When it rains, it pours

Today started out so great. A beautiful breakfast on the beach, ordered extra food for the seatransferry to Krabi. Picked up our clothes from the laundromat, arrived 45 minutes early on the pier. As I’ve said before, life as a nomad is never without surprise. Apparently the boat was full, we didn’t prebook our tickets. We had to stay one extra day here in Koh Samui. No biggie right? Not only did we miss our boat, I managed to leave the water bottle open in my daypack, soaking all my stuff. Luckily no damage, just my belongings getting a shower. Since Camilla brought a suitcase, not a backpack, this makes it hard to move around on foot. Taxi here on Koh Samui is hella expensive. Trying to live on the cheap like true backpackers, we rented a scooter instead. One 80L backpack, 2 daypacks, 3 bags and one 23kg suitcase. Doing it Thai style we moved all our crap in two rounds on one scooter. And you bet we are doing the same tomorrow, going back to the pier.

We checked in to Backpackers Euro hostel paying 100bath each for one night. I’m a backpacker, I can do some nights in a dorm. 5 minutes later we unloaded our stuff and took the opportunity to explore one last time. Not sure where to go, we already had been to almost all the beaches. Camilla had a great idea to find a waterfall, that was the one thing we didn’t have time to do. Khun Si waterfall is a scenic 40 minute drive. It started so beautiful with palm trees, it felt like a jungle. I can only imagine this is how Koh Samui used to look like. The dreamy scenery ended with me falling off the scooter. The uphill was so steep, the scooter couldn’t carry us both. I landed on my feet but had to walk all the way to the top. Of all the days we had in Koh Samui, this was the warmest. Well I wanted cardio and I sure got it! Reaching the top were this amazing view! Just check it out

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A 300meter climb down to the waterfall and it was heaven on earth. Totally worth missing the boat to Krabi for this. I’ve always wanted to jump off a cliff/waterfall. Seeing Camilla be all brave about out it, I was gonna man up and just do it. No more thinking, time for action! The rocks were so slippery, as I climbed I slipped, fell and busted my knee. What?! Is this what you get for facing your fear?? This day was really starting to suck. I took my bruised knee and limped my way up to the scooter. Since we are staying in a hostel, we thought we just grab some food and a massage in Fishermans Village. A cosy little town with cafés, restaurants and boutiques. The village really lives up to the name. Fishermans village was where our night ended yesterday, so why not try to recreate that perfect ending.  After the day we had, a little facial with gold leafs followed up with a foot rub was in order. While we had our foot massage the rain started pouring down. And by that I mean only in Asia. We were driving a scooter, not to keen on getting soaked we stayed for dinner as well. By the time we finished eating the rain had stopped, thinking we were in the clear we headed home. Not so fast, this day ain’t over yet. The streets were flooded, I told Camilla to drive slow so we wouldn’t get wet… Out of nowhere a car drives past us in full speed, and we are soaked from head to toe! Come on!! The quote when it rains it pours could not fit us more perfectly. Just to put the cherry on top, the water isn’t working at the hostel so no shower for us.

Well here are some more enjoyable memories from Koh Samui. There isn’t much pictures, my thing is filming with Gopro. I’ll probably start editing on the 6 hour boat ride tomorrow.

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Oh and me falling on my ass is caught on camera so stay tuned!

Beaches, stray dogs and tan lines

As I’m glancing out the window of my hotel room, the raindrops are falling down. It’s monsoon season and mostly we have been lucky with the weather. But with all things going up, it must come down. Today is just one of those days where you don’t want to do anything but binge watch Netflix shows. My mind and my body is just tired. I’ve been so busy exploring the island that I haven’t had much down time. Even though I love the company of others, spending some time alone is just friggin relaxing. As Marilyn Monroe said “I restore myself when alone”.

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Koh Samui is no doubt a beautiful island with beaches, sunbeds, happy hour and massage parlours on every street. With most countries in Asia, animal welfare is a thing of the future, not the present. There are so many stray dogs and cats here. Animals that are considered holy, like the elephant, is used as a tourist attraction. Myself included fell for the allure of riding on elephants when I was younger and ignorant. Not knowing that these poor majestic creatures are being treated in the worst way. For what? For our entertainment. Don’t mind the hook being jabbed in their sides, or the isolation from their friends and family. As long as we get that amazing shot, where you are sitting on an elephant, right? Whatever excuse you make up for yourself to justify the act, is just not gonna cut it anymore. The problem is neither the tourists fault, or the locals fault. It’s the lack of knowledge and sometimes just ignorance.

