From Sweden to Hong Kong by train

The train-trend in Sweden has grown rapidly the last year but my dream to take the train to Asia came long before that. This summer (2019) me and my boyfriend went from Stockholm to Tallinn by ferry, then Tallin to Moscow by night train and then the whole way to Beijing by Trans Siberian railway. After Beijing we visited Xian, Chengdu and Guilin before ending our trip in Hong Kong.

Both Russia and China are very interesting countries. Both from a political and sustainability aspect, but what you have to give them is the incredible culture in forms of museum, food and people. Massive countries with beautiful nature and well functioning train and subway systems. Easy and convenient travel destinations.

Morocco leading the climate transition

Marrakech was such a wonderful surprise. Very friendly people and amazing culture. After a few days in the town we rented a car and went to the coastal line. The mass tourism is not there yet and there’s several beaches where you have to share it with the locals - as it should be as long as we are few.

Did you also know that Morocco is the only country that’s on the track according to Paris Agreement? This is according to Climate Change performance Index - they have installed one of the largest solar farms in the world - read more here!

Exploring Europe without flying

In Sweden ”shame of flying” is really a thing and the rest of the world might look at us and wonder why we talk so much about something that globally has so little impact? Who cares about how much the Swedes fly? Well, even though we are a small country our consumption carbon footprint is very high! About 10 tons CO2 per person and year.

The best thing one can do as an individual is to cut their flights. For a travel lover like me I have made it to some kind of sport to exchange as much of my flights as possible.

I travelled to Paris back and forth (from Sweden) with bus and train. I have traveled to Switzerland and back with train. I have traveled to Poland back and forth with ferry and train. Europe is actually pretty connected if you really look at it. All my travels in Scandinavia and Sweden is always done by train.

I love traveling by train and have become a little bit of an expert on how to book trips. So let me know if you need any help!

Yoga and meditation - places for spirituality

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Spirituality is within but of course there are certain places where you have tools to connect with yourself. For some a walk in the forest might be enough, for others their seeking wisdom in ancient traditions.

I started with yoga at the age of 17 and are now a certified yoga teacher. My road there has been a littlest tricky with mental illness and other issues. I’ve been practicing ashtanga yoga in India, started Vipassana in Malaysia and Myanmar, went to schools in Sri Lanka, did my teacher training in Rishikesh and have probably visited more then half of the schools in Bali.

I love these environment and I love connecting with similar people and learning about the traditions. Be conscious of your choice of school, really ask for references since there’s many schools who are not serious. Yoga has become an industry and be very critical before supporting any businesses.

I would also recommend to search for original schools our sources such as buddhist monasteries or Indian teachers with family traditions. They know the essence of the teaching and unfortunately in West we don’t really respect it and like to create our own versions of it.

To spend time finding the tools to reconnect with yourself and be present in now is an life-long investment and for me, it’s very high on my agenda on things that makes the world a better place.

9 months in South east asia without flying

After two months of field work in central Java of Indonesia I stayed for another three months in Indonesia witnessing the deforestation of rainforest in Sumatra among other things. I went to Malaysia by ferry and traveled by hitchhiking to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. 

It’s absolutely possible to travel for a long time without flying, every flight you skip counts! Even if you went there by flying, still be conscious about how you move around within a country or how crossing borders. My 9 months in South-east Asia was also a great opportunity to connect with local people. I used couch surfing a lot. I had a simple life on a small budget and most of my days I read and just embrace the pure essence of existence.

The happiest year of my life so far.

Diving shows the state of our planet

My first scuba diving took place at the Great Barrier Reef after two months backpacking along the gold coast in Australia and one month camping in New Zealand. The differences in the countries climate and environmental ambition was evident already at this time. I was very amazed by coming so close to the life under the sea. To watch the fish mothers helping their fish babies planted a sea of compassion in me towards marine life.

Since then I have become an advanced diver and been diving at places such as:

  • Thailand, outside Koh Lanta, Ko Mak and Ko Kud

  • Philippines, Cebu, Siquijor and outside Negros Island

  • Egypt, Dahab

  • Sri Lanka, outside Marissa

  • Malaysia, Pulau Perhentian

  • Indonesia, Bali Amed and Palau We

Our corals are in danger and it’s important to chose an ethical diving company and never ever touch anything! I find it important to connect with by diving since it was that experience that made me vegan.

3 months in India travelled by hitchhiking

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People who have never hitchhiked think it’s very dangerous and people who has loves it. I have hitchhiked in Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and India and I never felt that it was dangers. Think about it, I’ve been in the care with hundres of people where some people I still have contact with. There is no better way to learn about traveling the hitchhiking.

