Going to Gothenburg? Liseberg is a must do!

Living in Oslo, the city of Gotheburg in Sweden is only a 3 hour ride away. So waking up on Staurday morning we decided to take a short weekend break and go to Gothenburg to have some fun. Our main goal was the amusement park Liseberg

It was my first trip both to Gothenburg and Liseberg. Having only Saturday night and Sunday morning in the city before heading to the park didn't leave much time for exploring. But I will go back for a longer weekend, because Gothenburg is a small, trendy and beautiful city. We had dinner at the Dim Sum restaurant Hello Monkey and breakfast at Konditori Brogyllen. I can recommend both.

Liseberg

But let's talk amusement park! Liseberg is a bit different than many other parks. It,s actually very cozy with a calm athomsphere. Well... there are off course the long lines and loads of people in the high season, that's hard to avoid, But there are small wooden buildings with shops and kiosks, a small harbour and streets you can stroll along accompagnied by cute swedish music (not Abba, more "Svenska visor"). And the food you can buy there is really good.

And there is the attractions - like Helix - the longest and fastest roller coaster in Scandinavia. And my favourite AtmosFear - the tallest free fall attraction in Europe. Liseberg has attractions for everyone, read about them here.

So - go to Gotheburg and make sure one day is for Liseberg only. Have fun!

PicsArt_09-28-02.47.08.jpg

Hiking Besseggen, Norway - a unique scenery

This weekends escape was to the area of Jotunheimen, to hike over Besseggen ridge. The scenery is unique and hard to compare with other mountain hikes I have done. The views are amazing. I loved it.

Besseggen ridge is also one of Norways most popular mountain hikes, so you won't stroll on your own. But I didn't mind, it was still worth it and more! The night before our hike we camped by lake Gjende, also very recommended if you are in the area.

Worth knowing before hiking Besseggen

  • You need to be fit. The hike takes about 6-8 hours + breaks with net 900 meters elevation gain/loss. And you should have some hiking experience. Parts of the hike is rough, you need to use your hands and shouldn't be too afraid of hights. But it's not an extremely hard walk, so if you are normally fit and have done some hiking earlier - go for it. 
  • Start early, I recommend to start from Memburu and walk to Gjendesheim. That way you walk up the steepest part with plenty of air on both sides. It's way less scary than walking down. You can stay at Memburu lodge or camp. If you camp you can send your luggage with the boat to Gjendesheim and pick it up when you get there. Or you can stay at Gjendesheim lodge or camp by Gjende llke we did. Then you take the boat to Memburu the day of your hike. Make sure you catch one of the earlier boats and take your place in the line about 30 minutes before departure to secure your place.
  • Pack good clothing and enough food and water. We had all kinds of weather from sun to heavy wind and sideways rain in the middle of July.
  • Bring you camera and make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy the views!

Some picture from our camp/hike. 

The famous view

The famous view

My man taking photos 

My man taking photos 

Photo: Bjørn Dyresen 

Photo: Bjørn Dyresen 

Met Rudolf

Met Rudolf

Our camp

Our camp

Bliss. Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

Bliss. Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

The beautiful city of Split, Croatia

Split in Croatia is my kind of city. It has narrow streets, it's a walkable size, the architecture is beautiful, the food is great and it's by the sea. My hotel was actually inside the ruins of the Diocletian's Palace, so was many other hotels, restaurants, shops, a church and more. It's like a city in a city. Very cool!

I spent about a day and a half in Split. And even though it's a beautiful city that is pretty much what you need to see what's worth seeing in the city center. And especially when the temperature is way beyond 30 degrees celsius like when I was there. But there are beaches just outside of the city and many boats departs from Split to the islands.

This is what I did see and recommend:

  • The Diocletian's Palace - off course. Take your time walking the streets, have an Espresso or a glass of great Croatian white wine in one of the many cafes (the best ones are hidden in the corner of a street). It's touristy yes - but nice!
  • Substructions of the Diocletian's Palace. Not really much to see, it's empty. But it's cool. And it's where Daenery's kept her dragons in Game of Thrones!
  • The Bell Tower at the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Climb to the top for a great view (not if you are claustrophobic or afraid of hights). 
  • Check out the shops, Split has low prices and some very nice shops.
  • Take a seat at one of the many benches facing the sea and just watch it.
  • The fish marked by the shopping street - fun to watch.

