La familia in Hawai’i

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Aloha friends and family!

My family came to visit me in Hawai’i! Isn´t that crazy? My mamma is a real globetrotter these days, having gone to visit me in England, Norway and Spain before this trip. As always they are a great excuse to go proper touristing, visiting all the must-see sights from the guide books.

We started off the first day lounging on Waikiki Beach and leasurely strolling along Kalakaua Avenue, allowing them to overcome the worst jetlag after two days straight of traveling. In the evening we devoured Korean street tacos at Duke’s in the flickering light of Polynesian fires, listening to the waves of the Pacific Ocean lap against the shoreline.  It felt like the perfect start of their adventure. Sunday we went up to North Shore with Adam, watching the surfers challenge themselves on monster waves by Sunset Beach before snorkeling among colorful fishes and corals in Shark´s Bay. The garlic shrimp in Hale’iwa turned out to be one of the best food experiences of the entire trip. YUM!

The entire following week was as intense as it was fun, balancing midterm exams and fun adventures. We went to visit beautiful Hanauma Bay and were lucky enough to swim with a cute little turtle who ignored us as he munched on the corals. We found fun Tiki bars in Waikiki and went hiking up to Manoa falls, passing through gorgeous rainforest along the way. I showed them around my beautiful campus (Voted the best Green Campus in the US!) and brought them to my favorite lunch place, Da Spot. Bishop Museum featuring a large Polynesian collection allowed us to wander about for hours learning about the history of these fascinating islands. We also went to explore China Town, having our first (very successful!) encounter with Korean food and checked out Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the US. I was also ridiculusly starstruck outside the Hawai’i 5-0 headquarters as you can tell from the photo. Mamma on the other hand was attacked by a parrot and had a coconut dropped on her head.

The second weekend brought us to Makapu’u Lighthouse trail offering us wonderful views of Molkai and Maui as well as funny birds on the way to the top. The following day we dumped mamma and Tomas on Kailua beach to go hiking the beautiful Lanikai pillboxes. Little did we know however that that very day Tomas proposed to my mum on the beach after more than a decade together! I gotta say Hawai’i is a pretty darn romantic place to get engaged!

We also went to Pearl Harbor to see the Arizona memorial. The winds were unfortunately too strong to allow us to dock but we rode the boat around it and the other ships sunken during the japanese surprise attack, as well as a functioning battle ship anchored in the bay. My favorite part however was the museum, filled with personal recounts from both sides of the war. It was saddening but interesting to see what the war was like outside of Europe.

The last day I finally showed them my favorite snorkeling spot; Electric beach. We got to see a seal as well as a turtle play in the waters close to the beach! It also meant that they had now visited all four sides of the island. Talk about an eventful couple of weeks! After a quiet dinner we said our goodbyes. It wasn´t too bad, I´ll see them again in two months time for Christmas (iiih). Now I just have to deep-dive into my school books again to make up for skipping school to hang with my parents haha… wish me luck!

Hugs and cheerio! xx

 

 

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Electric Beaches and Majestic Mountains

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Aloha friends and family!

Before I embark on yet another weekend in paradise I figured I should share a few tidbits from the last one. Like always here the arrival of the weekend means that I finally get to escape from my school books and go on adventures. This weekend started off with some delicious poke on the beach at sunset and a funny house party where I excelled in beer pong and lost my cupcake t-shirt to someone who pulled it off even better than I did.

Saturdays are beachdays and this one was no exception. However first we decided to have a look at the floral parade that makes it way across Waikiki from Ala Moana every year with marching bands and ukelele players and miss Hawai’i contestants. It was charming but nowhere near as impressive as the coral reefs of Electric Beach. Sadly there were no dolphins there this weekend but we amused ourselves with some underwater photography ( some people being slightly more graceful than others!) and a hundred colorful fishies. The day ended under the stars on Waikiki beach with wine, music and late night swims.

Sundays are hike days and when I finally woke up, slightly hungover as always as it is very easy to be dehydrated here, I admit I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed. But the allure of the magical mountains of Hawai’i made me get out of bed to carpe diem and all that jazz. I gotta say I´m really glad I did. There were blue skies and sunshine, dark clouds and rain and over it all was a slight hue of vog, volcanic fog from the Big Island. It gave everything a mythical touch as we climbed up towards the pillboxes of Lanikai.

