I love September. The air, the light, the temperature. Just what I was designed for. What better way to enjoy this month than being taught how to multi-pitch climb under a big, blue, beautiful sky, surrounded by snow covered peaks? If I could marry a country I’d be very likely to pick Canada, holy shit I love it here.
To all my friends and fellow burners on the Playa, today I so wish I was there!!
The Black Rock City, that one spot in a flat desert that tranforms into the third biggest city in Nevada for one week every year.
Of all the mind-blowing places and experiences I’ve come across on my wanders, Burning Man stands out almost to the extreme. I cannot with words describe what that week did to me emotionally. That atmosphere. That energy. The scenes. The PEOPLE! Madness at its finest.
Can’t wait til next time.
I live here and I’m happy. Period.
True story. It’s in Canada it all happens.
Went hiking with some friends in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park near Nelson, BC, last week when we bumped into this little fella on a meadow about two hours from civilization. We soon realized he didn’t know much about fear as came up real close to check us out. I sat down in the grass to take some photos. Then his attention rapidly shifted from my friends onto me and he came up to sniff at my lens before jumping up on my leg to start chewing on my bare skin. I was like “eh, dude?” and hastidly ended our short but intense relationship.
The say don’t feed the wildlife but I didn’t realize my right thigh counted as marmot food.. my bad.
About six weeks ago I thought I was going to die from frustration. I wanted to start working and got a surprising amount of cool job offers but the work permit just kept on taking forever to get ready. I’ve applied for a few study and work visas before in my life but I’ve never expereinced a slower process than in Canada, not even near. Something to keep in mind if a year of working and traveling in Canada is on your wish list – Apply. In. Effing. Time. Unless you’re Australian!
However, looking back at it all I would not have wanted my summer to turn out in a different way. When I realized I still had weeks of waiting ahead of me I left my river raft guiding friends behind in Canmore and took off to Golden. After a massive improvised detour up to stunning Jasper and then down to a boiling hot Kamloops, that is.
I spent about a month in Golden last year but after coming back this time I realized I had only scratched the surface of what the place really has to offer. I’m deeply in love with it’s people and surroundings. Especially the Blaeberry Valley, a 15 minute drive from dowtown, where I found myself living among buffaloes and wildlife, waking up gazing at mountains in every direction, the sun my only alarm clock.
The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch is the name of this magic spot, where I’ve been helping the ranch owner and buffalo expert Leo as a photographer and a little of everything in exchange for wonderful, local, organic food, and the best bedroom the Rockies has to offer, if you ask me.
Now my frustration has shifted to another issue; The fact that not even a lifetime, or five, will be enough to fully explore all the beauty this part of the world has to offer. Knowing that I’ll have at least a little over a year from now on to work on it makes me pretty darn happy though.
Life is beautiful. Over and out.
Not long ago I witnessed what must have been the most mesmerizing moonrise in my entire life. I had just finished off (I thought) one busy evening chasing the light along highway 93 between Lake Louise and Jasper when I turned left and drove down towards the lodge next to Bow Lake.
I literally screamed out loud in a mix of amazement, happiness, panic and excitement when I saw what was about to happen. The full moon rising behind this purple tinted peak of the Rockies as the sun splashed its last bit of light on it.
Well played, nature, well played.
Spending one night simply observing the Milkyway while your camera is processing one long exposure shot after the other, certainly leaves room for many interesting thoughts to pass through your head. I love stargazing and if it wasn’t for the fact that I fear being eaten by a mountain lion I would spend every night out there, just philosophsing about me versus the universe and life on planet Earth in general…
Happy enough to call this place my home again. The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch, 10 minutes north west of Golden, BC. I spent about a month here last fall and totally fell in love with the place, like basically everyone else that has passed through over the years. It’s a magical piece of property, surrounded by beautiful mountains in almost every direction. I sleep in a screened in porch on one end of the house in the photo below. No electricity there, so I light the room with candles and fall asleep with my eyes resting on the mountain peaks, while listening to the sound of the nearby river flowing by.
Tomorrow I will get on the bike and explore some more of the tracks up along the river delta. I love my life.
On my last attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean around midsummer, the employees at the airline company I was supposed to fly with decided it was time to strike for better working conditions. Fair enough, but when I got these news I was greatly looking forward to be back in Canada two days later, so I freaked out a little.
