sweden

rosendals trädgård | stockholm

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This was our last day in Stockholm back in September and I think the photos say it all. We borrowed bikes from our Airbnb host and trekked over to Rosendals Trädgård for the day. I'm not quite sure how to define Rosendals, but think public park meets flower farm meets plants store meets organic farm cafe meets heaven. 

It was our only sunny day in Stockholm and it was beautiful.

In terms of current happenings, I'm wrapping up my last week in my little Portland apartment before jetting off for work this summer. I'm spending most of my time in San Francisco but am excited to share some upcoming travel with you:

Los Angeles - June 10 to 20th
Seoul - July 14 to 17th, 25 to 27th
Singapore - July 18 to 19th
Bali - July 20 to 24th
Jakarta - August 17 to 20th
Bangkok - August 20 to 21st
Berlin - August 22 to 25th
Hamburg - August 26 to 28th
Copenhagen - August 29 to September 1st

It's a whirlwind schedule but if you're local to any of those places and would like to meet/hang/collaborate, please drop me a line!

I can't believe summer's already here again.

day 2 | stockholm

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There are many things to love about Stockholm but as carbs and flowers are among my first loves, they were a highlight for me. Although I've claimed for years that I don't drink coffee, it was all too easy to fall into the fika routine what with plentiful cardamom buns and bakeries at every corner.

Ariela and I embraced the mantra of slow travel and only made rough plans for each day. At times I could see how someone might think we weren't taking advantage of our time, but I loved that we let the day happen and appreciated each moment at our own speed. 

Places went and loved:
Fabrique - all that bread, tho
Stckhlm Raw - say hi to Malin and enjoy the best raw seaweed noodles you've ever had

And sending lots of love to Malin and Mina, two Stockholm natives who made us feel like we weren't so far from home, after all.

day 1 | stockholm

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I have so many things to say but have struggled to figure out what to write next. I have months of travel, pages of journals, and overwhelming amounts of photos to go through. But the truth is, after losing my father and writing my most honest words, I feel like I'll never write anything real again. 

January was a blur. I spent most of it in my bathtub or my bed, reasoning that they were the warmest places in my frigid apartment (they really are). And I waited. For what, I'm not sure. It's a funny headspace, where my mind says everything is fine but I can't will my body to follow. Any little thing is an accomplishment, and there's never enough time.

But I want to feel like I'm creating something again-- releasing a small bit of myself into the world after closing up.

And so these are my photos from Scandinavia, where I went with my dear friend Ariela at the beginning of my  3-month trip last autumn. We got to travel together for two weeks, and this set of photos is just from our first 24 hours in Stockholm. We hit the ground running, anxious to eat and explore and eat more. We had an adorable Airbnb in Sodermalm, where Ariela made us cute vegan breakfasts and where Malin made us an amazingly simple and delicious homemade (Airbnb-made?) dinner.

After getting used to traveling alone, it was nice to have a friend, but then again, it's always nice to have a friend.

Places went and loved :
 

Drop Coffee - our favorite coffee in Stockholm
Omnipollo - PIZZA!!! (helps to have Swedish friends to translate the menu)
Johan & Nyström Konceptbutik - cute with coffee
Krukmakeriet, Anne Junsjö - handmade ceramics
Cykelcafé Le Mond - bike cafe
Fotografiska - Stockholm's photography museum. Beautiful work and open late.

adventures in malmö

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I took a solo day trip to Malmö, Sweden, during my last weekend in Europe in June. I can tell you now that the two things I remember most are a) feeling utter defeat and b) feeling utter freedom. 

I think my mistake was trying to plan too much. I wanted to have amazing coffee at Lilla Kafferosteriet, eat lunch at Saltimporten Canteen, and swim at the Kallbadhus but I needed to be near wifi at exactly 2:00pm to reserve my seat on my flight the next day. I was pretty proud of the agenda I'd made myself until I set out to Saltimporten. I knew it wasn't near the city center but as I followed the map I had, I walked further and further away from civilization and found myself among warehouses and deserted streets. After doubting Google Maps and my sanity, I eventually found the restaurant only to actually find that it was closed. And that I'd walked an extra 2 miles to reach it instead of taking a short cut through the harbor. Whomp whomp.

I walked my blistered feet back to the train station and waited until it was time to check in and found the SAS check in page broken and out of service. I soon gave up and hailed a taxi to head to the  Kallbadhus to give myself enough time to swim before it closed. Once the taxi went the wrong way and couldn't head in the right direction because of the marathon running through town, he eventually dropped me back off at the train station and said he couldn't help me. But I was determined, so I walked to the Kallbadhus as car after car drove past me (thanks, taxi man).

After arriving at the Kallbadhus and accidentally walking into the men's half of the facilities (twice), I found the counter to pay to enter. It was then the Swedish Justin Bieber look-alike broke the news that there were no more towels and "what? you didn't bring your own towel?"

Shocked and heartbroken and in complete belief and disbelief that this, of course, was happening to me, I took a few breaths and looked down at my feet to get it together.  Everything wasn't working. I wasn't meant to be here.

I remember looking up at Swedish Justin Bieber and, instead of bursting into tears, asked, "Do you clean the towels you get back?"  And that's when he went back and checked and returned saying, "It's your lucky day."

I was too emotionally overwhelmed to comprehend this at the time but as much as I planned and scheduled my day, I wasn't in complete control until I learned how to choose how I felt. There's a time and a place for your feelings to reign free but in moments where so much of the unexpected has already happened, I needed to know that I could choose to be calm instead of panicked, reasonable instead of a hot crying mess.

Enabling myself to do that was everything. 

After finally making it to the women's side (the baths were split by gender because they're European), I stepped out of the locker room clutching my towel and enormous purse that was too big to fit in their 4" x 6" lockers (seriously, my camera didn't even fit in one). I was a little alarmed by all of the women who'd gone au naturel-- but I was mostly distraught over whether I'd have the nerve to do the same.

I walked up to the dock alone and thought about the day-- everything that had gone wrong and how I still made it. How I'd chosen not to give up despite sore feet and terrible luck. How these things were all part of the experience and that ultimately, being here was my choice. I made it happen. So I set the towel aside and made my way down into the water, relishing the cold sea.

malmö instagrams