I happen to live in the country that has given to this world the great explorers like Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen, the Vikings (who sailed all the way to North America). These guys have set kind of high standard for what exploring means, and, honestly, sometimes that bothers me. Do you also have this idea of exploring the faraway shores, thick jungles and mountain tops that are untouched by the foot of a man? Then I check the Instagram feeds of travel bloggers with their perfect sets in places that I don’t know how to pronounce, the flowing dresses, hats and hipster backpacks all there. I look at them, I look at me – and in my eyes you can see a reflection of an abyss that seems impossible to jump over.
But where is this distance? It’s only in my head, and no one is really stopping me. And I don’t even need to buy tickets to the exotic destinations, pack my suitcase with mosquito sprays and first aid kits, and risk my life hanging from the cliff with my camera in order to call myself an explorer. My mind is like a kid, it needs a picture attached to the word. So these are the pictures I have attached to the word “explore”. But recently I came to realize that exploring is the spirit, not the destination, or a dangerous activity or a cool shot on Instagram. It is more like an attitude, a mind mode that you can tap into any time and any place.
This time I survived two weeks of dance madness: first, a week of Summer Sensual Days and then Croatian Salsa Festival. This has been my 3d time of this festival, and to my joy, happiness and tiredness I have added some valuable insights which make me feel something like a veteran 🙂 While chatting with a friend about my festival experience, I made a joke that I once will write my handbook of how to do the best of this festival. Wait a minute, I have a blog (which I kind of totally forgot in all that craze) – I don’t need to start a handbook to share all I know now!
So how do you create your best and happiest experience? This goes for dancers and not dancers alike (so keep on reading, even if you are not a salsa enthusiast!).
Last summer I spent three unforgettable weeks in Croatia which I call my personal “Eat pray love” project. There was one week of salsa festival, a week of relaxing, eating and taking pictures in the beautiful town of Rovinj, and a week of yoga retreat on Hvar Island. Yoga would be the pray part, eating and relaxing speaks for itself, and dancing is definitely love. I have shared reasons to love Rovinj here and here, and the time has come to tell its stories. This is going to be the post about the dancing part aka love (you will find more posts about this story under the tag eatpraylove).
I came to Croatia for the first time in summer of 2015 for the salsa festival and it captured my heart forever. On the night of our arrival we were pulling our suitcases through cobblestoned streets, the stones reflecting the light of the lanterns, the old houses towering around us, the laundry hanging from the windows – I felt like I was instantly placed in the setting of a romantic movie, and soon the cameras would roll. The town of Rovinj in the Northern part of Croatia is known as the most Italian town of that region Istria which used to be a part of Italian Veneto for ages. That’s why Italian atmosphere is luring everywhere, in the colorful facades, in the cuisine, in the smiles and jokes of local waiters. And what can be more romantic than Italian atmosphere in summer?
Do you know this feeling of falling in love with a place? Yes, you do, I am sure. And do you know that the same feeling is still there in your heart and it is easy to get in touch with it? I’ve just discovered that going through my last year’s pictures made me nearly as happy as when I was there. I used to watch my old photos with a sigh “I wish I were there now”, and there would be a taste of sadness in this activity. But today, maybe, because it is a sunny day in Oslo, or because I know I will be there this summer – revisiting the photos of my beloved Croatian town made my heart beat with joy and love, no note of sadness in it. And I just cannot keep this love to myself! So let’s share it!
I have come back from the road trip around the Sothern France which is just some hours away from Barcelona where we are staying. Back to Barcelona, feels like coming back home. I have missed blogging! I packed my mac into the suitcase hoping I would blog from the hotels. Little did I know about blogging when you drive every day and sleep in a new town every night. But here I am – glad to be back!
lavender soaps in Nimes
postcards of Avignon
What do you like to bring from your travels? Some buy postcards, some bring magnets or lavender soaps from Provence. We bring weird stories, big and small.
To miss the exit on the motorway and drive 7 km one way just to get off and drive 7 km back – done. In Perpignan.
To hit the low post while reversing the rented car – done. In Nimes.
To watch the fight in the harbor – done. In Marseille.
This got me thinking that maybe I should start a blog and call it “Pathetic Travels”. Because I have a lot of stories which are not glamorous to make me into the high-fly travel blogger, and which are not funny enough to make us into “those famous wandering clowns” which would make you roll on the floor laughing. They are more like Mr. Bean which starts every act carefully and properly, but it gets only worse and worse (though comparing my stories with Mr. Bean is really ambitious :)). For example, like this one.Read More »
I was so used to call myself a dreamer through all my life. And lately I have seen so many of my dreams coming true, that I don’t know what to call myself any longer. A dream catcher? 🙂 Here I want to share my Spanish dream.
My first visit to Spain was to the city of Barcelona, six years ago. Anyone surprised? Me not :). It is definitely the most visited city in Spain (and then you discover the difference between Catalonian and Spanish mentalities, but it comes later…). My friend has been to Spain before and wanted to spend every morning on the beach – “because it is our summer vacation” (and coming from Norway where the summer weather is unpredictable, you’d better use those sunny days wisely). So our beach mornings were long, stretching over into late afternoon. Then we would take subway to get back to hotel, tired from the sun, jump (or crawl) in the shower and stroll out in the open arms of the city waiting for us. It was the time to do some sightseeing and eating tapas. Drinking sangria became a habit too (of course 🙂 ). We did it all: walking on La Rambla and buying tickets for a flamenco show, taking pics in Parc Guell and partying in the club. In the infamous style “been there, done that”.
Honestly, I didn’t care much about the beach. We had only six days in this city and I was hungry for meeting the soul of Barcelona. I believe, that every city has its own vibe, its own soul – and I was very curious about The Great Enchantress, as they sometimes call her, Barcelona. My wish was to wander through its narrow streets, where light falls mystically from above, to look into windows of the bars, to sip coffee in a local café and listen to the locals sharing their daily life. This is my passion. I always want something more than a touristic experience, hopping on and off through the place like in the theme park. I want to get under the skin of the city, to feel its energy, to watch, hear and feel its people.Read More »
There are different people with different talents and passions out there. I have this weird ability of falling in love with places. I am sure, that am not alone in this, but I wonder, if it is a quality of everyone. Do you think all of us share the same passion for a place or do we differ in this matter?
For me it is really a passionate affair. I get excited about a place and my blood fills with bubbles, I tend to idealize its qualities and ignore its downsides. I get attached and it hurts to leave it. They say that when you come first to a place you do it because of the place, when you come more times – you do it because of the people. I can agree because it happened to me. I was returning several times to a place because of friends or romances there. But it is not exclusively so. My formula is: you return to a place that has given you a strong emotion, a feeling of love, adventure, freedom or whatever what is precious to you.