It’s summer and I can’t think of a better way to start this month than my spotlighting my best friend, Jasmin Haas! The story of our friendship started in 2011 when I started my new job at InterContinental Abu Dhabi. She worked in Sales, I worked in Events so we often collaborated together on projects and shared mutual clients. On New Year’s Eve, we both went to Dubai with our friends (separately) and the plan was for Jasmin to pick us up and we drive back to Abu Dhabi together, except things went very wrong, when she left me in Dubai…on New Year’s Day…while an apocalypse was happening outside and no taxis were available. Little did we know, that was the real beginning of our friendship. I forgave her a few days later and we started spending more time together, doing sales calls, getting our nails done, going to parties, many movies nights, and discovered how much we both loved to cycle on the Corniche. We ended up living together for a few months until she broke my heart in 2015 when she announced she was leaving Abu Dhabi for a Berlin chapter in her life. However, destiny had much bigger plans for us – we have remained closer than ever! I visited her in Berlin that summer, then she visited me in Serbia and we ended the summer with a beach holiday in Montenegro (you can read those adventures here & here!)
The beauty of our friendship is that, despite distance and change, we are still solid, we both love and respect each other, and I truly wish only happiness for her. She has been my rock when I was falling apart, my joy when I needed a laugh, and remains today, one of the strongest women I know. I mean, who can resist the girl with crystal blue eyes, sunshine blonde hair (well she is slightly more brunette now), and a megawatt smile? 🙂
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My friends would probably call me an extrovert, a person who smiles a lot and has a loud laugh. I am blessed with a caring family and recently became a proud aunt. Unfortunately, my family lives more than 600km away from Berlin, the city I call home since two years. But by now they are used to my adventurous lifestyle. After finishing high school in my hometown Viernheim in 2005, I decided to study Hotel Management for three years in Edenkoben, a small village located in Germany’s southern Winestreet. I am very thankful for this opportunity as it paved the way for probably the most courageous step in my life: to leave family and friends behind and move abroad. I still remember my farewell party at home and the many tears that were shed at the airport. But now looking back, it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I got a taste of Abu Dhabi for the first time for five months in 2007/ 2008 during an internship and I liked it so much that I had to return in 2010 and stayed another four years and nine months. Abu Dhabi is a beautiful island and the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and it will forever remain my second home. Living the expat life has enriched my mind and heart. I learned about different cultures, religions, cuisines, languages and understood the importance of tolerance and respect in today’s world even more. My friends from UAE would even say that I melted a bit with this part of the world as I am super passionate and still today up to date with every new location in this city. But the world has a lot more to offer and thankfully, I just received my new passport as my old one is already full with nice colorful stamps and visas. So let the adventures continue…
2. How did you handle difficult times in your life?
I breathe slowly (thanks to my Meditation App) and remind myself that I am not alone. Calling or texting my friends and family gives me the reassurance and positivity I need. (Note: we did actually use her meditation app in the Berlin Zoo once, read that story here!)
3. How do you balance your life between being a career woman and finding time to do what you love?
Being a passionate and hard working personality, I sometimes do miss my balance (yes, I admit and some people in my life would smile now). Thankfully, I love working in hospitality and all the pressure and craziness that comes with it. My job allows me to meet new people every day and I have a chance to travel and satisfy my restless and freedom loving ‘Sagittarius‘ personality.
Also, I do live in an exciting city that never sleeps, so I love to tick off new things from my social “to do list” – a collection with recommendations that I have read about or heard from my friends or colleagues.
As a matter of fact, I do love to surround myself with people who are honest, straight-forward and embrace life with the same enthusiasm as myself, so this way I can easily find time to do what I love.
4. What are your hobbies?
I love to explore new activities such as Stand Up Paddling in the summer or Yoga. I also have a creative side and like to paint or do handicrafts. I have a secret passion for crossword puzzles and I can easily get addicted to US series. (This last part is true, one of our favourite things is to gossip about the latest drama!)
5. How do you de-stress?
I usually write down my thoughts and things that irritate me. It helps me to calm down after a busy day. Also being outdoors, listening to music, planning my next adventure, calling my friends helps me to relax in stressful times.
6. What are your tips for happiness?
I think now is the best time for three of my favorite quotes:
- “Live – Laugh – Love”
- “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”
- “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”
7. What makes you feel feminine?
My red Chanel lipstick, manicured nails, my favorite perfume (currently “Wonderlust” from Michael Kors or my Arabic perfume oils), and that moment when a special someone takes you by the hand or opens the door for you ❤
8. Who is your role model or someone you look up to?
In general, I love people who inspire me, who show me a different perspective of life – that’s very refreshing. I think at the moment I do look up to my little sister as I truly admire the beautiful woman and cool mother she turned into.
9. What have been the most exciting milestones in your life?
Leaving my comfort zone in Germany and establishing a new life in Abu Dhabi, traveling alone for the first time to Bali, having amazing friends all over the world and attending their unforgettable weddings in Abu Dhabi, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Australia.
10. What advice do you have for women today, trying to balance a career, family and personal life?
Believe in yourself, do not compare yourself with others and be thankful every day that you have a career, family and personal life 🙂
Disclaimer: Thank you to Jasmin for collaborating on this post and sharing an insight into how fabulous she is!