Circletrip, Travel Blog, Written Words

Preparing for a vacation

We all know there goes a lot of thought and planning into a good vacation. For me that means, deciding where to go, how to go there, who to go with etc. After all the practical stuff is out of the way like flights, where to live and when to go, it’s time for the fun part!

I am leaving for a trip around Northern Europe in one week. More specifically Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. Copenhagen doesn’t really count, because I live here, but I’m going with my friend from Canada, so we have to treat it like a new tourist attraction as well. There are so much stuff I haven’t even seen in my own city. And I know I’m not the only one.

But the fun part of planning (one of the many) is reading tour-books, learning about the country and start packing. Reading about the country is important since you will get a bigger insight into the place you are going and the kind of people you will meet. To be honest, I think it’s sort of rude going to a country and not knowing about their culture and history. You need to know where they came from, to understand where they are now.

I always read guide book and I like knowing what to see. But this winter I went to Cuba and wanted to try not to read about the country, and just take it all in. It was awful. I felt so stupid when all the other travelers where talking about places, history facts and information I should have known. The monuments didn’t have the same impact on me, seeing that I didn’t know why or how they were put there.

That when I learned once and for all, that it is simply necessary for me to be well informed before I visit a new place or country.

So at the moment I’m in the reading fase. I read about the history, the people and the specific city I am visiting.

The next fase is packing. Understanding where you’re going and what you need, is something you learn along the way. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I still pack way too much.

Then there’s the traveling part. The best part some might think. But I always preferred the last part. The memories you collect on those vacations. The information and facts you learn and the thirst of the world you feel once again.

And then before you know it. You’re ready to start all over!

Circletrip, Travel Blog, Written Words

Circletrip day 2: Stockholm

Getting up early is a joy, when you know you're heading somewhere new. It's a bit harder with alcohol remaining in your blood and jet-lag. Poor Madeleine. I on the other hand was very awake and ready for our first destination: Stockholm.

Isn't it funny how we always visit places far away from us and forget the ones close to us. Stockholm is only a 6 hour drive from Copenhagen, but I still choose to travel to Cuba and Cambodia before going there.

That being said. Wow! Absolutely wow! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Flying from Copenhagen is a pleasure since it always brings back great memories. On the way, we realize one of the belts for the backpack is ruined. Thankfully my family lives close by so my dad came with a new one so we could survive the trip.

Norwegian airlines are so nice and polite. In the flight they showed little mood videos from various destinations and that's when it hit me! That's my future career. So that's who I'm going to send my videos to!

From Stockholm airport there's a train to downtown that only takes 20 minutes. You pay the price, but it's quick, worry free and easy to access. Arlanda Express arrived in the central station of Stockholm around midday.

When we arrived at our hostel: City lodge, we had happily forgotten that we had booked a 28 person dorm room. What seemed charming and fun in pictures, were not reality. Thankfully they had extra beds in the 5 person dorm and we quickly jumped at the chance. So much better!

And now away we go! We were hungover, tired but excited so it was time to go exploring.

Stockholm is a very big, royal, wet, busy capital with a lot of attractions. We wanted to see it all and were happy we had planned an extra day in this capital.

The first and most important place is visit us without doubt the ABBA museum. It just doesn't get more Swedish than that. I have a theory that all the cafés and people secretly hum the tunes of Abba so the songs are constantly stuck in your brain. Especially Waterloo and Take a chance on me.

Abba museum is a joy for ears and soul. If you like Abba and you like Sweden, then this is where you should go. There's an exhibition on Eurovision first, which is just hilarious. "Best beard", "longest note, and "coolest shoulder pads" are just some of the things they talk about there.
We learned a lot about abba and got to sing, dance and pose like them!

Getting there was a bit of a struggle though. Being new to a town is excited and a bit scary. We had to buy a ticket for a specific time for the museum. I googled mapped the way by food and we were on our way, when suddenly…. there was nothing but water in front of us. As you may know there are a lot of islands in Stockholm. Apparently google maps thought it was okay to guide us to a place where you had to take a ferry to arrive to your destination?!? It made no sense and we almost didn't make our time slot at the Abba museum. But if you look of the bright side we got to add a boat trip and circle trip to our big circle trip.

