Five Photos – Five Stories – Svalbard

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Today is the third day of my Five photos – Five stories challenge and I wanted to share another photo from my time in the Navy.

In april 2012 we sailed from Norway to Svalbard. The archipelago is one of the northernmost land-areas in the world, around 78 degrees north.

I was completely astonished by the beauty of nature there, and since it’s off the beaten track humans have hardly left their mark on it, most of this territory is still pristine, without roads or other signs of human inventions.

Every year they have a cross-country ski marathon and lucky for us it was held the day after our arrival. Me and some of the guys from the boat decided that we wanted to participate and signed up. The race was 42km and took us about 6 hours to finish. I honestly suffered during the whole marathon, but the feeling of accomplishment I got after crossing the finish line made it all worth it. The picture above was taken during the marathon and I’m so happy that I got to see this beautiful scenery.

I would recommend everyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of nature somewhere peaceful and majestic to visit Svalbard.

Have any of you ever been to Svalbard before or are planning a trip in the future?

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Today I wanna challenge Indah Susanti.

Five Photos – Five Stories – Svalbard

Five photos – five stories – Vang Vieng

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Imiditley after taking this picture I fell in love with it. I think it’s something very special to it and it gives me good vibes.

This was taken in Vang Vieng which is a riverside town in Central Laos. Vang Vieng is know for many things and tubing is among one of them. This picture was taken during a day of tubing.  I had already been in Vang Vieng for about five days so paying for a tube felt unnecessary considering I had already lost a couple of tubes into the river. We decided to walk instead. This was a very beautiful day and the picture is of two fellow travelers I met.

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Today I challenge The Lone Panda

Five photos – five stories – Vang Vieng

Five photos – five stories – the northern lights

Yesterday I got nominated by Ruchi to a Five Photo Stories challenge, thank you so much for that! I am to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story, either fiction or non-fiction, or a short paragraph, to the photo each day. Next I am to select one person (each day), to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely upto the person nominated, and is not mandatory.

Today I wanna challenge Vicki A Alford.

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This is a photo of the northern lights and it was taken during my time in the Navy. We sailed for around 4 weeks and everyday for eight hours I would sit on the bridge working. When it was winter and a clear sky the northern lights would appear. It made the dark season easier to handle, and it also made my work on the bridge more interesting.

Have any of you ever seen the northern lights before?

Five photos – five stories – the northern lights

Love to travel but hate to pack

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Florida is just around the corner and it’s about time I figure out what to bring in my suitcase. I’m going away for three months so packing isn’t something I take lightly. Only problem is that I’m not a big fan of doing it.

Trying to fill up my suitcase can make me really frustrated, sitting on the floor picking out what to bring or not. I honestly don’t know a good and easy way of doing this. It is in situations like this I understand how indecisive I can be. I decide to bring a dress, put it in my suitcase and regret afterwords. Then take it out again and regret doing that too, and that’s how it goes on. Not a good cycle I can tell you. This makes it very easy for me to delay the whole packing process till upon the last minute before leaving. It usually results in me throwing a lot of unnecessary stuff in my suitcase and forgetting things I actually need. All in all, I think it’s time for me to learn how to deal with packing. I need to get way smarter and less indecisive about what I bring with me. And not to mention, give myself more time.

So, how do it do this? I think I just need to reconsider this whole packing process and bring with me as little as possible. I know my self well enough to know that as soon as I get to Florida ill run to a shopping mall the first chance i get! For that reason I would need to have as much space in my suitcase when I take my flight back to Norway. I actually think I have to buy one extra package for the flight back. There might be to much stuff for me to bring back cause everything is so cheap.

Anyways, I still haven’t started packing, but planning on starting tomorrow. Let’s just hope it’s not just talking and I do start.

And btw, do any of you know if it gets cold in the evenings? I’m going to spend most of my time in south Florida and I’m not sure if I should bring some warm sweaters or maybe a couple of jeans. It would also make me really happy if anyone have some packing tips to share. 

Love to travel but hate to pack

Taking nature for granted

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I was raised in Stavanger, a city on the west coast of Norway. The city itself isn’t that special, but not far away a scenery like in the photo above isn’t rare.

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Growing up in Stavanger made it easy for me to take nature for granted. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about nature or anything, I was just to busy with my lifestyle in the city. I also lived with my mother who wasn’t a big fan of going for hikes or anything so it wasn’t like anybody pushed me out the door.

After high school I spent a year in the Navy, and it wasn’t until then I started realizing how important the beauty of nature was to me. We sailed along the coast of Norway from down south till all the way up in the north, and the scenery was breathtaking. I honestly hadn’t thought much about nature in my country before this trip, but when I got home from the Navy I straight away felt the urge to explore more. I already knew that just a short drive away from Stavanger there was many places to go see, fjords, waterfalls, mountains and beaches. It didn’t take long before I started to go for hikes outside of the city and it made me feel great. I love how you can get away from all the chaos in the city to somewhere quiet and peaceful.

