost stopped swatting us, she gets nervous sometimes, and she now has a place on the couch between Loek and I. 

If you are looking for a pet in the Utrecht area, I recommend the Utrecht Dieren Aisel. They have both cats and dogs, and your pet will come up to date on shots, fixed, and micro chipped. We even have her pet passport. 

As much fun as pets are, they also need stability and care. So think before you commit. 

We also changed Lulu's name to Lulu, because her other name I as a native English speaker could not say it with a straight face. 

Have you ever adopted an animal from a shelter?

Section: 

Kaitlin's Guide to March in Utrecht

Isn't it always the case that you find out about a great event the day it is happening? Or, you browse a ton of sites looking for what is interesting to you, but you are 5 pages deep and everything has to do with techno music or mommy and me? Sorry, just tried to think of things I have no interest in. I mean this happens to you too, right? Which is why I have decided to put together a guide for people like me on what to do in the Netherlands each month. 

Let's start with Utrecht, because well this is where I live.

Utrecht

  • Cafe Theater Festival: March 1st-3rd, Various Locations. FREE. Even if you don't speak Dutch, this free festival which happens in cafes throughout the city will be entertaining, All you have to do is look at the schedule and go to the performances of your choice. Last year, Loek and I stumbled in on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Unfortunately, I'm home sick today and have to work all weekend. 
  • Big Spring Sale: March 3rd, 13:00 to 17:00, Utrecht Central Library Branch. This sale of movies, cds, and books is a great place to get some materials for practicing your dutch.
  • Stitch 'n BitchEvery Tuesday, 19:30, Winkel Van Sinkel. FREE. Bring your knitting needles and engage in some gossip every Tuesday.
  • Delivered Ideals- Peace of Utrecht: March 11th, 20:00, Academy Building University of Utrecht. FREE. I am sure I mentioned before that this year marks the 300th anniversary of Treaty of Utrecht. As such the University is putting on a series of lectures about peace in our times. Lectures are in English.
  • Rock-a-oke: March 16, 21:30, Stairway to Heaven. FREE. Have you ever sung karaoke with a live band? I have once and it reaffirmed everyone's belief that I should never, ever be allowed to sing in public. But it was really fun! You can live like a rock star for just one night.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: March 25th, 20:00, Beatrix Theater, 30 Euros. I have a thing for Rock Operas, I have no idea what language this will be in and I'm particularly broke this month. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go!

Did I miss something awesome? Let me know! Tomorrow, we will check out what is happening in the rest of the Netherlands. 

 

Section: 

The Netherlands is the Place to be in 2013- Seriously, You Need to Come NOW!

With all the respect that is due to Lonely Planet, and that is a lot of respect because I love Lonely Planet, they were wrong when they named Amsterdam their number 2 city to visit in 2013. In their defense, how were they to know that Queen Beatrix would step down and we would have an inauguration this year? With this major event and so many others, the Netherlands is really the place to be this year.

What's happening in Amsterdam: 

  • 400 year anniversary of Amsterdam's famed canal ring. Did you know that wandering around the beautiful canals of Amsterdam are the number one visitor activity in the city? There are so many beautiful places to find along the canal, or you can take a canal cruise. Personally, I think the traditional canal cruises are a bit boring. Check out the other options like canal hopper or tapas cruise. 

 

  • All about Van Gogh. The Van Gogh Museum will move back to its location at the Museumplein on April 25, 2013, just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the museum.2013 also marks what would have been the artist's 150th birthday, if you know he hadn't shot himself and humans lived to that age. 

 

  • The one I'm most excited about. The Rijksmuseum is opening up the parts that have been closed for renovation for the last 10 years will finally be open on April 13th. The Rijksmuseum is in my top 5 of best museums in the world. The art nerd in me can.not.wait.

 

  • The Artis Royal Zoo will celebrate its 125th year. I have never actually been, but I hear some really good things. 

 

  • Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra also celebrates its 125 year. This is considered to be one of the best orchestras in the world, so you should really check out a show.

 

  • Last but certainly not least, April 30th, the Netherlands will have its first king since 1890. That is a long proud tradition of female monarch's. As someone who was born in a land without royalty, I am excited to take part in a small part of pomp and circumstance. 

Utrecht: 

  • 2013 marks the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, for you non-history buffs out there, he treaties between Spain, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic, helped end the War of Spanish Succession. The city is gearing up for some great celebrations. 

This is only a few of the amazing things going on in the Netherlands this year. Be sure to check back on the first of every month where I will tell you some of the great things going on here in my new home country each month.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Section: 

I Found Noah's Arc! Apparently, it was Hiding Out in the Netherlands.

What I love most about living here is the unexpected happens on a daily basis. For example, you could be on your way to a castle, and never actually find the castle but run into an ostrich. Yep, that happened. Or if back in August, you went with your mom and fiancee to see the Kinderdijk (place with all the windmills) and you find Noah's Arc. I told you this place is weird and magical. 

Apparently, this Creationist guy here in the Netherlands had a vision to built the 450 foot boat. He outfitted it with fake creatures. Crazy huh? 

Here are some pictures of the area surrounding the Kinderdijk. Getting to the Kinderdijk itself is quite the adventure. First, we took a train and then a water taxi. I'll tell you more about it in Thursday's post. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is weird where you live? 

