Education to go

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I recently stumbled across a question that every blogger gets asked at least 2543 times in his or her life: “What is your blog about?” Back then the answer would have been very easy and by replying with ‘beauty & fashion’ the person asking would have been content. Now that I’ve changed my content the answer has become a bit more tricky. Whenever I tell someone that my blog fits into the lifestyle category, a follow-up question is inevitable because lifestyle isn’t as defined as beauty and fashion. In the end, all blogs are life-style blogs, I guess. A lot of my posts could be labelled as fashion or travel posts and so I usually claim that my blog focuses on these two types. The easy answer. But if I’m thinking about it further, I know that this doesn’t quite cover it. A lot of my blog posts serve the purpose to inspire or at least to make others rethink values set up by society. Recent posts dealt with animal testing, speaking up on the internet or freeing ourselves from the pressure of society and when I look at the bigger picture I’m starting to realise that I could come up with a more defined description of my blog. A huge part of my blog is about education. No, not so much about me trying to educate my audience but about me trying to urge and inspire my readers to educate themselves because I strongly believe that education is the key to everything. The key to a better society, the key to harmony, the key to a better life if we all work together. Education leads to tolerance and helps us learn from the mistakes committed many years ago and helps us to live together in peace. Call me idealistic, but I’m more passionate about education than everything else. And one of the reasons I started blogging is to promote education & mostly ‘self-education’, even though I’ve never put this into words before. But looking at the development of my blog and the content I love most, it makes perfect sense. I guess that inspiring and educating often goes hand in hand. Anyway, as important as education is, we often lack time to learn something new although nothing feels more satisfying (in my opinion). And that’s why I decided to come up with some simple ways of educating ourselves ‘on the go’, enjoy reading. x

 1. Let’s learn more about history. Like I said, human history can teach us many things and lead to a better understanding of traditions and different cultures. My favourite way to learn more about history is Flow of History, a site covering world history from the very beginning until now. Whenever you got time you can simply click on a chapter and if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could start at the beginning and work your way towards the present. Another convenient way of learning more about history is the Flow of History app or alternatively other history apps, there are plenty to choose from.

2. YouTube. This might be my favourite way of gaining new knowledge. I love watching YouTube videos and why not combine that with a learning experience? I recently subscribed to YouTubers talking about nutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles. But that’s not all YouTube has to offer – there are plenty of educational channels offering crash courses about history, politics, literature and other topics – one of my favourites is a channel simply called ‘Crash Course.’

3. Duolingo. You have probably heard me talk about this before but learning a foreign language opens the door to a whole new world and allows you to learn about foreign cultures at the same time. If you want to know more tips about learning foreign languages, you can check out this post, otherwise I recommend the Duolingo app to get started. It is really convenient to use and you can use your morning commute or a few minutes of your lunch break to improve your language skills.

4. Follow educational / inspirational accounts on Twitter and Instagram. I got the tip to follow  ‘NASA’ on Instagram and I’m glad I did, they always post very interesting content and it’s certainly faster to read than whole articles. I also enjoy following journalists on Twitter who share their opinions about politics and other topics – you might not always agree with them, but getting confronted with other views makes you challenge your own and rethink current issues.

5. Read the news. It will give you an overview of what is going on in the world. That might sound old-fashioned but my favourite way of keeping up with the news is reading a newspaper. I love picking up the ‘Times’ or another paper and sitting at a café and reading it – very Parisian, isn’t it? I don’t always buy a newspaper though as news apps like BBC or CNN are convenient and free ways to read the news. So why not quickly check the news on the way to work or on the way home, it will help you stay up to date. Oh and if you ask me, stay away from the tabloids, especially if you are an anxious person as these newspaper are trying to sell themselves through evoking emotions and not always positive ones. cough, cough

6. Last but not least, I would recommend changing your night time read. I am obsessed with love reading romantic fiction but there are so many amazing non-fiction books out there that are really educational – and just as interesting to read. So why not pick an autobiography or another historic book instead and see it as an opportunity to learn something while following your hobby. One of my favourite non-fiction books is ‘I am Malala’ – I’m sure you have heard about it, it is the story of an incredibly brave woman who stood up to the Taliban and who is fighting for education – especially education for girls. Malala is always the one who really sparked my passion for education and I believe we need more people like her in this world.

What are you favourite ways to educate yourself? xx