Ultramans, Ironmans, and Marathons

Guest speaker Valentí Sanjuan is well known for his passion for competing in ultramans (2), ironmans (10), marathons, and other extreme sport competitions (and I thought I was crazy for running a half marathon..). His story begins around 10-15 years ago when he began his career in journalism and radio. He decided that he did not like having to rely on bosses, employees, and other work related people to make a living, so he decided to become his own boss. Now, he has his own YouTube Channel where he posts daily videos ranging from comedy shows to ultraman and marathon competitions, where he documents his races. If anyone is wondering, an Ultraman is a 3 day competition. The first day consists of a 10km (6.2 mile) swim, and a 145km (90 mile) bike ride. Day 2 includes a 280km (172 mile) bike ride, and day 3 is a 84km (52 mile) run. It sounds like a lot of fun, I think I am going to start training for one! Said no one ever.

In order for him to start his own business and be his own boss, he decided that to be successful he would need an audience, a story to tell, a “fake it until you make it” motto, and sponsorships. Although he is his own boss, he has many other “bosses”, such as his audience, his sponsors, and social media platforms, the most important one being YouTube. Without an audience, he would not have sponsors that would want to represent him because no one would know who he is, so brands would lose interest in him. Without YouTube and other social media platforms for him to post about his races, he would not get the attention from sponsors and he would not have an audience, so he would only be doing this for himself and would not be able to make a living off of it. He does these crazy, insane races to inspire people to do what they love as well as to make a living off of it. One unique characteristic about Valentí is that he shows his entire personality through his videos and social media. Although he is incredibly athletic, he also shows off his humorous side and his other personality traits that many other professional athletes do not show on their social media platforms. Professional athletes obviously have another side to them besides their love for their sport, but many of them do not portray their personalities on their social media profiles.

The long term goals for Valentí Sanjuan are to become the best YouTuber and to inspire people all around the world. As of right now, his main target audience are those residing in Spain. Within the next year or so, he will be traveling to Latin America to meet with other big-time YouTubers in order to get his name out there and inspire people in more than just Spain, but eventually the world. He lives by his motto “one day you are not going to be here, so enjoy it”. I vote that we get Valentí Sanjuan to  The Ellen Show so that he can inspire people in America and across the world on one of Americas most watched tv talk shows. After being inspired by Valentí, maybe some day I will be competing in Ultraman’s and be able to run my own successful business!

Irish I was still in Dublin

This past weekend my friends and I went to Dublin, Ireland for St. Patricks day. We have been looking forward to this trip since we booked it back in November, and it was definitely worth the wait. Our itinerary for the weekend included the Guinness Storehouse Tour, the St. Patricks day parade, and the Cliffs of Moher. It was a fun-filled weekend.

We arrived in Dublin Thursday afternoon and checked into Citywest Hotel. Our hotel was about a 30 minute metro ride to Temple Bar area, so we hopped on board and headed to the Guinness Storehouse for our tour. During the tour we learned all about how Guinness is made and got to explore the factory where it is produced. At the end of the tour each visitor receives a free beer to enjoy at the Gravity Bar on the top level of the Guinness Storehouse. After the tour, we headed over to the Parliament Hotel  for dinner, where we were able to enjoy, burgers, beer, live music, and Irish dancing! It was a really fun atmosphere with people from all over the world singing, dancing, and just having an all around good time. Afterwards, we walked around Temple Bar area and then headed home for a good nights sleep.

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Finally, the day we have all been waiting for, St. Patricks Day. We woke up bright and early to get ready for a long day of festivities and then headed over to our friends Airbnb which was overlooking the parade. After watching the parade for a bit, we went to Temple Bar area and enjoyed the festivities over there and walked around the decorated streets. After a long day of celebrating, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Papa Johns. We headed back to the hotel and got a good nights rest before waking up bright and early, once again, for the Cliffs of Moher.

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On Saturday, we had a Paddywagon Tour that takes you from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, with several stops at scenic castles. To start out the day, our meeting time was at 8:00am and some of my roommates decided to sleep in a little past the alarm, so we ended up SPRINTING 1.75 miles to the meeting point in order to catch the bus. Luckily we made it just in time for our departure and my roommates were able to finish their slumber on the 3 hour bus ride to the cliffs. The bus ride from coast to coast is absolutely stunning. Ireland is incredibly green and there are sheep, cows, and goats just roaming around. We made our first pit stop at Dunguaire Castle where we were able to learn about the history of the castle and wander around the outside of this 16th century castle. After another hour of driving, we arrived to the Baby Cliffs of Moher, which were breathtaking, so I could not wait to finally arrive at the actual Cliffs of Moher. After a lunch break and some more driving, we finally arrived at the Cliffs of Moher. Unfortunately the weather was treacherous and we could not even see the edge of the cliffs, let alone the ocean. There were incredibly high wind speeds, fog, and rain, making for a pretty miserable ride home. We stayed at the cliffs for about an hour trying to find at least one place where we could maybe see a glimpse of these beautiful cliffs, but unfortunately all we saw were multiple people getting blown over into the mud. At least now I have a reason to go back!

