Posts Tagged ‘Appreciation’
I should sleep. I can’t remember when I last slept more than five hours a night.
But I just have to share some pictures from today.
My third May 17th in Norway. Norway’s Constitution Day.
This year I celebrated with my two new roomies and some of their friends, with bubbly for breakfast…
before I spent the last couple of hours of the day at work, which is always exciting on this day.
Looking back, a lot is the same from when I first arrived Oslo, May 2011, but at the same time so much has changed.
Guess we need these check points to see where’ve been…
and where we’re going.
I know I may be the only one smiling,
as the snowflakes whirl down on the streets of Stockholm.
Other Swedes can’t wait for winter to be over!
But I have missed this.
Sometimes I just want to slap you hard!
He said with a smile before he leant down and kissed me.
I was complaining about being emotionally stressed out, showing my friend around the beaches and bars of Cape Town, feeling the pressure to show her a good time while battling my own need to just sit and write all day.
What a spoilt kid I am!
But this is what I do, whether I am on vacation or working 50 hours a week.
I try to put words to my experiences and my feelings.
I write, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Especially when it doesn’t make sense.
My life doesn’t make sense unless I write!
And the events of the last weeks are piling up like unfinished pages inside of me…
Taking taxis. Sometimes in different directions. To the comfort of his arms.
The loss of an old friend. The lack of words. The unspoken.
I will have plenty of time to write once I’m home, which is in only a few days.
Until then. Please bear with me.
And my childish ways.
This morning; a thousands migrating birds, on a straight path across the sea.
The only witnesses; me and the fishermen.
Today; a free day spent strolling the beach, chilling out in the luxurious bed at the lodge, browsing the arts and crafts shops, drinking real coffee and enjoying a garlic and ginger-grilled calamari and mussel salad.
A day of pampering up for the rocky roads ahead.
We had a group dinner yesterday as we part ways with the two German girls.After this we will be a tight group of ten, all really happy, life-loving people. In fact, one of our tour guides yesterday confessed that he had rarely come across a group that was so easy-going, so grateful and kind. So encouraging that he decided to hike up the hill in Spitzkoppe with us and sleep under the stars for the first time in the 15 years he had been there.
Made me proud.
Of who I am right now.
It is 4.30 in the morning and I should probably have packed or slept a couple of hours…
But there are too many musts in life, so instead I stay up and talk absolute nonsense to my best friend Bibi, until we laugh so hard we almost pee our pants.
I need to take a taxi in two hours for my flight to India and although I have been on the road for 2,5 months, this feels like a completely different chapter to the trip.
This is the nerve-wrecking, soul-stirring, uncomfortable and insightful part.
Everything up to here has been easy.
I have been in Bangkok for two days and again, there are a lot of should and could have´s but when my friends offered me to stay in their luxurious condo with pool, gym and library facilities, my priorities quickly changed.
I got a chance to catch up with myself and the people back home, to lounge around the apartment, listen to Spotify with a coffee in my hand, feeling at home.
Geir is Norwegian and Shannon Thai-American and they live here in Bangkok. The night I arrived they took me out for real nice sushi, drinks with their friends, shots and champagne, and we danced in a sweaty little dance club until early in the morning.
I don´t know how to thank Geir and Shannon enough. I can only promise myself that when the day comes that I have a house, someplace beautiful in the World, my door will remain open to all these people that helped me get there.
Today I met up with Mikaela, that I know from my time on Gili Islands and in Malaysia, and that I will be travelling to India with. We spent 8 hours in Bangkok´s shopping malls today, got pedicure, new shoes and sandals.
I also bought an amazing new camera that I am excited beyond words to start using tomorrow!
So that I can continue to share these beautiful moments and images with you.
(Ok, I actually MUST pack now!)
Right here, in the little hippie town of Pai, in Northern Thailand.
Right now, warm blues music infusing the cool evening air.
Me, leaning back in this open internet spot’s leather chair having just finished a delicious lime and coconut ice cream.
And the band plays my favourite song; Little Wing.
Does it get any better than this?
My dad, saying that if only he was a little mosquito stuck to my backpack, he would love to go all the places I was going.
I promised I wouldn’t spray any repellent on him.
- Oh, it would take a lot more than that for me to let you go, he replied.
The sound of my grandmother’s laugh through the computer speakers, reading my mother’s beautiful e-mails, missing my best friends and knowing that they miss me too.
An interesting encounter with a zen writer and healer has had me thinking, and I can’t seem to want to make any decisions about the next couple of days, although I know with ever dawn, my flight out of Asia is approaching.
I really just want to enjoy these moments.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and even greater love.
Im on the train from Hudiksvall to Stockholm. A route I’ve taken a thousand times.
But with me I’ve got flight tickets to Indonesia, South East Asia and India, trips I’m taking for the first time.
The train is fast and quiet. Outside the grey autumn sky meets green fields and yellow tinted trees. Fall is definitely here. I’m on my way toward 6 months of summer.
Friends and family wish me a good trip and tell me how envious they are of my travels…me, I’m trying to remember why I should leave.
I’ve been too tired to express my gratitude over the last couple of weeks.
But believe me when I say I feel utterly happy and loved.
