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  • Bob Tapper

Hello from Croatia!


It's not been easy for me to write this blog. And it isn't because I haven't had time. I was hoping each blog would be fun, informative, and entertaining - but to write truthfully now means that it won't always be that way.


This life change that began for me in January was always supposed to be a long journey - not measured in weeks or months, but years. I have to keep in mind that it's only just beginning.


Given all that's going on, March could be the beginning of Chapter Two. Chapter One was the opening chapter - full of new, exciting adventures. But Chapter Two has to take on a different tone - and like any good book, there are many more chapters to come.


So let's review the story so far shall we?


Chocoa Festival

It seems like a lifetime ago, but my weekend in Amsterdam in February was amazing. The city is super fun, and the Chocoa Festival was informative, chocolately, and yummy. When I wrote about this last month, I hadn't finished my video of the weekend yet, so here it is:

Budapest

I loved taking short train trips while in Vienna. The train station is really efficient, and you can catch a train to most anywhere in Europe. To me, train travel is beautifully slow and peaceful.


The one thing I really wanted to do in Budapest was to visit the Szechenyi Bath, the biggest thermal bath in Budapest. Since it was only a weekend trip, I only had one full day there. And fortunately, that day was sunny and nice.

Goodbye Vienna, for now...

I had hit a wonderful stride in Vienna. I will miss these people from Body Concept Vienna. Their studio and classes were spiritual, motivating, and uplifting. I can now take part online because of the virus, but it's not quite the same. Hugs to Sizanna, Verena, Moana, and Anya...until next time!

The Trek to Zagreb

So I was supposed to have a leisurely, three day train trip from Vienna to Zagreb starting Sunday, March 15th. But the week prior, things were changing daily in terms of COVID-19. Travel restrictions were becoming more and more common. I felt like I needed to check out other travel arrangements and get to Zagreb sooner, so I booked a Friday morning airline flight.


After booking the flight, I was now forced to scramble to pack and clean my Airbnb - and say goodbye to Vienna a few days earlier than planned. It was emotional to say the least.


I got to the airport plenty early on Friday. I had a reservation, but not a ticket. This was a bit unsettling, and even more so when I found out my 10:00 a.m. flight was cancelled. The good news is that they booked me on a different flight a few hours later, and I ended up in Zagreb by 5:00 p.m. that day with no hassles at all. In fact, I wasn't even self-quarantined like most everyone on the plane was because I was from the U.S. - and at that point the U.S. was not on the list of countries that required a quarantine.


The first few days in Zagreb were great. Lots of activity and good vibes. The restaurants were quite full, and sidewalks were filled with tables, tents, and happy people. Then as each day passed, more and more restrictions took place. The restaurants closed. The buses and trams stopped. And then the earthquake shook us...the most powerful one to hit Zagred in 140 years!


LEFT: March 15, 2020 RIGHT: March 22, 2020

Finally...

Life at this point is nothing like I expected. It's mind blowing to me to think of how wonderfully different my life was a month ago in Vienna compared to today in Zagreb. COVID-19 virus has now impacted me - and I survived the most horrific earthquake in my entire life here in Zagreb. The aftershocks continue even as I've written this.


But life right now is not what anyone expected. One thing I know is that everyone's life has been uprooted and affected, so I know I'm not alone.


COVID-19 and earthquakes are hard enough to deal with, but what's been especially tough for me is forging new friendships and connections with people here in Croatia. In Vienna (and prior to the virus lockdowns) I could meet new people and have meaningful interactions through the gym and yoga studio, my co-working space, and Meetups like my improv class.


Right now, I have none of that. Thankfully we have the internet and technology to help us stay connected, and that certainly is comforting. Isolation and lockdowns suck.


But, I am going to continue. I meditate every morning, go outside and walk twice a day (10,000+ steps!), take online exercise classes, eat well, and wash my hands often.


