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Leaving the comfort zone: Ulm in January

As I’ve started a new job this year, January has been filled with lots of information and food for thought. New procedures, new products, new tasks and new colleagues all take some time to adjust to. But I know from previous experiences that leaving the comfort zone generally leads to growth. As someone who’s very fond of adventures, I’ve come to consider growth a basic need for me to enjoy life.

Apart from getting used to my new work environment and fighting an evil flu, I’ve spent some time in Ulm recently. That’s where the main branch of the company I work with is located. The main aim of the trip was for me to take part in an introduction week and to receive a formation on the most relevant topics. In the evenings, though, I’ve had a chance to explore this charming middle-sized Southern German town by the Danube river:

What’s there to know about Ulm?

Ulm is located in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, right on the frontier to Bavaria.  The cathedral (Ulmer Münster) is one of its main sights. I also spotted some nice places in the old town when wandering around, among them a lopsided house (to be seen in one of the above pictures). Furthermore, Read more…


Say my name: Turkish pet names on Coke cans

Turkish pet names on Coke cans.

© aNadventures

We already talked about Turkish names here.

You may have noticed that they’re quite meaningful and romantic in many ways.

There’s also a large variety of Turkish pet namesaşkım (my love), canım (my soul) and bitanem (my one and only) being just some of them.

You probably remember the global Coca-Cola marketing campaign that consisted in selling customized bottles and cans that displayed common customer names. That campaign also included printing pet names and was quite successful since most people could identify with them which led to identification with the product itself.

For other interpretations of names, have a look at this week’s Photo Challenge.

Welcome to 2017: Fasten your seat-belts and enjoy the ride


Last week, on New Year’s Eve, I did what I do every year: By midnight, I was out with my rucksack enjoying the fireworks. It’s a Colombian tradition to run around the block carrying a suitcase (or a rucksack) when the new year starts in order to being able to travel in the new year.

Since I love travelling, I never skip this tradition. And it has worked out quite well for me so far. I consider myself lucky and thankful to have seen so much of this beautiful world.

Last year, I went to Austria, Italy (twice), Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Turkey and I travelled within Germany as well. This year, I’ve set myself the same mission as in 2014: I’d like to travel somewhere near or far at least once a month. This means I’ll be exploring new areas in Berlin or beyond, within Germany or abroad, in Europe or around the globe.

Let’s go find out where 2017 may take us.

What’s YOUR next travel destination? Or do you have any other upcoming missions?

12 things I learnt throughout 2016


© aNadventures

I can’t believe another year has passed so quickly. Before I start a new chapter of my life in January, I would like to take a moment to reflect upon the year 2016, which has been a special one. It has been full of joys (and some tears), full of special people and full of moments to remember.  And there have been quite a few lessons as well.

So this is what 2016 has taught me: Read more…

French expressions in the Turkish language


© aNadventures

Many expressions in Turkish have been borrowed from Arabic or Persian. In the 1920ies and 1930ies, throughout the implementation of Atatürk’s Reforms, the language was transformed to replace many Arabic and Persian loanwords with French words to orient Turkey further towards the Western world.

I already mentioned hoparlör, bisiklet and supangle in a previous post. There are many more words reflecting the influence that French has had on the Turkish language, though.

I’d like to share a few more examples with you:

1. vapur – steamboat, ferryboat (French: bateau à vapeur)
2. asansör – elevator (French: ascenseur)
3. sezaryen – Caesarean (French: césarienne)
4. makyaj – make-up (French: maquillage)
5. milföy – mille-feuille / a kind of puff pastry (French: mille-feuille) Read more…

20 ways to enjoy unemployment


© aNadventures

Do you feel depressed because you recently lost your job, voluntarily or involuntarily? Well, let me tell you that there’s absolutely no need to feel this way. Taking some time off can actually be lots of fun. Here’s how:

You FINALLY have the time to:

  1. Fix that broken shower thingy in the bathroom.
  2. Do your shopping on Monday mornings when there’s no queue at the supermarket.
  3. Create all kinds of playlists on Spotify.
  4. Go to the cinema at 3 pm and get to know the local grannies.
  5. Go out dancing on a Sunday night. Or a Monday. Or a Tuesday…
  6. Explore the corners of the city you don’t know yet.
  7. Take trips.
  8. Catch up with family and friends.
  9. Sleep in on Mondays. Or Tuesdays…
  10. Read those books you’ve had lying around for ages.
  11. Take some online courses.
  12. Blog!
  13. Try out new recipes.
  14. Visit places that are generally only open during working hours.
  15. Reinvent yourself. Think about what you really want to do with your life.
  16. Visit museums, expositions, talks.
  17. Get a seat in the metro, outside of rush hours.
  18. Get your Christmas shopping done before everyone else heads to the shops.
  19. Do some community work.
  20. Clean out your closet and get rid of all the things you actually don’t need.

