“Don’t worry guys, I haven’t visited Europe yet. Just keep reading”
I could remember how I enjoyed Tokyo at night. Sitting on a stone bench at a small park just beside my hostel with a cute matcha ice cream from Lawson, some chocolate almond Pocky on my table, and wishing if I could have 30 hours a day instead of 24. Many times I cheated myself to sleep after midnight even when I knew my eyes were wanted to close, and oxygen in my brain flew faster. Perhaps, I thought that I had two hours behind from Japan time, and I was fine enough living without ‘a world clock’.
At night when one of my best friend, Rifda, asked me what I was doing in Tokyo that day, I had a story to tell. I was so passionate sharing about what I saw in Kyoto a day before we spoke on the phone. How Kyoto mesmerized me even I only spent three days. Also, I shared about my hostel and who I met. When I sent text before I called her, there was one sentence that made my eyes wide-opened. She mentioned that she was so happy when I shared about other travelers I met in Japan. She said, she realised that in this life dream does come true. She told me that I used to tell her years ago that someday I’ll have a lot of friends from all over the world.
I probably forgot when I said so to Rifda. But I will always remember how it felt when I met other travelers in Japan. It was really
really exciting. Maybe because it was my first time became a solo traveler and found ‘friends’ that did the same thing.
I mentioned on my previous post if you’re lucky, you’ll get new friends by staying in a hostel when you travel outside country. And on this post, I’ll introduce you to my new good friend that I met in Tokyo, Andreas. He is from Europe
(OMG Europe, I can’t stop thinking about you!). I asked him to share something on this well-known :P blog that hopefully, he will inspire you as much as I had.
Here we go!
Who is Andreas Knogler? What do you do and where do you live?
I am a passionate traveller who is looking for interesting talks and experiences which can enrich my personal horizon. I graduated at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg in July 2016. I got there my bachelor’s degree in Innovation & Management in Tourism. In September 2016 I will start a master programme which is organized roughly said by the European Union. The program aims to give an understanding of sustainable tourism in an international environment. It takes place in three different countries in Europe to give different insights into this topic.
Currently I am living in my hometown Eferding, in Austria which is not far located from the longest river of the European Union, the Danube. This river connects 10 different countries and reminds me always that there is so much to see outside of Austria and we should always think out of the box when problems are occurring.
Tell us about your background? Why did you decide to learn about tourism management?
I was born in a rural and quiet area in Austria and lived there the most of my life. I can remember when I was 14 and in the last grade of the secondary school, our class went to a job fair where different companies and educational institutions could present themselves to potential employers or students. I was not sure about my future and I recognized this fair as an opportunity for me to clarify my future. At this fair I had the first contact with the possibility to study in the field of tourism management. At the stand of the tourism school, which I attended for the next 6 years I could get some answers about the process and the further career opportunities. Summing up, I think the visit at this job fair was a decisive point for me.
And what is the most interesting part of your study?
The most interesting part of my study is for sure the correlation of different factors which can influence decisions in the tourism industry. Especially the importance of communication between different people is a core point in this sector. Furthermore I am interested in the way of dealing with customers or employers from different cultural backgrounds.
Tell us more about Austria? And what’s part of your country that makes you feel and say “I’m proud was born as Austrian”?
Austria is a small country in the heart of Europe. This is the short version but it is more like that. Our country is for tourists well-known as a destination which you can visit through the whole year. During winter you can take a ride on prepared slopes and in summer you can hike or spend your days at picturesque lakes or rivers. (but not at the sea because we are in the centre of Europe this is one “thing” we don’t offer).
Our country is to a big part depending on tourism. Nevertheless when I am travelling outside of Europe and I answer the question about my origin country I get in 90 percent of the cases the answer: “Ohh, Australia the country of kangaroo and Eyers Rock”.
But here in Austria we take our “fate” with humour. I heard already about an Austrian company which is selling T-shirts with the message: In Austria there are no kangaroos! and these t-shirts are bestsellers.
One thing I am really proud about my country is the combination of urban lifestyle and the picturesque beauty of nature. After travelling a lot I see how essential an unspoiled nature is. And also the capital Vienna which is the city with the highest quality of living in the world ranked by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey is one reason to be proud.
What is the “must-visit” destination in Austria that we should visit at least once before we die? How about “must-eat” Austrian food?
As already told Vienna is a good spot in Austria. You need several days to explore the city in a sufficient way. Salzburg would be also an interesting city for tourists. If you have only one day for visiting Austria I would highly recommend to look for a natural place like a natural park or somewhere in a mountainous region. Because admiring the natural scenery is more rewarding than trying to explore for just a couple of hours the capital.
