I did it!

I have taken the big plunge. And it feels friggin’ good!

Let me first start out with a little bit of a back story.
I have never really been the spontaneous kind. I have always been mostly comfortable with routines, safety. Planning ahead. So when I booked my first long trip back in 2015, it was a big thing for me. Even if it was only for a couple of weeks, it was still a huge step for me to book and go on that solo trip to Thailand.

Triggering the wanderlust
2015 has become a turning point in my life thinking back. It awoke my interest in travel and seeing what’s out there, it gave me the urge to go explore. Having a full time job and a flat I rented in Oslo, my trips were only for a few weeks at a time, as I could only get 5 weeks off to travel per year, and off course I still had to pay my rent while traveling. But I made sure that I at least got to see a new country both far away and a new country here in Europe each year.

However, the more I saw, the more I wanted to see. One or two trips per year made most of my time back home in a state of longing and planning for new trips. Every time I came home, I immediately started to think of where to go next. And it got me thinking, maybe I wasn’t really happy with my situation back home? Or maybe I just needed something to change. A few moths ago I came home from my longest trip so far – six weeks through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. And even though I had some down moments as I have blogged about earlier, most of it was pretty awesome. And most importantly of all – it felt right. Being back in Oslo in my flat and my job however, did not. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing to see my friends and family again. But being back home I got depressed and I deeply missed the life “on the road”. I didn’t really feel at home here anymore, and my job wasn’t a place I felt I could build a career in. So it got me thinking more and more – what do I need to do.. for me?

Point of no return
After a few months back in the real world, my sore neck and stress knots were building up, and nights with lack of sleep had returned. And in a way it felt like I was getting nowhere, that time was just passing by. I needed change, and there was no better time than now.
I woke up one morning late April, got to work, and sent my resignation by e-mail to my boss. It was quite the spur of the moment kind of thing, and realizing I wouldn’t afford my rent three months from now when my resignation period runs out, I quickly e-mailed my landlord resigning my flat as well. Within 30 minutes I had given up everything stable and safe in my life.
The rest of my day at work I was a bit in shock. But here’s the cool part – it felt so incredibly good! I had made a drastic choice for my self, in order to pursue travel, change – and, well, happiness. Shortly after I told my family and friends about what I had done, and about my plan to get out there and explore the world with no idea of how long I’d be going out for. All I knew is this is what I need to do for me now. And it felt even better when I learned that my friends and family supported my choice wholeheartedly.

So, what comes next?
I don’t know to be honest. I have a month and a half left in my job and my flat. I have gotten some freelance gigs content writing and translating which I work with in my free time, and also plan on doing while traveling. After moving out I will take a mini vacation for a few weeks at my parents, before I head out with a one way ticket back to South-East Asia, to try out a new lifestyle for a while, going fully nomad traveling long term (hopefully). My plan for now is to start in Indonesia and take it from there. I want to go with the flow, not planning too much ahead, but move from place to place and country to country by following my gut and tips from others as I go. And hopefully, it will take me on a beautiful adventure!

Life is now, so I’ve decided to start living it πŸ™‚

Peace & Love, CharlotteFullSizeRender

Advertisements

Don’t ever forget this!

I was going to write about my trip to Cambodia last winter, but I’ll save that for later. Instead, let me tell you how this trip almost didn’t happen. 

It was Christmas Eve 2015, and I was at my parents house. An SMS-notification on my phone informed me that the online check now was possible. So I got my passport, plotted in the details on my parents computer and checked in successfully. One less thing to think of the following day, departure day.

Christmas Day started early, I never sleep well the night before travels. My father drove me to the airport, a drive that takes about an hour and a half. I had a lot of time, and felt very good and relaxed. As my father dropped me off and started on his drive home, I was looking forward to a nice lunch at the airport, where I would meet my travel companion for this trip.

My friend wasn’t there yet, so I went to check in my luggage in the meanwhile, and started getting out my travel documents and passport from my carry-on luggage.

Fudge. The passport, where is it?!

And then it dawned on me. It was 1,5 hours before check in closed, and my father had just left the airport, with no chance what so ever to get all the way back to the house and then back to the airport again in time. And my passport wasn’t in my backpack.