Years down the road when we ask others "where were you during COVID-19?", I'll have my story. Not knowing how long I'll be here and what lies ahead in the upcoming weeks and months is hard, but I'm learning a lot about what it means to surrender.


I am very blessed to be on this journey in my life, and many others have not been so fortunate. They have lost friends or family, or their jobs to COVID-19. That is truly sad and they need our prayers. I have to keep in mind that planes, trains, and buses will run again. Hotels will re-open. And travel will continue. In the meantime, I remain grateful. Croatia's approach to the virus makes me feel safe. Everyone seems calm and rational. We will come out of this.


I'm supposed to be going the London on June 1st. I'm just taking it one day at a time.


Thanks for following along! Stay safe and healthy everyone!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Updated: Mar 3


Hello from Vienna!


Vienna can be cold and dreary in February, but there is so much to do! There are the balls such as Johann Strauss Ball, and Opernball - if only I knew how to dance:) And then there is the ice skating (which I do know how to do), in front of Rauthaus City Hall. The rink has winding paths through the park and it consists of two levels connected by a ramp. This was a super fun Sunday and I didn't fall once!

The one surprising thing I discovered about Vienna is that it's located in a wind tunnel due to where it sits in relation to the Alps. How could I have not known this?? Of all the researching I did on Vienna, I'm really surprised I just found this out. I do feel like I'm adjusting to the colder weather, but I know now that the continual wind (even so slight) is making even mild days feel colder!


Talent Garden

Joining the Talent Garden (a coworking campus for freelancers, innovators, startups, and others) is something I probably should have done on my first day here. Working from my apartment was fine, but being in a creative environment like the Talent Garden makes all the difference in the world. It also provides some structure in my life. My typical day starts with the gym later in the morning, then heading over to TAG. Here I work on my social media, videos, and my blog. I also try to reach out and meet others here - which is expected. Networking is what it's all about. I find the people to be friendly, creative, and smart. It's the perfect environment for me!

Improv

Finding the English Improv Community group in Vienna has made me some friends, and also given me continual laughs! I found the group through MeetUp, and the weekly sessions have been so much fun. It also gives me the opportunity to converse in English, which is something that becomes really needed if living here for a while. Here is a picture of our group - well, part of it anyway since my arm wasn't long enough:) At the end of every session, we form a circle and join thumbs to make an imaginary basket. We take turns throwing our favorite moments from the evening into the "basket." It's quite a nice way to feel connected and end the evening. Of course, the evenings really end with drinks at a nearby pub:)

Film School Vienna

It was so much fun to participate in a Meisner training session through Film School Vienna this month. The Meisner method trains actors to be "in the moment"and always stay truthfully in relationship with their partners. The session ran for six hours, with 10 of us participating. I learned so much, sharpened some skills, and met some wonderful people. It was truly an experience I'll never forget - and I hope to be back to take more intensive classes.

Graz

The third city I visited outside of Vienna was Graz. It's about a 2 1/2 hour (very beautiful) train ride, and this trip was especially nice. It was pretty cold in Bratislava, and the city is older and more traditional. I loved Brno for the hip, young vibe in City Centre. But Graz (oh my gosh), has the traditional culture and youthful vibe, but also really good "foodie" food and a more pleasant climate. Graz gets some of the warmer Mediterranean winds - and it really made a difference in my experience because the sun was out all weekend! Check out the video below!

Amsterdam

I've been to Amsterdam before, and it felt really good to be back. I had so much fun the first time, I was certain the second time would be just as fun. And who couldn't have fun eating lots of chocolate! The Chocoa Chocolade Festival (https://chocoafestival.nl/en/) was a blast! The Cocoa Drink Awards were the absolute best, since you got to taste soooo much hot chocolate:) I'll share a video next month.

And finally...

I feel like this is the month I've really settled in. Working out in the gym in the mornings, hanging out at the Talent Garden in the afternoon, and evenings spent at yoga, pilates, gong sound baths, or participating in acting/improv classes make me feel productive. Doing some traveling, sight seeing, and ice skating made me feel blessed and grateful to be on this journey. In March, changes are in store...more people to meet...and the life adventure continues.


