Part 3: Lilla Edet, Smögen, Stenungsön and Gothenburg, Sweden

One of the wonderful things I took away from my trip to Sweden and Norway is a reminder to get back to your roots as a human being. To enjoy the simple things and embrace the beauty of nature. I love the swedish trandition of Fika. Fika dates are where Swedish people take a coffee or tea break and enjoy it with something sweet with friends and family anytime of the day. They love to come together as a family or amongst friends and cook a delicious meal together and enjoy it outside (during the summer at least). It is a breath of fresh air considering the ubiquitous American way of eating out all the time. Traveling is amazing and I can't imagine my life without it. We all live in our own little bubble but to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown is certainly worth doing. Yes, things may not go as expected or you're jet lagged like crazy or maybe you're tired of dragging that rolling luggage on cobblestones but despite any inconveniences traveling allows you to grow and brings inspiration when you need it most.


Part 2: Oslo, Norway

After leaving Stockholm, we took a 6 hr train ride to Oslo, Norway. Marlie and I stayed at her friend's home for four days. Emilie and her husband OJ were the perfect hosts! They really taught me a thing or two and I felt inspired after spending some time with them. We did some hiking, some island hopping and ventured into the city. Emilie took us to Stockfleths (her favorite cafe) and I have to say that I had the best mocha I've ever had in my life. Yes, I truly mean that. And yes, once converted into U.S dollars it equaled to 8 dollars. Delicioso!

Yuummmm!Frolicking in the fieldNorweigins (and Swedes) lay out on rocks (ouch!) - not much sand by the water.


Part 1: Stockholm, Sweden

It has only taken me two months but I'm finally getting around to sharing the photographs I took while in Sweden and Norway (I've also included photographs taken by Marlie). The first stop on our journey was the architecturally beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. Marlie and I arrived at the crack of dawn and weren't able to check in until 8am and realized to our dismay that nothing was open. We sort of felt like bumbs and zombies all in one, given that we hadn't slept in 24 hours. Eventually we got the keys to our wonderful Airbnb apartment and were reunited with my dear friend Laura. During our 5-day stay we ventured throughout the city, did a little shopping and tried out the best cafes in the city. Things I learned: cobblestone and rolling luggage are not a good combination. Next time --if I'm going to more than one place, I'm bringing a backpack.


These Days...

These days I find myself across the Bay Bridge in the East Bay a lot more frequently. Exploring the Oakland and Berkeley neighborhoods, I find myself gravitating towards their warmer temperatures and laid back but vibrant attitudes. It’s become a ritual of sorts: wake-up, get ready,  go to a particular neighborhood,  grab a latte and enjoy. I find peace amongst it all.

Recently, I’ve been really inspired by two blogs, A Well Traveled Woman and  Age Old Tree. I am moved by these inspiring women who have a love for nature, living a simpler life and following your dreams. It is through reading their blogs that I find inspiration and motivation to pursue a dream that I didn't think was possible and realizing that I am the only person who is truly stopping myself from achieving it. And so, while I begin taking my first steps towards my dream (because it’s definitely time for those steps!) I will continue to find inspiration wherever I go, cultivate an optimistic attitude, work toward my goals and see where life takes me.

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

- Maya Angelou


Fanny Packs by Laura Ohlson

I am excited to share with you photographs I took for my friend Laura's project. She's heading back to Africa (Kenya and South Africa) for two and a half months of volunteering. She's worked very hard to create these amazing fanny packs which she is selling as part of her fundraiser (learn more here). 10% of the proceeds go to Carolina for Kibera. So, make sure to reserve your fanny pack. :)

I can't seem to decide which one to get. But soon I'll be walking around the streets of San Francisco with this cute multi-purpose fanny pack...