Euro travel pact

Personal

The three biggest thought processes I had during the weekend I spent in Amsterdam was 1. “I am in LOVE with Amsterdam,” 2. “I LOVE life” and 3. “WHY don’t I do this more often?” 

To elaborate a bit on that last one; it really is a shame. With the plane ticket, the apartment, the food and the bit of shopping I did (really I only bought cheese) I probably spend a total of $400. Not bad at all, compared to what I got out of the trip. 

This I why I have made a pact with myself that I have to do at least three mini euro trips every year. They’re cheap, easy to fit in to a busy schedule like mine and you still get SO much out of it. Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Rom, Faroe Islands, Barcelona, Stockholm, Dublin, Iceland. Yeah I think you get the picture, the list is never ending. So you are here by a witness of this pact that I have made with myself. Feel free to comment mean things at me if I don’t stick to it!

Edit: This post was written December 22nd 2015 (wow I just had to doublecheck when typing that – that’s two and half years ago!!!!!). I never posted it because I wanted to write about the above mentioned Amsterdam trip first, but that post is also still saved in my drafts. So here it is.

I’ve stuck with the pact though!! Which makes me very happy. In 2016 I went on weekend trips to Florence, Italy, Prague, Czech Republic and Utrecht, Holland. In 2017 I went on weekend trips to London, England (twice), Reykjavik, Iceland and on short trips to Oslo, Norway and Malmö, Sweden.

On every trip I still get those same feelings of “I LOVE life” and “WHY don’t I do this more often!?”

For 2018 I’ve only been to Budapest, Hungary this far, but the year has only just begun.

I’m pretty sure I’ll try and stick with the pact until I can’t walk on my own anymore.

// Annika

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And so another year has come to an end

Personal, Travels

2017 felt like a year of few travels, but after going over the trips I went on I have to admit that that is complete nonsense. I guess I feel that way because 2016 was so insanely filled with travels that any year following that had a whole lot to live up to. 

January 1st I woke up with some of my best friends in New York City in a beautiful apartment on the 44th floor after ringing in the New Year in a warehouse in Brooklyn. 

In April I journeyed to China with an amazing coworker/friend of mine, a trip that turned out to be one of the best I’ve been on. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced as much in 10 days as I did on that trip. 

In May I travelled to London to visit family. I had only visited London when I was a little kid, so this trip felt like my first London experience and I fell in love with the city. It has so much more charm than I had expected. 

I moved in to a new apartment in one of my favorite areas in Copenhagen in the beginning of the year, why I decided to stay home for the summer and relax completely and just take in what Denmark had to offer. Despite the fact that it was a historical bad summer weather wise I had an absolutely amazing summer filled with best friends and festivals. In August I left the country shortly for a Swedish festival where I got to see a bit of Gothenburg and a few of my favorite artist. 

In September I was back in London on a trip with my favorite coworkers to try the Gin Experience at the Portobello Road Ginstitute. Once again London had me. 

In September I also went on an incredible weekend trip to Iceland. A country I hadn’t visited before (other than countless layovers at the airport). It blew me away and I’ve decided to return on a two-week trip sometimes soon. 

In November I travelled to New York to visit a bunch of my high school friends. I had an amazing week in the city that never sleeps. I stayed with my friends in their apartment, so for a week I got the true New Yorker feeling and actually ended up feeling like I had moved in. It was perfect. 

In November I also went on the infamous “Oslo båden;” a ferry that sails from Copenhagen to Oslo over the weekend, leaving you with seven hours to explore Oslo. A full weekend in Oslo would’ve been perfect, but despite the short amount of time I got to see quite a lot of the city. The main attraction for me was seeing the beautiful opera house. 

In December I went on a short weekend trip to Malmø in Sweden. Malmø is the third largest city in Sweden and is just a short 40 minute train ride from Copenhagen, making it a perfect trip if you don’t have too much time on your hand but still want to leave the country. The city is very cute and cozy and I’m in love with the area out by the Turning Torso building where you have a view over Copenhagen and the Øresund Bridge. 

All in all it’s been an incredible year of travels. Traveling and experiencing other countries is still without a doubt my biggest interest and I feel incredibly blessed that I am able to travel as much as I have been. 

For 2018 I definitely want to go on at least one trip by myself, something I didn’t do in 2017. 