Looking back now, just staying in the city and totally forgetting about the nature surrounding us is something I don’t wanna go back to. I have to say, though, I still think it is at times hard to remember to enjoy nature because of this super busy urban lifestyle we live in.

It is important that we do appreciate what is out there and don’t forget that we are a part of nature, and not apart from it. 

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Just by seeing a picture of simple nature, I get hit by a sudden urge to run through the monitor in that place and run around, laugh, live, and breathe, as if that place is calling me…

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Taking nature for granted

Pushing my limits

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It’s already been over a years since I was backpacking in Asia and it has become a huge part of me since then. There is so much I could tell, but now I just wanna tell a little bit about how it was to travel alone at the beginning of my trip. 

In october 2013 I was at a point in life I didn’t know what to do, I was tired of working and wasn’t ready to start at a university yet. I felt like I needed do to something new and exiting. I decided to call a friend of mine who I know is very spontaneous and we found out that the smartest we could to do was to travel. We had been in Thailand earlier that year and felt that it would be the perfect place to go.

Traveling across the world with no return-ticket was actually kind of thrilling, it made me feel free. We decided to stay together for around 2-3 weeks before traveling on our own. When it came to the point that we actually left each other I honestly felt terrified. I’ve never felt so alone, but yet so free. For me it was a really strange feeling, and I’m not sure if I liked it or not. She left to meet her mother in Bangkok so they could stay in a temple, while I stayed behind at Koh Phangang. I knew that I needed to leave the country soon and started to get really stressed, I felt that I needed to find a group or at least a person I could do some traveling with. After a couple of days I met three dutch guys who said that I could happily join them to Koh Phiphi. I still had around 7 days left on my visa so I joined them. We had a good time on the Island, but then it was about time to plan my next destination. I decided to take a flight to Singapore and stay there for a short week then fly to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

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I didn’t really know anything about Singapore when I got there, except from having a lot of international business. I stayed there for five days and was alone most of the time. I took the underground to big shopping malls and visited the famous Marina bay and Sentosa Island. Singapore was a really surrealistic country to me, everything was so big. There was plenty of sky scrapers, spectacular buildings, huge christmas decorations and you could see straight away that it is a rich country. Being alone in Singapore was actually a lot of fun. At first I thought it wouldn’t be, but as soon as I started looking around I felt like I didn’t have enough time in the country. When it comes to being alone, it was surprisingly easy. I think after spending a month with someone around everyday all the time I needed to have some time alone as well. So, all in all, Singapore was a great experience.

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Haoi was a different cup of tea, not as developed as Singapore and very chaotic. Suddenly I felt alone again, and forgot all about how good it was to be alone in Singapore. I think for me, all the chaos stressed me out and I was also staying in a hostel filled with backpackers I didn’t know how to approach. Even though I traveled alone, it doesn’t mean that I wanted to be alone all the time, so I had to get to know some people.

When I came to the hostel I went to the dorm with all my stuff, then rushed to the bar and got a beer. I sat down by a table and felt really alone because I didn’t know how to start talking to anyone. I’m used to the Norwegian way, and here you don’t talk to or just sit down with people you don’t know. After a while I started to talk with a few people from my dorm and joined their table. We drank beer and got to know people from all kinds of countries. For me that was a turning point, after that night I never had trouble on my trip with talking and getting to know people.

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Isn’t it funny, how you can feel so scared of something that isn’t dangerous at all? This journey was life changing in so many ways, not just in the sense of getting to know the world better, but I also learned to push my own limits in a good way. Now I’m a more social person who loves to get to know new people.

Have any of you guys traveled alone or have something you wanna share from you’r own travel experiences? If so, I would love to hear more about it!

Pushing my limits

Time for a new journey

In four weeks I’m going to lay on a beach in south Florida and enjoy the sun. It will be my first time visiting The States and I’m pretty excited as to what to expect.

Ever since backpacking in Asia I have been feeling restless for a new travel experience, and because of it I’ve tried to decide when and where to go for the past year. It’s hard to decide where to go when there is so many beautiful places, but after looking at some tickets online I decided to buy a return ticket to Florida. I’m not leaving until the 9th of march, but can barely wait to stay at a beach house in Fort Lauderdale for three months!

I generally don’t really know much about Florida, but a friend of mine lives there so I’m lucky to have her showing me around. And even tough I can’t say I have many plans for my stay, being able to feel free and do whatever I want for three months is more than I could ask for!

