Most of you might know that I have been on a massive "summer break" from uni since the end of October (yes it is summer in Australia right now ). At my uni you can choose to study all year round or to study all your courses in 2 thirds of the year instead and have 1 third off, so that's what I've done. My next semester starts next week on Monday, so then it's back to spending all my spare time + weekends studying again...
...It doesn't bother me too much though. I really enjoy my courses so far, and I strongly believe that I made the right choice studying environmental science. However, I am going to continue working at my part time job 3 days per week now which is going to make it extra challenging to keep up. Guess time will tell how it goes!
Starting uni again next week has made me reflect upon what I have been up to during my summer break (apart from working). I went to Sweden for a month as you have seen in my last post, but I have also spent a considerable amount of time here in Brisbane too! I was going through my photos on my phone today and I thought I might as well share a few memories here on the blog too
We have been to numerous exciting bars and eateries around the city!
We have been to UnderWater World which was actually a very pleasant surprise! For a number of years I have been hesitant to go to "zoos" or similar unless of course they are rescue facilities. UnderWater World is not a rescue facility, although they do have rescue seals that performed a show when we were there, and oh my God those seals got to my heart! Watching the seal show made me feel like 8 years old again, the tricks they pulled off were really advanced! All seals had been rescued from the wild (one had suffered a severe shotgun wound???) and deemed unsuitable to be released again after treatment, and they seemed to have a pretty sweet life at the park. Apart from rescuing seals, the aquarium also brought attention to the problem with pollution of our oceans: a crucial factor if we are going to enjoy sea life in the future too!
We have been to the beach of course
Celebrated valentines day
And enjoyed life in general! .....As usual
Home Sweet Home..
I feel like I have been saying that a lot recently. I have just come back home to Australia, from my home in Sweden. I visited my family and friends in Gothenburg, which was my home for 9 months last time I lived in Sweden. Furthermore, I visited in my home town and stayed at mum's house which was my home for 19 years.
Having so many places to call home can be a bit shattering, as I realise my heart won't ever again belong to just one place. However, I prefer to look at it as a privilege:
I have had the opportunity to settle for a while in so many different, amazing places that I feel like I belong everywhere and nowhere. Security and freedom at the same time!
In total, me and Alex spent a bit over three weeks in Sweden this time around. We arrived just before Christmas, and returned at the beginning of this week (15th January). We landed in Stockholm in the the afternoon of the 20th of December, and decided to stay a night there before continuing our journey up to northern Sweden. Of course, we stayed at our favourite hotel: Downtown Camper. Not only because of it's cozy vibe and central location, but for the amazing breakfast buffet! ☕ You won't believe how amazing it is to enjoy a proper Swedish breakfast after a long time overseas!
After some shopping and some "fika" (coffee) in Gamla Stan (Old town, Stockholm) we headed to the airport where we met up with mum before getting on the flight to northern Sweden together. A few hours later we arrived at grandma's cabin, as magical and gingerbread-y as always ✨
It was incredible to get to celebrate Christmas in literally the most Christmas-y environment ever (sorry Australia, you're lovely but you'll never be Christmas-y). It has been a bit of a tradition to go to the cabin every year for Christmas as I grew up, but it still doesn't fail to impress me every time I go there. Furthermore, it is of course extra special when Alex is able to come and experience the extreme lifestyle of the north together with me. ⛄
After a week in the snow we travelled south again. Alex went to England over New Year's while I celebrated together with my brothers and friends in Gothenburg. Alex returned to Sweden on his birthday, 5th January and we booked a nice hotel in the city and went out for a few drinks to celebrate. The following week we took the train to my home town, Nyköping, mainly to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday (huge success ) before heading back to Australia.
Overall I couldn't have wished for a better holiday period. I got to return to Sweden and get cure for my home sickness until next time again. I got to celebrate the holidays with the people I love. I got to meet up with very missed friends. And of course me and Alex got a chance to do what we do best: escape the everyday life to explore different horizons.
Best of all: I discovered coming home from a holiday isn't so bad when you live in paradise
It's that time of the year: the time when my babe gets time off from work and gets on the next plane to wherever in the world we want to be! ✈
This time we reunited in Brisbane, which made this trip a little different from when we have traveled together before. As I live here now, and Alexsandra has been in Brisbane before, we decided not to travel around so much this time and take some time just to kick back and enjoy the holidays a bit more. Normally, we would have rented a van or something and done a heap of touristy stuff. This time, we kind of stayed in and around Brisbane and valued other things such as: sleep-ins , the local pubs and clubs , waking up in our own place , not having to carry around luggage , and in general enjoying the luxury of doing nothing ✨.