These two past days we decided to head up to Dog and Cat Samui rescue center. Very often when man’s bestfriend is no longer a cute puppy, it will be thrown on the street to fend for themselves. Thankfully there are those who dedicate their time and effort, to try and save these gentle creatures. In Koh Samui there are two shelters, a small one in Chaweng and a big one in Taling Ngam. No need to book an appointment, you can just show up to cuddle with the animals, or volunteer with cleaning and feeding. I have never done volunteer work before, not sure what to expect. We visited the big one in Taling Ngam.

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There were between 400-500 dogs and cats divided in different compounds. I didn’t even know where to start looking, there were so many. When a dog has lived it’s entire life on the street, seen and experienced God knows what, you just don’t know how it will react towards humans. In Norway we are crazy about our dogs, they are like family members. My dog Bella is like my baby, and I spoil her like crazy. She has at least 3 different beds, not mine or the couch included. Here in Thailand they don’t have that kind of luxury. We have read and heard from the people working there, the situation of the stray dogs has become better. The work these people do is beyond words. The dogs and cats in this shelter were so gentle and friendly. Wagging their tale, barking, and jumping for joy. Some dogs jumped me from behind, it tore up my pants haha!

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These animals just broke my heart, I wanted to take them all with me. Not all dogs were in bad shape, but some were missing limbs, some had their eye bit out by another dog. One was missing a jaw almost incapable of eating. Then there were those who were so skinny, missing all their fur due to neglect. The first day there was one dog that came up to me for some cuddles, it just stared me straight in the eye with so much love. The tears fell down my cheeks. Only imagining if this was my Bella. Just writing about this experience is tearing me up. Im not a vet nor do I have any experience in helping, so we did what we could. Cleaning, feeding, giving love and cuddles. Most of these dogs will live their entire life, never knowing how a home is supposed to feel like. Helpers coming in and out of their compound, but never to take them home. Since I’m traveling long term, adopting one is not an option for me right now. But one day, when I’m settled back home I will come back, to take one or two with me. It’s actually the same price to adopt a dog from Thailand, as it would be to buy one from a breeder. Adopting a dog from lets say Koh Samui, will not just give you a friend for life. It will also give you a beautiful beach vacation. So please, adopt don’t shop! You can read more about the DCSR’s work here, and how you can help these loving furbaby’s.

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This post wasn’t supposed to be all about animals, but when your mind wanders, feelings are heightened, and your fingers start typing. Well.. Here we are. I will write about Koh Samui some other time, for now I’m gonna enjoy a walk on the beach.

My first travel video

Here is my first travel video of 2017, and it’s the first time I’ve shared it with the world. What I love about travel videos, is that all the memories come alive in front of you. So when I’m old and my memory starts fading away, I will have digital memoirs of my traveling days as a young woman. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Ayutthaya in my heart

This weekend we decided to go temple hunting in the beautiful city of Ayutthaya. It’s known for ancient ruins and laid-back atmosphere. Ayutthaya isn’t far from Bangkok, just a short one hour bus drive. We took a minibus from Mo Chit northern bus station, paying 60 bath each. Besides another foreign couple, we were the last ones on the minibus. These buses aren’t made for us with big butts, or with long legs. Luckily it only took one hour so the discomfort didn’t last long. Our hotel was a 2 minute walk from where the minibus dropped us off. We stayed at PU inn resort. The hotel was OK, not worth the price though as pictures lie. Note to self, find accommodation when you get to the location. Our duvet was covered with insects and tiny little bugs.  Being a wuss, I threw it on the floor and slept in my silk liner.

