Category Archives: Life Experiences & Reflective Writing

Date A Guy Who Travels

A brilliant article that people like us who live a global lifestyle can highly relate to. The timing of myself stumbling across this piece of writing is in perfect synchronicity, as I have just started to embark on a new journey of love with a wonderful woman. I love how the universe works its magic. I have been very patient and asked to find a woman that loves travelling and exploring the world like myself, a woman that is strong and confident, and knows what she wants in life. I was wondering if I ever meet someone who is able and willing to keep up with my nomadic lifestyle. I aspire to live a life without borders. To have someone to share my vision with and to build a life together was always a dream of mine. I have now been blessed with this possibility in my life and I am internally grateful, excited and inspired to move forward in partnership with a truly beautiful soul that understands.

To read the full article click here.

Thought Catalog

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Be with someone who travels. He will follow his heart and chase his dreams. He will come back bearing photos and stories and a gift that reminded him of you while he was traveling. He will inspire you to fearlessly embark on your own adventures. He will never be afraid of spontaneity and will almost always say yes when you suggest a road trip. He will tell you stories of his trips that will make you fall more and more in love with him every day. He will never make you feel guilty for wanting to explore the world, even if it means he gets left behind. He will understand that distance does make the heart grow fonder and a relationship stronger. He will never let your relationship fall into a routine and get stale. He will say yes when you ask him to move away with you. He…

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Bachelor Graduation – An analysis of my UK degree classification

I am officially a university graduate! My degree title is Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Marketing and Music & Media Management.

I am a university graduate!

The following paragraph is all about stroking my ego and helping maintain my healthy self-esteem. Afterall this is what I worked hard for the last three years.

I am proud to announce that while studying in my second language in a foreign country, and at the same time traveling the world and gaining professional experiences, I was able to achieve a First Class Honours Classification. Continue reading →

A happy New Year 2012 from London Town!

I would like to wish you a happy and wonderful start into the new year 2012!

A click on the picture below leads you to my blog post from last year, which interestingly enough is still very relevant today!

Ladies & gentleman – I introduce to you, the year 2011! A happy New Year! Read more here…

Words from Within – Letting Go, letting Come…

During my time in San Diego I was faced with a difficult emotional challenge. The feelings I experienced were rooted in the fact that I let myself get emotionally attached to another human being, in this case being in love and then realizing that my desire to live a romantic relationship with that person is not compatible at this current moment in my life with the commitments and priorities I have set for myself.

Read more here…

Ladies & gentleman – I introduce to you, the year 2011! A happy New Year!

The time has come again to send out my wishes and greetings for a new and wonderful start into the year 2011 all around the world!

Happy New Year 2011 wishes you Marian!

Thank you to everyone who has already send me beautiful messages 🙂 Read more.

Update – Moving back to London after 7 months away

Hi my dear friends & family,

It is time for another quick update, just to let you know about my whereabouts and plans for the coming year.

The time of the year has come to say good bye to South Africa again. Leaving this beautiful spot, all my friends and loved ones is always an emotional challenge for me. But knowing in my heart that I will be back sooner rather then later, makes it a bit easier, because it is just a temporary good bye, as I will be back.

Today on Wednesday, 1st September I will be moving back to London, England to resume my degree studies at London Metropolitan University (http://www.londonmet.ac.uk). I still have three semesters to go until I qualify for my Bachelor degree.

For the first days or weeks, I will be living with my Portuguese friend Ivan in North London, who kindly offered me to stay with him until I have found a new flat for myself. As I might have a little issue with my old UK number, you can also use hi number to get a hold of me if necessary for now. (Ivan – 00447545633139). I will soon also have access to fast & reliable Internet again, so please feel free to contact me via email, Facebook or Skype anytime.

I will send you my new address and number, as I always do, once I have arrived and settled in!

I am hoping to find some time now to write about my experiences in South Africa from June until September. It has been an amazing experience again living and working at the Southern tip of Africa, the beautiful city of Cape Town!

I hope you are doing well, please drop me a line to tell me how you are and what you have been up to, and I will send reply personally to you :-).

Sending you my love.

Life Sign from Cyprus – ERASMUS Semester at University of Nicosia

Dear family and friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am herewith sending you my warmest greetings.

It has been a couple of months since I last wrote to you, and now that I am slowly approaching the end of my time in Cyprus my thoughts are with you.

I believe this is the right time to send you a little update and reminder as I am sure some of you are wondering where I am and what I am doing these days.

For those of you who don’t know yet or whose memory has let them down – I have been living in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus since February studying for one semester at the University of Nicosia.

The last month on this beautiful island is starting for me as I am heading towards my final projects and examinations. I am slowly getting ready for my time in South Africa.