You can always tell how nice the people of the country are, simply by asking for directions. We found the sweetest Swedish girl who walked with us to find a supermarket. She even had to run for her team after, but she really wanted to help us out. How cute is that??!! My feeling towards Sweden have definitely warmed up. You go Stockholm!

We found the supermarket, walked zoomie like around in it for 30 minutes before deciding on noodles and nachos and then tried to find our way home.

Funny story. If you type in the wrong hostel in your directions, then you definitely will not magically appear at the right one. Haha but again, life has a funny way of leading us to places we didn't even know we wanted to see. So we ended up at the coolest tunnel even( seen in the picture) and then an amazing blue fountain. Suddenly we didn't care if we were hungry, tired and cold. When you see a view like that you appreciate it. And with appreciate I mean take a million pictures and videos so you can post it to the world and spread the joy.

All in all we had a great second day, feeling Swedish, zombie and Danish and I can't wait what Stockholm has to offer tomorrow!

Circletrip, Travel Blog, Written Words

Circletrip Day 1: Copenhagen

The day has arrived! Our awaited circletrip begins!

You may be wondering, what exactly is this "circletrip"? You've come to the right place my friend! The "Circletrip 2K17" is a roundtrip of Northern Europe for me, myself and I, and my sweet Canadian friend Madeleine.

We will travel to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn & Riga the next two weeks. Uhh how fascinating you might think! You bet ya! That's why, if you're curious to know what kind of dirty deeds we're up to every day, feel free to read this travel blog the next few weeks. We have loads of plans!

So now we can start!

Saturday August 12: Karoline is sitting in her apartment, waiting patiently for Madeleines arrival. Just when she can't take it, she jumps on the metro and goes to the airport. At 12 o'clock Madeleines plane finally lands on solid ground. The adventures may begin. They hug like they haven't seen each other in years, when in reality it's only been 1 month. But they laugh and laugh and tell funny stories. As always Madeleines has a billion tiny little bags with her, so she can organize everything. Only she knows where everything is! As the gentleman Karoline is, she carries Madeleines bag all the way up to the 5th floor of her Copenhagen apartment. Thankfully there's cold beer waiting for them in the fridge!

The day is starting and they're on their way!! "Bikes, bikes , omg so many bikes!" At Nørreport st there are more bikes than people. Maddie is freaking out and taking pictures of it all. Since Karoline has lived in the city her whole life, nothing seems out of the ordinary, until…

Rosenberg Castle!

Wow

Wow

Wow

Just wow! If you've never been there, then what are you doing wasting your time reading this! Go go go. Honestly, it was like a Danish Versailles. I think it's fun how you can look at something your whole life, but never actually see it. Yes you can quote me on that. But really. I sit in Kings Garden all the time and stare at the boring old castle. It looks tiny from the outside. It was magical and revoke my dream of becoming a princess one day. It's officially back on the table. If there's a prince out there reading this, please give me a call.

The rooms are majestic, the Crown Jewels shinning and soldiers are cute. Try to take selfies in as many mirrors as possible, pose "with" the crown on your head and count the paintings.

After the fabulous castle we walked down Strøget, looked at Royal Copenhagen porcelain and bought a mermaid phone cover in H&M. I just wanted to tell you that important fact ๐Ÿ™‚

Food! The hangry feeling started to kick in and we had to seek shelter from the summer rain. I had really wanted to try out new things and not go to my regular spots. But "Sporvejen" is just such a nice little restaurant. It's placed in Gråbrødre Torv facing the beautiful colored houses. If you choose to sit inside you're sitting in a old streetcar, the real ones that used to be in Copenhagen! How cool is that. It's such a shame that we got rid of them… but at least we still have one ๐Ÿ™‚ the servers are super polite, the tax and tip is included in Denmark, and the food is superb if you like burger and fries.

Feeling full and happy we ran to our bikes in the heavy rain, bought wine and made our way home!

