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Countdown …

I have rescheduled my departure and am now leaving monday 24 october 1 PM. That is in 5 days. Or is it 6? Do I count today  and the departure day? Monday. Let’s say 6 days.

Yesterday I texted my tenant she can move in Saturday 22 oktober 2 PM. That is one of the big ones. Leaving my home. In a way it doesn’t feel like my home in that warm embracing way. All my personal items, the bits and pieces that show I am the one living there are packed and stashed in the storage room. Once again it strikes me how few belongings we really need. Why keep old t-shirts in the drawer if they are never used. Brita Hahne is running the swedish company SMPL on how to organize pretty much anything. Organizing your stuff also organizes your mind in a way.

All these tiny little things we save to remind us of people we love or places we visited. The precious pieces that makes us feel at home are the ones you can’t bring when traveling.

When backpacking and constantly moving from one place to another I found a technique to make myself at home as quickly as possible. Always arranging my personal belongings in the same position. The book, toothbrush, shampoo, my nighties … That gives a feeling of home even thought the surrounding looks different each day.

The second thing I do is to find a cafe or restaurant to which go at least once a day for the period of time I am staying. Usually I start by telling the owners that I just arrived, where I am from, complementing them on what a nice place this seem to be and that I consider making it my favorite place. Depending on their reaction and the food they serve, later I decide. Trust me, if I go back again they do remember  me. Having breakfast or coffee in this way is the ideal thing to do to make myself feel at home in a new city.

Makes me feel calm when thinking of being on the road.  Soon, very soon.

 

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Emotions …

Some days are more trying than others. It is getting emotional.

I am a week away from leaving. Friends are calling, realizing this is the last time in a long time we are going to meet in person. To have the confidential talk, to share, like a gift to bring on the journey, like a gift to keep like a treasure while  I am away.

7 more days. I am a bit worn out.

It affects me more than I want, watching my home dismantled, piece by piece, clothes are folded, personal belongings packed, colors canvases and brushes, projects I have started but never finished, projects finished looked at them with the evaluating eye, packing, up and down, opening the padlock, stacking my belongings in the storage. I love my home. I love traveling.

This makes me think of things we own and the human desire to collect. We all love to have beautiful things or things that holds a story valuable to us. My friends and people who know me, wouldn’t define me as a collector. I don’t have a lot. But the things I own are precious to me and I look at them every day. I have walked the downsizing road and I wouldn’t want to go back. Downsizing has given me an inner peace.

And yet I found a lot of things I really do not need while packing. The closest second hand store, Emmaus, is a brilliant place. Gives me so much satisfaction knowing my things will do good to others. This is something everybody should do once a year. Go through your stuff once a year and be really honest with your selves when you think Do I really need this … If not, let someone else have it, donate, let the next person enjoy it. But above all, don’t buy something new to fills that hole. Instead try to enjoy the space. And remember, the less things we own the less time we need to put in to maintenance.

Today I remembered when I was i 8th grade. I was in to performing, mostly dancing and singing. I used to choreograph and I performed either solo or together with friends. The worst moment was just before I entered the stage. The best moments were the once on stage. When things were put into motion, when the only thing I could do was to do what I had started.

This last week will probably be the worst. Dismantling my home and saying goodbye to the once I love. It is going to be the most challenging and emotional week this year.

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Speak up …

This post has very little to do with my forthcoming journey but I needed to get this out of my system.

In less than a month there is The election in the US. I haven’t followed the circus on regular bases but sometimes I read the headlines. We have all heard and read about the male participant. How could we not.

Lately there has been a lot of people, famous people like politicians from both parties, actresses and actors reacting against this male participant. They are all afraid what would happen if he became their president.

For years the entertainment industry has used this persons disgusting way of treating people as entertainment, him constantly showing bad manners towards both women and men, putting him in the headlight without ever thinking of how he affected other people, showing that the only thing that matters is Money. No one ever questioned it because they profited big bucks and called it entertainment. Back then no one stood up and said This is not ok. And the viewers were entertained. Now the good samaritans are here to tell us how bad this persons is for us. Now the viewers are not as humored.

Back then, what if people had looked out for each other back, raised  their voices together, stood up for each other. Back then. What if.

Why do we still forget that one person is not stronger than all of us together unless we let him, unless we give him that power by just being quiet.

Take measures when you see the first signs of the volcano waking up. Don’t wait until it erupts.

Don’t be quiet. Speak up.

 

 

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Bodyguards and superheroes …

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I don’t envy young people of today. There are so much stress put on their shoulders. Social media and the ad industry overload us all with headlines that makes me shiver. You’ll regret it if you haven’t done these 30 things before 30, 19 things to do before you turn 20, 6 ways to get the perfect body, 4 ways to succeed in your life, how to have perfect skin. Etcetera …

And of course there are these stars to look up to. The stars that guide us into this world of success and wealth and looks. When the focus in on owning a luxurious handbag and having the perfect look, the perfect house and the perfect children. As if a newborn cares if it is sleeping a perfectly decorated nursery.

Today I saw the headline to an article published at The Guardian about bodyguards, one bodyguard in particular and how the security industry is booming. And it made me so sad. The story about and photo of poor, poor like in feel sorry for, Kim Kardashian not being able to have a walk on her own, Michael Jakson that needed to be smuggled out in a room/service trolley, or when the bodyguard let himself be beaten up to protect a particularly stylish and flamboyant fur coat from being stolen.

To be perfectly honest I would never ever trade my life for any of theirs. This is one of the special gifts with being a human alive. That I can choose to walk where ever I want to. I can stroll through the streets and nobody cares or take a walk in the park, just me. What a gift that is. That is what Michelle Obama is longing for I read in a interview.

Read about The Fuller Cut barbershop in Ypsilanti, Michigan that gives $2 discounts to kids who read books aloud to their barbers while they’re getting their hair done. That man doesn’t need a bodyguard but he deserves applause.

I have my superheroes.

 

 

 

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Love and questions …

Yesterday I attended a lecture about The Chemistry Of Love. Anna-Lena Ström, associate professor in Neurochemistry at Stockholm University holding the lecture, told us that love is pretty much all about chemistry.

There are tre independent components involved in love. Lust, Romantic love and Pairing. So these three components can occurs alone or combined with one or both other components. Pairing for instance occurs between friends. You can love your friends without feeling lust or being romantically in love with them. Ok, so you get the picture.

Ms Ström told us a lot about research in this field. On animals and on humans. Fascinating how far technology has come. Now they can send proteins into the brain and when a feeling occurs the protein will glow and the scientists can see exactly where the feeling occurs.

The chemical thing starts in the Hypothalamus. That is the caveman brain. One of the parts in our bodies we can not control. Chemistry.

So, what happens to us when chemistry hits the intelligent human being and why am I writing about love. Because life is full of different kind of love wherever we are. Friends, lovers, places, pets, hobbies, strangers … Because when chemistry isn’t there to help we need to find other ways to maintain the love. Like respect, trust, compassion and a lot of other important words.

We fall in love, we spent time together and we get to know each other. Or do we know each other?

The best way to check if you still know the person you love is to ask questions. How are you, What are you thinking of, What are your thoughts on this or that. In stead of saying You were the one who stoped calling me, ask the question Why did you stop calling me. That will give you answers worth listening to.

Asking questions is a respectful way of getting to know a person. Asking questions is an action of love if asked because you really want to hear the answer. That is applicable to all sorts of relationships. At home or away.

Ask questions if you are prepared to listen to the answers and you will not only get to know that person. You will also get to know yourself better.