Sounds boring? Hells no, we still got up to stuff! As per usual, Alexsandra timed her b-day perfectly with her holiday and my awesome uni squad helped me arrange a surprise party for her! It was so much fun, I have never arranged a surprise party before but it turned out to be a success!
We also spent some time down in Surfer's paradise as Alex (the boyfriend that is), (aaaargh there are so many "Alexs'" in my life ) had a huge, gorgeous hotel room there for work (though the second night he ditched us and went to stay in another hotel in a national park so we had to book into a hostel......).
Surfer's paradise definitely grew on me on this trip. I always thought it was a bit tacky, like, the people there have seemed pretty "douchey" and the place could be pretty shallow. This time around, we met some really good people, had a really fun stay and I must admit the beach is just gorgeous!
Back in Brisbane, it was time to man-up: we we're invited to play paintball with my uni squad! Neither me nor Alexsandra knew what to expect as we had never played before. I think Alexsandra was definitely less scared to try it than me though! I was seriously considering to chicken-out multiple times! Nontheless I found myself in some military gear and with a gun in my hand ready to go to war. 900 bullets later we got of the field. Even though it was slightly terrifying and very painful to get hit, the adrenaline made up for it and it was so much fun! If it wasn't so expensive I could do this every weekend
In the last few days we made sure to get a good view of the city that had been hosting us and went to three different look-out points around Brisbane. We got to see way more than we came for though, as we looked up to see Venus, Jupiter, the half-full moon, Saturn and Mars lined up on the twilight sky above us! That is 4 out of 5 possible planets to be seen from Earth! I have always been a bit of a space nerd, me and my mother always use to try and get a glimpse of astronomical events, so this absolutely blew my mind! Mars being bright and read, Venus being bright and white, while Saturn and Jupiter appeared as large stars. Magical
Finally, on the very last day of Alexsandras visit, we gave in to tourism and went to the most Aussie place around: Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo.
It was sad to say goodbye on Wednesday night as it felt like the two weeks we had went by so quickly, though at the same time we both had commitments to return to with work, uni, and of course Alexsandra's cat . Even though it is rough to say bye when living on the other side of the planet I know that I will see her again soon as I am coming home for Christmas this year. Also, this babe has proven that she can keep her promise to visit me over and over again, so I don't have to worry too much
Thanks for an amazing two weeks Alexsandra See you next time! x
As you propably know me and Alex spent a long time finding our perfect new home before finally deciding on a three room apartment in the inner suburbs. It has now been a bit over a month since the official move in date and the place is coming together piece by piece and is already feeling like home❤️ I am so happy with our choice: being close to the city, work, uni, cafés and bars. Also, we have a far view from our spacious balcony and a pool to cool off in when summer comes around. After spending most of my time overseas in hostels or share houses, I didn't realise what joy it could being to have your own place, with your own furniture, and your own favourite human✨
Hi there! Initially intended to update here a lot earlier but have been so busy since we moved in to the city that I just haven't found time to do it, but here's a quick recap:
Friday 29th June: We picked up a rental van and packed all our stuff.
Saturday 30th June: We waved goodbye to the house in Victoria point and headed with three cars towards the city (Alex's parents we're kind enough to pack their car full of stuff as well so we wouldn't have to make two trips). We spent all day moving in to our new home and then celebrated with a gorgeous dinner at the local restaurant featuring cocktails on fire and tapas.
Monday 2nd July: We spent the whole week enjoying the perks of living in the city, including going out for dinner with friends, having a late night BBQ on the rooftop, seeing friends for drinks and trivia!
Saturday 7th July: We took a cab to the Teneriffe festival and enjoyed food, drinks, music, piggy racing and heaps of other entertainment before going out to watch the World Cup
We have also had time to visit Warner Bro's Movie World, a paradise of crazy roller coasters, super heroes and entertainment, so there is no denying we have been enjoying our new location to the fullest!
As if that wasn't enough, in the middle all this, uni has officially stared for me! Yep, Monday 9th July was my first day and I am already deep into studying genetics and evolutionary biology, bio-chemistry, earth systems and so on. Even though it is a bit daunting to start a science degree at a foreign university, it is also very exciting!
Though I haven't celebrated midsummer in Sweden for a few years now it doesn't stop me from doing something to appreciate this holiday. Midsummer is all about seeing family and friends, having delicious meals and enjoying the pleasant climate of the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.
At the moment it is full-on winter here in Australia. As a matter of fact, Brisbane had it's shortest day of the year same day as people in Sweden were enjoying the midnight sun. Completely disregarding the fact that it is winter and that the sun sets at 5pm here, I arranged a midsummer party together with my friends Dennis and Linda (see below) and hoped that a few people would want to celebrate Midsummer together with us.