I’ve started dreaming about my trips of 2018 and am currently thinking the following:

– A trip to Turkey in the spring. I want to spend a few days in Istanbul and then go to Cappadocia to hike and fly in a hot air balloon. 

– A trip to Nicaragua in the summer where I want to work at a surf and yoga hostel so I can get back to surfing on the daily. Potentially this trip could be mixed with a stopover in Costa Rica 

– A weekend trip to Budapest have been on my list for way too long, so I’m thinking 2018 is also the year where I get to experience the city

– A trip or two to the United States. My best American friend is throwing a wedding so ideally I’ll be visiting for both the wedding and the bachelorette party 

In 2016 I made a deal with myself that I have to go on at least three weekend trips, which also makes room for two other European cities on that list. Maybe Edinburg and Vienna? Who knows. 

Knowing myself I know very well that what’s on the drawing board today probably won’t be in a few months, but for now those are the trips I’m dreaming about. 

Also my life is going to change radically in 2018 as I’ll return to school and thus put life with a steady income behind me, so to make all of these trips happen I’ll have to get real creative.

I can’t wait to see what places 2018 takes me to. 
// Annika

Why starting a travel blog is one of the best things I’ve done

Personal

I haven’t posted as much as I would like. As of right now my blog has 28 blog posts and 20 drafts. I’ve travelled to Amsterdam, Prague, New York, Sweden and other places that I have not yet posted about. But starting a travel blog is still one of the best things I’ve done.

Why, you might ask? I’ll tell you why.

Once in a while I take out a few hours of my day and I read every post I’ve posted. That is what I had just done when the idea for this post hit me. I reread how I in my blogpost about my second day in Florence had stated that “that was probably the greatest place I have ever enjoyed a cup of coffee” after enjoying a cappucino on top of a department store with the most stunning view. A few post later, when talking about my sailing trip when visiting Greenland I wrote that the cup of coffe I enjoyed while sitting in a mountain intersection in the middle of Greenland was “probably one of the best cups of coffees I’ve had. More so because of the surroundings than the actual coffee.” It made me laugh, but it made me smile more. How lucky am I to twice in 2016 have had dranken coffee in the most beautiful place I could imagine in that given moment? And how lucky am I to have written it down, so I time and time again can be reminded of how extraordinary these two little moments really were?

When I was in Greenland I had completely forgotten about that Florence cup of coffee, and if it hadn’t been for my blog, my travel diary, I probably would have never thought about it again.

Travelling is what I spent most of my money on. It is how I regenerate. How I become a better and wiser person. It is how I open up both my world and my mind. It is how I challenge myself and how I leave my comfort zone. Travelling is my biggest passion. It is how I gather endless amount of irreplaceable experiences, adventures, friendships and memories. So why should I only live through each trip once? Why not capture it forever, instead of slowly allowing it to get pushed further to the back in my mind, making room for new memories, until it becomes so distant that I only remember that I once visited Greenland, and not how good that cup of coffee tasted, how absolutely unreal the setting was, how crisp the air felt in that moment and how it was accompanied by the most beautiful sound of complete and utter silent that I have ever heard?

Having this blog, I get to re-experience all of my most magical moments over and over again, as many times as I would like. And I get to share them with both likeminded travel loving peeps and the people that I love. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is.

// Annika

Last trip of the year

Personal


It was late October and I was skyping with my parents. I told them how I was gonna go to New York City to see all of my best friends this coming summer for a week or so, but as we later on in the Skype session started talking about New Year’s Eve it hit me; Why not go for New Years??? I was far from excited about the potential plans I had in Copenhagen and at the same time I was missing my American girls too much. 

Less than an hour after the thought had occurred in my mind I had cleared it with the girls, gotten it approved from my manager and booked the flight. The most impulsive travel decision I’ve ever made, and to be honest I’ve regretted it quite a few times since. Within the last two months I’ve been to Texas, Prague, Amsterdam and Sweden. I’ve also kept up with my full time job, found out that I’m moving in one month (which means planning and packing) and tried to study for an exam that just so happens to be the day after I get back from this trip. 

