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Showing posts from 2018

Notting Hill Carnival

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One of my best memories from my weekend trip to London was the carnival in the streets of Notting Hill. The carnival takes place once a year in Notting Hill and unfortunately I wasn't able to attend at all of the events, but I was able to experience the J'ouvert celebration.

I met up with a few people, Ida, Linn & Moa, who had bought tickets for the entire event, and I was happy to join them as I had already been alone a couple of days (and to be honest, I was getting bored just hanging out with myself). Look at how happy Ida looks!

There were big trucks playing loud music and pouring drinks, and loads of people following these trucks, or should I say dancing alongside the trucks. I was surprised when Ida told me that this dancing train would last from 11 in the morning till 7 in the evening, but I wasn't going to be that boring person who gives up and goes home before everyone else. Na-ah.

It didn't even feel like I was in London anymore but somewhere in the Cari…

London calling (or not?)

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Last weekend I took a little trip to London. Alone.

Things felt off on my first day in London. I even got a little bit scared, and honestly, I don't know or understand why, because I thought I liked travelling alone, and that solo-trips were "my thing". Also I don't get scared that easily. It was day time for Gods sake!

I thought that since I had already travelled alone a few times, that it would be easier.

Now I'm realizing that every trip is different, it's a new desitnation, the culture isn't the same as the last place you visited, the people aren't the same, and you kind of start over. I guess I got a bit cocky, thinking that I was a travel queen or something, and then I met reality. But learning by doing, right?


After I got over being scared, nervous and a bit misplaced (luckily it didn't last too long), I got on a red bus, and found a spot on the second floor. I got excited like a kid, cause I'm not used to second floor-buses.

I'm s…

3 favorites in the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam

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I am so glad that I got to visit other cities than Amsterdam on one of my travels to the Netherlands. Of course I love Amsterdam, but there are other parts worth exploring as well, like Utrecht and Zaandam. Here are a few places I really appreciated.

1. KOFFIE LEUTE IN UTRECHT



This is perhaps the most charming café ever! I feel like I say that about every little place that I fall in love with, but I can't help it, there are tons of cool gems out there, and I'm an enthusiastic person.

This café is run by locals, has a chill atmosphere, and if you want a good cup of coffee, this is the place to be. I spent most of my time here just walking around and taking photos. Tourist much?


2. THE AREA AROUND INNTEL HOTEL IN ZANDAAM

The Inntel Hotel located at Provincialeweg in Zandaam is an attraction by itself with its impressive facade. The structure is a stacking of different traditional houses from the Zaan region. The Inntel Hotel is eye-catching for sure, but I really enjoyed exploring …

Pictures of Pakistan

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Things are quite hectic, so today I'll keep it short & sweet. It seems like (at least according to my parents) the political situation in Pakistan is way more calm now, so I'm hoping my 2019 Pakistan-trip comes through. We'll see.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few a photos from the last time I was in Pakistan. Never thought I'd miss it so much, and I'm realizing that I may have taken my visits to my parents place of birth for granted. At least now I know, and I will not be making that mistake again!

XOXO

 Instagrammable Pakistan

A badass Berlin guide

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This stay was actually a bit scattered, as I was in Germany to attend a conference in Storkow about hate-speech (hate-speech sucks!). And so, I got to spend time in Berlin before and after the conference, something I'm really happy about. Even though the conference was very important and I got to meet so many great people who care about a lot of the stuff I care about, it was quite intense. And Berlin let me unwind, especially after the conference was over.

I wrote earlier in my solo travelling-post about meeting Mickey in Berlin, the man who offered me a ride even though I didn't know him, and it was a rad moment indeed, but there were also other fantastic moments during my scattered stay in Berlin. Here are some of them. Five to be exact. Damn, do I love lists.