What have been YOUR experiences with unemployment? Which ways have YOU found to make it fun? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.



© aNadventures


What you least expect

Yet, is about to happen

This joy your eyes reflect

Is your strongest weapon

A cardboard full of glitter

What makes you even wonder?

Isn’t it just better

To truly live, not ponder?

This moment

All that matters

Doubts are gone

Left in shatters

Breathing, swimming

Down by the beach

Flying, swinging

Worries out of reach

For other interpretations of Magic have a look here.

5 Turkish movies that will bring tears to your eyes

One of the many advantages of living in Berlin is that you may watch Turkish movies in the original language in many cinemas across town, especially in the districts of Neukölln and Wedding. This year, I’ve taken advantage of this option and I’ve watched a couple of movies I’d like to recommend:

Delibal (~ Andromedotoxine / Mad honey)

Photo courtesy of beyaz perde.


The moment Barış sees Füsun for the first time, he falls in love with her. It’s a feeling stronger than anything he’s ever experienced. It takes some time, though, until he manages to conquer Füsun’s heart. The moment everything seems just perfect, life gets in the way of their fairy tale.


Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group.

This is the story of five sisters who grow up with their uncle and grandmother in a small town on the Black Sea coast. The day a neighbour sees them playing around with some boys by the sea, their house becomes their prison. The girls now find ways to turn their routine into a fun game ― until it’s time to escape…

Dünyanın en güzel kokusu (~ The world’s nicest smell)

Photo courtesy of beyaz perde.

Hakan and Derya are best friends. When their biological clocks starts ticking louder and louder, they decide to get married and have a child together. Destiny messes up their plan, though. Read more…

aNadventures Soundtrack Vol. 2

Two years ago, I designed this cover featuring some of my favourite aNadventures blog posts. I think it’s time for a new soundtrack including new favourites as well as old classics. So here’s what I’ve come up with:

aNadventures Soundtrack Vol. 2 - Cover

© aNadventures

  1. Turkey: It was meant to be
  2. You know you have been in Turkey for a while when…
  3. 25 things I learnt from living in Turkey
  4. Reverse culture shock
  5. Don’t be ugly
  6. Home is where my keys are
  7. Live long and wear it with a smile
  8. Oh, this happy life
  9. Leave your earplugs at home
  10. Life’s too short to be among moldy tomatoes
  11. Wise words from an animated monkey
  12. In love with life
  13. When I write
  14. Mission completed


Bonus Tracks

  1. Confessions of a heart of stone
  2. Two kebabs to go
  3. Closing circles


Feel free to let me know what you think about the latest post selection and cover in the comment section. Thanks again for reading and following my aNadventures!

Here comes the sun: Passion, spring and other Turkish names


© aNadventures (It should have been “Romina” but they didn’t get it right.)

When you think of Turkish names, the ones popping up in your mind are probably Fatma, Ayşe, Mustafa and Ahmed. But there are so many more. Most Turks are proud of their name. At least that’s what I’ve come to sense throughout my one-and-a-half year Turkey experience. Every name has a meaning, too. Here’s a selection:


The sky is the limit

Güneş – sun (f)

Bulut – cloud (m)

Yağmur – rain (m & f)


Aynur – moon light (f)

Feray – radiance of the moon (f)

İlkay – new moon (m & f)

Nuray – bright moon (f)


Hilal – crescent (f)

Ufuk – horizon (m)



Gül – rose (f)

Lale – tulip (f)

Müge – lily of the valley (f)

Ҫiğdem – crocus (f)



Damla – water drop (f)

Nehir – river (f)


Deniz – sea (m & f)

Derya – sea, ocean (f)


Meltem – sea wind (f)

Cansu – water of life (f)


Some more nature

Volkan – volcano (m) Read more…