för nostalgi

söndag 28 maj 2017

The crossroad


Sometimes I imagine staying like this forever. Never ending this kind of life. To keep hopping from town to town, country to country, try different jobs, live in different places and never settle.  I can see it, it isn't unimaginable anymore. A couple of years ago I would laugh at the idea, some of my friends still might. Not studying? Not getting an apartment halfway close to my hometown? Not getting a job I kind of can bear or marrying someone I kind of like? Not settling down, ever? 

They say your twenties are the best years of your life. I hear it all the time. "Enjoy this time, it will never be this good again. You will never be this free". And so far, it truly has been amazing. I have no regrets what so ever on how I have chosen to spend these past years. I have made my on choices, learned from my mistakes and felt completely and utterly free. So why does it have to end? I know I have a few years left, but why should the best years of my life end just because my twenties do? Shouldn't your entire life be about being as happy and as free as possible? Shouldn't your whole life be the absolute best? 

When traveling and moving from place to place, there is something I call a the three-month crossroad. Because after three months, we always have a choice to make. After three months, the life we could live becomes visible, it becomes predictable and not only a dream but an actual alternative. We start to see how life would look like if we actually stayed. We start to picture life with the friends that we actually are starting to become close to, the ones we possibly never will see again if we leave. We start to get comfortable at work, comfortable in a way that makes it feel possible to simply keep working. Why work back home, when we might as well can work here?

Being away for as long as I have creates an uncertainness with the concept of home. I have several homes. Several places around the world where I could imagine a life. Where I thought "what if I just stay? What if I build a life here, instead of going back to Sweden to settle down?" It happens, easier than you can imagine, that a life across the world from where you grew up, seems simpler and makes more sense than the life that everyone excepts you to come back to.

After three months we have to choose. Stay, and fall in deeper in this new life you have created. Or leave, rip off the bandaid before it sticks to hard. Because somewhere around that third month, the feeling of home start growing on us. The place that earlier simply was a house starts to become a home; a place of comfort and security. A kitchen that simply was a kitchen is now the place you've had midnight snacks in, made breakfasts before work in and sipped wine in before going out. The town that earlier was just a town has now become your town, where you know the streets, the shopping and the bouncers outside your favorite bars. Now you always run into people you know at the clubs and you learn which days to go where and which place that has the best 3am fries. The cafe where you once had your first cup coffee has become the place you regularly visit to write, a place where the baristas know you and asks how your day has been. The restaurant where you once went for brunch suddenly became the place for hungover recovery where the waiter don't need to take your order because they already know what you have every week. It is so easy to go from a traveling backpacker-lifestyle to settling and creating a home. An actual life appears so easily, so why do we always leave?

Self-destructive, that is what it is. Over and over again we hurt ourselves by slowly letting people and places in, only to leave them. We build this wall around us and think it is strong enough not to be broken through, but whenever we reach that three month crossroad we realize it slowly has been torn down. And then we leave, build the wall right back up. 

Wellington taught me that even when you think you might have to stop, that your adventure is over and it is time to buy that dreaded ticket to Sweden and settle, you can always start over. Start new. Build a new adventure instead of ending the one you're already in. There is nothing nor no no one other than you that can decide when to go home, because a home can be anywhere in the world. A home can be a in a hostel, at a job or in a little house with a great view in the capital of a new country. Home can be people. Home can simply be a feeling, like when you sit at an airport waiting on a plane that is going to take you to another city you haven't been to yet and again you realize that again you stand alone, without even an adress to your name. Again, you technically have no secure ground under your feet an still you feel safe. Happy. Free. 

söndag 9 april 2017

Stockholm.

Det har hänt så många gånger nu och alltid känts lika långt borta. Bryssel, Nice, London. Alla gånger hemska, fruktansvärda, ofattbara, men alla gånger på andra sidan jorden. På platser jag inte varit, människor jag inte träffat och på gator jag inte gått på. Alla gånger har jag varit mitt uppe i egna äventyr på olika platser och självklart stannat upp och förfärats, men sedan fortsatt utan att på riktigt greppa vad som hänt. 