Eat, drink and sleep:

  • Sleep at Villa Split Luxury rooms if you can. Amazing staff, beautiful rooms, great breakfast! 
  • Bepa, Mazzgoon and Corto Maltese are great places for food and drinks inside of the palace walls.

If you are based in Europe, Split is a great city for a weekend escape, but it's mostly city to start or end you vacation in Croatia, that off course also includes some of the islands and Dubrovnik. <3 Croatia.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

My first desert experience – Wadi Rum, Jordan

And what an experience! Born and raised between steep mountains and deep fjords, the desert was something I only saw in movies. In Wadi Rum I got to both see it from the back of a camel riding into the sunset, on a jeep ride and I slept there.

Most deserts are flat and can feel endless. Wadi Rum is different with mountain formations changing all the time.

We arrived the Wadi Rum desert late afternoon ready for our desert experience. Our driver parked the car and a jeep driver from Rahayeb Camp drove us to the camp, my first glimpse of the desert, I loved it from the first moment. Arriving the camp tea was served (lots of tea time in the desert) and we found our VIP tent (it had showers and all). Then it was time for our camel ride.

My fascination for camels was really big at this point (they are so funny!) and it was mye first ride on one. I simply loved riding through the desert! We arrived our goal, a small hill to watch the sunset from. Everybody else arrived in jeeps, only us on camels. Fun! And a beautiful sunset!

The rest of the evening in the camp wasn’t all that. Food was good, cooked in the ground, but then it all went quiet pretty fast. But we slept very well. The next day the jeep ride was the really big treat. Just cruising through the desert for three hours on the back of a jeep, wind in the hair, different mountain formations passing through all the time. And off course the driver stopped for amazing photo spots all the time. If I just subtract the two times we stopped at touristy spots to be served tea and ”entertainment” (men smoking water pipe) with goods for sale, it was pretty perfect!

Yes, I loved the desert experience! Sleeping there was no big deal, but I wouldn’t mind cruising around even more. Maybe on a horse next time.

My trip around Jordan was sponsored by Sherazade Travel. But my opinions are off course my own.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Yoga everywhere

I think travelling and yoga are my two favorite things in the world. And luckily they combine very well. After all, yoga is like a travel in itself, a way to experience and explore. 

Like the beautiful yoga retreat I went to in Italy last summer where I also combined it with a few days in Naples. That was the yoga retreat where I found my own yoga way. Or the yoga and surf retreat I went to in Portugal, amazing place, loads of fun. I'm a big fan of Ashtanga yoga, a passion I found when I went to Goa in India a few years ago. And you don't have to go to a yoga retreat to do yoga when travelling. Yoga can be done everywhere. Like at sunset on the beautiful beaches of Bali. Or you can just bring your yoga math (by one for travelling) and do it at any hotel or floor you find. 

Just do it, do yoga everywhere! 

Inhale the future, exhale the past.


upload.jpg

Istanbul: Tradition meets modern hipster

Up and down the streets in and around the Grand Bazaar you see people drinking tea and men running around with treys filled with tea glasses and one sugar cube for each. In the more hipsterish area, Karakoy, you find a more modern form, my mint tea came in a big cup filled with fresh mint leaves and fruit. They take their tea and their tea time seriously in Istanbul.

I love cities where traditions and the modern life blends together. Where you can see the everyday life of the people living there out on the streets, where they manage to be them selves even if the tourists run around and new trends find their way. I loved Istanbul, so vibrant, so much to see! Beautiful mosques and towers, great culture and food coffee and tea. I only had three days, it's not really enough, but this is what I recommend from my days there:

Galata Bridge
Walking over Galata Bridge the fishers live their lives, many stay there all day long, fishing and chatting with each other, the tea breaks are many. Under the bridge you find all the restaurants no one goes to, but they work very hard getting you in there. Instead people eat their fish sandwich by the Bosphorus river. The view walking over the bridge is great!

