Tag Archives: Travel

One Month In A Carry-On

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It can be done, my friends! I did it this past holiday season. For four weeks I lived out of a suitcase with only the bare essentials. I was thrilled by the prospect, excited for the challenge, and overall pleased with the outcome. It is all thanks to my favorite app on my phone, Cladwell. This little genius tells me everything I need to know about what is in my closet. *Insert classic Clueless Cher master scheming face here.* Now, I will confess off the bat, I did stray away from the challenge, but these loopholes were preplanned. While I did construct an efficient number of items and cohesive styles, the bonus to this challenge was that I would not be more than a few miles from one of my three sisters closets. Shout out to older siblings for always having something spare to share. Now, back to business.

FullSizeRender-1.jpgI use Cladwell all the time, but for this purpose specifically, it is worth its weight in gold. Traveling is already hectic enough between TSA guidelines, itineraries, and homesickness. With Cladwell you know at least you’ll be guaranteed to look good doing all that and more.

IMG_7797.jpgAs you can see, I have uploaded my planned wardrobe into the app. They have 1,000s of items to chose from, so if you can’t find something identical to what you own, you’re sure to find sometimes damn near close. And if you are like me and some things are too special and very specific, my tip is to go to the webshops and use a screenshot of the items sale page to add to the closet capsule record. Like I did here with my Billy! tee.

FullSizeRender-2.jpgNot only did this app help me go from planes, trans, Christmas parties, and a wedding, but it also saved me money! I knew exactly what I packed and what to wear, so at no point did I feel the need to impulse shop. That means walking around downtown shopping areas during the holiday season worry free of ensemble crisis thanks to one little planning application.

So, if you too have plans this year for some serious long term traveling, or if you’re going away for a quick weekend trip, make 2019 the best year ever and bring Cladwell with you. Better yet, if you are still on some new year new me game-changing vibe, clean out your closet and build your dream from the bottom up, constructing it piece by piece directly on your phone. You will not regret it!

Tampere – Day Trip

IMG_6971.JPGRecently I took a day trip north to the city of Tampere Finland. This came as an opportunity to meet with some of my friends who live there. It is the ideal little day trip from the city. After booking my ticket the night before with Onni Bus I was on my way the following morning before the sunrise.

To be honest this was my first ever bus trip. Traditionally I avoid the bus in Helsinki because I get carsick. This is due to the stop and go motion and it can be very unsettling. Yet, this was a long distance ride and it was a surprisingly easy journey. I enjoyed the double-decker feature and had little to no discomfort along the way (being 6ft/180cm in a small cabin seat means no leg room… ever). Yet I managed to catch up on some podcasts and enjoyed the sunrise over the Finnish countryside.

IMG_6967.jpgOnce I arrived to Tampere my plans were unclear. So I decided to just get to the closest coziest coffee shop. I have been to Tampere once before, so I had a decent understanding of the layout of the city. Forever grateful for my good sense of direction, especially while traveling. I found myself in a cozy corner at Kaffila. Where mind you, I made my entire order in almost perfect Finnish! Count your small victories friends.

IMG_6975.jpgLater I met with my Young Living Sponsor and new friend Ashley. She has been such a blessing and this trip would not have been the same without our long afternoon talk and the tour of her beautiful shared workspace with Store of Hope. Later I caught up with my colleague and new bestie for a quick lunch by the river.

IMG_6983.jpgWe were quickly rained out so we said our goodbyes and I was off the bus station to head down south again. For a quick trip, it was full over great conversations, beautiful sights, and soul filling moments. I sometimes get lost in daily routines and forget how deeply necessary these little moments away are for my mental health. While I scrambled the night before trying to organize bus tickets and itineraries it all ended up being as perfect as possible despite my worrying. Finland is a wonderful backyard to explore, and I want to make a bigger effort to see more than just my little neighborhood. My Finnish life has been a wave of up and downs the past few years, but new friends and new places make it all inspiring and worthwhile.

 

Travel Essentials

This week I am abroad on a solo journey around Reykjavík Iceland. So while I will share more detail about the city and my journey later with you on here, for now, I want to focus on my packing essentials. This trip is a seven-day expedition and without getting too cocky I feel this is my best packing job to date! When I arrived on Tuesday, the winds and rain were unlike anything I have ever experienced whilst living in the Nordic region. Much to my astonishment, I planned perfectly with exactly the right apparel to defend myself against the climate.


Some of my favorites with me on this trip include my Rains jacket for protection against wind and water. I also have my Lululemon jacket and merino wool sweater. These two together make just about any cold to freezing temperature a pleasurable experience. Also, in the essence of keeping things light, I only brought two journals and book for some paperback entertainment.


I am halfway through my trip and I could not be more pleased with how well things are going. As far as preparation is concerned, I did very little just to be sure spontaneity could be an option along the way. My best tip to share with you would be one, check the weather and prepare! And two, be honest with yourself. I am not the type to do a massive amount of wardrobe changes. So I know that I am going to wear a variation of the same outfit every day to keep mornings easy, packing light, and personal management simple. So if you’re traveling soon or planning to come to the great country of Iceland, I hope this has helped.
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Q&A

I asked my husband to conduct an interview with me, these are the questions he thought to ask…

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Q: How did you get into photography?

A: My first memories of photography started when I was a child and my dad would take pictures of the family, flowers, landscapes, and vacations. So in that time, I remember the process of developing film and the mechanics of the camera. Later I got a digital camera in high school and around that time I started to use photography as a way to document moments during my travels. Nowadays, I am trying to advance my skills and overall be better at photography. It is difficult sometimes with the internet because it feels very competitive. I definitely think that little girl is still inspired by me, just trying to carry a camera around and document memories.

