Shenaz Teasurywala shares 10 lessons she learnt while exploring 14 cities around the world in 2023

The VJ and actor-turned-vlogger is just the right person to list valuable lessons she learnt from her year of travel from Australia, Austria, and Czech Republic, to Slovakia, Hungary, and Italy.

Shenaz Teasurywala shares 10 lessons she learnt while exploring 14 cities around the world in 2023

I kicked off January 2023 in Melbourne at the Australian Open, where tennis balls became fashionistas, and the coffee was so good I even debated smuggling it home (just kidding!). I witnessed Novak Djokovic’s triumph at the Tennis Open, cheering like a true Aussie. Then, Sydney beckoned with its glamorous skyline and Bondi Beach vibes! Picture this: the hottest men and women in their swimwear, trading boring office briefcases for surfboards, catching waves during lunch breaks or as soon as they punched out. It was a symphony of beach bodies and the ocean became the ultimate lunch break escape while the surfboards doubled as city chariots. In Sydney, the beach wasn’t just a was a lifestyle. Hey mama, big news! I dared to jump from the sky in Cairns—YOLO vibes all the way. When I landed, my heart was drumming like crazy, beating to the rhythm of pure excitement. Maybe that’s the secret to staying forever young. Trick your body to think it’s about to die! Oh did I mention my sky-diving partner was hotter than my morning latte?

Then came Noosa, a coastal gem surrounded by a national park that boasts lush mountains, pristine white sand beaches—a captivating blend of nature. Apart from the natural beauty, the town also offers the best in shopping, making it a harmonious fusion of outdoor splendour and retail delights.In Noosa, I fell for the coastal charm and had the biggest crush on my broad-shouldered Aussie surf instructor. Those Aussies really know how to ride the waves! I learnt the art of surf mud, it is how they save their skin from the equator’s UV rays.

I thought I had the hang of the Aussie waves. It was February 14—Valentine’s Day. Dateless but overconfident, I stepped onto a small beach in the Noosa National Park, expecting to handle the waves like I do in Goa. However, the furious Australian ocean had other plans, pushing me up against the rocks in a humbling encounter with its power. Luckily, another tall, broad-shouldered Aussie (they’re everywhere! Like clones of each other...big, tall, blonde and ripped!) came to my rescue, giving me my Baywatch moment. People clapped as he saved me! I fluttered my eyelashes as he gave me mouth-to-mouth (resuscitation, of course) thinking I found my prince, and that too on Valentine’s Day. But here’s where my fairytale took a twist: his hot tall girlfriend in nothing but a tiny G-string and white sparkling smile appeared clapping. My fantasy crashed like the Aussie waves. Reality hit me, but the memories are still wild in my head.

Next stop, the Great Barrier Reef! Picture me, diving deep in a stinger suit, surrounded by vibrant coral and fish. One of the boys offered to take me on a helicopter ride where I could see the waves and coral from above! Yet, it hit me hard that the reef is fading. Heartbreaking, really. Wrapping up two months in Australia, from BlackRovers to crocs, snakes, and sharks—Aussies have them all, making it the most adventurous place in the world.



It was March by the time I came back to India. Now, in Berlin—the wild child of Europe! When I first set foot, I thought, “Hmm, not your typical European beauty, a bit grungy.” But Berlin isn’t about fancy postcards; it is a crazy mix of cultures, like the New York of yesteryears—a gritty masterpiece. I braved the queue at Berghain that could rival the Great Wall of China. The bouncer there...must have had a PhD in mysterious vibes —the keeper of the techno kingdom. Word of advice: Wear black, ditch the smiles, and gear up for a weekend-long rave. That’s Berghain, renowned as the world’s ultimate techno haven. Honestly, the anticipation in the line is as thrilling as the beats inside. It is not just a club; it is a techno pilgrimage. Now, let’s talk about Kit Kat—where the nightlife is spicier than Andhra food. The bouncer there had me do the unthinkable—ditch the dress and party in lingerie! Berlin, you’re not just a city; you’re a bold cabaret, and yeah, I was a bit taken aback by the lingerie request. But hey, lesson learnt!

So, Berlin, you might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re the tequila shot I never knew I needed. Cheers to the city that dances to its own techno beat! Next I headed to Baden-Baden, a spa haven nestled in Germany’s Black Forest. It is a symphony of relaxation and luxury. But the spa etiquette took me by surprise! Imagine my shock when I got scolded (not for being too loud) for wearing clothes! Yes, in German spas, the bikini is a no-go. You have to be naked! It’s about hygiene, is their argument. 

Lesson learnt. Embracing the liberating feeling of being in the buff, Baden-Baden taught me that sometimes, true relaxation means letting it all hang out

In Freiburg, I learnt that sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it is a way of life. This fairytale town, where old-world charm meets futuristic innovation, does a fancy tango between ancient architecture and modern solar panels even on trash cans. Surprisingly, what I thought was a gutter turned out to be sips from the Black Forest, showcasing how looks can be happily deceiving. And here’s the kicker: Freiburg isn’t just a pretty face; it’s the most sustainable city in Europe. Walking down its charming streets, I discovered that using a car is frowned upon here.