Men i Stockholm har jag varit. I Stockholm bor mina kusiner, på drottninggatan har jag promenerat och i Sverige har jag vuxit upp. Blev inte förvånad den här gången heller. Det kändes mer som att bom, där kom den. Attacken. Hur kan vår värld ha kommit till det? Att terrorattacker inte förvånar längre? Förfärar absolut, men inte förvånar. Och det tog ett par dygn innan det slog mig, den här gången lika som alla andra gånger. Jag läste rubrikerna, förfärades, skrämdes, och fortsatte sedan. Men idag, två dygn senare, landade jag i vad som hänt. Allting, alla gånger.

Hur kan vår värld ha blivit såhär? Hur kan det finnas så mycket hat? Att en 14-årig pojke spränger sig själv på ett bröllop? En 18-åring skjuter ihjäl nio personer i ett köpcentrum? Och alla dessa lastbilar, som kapas och kör ihjäl människor som springer för sina liv? Det är fruktansvärt. 

Och helt plötsligt kändes Sverige inte lika långt borta längre. Jag tittar på rapports extrasändning om attacken, tårar rinner ner för kinderna och jag blickar ut över de gröna nya zeeländska kullarna som höjer sig majestätiskt vid horisonten. Samtidigt som jag känner mig så liten, hjälplös och långt borta, känner jag mig nära och stark. Sverige, fina, starka, modiga Sverige. Likt kullarna reser sig Sverige starkt och vackert. Som Stefan Löfven sa i intervjun med rapport; Sverige vill vara, ska vara och kommer fortsätta vara ett öppet land. Ett land där vi omfamnar varandra. Det här ska inte skrämma oss eller förminska oss, det här ska stärka oss, föra oss tillsammans. Som kronprinsessan Victoria svarade när hon fick frågan hur vi ska ta oss igenom det här, kort och simpelt; tillsammans. Och jag känner så med Sverige, jag omfamnas tvärs över jordklotet av kärleken hos människorna som söker stöd hos varandra för att klara det här. Hur de vägrar låta sig skrämmas, förminskas. För större än allt hat, är kärleken. Det är i den vi finner styrkan. 


fredag 3 mars 2017

Flyktinstinkten (Ur arkiv, 2014)

Och återigen är det känslan. Känslan av att någonting är annorlunda, någonting är speciellt. Någonting skiljer dig från alla andra. 

Alla år av ouppnåeliga drömmar om romantik. Filmscener som skapat gåshud, sidor i böcker som framkallat tårar, dagdrömmarna som skapat orealistiska scenarion. Var allt bara menat att stanna i fantasin? Är jag inte den romantiker jag trodde att jag var? 

”Inte en förhållandetyp”. Låter som en kille på 20 bast som precis upptäckt hur man raggar och vill utnyttja kunskapen till fullo. Inte binda sig, inte ha något seriöst. Det förklarar så otroligt mycket; kanske har jag haft en sådan enorm otur i kärlek på grund av att mitt undermedvetna inte vill ha ett förhållande? 

Och en del av mig nickar, tänker att ja. Det här är nog den jag är. Jag kommer leva ett fantastiskt liv där jag är i fokus, få en fantastisk karriär och resa jorden runt. Jag kommer bo på så många olika ställen; New York, Barcelona, Paris och slutligen skaffa en stor lägenhet i Göteborg. Jag kommer se så otroligt mycket, vara med om så fantastiskt mycket, leva så fulländat. Jag kommer vara den vars liv andra avundas och inte låta något dra mig tillbaka. Jag kommer att vara kär, kramas, pussas och älska, men ingenting och ingen alls kommer att kunna stoppa mig. Jag kommer vara jag och jag kommer vara självständig.