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Updated: Feb 11


Hello from Vienna!


After a month or so of a major life shift and change, I'm finally settled in Vienna for a few months! The first night was a chilly 28 degrees (F) as I strolled through Stephanplatz - a very popular square in the center of Vienna. Although it is full of history and gorgeous architecture, it's kind of like the Beverly Hills of Vienna, with upscale stores and shops. The holiday decorations were still up, and it was magical to say the least. I'm still wrapping my head around the concept of this being a way of life for me, and not just a short vacation.


Stephansplatz, Vienna

Speaking of the cold...

Stephansplatz is so beautiful. However, this California kid is definitely not used to the cold temperatures - day after day. Vienna averages only 70 hours of sun throughout the entire month of January - and only two full days of sun with no clouds! It is winter, and I was well aware of that. But I'm just not used to getting bundled up in my winter jacket every time I step out. This has probably been my hardest adjustment. But...spring is just around the corner, isn't it?


Health & Fitness

One of the first things I wanted to do when I got here was to get into a fitness routine. First, I want to stay healthy and fit - and second, it provides for some groundedness in my life. Fitness is something I know, so it's a comfort zone for me. Searching the internet, I came across Body Concept Vienna located in Stephansplatz. I love this place! The instructors are super nice, and speak and teach classes in English. They have been really good to me and made me feel welcome from the very first class I took. So happy to have found them! I also added weight training to my routine, and happy to have found John Harris Fitness here in Vienna!

My Favorite Thing

It seems like wherever you go, all you see are baked goods. Oh, it is so tempting to taste every baked good that I see! Would you have the willpower to not indulge?? This is why I need the fitness classes!

My Apartment

Staying at Airbnb's will be my home here in Europe, and I couldn't be happier with my little studio apartment! It's small, but modern, bright, and clean. It's also 5 minutes from a metro station that quickly get me anywhere in the city. Here's where I sit and do my work!

Vienna Coffee Festival

This was a really fun event! It was billed as "The World's Coolest Coffee Event!" and it certainly was. I couldn't sleep most of the weekend after all that caffeine! Click here to see my highlights of the event!

Day Trip to Bratislava

My first day trip was to Bratislava, Slovakia. It's only a one hour train ride, but you really feel like you're away from Vienna and in a different country. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is its largest city. Though it was a bit cold, it had just snowed and was really pretty. The best thing about January is that it is definitely not tourist season, so you can walk freely and dine at most any establishment without a wait or crowds. Click here to see my video of the day!

Weekend Trip to Brno

Finally, I took another day trip (well, this was actually a weekend trip) to Brno. It's only a couple hours away, but I decided to take the weekend and just go and explore. Bnro is in the Czech Republic and has a population of about 500,000. It has a younger, hip vibe due to the many universities there. On Saturday night, I stopped into a karoke bar! I didn't sing myself, but most everyone sang together for many of the songs. This was a room full of people from many different countries, yet we all knew the words to classic songs by Queen and ABBA! It was great fun! Click here to see my video of the weekend!

Professional News

There are two words to describe my goals for this year: Fun and Creativity. And there are two things that are fun and creative for me, and that is screen acting and voice over work. My focus at the moment is to build my social media presence, so if you haven't followed me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, please do so!


ACTING: I have my first screen acting scene completed! Thanks to Philip Orazio (@philiporazio) for the great direction and production skills. Also a big thanks to the very talented Cora Wilson for being such a great scene partner. Click here to watch!


VOICEOVER: If you haven't heard my voiceover demo yet, just click here! Big thanks to my voiceover coach, demo producer, business mentor, and friend - Anne Ganguzza!


Overall, it's been a really good month. I've gotten settled into my apartment, joined classes, meet some really nice people, and traveled the area a bit. I'm looking to more of the same next month, with travels to Budapest and Amsterdam (Chocolate Festival...yay!)


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275