1. MUSEUM OF SILENCE 

During the conference we actually had an outing to Berlin, I think we got about 8 hours there. We could choose between three different tour experiences, or we could go solo and do whatever we wan…

Colorful & mouth-watering desserts in Cali

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I am so sad I didn't see this video until AFTER my Los Angeles-trip, cause had I seen this in time, I would have payed the Milk Tavern a sweet little trip.

That been said, I love looking around social media for tips, and I think that INSIDER share some pretty cool stuff from their channels. Like this video of 11 colorful desserts in southern California. Definitely checking a few of these out next time I'm in Cali.

Portugal - from a bands perspective

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Touring can be a great way to visit new places and get a pre-taste. Of course you don't get to see everything you want to, because you're not there on vacation.

I used to play in a band called Level & Tyson and we went touring in Portugal twice. On one of these tours we did like 19 gigs in 18 days. Some of the cities we visited were Coimbra, Braga, Porto, Lisbon and Portalegre, just to mention a few.

We got to know some really cool people, not to mention check out a bunch of venues. But needless to say, there were a lot of touristy stuff I didn't get to do, and some of the best views were seen on the road, from the window while riding our shabby tour car.


Here comes the pre-taste part.

Even though we were always on the go, and it felt as if we saw Portugal in the speed of light - I did see enough to understand that Portugal is a cool destination that I would like to visit again. Next time I go, I want to visit just as many cities as when we were touring, but stay ther…

Why do I feel more at home travelling?

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Every time I travel, I fall in love with the country I'm visiting. I picture myself living there, the people there get me, I feel at home. And when I come back, my post travel-blues hit me hard.

My parents came from Pakistan to Norway in the 70s. I was born and raised at Sola, a little town in Rogaland county and I think Sola has a lot to offer. Like, we have sandy beaches, our own airport and because of the wind: windsurfing. These last years however, I've been living in the metropolitan city Oslo, which I think is pretty awesome too. At some point, Sola got too small for me.

I love Oslo, and it is my home now. But why do I always feel more at home everywhere else than my actual home? When I was in Los Angeles and talked with strangers about my creative ambitions, they were totally on board with that and shared some of their own as well. I remember one of them saying "You're totally LA".

When I was in Japan, on our way to do karaoke (at Karaoke-kan, the same sp…

A reason to go to Malibu

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Are you a foodie like me? Paradise Cove Beach Cafe is famous for serving a pound of crispy calamari in a giant martini glass. Here's a video from INSIDER.

7 cool & fun spots to hang out in Los Angeles

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I've been to Los Angeles a couple of times. The first time I didn't get that much time to explore as I was there with the band I used to play in - however photo shoots helped us to see more of LA. And the last time I was in Cali I knew people who could show me a around.

I feel like I've name dropped Sri (who lives in LA) plenty of times on this blog, I could have just called this post Sris guide, 'cause she took me to four of the places on this list. And truth be told, there are more than 7 cool & fun spots to hang out in Los Angeles, but I guess something stood out with these chosen ones. Anyway. Let's go!

1. MOHAWK BEND

Mohawk Bend is a craft beer bar and restaurant located in Echo Park, featuring an impressive list of locally-sourced craft beers & healthy food. The place is fresh, modern and has a nice vibe going on. I was here with Sri and her band mates, and we just ordered and shared a bunch of things. One of mye favorites, which I still remember was, …

Staycation: How to pretend you're on vacation in your own country

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Low budget? Too much going on and you don't have time to travel? Or are you like me, constantly having post-travel blues?

I'm not gonna lie and tell you I have the solution, I don't, but I do know a way to make you feel better, I'm taking about a "staycation". It's all about appreciating what you already have where you're living. And so I've made a list of how to pretend you're on vacation in your own country. Faking it till you make it.

