The Start of a Life Lived on My Own Terms

I didn’t have near enough money on my bank account but I was determined to do it anyway. My heart had been shattered by a guy that didn’t seem to care, I had just graduated from uni and my future was an unwritten piece of paper.

The “responsible” thing to do would have been to stay at that solid job I had acquired for the summer, work for a few more months and leave with a lot more money saved up to play it safe. But driven by heartache and impatience I said f*ck it, now or never, and booked that one way ticket to Peru.

I didn’t have much of plan, all I knew was that I wanted to see Latin America, learn Spanish, take photos, meet people and then spend the summer road tripping and hike my way through the western United States and eventually Canada. Ideally I’d make it all the way to Alaska. I had about one year to accomplish this dream before returning to Sweden to “settle, grow up and get serious.”

Turned out someone had different plans for me.

Half way through that trip I stopped for a moment, trying to take it all in. I realized I was vibrating with so much happiness, waking up almost every morning with butterflies in my belly feeling that the universe so fully had my back that I made the promise to myself there and then; I was gonna keep living this life for as long as it made me feel this happy.

I looked at my shoes, they were dirty and had big holes in them. I was definitely experiencing financial constraints but I was breathing, eating healthy amazing food, I was learning and growing every day, I kept meeting wonderful people from all over the world, and got to experience the amazing hospitality from the local people of all the places I traveled. It was so humbling and every night I fell asleep high on gratitude. I was also getting more and more passionate about photography as I used my camera every day to try to capture all the beauty along my path.

My plan of returning home and look for a job started to fade away. For the first time in my life I wholeheartedly let go of the expectations on me from other people and society, and with that, doors I didn’t know existed started to open.

Fast forward to today I now work as a professional photographer and travel worldwide to capture the charm and beauty of places around the world for a few large travel companies. I work about two months out of the year and still make more money than I ever did before. The rest of the time I’m away chasing new adventures around the globe, mainly in the mountains where I’ve realized is where I belong.

Now more than ever is a great time to dream up the future you’d love to be living when this is all over. We may not know what the world is going to look like, but we might as well be somewhat prepared with an idea of our ideal life.

Dream big, friends. With shit loads of faith and courage you really can have whatever you want, you just gotta reach out and grab it 💛

 

Well traveled companions

LA

Poor but happy in Hollywood

Wild Child

Someone recently asked me how I got so into the outdoors. I didn’t grow up with mountain climbing parents and in a sense I’m quite the black sheep in my family. An apple that fell from the tree when there was a storm outside, as my uncle once put it 😂

I think I always had a deep passion for the outdoors but it took a trip to southwestern US as a 19-year old to fully realize it. There, somewhere in my tent under the milky way in the deserts of Arizona I found a psyche of greater proportions than I’d ever experienced before.

Fast forward to today and I can’t look at a massive rock wall, snowy mountain or wild river without seeing routes, lines and general potential for another great day in the wild.

Still far away from as hardcore as many of my friends, I wonder where this psyche will have taken me in another 10 years from now. All I know for sure it that I want to stay in a lifelong relationship with those humbling rocky giants that have inspired me so much to this day.

Thanks for all the love and support that have taken me to where I am ❤️

Cham

Don’t Fight The Current Of Your Heart, Swim With It

I truly believe in following my heart. To live my passions and stay excited about the simple fact that I am alive. I think that when you stop being excited by things, when you lose that wonderful, childish, pure sense of excited exhilaration, then you’re doing life wrong.

Life is far better following excitement, and chasing those ‘wow’ moments where there is simply nothing to do other than just stop, take a breath, and soak it all in.

I’ve been pretty darn true to myself for the past three years, ever since I decided to let go of a well paying job and what could have turned into a quite “successful” career back in Scandinavia. But thankfully I had already spent years of my life traveling and living abroad and I thus knew there was so much more to life, and that the kind of success I was looking for was of a way different nature.

So I bought a one way ticket to Peru, packed my backpack and took off into the unknown, without much expectation, but with tons of excitement. Some people call me brave. A girl venturing out in the world on her own, but hearing that just made me slightly upset. Why should my gender ever stop me from living my dreams? The thought of locking myself up in my room at home for the rest of my life and neglect all the joys the world has to offer in order to stay safe is way more scary to me. To push ourselves outside our comfort zones is so healthy, and I find it very sad to see how many people let fear limit themselves from living life fully.

One fellow blogger once so wisely put it: “When you are following the will of the Universe, when you are following your heart’s true desire, even if it looks and feels like jumping off a cliff into the unknown, all the doors will open”. There is an immense amount of truth to that, and I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Taking off into the unknown sure is scary at times, but when I take a moment to actually look back at what I’ve achieved in these three years, I can almost not handle the gratitude that I feel. As soon as I finally let go of the thought of how I “should” live my life, when I let myself free and started following my desires, I’ve been rewarded with the most amazing experiences and moments of joy. And they keep on coming. A few months ago I got my dream job as a travel photographer, paid to go capture the charm and beauty in different corners around the world. I’m not sure how long the assignments are gonna keep on coming, but I do know that I’m happy and super excited to be alive, and that’s all I really need.

So don’t fight the current of your heart. Swim with it, and all the doors will open.

Next week, India.