Bosphorus river cruise
It is really nice to see all the mosques and the beautiful city from the seaside. Take the short two hour cruise, they run from the riverside by Galata Bridge.

Galata Tower
They say it's expensive, maybe not worth it, but I say it is. The 360 degree view is amazing! This is where you get the really great view photos. By accident I was up there just when the Friday prayer was done, listening to the sound of many many mosques at the same time was really something. 

Sultanahmet
The area of Sultanahmet has a beautiful park, many mosques and museums and much more. I didn't have that much time so I prioritized to see Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque, both worth seeing!

Karakoy and Hotel Sub Karakoy
I stayed at the hotel Sub Karakoy in Karakoy. A very nice and central area (I could walk everywhere) and so many many cool and good restaurants, coffee shops and bars. This is where the hipsters hang out. And Sub Karakoy is one of the very best hotels I have stayed at EVER. The design was really beautiful, the service was perfect, the roof top bar super cool, the breakfast yummy (every day served with todays traditional dessert) and they even gave me a present when I left and a gift on New Years eve (I was there then). I highly recommend it both for the location and everything else.

The Grand Bazaar, the spice marked and the streets in between
The Grand Bazaar is a must see. A really big old marked where they sell just about everything. I didn't buy anything though, I'm not a big fan of bargaining and too much of the stuff is fake. But, go there early in the day while the sellers have their tea break and chat with each other rather then pushing things on you, just observe! And sit down at one of the cafes and have a tea yourself. Afterwards, walk the narrow streets down to the spice market. In these streets the locals shop just about everything they need. Walking here you can observe much of the culture of Istanbul. And step by the Spice market to. 

Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square
Istlklal Caddesi is a long shopping street with no traffic and a old tram passing by now and then in between the street boots selling what food is right for the season. Not exactly shopping like New York, but there are some nice shops. The street ends up in Taksim Square, also worth seeing.


This is what I had the time to do, but there is so much more. I don't think anyone will regret going to Istanbul, it's a lovely city! Bring good shoes and walk, that's when you see the real life of the city.

 

the view from Galata tower&nbsp;

the view from Galata tower 

At the Spice marked

At the Spice marked

upload.jpg
Galata bridge

Galata bridge

At the Grand Bazaar&nbsp;

At the Grand Bazaar 

Hagia Sofia&nbsp;

Hagia Sofia 

Inside the Blue Mosque&nbsp;

Inside the Blue Mosque 

Shoreditch - my London hood

Shoreditch, east London, Hackney. It's rough around the edges, more street art and construction sites than parks and cozy streets. But loads of hip cafes, random art galleries, all kinds of restaurants and good shopping. An interesting area, mye favourite London place to be.

Actually I've stayed in Shoreditch the last three times I have been to London (I have been in London around ten times). It's the mixture that intrigues me. Me like Shoreditch.

Here's a few places in Shoreditch I recommend:

Make sure you experience Shoreditch on your next London trip. 

Shoreditch streetart&nbsp;

Shoreditch streetart 

Pre travel happiness

I have not traveled outside of Norway since Berlin in July. That's a long time for me, probably the longest time without traveling for 3-4 years. This autumn has just been to busy, but that's about to change.

Even though I didn't have the time to travel I did plan for the next travels, I just need that to look forward to. Especially when it came to November I needed something waiting ahead. November is really the worst month of the year, dark, rainy and all of that... 

And now! I'm leaving for Paris and Le web tomorrow! When traveling with work I try to get a couple of days extra, this time as well: Shopping, hanging around in Montmartre and Le Marais, christmas market at Champs Elysees. I'm coming Paris!

But there is more, just four days after returning from Paris I'm going to Costa Rica

I'm one lucky girl!