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Just to let you know what has been happening:

It has been three months now since I first arrived on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus (in case you wonder where it is located – South of Turkey, North of Egypt, East of Greece and West of Syria and Lebanon – I hope this helps!)

Cyprus is an independent Republic, but the island is split into two parts since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The Southern part of the island (Republic of Cyprus) is controlled by the Greek Cypriots and is an official member of the European Union. The Northern part of the country is occupied by Turkish troops and is unofficially called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Turkey. The South and North are separated by the “Green Line”, a UN protected border that runs through the country.

I live and study in the capital Nicosia, which is a city that is split into two parts with the “Green line” running right through it – similar to Berlin during the time Germany was split into East and West.

The official languages in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, but as Cyprus used to be a British colony, everyone also speaks or at least understands English.
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I am studying at the University of Nicosia (http://www.unic.ac.cy), the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca. I am taking part in the European ERASMUS programme (http://www.britishcouncil.org/erasmus.htm), which enables higher education students in 31 European countries to study for part of their degree in another country.

So far it has been an amazing experience to live and study in yet another country. Even though it is at times very demanding to continuously change ones place of living, having to readjust to new surroundings and establish new social friendships over and over again, it is an incredible learning experience.

Cyprus is such a beautiful spot, I can only recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to live here for a while or visit the island for a holiday, you should definitely go for it. You will find the most beautiful beaches, beautiful people from all over the world, perfect weather conditions and a great clubbing culture.

For me it has been a welcomed change to the fast-paced life in London. Life in Cyprus is much slower, calm and very quiet. Waking up to sun and blue skies every day, also again proved to have a very positive affect. Three months in Cyprus feel like as if I have been here for a very very long time. I wish the weather would be more like this in London (…that’s never going to happen!)

Even though university life is quite demanding here, with three times more assessments compared to my university in London, I have been able to settle in well. I live in one of the universities student halls, sharing a room with another student from my university in London. Even though it was quite a challenge to begin with, living with students from various countries and cultural backgrounds (incl. Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Spain, India, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, etc) was yet again a very stimulating and inspiring experience.

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Looking ahead:

The coming month of May, I will be busy with my final projects and examinations for the academic semester. Once I am finished, I will then pack up my things and prepare for my three months stay in South Africa.

I have been longing to return to Mzansi since I had to leave again back to London last September. South Africa has become my home, and I have been missing it every day since I returned to Europe in December 2008.

I have been planning and saving up for this moment, and on the 1st of June the time has come for me to return once again to spend three months in the most beautiful city of Cape Town at the most Southern tip of Africa.

I will be doing another internship. I am currently in the process of applying to companies – with my first choice being COZA PRODUCTIONS (www.cozaproductions.co.za).

In September, I will then travel back to London to continue my degree studies at the London Metropolitan University. I might fit in a short visit to Germany in September, but I cannot promise anything at this point in time.

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Please feel free to contact me at any time. I would love to hear from you again.

If you would like to you can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/agladiac) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/marianzinn).

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Remember, irrespective of where we are right now, at one point in our lives, our paths have crossed, and I believe the day will come when they will lead us together again. It is up to us to maintain the relationships that are important to us in our lives. I am just trying to do my little bit by trying to keep in touch.

Today’s technology provides us with the amazing ability to foster friendships all around the world, to make the world one place, where people connect and share independent of space, time, borders, nationalities, without limitations.

You are in my thoughts.

I hope to see you again soon.

Semester 1 at London Met – Goal setting, Career Exploration & Reflection

Reflective Blog – Week 1 Identify and discuss why you chose the Four personal targets that you identified in the Diagnosis and Target task.

Looking at the outcome of my reasons to study, my strengths and the areas I want to improve on, I was able to determine four targets to focus on in my first semester of higher educational studies.

As the overall goal for the first semester, I am striving towards an understanding of what it means to be a student at university. This includes the knowledge about expectations, requirements and opportunities of studying at LMU and the familiarization with fundamental academic study skills. This all should be in balance with an appropriate dedication towards my core modules and the process of settling into life in London and establishing a new social network.

The mentioned targets are necessary learning and development goals for me, as I see a clear need to reintegrate into the educational environment, since I have not been attending an educational institute for the past three years. Being part of the working world I have adjusted to different requirements and expectations needed to perform well in my job.

Learning at university is at the same time a new form of learning, which takes time to be implemented during the first year of studies. As I have just recently arrived in England, the process of integration into a new country and different culture is another priority besides my focus on achievement in all my modules.

Having been able to set those targets provides me with an understanding of what I want to get out of my first semester. This is the basis to set priorities and implement a plan how to achieve the set targets.