I’m going to try and update my blog daily while I’m in the States, and hopefully some of you are interested in following my journey. It would also make me really happy if anyone have some tips on what to do or where to go in south Florida. 

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Time for a new journey

A meeting with the world

For years and years I heard people speak about this so called Thailand filled with perfect islands and amazing beaches. I was curious to what this was all about and wanted to explorer on my own. Me and some friends decided to buy a ticket in march last year, this would be my first time leaving Europe. We landed in Bangkok and I knew it was a big city with no beaches or islands close by. When we first arrived we jumped in a taxi, put our stuff in the hotel and took a taxi to a market street close by. My first feeling when I came down town was not good at all, it was all gray because of all the pollution and I could sense the smell of trash and food everywhere we walked. It was so dirty that I couldn’t believe my own eyes, trash everywhere, kids laying alone in the street, dogs everywhere, a guy with no legs grabbing my foot, people high on crystal meth and last but not least a dead tourists lying in front of a bar. For me this was way out of my comfort zone and I found it kind of terrifying. At that point I couldn’t really understand what people meant when they spoke about Thailand as it was paradise, and was asking my self who want’s to bring their families to a place like this?

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After spending five days in Bangkok I couldn’t wait to leave, hopefully it wasn’t this chaotic in the south. We took the bus down to a place called Khao Lak which they told us would take about ten hours. We jumped on the bus and was happily on our way down south to paradise, but the ride wasn’t problem free as it usually isn’t in Asia. The bus got stopped around five times by the military, they where looking for somebody. The last time they came they finally found something they where looking for, a bag with several guns. For me that was kind of strange, but they handcuffed the passengers and took them out of the bus, five minutes later we had all forgotten about it. After fifteen hours we arrived in Khao Lak, it was pitch dark outside and no cars around. First I thought we might have a problem because we needed to get to the pier so we could take the boat over to Koh Kha Kao. Luckily a Tuktuk drove passed and we got to the island and the resort we where staying at. The next day we woke up to a beautiful sunny day, and this morning I understood what all the fuss was about.

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After a week on Koh Ka Koh we decided to go to Krabi and then to the well known party island Koh Phangan to join full moon party. Krabi and Koh Phangan was like Ying and Yang. Krabi was lovely, the beaches, islands and the nature was spectacular, words can not describe it’s beauty, this was a place for relaxation.

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Koh Phangan on the other hand was totally different, this was a place to party and take drugs. There was a new party every night, black moon, shiva moon, half moon, jungel party, waterfall party, pool party and of course the greatest of them all THE ORIGINAL FULL MOON PARTY. After spending two weeks of the vacation on relaxing I was really looking forward to party for a changed. When we arrived at the beach on full moon it was filled with people in neon colored shorts, singlets and painting in their face screaming for a crazy night. Surprisingly many where taking mushroom shakes and other types of drugs. For me coming from an environment with no drugs involved I thought it was strange to see that it was so easily available, you could by a mushroom shake in one of the local bars on the beach. It didn’t take long before I understood that the bars where working with the police, paying them some cash so they can continue selling drugs. They even had this so called Eden party which was a MDMA party just a boat ride away. Out of curiosity we where suppose to check it out, but we never got that far and it was probably for the best. I wouldn’t take any drugs, but still.

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Three weeks in a country like this was a real eye opener, it was sad seeing so many people struggling to make a living, but it made me realize how lucky I am coming from Norway. I honestly think that people coming from well developed countries such as Norway really should explorer the world more often and get to know people from other cultures. It’s important to learn about other humans and how they live.

A meeting with the world

Reaching for something new

Hello everyone, as you all can see this is my first post. I decided to make this blog because I love being able to express myself in words and know that writing a blog is a great way of doing that.

I’m a smiling 21 year old girl from a small town in Norway called Haugesund, well, at least smiling most of the time. As a person people would describe me as very restless, I always wanna do something new and honestly have a hard time settling down. In many ways I would say that my family is not a big fan of that because they just want me to settle down safe and sounds in one place, but the problem is that I’m still not sure what I wanna do with my life.

First of all I love to travel and explore the world, there is nothing greater than getting to know people from a different culture than you’r own or exploring the beautiful nature surrounding us. My biggest dream would be to do something for humans or animals because it’s two of my biggest passions except from the ocean which I’m also a big fan of.

At the moment I’m using my time on working in a nursing home as an assistant, training and of course trying to figure out what I wanna do with my life.

Hopefully any of you guys wanna read my blog and you can also follow me on instagram (odafagerland).

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PS: Just have to say sorry if there is any misspellings, my main language is Norwegian so my English writing is not 100%, but I hope  writing this blog would help me improve that.

Reaching for something new