2014 – The Recap of an incredible year

Oh it’s that time of the year again, where I will make up some terribly hard New years resolution and keep it for about five minutes into January. A for effort, my ass… There’s always one promise I’ll keep, though. Every year I will visit a new country, somewhere I’ve never been before. Now, that I can do!

I’m already over the top excited about the year 2015 and if it is anything like 2014, it will be one of the best years of my life. I’m bubbling over with new ideas to explore old and new corners of the world, but I’m trying to teach myself to live in the moment, living life today, because it is too good to think about the future. And so, before I dive into the new year, I feel it is time for me to look back at those moments that made life so damn good in 2014.

The year really started off with a bang when I early in January flew to Italy and fell head over heels for this amazing country. Visiting a good friend of mine, I spent five days in northern Italy where I got to visit Ferrara, Bologna and the most stunningly beautiful maze of a city that is Venezia. Even in January it was impossible not to be smitten by the charm of the canals, buildings and quirky little shops. Another thing I have realised, Italian must be the most beautiful language in the whole world and therefore saying ‘arrivederci’ to Italy was just that tiny bit easier *sigh*. When I arrived back in England I was already longing for lasagna, pizza and chocolate filled cornettos…

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I have for a long time had a serious crush on Barcelona, but for some reason never got around to visit. In February it was finally time and I spent a weekend exploring as much as possible of the Catalonian capital, while stuffing as much tapas and pinxos I could bare down ‘la boca’. I am in awe of the genius Gaudí and to see all of his masterpieces was incredible. From the iconic Sagrada Familia to Parc Guell that reviled the whole of Barcelona at our feet in the welcoming warmth of the February sun. I don’t know what this city doesn’t have and it will make going back there a joy every time. It was also quite the highlight stepping into the massive Camp Nou stadium and watch Barcelona and Messi play football ‘to die for’…

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A reason why I am able to travel as much as I do is because I always look for the cheapest ways around. Living in Europe, we have, what I think, is a revelation for budget travelers. Yes, I know some people cannot stand RyanAir, but to me, it is a gift from above. Europe is absolutely gorgeous and with a LowCost Airline like this, there’s hardly any excuse to not explore this stunning continent. So, when I in early March started to get itchy feet I looked to RyanAir and the most exotic destination they could offer. In the end of the month I was jetting off to Morocco for a seven day getaway, kinda reunited with my beloved Africa. I was expecting bikini weather and havaianas, but that dream was crushed soon after arriving in Rabat. 10 degrees ain’t beach weather for no one! Non the less, Morocco was fabulous and in seven days I got to visit some incredible places, such as Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira. Moroccan Medinas is so beautifully vivid, in colours, smells and sounds. I will long for delicious mint tea, and the absolutely stunningly gorgeous blue city of Chefchaouen is still playing on my mind. I can’t get that colour out of my head…

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During the harsh months of May and June, where I cursed my life a million times over having to deal with nine(!!!) exams before the summer holidays, I had one thing that got me going and that was knowing what was waiting at the other end. I knew that when I finally would be done struggling my way through these nightmare months, I would come out on the other side, knowing that I would be off campus for a beautiful 16 months, spending my third year away in Latin America. In mid June 2014 was again, after 6 hellish weeks, continuing on the road to becoming a exceptionally, mind-blowing good year. It was time to start dreaming about Nicaragua in September, but first, for the second time this year; Italia, mi Amore…

Oh, it was good to be reunited with Italy and to have two weeks to explore beautiful cities and breathtaking nature, not to mention being a bridesmaids to one of my best friends in a fairytale wedding on a wine castle under the Tuscan sun. How amazing it was to indulge in the Italian capital with all its history and stunning architectural features. Passing the Colosseum took me back to the time of gladiators and caesars, making me fantasies about how life must have been like at the hight of the Roman Empire. Rome is pure beauty and became one of my favorites while I was walking around the city taking in all the architectural wonders in shape of basilicas, churches and mighty columns from another time. Throw in the worlds most delicious ice cream in-between inspiring city landscape, it was inevitable not to crush hard on Rome. After 3 days in the capital  it was time to meet up with good friends, as well as new acquaintances when it was finally(!!!) time to attend a weeks celebration of love at my friends wedding and let me tell you, it was just as amazing as it sounds. I got to visit beautiful Florence and was completely continuing my growing admiration for this country. At the end of the wedding week, I found it too ridiculous to go back home without visiting Cinque Terre, that was literally a short train ride away. I do not know how thing just kept getting better, but when I went hiking along the steep, rugged Italian Riviera, it was almost too much beauty to take in. The villages were climbing up the green hills and the colourful houses and narrow streets were sprinkled with people, flowers and foods, smelling of herbs and pizza. I turned around and out there was the Mediterranean, crushing against the shore and dazzling me with its blue colours. The Italian dream was complete. Oh my god was it complete. It was with a heavy heart I flew back home, with a belly full of Peroni and Gelatto.

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Summer 2014 was a summer of new discoveries for me. For the first time in 27 years it really hit home what a stunningly beautiful country I live in. Through three road trips in July, August and September, a new proud, humble Norwegian patriotism grew in me, cherishing and appreciating the beauty of the the Norwegian nature, from the snowy mountains to the spectacular fjords and gorgeous coastlines. Of all the places I have been, deep in my heart,  I know now how lucky I am to have all of this at my doorstep and live in the most beautiful country on earth.

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When it comes to natural beauty though, Scotland has a lot to be proud of. I went back to the UK for a couple of weeks in August and drove through the Scottish highlands and was blessed with amazing weather, swimming in ravines and exploring old castles and lovely Edinburgh. Another fact that is so completely horrendously wrong, is the fact that I have lived in England for 2 years now and have only visited the capital twice. Oh god, the horror… But I guess it also says a lot about London, when my two visits have led me to the conclusion that I love it. I love it deeply and every time is think about it, I literally ache to go back. I just have to move here at one point. It makes leaving Latin America, maybe just a tad bit easier, when I know it is there waiting for me…

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IMG_7579 IMG_7589IMG_7462IMG_7516And then summer was over and September was here. It was finally time to leave home and my year abroad in Nicaragua, scary and thrilling at the same time. However, three months on, I couldn’t wish for a better end to the year. I am living in a dream state, not sure if I ever want to wake up.

I am blessed beyond words. I am here in this moment traveling the world, living the life I have always dreamt about. It’s a unconventional life, but it’s one that makes me happier than anything else and I know it, because sometimes I get a warm, tingly sensation inside that reassures me that this is what I am meant to be doing. Moreover, I owe so many thanks to my parents, who have come to terms with their oldest daughter being a complete nutter, never getting over her gap year and forever will be traveling the world. This silence support is invaluable and so is every kind word, every piece of help they have given me through the years that has made it easier for me to accomplish those magical moments that I thrive for and make life complete. Thank you.

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And so, 2014 came to an end. It will be remembered as one of the most amazing experiences throughout my life. My passion for traveling grows with every new adventure, every new country and every day I get more determined to make a living out of my passion. Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read about my travels both on my blog and on Instagram. It means so much and I hope I inspire others on the verge of an adventure to take the plunge, head first. The world is an amazing place. Let’s hope the next year brings good things for all of us, all the best for 2015.

 

Helle xxx

 

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  1 comment for “2014 – The Recap of an incredible year

  1. Hilde
    January 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    An amazing summary of a great year Helle

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