Visit Urke and Hjørundfjorden with Hurtigruten

The guests arrive at the dock in the small town of Urke. They are welcomed by the host of the day, and given a brochure about the town. Pictures are taken beside the "Downtown Urke" sign, surrounded by mountains reflected in the fjord. The locals like to chat and invite the guests to visit the small very cozy partly volunteer driven Kaihuset cafe. No need to buy anything, but if they feel like, the coffee is good and there are home made cakes and waffles. 

Hurtigruten is a daily passenger and freight shipping service along Norway's western and northern coast. Many would say they offer the worlds most beautiful voyage. Two years ago it started sailing in the fjord called Hjørundfjorden during September and October, the trip is called Autumn Gold

I grew up in Urke, the small town where the passengers can walk around for a couple of hours when visiting Hjørundfjorden with Hurtigruten. I'm extremely proud when I see how the locals are welcoming the guests, this is a big thing for the town with less then 50 inhabitants and for all of us who used to live there, we finally get to show it all to the world! Because Urke is truly amazingly beautiful, just look around Instagram

So if you are going to visit Norway, Urke should be on the list. Travelling with Hurtigruten is one way to visit, but you can also go to Urke in other ways and stay at Urke Camping or the amazing historic Hotel Union Øye in the neighbor town Øye. There are also other options to rent cabins etc. 

Hurtigruten in front of Urke, late October.

Hurtigruten in front of Urke, late October.

Waiting for the passengers strolling around Urke.

Waiting for the passengers strolling around Urke.

Hurigruten waiting while guests are visiting Kaihuset cafe.

Hurigruten waiting while guests are visiting Kaihuset cafe.

Urke and Hjørundfjorden seen from the mountain Saksa.

Urke and Hjørundfjorden seen from the mountain Saksa.

(This post is not in any way sponsored by Hurtigruten or any other local parts involved, but its filled with my subjective thoughts about the town where I grew up):

How to get more out of your business travels

Work/volunteer work related travels is actually the reason I'm so hooked on travelling. Almost all of my working career I have been doing some kind of workish related travelling. I have visited most of the 30ish countries I have been to because of that.

One of my first travels like this was to Cyprus. I was in Cyprus for three days and only saw the inside of my hotel. That's when I decided this wasn't the way I wanted it. I wanted to see more of the places I was so lucky to go to. I started to plan these travels so that I stayed an extra night or more. Sometimes just an extra evening to see at least a little bit. 

If you travel much for business you might see it as a hassle, but there is so much you can get out of just those short travels. Here's my advice on how to see more on your business travels:

  • If possible - stay for one extra day or more. Maybe your meeting or conference is on a day close to the weekend, stay the weekend if you can. 
  • Don't want to stay away for too long? Family or work waiting back home maybe? Just by taking a flight a few hours before you have to, you can see much of the place you are going to.
  • Find a central hotel (if you get to decide that yourself). Then you can easily see more of wherever you are.
  • Don't stay at the hotel using room service. Go out to eat or have a drink, go for a walk, explore where you are.
  • Go for a run. Skip the hotel gym, go for a run instead. You get pretty far running and can explore much of the city you're in.
  • Walk. If you can walk from where you stay to your meeting, make the time to do that instead of taking a taxi. Again - you see so much more.
  • Work from a cafe. Doing some work beside the meeting or conference you are going to? Find a cafe with wifi and work from there, it gives you more then sitting at your hotel room.
  • Do some research. It doesn't take much research to get to know a little bit more about the sights and other stuff at the place you are going to. And then it's all so much easier when you get there.

And don't forget - you can also explore cities you have been to before. I have been to London many many times, but I love London. So I try to stay in a new area of the city when I go back and I always get to see something I have not seen before.

Even when I travel for work in Norway I try to get some more out of my trip. This week I went to Bergen, the most beautiful city in Norway. I have been to Bergen many times during the last months, but I still try to get more out of each trip. This time I just travelled there a few hours before I had to and then I had the time to walk a nice evening stroll when I got there. And when I needed to get some work done before going to the airport I went to one of my favorite cafes in Bergen Kaffemisjonen and had my breakfast and worked from there. 

