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How to work 9-5 and travel the rest of the time

A full-time job shouldn’t stop you from satisfying your wanderlust. The Local spoke to Travel After 5 blogger Alline Waldhem to find out her tips and tricks for travellers who only have 25 days of annual leave.

How to work 9-5 and travel the rest of the time
Photo: Alline in Lisbon, Portugal

Feel like your day job is thwarting your travel plans? Keep telling yourself you don’t have the time (or cash) to take a trip? Where there’s a will, there’s a way, says travel aficionado Alline Waldhelm.

“It’s really a mindset. I love to do it and, on average, I travel somewhere once a month. In the summer, I fly every single weekend.”

Alline, who is originally from Brazil, caught the travel bug when she first visited Germany 12 years ago. It’s a trip that changed her life; she resolved to live in Europe one day and sure enough returned several years later to study in Munich before settling in Vienna.

“I always really liked traveling to Europe. When I was living in Brazil, I managed to come four times before moving to Munich to study German,” she tells The Local.

Click here to discover more #LifeChangingPlaces

Photo: Alline in Budapest last year

Although she works full time as a financial analyst, Alline doesn’t let her job get in the way of her adventures. In Austria, she explains, overtime is discouraged so it gives her plenty of time and the flexibility to take a flight on a Friday evening and return on the Sunday night.

“It’s actually really manageable,” she says. “For me, it’s so important to have these breaks. Of course, you don’t disconnect from your life in two or three days but that’s not the point. There’s so much to explore; you might be physically tired but it’s a mental break and you go back to the office on Monday with a lighter mood.”

While she reserves the bulk of her annual leave for travelling back to Brazil, she still takes a couple of weeks over summer to plan a longer trip. This year, she’s heading to Costa Smeralda in Sardinia – “The beaches are unbelievable and I want to explore more parts of the La Maddalena archipelago” – before spending a week in the south of Portugal which she describes as “full of history and culture, welcoming people and delicious food.”

Photo: Alline in Sicily during summer 2018

Where to find travel inspiration

When looking for new places to travel, Alline often turns to her most trusted resource: her friends and ex-classmates who are scattered across Europe. Or, if there’s a specific city or country that she is keen to visit, she’ll follow news sites like The Local or Time Out to keep up with local events. She’s also an active member of Facebook groups like European Travellers #WhereToNext? that are dedicated to travel tips and inspiration.

Join The Local and Lufthansa’s Facebook group for travel tips and inspiration

When Alline is feeling really adventurous she’ll use a feature like Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ search to find the best deals on cheap flights. It’s how she stumbled on a great return flight to Larnaca, a pretty port city in southern Cyprus, last Christmas. Often, she starts with the destination, whether it’s a recommendation or her own find, and then pads out the trip once she’s booked.

She believes it’s still possible to ‘get off the beaten track’ even if you only have a couple of days to explore. In her experience, the best way to do this is to not plan too rigidly. Instead, pick a couple of things you really want to see or do and then play the rest of the trip by ear.

Photo: Alline in Lake Garda

“I try to be spontaneous. I really enjoy arriving in a city and just walking around and seeing what people are doing. I don’t plan every minute because usually you can meet someone and they suggest something to do. Leaving your time open means you may run into something more interesting or discover something different along the way.”

Find out how to discover your own life-changing place

The best advice she can offer full-time workers who are keen to travel more is to think logistically when booking flights and hotels. For short weekend trips, Alline mostly sticks to Europe and limits flight time to under a couple of hours so that the journey itself doesn’t eat too much into her precious exploring time.

The same goes once she’s touched down at her destination.

“Take London, for example, there are five airports and some of them it takes hours to get from the airport to the city centre. So I always find the airport that is closest. If it’s a small saving but it means I I lose an hour getting to the hotel, that’s something I won’t do.”

Alline adds that although you may be able to find a nicer hotel further out of the city “it’s not doable” when you only have a couple of days. Instead, she advises staying somewhere that may not be as plush but is more conveniently located. This way, you won’t “lose time, which is very precious on a short trip”.

Finally, she says: “Always be half ready to travel”. Alline always keeps a bag packed with the essentials like her passport, camera and tripod. This way, it only takes half an hour to pack so she can set off at short notice.

“If you have these things in your suitcase, you won’t forget anything. Everything is in the same place, half the work is already done.”

Alline’s top travel tips

  • Keep a bag packed with all your travel essentials

  • Check flight comparison sites to find new destinations 

  • Ask friends who live locally for insider tips

  • Look to Facebook groups and local news outlets for inspiration

  • If a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, take a ‘bridging day’ to turn it into a four-day weekend

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Lufthansa.

CULTURE

Creator of iconic Danish TV series dies aged 105

Lise Nørgaard, the creator of Danish television series Matador, has died aged 105.

Creator of iconic Danish TV series dies aged 105

Danish journalist and author Lise Nørgaard died late on New Year’s Day after a short illness, her family confirmed to media in Denmark on Monday. She was 105.

Nørgaard created Matador, the 1970s TV series loved by millions of Danes. The series remains hugely popular in 2020s Denmark, decades after its release.

The impact of Matador means that Nørgaard’s passing will be considered a loss of one of Danish television and popular culture‘s most influential figures.

In a statement, Nørgaard’s daughter Bente Flindt Sørensen said her mother was “deeply grateful for her many friendships with young and old alike, which she maintained until her death, and for the incredibly many people she met along her way, or who followed her, and who have embraced her with great love and overwhelmingly positive interest.”

“She was a frontrunner and a role model and great inspiration for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said.

“We have all benefited from her love, life experience, wise advice and positive and humorous approach to life. We are grateful to have had her in our lives for so long, and she will be greatly missed,” she said.

Born in 1917 in Roskilde, Nørgaard was a trained journalist and worked for Danish newspapers of record Politiken and Berlingske during her career.

In the 1960s, she wrote for the weekly magazine Hjemmet, giving advice to young women and girls on topics including sex and gender roles. Her views and advice often clashed with patriarchal outlooks of the day.

She also wrote manuscripts for two films starring Dirch Passer, the prominent Danish comedy actor of the 1960s and 1970s, and several episodes of seventies series Huset på Christianshavn.

Despite her impressive career up to this point, most Danes will remember Nørgaard primarily for her legendary series, Matador.

Made by broadcaster DR in the late seventies and early eighties but set during a period spanning the years 1929-1947, Matador follows a range of characters and families spanning the class divide, portraying life in a provincial town as it goes through generational change and historical upheaval.

The depth of Matador’s characters, brilliance of Nørgaard’s writing and polished acting by its large cast has long-since secured Matador a position as one of Danish television’s all-time great shows.

Mixing melodrama, light humour and intrigue, the series has almost become part of the national subconscious over the years. Many Danes can recall scenes, characters or memorable lines from the show – even if they were born decades after its original broadcast.

Millions of DVDs and VHS tapes of the series have been sold, setting records according to DR.

Despite its popularity and impact, Nørgaard told the journal Journalisten in 2017 that “I think it’s a bit boring that things always have to be about Matador”.

“I feel that I’m a journalist first and foremost,” she said.

In a programme made by DR in 2017 to commemorate her hundredth birthday, Nørgaard said “being old doesn’t make you something special”.

“You are just someone who has lived long,” she said.

Nørgaard will be buried at St. Pauls Church in Copenhagen, according to the family statement, which also requests peace to honour the memory of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother until the funeral has taken place.

READ ALSO: Danish TV: The best shows to watch to understand Danish society

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