I think the one “must-eat” food is for sure the Kaiserschmarren. It is a sweet dish. Basically it is a thick pancake which is scrambled, covered with powdered sugar and served with jam from apricots. Furthermore I can recommend the famous Wiener Schnitzel (*) which is a breaded veal cutlet served with potatoes and a salad.
What inspired you to start travelling?
I got my inspiration to travel during my first longer stay abroad. In 2010 I did my practical training in an Italian hotel for 2 months and at the beginning I could barely speak Italian. After these 2 months I could speak Italian fluently and made a lot of experiences with a different culture. I realized that travelling or working abroad, even if these are different things, is helping me to raise my cultural awareness.
What’s the most memorable country you’ve visited on earth and why?
The most memorable country I have visited is with no doubts North Korea. I spent 5 days in this isolated country run by a dictatorship. If I should describe my experiences in one sentence I would say
The trip to this country showed me how good my life situation is and that the freedom of travelling is priceless.
How many times you did solo travelling outside Austria? what’s the best part of it that changes you as a person?
The first time I spent 5 days in Cebu at the Philippines. The second time I went on a backpacking trip for 3 weeks to Japan.
When I was travelling alone I changed myself as a person a lot. Especially in Japan I realized that I am more outgoing and approachable in order to get to know new people.
Three things you can’t live without?
Friends, books and milk tea (I am addicted to milk tea since my exchange semester in Hong Kong).
Which destinations are the top of your bucket list?
Brasil, Iceland, Ireland.
Is there anything as a tourism graduated young man that you have high hopes to accomplish? whether it be a personal projects or traveling to some exotic country?
My short-term goal I want to accomplish is to work for the “Österreich Werbung“, after the completion of my master. This company is the national tourism organization of Austria which aims to raise the awareness about Austria as a travel destination throughout the year. This company runs many foreign offices and to work in one of these is one of my personal goals because I like to have a job where a lot of intercultural communication is required.
My long-term goal is when I have gained work experience in the field of international tourism I want to run an own company. Even if I don’t know the exact field in which this company could serve I think to run a successful company is one of the most rewarding things in life that can happen to you.
Who is inspiring person you’ve been admiring about his/her dedication in their passion?
The person who is inspiring me the most is my father. He is nearly blind because of a rare eye disease which cannot be healed but at least it could be stopped to get much worse so far. This disease started already when he was a child and got much worse with the years but my father takes his fate in a very good way. He lives his life and is not afraid about the future because he cannot change anything even if he would be angry about it. So he shows me how important health is and that life can be enjoyable even with a handicap.
Do you have any message for boys and girls outside there about traveling, or even solo traveling?
I always tell to myself when thinking about a trip in the future that I should not wait too long because life can change quite fast. That doesn’t mean you should do everything even if it is too expensive but
We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, travelling where and when you want is a way of freedom which was not common for a lot of people in the past and is still for some people on this planet an unfulfilled dream.
Last question, what is the surprising side of Andreas Knogler?
I think this can only people answer who talked with me. Ask them ;)
Actually, before I went to Kyoto I was looking for another hostel to experience. I got one somewhere near Shinjuku that has larger space and bigger bed. But then, I thought it would be easier for me to keep my luggage at the same hostel (hell no to carry a luggage east to west in Tokyo train station!). So I extended my stay for 3 more nights. Just because I arrived quite late in Tokyo, I had no regret being sluggish to wake up late and re-pack all my souvenirs I got from Kyoto (how could I say to myself to do ‘light travel”? it sounds like bullshit if you go with one backpack and come back with three!).
“Serendipity does exist”
When I was repacking my things, Andreas came and wanted to pass to get his backpack. With zombie eyes and rumpled
I wore for five days that grey yikes! t-shirt, I asked him those simple questions immediately, “what’s your name – where are you coming from?”. And you know that thing when you meet somebody and you just feel ‘clicked’ and say “you can learn something from this guy!”?, that’s what I felt when I met Andreas.
Andreas may laugh reading this, but truly I felt like I was talking too much that day
yet I didn’t realize :P. I might be too excited sharing my experiences and how Nigeria changed me as a person. Not to mention that I’m so envy hoping I had a longer time in Tokyo and had a longer conversation, too. Because I believe that Andreas has so many interesting stories about his experiences, his study, and his country. because he speaks three different languages!
I had to admit that I was really sad I couldn’t meet Andreas on my last day cause I had to fly in the morning. Even just to take a photograph of him with my iPhone. But right now I feel beyond grateful because our friendship wasn’t end in Tokyo. Andreas told me,
And I trust that ‘somewhere’ will be in Europe.