Q: Did the idea to start a blog come naturally to you?

A: Starting a blog was terrifying. It took me a long time and it kind of turned into one of those thoughts “I could easily do that but everyone else is doing it”, but I was still excluding myself so I don’t know, then it turned into the whole, “you can’t knock it ’til you try it”.

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Q: What is the next trip you want to do?

A:  So the next trip I want to go on, other than the one I have planned this May, is the Faroe Islands. It is a big bucket list one for me. For now, I am in the mood to travel more of the Nordic countries and see more of Scandinavia. I want to soak up this corner of the world while I am here.

Q: What city has a special place in your heart? Why?

A: Amsterdam is forever my soul mate city. It is hard to describe, I didn’t know the culture would compliment my personality so well, but it does. The architecture in the Netherlands is something that inspires me and gives me butterflies at the same time. Every day waking up there is very magical. It reminds me of a part of my life that took a lot of bravery where I cried, I laughed, I loved, and all the things that change you and make you who you are as a person. That all happened in Amsterdam.

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Q: You live in Helsinki now. What makes Helsinki weird? 

A: I think the fashion. It is not weird, because it is normal for the culture. But compared to Stockholm, Copenhagen, or other Scandinavian cultures, the fashion here is very unique. In Helsinki, it is such an underrated artsy city, you get a lot of that local design, self-expression, like the high cropped pants or the very short bob hairstyle. I tend to follow a more Scandi style, more clean street style. In our neighborhood, I have definitely seen some more funky looks. It is also warmly welcomed here. There is also no judgment about the way people carry themselves so those people could be fathers or business owners, but their self-expression is welcomed here so they can be free with their lifestyle choices. Even though Finns think they are confirmative culture, and a humble people, their self-expression can be very loud at times. That is what makes Helsinki weird and entertaining on a day to day basis.

 

Silja Cruise Line

A bucket list item was scratched off this week when I visited the city of Stockholm Sweden. On an overnight cruise, kindly gifted from my mother in law, I embarked on a very Finnish experience locals call “the booze cruise”. While my journey did not include as much booze as some of the other free-spirited teens, it did include breathtaking views of the sea.

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While spring air temperatures are still frigid, it does leave a glacial surface to the ocean water. A sight only appreciated for the chilly context in an image. While others enjoy taking a polar plunge between sauna sessions, my comfort zone will be at a distance only using my camera zoom to get in on the freezing action.

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From the inside of the ship, you can see small islands passing and the setting sunlight. On occasion, another ship will pass in the distance only to make for some sense of depth on an otherwise isolated journey across the Baltic Sea. Traveling has its perks, no matter what shape it comes in, and I do appreciate the views of being out on the ocean with only the wind and water to keep you on course.

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Eternal City

Another birthday abroad, this year in the Eternal City. It is difficult to settle on a thought that summarizes the trip. I had never been to Italy before, and after the weekend, I feel as though I would not need to go anywhere else. The beauty is in the details in Italy.

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 There was a moment while wandering a small street in Trastevere I passed a table of 8 or so friends enjoying a Sunday lunch. The bottles were empty, the table stained with red wine, and the plates clean using scarpetta. Everyone was talking at once, and each person conducting the conversation in their own way. Although I do not speak Italian, I imagine their conversations had something to do with food, art, politics, or local gossip. It does not matter honestly, because the aura of their group was stunningly bright and left me mesmerized as they ordered a final course, tiramisu, for just a select few and some to share.

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Another detail I enjoy abroad are the sunsets. Scandinavia does not see consistent sunsets, it just is not part of the culture here. It is a daily ritual that goes missing in my current routine. So every time I travel south, it is always an emotional time of day to witness such glory. It adds to the romance that is daily life in Rome. The image above may be one of my favorites from the weekend. A cozy walking street at dusk in an Italian January.

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Most of all I have to take the time to thank my husband for being the best this past weekend, and every weekend. I am grateful each and every morning to wake up and live the adventure with my best friend. The support, generosity, and humor you share make my days better. Thank you for a wonderful birthday, Kulta!

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Packing List

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This week is the first trip of 2018 and I wanted to share my travel tips and tricks. There are a few rules I live by when it comes to globe-trotting.

The first being carry-on! I use a 20-liter backpack, and it is perfect. Although it is not the most stylish accessory, it is reliable. No matter if you are traveling for a weekend, or a couple weeks, odds are you can manage with a carry-on. The key is organization!

Which leads me to my next tip, pack similar clothing colors. Plan and organize your outfits in advance. It makes life much easier when you want to wake up in your destination. Without a second thought, you can put a sensible ensemble together, and focus your energy on more important things like sightseeing, food, and entertainment.

My third tip and maybe an odd one is to plan your showers. If you know your hygiene routine and if you can foresee the next 48-72 hours easily. Then it is easier to know what toiletries to bring and exactly how much of each. Sometimes, it might even be worth it to go to your favorite soap stores, I like Lush or Aveda and pick up some samples.

Lastly, my personal indulgence is travel entertainment. In an effort to keep things lightweight, I will opt for a journal, an agenda, and Bluetooth headphones. In my journal, I have dedicated a page to my favorite Italian phrases and words that may come in handy during our trip. Thus I am prepared to use the local language, and feel a little more confident playing my donna all’estero role.

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Until next week,

Arrivederci!