Saturday started with a dip in the pool, oh how my body had longed for this. As the pool filled up with teenage boys, we headed up to our room to get ready for breakfast and temple hunting. After breakfast we tried to hire a tuktuk to drive us around, but it was so expensive. The tuktuk driver wanted 300 bath per hour, neither of us are good at haggling. We had already spent a little too much on hotel, a bicycle sounded hot but better for our wallets. To our delight they rented not only bicycles, but scooters! 200 bath for one day, hell yeah! Turns out when you speak thai, you get much better service. I don’t look thai or even half thai for that matter, everyone is surprised when I start speaking. In Bangkok no one cares if I’m half thai, except the taxi drivers who want to know why I speak the language. Here in Ayutthaya the service has been impeccable. We didn’t have to pay any deposit for the scooter, got extra bananas with our ice-cream, and in general being met with more respect. For anyone coming here, it’s tempting to dress very light and show off a lot of skin cause of the heat. Most thai’s actually find it uncomfortable and sometimes disrespectful. They will never say it, but trust me, they will talk about you in thai. Get that dictionary, learn some words and cover up when you’re not at the pool/beach.

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All restaurants and hotels had these great maps with a overview of the city. We grabbed one from our hotel, put our helmets on and started cruising town.

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We visited four different temples. Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Maha tat, Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. They were as beautiful as I had imagined, even more so when looking through all the pictures and film. It was burning hot, the sun was baking our skin and the sweat was pouring down our backs. Therefore we had some difficulty to soak it all in. To save time and energy, I recommend renting a scooter instead of a bike. It’s not very much from the budget, and the little break from the heat is totally worth 200 bath. Now we’re going for dinner before heading back to Bangkok. Hope you all have a buddhaful sunday afternoon.

First week in Bangkok

It’s been one week since I packed my backpack and left Norway. This is the first time I’ve travelled with a friend to Thailand. Since this is Camilla’s first time as well, we set out to explore this grand city together. As with any major life changes, it can take it’s toll on the body and the mind. Combine that with fatigue and lack of sleep, we spent the first two days on this continent sleeping. When you are traveling long term, you can afford yourself two days of rest.

I finally have my laptop back. Let the blogging begin! Here’s what I’ve been up to this first week in Bangkok.

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The Grand Palace was a nice experience, the architecture and the design was beautiful. It’s a-must see for anyone coming here, but with most places recommended, the crowd will be huge. Be prepared to come before the temple opens, as it will just get more hectic throughout the day. Combine the heat with all the visitors, add a little bit of claustrophobia, the experience can get stressful. At least for me it was a struggle, therefore paying 500 bath was not worth it. Maybe if it was closed off for a day without all the people, I would enjoy it more. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful palace.

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IMG_2748(There were a hoard of Chinese tourists trying to squeeze in for a group photo, and the Chinese guy taking our picture is trying to hold them off. Me and Camilla couldn’t stop laughing) 

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This golden hilltop is a 5 minute drive from The Grand Palace. To reach the top of the temple there are some stairs to climb. We expected it would take one hour. Being Norwegians, we are used to hikes in the mountains. It only took 10 minutes to reach the top. The start of the stairs felt like a tropical garden. Decorated with waterfalls and buddha sculptures, giving a nice tranquility to the mind. The 360 degree view over the city was amazing. Everyone should come here, not just for the view but for the experience of giving prayer.

In the Grand Palace, the prayer area in the temple is closed off for non-thais. Therefore I was thrilled when I could do it here. With a incense, a candle and a flower in my hand, I was ready to say my prayer.

PS: remember to take off your shoes, never point your toes toward the buddha, and dress appropriately. If in doubt just do what the locals do.

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Before stepping out of the temple, we bought each a golden leaf to hang in the trees. The leafs are only 40 bath each, and you write whatever you feel like on them. Remember to “wai” after you hang it up. “Wai” means to fold your hand.

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The museum didn’t feel like a typical museum, as you had to walk from one building to the next. Walking through gardens with lush green plants, it felt more like a palace. Filled with beautiful sculptures and stone carvings of buddha statues. It was really cool to see the influence from other asian countries.

In Norway we don’t learn about Thai history in school, or much of asia for that matter. Ever since I decided to pursue my dream, I’ve had this urge to rediscover my asian heritage. There is a lot of buddhist pilgrimage sites around in Asia, and I can’t wait to explore.

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The great thing about traveling with someone else, is that you get to do stuff you normally wouldn’t. Camilla’s favourite thing when visiting a city, is hitting up the museum of contemporary art. “Museums are great, but the contemporary ones are easier to identify with.”