However, flexible as I am most of the time it turned out that they could reschedule me to fly out that same evening, “but unfortunately”, as they put it, I would have to spend two nights in Reykjavik before I could continue on to Vancouver. Unfortunately my ass, I was beyond excited and told them to reschedule me right away. A free trip to Iceland!!!!!
The two days that followed I got to experience the night life scene of the capital, hitchhike the entire Golden Circle, feel the heat in one of many geothermal hot springs and generally fall in love in this rather small but highly fascinating and friendly nation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So wild and untamed…
Sure thing is, I will be back for way longer next time.
I ventured off to Calgary earlier this week to pick him up. A Canon EOS 6D. Full frame. My dream camera, finally mine. Some people may wanna assure they have a job and some sort of income before they burn their last bit of savings, but too much safety was never my thing.
Here’s a couple of our first performances together. Expect many more to come.
Especially when the view changes every other night or so.
I’ve been reunited with my dear mobile home and spent the last few days around different lakes in a sunny northern Idaho. Reading, swimming, meeting new people, drinking whiskey, watching the stars… A feeling of freedom that everybody should get to expercience on a daily basis. I might be crazy poor measured in money, but I’m in love with my life.
I’ve never really been that tempted to travel around Europe. Being from the same part of the world, it always felt like my backyard. An unexotic place, (too) easily reached by a short flight. But years of traveling to faraway lands have brought me perspectives and slowly changed my way of looking at it. Especially last year, while voyaging from the Peruvian Andes to the Canadian Rockies during 11 months.
There are similarities in between the European countries for sure and Madagascar will always be more exotic than Slovenia to me, but my previous assumption that there wouldn’t be much of interest for me in Europe has heavily been disproved.
I left Canada last fall to spend a couple of months home with friends and family with the intention to head back after Christmas. Somehow that didn’t happen I ended up on a last minute flight down to Málaga in Spain. That was the beginning of four amazing months in the same backyard I’d previously neglected.
As always, I’m beyond grateful for all the experiences I’ve gained and beautiful moments I’ve created with people I’ve met along the way. I wouldn’t change my decision to stick around in Europe for anything in the world.
Now I’m sitting in the airport in a rainy Reykjavik, watching the raindrops slowly slide down on the other side of the window. Time has come to finally head back to life as I left it in Canada. I don’t know a lot about what’s going to happen over there, but I’m beyond excited.
So long, Europe, it’s been a pleasure.
Below, a little collection of photos from Budapest, one of many great, impovised nights, with equally great people.
That slightly euphoric feeling when your biggest passion in life finally pays off. First travel photography assignment sealed and done. Thanks for the light show Italy, and to all of you who believe in me.
Wow, time has been flying. I moved north from Barcelona and spent about a week in France before I entered one of those countries I’d long wanted to visit, and oh Italy, you have seduced me rapidly.
It’s not my style to travel fast but that is what it feels like I have been doing the last couple of weeks. Constantly on a move. Not because the south of Europe hasn’t interested me (not at all!!!) but because of a secret date in the centre of Europe that I’d known about for a few months… ;) Only three days away now. I’m excited.
But for now, from me to you, dear all – some Italian eye candy…
After one rainy but great last night in Barcelona, drinking Sangria with new found friends until the early morning hours, I packed my backpack and left the pickpocket capital of Europe behind. Pockets intact.
One week in Spain quickly turned into two, then four, then suddenly two months. Time will probably never be enough, and that’s why we need to make the most out of it. Thanks for this time Spain, the memories, the climbing, the wine, the tapas.. it’s been beyond fabulous.
Off to see what France and Italy have to offer.
Last week I was helping out at a local tourist activity center in Costa Blanca, Spain. One morning when I went to feed the animals this colorful guy pulled off an extended show to impress his one and only lady. While she didn’t really seem to give a shit and rather focused on her breakfast, I partly died from fascination. I’ve seen peacocks before but never from such a close up perspective. His feathers were litterally in my face but he acted as if I didn’t excist, a photographer’s dream.
After five days of sailing the Caribbean Sea from Colombia I had made it to the capital of Panama. In the end I didn’t spend more than two days in the city. That, however, turned out to be enough time for the following.
- Stumble upon the head of Albert Einstein in a bush
- Meet the Brazilian guy who made two months of traveling around Europe financially possible by sleeping only on park benches and in public restrooms
- Check out the Panama Canal
- Manage to enter one of the fanciest night clubs in my trashiest clothes
- Get arrested by the police
- Deal with a Venezuelan psycho bitch DJ
- Get locked out at 5am in the morning
- Score a mansion including king sized bed and roof top swimming pool for no one but myself at the 52nd floor, for free.