I’ve overplanned my calendar and am starting to wear myself out a bit. This year I have taken every opportunity to travel, causing me to not have spent a single day of vacation at home in my apartment. As much as I love travelling, I also need days home on my couch to take everything I’ve experienced in, and I’ve neglected that part of myself a bit this year. I need hours to write down tales about my travels and dwell on the special moments I’ve had, which is exactly why I have this blog. I’ve been on nine trips this year, and I’ve only blogged about two and a half (a half because I never finished my writings about Sri Lanka), which means that I have the longest list of stories to write and 15+ drafts that mainly consist of posts that are halfway done. 

However, I wouldn’t have given up a single one of those trips, and now that I am heading for the airport I feel endlessly excited to be back home in the states and see my best friends. 

For the first time in a year I don’t have any plane tickets waiting for me on my fridge (really they’re usually just in my inbox, but fridge sounds better), so I’m planning on enjoying this trip to the fullest. The auditor busy season is coming up, but I’m hoping to spend the little free time that I do get on writing down all of my memories from the trips of 2016. And of course, recharge for my next trip that’s hopefully gonna be in April. I can’t stay away from the airport for too long. 

For now I have four days to spend with amazing people and a city that never sleeps and I cannot wait. 

// Annika

One big adventure coming up

Adventures, Personal

So! It is July 21st. This is a special day due to two things: 1. It’s exactly six years since I moved to the United States (in three days it is exactly two years since I moved back to Denmark, man time flies) and 2. I’m going to Sri Lanka today!!!!


When the year first started out and I was planning my upcoming trips I thought that a Costa Rica / Nicaragua trip was in the cards for me this summer. Somehow that turned into Sri Lanka instead, and now I’m at the airport, patiently waiting to board my plane.

I have quite the “Annika it is time to move even further out of your comfort zone” trip planned. Five weeks of my own company is what awaits me once my plane takes off. Five weeks exploring a country I have never before been to, in a part of the world I have very little experience with. And you know what? I am SO excited. And a little bit nervous. But as my friend said; “You’re supposed to be nervous. If you weren’t nervous it’s no fun.”

Anyways, it is not like I’m going to be backpacking alone through the entire country for those five weeks, even though that sounds pretty incredible also..
The first two days of my trip I am completely on my own, but that’s about it. I’ll be spending those days in Galle, where I’ve already booked a hostel.
The next week I am staying at a surf and yoga retreat called Sunshinestories, located in Ahangama. They brand themselves on having unlimited fresh coconuts, so I am not complaining. I found Sunshinestories through Instagram about a year ago, and ever since laying eyes on their admirable way of life I have dreamt about testing it out.
For the remaining four weeks I am going to be volunteering at a newly opened hostel in Weligama called Hangtime Hostel. The twist on this is that I am not quite sure what I am going to be doing, but I get free accommodation, yoga and surf board rental in return, so I am a happy camper.

So yeah, the biggest adventure I’ve ever been on is still undoubtedly the one that started in this exact same airport six years ago, but this is the second biggest adventure and I could not be more excited to see what experiences, lessons and friendships it brings me.

// Annika

 

Upcoming trips

Personal
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Me on Sanibel Island (Florida) in 2010. I bet I had no idea how much traveling I’d be planning on doing in 2016.

So I just got back from my christmas break in Houston, Texas. A trip that included an overnight stay in New Orleans.
Being my travel loving self I am (obviously) already planning the next adventures.

Working in auditing means that I have my busy season straight ahead of me. With the year-end closing and time of the year for annual reports for 90% of the clients we have at my company, these next few months are gonna be all work, work, work for me. This leaves little to no time for traveling, but I have managed to squeeze in a short trip to Florence for easter to visit three of my best friends from the states that are studying abroad there.

For summer I am still deciding on my plans, but what is currently on the drawing board is a short trip to Texas combined with a week surf camp in Costa Rica as well as a week long surf camp in Nicaragua.
If I can stretch my money far enough I might also add a week of surfing at my beloved surf camp in Portugal.

Way out in the future I am planning a weekend trip to Barcelona for my Birthday in September and possibly another weekend trip in early December to Paris, London or maybe Berlin.
Last but not least I am hoping to do christmas in Sweden with my family.

WOW, that would be an amazing year. I just splurged today and bought my ticket to both Florence and Barcelona, so it is happening. Such an awesome way to spend January 1st.
One thing I know is that 2016 is going to be a year filled with travel, adventures, new experiences, people and great food. Hell yeah.

Oh and, happy New Years guys!!!!

// Annika