Reflective Blog – Week 9 – Identify the job role and industry sector you would like to work in. Indicate any skill gaps you consider that you possess in relation to your preferred role. Describe an action plan that will help you overcome these skills gaps. Also Identify the new skills or attributes that you have developed throughout this semester to date that you can add to your CV. Reflect on what the Employability Questionnaire has told you in terms of your employment aspirations.

When looking at a specific job role and industry sector to work in, I personally do not want to restrict myself by only committing to one possible option or path. In today’s ever more globalized world involving fast and unpredictable change, it is necessary to be highly flexible and adaptable. Through my international orientation I am preparing myself to be able to work anywhere in the world. At the same time I am acknowledging the fact that most jobs are not permanent anymore, and throughout a career many changes in positions and possibly industry sectors are to be expected.

Nevertheless I have been able to determine that I feel most comfortable and inspired within the cultural, leisure and tourism industries, primarily in the third sector with the main organisational objectives focused on societal, humanitarian and communal growth rather then financial profits. Within these fields I aspire to fulfil a role in management, marketing or public relations. Having a strong interest in music, performing arts and modern media, I would love to be involved in the behind the scenes work administering, planning, organising, coordination, implementing, leading and controlling the activities required to enable cultural organisations to focus on providing their specific offerings in a creative and inspirational environment.

I have been able to take part in a number of internships and work experience allowing me to explore different opportunities and work environments. My experiences as a promotional assistant for a theatre in Germany, then progressing to work as a program assistant for the student exchange NGO AFS Interculture, and finally exploring the corporate world as an IT consultant employed by IBM, have given me the chance to explore different types of jobs in different sectors.

With ongoing life experience, proceeding learning and reflection, I continuously grow as an individual, learning about my strengths and weaknesses, my wants and needs, as well as what the world has to offer me to find fulfilment in life. I am ultimately seeking a position that suits my personality in balance with my personal goals.

Through my access to higher education I am given the opportunity to acquiring formal qualifications, which consequently open doors to build a successful, prosperous and fulfilling life and future. During the process of university studies I develop a set of skills applicable to a variety of job roles hence providing more flexibility and choice. I see the important need to further indulge in work experience providing learning by doing and networking opportunities related to my field of studies. Throughout my degree I am hoping to secure valuable internships and part-time jobs to add practical experiences besides the development of fundamental theoretical knowledge. This invaluable combination leads to continuous skills development ultimately increasing my employment prospects.

The results of the employability questionnaire outlined that throughout my education and professional learning I have been able to develop strong abilities in working with others in a team, providing leadership, negotiating and persuading. Additionally I have advanced my potential in planning and organising, written communication and developing professionalism. Although still scoring high results, there is space for improvement in spoken communication, investigating, analysing, and numeracy skills. These areas can be improved through ongoing practice in presentations, research projects, data analysis and other viable activities that run during the coming semesters.

Reflective Blog – Week 10 Consider all of the academic, community and social activities you have undertaken throughout the semester, and identify THREE skills, study skills or attributes that you plan to improve next semester; describe an action plan for delivering improved performance of these skills or attributes.

The first semester is coming to an end – the last weeks require me as learner to establish a strong focus to produce the important final assessments and prepare for the upcoming examinations. Reflecting on the first four months at university, I am astounded by the fact how quickly time has passed from the enrolment and first weeks of classes until now. At the same time the past couple of months have been an intense learning and adjustment process.

Based on the outlined targets for my first semester, I believe I can be satisfied with the efforts I have invested into my studies and the given performance in my modules based on the feedback I have received so far. Through the experience of attending lectures, seminars, workshops and preparing a variety of assessments, I am continuously able to develop a better understanding of the given expectations and requirements to achieve good results.

The university provides numerous opportunities to support my studies and encourages further involvement. I have already been able to benefit from the services of the Learning Development Unit, the Careers Service, the International Office, the Student Union, as well as the academic staff in the business department.

Through the involvement in all module activities I was able to practice my academic study skills. I believe that I was able to keep up and improve my skills in written and verbal communication, working in teams, holding presentations, writing reports, project work based on deadlines, taking exams, independent and self-managed studying and managing my available time.

At the same time I was attending university, I was going through a phase of letting go of my life I left behind in South Africa and beginning a new stage settling into London. As I have already lived in different countries with different cultures, I was aware of what to expect, but ultimately it is impossible to prepare adequately for a culture shock experience. Throughout the semester I had to deal with wavering emotions and a very critical evaluation of seeing myself readjusting to the European lifestyle. At the same time I was aware that I have to adjust to my current surroundings to make the best of my time studying at LMU. Time helps, and I see that I am continuously able to better accept my new home and enjoy the positive sides of life in London, which let me to come here in the first place.

