Posts Tagged ‘Courage’
No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.”
I am in Zimbabwe.
It feels a little unreal. It all happened so fast.
Especially since I was sick with feverish tonsillitis up until yesterday and didn’t know whether I was going at all.
But here I am and the sun that shone bright in our faces, driving to Cape Town airport early this morning, has just set in a serenade of pink, behind the lush tree tops here in Victoria Falls.
Tomorrow morning, I am joining an overland bus tour going from the breathtaking waterfalls that join Zambia with Zimbabwe, through Botswana and the Okavango Delta, the golden Namibian desert, down the rugged west coast of South Africa, back to the comforts of Cape Town.
I don’t know any of the other people travelling with me for the next three weeks, but that just makes it more exciting.
Stay tuned for sunset pics and poetry.
Happy New Year people!!!
Sorry for the silence, I’ve been busy chilling out on Cape Town’s beautiful beaches, sipping coctails in the sunset, going on coastal road trips, admiring the breathtaking views, remembering why I love this place, dancing and drinking until early morning, making new friends, catching up with the old and smiling for no particular reason…
Other than the fact that I am living my dream and loving my life!
Again, I have so much to say and so much to share and one of these days Im gonna sit down in front of a computer and catch up with it all, but right now I need to get back to my fifteen amazing friends that are hanging out, laughing and playing in the pool in the house we got rented by the sea side.
And tonight I will toast to 2012; for all the places it took me, to 2013; for the joy of living dangerously and to life; for never ceasing to surprise me!
Go seek a love like this, if you truly live.
Or else remain the slave of time.
And whatever state you seek,
Your lips so dry, must always drink,
Drink up and up,
Till dry lipped still, you reach the source.
For all your skills here given wealth,
Your quest, your handicrafts and works,
Don’t they begin in thought,
Begin beside the river?
Jalaluddin al Balkhi Rumi
In my sleeping car to Sapa there is a 65 year old Japanese house wife, travelling by herself. She keeps a journal of food she has enjoyed and friends she has made. She is radiant like a sunrise and hopeful like the sky.
On my bus in Thailand there are two girls communicating in sign language and I want to tell them how beautiful and brave they are but all I can do is smile and accept their smiles in return.
At the youth hostel in Hanoi three drunken Australian women offers me a drink and their home addresses.
In a tribal village in North Vietnam, Lily, 18 year old, carries her first born on her back. She giggles when I tell her that I’m single at the age of 30.
A silver-haired American woman on my flight to Phnom Penh also had children when she was 18. Now she is on a mission to work with HIV-positive children in Cambodia.
In my inbox there are messages from my closest girlfriends, asking me for advice on fears and feelings and all I want to do is light their spark and blow air into the flames.
Women will depend on women and the World will depend on us.
I’m sitting in Malin’s living room, listening to the rain picking on the window pane. I’m alone as she took a train to our home town this morning.
The same town that my mother, brother and his girlfriend left this afternoon. Soon they will rush in here with luggage, loud and lively after their 8 hours road trip.
But now, it’s just me and the rain.
I need this moment to collect my thoughts.
It was my last work day today, which was strange, because even though we had a farewell gathering for me with cake, gifts and hugs, i still can’t believe I won’t set foot there for seven months.
As tired as I am after the last week’s stress and overtime, I will miss walking through the hotel door in the morning, feeling the smell of croissants from the kitchen as I have my first cup of coffee and get ready for the many encounters of the day.
I needed this time in Oslo to remember how great routines are, but now I need to remember something else.
Something that can only come from the challenges of the travels I have ahead of me; moving from place to place, feeling weary, feeling alone amongst hundreds of people but still connected, the locked-up thoughts and emotions that begin to surface.
Am I prepared? Not at all.
But Malin and I sat in this couch together yesterday and had warm scones and tea and talked for hours. And we agreed on this:
Whatever we encounter in life we find a way to deal with.
Please remind me, when I forget.
…really do come true!
This video can’t be published here, so pleeeeease YouTube THIS:
One of the best inspirational videos ever – Susan Boyle – Britains Got Talent 2009
I slept fifteen hours yesterday and still today I was a little out of sync’. Maybe I’m catching a cold, maybe I still haven’t recovered from the annual Nordic Choice Winter Conference in Stockholm last weekend.
