Last October, I had the pleasure of (for the first time!) giving someone a trip as a present! For my boyfriend's birthday, I decided to take him "next door" to Copenhagen. Even though I have been there countless times before, as it’s just a few hours by train from Stockholm, it was hard to contain my excitement while telling him, and we immediately started planning. We quickly decided that we would visit one of the most iconic beer breweries in the world.
I'm not a big beer-drinker, and to be honest, I didn't even know that Carlsberg was Danish, but it still seemed like a fun thing to do. So on our second day in Copenhagen, after sleeping in and hitting the breakfast buffet as hard as we could, off we went to Carlsberg! It was a rainy and gloomy morning, but when you're in the midst of a perfect week-end in a foreign city, who cares right? We arrived at the big gates at the same time the beer tasting was starting, but with a little sweet talk about a missed alarm and a birthday, the girl kindly let us join the group anyways.
We walked into a cold and humid room with a metal ceiling just as it began pouring rain outside and the guide almost had to shout so that we could hear him. Which just added to the experience, of course. He talked about the history and explained the difference between different beers and how they are made. We also got to smell and taste three different beers while he talked us through the different flavors we should be searching for.
And when I say try, I mean we got 1-2 glasses filled to the brim with beer. After the first bottle we tasted, I was already a little tipsy. The best surprise we had, was that we were the first group that year who got to try their annual Christmas beer (which for a lover of all things Christmas, was a definite highlight!). He later gave us a tour of the brewery while explaining the different stages of the production.
After about 45 minutes the guided part of the tour was finished and we made out way to the museum, beer in hand. There was a lot of information to read but equally much to just look at, so we casually made our way through the museum and the world’s largest bottle collection while talking about the beer tasting. In the reasonable price of 17 euros we also receive two drink tickets which we could cash out at the gift shop or while walking around the gardens and stables.
We were there around two hours (the beer tasting started at 12:00) so this was such a good way to start our trip. Like I said, I am not the biggest fan of beer, but I enjoyed every minute of it and my boyfriend loved it.
It was probably the best beer tasting in the world ;)
* We’re closer to having successful vaccines for lung and brain cancer
* New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27% (and is getting better)
* Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps going down.
* Thanks to the ice bucket challenge the gene responsible for ALS has been found, meaning we are closer to an effective treatment. Let me rephrase that: we are close to getting a treatment for a very bad disease because a lot of people (including really hot celebrities) got wet.
* A solar powered plan circumnavigated the world.
* Michael Jordan donates 2mil to try and help bridge connection between police and the community.
* Tiger numbers are growing.
* And manatees.
* And pandas.
* Pakistan has made strides toward outlawing honor killings.
* 70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS.
* Pokemon Go players went insane with placing Pokemon stuffed animals near hospitals for sick kids.
* California is now powering over 6 million homes with solar power, a record in the US (and that is the tightest shit)
* Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.
* Apparently world crime as a whole has drastically declined as a whole in the last couple of decades.
* Coffee consumption has been proved to help curtail cancer and suicide rates.
* Speaking of coffee Starbucks figured out how to donate perishable food in a food safe way.
* 500 elephants were relocated to a better, safer and bigger home.
* We made massive strides in Alzheimers’ prevention.
* The ozone layer is repairing itself and all the work we did to get rid of those aerosol chemicals was actually worth it.
* A new therapy developed in Israel could cure radiation sickness.
* The Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution affirming the rights of transgender and non-conforming individuals.
* Precision treatments for cancer are hitting clinical trials and WORKING (as someone who’s had relatives with cancer this is the best news)
* The Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up with angel wings to block funeral-goers for the Orlando Pulse victims, view from anti-gay protesters
* We may have cured MS
*Death by heart disease has decreased by 60% in Europe
* Two brothers saw color for the first time thanks to specially-designed glasses
* Pope Francis spoke against society’s obsession with physical beauty while dedicating Mass to the disabled community. So beautiful!
* Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight
* A retiree is launching a project to transport 80 endangered rhinos to an Australian reservation to save the animals from poaching
* An Afghan teacher has been delivering books via bicycle to villages that lack schools
* 200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless WW2 veteran with no family
* A British teen battling cancer married his sweetheart
* Bank firm pays for college tuition for the children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks
* New medicine has been shown to increase melanoma survival rate to 40%
* Over 800 Boko Harem Hostages were rescued by Nigerian Army
* Toys R Us is Offering Quiet Shopping Hour for kids with autism this holiday season
* A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helped him heal after losing his wife
* A sweet father gave candy to passengers on a flight so his little girl could trick or treat on Halloween
* Families grew
* People survived cancer
* People overcame depression
* Any kind of victory, even if it affects only one person, is a victory
* LEONARDO DICAPRIO WON AN OSCAR! EVERYONE READING THIS LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO SEE LEO FINALLY GET WHAT HE DESERVED
* There’s a new Harry Potter book!!!!
* And a movie!!!!
* Harry Potter has no plans on vanishing with time!!!
Good Things that have yet to happen this year
Good things that have nothing to do with the year but will hopefully make you feel better
* Rain (I like listening to rain it’s one of the most calming sounds)
* FF: If you are a religious person you are an imperfect masterpiece
* FF: If you are not then you are a splendid coincidence
* Any year spent with loved ones be they family or friends is a good year. Trust me.
* ”A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have” –Roger Rabbit
*Please feel free to add other good news (even if it’s something small like you ate cheesecake THAT is good news) !
I’ve been thinking about putting my thoughts in to words (on a screen) for a while now, and now I’m finally attempting it. So here goes nothing!