1. GRAB YOUR CAMERA 

When you have a camera and a goal to take cool pictures, you'll start noticing new things, details and even new places. Look around and be curious. I live in Oslo, Norway, and one day when I was just walking around with my phone, looking for something to photograph, I saw a mosque. I've seen it many times, thought about how beautiful it is, and then forgotten all about it. But now I have a picture, and it makes me happy everytime I look at it, because it feels like it was taken in T…

A quirky travellers guide to Amsterdam

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This doesn't happen to me often, honestly, I'm not one of those travel bloggers who gets paid or sponsored for my trips, that would be crazy considering I just started this blog. However, once upon a time I did get free tickets from KLM to Amsterdam, and so I picked a date, booked a room via Airbnb, and suddenly this quirky traveller was walking alone in the streets of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In this guide I'll take you to five of the best places I went to:

1. CAFÉ RUK & PLUK

The Airbnb-dude I was staying at told me I should check out Ruk & Pluk, a unique popular café/bar where there's apparently always something to celebrate and where "worldly barmaids welcome you wholeheartedly". According to I amsterdam, a favorite hangout among Amsterdammers.

I don't know if this is true, because I chose a time to visit the bar when there were no guests, except me. And my barmaid was just an old lady who was doing her own thing. After taking …

SKAM fans at a California pool party

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One of my favorite memory from my solo-trip to USA is when I met SKAM-fans at a California pool party, where my Instagram-friend Sri had brought me. There was BBQ and people were drinking out of red cups, just like they do in those American college-movies.

I spotted some cool girls by the pool, walked on over, and ended up having a little chat with them. I could see the stars in their eyes when I told them I was from Norway. Imagine my surprise when they suddenly started talking Norwegian, and they were pretty good at it too! Turns out, they had been watching SKAM.

Now, I don't know If you even know about this television show, or if you still remember it (how could you forget?). It's been a while since the season finale. Maybe you know SKAM Austin, the American teen drama web television. Well, its based on the Norwegian web series, created by Julie Andem. It's a drama about the daily life of teenagers, and this drama was very popular amongst the youth. Not only in Norway.

Japan for dummies

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When I was planning a trip to Japan, I got some really good advice from friends who had travelled there before. These were just small things that made our trip so much easier. I want to pass them on, and I also have some advice of my own.

So here it is: Japan for dummies - 5 practical Japan-tips, that I think you might appreciate.

1. PORTABLE WIFI

If your addicted to Internet or GPS (Google maps helped us a lot - it suggests train routes etc. and is amazing), I suggest you rent a portable WIFI from the airport. Unfortantely I don't remember how much we paid, but it was reasonble and absolutely worth it. I travelled with a friend so we just shared one - BUT next time I'm gonna rent my own WIFI - 'cause sharing one kind of made us dependable on each other, and if you're a person like me who need space... Well, you know what to do.

             My face when I don't get space, documented by my lovely friend Sverre (location: Akihabara, Tokyo)

2. CASH
Need cash? We only tr…

Waar Hovedgaard - a magical place

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This weekend I attended one of the most magical weddings I have ever had the honor of experiencing in Nibe, Denmark. I also got to stay at a magical place, and if you somehow find yourself at Nibe (not too far from Aalborg), you should definitely try to book a room at this manor called Waar Hovedgaard, a romantic Bed & Breakfast with plenty of charming features, placed in beautiful surroundings. Here's a little clip of the manor, built in the late 1500s, from the outside.

We were greeted by a cute, fat dog, and even though I'm not a dog person, I absolutely fell in love with the dog. But then we were greeted by Lykke who runs the place (she grew up there), and then I fell in love with her too. Running that place is more of a hobby for her, but it's a hobby she's nailing!

At Waar Hovedgaard they only have three double rooms, and Trine (one of my travel partners) and I were lucky enough to get "the yellow room" aka. the bridal suite, a room that had a love…

How to pick the right travel-buddy

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Disclaimer: Dear friends whom I've travelled with. Please do not get offended. 

I've travelled alone and I've travelled with different friends, and during this time I've found out that we're not supposed to travel with ALL of our friends. You might have great chemistry when you're just hanging out playing Playstation or whatever, but it's a whole new game when your spending time together almost 24/7, sometimes even in stressful situations.