After a traditional lunch with salmon, herring, eggs and booze we headed of to South Bank; a big parkland area were we had announced that the event would take place on social media. Over a few hours more people started dropping in and by the end of it we were about 20 people!
The hours flew past as we spent the day and night chatting, hearing about each other's stories, playing beer-kubb (a Swedish back yard game turned into a drinking game), listened to music and enjoyed the beautiful view by the water. The plan was originally to go out but we had such a good time in South Bank that we didn't leave before it was time to go home around midnight.
A slight bit of panic kicked in as I realised I was almost out of battery on my phone and it was too far to take a cab to where we live now. But, my savior Alex was there and ready to pick me up as I was ready to go home ❤ Soon enough though that won't have to be a problem as me and Alex are moving to the city on Friday! Yay! But more about that in a later post!
Swedish delicacies: of some reason we have the same food for all holidays...? Luckily it's good!
It is difficult to know exactly what you are after when it comes to looking at apartments online; will the area be nice? Is there enough natural lighting? How far away from the bus line will we live? Will we be able to make this place into our home? And so on. A lot of the time the pictures in the adverts can be pretty misleading too as the photos may only be "a guideline", aka may not display the apartment you're actually applying for.
Either way me and Alex have already been on a few inspections which has been very inspiring, though also quite exhausting! We have a massive amount of seven other apartments to look at as well on Thursday so I'm thinking we might have to load up with coffee or red bull, as well as take time for a lunch break. if we are going to manage. Exciting time nontheless!!
These pictures are from when we had lunch at a Mexican place in South bank last Monday! It was lovely to have lunch out at my favourite part of town again even though they forgot about our order, the fire alarm went off and we missed out on the lunch + drink deal. Oh well!
Other than that we had a stroll through Fish Lane which is a cute little alley way between West End and South Brisbane which was recently hosting an arts festival! The walls of the alley is now not only lined by little cafes and bars, they are now covered in beautiful futuristic art as well
The rest of the week has been spent around the house in Victoria point/Redland Bay (I still haven't got my head around which suburb we're in?!?!?!) while trying to sort out as many practical things as possible. On the list we have:
-Look for furniture
-Look for a job
-Open up a common account
-Get some stuff sorted out in Sweden
-AND HEAPS MORE
So it was good to have a bit of a break yesterday (oh look at me, already complaining though I live in paradise and don't have to work ) when Georgia had some friends over and I could hang out with them. We spent the day taking Charlie (the dog) to a dog friendly cafe as well as a dog park, followed up by having fish 'n' chips for lunch and crafting cute bracelets from old books and nail polish ✨
Life aint so bad folks
More than 30 hours of my life passed getting from Stockholm to Brisbane but I couldn't be happier.
The journey went smooth with no major delays nor troubles. I arrived in Brisbane about 11.30am yesterday and there Alex was waiting for me
We did a small detour to the shopping mall I used to work at to buy something for his parents and it all just came back to me like I had not been gone a day. The roads, the shops, the surroundings, everything was so familiar! Arriving at Alex's parent's house I got greeted by Charlie the dog who barks at strangers but not at me, somehow I felt such joy just from him remembering me Meeting Alex's family also felt very natural, like nothing had changed.
Just the fact that nothing about coming back to Brisbane felt alien at all is so relieving. I mean, just because you felt comfortable somewhere once doesn't mean you will do so forever. Of course I have been worried that coming back to Australia a second time would never be as good as the first time, but those fears have gone away now. I feel as welcome and as at home as ever.
At the moment the time is just about lunch time, 12:06pm and I can't say I'm jet lagged anymore. Staying awake last night was hard as I did not really get much sleep on the plane. I had a nap during the day as well and went to bed about 9pm. I just couldn't stay awake any longer. About 12 hours later I woke up and the jet lag was gone
After breakfast me and Alex took Charlie for a walk, and even though he's about 77 dog years old he goes mental as soon as you say the word "walk" (the reason he wouldn't stay still in the picture). The area around here is so lovely, not only do they have an ocean-view from their kitchen and living room in the house, there is also a lovely walk along the beach prepared with drinking water for the dogs and so on.
Would be totally keen to just hang around the house and the beach this weekend but there's a birthday party going down to celebrate my former house mate Caitlin and another friend Jim that we are going to tonight.
I guess there's really no rest for the wicked ✨
It is now only 1.5 hours until my plane departs from Stockholm Arlanda Airport towards a completely different life.
I have been receiving a lot of calls and text messages from my lovely friends and family today who are all wondering the same thing: am I nervous? And I guess I should be, it would be pretty sane to be nervous about leaving everything I know behind and starting up a new life from scratch (that's a lie, I've got Alex and his amazing family to support me, but except for that).