Lesson learnt: Sustainability isn’t just about the environment; it is a lifestyle, and in Freiburg, they’ve turned it into an art form.


Ah, Vienna in the summer—the city where the heat makes you trade stilettos for sandals. While I revelled in the artistic embrace of museums, I couldn’t help but notice fewer trees and more grand buildings. A bit of shade wouldn’t hurt, darling! Now, the Opera House. I dolled up, expecting front-row glamour, only to find myself in the nosebleed section.

Lesson learnt: not every ticket is worth its sparkle. But Vienna had its share of adventure, too. I met a guy on the train who led me to the river where we jumped in, and suddenly, the heat felt cooler, and I was happier. He was cute too.

Lesson learnt: In the heart of Vienna, I learnt that sometimes the best moments aren’t planned. Embrace the unexpected, let spontaneity guide you, and who knows, you might find a riverbank adventure with a cute stranger. Life’s real treasures often lie off the beaten path.

Prague, oh, the fairytale city that dazzles with its medieval charm! Cobblestone streets, majestic castles, and a skyline that whispers tales of centuries past. It is like stepping into an adult Disneyland, where every corner is a page from a storybook.

However, the enchantment took a hit when I encountered a less-than-magical reality. The people, sadly, weren’t as charming as the architecture. A server, blunt as a hammer, confessed they cared little for repeat customers, serving up stale fare with a side of attitude. Add a heatwave to the mix, and the city’s temper flared; Charles Bridge felt like Mumbai’s Churchgate Station at 6 pm—crowded, chaotic with a dash of impatience. Prague, is beautiful yet brutal, a place where the magic of the past meets the harshness of the present.

Lesson learnt: No matter how enchanting the setting, the charm fades when hospitality takes a backseat. Beauty may capture the eyes, but warmth captures the heart. Now winding my way to Bratislava, which once shared sisterly ties with Prague when they were both part of Czechoslovakia (imagine them as once-upon-a-time siblings). 

Bratislava may have felt like a budget version of Prague, but the people were the game-changer. It’s a classic case of fewer tourists equating to more genuine friendliness. In this smaller city, I found a richer experience, proving that sometimes less grandeur and more authenticity make for an unforgettable journey. 

Lesson learnt: Sometimes, the hidden gems overshadow the grandeur, and it’s the genuine warmth of people that truly defines a place. In Bratislava, I discovered that a city’s true riches lie in its heart, not just its history. 

Hopping on the train to Budapest, my fatigue demanded a little luxury, so I treated myself to the RitzCarlton—a haven for a weary traveller. Budapest is a tale of two cities divided by the Danube—Buda and Pest. In Buda, historic castles stood as silent storytellers while Pest buzzed with vibrant life, its streets alive with cafes, markets, and the pulse of city life.

The city’s soul, however, lay in its thermal baths— a magical oasis where relaxation danced with history. As the sun dipped below the horizon, Budapest’s nightlife emerged from the shadows. Ruin bars, vibrant and eclectic, breathed life into the city after dark. And, oh, wandering through Pest’s streets felt like a stroll down South Mumbai—a surprising twinning of architectural vibes! But walking down the bridge brought a sudden awareness—my feet were quietly protesting (I have developed a heal spur with all the walking and it was painful), despite the indulgence in spa-ing, partying, and even spartying. It dawned on me: perhaps it was time to bid farewell to Budapest’s lively rhythm and head home.

Lesson learnt: No matter how enchanting the adventures, the call of home remains undeniable. Amid the grandeur of Budapest’s spas and vibrant nightlife, I realised the profound truth—there’s no place like home, and I was missing it dearly.


After some rest I headed to Munich in October. Here, coats are worn not just for the warmth, they’re a style statement. And scarves? Worn with that effortless cool. But let’s talk about the men (for a change). Munich, you’ve got a line-up of good-looking gents. And yes, there’s beer, because it’s Munich! I just missed the October Fest but the liveliness was still there. I realised, Germans have a sixth love language...and it is beer.

Now, winter surfing in the freezing ice creek is a thing. Brave souls in wetsuits catching waves in the cold. I couldn’t believe it. But they had beer to warm them up at night, I guess. It was autumn and the city was an explosion of colours. The English Garden was a runway of reds and golds.

Lesson learnt: Beer can be a love language. Since it was cold everywhere else, I headed to Rome. It’s my third time there, but the first solo visit. Cobblestone streets and fashion vibes everywhere. Well, in the heart of Rome, near the Pantheon, I had a chance encounter with a guide—an archaeologist, to be precise. He was a silver fox with tall stature, and his stories breathed life into those ancient stones. He became my Rome companion, unveiling the city’s history in a way that made it unforgettable. Now, let’s dive into the feast! Roman artichokes, truffle infused pastas, and pizzas that make you forget about diets. Calories? Mere myths in Rome. The cheese and natural wines elevated every bite and sip to pure decadence. Rome is not just a city; it’s a love affair that beckons to be embraced. Cheers to the eternal city of pleasure and passion!

Lesson learnt: You can go to Rome solo, but you’re never truly alone.