The last few years have been quite hard, in a lot of different ways. Three years ago I came back from Spain, from having walked 800 km by myself ready to take charge and realty take control of my life. In the two months that followed, I lost two family members that meant the world to me. One was expected and one was brutally sudden. But both equally painful. I felt as if I lost everything that I had learned in Spain and I am so disappointed that I didn’t just take back control immediately. Instead I let myself reach an all time low that I never really recovered from. I started alienating myself from my friends and reached my heaviest weight to date. But mostly I just let time pass. I stopped writing and reading and traveling and just worked and slept. And watched Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, there have been good times too, but there’s always been this feeling of inadequacy in the back of my mind. Not just that I might not be good enough but also that I wasn’t doing enough with my life.
Last month was one of the hardest of my life. I had to endure things I never hoped I would happen and as a result; all the bad memories and feeling of inadequacy followed. Everything I’ve spent years trying to put behind me. It all came back – just like that. So I did the only thing I could think of to survive – I booked the first cheap ticket I could find. It landed me on the island of Karpathos, in Greece.
And I feel like it helped. I feel better, lighter. When I arrived I reached my hotel by bus and on the way I saw this tiny church up on a mountain. I thought about if for days and yesterday I decided to go look for it. I had to jump over a few fences, do a little climbing, fight of a few cats and even fell down a rock and scraped my knee but – it felt incredible. I was exploring again. Just me and my camera and the sunset. It was magical. That is the feeling I want my life to be, and I refuse to return home and fall into old patterns. Not this time. I’m to old to keep backing myself into corners. I have these wonderful memories from all my travels, people that I only spent a few days with but that taught me more than 14 years of education ever did. And I have a beautiful family, no matter what we have been through. And friends. And love. So it's just me..
When I left Plum village in Bordeaux, two years ago, they had a ceremony for us and gave us pointers on what we needed to focus one once we returned home. I forgot, but not this time. Tomorrow I will be heading home and I will try to remind myself everyday of these thoughts and aims. Maybe we can even remind each other.
01. Feeling good inside and out. Food has not been my friend and it’s time to cut down on the sugar. It needs to be true this time because I’m starting to worry on the effects it may have on my health (not just weight). I’ve always known what needs to be done but now, I will make a conscious effort to eat better and live better. And exercise! It clears the head which is my main focus and the rest will just be an added bonus. I don’t want to focus on anything that has to do with my weight; as long as I feel good the scale can say what wants.
02. Other people’s success is not your failure. I think this has become my mantra – changing the way I think when someone around me does something awesome has honestly been life-changing for me. It’s too easy to compare yourself to others, to feel like a failure when everyone around you is winning.
I like to keep reminding myself that we are not all on the same path, but that doesn’t mean we’re lost. We have different goals, different timelines and different ideals! We just have to keep moving forward. Probably the main thing I learned on the Camino de Santiago.
03. It’s nice to be nice. If there’s one thing this whole ordeal has taught me, it’s that you have NO idea what people are going through – their own personal battles. I didn’t really let on that I was struggling – with my weight, with two deaths in the family, with regrets of the past. I just kept to myself, it seemed like the easiest thing to do. Anyway, my point is that kindness and empathy and good vibes go a long way. And talking about someone behind their backs is just cowardly and childish and not something we should waste our time on.
04. Saying yes! These past few years, I feel as if I turned down everything. Everything. I said no to trips, to hangs with friends, to events, to opportunities, to plans. It got me nowhere. Obviously, I was struggling with myself and I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone, but I still regret it a lot. From now on, I want be a yes girl! I want to do fun things; meet people… do everything I said no to before! Shifting my thought process really..
05. Don’t be so hard on myself. This is something I need to tell myself over and over, I am truly my own worst enemy! I definitely do have quite a self-deprecating sense of humor, but I feel like I really need to stop picking on myself all the damn time. So what if everything doesn’t look exactly like what I want it to. So what if I still haven’t lost weight. So what?
06. No one cares. No one cares that you didn’t wash your hair today, no one cares that you have a little roll when you sit down because your skirt digs in. No one cares that you get nervous telling stories even in little groups, that you’re probably lifting that barbell wrong in the gym, or that you feel out of place around certain people.
Everyone is too busy worrying about his or her own things to worry about what you’re doing. It took me so long to realize this, and when I did it was a revelation! Why hone in on these small details when no one else gives a shit?
I’m going to make a conscious effort to be someone who makes a difference – someone who is fun to be around, who makes other people feel good about themselves and makes an effort with it comes to friendships and plans and being a lovely person.
Tomorrow is Thursday the 16th of June. Who’s with me on turning over a new leaf?!
I’m not sure what the general perception of Stockholm is for someone who has never been here before. I am assuming it involves an abundance of red houses, water and blonde people. Well, I guess that’s not too far off and even though I've always had a love/hate relationship with it, i assure you, it has a lot to offer. Growing up I couldn’t wait to leave the harsh and dark winters, but then, before you know it, spring arrives and one of the most beautiful cities in the world starts blooming again, and even leaving for just a weekend seems unnecessary. Welcome to Stockholm.
A room with a view
If I have any influence whatsoever over where you chose to spend your night whilst here; The Hotel Kungsträdgården is it. This centrally located haven, with the view over the King’s garden will prepare you for a full day. Although Stockholm is small and invites you to walk everywhere, a good location never falters. Also, those wooden floors, high ceilings and pale decor are what Stockholm is all about.
Welcome to Wildflowers & Wayfarers. A travel blog sharing adventures abroad from all corners of the world.
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