 

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Although we were unable to see one of the seven wonders of the world, it was still an incredible weekend with friends celebrating St. Patricks Day in Ireland.

AmsterDAM I love this place

My roommates and I woke up bright and early on Friday morning to begin our adventure to Amsterdam! We arrived in Amsterdam Friday morning and then headed to the Meninger Hotel to drop off our luggage and then start exploring the city. Our first stop was the I Amsterdam sign in front of the Van Gogh museum, where tourists like to climb up the letters and take pictures, which is surprisingly hard to do in the rain. Afterwards, we were all starving so we went to a Pancake restaurant that was highly recommended by all of our friends, The Pancake Bakery. I got a tasty nutella and banana pancake which was so amazing. The Pancake Bakery is conveniently located down the street from the Anne Frank House, which was next on our itinerary. Unfortunately the line was about a 3 hour wait and online tickets were sold out weeks in advance, so we decided to try again the next day. After a quick change of plans, we decided to explore the picturesque streets of Amsterdam. All of the apartments and shops are crooked yet so beautiful and overlook the 165 canals of Amsterdam. We found an exquisite cheese museum where we were able to sample a plethora of different and unique cheeses. After a busy day of trekking through Amsterdam, we navigated our way back to the hotel and got ready for dinner, which was quite an experience. We decided to go to an all you can eat sushi restaurant, Miu. The rules for the all you can eat sushi were that each person had to pay $25 for five rounds of sushi and in each round, each person can order 5 items. Clearly our eyes are way bigger than our stomachs, and we thought it would be a piece of cake to eat all of that food. By the end of the second round we were still going strong, and the waitress came over to our table to tell us to order all the food we want for the rest of our rounds because the kitchen was closing soon, so we each ordered about 15 more items. Once the food arrived at our table, we realized how screwed we were, our waitress had just decided to mention to us that each plate of food you do not eat, you have to pay for. After a few more bites, we began to become exceedingly full, unbuttoning our pants to fit our growing stomachs. We realized that there was not way we were going to finish all of this food, so we had to hide it in our purses to save for later. We were full for about 24 hours after this meal, but we highly recommend trying it if you are ever in Amsterdam. We needed to walk off our dinner, so we headed over to the Red Light District, which was quite a unique experience.

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On Saturday we had tickets for a canal tour, which included an entrance ticket to the Heineken Experience. We learned so much about the history of Amsterdam on the canal tour and it was an incredible way to see the entire city while staying warm on a frigid winter day. After the tour, we went to a late lunch at Bakers and Roasters. Everything on the menu sounded incredible, it was so hard to choose just one item. I went with the salmon rice bowl, which was so tasty. The next stop of the day was the Heineken Experience. We were able to learn all about the history of Heineken and how it is made. The tour includes a lot of interactive activities to show how the beer is made, which I found to be an exciting way to learn. We were able to try the different stages of the beer making process and the end of the tour includes two free beers with a spectacular view of the city from their rooftop patio. After a long day of learning about the history of Amsterdam and beer, we headed over to the Anne Frank House for one last historical site. We had to wait in line for about an hour, but it was SO worth it. It was incredible to see the place where Anne Frank spent so much of her life in hiding and being able to see pictures, videos, diaries and so much more from the Holocaust.

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Amsterdam is an incredible and beautiful place and I hope to go back someday. The people are oh so friendly, the food is exquisite, and there is so much to do and see!

 

Paris is always a good idea…

…as Audrey Hepburn once said. My roommate and I traveled to the city of love for a pre-valentines day for a fun weekend get away. We arrived in Paris early Friday morning, so we had all day to explore the beautiful city. We dropped off our luggage at the hotel and then ventured out for the day. We followed a 3-day Paris itinerary that i had found on the Travellingbuzz blog which was super helpful in guiding us from place to place. On the first day we were able to see the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Ospray, and the Louvre.