Fact is I'm not nervous at all though.
It's not like this decision to move happened recklessly overnight without any rational thought nor planning involved. I have been processing this for nine months. 9 months! That's enough to conceive a child Goddammit! ~Jokes aside, I have been really serious when looking at my options and I have become completely sure that I can and that I will do this. Study in Australia. And now there's just no reason to be nervous anymore.
I have been longing to return to Brisbane ever since I left in August last year, and now it is finally happening (well, I'll need to endure 27 hours on a plane first)! I can't tell you how excited and geateful I am to be able to life my dream life
Anyway, I felt like I haven't been fair to Sweden here on the blog as I haven't updated at all since I came home. Therefore, I feel a need to do Sweden justice by posting a few beautiful moments from my time in Sweden, this time around. Enjoy!
Funäsdalen ski holiday
Sälen ski holiday
Brunch at Lotta's place
Easter celebrations in Sammakko. Lukas and his girlfriend Emelie
Grandma taking a walk in the northern forests
Emelie and I petting Ronja by the sauna in Sammakko
My mother and I on a snow mobile adventure up Jertta mountain
Myself enjoying the first rays of sun this year at our apartment in Gothenburg
Brunch in Gothenburg
Range Rover Sport that we rented to go to Denmark
Weekend in Denmark with Sanna, Dennis, Jack and Fredrik (behind the camera)
Weekend in Stockholm with the family
My mother and two brothers @ TAK Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Stockholm
Moules frittes @ Belgian bar in Stockholm
First BBQ for the season (the meat was not for me, no need to ask)
Brothers Simon and Lukas in Södermalm, Stockholm
Gamla stan, Stockholm
Home made Strawberry Daiquiri with bestie Alexsandra
Botanical Gardens, Gothenburg
Picnic in the Botanical Gardens with Maria, Emelie and Lukas
Generous Swedish breakfast at grandma's place in Malmö, Sweden
I am so grateful for my time in Sweden, the weather was completely shit 8 out of 9 months to be honest but the last month of sunshine made up for it! ☀️
More than anything I have made amazing friends and I hope that I will be able to see them again soon. ❤️
The lady on the speakers at the airport is now calling for boarding, 1.5 hours passed by quickly while writing this post! See you soon Brisbane!
It's been a long time since last time I posted anything. It's been a struggle with motivation as ya'll know I have been living in Gothenburg in Sweden since September last year and haven't really been doing much travelling. Or actually, that's a lie. I DID travel for about a month over Christmas together with Alex when he came to visit me. We did Sweden, Norway and England together and it was so lovely to meet all his relatives in England (and hilarious when he met my relatives who don't really speak English up in northern Sweden). Either way, except for that month of travelling I have just been working while sharing an apartment with my brother.
Over the time in Gothenburg I have made some really good friends and I have definitely fallen in love with the city (I'm not originally from here). The spirit of Gothenburg is really genuine and cultural, and now that summer has arrived, the city is truly beautiful. But there is another city, or more specifically one person, who had my heart before I even moved over here, and that's who I'm going to return to.
I'm obviously talking about Alex, living in a dreamy, tropical city on the East coast of Australia: Brisbane. Ever since I left Australia in August last year I haven't been able to let go of the thought of returning. It seemed a bit of a struggle though to get another visa, but that all came into place once...
I GOT ACCEPTED TO A UNIVERSITY IN BRISBANE!!
That's right, I'll soon be commencing a three-year degree in Environmental Science, based in beautiful Brisbane. Best of all, I get to go there on the 30th of May this year already! I can't believe how soon that is.
So, I have recently had my last day of work in Gothenburg. I had a very emotional but amazing leaving party last weekend to see off my loved and beautiful friends in Gothenburg, and on Wednesday this week I am renting a car to go back to my home town and spend my last week at home before moving overseas again.
It is a very big move to do. Literally, I am moving to the other side of the planet. I am very aware that it is a heart breaking move to do, for me and for my family. But hey, it's 2018. Flights are leaving every hour of the day, every day. So if Brisbane isn't for me, it's not like I'm stuck there forever. If I don't do this now, I am going to regret it for the rest of my life. Imagine thinking to yourself when it's all too late:
I didn't even give it a try.
Also, it not only heartbreak and sorrow that I'm moving. I mean, I wouldn't go unless I was HELLA EXCITED AND IT'S LIKE A DREAM COMING TRUE THAT I'LL GET TO STUDY WHAT I LOVE, WHERE I LOVE, WITH WHO I I LOVE?!?!??!?!?!???
Brisbane brace yourself I'm coming for you