This summer is going to be crazy. Crazy traveling. Even by my standards. It might strike some of you with surprise that I have never seen myself as much of a traveller. That’s also why I am not writing your classic travel blog. I do love my global lifestyle – and I undeniably move around this globe quite freely (which I am incredibly grateful for), but I am more living than traveling in all of those place – which again is what I really love about it. I don’t sightsee. I don’t book hotels. I don’t do tours and museums. However, I know how to register with the local police, get a local phone number, find housing and pay my rent (you wouldn’t believe how much this differs from country to country!!) and figure out which bars the locals like. That’s what I do and love.
Of course I go on the occasional holiday but not much more often than the average Westerner. Now though, I have maneuvered myself into the wonderful position of living in Asia, having (almost – next week!) graduated from university, having saved up some money, and having signed a contract for my first grown person full-time job (yes, I have! Wohooo) –– which, and that is perhaps the most beautiful part, I will only start in October. That means I have 4 full months off. I have taken my time to calm down in Shanghai (oh which irony!) after the madness of the last month of my grad studies and thesis defense, and I will move to my new destination a little early to find housing and settle in. Nevertheless that gives me 3 full months to travel and indulge being an actual traveller!
In the mindset I had built as a child, ‘WORLD TRAVEL’ (in like traveling all around the world at once) was as unlikely of a possibility as flying to the moon or being a pirate (not the mean kind of course, the cool sailing adventurous friendly kind we encounter in children’s literature). It was just not anything that was a possibility for ‘someone like me’. Looking back at where I have been over the course of the last three years, I came to realize that I am indeed world traveling – and in even more beautiful ways than seven year old me would have dreamed. By truly engaging with the places I go, by making friends all over the globe. By developing an ever opening mindset and experiencing the mixed humbling feelings of embarrassment and gratitude when being proven wrong in my limited ideas about ‘how things are’.
This summer I will not travel once around the world. I don’t have to do it all at once. Instead I am doing what serves me well right at this moment in life. There’s adventure and rest and introversion ahead, beautiful nature and challenging conditions, and most importantly family, friends and reunion. A great deal of travel and exploring new and unfamiliar places! I guess I’ll have to add a category or two to this blog:
This summer will take me (solo) from Shanghai to Tibet, Nepal, Bali, Stuttgart, Berlin, Italy, Ireland and even for a quick trip back to Sweden in autumn.
I acknowledge my privilege. I have worked for this, I have lived modestly and I have made it my priority to be able to travel over other expenses. And I am grateful for the safety net my parents have always been providing me with – knowing that it’s save to go out there, that even if I fail, or things don’t work out, it never really becomes a question of existential threat. This puts me in a state of peace of mind where I can truly let go and try.
Join me on this journey – catch me on the road, let’s share stories over coffee or wine. Travel recommendations always welcome!