More than a year has passed since the wide-eyed wonder gal moved to Berlin, Germany. Packed with a giant Lowe Alpine backpack, she arrived in the mid-summer August of Berlin, greeted with brightness and warmth, a welcomed surprise compared to what she had in mind the last time she was here.

Armed with an innate motivation to blend in with the locals, speak German and make a mark in this new chapter, there were only a few things capable of throwing her straight-lined vision and plans a giant curved ball.

German bureaucracy and apartment finding.


When was the last time you find yourself in a large event space, exchanging introductions, shaking hands, and learning more about your new acquaintances? For all of us, it feels like a long time coming since our last networking event. And while technological advances have yet to introduce holograms as an alternative to physical meetings, events following social distancing guidelines are gradually increasing.

While online networking activities do appear to be complementary in our new normal, meeting in informal physical settings is still considered the single most important source of support.

A research, “ Informal Innovation: Entrepreneurship and Informal Communities”…


4 people from 3 different parts of the world, who have never met, came together to host a weekly virtual event live-streamed globally. More than 1200 viewers attended to watch 14 experts speak. Not a single hand was shaken nor a business card given.

As most of the world continues to follow social distancing guidelines, business and networking events have followed the path of pivoting to virtual platforms. The community team from Draper Startup House Berlin, Lisbon and Tallinn are no exceptions.

In light of the pandemic, as well as the current state of events around the world, this article…


BERLIN — It’s the morning on a train ride on the S-Bahn. Months after the first wave of the pandemic, the train carts are no longer empty like before, in fact, for the first time in weeks, I can count that there’s more humans than empty beer bottles.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve moved to this vibrant city, there’s no place like Berlin that encompasses so well an ironic mixture of incompleteness and completeness. Many would agree that the city is a ‘melting pot’ of culture and ‘anyone can live here’. Berlin is a place for the young…


Think about the first time you went swimming. Somewhere deep down we all remember the first time we swallowed a gulp-ful of water through our nose and experienced next what felt like an electric jolt to our brains.

So, what exactly made us fear the big waves? The notion of swimming in rough seas is terrifying simply because of the fear of drowning. Not to say there are many other reasons to be afraid.

When I first started surfing, the waves scared me. A mere impact of the weakest wave at shore was enough to slap in right in the…


While some of us struggle in our own overthinking and unnecessary worries about the future, some of others are constantly reducing themselves by recalling regrets and mistakes in the past. One thing in common? We are not in the present.

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Lao Tzu

LESSON 5: Less choices = More Happiness
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Dinners, vacations and discounts. We often think that, the more options we have…


2020 has so far been like tripping on an Ecstasy pill (disclaimer: never took one). The first half of January was adrenaline-rushing awesome. After 5 months of living in Berlin, I got to escape the impeding Winter cold and join my family in Singapore — where Summers last forever.

Much like the effect of the ‘love-pill’, my euphoric state gradually slowed and became monotonic, as I find myself often questioning my choices in life, particularly my decision of spending time and financials into living in another country. …

Jessica Bong

Writing about life, business, self development, and whatever that bites in the mysterious modern world.

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