Samtidigt vädjar en annan del. ”Vik dig”, säger den. ”Låt dig svepas med, låtsas, smält in”. När en bra kille säger att han tycker om dig är det en regel att som 18-årig tjej vilja se vart det leder. Inte backa undan, inte bli skrämd. Bli nyfiken, glad, smickrad. Låt någon bry sig om dig, låt någon sätta dig först, låt någon älska dig. Låt det inte handla om att någon hindrar dig från dina drömmar, se det som att någon följer med dig och bara minskar farten en aning. Bromsar upp, reser tillsammans. 



Hjärtat klappar. Inte av förälskelse, inte av kärleken. Rädsla, instängdhet, väggar. Ingenting eller ingen alls ska få stoppa mig, bromsa mig. Och mitt undermedvetna vrålar


  ”spring”. 

måndag 20 februari 2017

Suddenly/Wellington

Because sometimes you can walk around in a new city and believe that everything is lost. You can suddenly feel lost and alone and confused and suddenly you have no idea what you are supposed to do. It happens all the time when you travel, you question your choices all the time. How could you not, when every choice you make is a risk? A blind step into everything you know nothing about? And what if you fall, what if you fail? 

But then suddenly you walk up a pair of stairs you haven't walked before and you see the water and the people and the skyscrapers in the background. You sit down on a bench and suddenly the sun comes out from behind the clouds, your favorite songs comes on your playlist and you smile, not because you figured your life out or realized what you are supposed to with it. You smile because suddenly the worries and the problems doesn't seem as big anymore and suddenly you know that even though you might feel lonely, you are not alone. 

Suddenly you feel strong and independent and brave. Suddenly you remember that things will always be okay, and better than that, they might be amazing just because you are challenging yourself this way, just because you are taking these blind risks. And that is what traveling does to you. It challenges you, tests you, it creates you. Suddenly you know that this is where you are supposed to be. 

tisdag 31 januari 2017

To Melbourne.

When I was fourteen years old I went to New York with my family over christmas, spent one week in the city and fell in love. I fell in love with the skyscrapers, the streets, the atmosphere and the people. My fifteen-year old self promised that one day I would come back. So I started planning, on how I would graduate, save money and leave as soon as I could, rent a cheap room somewhere in the suburbs and stay for the three months the american tourist-visa would allow and just be in the city. I was planning to leave with one of my best friends and we were so sure that it would work, that we could do it just if we wanted it enough. It was a big dream, but I have always been good at dreaming. 

The years went by and the dream faded a bit. It was always there, in the back of my head, still is. But I have not been back to New York yet. Instead I graduated, saved up some money and moved to Melbourne. I grabbed a best friend, jumped on a plane and ended up in Melbourne with no expectations. But only after a couple of days, I was sure. Sure that Melbourne was my new New York. 

First time around I stayed for four months. Three hostels, two houses, two jobs and endless adventures. In the true Melbourne spirit there was always something to do and always somewhere to go. It became the place where I first moved away from Sweden, my first real own home. It became my city, a place where I felt like I belonged. And even after I left, even after all of my friends in Melbourne left, I still felt like I had my base here. 

I was gone in different parts of Australia for six months. Travelled around, worked and made new friends and new memories. But I always knew that I wanted to go back. I did not feel done with Melbourne - I was not finished. So I did. I came back, spent two months moving around four different suburbs and soaked up everything I love about the city as much as I could. The coffees, the nightlife, the festivals, the atmosphere. And even now, when the life I had here a year ago is gone, I am more certain than ever that this city always will hold a specific place in my heart. 

I am currently sitting at the airport about to leave. I remember how almost a year ago at this time, Jenni and I arrived to this very airport. It was our first stop in Australia, straight from a hectic month in South-east Asia. How we, two small town girls felt smaller than ever surrounded by high buildings and thousands of people. To leave a town where you were lucky if the bars were open once a week, and arrive to a city where you without trouble could find a party every day of the week was overwhelming. But I also remember how I almost at once felt how everything fell to place. Same as when I arrived back to the city after being away for six months, and then again after spending my holidays in India. All I needed was to see the skyline from the airport shuttle to start smiling, to feel like I was coming home. 