These pictures are from Bergen this week. 

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

A blissful Berlin experience contains small change and good shoes

I bloged about Berlin not long ago. But the best tips comes from insiders, so I asked Benedikte who used to live in Berlin to tell us what she likes most in Berlin.

Here is what she has to say:

If you didn't already know: Berlin is a patchwork of what used to be tiny, peculiar villages stitched together into a city that is Chaos In Form (btw the name of a hip shop in Falkensteinstrasse). As a consequence, the city has no true epicenter but rather a string of pearls. A long string, too, which is part of the blessing. But unlike the bead string, Berlin had no beginning nor end and sometimes there are stretches between the oases of good stuff. If you don't want to walk yourself silly it's neither complicated to rent a bike nor maneuver around in traffic on one. The Berlin drivers are used to bikes - but be aware: Riding on the sidewalk can get you a ticket. True story, I live to tell it.

Early 2009 I counted my blessings and realized I had visited Berlin 4 times before Easter. So after graduating as a copy writer, I followed my heart and desire, packed my 7 things and aimed for a sabbath year in Kreuzberg. I got everything I wanted (except the sabbatical rest but I never missed it either). And during my days a couple of musts emerged:    

1. Photo boxes - bring your small change. You'll find them with irregular intervals in the hip areas Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg. Old school style photos and good fun!

2. Mauerpark - epic flea marked every Sunday paralleled with magnificently organized karaoke in the park. Leave your lunch box but bring your change.

3. The Turkish Market - Tuesdays and Fridays at the Maybachufer. Veggies, fabric, shoppers and tourists. The cacophony of special offers in Turkish mix with spontaneous concerts at the far end of the market. 

4. Park life - large, lush and lovely parks when the hangover gets too rough or you hang out with kids. Some of the parks has impressing playgrounds and/or open air cinemas. (Achtung, nur auf Deutsch)

5. Breakfast - most cafes with some dignity offer a variety of Frühstück right until supper time. You usually get a huge plate with a tower of goodies and a basket of bread to go with it. Weekends there will be excessive buffets at fixed prices. Work up an appetite, get there early and stay until late.

Benedikte Kluge 


Have fun and relax in Berlin

Berlin is fun, it's calm, it has its beauty and is a live history lesson. I love it! Berlin is one of those cities where you just feel relaxed and it's kind of hard to say why because it's an enormous city both in people living there and the size of it. Maybe it has to do with all the parks in between all the city stuff, maybe it's the people. Anyways, I love the feeling.

And Berlin is fun! So many great bars and clubs, people walking down the street drinking beer (and manage to not get to drunk doing it), all kinds of people, a vibrant start up scene and so much more. But Berlin is also one big history lesson, wherever you go there are references from the war, there are tons of museums, historic buildings, places and monuments. Actually there is so much to see and do in Berlin that I recommend more then a long weekend there. Or just go back. I've been there twice, the last time this summer. And I will be back! Here's my top Berlin tips:

 

How to get around?

Berlin is actually one of the cities in the world with the longest distant between the different parts of the city. And there is really nothing you can call the city centre.  I usually recommend walking, to see more different stuff. But you definitely have to move around otherwise in Berlin. And the best way is the subway/metro (or S bahn and U bahn as its called there), it goes almost everywhere and is quite effective. And to see something you didn't plan to see, just hop of on a random station:)

 

What to see in Berlin?

Well there is so much, here's some of the things I have seen and recommend:

  • The East Side Gallery - an international memorial for freedom. It is a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.
  • Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg - very hipster cool fun area of the city.
  • The Pergamon Museum - houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings. Actually one of the most impressive museums I've been to. It's located on The Museum Island where you can stroll by many other museums as well.
  • Brandenburger Tor - because of the history, not to hang around the area, to many tourists.
  • Checkpoint Charlie (the museum) - for another history lesson.
  • Parks, I love cities with green lunges, especially in the summer. Just relax and eat a Currywurst.