I also ended up having the most epic of foodgasms at Ono steaks and shrimp schack, devouring my fresh mango fish tacos and garlic fries. It was hands down one of the top 5 food experiences of my life! SOOOO GOOD!

Lastly as many of you already know, today is the day! MY FAMILY IS COMING TO VISIT ME IN HAWAI’I!! I´m truly looking forward to showing them around this beautiful island. ❤

Hugs and cheerio xx

North Shore Weekend

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Aloha friends and family!

Time moves much too quickly here. Before I know it yet another week has passed at the speed of sound and I find myself dragging my sleep deprived body to uni while force feeding it with starbucks coffee. What a weekend though! Friday night was spent making the most delicious nutella mudcake while enjoying a glass of wine and a highly interesting documentary as well an impromptu living room theatre performance session. We are classy people.

Saturday we got up super early and took the bus all the way to Hale´iwa in North Shore and feasted on veggie sandwiches before cramming ourselves into a van that took us to a secret spot on a beach somewhere to set up camp. Turtles came to swim with us among the corals as we snorkled and afterwards we slept in the sun, exhausted from the strong currents in the ocean. While some engaged in a brief but intense appriciation of the local fauna others played volleyball and took long walks on a nearly deserted beach.  A beautiful sunset became the backdrop to our BBQ and the brilliant night sky offered a spectacular show of shooting stars, echoed occasionally in the bioluminiscence of the ocean. A bonfire, a ukulele perfomance and a crazy amount of marshmallows later we all fell asleep to the sound of waves gently lapping against the shore.

I returned home exhausted, dehydrated and full of scrapes from crashing into the corals. I couldn´t be happier.

Hugs and cheerio! xx

 

A month in Hawai’i

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Aloha friends and family!

How does one even begin to attempt to describe what living in Hawai’i for a month is like? It has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. Looking back at my first week I realize that perhaps in some ways I had not fully comprehended that the move was actually happening, that somehow I had managed to get through all the obstacles (like the lovely visa process and missing my connecting flight in San Francisco) and landed myself at a hostel in Honolulu. The first day I jetlagedly ran through heavy rain to university, was bitten by an unknown insect and turned into a popsicle at my first meeting due to the crazy Hawaiian AC usage. The university refused to accept my government issued health insurance, wanted me to take a five hour English test as my Cambridge Advanced Exam certificate wasn´t good enough and finding housing that would accept someone for only one semester under €1000/month was proving to be nearly impossible. Good thing I had Michael, the only other Swede here, to bitch about these things with or I might have felt inclined to give up right there and then.

Things got a helluva lot better during the weekend as I was welcomed with open arms by my couchsurfing host Cass and her flat mate Justin. We prepartied with Cass´ friends in a high-rise with a sweet as view over downtown and then danced the night away in Chinatown, went to my now-favorite beach here, Makapu´u, and drove up to North Shore for my first taste of proper Hawaiian food and shave ice in Hale´iwa and tried snorkeling at Sharks bay. Despite a mini-heatstroke I finally felt that all the hard work was worth it. I was living the dream in Hawai’i.

The following week I moved in to my new apartment, conveniently located half way between campus and Waikiki beach. I wish I could thank the German exchange student who slipped me a note with my landlord´s e-mail address just as she was about to move out of the hostel. I now have a cozy corner room with plenty of airflow (important in Hawai’i when you don´t have AC!) and a nice view all the way to Diamond Head crater. The apartment is shared with three other girls; an Italian exchange student, a Korean language student and an American Navy girl. School also started that week and after arranging and rearranging my schedule more times than I can count I finally ended up taking five courses; Environmental Anthropology, Intro to South/south east Asian Studies, African History, Hawaiian Ethnic Studies and Principles of Sustainability. While it is a lot to take on all at once (back in Sweden we study one course at a time) I also feel like I am learning so much and gaining a better understanding of the interconnectedness of the world we live in.