For the summer holiday period I am currently trying to organise an internship in Johannesburg within my study field. I would like to use the period between semesters to enrich my work experience and gain practical insides relevant to my degree. This will aid my understanding of the subject matter and ultimately add to my employment prospects.

For the second semester I have determined a number of tasks I want to keep on working on:

  • First of all I noticed that I struggled to consistently keep up my motivation and failed to stick to my defined weekly study schedule. I need to improve my focus by consistently attending all classes and acquiring the relevant learning content throughout the semester.
  • I want to continue to improve my study and employment skills by attending the ongoing LDU workshops and career seminars offered at LMU. Additionally I want to start exploring possible industry sectors, companies and job roles to pursue.
  • My plan is to enrich my experiences and skills by getting involved in the radio society and possibly joining other media related university projects. Also I am hoping to secure a part-time position to earn some extra income and gain work experience.
  • Being generally interested in intercultural exchanges and realising the benefits, my goal is to take part in an ERASMUS semester in my second year of studies. In order to organise this endeavour I am already in the process of preparing my application.
  • Another area of interest to me, which I want to further indulge in throughout my time at LMU, is the exploration of possible postgraduate study opportunities and graduate training options. My experience has taught me that early research and in-depth analysis helps to make well-informed decisions and leads to success.

Continuous practice, dedication, the believe in my own potential and a clear direction will lead to future growth and improvement.

Spreading some love – Thank you!

This is for you, because I am grateful to have you in my live & I want you to know that I care for you!

Thank you for being who you are and for being part of my life!

As we grow in strength in our spiritual life, we give up the habit of worrying. It serves no purpose other than to make us feel tense and miserable. When I stop fretting about things that are beyond my control and focus instead on generating optimistic and kind thoughts, my life can begin to flow in ever more positive directions. Such a light and easy approach to life enables me to take everything in my stride.

You are in my thoughts, and even though I am not physically with you right now, you are party of my daily prayers and I am grateful for our relationship!

Peace is simplicity. Simplicity is beauty. Choose a day as your day of simplicity. Speak little, and listen with attention. Do something incognito and nice for a person you are close to. Eat simple and natural food. Create time periods for not doing anything – just walk, look around, live the moment. Have your mind open to a more profound and silent sensitivity. Appreciate each scene and each person as they are. In the evening, write down your discoveries. Observe the state of your mind.

All things have their time. All things have their answers. All things have their right to be. Accepting this reality, all things come into harmony.

Thank you for being a part of my life!

With much love and joy – your MARIAN

Some thoughts to share!

Hey friend, sorry for my late reply, was busy moving and settling in to life in London. Actually still in the process of doing that, as it takes time to get used to life in a different country and you gotta build up a new network of friends, etc, etc.

You do seem like that you are thinking a lot about the situation in Gaza. And I think it is a very good and necessary thing to listen to everything that is happening around us all over the world. But I also think that by confronting ourselves with all the evil that is happening in the world, we can also achieve a negative effect.

How much can you actually make a difference to the situation that is happening in some place somewhere in the world, pretty far away from yourself. Not an immediate and strong one, that is for sure. We need to focus more on what is happening right in front of our door steps in our own community. Cause that”s where everything needs to start, that”s where you and me can make things happen for a better future.

By sharing your views on life and the world with the people around you, you are able to spread the word, and make change happen one step at a time, one person at a time. In the past year I have gotten to know the idea of positive thinking, which is in other terms praying and I have realized that through praying anything is possible. I create my own reality, and I attract everything that happens in my life to me by the power of thoughts and wishes. Since I am consciously practicing it, I have seen much coming true, and my life has taken a very positive direction! I am happy and by me being happy I have an affect on my partner, my family, my friends, and everyone I come in contact with…and I have seen what difference it can make by the feedback I have received. it is just beautiful!

I dont know if you understand what I am trying to say, it is not always easy to put it into words.

Well I believe there is always a reason for things to happen in our life, and I must have asked for something in my life that made it necessary for my car to be taken from me. In the end it is just a car and nothing more. And I have been paid by the insurance, so it all had a happy end.
The police service in SA is definitely a problem. If nothing changes soon, things are going to fall apart, as there is no working justice system.

Jozi is a fascinating place, I must agree. I miss it, but at the same time it was the right time to go, because there is too much bad happening in that city at the same time as it is so beautiful!
I love Cape Town, you are going to have a great time down there. I actually wanne come live there for a while after my studies.!

Yes let us pray, and everything is going to be just like we wish it to be!

I am studying Marketing and Music & Media Management.

Hope to hear from you soon! 😉