 

Shopping in Berlin

I think I found one of my favorite shopping streets in the whole world in Berlin this summer; Alte Schonhauser Strasse. The street is filled with cool little shops, a mix of smaller known and unknown designers, lots of fun stuff, vintage shops, cool cafes and restaurants. Some of the streets around it is also great. 

If you are more up for 'mainstream' shopping, go to Kurfürstendam and in Kurfürstendam, KadeWe for more luxury shopping. Great shopping in Berlin!

 

Where to stay?

Stay in an area you think you will like (because of the distance). I loved staying at Michelberger Hotel, very trendy and cool with a great outside restaurant/bar/garden area, not to happy with the food at the restaurant though (except from the breakfast, it was great). It was close to Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg with lots of nice places. And the S and U bahn was just across the street. 

 

You have to to Berlin sometime, I'm sure you'll love it too - everybody does. If you have any good tips yourself, please share them here.  And check out some insider tips from mye friend Benedikte

The back garden at Michelberger

The back garden at Michelberger

People paddle boarding down the river Spree, I want to do that some time

People paddle boarding down the river Spree, I want to do that some time

The East side gallery

The East side gallery

Lisboa

Narrow streets, clothes drying in the sun and colorful or tiled houses. Lisboa is nice and cozy, even though many of the tiled houses are tagged down and you can see that Portugal isn't at a good place concerning the economy at the moment.

Sit down at a cafe in the narrow streets of Bairro Alto, drink an Espresso (coffee is good here) and a cherry liqueur (specialty from Lisboa), wander around the streets, see how people live and eat fish for dinner. 

You should do your research when it comes to dining by the way. Avoid the typical tourist restaurants in the area around Praca Dos Restauradores where the goal is to get you in there, give you some food (not very good) and no service. Unfortunately good service is not a mark I would put on Lisboa.

Stuff you should do In Lisboa:

  • Wander the narrow streets of Bairro Alto - loved it!
  • See the view and take a break at Miradouro De Sao Pedeo. Nice area with trees for shadow and a nice English garden.
  • Take the 28-tram. Nice way to see the whole city and cool old trams. But do not make the mistake I did, take the 28 tram and not the tourist trams driving the same tour for five times the price and you can not get off during the ride.
  • See the great Praca Do Comercio og the triumphal arch. There are some nice restaurants there as well.
  • Visit Museu Mude. The museum for modern design and fashion, a great display on the history of furniture design when I was there. And it's free.
  • Belem and other monuments, churches etc. are all great so see some of them.
  • Walk! My favorite tip for almost all cities, except from when you are going to the top of a hill, there is no reason to not walk in Lisboa. The distance is short around the city and there are nice streets and houses to see everywhere. 

Stuff you don't have to do in Lisboa:

  • Shopping. Lisboa is not a great city for shopping. Except if bags made of cork or stuff with rooster prints is your thing you should go somewhere else to do your shopping. 
  • Bring your high heels. There are cobblestone in all the streets and you have to do a bit of walking to see the nice parts of the city.
  • See Lisboa from the sea. It was a refreshing boat trip but you didn't really see anything special and it was very touristy.

A weekend is enough to see have you "have" to see in Lisboa. Even though it is a nice cozy city it's not on my top list, but if you are going to Portugal to see other places as well and visit beaches in the area it's worth spending a couple of days in the capital. 

More from Portugal: check out my post about surf and yoga in Tipi Valley and Aljezur and the beaches.



That feeling

When you first arrive at a new destination. The first view on the way to your accomodation and when you walk out to the streets for the first time. I love it!

When I come to a big city I get this great feeling immideatly, even though I have been there before. I think it has to do with all the people I see, just belonging there. I really felt good when I arrived in Berlin, Germany this summer. 

It was the day after they won the world championship in football. People were happy, walking down the street laughing and drinking beer. It was warm outside, my hotel was really cool (Michelberger hotel) and the area it was in as well. It all just made me smile and wish I lived there. It must have been visible, my happiness, because the restaurant even gave me free drinks. 

