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Changes …

I had a conversation with a friend wether traveling is a sort of escapism. Well, Yes, it can be. And so can moving, getting a new job, divorcing and a lot of other different life changing acts. When you decide to make a change, when you are planing it, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. But it is. The difference between planed and unplanned changes is that the ones you plan they sort of develop from a thought into action. You plant a seed, you water the soil and eventually there will grow a plant. You get accustomed to the idea and it doesn’t feel awkward or strange thinking of it.

Changes are good thing. Changes makes us stay alert and awake. Changes gives us new perspectives and challenges our way of thinking of ourselves.

So why am I making his change in my life. And why now.

Because it was the right time for it. Because it fitted into my life. And most of all probably because I have been preparing for it to happen for the past 10 years. I didn’t know I would do this and I didn’t plan for it. But I ques I was ready when the time was right. All the bits and pieces just came to place, aligned in a perfect way.

To me this is pretty much how I would define quant in real life. Stephen Hawking will probably never read this blog and therefore I will never find out whether he agrees or not, but I think he would.

Do less planing and be more open minded for what gets in your way. That is one of the wisdoms I’ve acquired through my life so far. With that comes learning to say Yes more often. And trust me, it’s a rewarding life philosophy.

Say yes!

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On my own, never alone …

A couple of years ago I was on a date. That sort of date when you quite soon realise you are not a match but you don’t want to be rude so you stay and try to make that conversation. You start of with how was your day, what do you do in your spare time, any hobbies, traveling … Yes, I love traveling. Where have you been and who did you go with. That’s when I reply Well, I mostly travel on my own. The guy gives me a shake on his head, as in disgust, and says he is too much of the social type to travel alone.

There is a clear distinction between traveling on my own and traveling alone.

When traveling you are alone at times. Wether you travel together with somebody or on you own. Of course you are. That’s how life works. Sometimes you are alone. Unless you are in a relationship and your kids are 1, 2 and 4, then you always wish you could have some alone time. Some times you are alone but you get over it.

When traveling on your own you’re more ‘available’. Easier to get in contact with. Easier to get to know other travelers and locals. And you don’t have to argue with your co-traveler about where to go next or where to have your next meal. No outbursts, no shouting, no drama.

On the other hand you are the only one to look after yourself, the only one to watch your back, the only one to find your way.

There are always pros and cons. As with everything we do in life.

I’ve traveled 35 countries and I’ve never been alone unless I wanted to. That’s for sure. Is that because I’m the most sociable person on earth? Deep down inside I’m a social introvert that has discovered that people around the world in general are being very friendly. People are friendly and nice and open minded. No matter if you speak their language or not. If you start out in a polite way, being genuinely kind in your appearance then they will treat you the same way. And then you’ll never be alone.

You are never alone.

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The big question …

How do you define yourself. The way other people see you, the way you want friends to see who you are, the way you were brought up to think you are or is it simply the way you want to see yourself.

We all carry a backpack filled with thoughts about ourselves, thoughts that were given to us by parents, family, friends, society and the way that was socially accepted at that time. Today science suggests that you are the one you tell yourself you are.

Daily Mail wrote an article telling us that new test backs up theory that the world doesn’t exist until we look at it. According a famous theory in quantum mechanics which argues that a particle’s past behaviour changes based on what we see. Scientists have now performed a new experiment proving this theory to be true on the scale of atoms. Is that thought applicable to how our mind works?

Do consciousness and thought create and change reality? Well, there are scientists who suggest the answer is Yes. You just do a search on the words ‘science reality thoughts’ and you will find tons of articles on the subject.

In order to understand who you are and who you want to be there is required a sense of consciousness. Being conscious abaut your values and to live your life accordingly. Always remember that action speaks louder than words.

Barret Values Centre has an interesting, and free of charge, Personal Value Assessment (PVA). Your values reflect what is important to you. They are a shorthand way of describing your motivations, and together with your beliefs they are the causal actors that drive your decision-making.

Living a life means constant change and adaption. That doesn’t mean your core values have to change. Or they have to because you get to know yourself and life around you better. And wiser.

Yesterday I had a glas of wine at my favourite place Hagabions café. I ended up having a very interesting conversation with a young man, 30 years younger than me, about more or less everything. About life, how we live our lives, what we want. His life evolving wife, house, kids, work. My life evolving being single, grownup kids, planing a trip. He said You are so young in mind and heart, not like other people I know your age. What is your drive?

Curiosity. That’s my drive. The day I stop being curious that will be the day I get old.

Everything takes practice and action speaks louder than words.

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Courage …

Letting go and trust that your wings will carry you. That’s courage.

Today I’m courageous. Today I’m terrified. Today I’m the happiest girl in the world. Isn’t that amazing how all those feelings melt into one. One big grand emotion.

Someone else is going to stay in my apartment for a whole year, I have booked a flicght to my first destination and I’m sitting in my couch trying to comprehend the situation. It is really happening?I probably won’t be really sure until my flight arrives New York, John F Kennedy 9.25 PM 2 November 2016. New York, beautiful New York! How I’ve missed you.

That also means I’ll be on the road for the next 365 days. I just turned 58. For the past 58 years I more or less knew what would happen the next day. Suddenly I’m spreading my wings and I don’t have a clue what will happen tomorrow. The clothes I’ll be packing now are the clothes I’ll be wearing for the next 365 days. Give or take. That’s probably something most people in the world don’t have to worry about. What to wear tomorrow. They don’t own that many clothes so they won’t have to worry about what to wear tomorrow. That gives me a whole new perspective on how fortunate I am, being blessed with the level of education and wealth we have in my country. Sweden. That is probably the only thing I will be sure of for the year to come. The content in my tiny suitcase.

Courageous or not, I just have to keep track of one date. 30th of October 2017 I’ll open the door to my appartment after being away for a year. Hopefully my friends won’t have forgotten me. Hopefully I’ll still be in good health. Hopefully by then I’ll have a bunch of new friends around the globe, a mind full of new insights and experiences and my dearest friends will still love me.

More about what belongings I will bring in a future post. I will also be sharing tips and tricks on smart gadgets, how and where to keep important documents when traveling, about being a single traveler, how I got here and of course telling you about the trip itself.

Stay tuned and please feel free to subscribe.

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… a new and empty passport …

One day it just happened. I sort of surprised myself and did it. The thought wasn’t new to me but to actually do it?

Tuesday I quit my job, Wednesday I wrote an add renting out my apartment and a week later the contract was signed.

I’ve prepare a lot already. The apartment is sorted, I’ve had a lot of different vaccine shots against almost anything, I’ve got myself a brand new passport, insurance for the three fist months. Most of the important issues are sorted.

I have decided to leave 2 November 2016 and be back 30 October 2017. That is 365 days. The general idea is to go somewhere and find work. There are several world wide organisations where you get food and accommodation in exchange for working a fix amount of hours five days a week. And I’m more than happy to do what ever is needed doing. Hopefully that will give me the opportunity to get closer to the locals, to get to know everyday life and the people. I love that about traveling.

The question mark left is Where to start. East or west. I’ll figure that out.

Stay tuned and feel free to subscribe.