As you might be able to tell from the 80+ photos I have also made a lot of friends, all who coincidentally happen to be wonderful models for when my photography need become too great. I truly feel grateful to have met people who treasures going on adventures, swimming, hiking, snorkeling, beaching, eating, creating, exploring and simply having a good massage and mudcake in front of a movie just as much as I do. All of the highlights of this month have included them, be it climbing mountains, swimming with turtles and colorful fishes, having an insane amount of good food or watching breathtaking sunsets on the beach.

I have so much to look forward to. My family is coming to visit me, as is my sistah from a skånish mistah Sara. With a bit of luck I will make it over to Maui, Kauai and Big Island, although to be honest my to-do list for Oahu could keep me occupied well into next year.

So this is it. I have actually done it friends. I´ve officially moved to my 6th country! Thank you so so much to all of you wonderful people who have supported me through the past five years of crazy awesomeness. Thank you for helping me live my dream year after year ❤ I will try and keep this blog updated as much as I can!

Mahalo for reading the longest blog post ever written haha. Hugs and cheerio xx

Amsterdam

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Hello friends and family!

Amsterdam was so much fun!! It´s incredible how much one can experience in a few days! We went to University of Amsterdam which is located in the city center with a beautiful view over one of the many canals. Or well, one part of it. The place is huge! I´m definitely considering doing my masters here and I´m pretty sure I´d be joined by both Siw and Rie if I did 😀 A year in Amsterdam…

We also had drinks by a canal in 28 degrees at night, listened to Ásgeir sing in gorgeous Icelandic, went dancing at Siw´s favorite Aussie bar, had a seriously delicious meal at an Ethiopian restaurant, wandered around the beautiful old houses, feasted on Dutch Apple Cake and hung out in the sun in Vondelpark. Not to mention the shopping, English bookshop time and coffee! Most importantly I got to spend time exploring a wonderful town with my favorite gals from Lund University ❤

Hugs and cheerio xx

Copenhagen weekendfun

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Hello friends and family!

It feels new, to blog like this again. To try to remember to write every once in a while. It is probably a good thing I started this early so that by the time I arrive in Hawai‘i I will be well versed in the craft once again.

I had a gorgeous weekend in Copenhagen last week. I went with Siw to Greenpeace’s office  to do an organisational analysis which was very interesting (and forced me to do a crash course in Danish!) . I do admire their work even though I don’t always condone their methods. In the evening we had beers at a street festival where luckily one of the girls was Norwegian so I could relax a bit language-wise and pretend we were SKAM characters 😆

The next afternoon was spent walking around the most beautiful area of Copenhagen: Christianshavn 😍  The sun was out and we decided to go for beers at my favorite food market Pairøen. I got my first real summervibes! We were supposed to go out in the evening but we ended up having (lots ) of wine at Siw’s place instead with her cousin and Rie and it was so hyggeligt ❤

Hugs and cheerio xx

Back to Blogging!

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Hello friends and family!

By popular demand I have decided to start blogging again. If everything goes well I´ll be doing this from Honolulu, Hawai’i in a couple of months! I´m equal part excited and nervous. Not for the move itself really, those of you who know me well know this is not my first move to the other side of the world. In fact, the U.S will be the 6th country I call home. Pretty crazy ey? But whereas moving to Norway, Spain and the UK meant that I only had to show up shortly before school/work started to find a place to stay I now have to go through a lenghty and difficult process to obtain a visa. Hey, moving to work in New Zealand for a year only required filling in an online form! I know it´ll work out eventually, I guess I´m just scared I´ll miss something vital that makes the move impossible…. Haha promise I´m done venting my insecurities for the day! 😛

Sooo instead I wanted to show you what I was up to the past weekend. Finally, finally, spring has shown its gorgeous face and I couldn´t be happier! I´d forgotten how horrid 7 months of damp, cold windiness could be. But I had also forgotten how incredible it is to experience a Scandinavian spring after all that dreariness. WOW. My first full year in Sweden since 2011 and I´m actually really grateful I got to experience it. Just look at the photos above! Four days, three different National Parks ain´t bad. I needed time in nature. Craved it. It´s medicine for the soul. I´m also very lucky to have friends who can appreciate it just as much as I do.

Hugs and cheerio xx