Berlin - always so fun and relaxed at the same time. 

 

image.jpg

Berlin sky line.

Traveling on your own

Sometimes I travel on my own. And I like it. I know people who want to travel on their own, but find it a bit scary and are afraid of getting bored and I know people who do travel alone but have not found the joy of it. So, I wrote down my tip on how to get "better" at traveling on your own.

I travel on my own, not because I have to, but because I want to. I like doing what I want. I also like traveling together with someone. But for me the target of the travel, the travel in itself is most important. I decide that first and then I find out if it fits to travel with someone or I will do it on my own.

My best advices: 

Make a plan for the travel, something to do
It is boring being somewhere where nothing happens. You should travel to a place where there is a great chance of meeting new people, where you can see and discover stuff or where you have a plan to do something else. I have been on my own in New York, maybe the easiest place to travel on your own. There is always something going on. I traveled on my own to a beach holiday in Goa, India. Not much happening there, but my plan was to do and learn more yoga, to relax and read plenty of books. It was great!

Be aware of how long it feels ok to be on your own
I have this limit for how long it feels ok to be on my own. Even though you meet other people it is not like being with your friends back home. Think about how long it feels ok for you just being on your own or with people you don’t know. Some people can travel like that for a year, some people think one week is enough. Try figuring out your limit before planning a long trip.

Get a hobby
And I do not mean learning Salsa so that you can dance the night away in Cuba (even though salsa is a great dance to know and can give you lots of fun in many countries). What I do mean is that it is great to have something to concentrate on where you are. I often have a photo project, the camera keeps me busy and even feels like a good friend. Another tip is to write a travel journal or a blog. Or just find things you plan to see, like all the vintage shops in Paris or all the strangest museums in Berlin. Learning more of the language in the country your are in is another tip, it helps you to meet new people as well.

Books, books, books
To bad if you do not like reading because when you travel alone a book is the perfect thing when waiting at airports, sitting on your own at the coffee shop or at your hotel in the evening. You need it so much more then when you are traveling with someone. My best tip is to read about the country you are in. I love travel guides (one of the areas where I still prefer paper books), but even better is books about the country you are in, about culture, food, history and maybe a story about someone traveling in the country or people living there. Then you learn even more about the country you are in and have entertainment at the same time. 

Find social spots
It actually takes some practice, but if you are dining on your own or are just looking for a place to grab a beer, you should look for places where you see people talking, maybe there is music, a relaxed mood, not the fancy restaurant. A place where it looks comfortable to read your book or easy to get to know people. When it comes to accommodation, a hostel is the best place if you want to meet people. 

Travel with a group
It was not my favourite, I like planning my own trips. But if you are afraid of traveling on your own because of safety or want to make sure that you get to know other people, traveling with a group is great. You just have to find the right company to travel with. Do some research to make sure there are people on your own age, many agencies have a pretty high average age on their travelers. I found one (Gadventures) where the average age is around 30 and they arrange tours with adventures and activities and I loved it. 

Travel and get lost
This advice is my favorite travel advice both when you travel alone and with someone. Throw away your map and walk in the opposite direction, you will definitely see things you did not expect. But use common sense, make sure you do not walk in to areas tourist should keep out from. 

Use common sense
You are more vulnerable when traveling on your own and especially if you are a girl. I swear to common sense: Do not go to areas you know are unsafe (do some research), skip the dark alleys, be sober enough to find your way home or to find a taxi etc.

Do what you feel like
The greatest reason for traveling on your own, you can do exactly what YOU want and I guarantee you will do stuff that you would not do traveling with someone else. 

Do you have another advice to share? Please do below!

Finally selfies is a cool thing to take, ypu do a lot of them traveling on your own.

Finally selfies is a cool thing to take, ypu do a lot of them traveling on your own.


Surf and yoga in beautiful Tipi Valley, Portugal

I can feel the stay at Tipi Valley in my whole body; the big smile on my face as I think back, the peace I feel in inside and the muscles hurting from much more physical activity then I normally have in five days, .