India is huge contingent and we went from Kathmandu to Calcutta, with train to Chennai, hitchihiked across to Bangalore, to Goa, inland to Delhi and up to Dharmsala. I can’t describe in words how much I learned about India and what the trip did to me. I feel very lucky to have that experience.

Visiting world wonders

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I will never forget when sitting in a local minibuss in Peru, taking me to the closest town to one of the world’s wonders. The locals in the buss was singing to Abba without knowing the lyrics and I listened to their talk in Spanish without understanding. The sight of the city among the clouds was one of my first wanders: Machu Picchu!

Since then I have visited:

  • City of Pedra

  • Great Wall of China

  • Colosseum

  • Taj Mahal

  • Christ the Redeemer

Only Great Pyramids of Giza and Chichen Itzá left!

Oversea migration in Indonesia

My bachelor thesis in economics was funded by Sida as a minor field study about oversea migration in Indonesia. I went there to interview migrant workers about the socio-economic reasons for migration. I stayed in rural parts of central Java and learned a lot about the culture of Indonesia.

It was impressing to see how established the market was of oversea migration and how much differences the remittances had on the local peoples livelihood.

After the thesis I traveled for another three months in Indonesia and it’s really a very interesting country.

Field work - Agroforestry farming in Kenya

My bachelor thesis was based on a research about Agroforestry farming and empowerment of farmers. I wanted to se if an environmental project could improve farmers socio-economic situation which seemed to be the case for most people outside Kitale in Kenya. I spent two month in Kenya and got very familiar with its people and the culture.

I fell in love with the continent and would love to go back one day. Many challenges are facing Kenya but there’s also reasons to be optimistic.

Ethical safari in Kenya

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After finishing my fieldwork about agroforestry farming in Kitale, Kenya I decided to witness the savannah by myself. Thanks to a local person I had the opportunity to arrive at the gate of Masai Mara without the help of any tourist agency. Further, I camped legally at the site and went with a photographer in his rented car. We escaped the crowd and kept a safe and humble distans to the big five.  

If we want to conserve wildlife eco-tourism is a great conservation method. To keep it “eco” however it a complicated thing because as long as tourists complain and expect to get close to the animals the more likely are the guides to break rules and get to close to the animals.

We actually decided to leave a site when there were to many people around a lion. It didn’t feel right. But if tourism can contribute to jobs and are willing to pay to see the animals, the more economic incentives are there to conserve the ecosystems.

I was lucky to see all the big five and it was most of the time just three people in the car peacefully observing one of the most beautiful things I ever seen. I hope we keep on protecting these animals.

Amazon - the lungs of the earth

In Manaus a local guy picked me up as recommended by a friend and he lead me into the jungle. His family provided two huts for tourist. The fishing didn’t do very well on the market anymore and a lot of the surrounding rainforest were removed to feed cattle. Tourism gave them a reason to keep the ecosystems healthy and flourishing. 

That was my experience with the Amazons, five days in the jungle with the locals. Swimming with anacondas, eating piraya’s and sharing hut with spiders. Listening to the locals stories of survival and watching what was called the black and white river meet.

The sunsets were amazing and I hope we look after this important jungle holding so many species and storing so much carbon.

Volunteering work in rural Nepal

My first year at my bachelor program ended with volunteer work in Nepal I organised myself. I lived with a local family in rural parts of Kathmandu, taught sponsored children english and was the project leader of one women’s- and one youth empowerment group. The trip was one of my first experience of poverty and one the biggest lessons about life.

Favelas of Rio de Janerio- the perspective of the locals

The housecleaner at the hostel I stayed invited me for an unforgettable night in one of the local favelas, far away from the tourist areas. Despite the weapons, drugs and alcohol shown at the street party that night people where happy to see a foreigner visiting their local community to hear their story not the one of media.

An important aspect of visiting poor areas is to realise that not all of them are as dangerous as media portrait them and I find it important to talk to locals to hear their stories. That night I danced on the streets the whole night with the rest of the people. I don’t want to undermine the issues and violence happening, but everyone is far from violent and I’m not really the victim.

Rio de Janerio can be dangerous but it’s also a culture explosion and a really interesting destination.  

Camping life

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My first wow-experience when it comes to camping came at New Zeeland where I lived in a tent for a month. To wake up and go to bed to close to nature for a month really change me. I was 21 years old and decided at that time to keep on traveling as a backpacker and a camper. During the years I have camped on several places at the Israeli trail close to the borders of Egypt, in Kenya during Safari, at a petrol station in Indonesia, at a monastery in Thailand and of course during the summer in beautiful Sweden and not at least the island of Gotland.