Those who have ever applied for any position with the UN know about the infamous P-11 also known as Personal History Profile. Personally I see it as the first challenge of the whole application process, kind of like a red flag from HR people: if you’re dedicated enough to fill out this massive, clumsy and totally-not-UI-friendly online profile, then we guess you’re worthy of our consideration. 

Well, I’m happy to share that last week I completed the whole things for the first time in maybe 2-3 years of regular, yet failed attempts and today I sent off my first complete (internship) application through Inspira (UN job application system). I feel like this is a big accomplishment in and of itself, because honestly, the process of filling out that online application is pretty gruesome. 

Here’s to battling bureaucracy like a champ!

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It’s incredible how many people remain fairly ignorant about booking flights online in this day and age. 

Booking websites and aviation companies will do anything to get your money. And to escape their persistent price-changing tactics, you have to know how to navigate around, over and under the radar.

Real-life example: I was booking a flight to Geneva last week.

I looked up flights on Wednesday, when we were booking my bf’s flight out of Moscow, so we could coordinate our departure time and airports. The cheapest flight to Geneva was $191 one-way, one-layover flight with Belavia (Belarus). 

Great, I thought, I can do $191, that’s not bad at all!

I came back the next day to check again - now Kayak was positively claiming that the cheapest flight available (for the same time, route and company) would cost me $258. That’s a $67 price hike in less than 24 hours. I don’t make nearly enough in my freelance contracts to agree to that. Thanks, but no thanks.

Several things you can try if you find yourself in a similar situation:

  • Open new search in an incognito window
  • Open new search in a different browser
  • If on Kayak or similar website, try changing the website’s country setting (I went back and forth between US, UK and Russia until I found the price I was cool with paying)

I ended up booking a ticket (for the same initial flight) for $188.

Note: that’s even a few bucks cheaper than the initial price I found. I also booked on Saturday evening (the best days to book and fly are Tuesday and Wednesday), and I booked one-way (return flights are cheaper).

Basically, be smart about how you book your flights and don’t let the corporations take advantage of you!

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I love love love having a large and ever-growing network of friends and friends-of-friends around the world! The thought of always having a couch to sleep on in different cities across several continents is rather comforting. 

August will be a big travel month once again this year. Moscow > Vlg > Msk > Geneva in a span of roughly two weeks. Just the way I like it though And then, finally… grad school!! I must admit, I’ve been totally nerding out making a preliminary schedule for the next semester and all. Basically, think “Hermione Granger accepted to Hogwarts” kind of excited.

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