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Winter in Munich: What’s there to do?

In City Guides, Living Abroad, Travelby Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

It’s winter in Munich. We’ve had our first couple of snows, several overcast and cold days, and some of those brisk, bright, and clear winter days. Plus, the Christmas Markets are already up and the Glühwein is flowing. So now that the cold weather has set in, what is there to do in Munich? Christmas Markets & Glühwein Winter in the city of Munich has but one outstanding tradition. Christmas Markets, or Weihnachtsmärkte, are a tradition throughout Germany but are especially …

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Celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany

In Living Abroad, Recipesby Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

If you’ve ever been responsible for Thanksgiving dinner, especially the turkey, you know how stressful Thanksgiving can be. Add to that hosting (in a small apartment), preparing a few other dishes, and figuring out just how to do all that in a country where Thanksgiving isn’t a thing. Oh, and did I mention that most of your guests are international, so this is their first impression of an American Thanksgiving? Well, that was my first experience celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany. …

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5 Things to do in Munich other than Oktoberfest

In City Guides, Europe, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American7 Comments

So you’re headed to Munich. During Oktoberfest or not, beer drinking is certainly at or near the top of your list of things to do in Munich, While I approve of this, you should give your liver a break every once in a while and experience more that the city has to offer. Depending on your level of planning, you may or may not have other activities set up outside of 1) find beer, and 2) drink beer. That’s what …

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Munich’s Oktoberfest

In Europe, Living Abroad, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American4 Comments

Oh boy. The big shindig. Munich’s Oktoberfest. It’s full of traditional beer, traditional clothing, and traditional food. In addition to all this, it probably serves as the international image of Germany to the world.  Besides faded memories of high school history, this festival is probably the reason most Americans even know of Munich. By this point, there is already so much written about Oktoberfest available to you online. I’m not sure that I can provide totally new ideas about the festival, …

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Ceiling Lights, Internet Cables, and Ranch Dressing

In Living Abroad, Moving to Germanyby Tom @ Abroad American3 Comments

I’ve touched on the topic of adjustments you have to make when moving to and living in Germany before. Some of these adjustments are completely predictable, like the language barrier. I fully expected to have to learn German at some point after moving here, even though English is pretty prevalent. It’s taken a while, but I think I have finally made that adjustment. I’m confident in both my day-to-day interactions (well, most of them at least) and in an academic workplace. …

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Voting from Abroad

In Living Abroadby Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

Voting wasn’t at the top of my list of things to research before moving to Germany. Despite being somewhat of a political junkie personally, there were too many other more urgent and pressing needs to look into. Finding an apartment, getting the visa, and setting up all the basic necessities sat at the top of my list. I didn’t really research the logistics of voting until the beginning of the 2016 primary season.  Voting should be a core principle of …

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Master’s Student Life in Germany: Class and Exams

In Living Abroad, Studying Abroadby Tom @ Abroad American6 Comments

It is worth noting that in this post I portray student life in Germany from a master’s student perspective. My point of view is based on my personal experiences and what I’ve gathered from talking with other students. It’s probably also good to know what I’m comparing it to – my experience as an undergraduate engineering student at a BIG 10 school. This comparison is a little “apples and oranges” so as I try to keep that in mind, so …

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“How to (Legally) Stay in Europe for More than 90 Days” – Nomadic Matt

In Living Abroadby Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

Sometimes, when I stumble across a new blog or website, I’m amazed at how I never found it before. Nomadic Matt is one of those places. This is one of my favorite travel blogs with well written, well thought out, and well picked post topics. The site has been around for a while, it seems that Matt started it in 2008. It’s possible that some of you are already subscribers or members there – but I still thought it important to …

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American Stereotypes Abroad [Discussion]

In Living Abroad, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American10 Comments

Warning: This post is about American stereotypes abroad. As such, vast amounts of over-generalization are ahead! Please, know that I don’t believe that all Germans or all peoples believe in these stereotypes of Americans. I’m just repeating what I’ve encountered naturally, and the responses people here have given when asked what they think the typical American is like.  Anyone from the States who’s traveled to Europe has likely come into contact with some American stereotypes. The American stereotypes in Germany are …