VK isn’t your average conference. But then again, Petter A. Stordalen, owner and chairman of Choice Hotels Scandinavia, isn’t your average leader.
That he appears on stage to flashing fireworks, blasting party music and sprinkling confetti doesn’t shock the 2300 management teams and co-workers that have gathered at Hovet, next to the Globe Arena. That he holds an hour long almost religious revival speech in true Nordic Choice spirit; with energy, guts and enthusiasm is to be expected. Not even the fact that he launches a “VK on tour” – a mini conference crew in a party bus, going to the major cities in Sweden and Stockholm, surprises anyone.
Nordic Choice Hotels has a business culture that is open, progressive, engaged and personal.
And I think much of the core values and guide lines for the hotels are transmitted during VK. When Petter Stordalen highlights single co-workers out of the 10 000 staff members, speaking about their accomplishments, underlining that his fortune (of at least $1 Billion) isn’t his, but the fruit that each of the Nordic Choice Hotels bears, and expressing over and over again how proud he is of everyone, it creates a team spirit that other companies only dream of. A whole evening is set aside for awards, ranging from the hotel that has done most for the corporate social responsibility project WeCare, to the Employee of the Year.
I represented the employee from my hotel, Clarion Collection Hotel Savoy, which was a great honour and I felt very excited and fortunate that I got to join my General Manager and Hotel Manager to the event and see for myself what everyone had been talking about.
We arrived on Saturday and checked in to one of the three hotels that had been booked entirely for Nordic Choice Hotel staff. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and got into the mood of the weekend with some wine and drinks.
In my case, a lot of drinks, because I wanted to seize the opportunity to meet up with my old room mate Micke and his friend, so we went to Skrapan Sky Bar and finished off the night with quite a few drinks in the hotel bar.
The next day the conference began at Hovet, with different lecturers, talk shows and performances. The one that inspired me the most was definitely Mike Walsh CEO of the innovation research agency Tomorrow and author of the best-selling book Futuretainment.
For a fast-paced, full-on 1,5 hours he let us in on the future realization of technology and advised us that companies willing to fill in the knowledge gap with anthropologists and the ones that pay attention to the behavior of the next generation of children and consumers are the ones that will be successful, because when it comes to the future, it is a matter of change, happening today.
Here’s a good intro to Mike Walsh:
That evening there was huge party at the Clarion Hotel Sign, offering a delicious buffet, dance lessons with TV-star Tony Irving, great live acts and the best floor fillers until late. I mingled around with many of the people I know in Oslo, like my colleague Elin and room mate Charlotte and our friends from other Clarion Collection Hotels, but I also met some new, fun people.
The next day, the conference started at 8 a.m, and just like the day before it was packed with interesting information and inspiration.
The theme for this year’s conference was Face 2 Face: face to face with reality; the challenges of today, face to face with the future; cultural changes, travel patterns, future technology, and face to face with our dreams and fears.
And on the subject of the latter, professional free-skier and base-jumper Karina Hollekim, offered a very inspiring perspective on dreams. In kindergarten, when asked what her dream was, she said flying, to be able to feel free as a bird. Her teacher told her she should choose something more realistic. But Karina fulfilled her dream in base jumping and was on top of her world, when she suffered a terrible accident that confronted her with her biggest fear. She had hit the ground at over 100 km/h (60 mph), and her legs had been crushed in 25 pieces. She miraculously survived but the doctors told her she would never be able to walk again. And that’s when the real struggle began. To get up in the morning when it felt pointless, to hold on to the dream that she would be able not only to walk, but to be back skiing. It took her almost four years but she succeeded. So, she concluded: don’t let anyone tell you what is more realistic; flying or walking.
VK 2012 ended in the Globe, with a huge banquet dinner and award ceremony and lots and lots of great entertainment. I had a fantastic time with my friends and colleagues and wasn’t back at the hotel room until 4.30 in the morning.
Before talking our flight back to Oslo on Tuesday, me, Elin and Pernille from Savoy, took a stroll around Stockholm with lunch in the Old Town.
Now, we’re back in business.
Only, with more energy, guts and enthusiasm!
Don’t be afraid to go where you’ve never gone and do what you’ve never done, Helen, because both are necessary to have what you’ve never had and be who you’ve never been.
Be the ball.