And if you've had a bad travel experience with a friend, this doesn't mean that you no longer can be friends, it just means that maybe you shouldn't travel together, ever again. Unless something changes.

Once I travelled with a group of 7 girls. I learned that I'm not a group-travel-person, at least not with a group that is so big. Some of them thought that we had to do everything together. I especially remember us arguing about where to eat until I couldn't take it anymore and said "Hey! How abou…

Solo travelling - Why you should try it

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Everyone should solo travelling at least once in their lifetime! My first big solo trip was to LA, California, USA, and I learned so much from that trip.

I learned that I enjoy my own company, that I'm adventurous and that I like to talk to strangers, unless they seem shady (but sometimes I can end up talking with shady people too). Often when I'm travelling with someone, they always end up being that "map-reader". I just go along with it, and never learn the metro-system and stuff like that, but when I was travelling alone I found out that I'm a decent map-reader too, and I'm not as "clumsy" or "lost" as some people might think. 
Sometimes certain people get annoyed over my impulsiveness and my "everything's gonna be alright"-attitude, but it turns out that these attributes lead to unexpected adventures. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for planning, but I believe in not making too many plans, and being open to making de…

5 music videos that will make your travel-heart beat faster

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I love it when music can inspire travel. So here are some music videos that show the world, and that will make you wanna travel.

1. M.I.A. - Matahdatah Scroll 01 "Broader Than A Border"

This video was shot in Kolhapur city of Maharashtra, India, and in Ivory Coast in West Africa, and portrays different dance traditions. You'll see female dancers performing with swords and sticks, and an African dancer with a bad ass outfit and impressive footwork.


2. Solange - Losing You

So this is actually one of my favorite songs and music videos of all time, and it takes place in Langa, which is a township and suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. I tried to learn the dance moves that starts about at 2:13 and lasts only a few seconds.


3. The Chemical Brothers - Go

This video features women marching and making shapes, with the shopping mall Beaugrenelle, located in Paris, as a back drop. It's futuristic and retro at the same time, and makes me wanna explore more of the non-traditional pa…

Instagrammable Pakistan

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Pakistan is beautiful. My Instagram-account was breaking the Internet when I was posting pictures from my last Pakistan-trip. But for some reason it doesn't seem like an attractive destination to travel to, even though it has a lot in common with India (which is a very popular destination).

I've been to Pakistan a bunch of times since I have relatives there. Because of this I've gotten the opportunity to check out Sialkot, Quetta, Islamabad, Sahiwal and more. But visiting your family is quite different from visiting a country. My ancestors are from Kashmir, and I'm extremely attracted to the northern parts of Pakistan. Unfortunately, none of my relatives live there. There are so many places I want to see, that I haven't, YET. Like Gilgit, Swat, Hunza etc.

The positive side of visiting familiy in Pakistan, thus not travelling as a "tourist", is that I get to experience the real thing. The negative side is that I don't get to do all the touristy stuff …

How to do Japan

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I am an impulsive person, and sometimes my planning suffers from that. But hey, learning by doing, am I right?

One thing I learned from my Japan-trip, that I want to share with you, is: Travel to more than two cities, like travel around, book that Shinkansen or whatever they call it. 'Cause my friend and I didn't and I regretted that. We only travelled to Tokyo and Kyoto (took the bullet train, which was an experience in itself), and I wish we had travelled to Osaka, Kobe, Okinawa and some other cities too. Having said that, this trip was pretty off the hook! And OMG the food!

On one of the first nights in Tokyo we went to a ROBOT SHOW - which was a bit pricey and bad, but we laughed so much, that it was absolutely worth it. We were expecting to see real robots, but mostly it was humans in robot costumes. It was weird and wonderful. I don't want to give away too much in case you decide to do this, but here's a little something from the waiting room. PS. We did not eat…