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How to Find American Ingredients in Munich

In Lifestyle, Living Abroadby Tom @ Abroad American5 Comments

I like to cook. If you’ve been paying attention or look at my archives, you’ll see evidence of that fact. A significant portion of the posts I’ve made thus far on the site have been recipe posts. In a lot of these posts, I’ve mentioned being unable to find American ingredients in Munich. Sometimes I can’t find an ingredient at all, sometimes I can find a decent substitute, and sometimes I’m able to find it after a bit of searching. …

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Oakland and San Francisco

In The American West, Travelby Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

Oakland and San Francisco is the sixth post in my “The American West” series about a National Park-themed camping road trip I took in early summer, 2015. Warning: In this post, I talk about accidentally hitting an animal while driving, if you don’t want to read that, scroll down past the picture of my car. The drive leaving Yosemite after our Chilnualna Falls hike wasn’t very strenuous at first. This didn’t last long. Yosemite After Dark Our initial drive to …

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Thinking of Moving to Munich?

In Living Abroad, Moving to Germanyby Tom @ Abroad American9 Comments

So many people back in the States, and here in Germany too, have asked me the same question: “So why Munich?”. To answer this question, I will start at the time I entered the “real world”. I guess that I could track all the way back long before then and delve into why I felt the way I did. But, I’ll spare you all of that ramble and give you the short version. After graduating, I eagerly entered the “real world” …

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Skiing at Zugspitze

In Europe, Living Abroad, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American2 Comments

It’s a shame it has taken me so long to get this post out – but I suppose that it may be for the better, so you can plan ahead for the next winter! Taking the time to go skiing at Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany, is definitely well worth it. Getting to Zugspitze It’s a simple day trip from Munich, with train or car. The drive is short from Munich – about an hour or so – and …

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Slow Cooker Carnitas

In Lifestyle, Recipesby Tom @ Abroad American2 Comments

Most Americans I have met in Germany have agreed that Mexican food here is mostly just disappointing. Sure, there are some restaurants here and there that actually know how to make a good taco/burrito/anything, but for the most part, they don’t. Back home, Mexican food was a big part of my weekly cuisine. Here, without restaurants to satiate my needs, I’ve had to learn to make somewhat “Mexican” food for myself. I suppose what I am referring to as Mexican food …

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Chilnualna Falls: Yosemite National Park

In The American West, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American17 Comments

 Chilnualna Falls: Yosemite National Park is the fifth post in my “The American West” series about a National Park-themed camping road trip I took in early summer, 2015. California, here we come With Zion behind us and one of our longest driving days ahead, we set out early to cross Nevada and reach Yosemite in good time. We drove towards Vegas, made a pit stop at McDonald’s, and continued on our way to the northwest following Highway 95. In Tonopah, NV …

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Why I’m Running More in Germany

In Lifestyle, Living Abroadby Tom @ Abroad American2 Comments

When I lived back in Chicago, I ran occasionally to keep up my health and fitness. My average run was about three or four miles, and I probably got around to it twice a week during my better weeks. However, I’ve noticed that in the past 6 months, I’ve been running more in Germany. Objectively, my run in Chicago was more scenic and beautiful than my run here. I lived in East Lakeview, very close to the north end of …

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Onion Creek Campground

In The American West, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American1 Comment

Onion Creek Campground is a post in my “The American West” series about a National Park-themed camping road trip I took in early summer, 2015. It may not have been a National Park, but this out-of-the-way campground brings back some of my fondest memories from the trip. After failing to find a camping spot in the park the night before, we absolutely had to find one after our hike at Arches that day. The problem was that we faced the …

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Zion National Park

In The American West, Travelby Tom @ Abroad American3 Comments

Zion National Park is the third post in my “The American West” series about a National Park-themed camping road trip I took in early summer, 2015. The religious connotations of the name, “Zion National Park”, are quite fitting. This, just behind Yosemite, is the park I was most excited to visit. A good friend of mine had visited a few times and constantly raved about it when the topic came up at parties. Two million years and the Virgin River carved …