We finished packing our bags and then it was time to party Danish style. Being from different countries is always fun. Danes drink. Canadians smoke. But now you're in my territory so, we drink.

Drinking games, SKÅL, down your drink, SKÅL, walk to the club, get into Night Fever a fun 80's themed nightclub, dance to despacito, dance to Whitney Houston, walk to Tørst, SKÅL, dance dance dancing, almost falling on your heels and then finally hitting your bed at 2am!

Boom. Danish bar style. We kept trying to leave but the music was so good at Night Fever that we just had to stay.

So all in all an amazing first day of our circletrip! Can't wait for the rest of it!

Travel Blog, Written Words

Dance salsa in Cuba and forget your senses

When you travel you sometimes find yourself out of your comfort zone. And that’s exactly how it should be. Leave those worries behind and let yourself get loose and funky. Literally.

I’ve never really been one for dancing, at least not with a partner. I guess it must be this new wave of feminist girls, who simply cannot, for the life of them, let a man be in control. I can’t let go. I don’t trust him to be able to lead me the way I want to go. So I always end up twirling the guys around, like the true power girl I am. And let me just tell you.. I’ve got this one move that works every time. But that’s another story.

I visited Cuba in December 2016 and it was a party. My friend Adriana, from Switzerland, had been there previously, so she knew all the right places to go. One night she took me to a local salsa club and oh god…
We enter the club and everybody is an expert. There’s no doubt about it. This is not their first time. Even my friend was a natural. She had taken a few classes so she already knew the basics. Me on the other hand, had no idea what I was doing. So I stayed on my seat, smiling politely at all the people dances their asses off. Oh how I wished to be like them. Yes, I felt like Ariel, but that’s only because I always feel like a Disney Princess, but that’s beside the point. Suddenly.. A man came up to me and asked if I wanted to dance. I wanted so bad to say no, but seeing that I love a good story and a great adventure, there was no way I could say turn him down.

Round and round we went on the floor, Bambi on ice (last Disney reference I promise) and him twilling around like he had been born knowing the art of salsa. Which he probably had, for he was from Cuba. He taught me a few things and found me adorable as I stepped on his feet every other moment. When I finally learned a few steps, the music stopped for it was time for the big competition.

5 couples got on stage and had to compete to become the best salsa couple of the night. And guess who wins…. Obviously the guy I danced with. So not only did I suck, I was dancing with the best guy in the club. Oh god…. please make it stop.

He asked again if I wanted to dance, but I politely said NO! No way I was going back on that dance floor and make a fool of myself. As I sat there looking at all the smiling people, failing, trying and laughing while dancing to the beat, I felt envious. I had to join them once again. When the next guy asked, I had to say yes.
That is also the beauty of this sort of bar. People come to dance. No funny business or creppy thoughts. They are all so friendly and want to teach you how to dance. So throughout the night I danced with about 8-10 different guys. Again, that is normal here, and I had a guy at home so don’t get any funny thoughts please. It was all very innocent. With bodies close together, the sweat tripping down and the whispering in your ear…. I mean it’s Cuba after all, what did you expect ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got lost in it! The music, the atmosphere, the people, the beautiful men everywhere I looked. I had even learned some new moves and gotten a bit braver after downing a beer. As the true dane I am, I was naturally wearing a fanny pack. The safest bag to wear while traveling. But not the best bag for swinging around in a heated salsa moment. So I gave in to my senses and gave up on my sensibility and left in on a chair. I know I know. HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE! Cuba, bag, salsa club…

Round and round we go and BANG… My bag is gone. Not a big plot twist I know, but that’s what happened. I knew it was the people I had been dancing with, for they had lured my friend away, so they could take it while I was staring helplessly into some guy’s eyes. Thank god there was nothing of importance in there. I only had cash, and my lip-balm.

The night was over before it had even started. Or that’s a lie, it was quite late and I was over salsa anyway. But seeing that I had screamed loud to anybody who would listen, that my bag had gotten stolen, some guy came running after me. “Wait miss, wait”. There in his hand was my bag! Wet, and without money, but fuck it! I got my lip-balm back and isn’t that the best ending to every story!

