Welcome to my new series entitled Women Around the World. In a way, I’m getting back to my blog’s roots with this series. When I first began this blog almost two years ago, I would interview different women and feature photos of them in dresses. When I moved to Spain last fall, I stopped doing that. An international move took up much of my time and energy, as you can imagine. I knew less people in my new city and I traveled more. My intention was also to blog about travel, so those posts took priority.
As a blogger and influencer, I’m always meeting other amazing women via the internet. So I’ve decided to take up these interviews again but with a travel twist. My blog really has transitioned into a travel blog and I want to keep it that way as well. Whether she has the ability to travel often or not, every woman can teach us something and offer us travel tips about where they live.
So meet Kristin from the fashion and travel blog Countdown to Friday. Like me, she is an American expat living in Europe. Her husband is in the US military and got assigned to a base in Germany. She came over with him and has been using her time in Europe to travel as much as she can. I had the opportunity to meet Kristin in person several weekends ago in the Czech Republic. We shot photos for each other and connected over blogging. And it’s just the beginning. We have talked of traveling together in the future.
One of the things I love about the blogging world is all the other bloggers I’ve met. I love the environment of mutually supporting each other rather than competing with each other. We can all succeed if we work together and build each other up. So I hope you enjoy reading a bit more about Kristin. And of course if you feel so inclined, her social media links are at the bottom of the post so you can go follow her.
*This post contains affiliate links. This just means I make a little bit from any clicks or purchases made. Just another way you can support my blog!*
Age, where you’re from and where you live
27, from Virginia, USA and I live in Bavaria, Germany.
Summarize what Countdown to Friday is about in several sentences
Countdown to Friday
is about creating a trendy, flexible wardrobe for the every girl on an average budget, with a dash of travel mixed in. I want to inspire women to create a closet that goes from office meetings to date nights to weekend travels without breaking the bank. I’m always counting down the work week by outfits, and looking forward to weekend getaways, so that’s where the name Countdown to Friday
Why did you start a blog?
I started this blog because I have always loved fashion– realistic fashion that is. I can appreciate the beauty of a Chanel bag or DVF wrap dress, but I’m an average girl with an average budget. And I love to show women that you can have a closet full of items you absolutely love and that work for your lifestyle without spending all of your paycheck.
Also, I really wanted to challenge myself in a creative way. I seriously considered it a little over a year ago because I had left my military job and ended up having so much more time on my hands. As a Type A personality, I also wanted to have control over creating and trying something new.
Why should people follow your blog?
Well, if they aren’t already convinced by my answers about affordable style for the every girl, I would also say they should follow because I’m a real person with a real life! I feel like some bloggers have reached a celebrity status, and they aren’t even relatable to readers anymore. If you like to read blogs about those kind of lifestyles, that’s great. But I don’t want to be dishonest with readers about the kind of clothes I wear or the travels I take or the life I lead. I’m a normal girl who loves fashion and travel, and has a real budget. That’s it! No fake outfits or photoshop on CTF.
What has been the best thing about being a blogger?
Meeting other people through blogging. Like I said I am former military, and I love how many other military and military-related fashion bloggers there are out there! It’s so awesome to see what you have in common with people you’ve never met and make a connection without actually meeting. I mean, how cool was it that we got to meet in the Czech Republic?!
What advice do you have to other bloggers or people starting out?
I don’t even really feel like I’m at a point where I can give advice, but I’ll pass along something I read when I was starting out that comforted me. I was struggling to grow a following (and still am) and I wished that my few-months-old blog had more views. I read something along the lines of, “a year from now you’ll be glad that no one saw your first few blog posts,” and it is so true! If you want to start a blog, I say go for it and perfect it along the way, but think of the beginning as practice, and laying the foundation for better blogging skills later to come. So stress less about followers and focus more on making the best content you can.
What has been your favorite travel destination?
That’s such a hard question! I think I would have to say Florence, Italy. I studied abroad there in college, and that semester was so influential for me. Florence is an amazing city; it really feels like you’ve been swept back in time to the age of the Medici with all the historic buildings and art. Coming from the States it’s hard to grasp having that much history in one place, and in Florence you get to walk through it every day. And you haven’t really lived until you’ve had real Italian food, right?
What travel recommendations do you have for Germany?
Head to the Alps. The views are incredible. No matter how many times I’ve gone through there, they still take my breath away. There is so much in that region, too. There’s World War II history in Berchtesgaden, phenomenal skiing in Garmisch, and beautiful castles in Neuschwanstein.
And if you see kroquetten on the menu you must give it a try. They’re a breaded mashed potato side dish, similar to a mozzarella stick, but with potato inside.
What’s the best thing about living in Germany?
They may drive fast on the autobahn, but I like the slower living of Germany and Europe overall. If I go to a cafe I will still see people reading actual newspapers and sitting to enjoy their coffee and pastry instead of rushing to work. There isn’t wi-fi everywhere, and in summertime everyone goes to the gelato shops to have an ice cream cone, drink a beer, and talk about the day. With most places closed on Sundays, Germans will go for a hike or for a bike ride. There are tons of walking and biking paths. It’s a simpler, slower life that I really enjoy. It reminds me to disconnect and enjoy the little things.
What’s the hardest thing about living in Germany?
Being away from my friends and family. I’ve had to miss a lot of weddings and family reunions, which is really sad. I know living abroad is an irreplaceable experience, but I wish I had the money to go back to the states for all of those once-in-a-lifetime events.
What do you miss most about the US?
Stores being open longer hours and on Sundays. Almost everything except for restaurants and gas stations closes on Sundays in Germany, so all your weekend errands have to get done on Saturday. When I first got here I would forget to go grocery shopping and have no food in the house on Sundays to cook! That meant a lot of pizza was ordered! I am used to it now, but it’s still annoying.
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