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Everyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with unicorns. When I first saw the video on Facebook about this café, my inner child screamed. It looked so amazing! Located in Sukhumvit 10, not far from the BTS. The concept is any unicorn lovers dream. But in the midst of all the pink, it felt kinda childish. There were just a little too much going on. Also it felt a bit dirty, like the place hadn’t been cleaned in a while. Maybe if they focused more on the food, and less on filling the place with different toys, it would be more enjoyable. All in all, if you love unicorns and have some time to kill in Bangkok, you should take the trip.

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We arrived the city of Ayutthaya today. Ayutthaya is the old town of Thailand, with lots of beautiful temples from the Khmer Empire. This weekend will be spent soaking in buddhist history, temples and relaxing by the pool. Now I’m gonna drag my friend out for some food hunting! Have a great weekend everyone.

The beginning of a nomadic life

Whenever I travel to Thailand, I prefer flying with Thai Airways. The service, the food and the space is everything a passenger can dream of. This time I tried Norwegian, a bit sceptical  because the last time it didn’t go so well. Norwegian had just started the long haul routes with a brand new plane called the Dreamliner. There were a lot of problems in the beginning, and I ended up flying in an old Portuguese one. This time I actually got to fly in a brand new Dreamliner. The plane was spacious, and comfortable. To be able to have a meal on the flight, you have to make a reservation at least 72 hours beforehand. My friend preordered the vegetarian meal, boy am I glad I didn’t. Airplane food isn’t much, but this was just terrible. The food was soggy, soaked in oil and the taste was poor. Breakfast was a yoghurt, one box of juice and a piece of bread. When you pay 250 kr extra for food, you should get a better meal. Come’on Norwegian! Luckily I bought snacks, water and food before boarding. You can’t expect much when paying 2000kr one way, but still, not a cup of water?

As I chose the aisle seat due to my bladder being the size of a peanut, I almost didn’t  get any shut-eye. The man sitting in the middle seat between me and my friend, didn’t leave me much time to sleep. Every hour he would go to check on his girlfriend, or she would come by his seat. Me and Camilla both just got single, and none of us wanted to sit next to Romeo and Juliet. It must be nice to be that in love, but come on, no one wants to watch someone french the hell out of each other.

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We arrived 6am eager to stretch our legs. For the first time, I travelled with a tourist visa since I’m staying longer than the 30 visa free days. Immigration took a little longer than usual, but we got our passports stamped without any problems or questions. Just remember to fill out all the information, on the immigration cards (arrival AND departure) they hand out before landing. Normally I would go for a suitcase, but since I’m traveling long term,  a backpack is more practical. After 40 minutes of waiting for our luggage, I was afraid something had happened. Luckily it arrived without any damage. We then headed to the dtac counter to get our thai sim cards. Dtac is the same as Telenor in Norway. There are different options depending on how much internet you need. I’m a big spender on the GB, therefore I chose the 30 days with unlimited internet access for 1350bath. After a little confusion with the new taxi system, we found the ticket box, got our number and voilà, we were on our way to my grandparents.

My initial plan was to blog at least 2-3 times a week, giving updates with pictures on how my life as a nomad is working out. But unfortunately my laptop stopped working, the screen just turned black and the keyboard would not react to any touch. I brought my Macbook Air to iServe at Central World. If you are having trouble with your apple products, this is the place to go. My mac is 5 years old after all, some problems is to be expected. Turns out there was a issue with the trackpad (whatever that is). They had to order a new to replace the old. We were only planning on staying in Bangkok for a week, heading up to Chiang Mai the 18th, but they said it’s gonna take 7-10 days for the new part to arrive. Life as a nomad is never without a surprise.

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For now, I’m gonna enjoy this fresh coconut in this beautiful city. There will be an update with details about Bangkok, with pictures when my mac is fixed and ready to go.

