So dear friends and family and random folks. I have decided to try my hand at blogging again. Hopefully I´ll manage to get a new camera soon so I can start filling this blog with pretty pictures to go with the interesting (or so I hope!) texts.
To start off I have decided to compile a TOP TEN list of the best things I did as a 21-year-old. Why so, you might ask? Well, 90 minutes ago, to be exact, I turned 22. So, to know how much awesomer I must be this year to beat the last twelve months, let´s have a wee trip down memory lane.
1. SKYDIVING Lake Taupo, New Zealand
Very cliché, I know. During my travels I have met so many who have taken the plunge and absolutely loved/hated it or not found it so very special in the end. For me it somewhat altered my perception of myself. I have ALWAYS wanted to do it but always known deep inside that I would never, ever manage it. It was the most terrifying thing I ever did. It was an out of body experience. There is basically nothing I fear more than falling. For some reason I couldn´t stop singing Agnes´ “release me” during the plane ride up to 12,000 feet. Getting in to the mind set maybe? Haha. The first thing I thought as we jumped out of the airplane was “Fuck Malin and Jennika, you DO feel like your falling!!!” And then I was floating at 200km/ph over Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings and I didn´t think at all.
2. Paragliding off a cliff in Queenstown, New Zealand
Yet again an extreme sport. But as I have never been someone who does crazy stuff like that without being paralyzed by fear I had to mention it. Not only because of the g-force awesomeness or the sweet as views over New Zealand´s adventure Mecca but because despite everything, I wasn´t scared at all. I was excited. Me, excited at the prospect of flinging myself off a cliff! It was truly one of those moments when I realized that something fundamental in me had started to change.
3. Living in a National Park in New Zealand
Breathtaking mountain scenery, with rainforests, glaciers and funny parrots just outside my door. It was like having my own private playground of wilderness wonders. Sure, work could be hard whatwith serving people from all over the world with varying or non-existent English skills. But there was also beauty in the challenge to adapt.
4. All the coffee breaks and brunches and fika.
Believe me, there have been so many. I truly miss the Kiwi´s barista skills, they make flat whites better than anywhere else. It´s art. It´s love. Nothing beats Swedish and Norwegian pastries though. There´s been some of that too, let me tell you. When it comes to brunch however, I will always remember a rainy day in Queenstown with my girls and our American friend, eating our way til dinner time. We set the world record, of that I´m pretty sure.
5. All the wonderful friends from all over the world
There are so many I miss. Backpacking brings you together like nothing else, whether it is for a day or a month. You share these awesome moments that both of you will remember for the rest of your lives. And then you say goodbye, perhaps to never see each other again. Sometimes that´s alright. Sometimes you can cherish the fact that you were allowed to be a part of their lives, even just for this tiny moment, and share this experience with them. And other times… well, you miss them desperately. You know the solution. Just travel the world to see them all!
6. All the spontaneous trips and unexpected side trips
Big or small, they were mostly awesome. Like getting a free ticket to Stuart Island five minutes before the ferry left and deciding to join on the bumpiest boat ride of my life before cramming six people of five different nationalities into a tiny car and driving around a rainy island in search of a flightless bird. Or finding out as we got on to the bus in Auckland that, no, we were not going to reach our destination tonight. In fact we were going to spend hours crawling through the caves of Waitomo and have dinner with a Maori family first. THREE days later we arrived in smelly Rotorua.
7. Swimming with wild Dolphins in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Is one of the most magical experiences I have ever had. It was a pack of around three hundred and they all chose to play with us for over an hour, inventing the funniest games I´ve ever played. The excitement, the joy of these animals… WOW
8. Seeing my family again for the first time in 10 months.
And almost giving mum a heart attack while at it. She had no idea I was coming home. I don´t think I´ve ever seen her that chocked. Later she told me she had thought I was a projection of sorts. Poor mummy. It was an awesome feeling seeing them all again ❤ Actually my best friend Louise had done the same, leaving Washington DC months before she was supposed to and hadn´t told anyone, including myself. We ran in to each other on a beach an hour away from our hometown, among thousands of people and just screamed. It was the randomest reunion ever!
9. Backpacking between friends in Germany
I met a crazy amount of Germans in New Zealand. Some of them turned out to be pretty awesome. So a month after I returned from NZ I flew down to Germany and traversed the entire country and even went over to Austria for lunch. It was a month of cosy cities, summer fest with dirndl and lederhosen, beautiful alpes and lots of beer and bratwurst. And great friends ❤ I like Germany.
10. Moving to the coziest apartment in Norway with my girls
It really is the coziest apartment, in an old style house right on the market street where all the antique bookshops and vintage shops are. In a village that celebrated 1000 years of existence about 200 years ago, a village that was around at the very dawn of the Viking era. Yes the history nerd in me is swooning.
Wow, this was a long entry. Your the best if you managed it til the very end!
I really have to get some beauty sleep so I´ll be fit for fight tomorrow. We´re going out for dinner, yummi yummie!
Hugs and cheerio xx