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Our first stop was the Eiffel Tower. We decided to climb the 704 stairs to the second level of the tower and then take the elevator up to the top. Unfortunately, we were in Paris the one weekend that it decided to snow there, so the view from the top was foggy, gray, and obscure. We were only able to see a few feet out from the Eiffel Tower, but it was still a breathtaking view. Standing at the top definitely made my stomach drop, but it was so worth it. Since there were high wind speeds and snow when we were up there, we rushed back down to the second level, where we enjoyed the glass floor viewing area and the ice rink. I will definitely have to come back in the summer time to enjoy a picnic on the luscious green grass next to the tower.

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After spending some time at the Eiffel Tower, we made the trek over to Musée d’Orsay to warm up a bit. At this museum, we were able to see the incredible artwork by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and many more. There was also a really pretty clock that you can look out of and it has a view of most of Paris, which was really cool. There is so much history in the museum, it was cool to see the actual artwork of paintings that I have learned about in school. Whether you are an art lover or not, I highly recommend visiting this museum!

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The next stop was at the Louvre Museum. The are around the Louvre is really pretty and a great place to take pictures. It was hilarious watching all the tourists stand on the cubes and try to touch the top of the Louvre. After laughing at everyone trying to do it, we obviously had to try it ourselves. Since we are students in the EU, we got into the museum for free. We had already seen so much artwork in one day, so we just decided to go straight to the Mona Lisa and then walk around that area. There is so much to see inside the Louvre, so I will definitely go on a tour of it the next time I am in Paris.Later that night we headed to the famous street called Champs-élysées for a delicious dinner at Pizza Vesuvio. Afterwards we walked around all the shops there and then headed back to the hotel.

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The next day we started out at the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, which was so pretty and filled with active people running, playing tennis, and riding scooters, as well as young kids playing soccer. The atmosphere was so relaxing, I could have hung out there all day. After exploring the gardens, we headed down the street to a crepe restaurant, La Creperie des Canettes, where I tried my first ever savory crepe. I got an egg, spinach, and cheese crepe which was so savory and delicious. Then we walked over to the Notre Dame de Paris , which was magnificent. The line was so long and it was freezing out, so we just looked at it and then headed over to the metro to get to Montmartre. Montmartre is the cutest, most precious little town I have ever been to. The people, the shops, and the restaurants were quiet and little, giving it a very home-like feel. The views from the top were breathtaking, but once again the fog would not let us see more than a few feet in front of us. There was a little plaza where a number of people sit and draw portraits of people, which is what I was expecting most of Paris to be like. We were SO cold that we had to leave, so we headed back to Champs-élysées and went to an English movie theater (with French subtitles) and saw 50 Shades Darker so that we could defrost for a couple of hours. At midnight, one of our friends turned 21, so we all headed over to the Eiffel Tower to pop a bottle of champagne while watching the lights of the Eiffel Tower flicker in the midnight sky. It was definitely a night and a weekend to remember!

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Mobile Journalism

Mobile journalism, also known as mojo, is a newer form of journalism where freelance reporters use portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, laptops, and smartphones, to share news from his or her community. It is an easy and effective way to spread news to one’s community and it uses much less equipment than a typical journalist would need when reporting a news story.

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If one is interested in becoming a mobile journalist, he or she must be familiar with SCRAP. It is similar to the 5 W’s for journalists (who, what, where, when, and why). SCRAP stands for stories, character, revolution, actuality and production. According to the Huffington Post, “whatever the genre or platform, the smart operator working in a cross-screen digital content ecosphere will need smart skills that include storytelling, program making and an awareness of social media. Toss in the requisite tools, and you’re on your way.” It is still exceedingly important to know the basic tools and programs in order to be a successful mobile journalist.

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According to Catalina Albeanu, Facebook Live and Periscope are going to become gateway sites for mobile journalism. Here are some basic tips on how to get started with mobile journalism: put your phone in airplane mode so that calls, texts, and other notifications do not disturb the reporting, clean your lens, hold the phone horizontally with the home button on the right hand side, to ensure that the recording is not filmed upside down, and lastly, make sure your phone is stable. Before you start a live stream, it is important to know that once you start streaming, you can not take it back, so make sure that you are aware of what you are going to say.

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There are many pros and cons to mobile journalism, here is a list of a few benefits and issues that come with mobile journalism, according to GGIBIT’s Blog. The pros of mobile journalism are that it allows journalists to be flexible, they do not have to carry around large, expensive equipment, the audio is great quality, students know how to use the equipment software more so than other forms of technology, and it saves money. The cons of mobile journalism according to the same blog are that “the transmission of information is limited by infrastructure and the technology hasn’t necessarily caught up to people’s desires.” There are many pros to mobile journalism, but it is important to be aware of the technical difficulties that may occur when becoming a mobile journalist.