Sigh. A perfect mix of drama, fun, weirdness and excitement. With that in mind I packed my backpack for the 532nd time, jumped onto a bus and took off for new horizons.
Ok, let’s face it. I’m basically from the North Pole so what’s exotic from my perspective might not necessarily be as fascinating to everybody else. However, here’s a short collection of some of the noteworthy shit I’ve found on different beaches around the world.
1. Green shells, Nicaragua. Pretty exotic!! Never on my previous voyages can I recall stumbling upon shells with this particular color. Where I’m from we can’t find many shells at all. Mostly because the ice never really melts to allow us to go look for them…
2. Dophins, Western Australia. Pretty damn awesome.
3. Turtle babies, Sri Lanka. While having a late night dinner on the beach with two Serbian buddies, hundreds of tiny turtles decided it was time to leave their hidden nest a few foot steps away from our table and go check out the Indian Ocean.
4. Stranded tree, Sri Lanka. ???
5. Hippo sculls, Ocavango Delta, Botswana. (Fucking poachers!!)
6. Stranded fish with human teeth, Costa Rica. I managed to save it and happily watched it swim out in the ocean again, unaware that my iPod had escaped from my pocket in the rescue process trying to do the same.
7. Stranded blow fish, Mexico. Cute as hell but beyond rescue. Sad face.
8. Red crabs in any shape and size excite the shit out of me. It has happened in Ecuador and South Africa among other places.
9. Message in a bottle, Mexico. According to given coordinates it had been drifting for more than 4000 km before ending up right here, on a more hard-to-get-to corner of the otherwise highly touristy beach in Tulum. Felt like a 5-year old on a successful treasure hunt.
10. Fisher men on sticks, Sri Lanka. Where I’m from we fish from a hole in the ice. The End.
After spending one awesome month in Colombia last January, it was eventually time for me to leave this enchanting country and move on. To switch continent and venture off to Panama.
There are two ways to do this, unless you’re willing to swim or take a suicidal trek through the deep and guerilla infested jungles conjoining the two countries, that is. Because no, there are no roads connecting Colombia and Panama. Most non-suicidal travelers thus chose to either fly, or sail. The first option tends to be cheaper and of course faster, but as I figured, also way more lame.
The missing road has turned the seabound alternative into good business and plenty of sailboats take off in both directions every week offering food, accommodation and a sweet little detour through the amazing San Blas archipelago before arriving on mainland. My goal for my whole trip from Peru to Canada was to avoid airplanes as much as possible, preferably entirely, and only travel over land and water. So well, even though my budget for that month pretty much got slaughtered because of this decision, it was a simple one to make.
The quality of the boats and the food served vary a whole lot, as well as the skills among all different captains and crews, so doing a bit of research before you take off can really make a difference. I ended up sailing with Eduardo, this older Italian guy who’d been sailing around the globe several times in his life so far. He had a beautiful new 44-foot catamaran and I got a good vibe when I went down to the harbor in Cartagena one afternoon to see him and his precious (the boat).
However, there were also these three Swizz guys coming along on the trip, who’d been off sailing the same direction five days earlier, but had ended up in a storm that their previous captain and boat clearly couldn’t handle. It resulted in near disaster, a couple of days stranded on some random island and then transport back to Cartagena and basically no refund for the misery. I admired them for the courage to give it another try. Again, research is the key.
How you do not want to end up……
We left Colombia and South America the next afternoon. I was sitting in the back of the boat watching the Cartagena skyline slowly shrink on the horizon, until we were embraced by nothing but an endlessly blue ocean. The tropical day turned into evening, and as the sun set and we opened our first cold beer, we got accompanied by dozens of dolphins. A pretty magic moment. They danced in the waves as the catamaran moved forward for a long time, seemingly out of pure joy.
After 30+ hours on open sea we finally entered Panamanian territory and started to spot the first out of hundreds of little paradise islands in the turquoise Caribbean water. We spent about two days snorkeling around, eating lovely Italian-inspired food, interacting with the indigenous Kuna people, and exploring a few islands.
