Cheryl Howard inspires us to follow our dreams and to explore the world. Her courage, drive and sense for adventure may even motivate you to move to another country or to pursue your own creative and personal goals.
Canadian Cheryl Howard has been living in Berlin about as long as she’s been a travel blogger – coming up on 8 years! While she’s bounced back and forth between Berlin and Toronto in-between, she hasn’t stopped publishing engaging travel guides for places around the world and insider articles about Berlin and expat living.
Cheryl grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, and spent her teenage years on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. At 18, she made her first huge self-motivated leap by moving to the Canadian metropolis Toronto, where she lived for 10 years.
During her first visit to Europe (more specifically: while standing on the Charles Bridge in Prague), she decided to move across the Atlantic to Europe. Six months later, Cheryl moved from Canada to the German capital and cultural hub Berlin, a city she hadn’t even visited yet!
While not necessarily focusing on solo female travel, Cheryl Howard nonetheless provides an excellent example and resources for women who want to go adventuring on their own instead of waiting for friends or a partner to help make it happen. Her honesty, sense of humor and curiosity lead to realistic and enticing perspectives on specific destinations and travel in general.
Today, she’s not only known for her captivating travel writing and photography, but also for providing excellent resources about Berlin and for current and future expats in Germany. Together with travel writer Adam Groffman, she also started the “Make Friends in Berlin” Meet-Up, which helped make Berlin a Happier Place for so many.
In case you’re wondering: how can Cheryl as a Canadian-born travel blogger make a living in Europe? She works full-time as an agile coach at a tech start-up; which is how she was able to get a German work visa. In Germany (similar to the USA), having an employer sponsor your work visa application is a good method to ensure legal status in Germany.
Cheryl’s whole story is a great reminder of “Do more of what makes you happier.” Let’s find out how else she can inspire us…
Cheryl Howard – what do you do?
I have a full-time job that’s a bit dull, but in my free time, I travel around Europe and experience the best of Berlin life, writing about both on cherylhoward.com.
Why do you do what you do?
I don’t come from a family of means and wasn’t in the position to be able to travel until I was in my late 20s. My first trip was a solo trip to South America, where I explored Ecuador and Peru for three weeks. As cliché as it sounds, travel sparked such joy in me, that I never wanted to stop.
Finally in 2011, I felt confident enough to give up life in Canada and move to Europe where I’ve (more or less) resided ever since.
My mission since moving here has been to explore every nook and cranny in Europe and share it on my blog in a way that others find helpful – you’ll find plenty of weekend guides, general destination features, and even tips about where to find weird and offbeat attractions.
I also write a lot about life in Berlin (finding a job, making friends, learning German), with the hopes to help other newbies in Berlin find their way.
General Happier Place category?
For me, it’s the beach! I love nothing more than standing on a beach, staring at the open sea, and smelling that fresh air. Even better if it happens to be at sunset or sunrise. I’ll be heading to the beach in both April and May when I visit Greece and Malta.
Specific Happier Place locations?
I know it’s not exactly nature… but my happiest place is Budapest! It’s a city I can visit over and over, yet never get tired of it. While I’d never want to live there, I’m always happy to make a trip there and discover new things – like try a caving experience, visit libraries so beautiful you want to cry, soak in an outdoor thermal bath on a cold winter’s night, and more…
What do you always bring out into nature with you?
My camera! I love taking photos of my adventures. Also, a book. It’s great to just sit or lie somewhere under the sun or the shade of a tree and read a good book.
Happier Place tips or hacks?
Turn off your phone and take a digital detox. Forget social media, forget watching a Youtube clip, and experience the moment.
A dream destination (in space or time)?
I’m pathetically throwing out the clichés … but Berlin in the 1990s.
Words of inspiration?
Because I like to laugh a lot, and rather loudly at that!
Find Cheryl Howard, her travel writing and photography online:
Want to find out even more about Cheryl and her travels, check out this video interview she did for the Moving Postcard web series: Meet Cheryl Howard (Travel Blogger) – In A Minute Portrait (Week 348)
All photos courtesy of Cheryl Howard.
Let’s inspire each other!
Have you been to any of the places featured in Cheryl’s photos above? Where are some of your Happier Places?
What is one of your dreams you’d like to make come true? Do you have any stories about taking a big leap into the unknown to follow your passion?
If you’re one of Cheryl’s regular readers, which of her articles would you recommend most to others?
Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share…