Melbourne became my base. A city I could call my own. I know my way here, I feel like I belong. This time I am leaving without knowing when I will be back, I am not as sure anymore. Leaving feels bittersweet, because even though it might be years until I breathe the Melbourne-air again, I am so grateful for the time I have gotten to spend here. It has been everything I could ever wish for, everything I ever dreamt it would be. I am leaving without any regrets, there is nothing I would change. And I am certain that if I ever do come back, how many years that may go by, it will still feel like coming home. 

tisdag 24 januari 2017

Love trumps hate.

It would be so easy to loose hope now. To give up, bow down with the exiting words being ”I’m done, we’re screwed”. Because it certainly feels like we have lost an long, struggling battle. It feels like we have lost to those who believe in dividing people in to more or less worthy, more or less deserving. It feels like we have lost to those who do not believe that every human being has the same value, those who believe that everyone does not deserve equal opportunities. 

So it would be so easy to give up the fight. To turn our backs on what the world has come to. Easy to stay quiet, to feel weak and defeated. 


Instead I see us rising. I see people marching all over the world for women rights, for human rights, defending their beliefs. After slowly taking two steps forward we have been thrown seven steps back, but instead of slowing down we start running faster than before. We are running towards what we know is right. 

Because despite all of the awfulness going on, despite our rights literally being signed away by a group of white middle aged men as we speak, we know we are stronger. The power of love and togetherness will always win over hate and separation. Love will always trump hate. 

torsdag 5 januari 2017

The year

One year.

One year of insane adventures, spectacular places, inspiring, amazing people, weird jobs, awesome jobs, shitty apartments and wonderful places to call home.

I remember how we left Sweden with our backpacks, a one-way ticket to Bangkok and the intention to be away for 4-5 months. We waived goodbye to friends and family, said ”we’ll see you this summer” and left without looking back. 4-5 months turned into a year and here I am, 365 days later and still not ready to go back home.

Home is questionable now. I know where the house I grew up in is, I know where my family and the friends I grew up with are, but my concept of home has changed. When I spent christmas in India I wasn’t homesick for Sweden; I was homesick for Melbourne. I do not want to go back to my job in Sweden, but I miss the job and the people I worked with in Port Douglas. A year creates perspective - a home can exist anywhere in the world.

At the same time, I am aware that this life is not real. It is not unreal, but rather an escape from the life I know is waiting for me back in Sweden. The life where I again will start over fresh, with university, studies, new people and knowledge. I know it will be fine, and a small part of me is excited, excited for that part of my life. But I am still scared to burst the bubble I am currently living in. Because life do feel easier when you live like this; constantly on the run for adventures and without a worry in the world.

I look back at the year that has gone by and I get overwhelmed with everything that I have done. The places I have been, the people I have met. It is a cliché to say that traveling changes you, but it is a lie to say that it doesn’t. In ways that might not be noticeable, you change. You grow. You learn. You become stronger, your skin gets thicker and your views widen. Every challenge you face will teach you something and keep you grounded.

For every place I go to, I add another one on my list. It is impossible for me to feel done or finished. There is simply to many places I want to see, to many things I want to experience. Traveling does that to you, it is like an addiction. It gets harder to settle when you are aware of what is out there. Mostly, however, it is the escape from reality that keeps me going. I think a small part of me always will long for the run and for the freedom. Luckily, it is never more than a one-way ticket and a backpack away.

lördag 24 december 2016

Something about India

Honking, constantly. With every little turn, brake, increase in speed or overtake, there is a honk. Cars, buses, rickshas and motorbikes together produce what sounds like an almost rehearsed noise. It is never quiet. 

We reach our car with air-condition and somewhat soundproof windows where we can hide and simply spectate the beautiful chaos going on outside. It might be crazy, tiring and lot to take in for four swedes on a christmas holiday, but it is beautiful. It is only in India where the people, traffic and atmosphere is all over the place and in complete control at the same time. Because where we stumble around, twitch at every honk and jump with every vehicle passing by, the locals just follow like a choreographed dance. Never one step wrong. 