On one of them I stumbled upon Filipe, the one and only resident who had lived a simple but happy life here for the last 70 years. He’s a living example of the fact that happiness isn’t necessarily related to modern notions such as having a good job, a nice house and a family. We’re all so different, and this little man clearly found quality of life in this peaceful environment, far away from much of society’s madness. Encounters like these add to the list of factors that make me wanna keep wandering the globe for as long as I’m physically capable to.
Over all, an awesome experiece and if you’re ever about to travel the same way (or the opposite) I’d definitely recommend looking into doing it Jack Sparrow style, by letting the wind carry you there.
And so it happens again. One year has ended to leave room for the brand new one ahead of us.
2014. Like a blank piece of paper, waiting to be filled out.
I feel a shit load of gratitude when I look back and realize I got to spend 10 out of those 12 months last year in the happiest place I know. The Road.
That thrill in having no real clue about where I’ll end up tomorrow, who I’ll encounter or where I’ll sleep… The simplicity in living with no more belongings than I can easily carry… The joy in having an endlessly changing horizon and being accompanied by the feeling of complete fucking freedom. That’s what keeps me in motion. High on life.
Once again, it made me a billion new experiences richer and taught me lessons no university in the world would ever be able to. I got to withness enchanting sceneries that repeatedly blew my mind and I came across countless of beautiful, crazy, inspiring souls with whom I created the moments that shaped my journey into what it became.
Finacially, I might have been poorer than ever in my life upon returning home, yet I was rich beyond my imagination. Because that’s the beautiful thing with traveling – counted in priceless memories, you will always be a millionare.
Hope your 2013 has been magic too. Now time to start fill out that new piece of paper. Whatever aims and dreams you have, never forget that the pen is in your hand.
Happy New Year.
Felt like time had come to update this website a little. As some might have noticed, I started with the header. The photograph was captured one magic sunset in July, in one of my favourite places on Earth that I finally got to revisit after 7 years apart – the stunning Sierra Nevada and Yosemite.
There are about 38 million people living in California, 70.000 out of them are Swedes, and who the hell can blame them??! Something tells me I won’t be away for very long.
Maybe it’s not what most people do, but then again, I never claimed I’m like most people.
It happened in the rainforest of Sri Lanka. I was there to conduct field research for my thesis a couple of years ago when, suddenly, my local guide kind of attacked a bush with one hand and then carefully pulled what seemed like a green string out of there. How he managed to spot it in the thick vegetation was a mystery to me, as it was highly camouflaged. However, when I saw what he held in his hand, my face must have been shining like crazy. Those intense yellow eyes and the bright, almost glowing green skin blew my mind.
It was a Green vine snake, endemic to this island off the southeast coast of India, and crazy beautiful in my eyes. I love love love all these little wonders that nature has created, and it was with a heavy heart I left the country with tons of indicators and proofs of how these wonders’ habitats are rapidly decreasing. In Sri Lanka’s case it’s mostly due to over-population and small scale farmer’s invasion of forested land to establish cash crop plantations, such as our beloved tea. Globalization in a nut shell.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to get to live and travel around in a beautiful South Africa. The hate, inequalities and obsession with race might have been painfully evident at times, but it was overshadowed by the people who shared a way prettier vision of the future, and rather spent energy on love than on hate..
Thank you Mr. Mandela for what you did and achieved in your 95 years on Earth.
After Villa de Leyva I river rafted and cliff jumped my way north until the day I finally stood with sand between my toes again in a part of the world I’d long wanted to visit, gazing out over the Caribbean Sea.
The trip out to the coast turned out way smoother and faster than expected, and once I got out of the over-air-conditioned bus in Santa Marta I instantly caught myself thinking how terribly hot it was. At 7 am in the morning. Acclimatization, phase one…
More or less instantly I took off to the more chillaxed former fishing village of Taganga, where I enjoyed a few days of diving, making new friends, bumping into old ones, and dancing my way through the tropical nights. Standing under the stars on a rooftop with a good drink in your hand, surrounded by people you like, while the ocean breeze works its way through your hair undeniably is a pretty awesome feeling.
Another almost mandatory thing to do in the area is the coastal hike out to Playa el Cabo in Tayrona National Park. I’m no fan of “mandatory” places to visit; I prefer to go wherever the wind carries me or just base my next destination on my mood for the day. But the one who says Tayrona isn’t beautiful and well worth the effort would be slightly delusional. At the same time I probably shouldn’t take for granted that everybody’s into amazing uninhabited Caribbean beaches, and sleeping in hammocks with mind-blowing views when you wake up. But for now I will.
Over and out.