Showing my family around Oslo was wonderful and Saturday night we had an amazing dinner with my two room mates Charlotte and Maria at Restaurant Fjord which is just next door to Hotel Savoy and therefore good friends of mine. Don’t know if I’ve ever had a 4,5 hours dinner before but we got at least 6 dishes, 5 different glasses of wine, 2 desserts, coffee, delicious macaroons and a constant refill on the champagne. And lots of hugs before we left. There is even a picture of my mom holding a scribbled note with a heart and the restaurant manager’s telephone number, just for fun. We ended the night with a drink at the tallest building’s Sky Bar.
Obviously I took pictures of every dish and some great ones from the day we spent sightseeing, but I just realized now I put them in another computer with the ambition to blog before I left mom’s. Now it turns out I prioritized hanging out with friends, rounds at the pub, biking, visiting grandma and late evening Skype calls with Cape Town.
I found this picture of the sign I gave to mom to thank her for her open heart and doors. It hangs in her kitchen now: “Mom’s Hotel – Always Open” I also gave my brother a pillow with the text: “Happiness is having what you want – and wanting what you have” He smiled a little over my fascination with quotes and deep wonders – my brother is one of those people that just lives and spreads joy naturally, he doesn’t need to be told what happiness is.
I was also grateful because on the way back from Oslo we stopped by my dad’s house where my other grandmother and her husband also lives. Dad had made a big effort and prepared a three course dinner with wine, so again, a lot of eating and lots of photographs that I’m not able to show you.
Just believe me when I say, that the photos are beautiful, but reality is better.
I WILL blog before I go, but first awaits three days in Stockholm and more time with loved ones.
What stories will you tell your grandchildren?
What memories will you look back upon?
I know I will have a few, and that I just added a new.
It’s a story about a woman to woman conversation, a very ordinary meeting that got an interesting turn. Was it the use of words? The frankness, the instant trust?
It wasn’t the fact that she told me she was here to see Pearl Jam, that she was meeting up with her other friends from all over the World, that they shared a very special bond and had toured across countries together for years.
No, it was the way she invited me in. Naturally, fearlessly.
- Come with us! I’ll get you a ticket!
I wasn’t doubtful but I had to give it a few minutes, before I decided. After all, there are some rules and regulations as to what I’m allowed to do in my professional role.
I said yes.
To one of the best 24hrs of my life.
From meeting these wonderful Portugese-Brazilian-Guatemalian-Spanish-American-people early in the morning, sharing numerous beers, making interesting conversations and friendship for life, to standing FRONT ROW watching Pearl Jam with people that knew every single lyric, the standing ovation and the love that filled the room when Eddie Vedder and the rest of the band played Neil Young’s Rocking In The Free World.
At the show in Stockholm the night before, where lots of my friends had been, Eddie spoke a bit in Swedish:
- I can’t believe it’s been 12 years! Why haven’t you called?
At the show in Oslo, the mood was a little different. Eddie apologized for a sore throat and shared the sad news that, at 4 a.m in the morning he had received a call, and learnt that a good friend had passed away.
- If you’ve got someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while, and that you miss, don’t wait, he said. You never know when it will be too late.
We toasted that night to new friendships, and too old.
My new found friends offered me the ticket, completely for free, and I don’t know how to ever thank them enough!
I just know that YES opens up amazing, unexpected doors.
I’m at Café Laundromat. It’s cold and raining outside but inside the café is buzzing with people’s chatter, jazz music, porcelain, coffee machine and service bells. I’m on my second cup of double mocha and I’ve almost finished all of my apple and maple syrup pancakes. This place is awesome but ridiculously expensive. Just a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is 48 kroner (thats 6 Euro or 8 USD) but somehow the friendly staff’s funny t-shirts “I don’t do laundry” and the relaxed atmosphere make up for it.
It’s the last day of Easter and people seem to have returned to the city, which was deserted for more than a week. Like a ghost town everything was shut down; offices, supermarkets, tourist informations, museums, hotels, even the newspapers went on leave.
My hotel were one of the few to keep open and I’ve been working every day. I had planned to go to a ski resort with friends but it got so terribly cold and it would get so unnecessary expensive so I cancelled and took on extra hours at work instead.
I don’t mind though. Charlotte and Maria have both been away so I’ve had some time for myself. To think. About the past year. And the year to come.
With 1st of May approaching, I’ve been here almost a year.
And I’m so glad I came.
I found out quite quickly, that his was a place where I could rest my mind and just embrace the days and the opportunities for new friendships, experiences and good times.
It has also given me an opportunity to save money, have a work-out routine and get organized. And it’s been really good for me to have a base, a home shared with two awesome people.
I laugh when Charlotte comes to my room in the morning, wearing a wig or puts on a show. Or when Maria and I walk home giggling from an after-party that ended at 7 a.m. in the morning. Or when I’ve just had a great day at work, or a beautiful run along the river.
Every night, before I close my eyes I say a silent thank you for the day. For all its moments; good or bad. The same things always come to mind: how well and safe I feel and how grateful I am.
More than anything, when I recollect the memories of the day, I think about all the wonderful people in my life and the conversations I have had (there are so many during a day!) and I feel that there is so much support and so much love.
I feel so carefree at the moment, and I am aware that this may, and will change, but believe me, I will profit on every single day that I can say this truly:
Right now, there’s no place I’d rather be than here.
Not only did I just receive these beautiful flowers from a guest for something as obvious as giving them a nice room, I bought a fancy dress today that I’ll be wearing at the exciting Nordic Choice Winter Conference in Stockholm this weekend!
Life is gooood!