I am watching the spectacle out on the street through the car window when there is a knock. A woman, carrying her baby, is tapping on the front door and holds out her hand. The baby is only a couple of months, maybe younger. My brother who is in the front seat, my mom who is in the far back and myself in the middle, all try to look away. It is like a reflex when traveling through places like these; do not give in to all of the people on the streets asking you for money. 

Only a few seconds go by before our driver, Sono, starts digging through his pockets, reaches a colourful bill of rupees, rolls down the window and hands it to the woman. She gives him a thankful nod, he nods back, and she walks away. Pure embarrassment fills the air in the car and my brother looks back at my mom and I. The money Sono gave away was probably worth more to him than it would have been to us. Sono, who lives across the street from our hotel, who sleeps in the car while we are going on trips, with a wife who is studying to become a nurse. 

There is something about India and the people who live here. It is hard to directly pinpoint what it is; it is a secret bond or a connection between them. I felt it two years ago during the few days we spent in Mumbai, and now it is here again.  

Of all the places I have been to, I have never felt more like an outsider, spectator, simply an observer of the people here and the lives they live. In Mumbai it was the contrasts that confused me; how we got stuck somewhere between the ridiculous wealth and the heartbreaking poverty. I could not grasp how some people could have so much when some had so little, how someone lived in a fifty stories high skyscraper when their neighbour live in a cardboard-box. 

Here, in Kerala, it is different. We are in the southern part of India and reading skills are around 90%, child mortality is the lowest in the country and the life standards are in general better. There are naturally still different ways of living, but the gaps are not as noticeable. No, the greatest gap is between us and them. 

The people are proud. Not in an unfriendly way, quite the opposite. They smile when our eyes meet, a smile that quietly tells us that they know something that we do not. They share something we can not be a part of. It is similar to the pride the people of the slums in Mumbai told us about; pride of their community and what worked for and built together. Pride that ties the over a billion people who live in India together, pride that protects them and again creates the clear division between us and them.

However, what I remember most from walking through the slums of Mumbai is the happiness. The kids playing in the mud outside of their very small houses, the parents smiling and talking next to them. The same way the kids are playing on the streets outside of our hotel, with their mothers cooking and their fathers coming to play with them. Simple, pure happiness. I think that is the most important thing I will take with me from this christmas; they do not need much to be happy. We should not need much to be happy.





söndag 31 maj 2015

Ingenting stoppar oss nu.

På fredag tar jag studenten, och även om jag kommer sakna min underbara skola, mina fantastiska lärare och mina goa klasskompisar så ska det blir så fruktansvärt skönt. För trots att jag är stolt över majoriteten av mina betyg och känner att jag verkligen har kämpat som en tok, speciellt dessa två senaste åren, så ska det blir så skönt att slippa bli definierad av något egentligen så litet som en betygsbokstav. Världen är så stor och vi är så mycket mer än våra meritvärden, och nu efter studenten är det vår tur att glömma allt som har med nyanserade begrepp eller medelmåtta att göra för ett tag.

Skrev en krönika om detta som blev publicerad på devote i fredags, läs den här. 

Kram!

lördag 18 april 2015

Superseaside.

Efter att officiellt ha avslutat min teamåknings-karriär kan jag inget annat än att vara oerhört tacksam för all den glädje teamåkningen och speciellt Seaside har givit mig. Alla gånger isen har räddat dåliga dagar, alla gånger glädjetårarna har runnit efter underbara tävlingsåk och alla skratt med världens finaste gäng. Sömnbrist, skavsår och ömma knän blir obetydligt jämfört med all den lycka jag har fått från den här sporten genom åren. Jag har vuxit upp med konståkningen och den kommer alltid vara en del av mig.

Att säga hejdå gör ont, men jag kommer alltid att vara er absolut största supporter och ni kommer alltid finnas i mitt hjärta. Tack för att ni har förgyllt mina dagar, ni är och kommer alltid vara nummer 1.