 

 

Digital Tools and Social Networks for Bloggers

There are many different digital tools and social networks available for bloggers, whether someone blogs about traveling or food, sports or fashion, there is a social network for everyone. Examples of social networks range from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other blogs, to name a few. It is important to know the ins and outs of the tools available when making a blog post, such as tagging, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), the read it later tool, and how to be anonymous.

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Using other social networking sites within your blog is an important aspect of blogging because it allows readers to visit other sites that the blogger recommends, it gives readers the opportunity to visit new social media sites that they may not know about, and it also can show readers other blogs that the blogger may recommend for certain topics, like traveling or food. Also, posting videos from YouTube on a blog will make it more intriguing for the reader and can also be used when showing a tutorial video. For example, if someone is writing a travel blog, it might be a cool idea to show a video of efficient ways to pack a suitcase for a traveler who tends to over pack (aka me).

A cool way to use Twitter in a blog post about traveling would be to share a tweet about travel recommendations. People love to share their opinions on Twitter, so what better place to look for peoples travel opinions than on Twitter! Users can also follow Travel twitter accounts or they can look up trending topics about travel destinations. It is also a cool way to find out about destinations that you may not have known about, such as this place located in New Zealand that I have never heard of, but is now on my travel bucket list:

Other useful tools to use on a blog are tagging blog posts, SEO, and SEM. It is important to tag blog posts because it makes it easier for readers to find a blog post they are looking for when the blogs have tags. For example, if I were to write a blog post about traveling in Spain, I would want to tag travel, Spain, and anything else related to my blog post, such as hotel, transportation, and food. When I tag those topics in my blog post, I will hopefully get more readers and I will help readers plan their trip to Spain. The SEO and SEM are important tools to use when blogging because according to Blogging and SEO: A Relationship It Pays to Nurture, “search engines want to provide the optimal user experience for those typing queries into the search bars. To this end, they seek fresh, up-to-date content and websites.” Next time you want to write a blog post, be sure to explore these tools and incorporate them into your blog!

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Swiss Cheesin’

My weekend in Interlaken, Switzerland felt like a fairytale. Interlaken is the most picturesque and charming town I have ever been to. The crisp, cool air, crystal blue lakes, and snow covered mountains are what make this place so magical.

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The first day in Interlaken, my friends and I walked around town and found the most delicious chocolate shop, Funky Chocolate Club, which has the most decadent hot chocolate any of us had ever drank. After sipping on our hot cocoa and thawing out from the cold, we set off on our paragliding adventure. We were picked up at our Hostel by Outdoor Interlaken where we geared up for the adventure of a lifetime. Once we all piled into the van, we drove up the Beatenberg Mountain Range and then hiked about 10 minutes to our take off zone. The views from the top of the mountain were breathtaking. The scariest part of the entire paraglide was running off the mountain and making sure we had enough speed to carry us through the strong winds that we were facing that day. Once we got off the ground, the views were incredible, it truly felt like the real life Disneyland ride, Soaring over California, but instead, Soaring over Switzerland. It was by far the most amazing experience I have ever had. My guide pointed out Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, the Jungfrau mountains, and many other facts about Interlaken, he even pointed out his house! Right before landing we did some cool “tricks” giving me quite an adrenaline rush. I highly recommend paragliding in the Swiss Alps.

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After landing, my friends and I all headed back to our hostel for a traditional swiss fondue dinner. We were served two enormous pots of sizzling cheese fondue with unlimited plates of bread, potatoes, and pickles. Safe to say I had the worst stomach ache after this meal.

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The next day we woke up bright and early to walk over to Lake Brienz. It was the most scenic lake I have ever seen. The water was like a mirror, portraying the scenery all around the lake, such as the scenic mountains and quaint houses. It was an extraordinary place to sit and take in the fresh air with great company.

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On the final day of our Switzerland adventure, we went on a day trip to Zurich. About an hour and a half away from Interlaken lies the bustling city of Zurich. The highlight of the day trip was climbing to the top of the Grossmünster. From the top, we were able to see a panoramic view of the city, which is surrounded by mountains and lakes. After climbing to the top, we deserved a treat, so we headed over to Sprüngli Chocolate Shop, where we got some authentic swiss chocolate and macaroons, which we devoured in 0.2 seconds. Then it was time to head back to Interlaken for one last Funky Chocolate Shop hot chocolate and then head back to Spain! I will definitely be back, Switzerland.

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