Section: 

Ik Tengo Zesentwintig Años, Or the Pitfalls of Learning Two Languages at Once

Learning a new language is hard work. Being required to learn two languages at once is somewhat of a nightmare. Why two languages you may be asking? The first is Dutch, which makes sense, after all I do live in the Netherlands. I'm marrying a Dutchman and as of now plan on making this my permanent home. Learning Dutch will only help me feel like I fit in here, make new friends and advance my career. Plus I am required as part of my visa to pass a test by June 2015. The second language I have to learn at the moment is Spanish. For my degree, I am required to take two years of Spanish. I'm not really sure why this is, but if you don't pass Spanish you don't graduate. So, I'm stick learning both at the same time. 

Here are some of the pitfalls of learning two languages at once:

1. You mix up the languages in your head. I am 100% sure I put some Dutch on my last Spanish Exam. It didn't exactly help that the instructions were in Dutch first. 

2. You know that you should devote a ton of time to studying both languages, so you get stressed out about it and instead spend no time on any languages. I'll be the first to admit it, I don't spend anytime working on either language. I think I just get overwhelmed. Which is why starting next week I'll have a study schedule. I'm thinking Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday should be dedicated to Dutch, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Spanish. I'm thinking an hour each day to start off with. Think this will work?

3. You never feel comfortable speaking either. There are plenty of Dutch people here in the Netherlands, there are also plenty of Spanish people. But I am not confident enough in my skills in either language to hold proper conversations. 

Have you ever tried to learn to languages at once? How did you accomplish this? Have you ever learned another language, I'd welcome those tips as well! 

 

 

Section: 

We Need to Talk About the Bathroom Situation...

Bathroom time is not normally something I talk about. However, going to the toilet in the Netherlands is way different than going in the United States. Well, I mean the mechanics are still the same, but using the bathroom here is much more complicated than one might be used to. Also I am an American so to me, bathroom, rest room, toilet are all the same thing. Perhaps, I should clarify. If you can find a public restroom and that is a big IF on most days, you have to pay to get in. 

That's right for the privilege of emptying your bladder whilst not at home or not in a moving train (which I refuse to do) will cost you .50. You better have exact change too. Some places have attendants that can change out a euro or two, but some places just have a machine. Sure some restaurants will let their patrons go for free, but others still charge a fee. The plus side is, the bathrooms are mostly pretty clean. 

On the street, it can be easy to find a urinal for the guys. Although to be fair you could mistake a few for some avant garde statues. So if you are a male, you have a much easier time. Or if you are a lady you could use one of those disgusting lady peeing thing. 

Yep, this is reusable and portable!

The home situation isn't much better. Your toilet will not have a lot of water in the bowl and will have what is called an inspection shelf. You know to examine things. Actually, it is not as bad as it sounds. While you are in the toilet, don't forget to glance at who's birthday is coming up. The Dutch have special verjaardag calendars that list everyone's birthdays for the month and are kept in the bathroom. Actually, this is kind of convenient. 

Another and perhaps the strangest thing that pulls all Dutch bathrooms together be they public or private is the fact that the sinks only have cold water. Ice cold water to be exact. I really can not think of a possible reason for this, so if anyone has any guesses, I'm all ears. 

Sorry if this post is a little crude. However, when you move to a foreign country you are supposed to have culture shock and this happens to be the area that continues to shock me.

Section: 

Calling All Travel Lovers!

I need your help you guys. As much as I love writing about my experiences living in a new country, and I still have loads that I need to share with you lovelies...I want to start taking the blog in a new direction. Since I am a student of International Tourism, I really want to start including some posts that focus on this aspect of my life. Plus, as part of my studies, I am required to submit proof  on how I am involving myself in my future industry and because I really believe in the power of blogs and social media to network, I am getting school credit for something I love to do.

However, being a full time student limits the amount of time I can spend traveling myself, and what I am really interested in is how you guys travel. Therefore, I am opening up my blog for some guest posts. If you would like to help a student out and participate, just leave a comment or send an email to GAPeachAbroad@gmail.com I have a questionnaire waiting. Eventually I would love to do some interviews. Thanks so much in advance.

For the rest of you dear ones, I hope you will enjoy this new phase of Georgia Peach Abroad.

 

 

Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Section: 

2 Years and Counting

Two years ago today was the most nerve racking day of my life. The boy I had been talking to online on and off for nearly four years was finally flying in from the Netherlands and we would get to be face to face for the first time. As nervous as I was, it probably was nothing compared to what Loek was feeling flying all the way across the Atlantic. 

The plan was simple, I would meet him at the top of the arrivals gate at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Unlike many airports, the Atlanta airport has two terminals but everyone comes up the same way to collect their bags  and met the people who are waiting for them. Everyone that is except Loek. Somehow, and I still don't know to this day how he possibly accomplished this, but Loek came up an entirely different way. We completely missed each other, and of course my phone was on silent. It was about 30 minutes before I looked at my phone, I thought perhaps there was just a very long line in customs. I had 7 missed calls. Poor Loek, had already got his luggage and in his first time to the US, I wasn't where I said I would be. He thought that perhaps I had decided that I didn't want to meet him after all. 

Of course, this was not the case and finally we found each other. The rest is history, four months later we got engaged and 6 months after that I moved to the Netherlands. Perhaps, not the most ordinary of love stories, but it is ours and we like it. 

Section: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - American in Europe