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

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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

Christmas All Around

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Hello friends and family!

I know I know, I haven´t updated this blog in sooo long. My bad, my bad. Well you see, cramming for five final exams that take place within five consecutive weeks does occupy a rather large amount of my daylight hours (thankfully I have more of those here than I would back home. When does the sun set in Sweden nowadays? Three o´clock? 😉 ) Instead I live for the night, where I don´t usually bring my camera.

Having said that, there has been some lunches on the beach and co-studying at one of the many delicious cafés here in Barcelona ( and yes I do feel knowledgeable enough on the subject matter to write a guide – keep an eye out on http://www.inspirnation.com !) However, few things can beat dancing until your feet bleed to gorgeous Rock and Roll in a converted theater with a hundred drunken Barcelonians.

When it comes to the Special Christmas Feeling the snowy North so eloquently bestow  upon me every year around this time, I certainly did not expect to find it among the orange trees of my street here. Boy was I in for a surprise. Along came the Christmas lights and the market and suddenly it makes perfect sense to celebrate the first of Advent tonight. I will be introducing Swedish Glögg (mulled wine) and pepparkakor (ginger cookies)  to my dear Mediterranean roomies. This could be interesting!

Hugs and cheerio xx

 

 

A Walk in the Parc

Hello friends and family!

Those of you who have been to Barcelona know that there are some big mountains just behind the city.  They´re a part of Parc de Collserola and it´s where I chose to spend my dia libre with two friends, hiking here and there and everywhere while on our way to Laberint d´Horta. We didn´t have a map which just made it all that much more exciting!

The Spanish sun was hot as a summer´s day in Sweden and we walked in our t-shirts wishing we were wearing shorts. I´m writing this sentence in mid-November and I can´t believe my luck. The weeks pass by and yet the temperature rarely goes below 20 degrees during the day. The winds are slightly colder and of course in the evening the temperature drops so that we also get to experience the coziness of autumn. But during the days, the blissful days, we still walk around in blouses and shirts and have our drinks on the outside terazza.

After walking for nearly five hours Stina, Sara and I finally reached Laberint d´Horta only to find it was closed for maintenance. As the good girls we are we obviously obeyed and stayed behind the fence…. or? 😉

Hugs and cheerio xx

Miriam was here!

Hello friends and family!

Miriam came to visit me here in Barcelona! We met in New Zealand about one and a half years ago, became friends within three weeks, hitchhiked across the country and then had to say goodbye as I was heading north to go home. A few months later I went to visit her in Germany and now finally, a year later, she could visit me. I don´t know what´s with this girl but we always end up on these crazy adventures!

Of course I took her to my favorite place here in Barcelona, the Bunkers, but we somehow managed to climb the wrong mountain on the way (me in high heels!) We also went to Parc de la Ciutadella, Sagrada Familia,  the beautiful palace museum on Montjuic and around the old quarters. We had a crazy night out playing pool and hanging out with some…uhm.. very Kiwish New Zealanders (man, I thought I had gotten used to their ways after a year there…apparently not!) and then I got food poisoning and had to lie in bed half the day (never eating Kebab in Spain ever again!) but we still had time to enjoy a sunny afternoon by the Harbor where Miriam got pooped on by a passing seagull. Funniest three days I a long time 😀

Hugs and cheerio xx