So the moral of this kids is… Go to Cuba and dance salsa, for it is both funny and silly. But do not leave your bag with a group of strangers who you only trust because they know how to shake it ๐Ÿ™‚

Travel Blog, Written Words

15 types of people you meet when traveling

We’ve all met them. They’re everywhere from Thailand to Miami, hiding, ready to strike and do whatever they do best. We love to hate them, love them or try our best to ignore them. These are the 15 types of people you meet when traveling:

  1. The “I’m a citizen of the world” type

“Yeah, like, I don’t really have a home anymore, I sort of just live everywhere”. Oh god… The hippie, too old to be staying at a hostel, who will never tell you where he is originally from. For does it really matter? At first you’re intrigued and slightly amazed of his stories. But soon after you can tell he just wants to brag about how many countries he’s been to and how he always “become one” with the locals. Sure…

2. The Instagrammer

This person will always create the best possible instagram-moment. They don’t care if any of it is true to the present. They will complain the whole way up the mountain, finally reach the top, take a picture and post it later with the tag #bestdayever #amazed #changedmylife. Expect to spend a lot of time waiting for them to pose at palm-trees with a silly straw hat and placing their food as neatly and cute as possible. Remember symmetri is key!

3. The Party type

“Uhh let’s get a beer!” This type is here to party and nothing is going to get in their way! It’s all about getting drunk and not remembering a thing. “It was a crazy night dude, I don’t remember a thing”. Will most likely always want to tell their crazy stories to their friends. The story is the same as normal except they get to start with this sentence “So this one time in Amsterdam, I got so hammered”. Angkor Wat is visited with a massive hangover, if visited at all. Remember, if you want to actually see stuff and experience something other than the bars, it’s important to be vary of traveling with this type. But they’re loads of fun on pub crawls!

4. The “Running from their lives” type

“So where are you going?”.
“Oh you know I’m just going where the wind takes me”.

This all sounds very exciting, but extremely vague. They are clearly running away from something at home. It may be a heartbreak, the future, an old job, family or friends. Who knows? And it’s none of your business. Let them get it all out and figure out their lives. It’s their choice and you just have to help them on their journey however best you can. Don’t confront them or ask them about the stuff they clearly don’t want to answer. Just let them tell you how “happy” they are in their new “life”. This type will most likely travel around for a year or two until they finally stop running.

5. The “Who am I” type

Hmm. I think we’ve all been here. This is great for a postbreakup getaway (the best kind of getaway), the hiking trip to the Camino or the hike from “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon. If this type has not read or seen “Into The Wild” or “Eat, Pray, Love”, then they don’t really know what it’s all about. You simply MUST write a memoir about your trip, learn a new language, find a new religion, fall in love with a local animal or child and have an affair with a foreigner. Wow doesn’t that sound like a bestseller!

But let me let you in on a secret. Once they’re home, the whole questions about “who they are” opens up again, so they must book a new plane ticket. It’s a beautiful evil circle. Join our clan ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. The Backpacker

Flags on their bags from all the countries they’ve visited, has cool stories, is a generally cool person, always stays in dormrooms at hostels or in own tent/hammock, gives good travel advice and knows how to talk to locals and tourists. Yes, I am a big fan of this type so no bashing here. They’re just soooo cool… Come on. Who wouldn’t love to be a real backpacker, walking relaxed and proud, with their entire lives on their back. Even though they only have 3 t-shirts and 5 pairs of underwear, they don’t smell? HOW DO THEY DO IT?!? Arg man. Keep it coming. They travel for them and do whatever they please, because they want to. Simply beautiful.

7. The New Backpacker

Faker.. Faker, faker, faker. You can clearly tell these apart from an actual backpacker. Their backpack looks new and shiny, there’s no flags on it yet (for 3 flags doesn’t look quite as impressive as 28) and they always seem to tell stories from the same 3 countries. They love sentences like “So I was in Guatamala, with this Irish guy” simply to be able to say those two words. Guatamala and Irish. They want to seem international and well traveled, but you need to earn those titles.