Earlier this summer I spent five days at Tipi Valley Surf & Yoga Eco Camp in the historic area of Aljezur in the south of Portugal. In Tipi Valley you sleep in tipi's (with beds), the electricity is from solar power, the (sometimes) warm water in the outdoor shower is heated in the sun, there is no phone reception or wifi and most of the vegetables and spices in the food are grown at the place. You can really lose yourself there!

A day at Tipi Valley (you can choose to stay for 5 or 7 days) was normally like this:

  • A sweet bell sound is waking me up around 7.45. Outside, tea and fruit is waiting and then it's time for yoga. Yoga is done outside under the cork trees with a beautiful view over the valley and you do your sun salutations as the sun rises. A great way to start the day.
  • After yoga, breakfast was ready and after breakfast David from the surf school was there to pick us up and drive us to the beach. David is a great guy, he also showed us around the area and we visited three different beaches during the stay.
  • Then we had surf instructions and surfing for about two hours with great instructors from Odeceixe surf school.
  • After surfing it was time for lunch, brought in a big casket we would find salads or sandwiches, fruit and more. The location was off course the beach. When we finished our lunch we could surf some more or just relax at the beach or in one of the cafes for 3 hours before David brought us back to Tipi Valley.
  • Back at Tipi Valley we had time to relax in one of the hammocks, have some tea and fruit, take a shower or just do whatever we wanted for some time until it was time for yoga again. The afternoon yoga was of the more restorative type and there was some meditation to.
  • And then dinner was waiting for us. Always amazing home cocked healthy food with lots of vegetables and spices. We would sit by the table enjoying the food until the sun set down in front of us.

It may feel like a busy and strict program, but it really wasn't. I did not even use a watch while I was there and the fact that everything was so planned and great food always brought to you, just made it feel very relaxing. I also really enjoyed the fact that I couldn't use my phone (except on the beach during the day). It all kind of felt like being at summer camp, with adults. 

I also appreciated that even though Tipi Valley is health focused and all, it wasn't like yoga retreats where you could not drink alcohol or coffee and it was not all vegetarian food. We bought wine for dinner some days and went to a bar in Aljezur one evening. It was all up to us, but to be done with respect for fellow travelers and the eco friendly environment.

The week I was there we were 6 people (from England, Ireland, the US and me from Norway, all traveling on our own), but the place had room for 12. You don't need to have any experience with surfing or yoga to go there (I had never even touched a surf board). However, I did find the yoga a bit to basic, I have done yoga for some years and I know that 'back to basic' was good for me but it would be nice if they did adjust it a bit more for those of us more experienced too. On the last day we did yoga and had breakfast at the beach. A really nice experience before heading home.

If you want to totally relax from your every day life and at the same time be physically active, do yoga and surf, eat healthy, live eco friendly and meet new people - then you should definitely check out Tipi Valley!

Obrigado Tipi Valley!

Yoga with a view.

Yoga with a view.

yogamatter.jpg
Hammocks all around camp.

Hammocks all around camp.

Monte Clerigo, one of the beaches we visited.

Monte Clerigo, one of the beaches we visited.

Odeceixe, the beach where we spent most of the days.

Odeceixe, the beach where we spent most of the days.

James, Esther, Jennifer, Alex, me and Harriet. The great people I spent the week with. Thanks guys!

James, Esther, Jennifer, Alex, me and Harriet. The great people I spent the week with. Thanks guys!


Welcome to my blog

I have another blog. It is really about everything and nothing. Then it turned in to a travel blog. But it is in Norwegian and I want to write more about travel and I want it to be in English. So here you go!

 

Why Travel and Get Lost?

I believe that traveling is about seeing something new, to learn something, to experience. In order to do that you sometimes have to throw away your map and get lost. You have to look back, you have to see more then the tourist sights. Lose your self in the experience. But within reason, with respect and with common sense.

This blog will be about my travels, both coming and travels I have done, it will be about traveling, it will give you tip and smart travel stuff. Just another travel blog, but maybe with some new perspectives.