It’s the day before the day

Tomorrow is departure day for the grand adventure. This will be the longest I have been away from my loved ones, including my dog Bella. There is a lot going through my mind right now, and my feelings are all over the place. I always imagined myself traveling with my partner, and be one of those couples who conquer the world together. But life has a funny way of throwing you lemons. These past months has been chaotic and stressful to say the least. One day I was blissfully ignorant and happy, and the next alone and heartbroken. All of a sudden I had to learn how to be a solo person again, which is challenging when there is so much going on. When the person you used to lean on, suddenly is not there anymore. It’s hard as shit to deal with the aftermath of a breakup, like finances and paperworks without falling apart. But I choose to believe that when you go through one of life’s challenges, you come out stronger. I firmly believe life only hands you these lemons, because you are strong enough to make more than just lemonade. Going through a breakup like this, is exactly the time to rediscover who you are and who you want to be. I know I am a person who gives it my all when in a relationship, but I tend to lose myself. Everything becomes a «we». There is nothing wrong with becoming a «we», but it’s important to not lose your anchor in all the romance.

When I started planning this trip, I was set upon South America first, and then Asia. But as time went by, I had this urge to rediscover my roots and religion, which is Buddhism. Buddhism is not a religion per se, it’s really more a way of life, guidelines on how to live life more peacefully. Even priests around the world practice the way of buddhism, to become a better self. This journey will not only be about traveling, and gaining new experiences. But also a path of self discovery and healing. And what better way to start the healing process than with some family time in Thailand, and some R&R on the beach, with my best friend. So what can you expect to see these next 12 months? Well according to my hysterical, but oh so loving mom, I will probably get robbed, killed or die from drinking water with ice cubes. How much ground I will actually cover is uncertain, but there is some places and experiences I can’t leave unexplored. Here is the top 8 from my bucket list:

Now I have to get my ass in gear, and finish my packing. The rest of the day I will meet up with some friends, and spend some quality time with my parents. Because tomorrow is the big day, and I can already feel the warmth of my grandmas hug.

Grab fear by the balls

I have dreamed of traveling the world since I was a little girl. In my family travel is kind of our hobby, almost like a race of who can get the most stamps in their passport. My family is scattered all around the world. Therefore experiencing the world, and doing it long term was a natural choice for me. People ask me aren’t you scared? Well of course I am, and that is why I know this is the right thing to do. This is one of my biggest dreams and it scares the shit out of me, but on the other side it gives me this incredible sense of happiness. I can’t pass this up. They say if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough. For those who know me, know that I’m kinda scared of everything, except taking chances and going upstream. All my fears are irrational and stupid. So for this journey I want to challenge myself, not just by being a solo female traveler most of the time, but also to live without fear. I am fearful for so many ridiculous things, like spiders, the dark, the grudge, and sharks coming in to the pool to kill me. Therefore I made a list of some of the fears I want to conquer this year:

  • Diving with sharks
  • Skydiving (I will probably shit myself or have a heart attack)
  • Hold a spider
  • Eating an insect
  • Let a cockroach crawl on my hand
  • Bungee jump
  • Sense deprivation (also known as floating)
  • Rollercoasters & heights

Will I go through with it all? I have no idea, but I hope so. So here’s to being brave and grab fear by the balls.

A little introduction is in order

I’m a Norwegian girl born and raised in a town called Stavanger. A quiet little city with lots of nature and down to earth people. I’m 24 years old, I’m a makeup and SFX artist with a passion for interior. I’m a mix of Norwegian and Thai, and I speak both languages, even though my Thai is kinda rusty. Through my 24 years on this earth I have bounced from one job to the next, never figured out what I really wanted to do with my life. Being good at a lot of things but never great I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I liked too many different things, like painting, drawing, makeup, Interior, traveling, and dancing. Why couldn’t I just stick to one thing and just stay there? I was too restless, even after 3 major moves. Spain, the Philippines and to Oslo with different jobs and educations. My appetite was the same. A couple of months ago I learned a new word, multi-potentialist. It means to have many talents and wanting to do them all at once, and that’s ok. You just have to find your way of putting them into use, to create your perfect life. Finally I had a category I could fit into, multi-potentialist. So this journey for me is about many things. It’s about living everyday to its fullest. I was tired of only existing and not really living. I was tired of going to bed and imagining a different life than what I was living. I was tired of scrolling day-in, day-out on Pinterest of pictures of these amazing places, only seeing them through a screen. What I wanted was more than just 2 weeks of vacation. After a breakup with my fiancé, this was the perfect time to go live out my dream. We sold our apartment and I just went for it. I quit my job, and bought that damn ticket. And now, it’s 7 days till’ my butt will be seated on that airplane to Thailand, and I feel like a child waiting for Santa Claus.