Don’t worry, you might turn out to be a cool person one day. But for now try not to travel for other people and for the image. Do it for you. Nobody cares if you met a few people from Europe. Do it for you. I can’t say this enough.

8. The Equipment type

The new backpacker may also fall under this category. There is an weird agreement upon people in the west, that you can’t go traveling without the “right kind of equipment”. That means your dad’s old backpack is a no go! A old sleeping bag. How dare you. Listen. This is what you need to fit into the cool crowd of the travelers:

  • A quick-dry towel (will make you seem adventurous, as you simply don’t have time to wait for the slow drying one)
  • Sports wear from Patagonia. For you simply cannot go hiking without the right kind of windbreaker!
  • Hiking boots hanging on the outside of your bag. This gives a good clue to the rest of the world how fit you are! Sure you will only use them once, but that’s not the point!
  • Canon/Nikon camera around your neck. Gosh you can take amazing pictures on that. But you wouldn’t want anyone to steal it! So better leave it at home when you go to the beach, marked, hiking, temple etc. Your Iphone works just as well after all. Once you’re home you will really enjoy those 5 pictures you took on it though. I mean, it is shot in super high quality.

9. The Volunteer Work type

You’ve seen the pictures. An extremely white person surrounded by 10-15 adorable black kids. Ahh it just melts my heart. Hmm, not really. They love to tell you all about how they helped make this world a better place, just like Michael Jackson told them to. But did they really? Mostly I just see pictures of them tanning and freaking out about the toilet situation. But hey, it was a life-changing experience, and if their happy, I’m happy. But don’t tell me you did it for the kids? You did it for your resumรฉ and to give yourself some edge…

10. The Guidebook

“Uhh look a church” click, click, click. “This church was build in 1856 by King Alexander, who gave it to his donkey bla bla bla.”
Never wanting to look up from the guidebook to actually see the attractions for themselves, it’s more important to check off their To-Do-List than actually enjoying their trip. “Did you see Sacre Coeur?”
“You bet ya we did. We got a private tour, and did you know that it is Jean D’arc in front of it”. This type doesn’t do anything half-hearted. It’s all the way or no way! So expect to walk from 9-19 and see every possible museum, park, church, castle or statue!

11. The Tourist

You will most likely find this type on the famous City Sightseeing busses. Easy and to the point. You don’t have to do a simple thing or even think for yourself. This is the easy version if you’re not traveling with a guidebook type, who can drag you through town with a nonstop flow of facts. In the bus, there’s a guide who just tells you the essentials so you can go home and tell your parents that is was indeed Gaudi who designed La Sagrada Familia. Non as throughout as the guidebook, but it does the job.

12. The Tanner

“Uhh sun, let’s go tanning”. They don’t care which country they’re in, as long as there’s sun and a pool or some sort of water. Not to swim in, you silly. No, no. Water attracts sun, thus makes you more tan! And let’s face it. If you come home whiter than before, were you really on vacation at all? Their best story is when they fainted from tanning too much. Worth it! Look at that tan-line…

13. The Go-Pro’er

“Hey guys, are we having fun wuhuuu”. Always holding a penis extension for their Go-Pro, they are ready to film every waken moment. They will never ever use this footage for anything, but it makes them look pretty cool. “And look, it even films in 4K”. Wow. That will be great for when they need to show their amazing footage in a cinema… Come on. If you’re not gonna use it, just stop.

14. The Food Lover

There’s always that one person who want to eat at every single moment. It’s fun for you as well, for they will try all the new cuisine, you’re too scared to try. “A scorpion? Sure! Dog. Bring it on!” I mean, it may be gross, but let them do their thing. We all travel for different reasons. If they want to spend their money at the most expensive Michelin restaurants, be my guest.

15. The Group

Most likely their first time away from home, around 18-20 years old, these people are here for a good time. They don’t really know what’s happening, for they have an adult to transport them from one place to another other. If they’re from the same country, it’s certain that they are bonding over old childhood songs (in Denmark MGP) and singing along to “I’ll make a man out of you (Rigtige mรฆnd)” from Mulan.
They don’t really notice anybody but their group, but they will have great stories that no-one outside the group will understand or laugh at.