So I did what any grown woman would do when she’s in trouble. I called my mom crying. My mom, who was still in bed, jumped up and checked by the computer, where she off course found my damn passport. She told me to calm down, and that she would call me back.

Then followed a good 15 minutes of panic at the airport with me picturing my entire trip going down the drain. Cambodia doesn’t take emergency passports.

My mom called me up again. In the meanwhile she had called my sister’s boyfriend, who had jumped in his car, driven to my parents house and gotten my passport, called my father and arranged to meet him halfway between the airport and my parents house to hand over the passport. My travel companion had showed up and was waiting anxiously by the airport bar over a beer. About 60 minutes later my father was back at the airport again, with my passport, ten minutes before the check in desk closed.

I made it! I cannot belive how my family magically saved me out of this pickle. I was extremely lucky, and I could never gotten out of this situation by my self. So a big Thank You to my parents and my sisters boyfriend for saving me.

So the moral of this story is: Don’t ever forget your passport. Even though you know it’s in your backpack, still check it once or even twice again before you head off to the airport. And don’t ever check in online the night before. No, I’m kidding! (I’m not, I’m never checking in online ever again). fullsizerender

Before you go

Whether it’s your first time out into the world, or if you are a true globetrotter, there’s always stuff you need to get done, or things you should get before you board that plane or train onto where ever your tickets take you. So this is what today’s post is about, the essentials of travel.

fullsizerender

OK, so lets just kick this off with the most important thing, your passport! This one cannot be repeated too many times. Trust me, I know. My trip to Cambodia almost didn’t happen because of this little book. But I’ll tell you more about that in my upcoming posts about Cambodia.
I think this applies to most countries, correct me if I’m wrong, but at least in South-East Asia your passport has to be valid at least 6 months after your trip ends.

The next thing to remember, which is also quite important, are medical stuff such as vaccines and health insurance. Ask your doctor which vaccines you should get regarding where you plan to go, and check what your insurance covers. Getting injured without an insurance while traveling, can actually ruin you if you are unlucky. Stay safe! Stay healthy!

Now that we got the boring but important part covered, I want to recommend a few items to bring with you while traveling, that can be practical and helpful.

If your journey is more than a couple of weeks, you might want to keep the living costs down by staying at cheap hostels. Although very social, the quality and cleanliness of these hostels can vary allot! That’s why I recommend you take with you a light silk sleeping bag. Not only does it feel cooling while hot, and warming while cold, it is also nice to have a layer of fabric between you and the well slept in, and maybe not properly cleaned hostel bed linens. And the bed bugs.

Another smart thing to bring is a small flashlight or torch. Many places get’s pitch dark quite early in the evening, and the roads and neighbourhoods may be poorly lit. Or if you’re staying more rustic, for instance in a beach bungalow, electricity may not be accessible, and a reading light is nice to have. Also, for that same reason, you should bring a power bank for your phone.

The last thing I’m gonna bring up, is a small first aidΒ kit. Walking sores and cuts are easy to get, and in tropical environments with high humidity, infections are easily caught. Its nice to have some bandages and antiseptic to clean out the worst, and keep dirt out.

Next up I’m going to tell you about my 3 week trip to Cambodia last winter, so please drop by from time to time πŸ™‚

Peace! – Charlotte

The wanderlust

The wanderlust. The urge to go, see, explore. We have all felt it. Some of us more than others. And since you have ended up here, on this blog, you have probably felt it from time to time too.

After I started traveling, I have had the urge of constant need for planing a new trip. Which means as soon as I have gotten home from one place, I start to think of where I wanna go next. It quickly becomes an addiction.

I just yesterday booked my flight tickets for my next trip in january/february 2017. Six weeks with my backpack through northern Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I have been to Thailand several times since the journey I wrote about in my last post, but I love the whole friendly, welcoming vibe of the country, which keeps bringing me back. However, now I’m eager to explore new places, and I think Laos and Vietnam will be incredible.

The fun part for me starts already now. The planning!

IMG_4264

As many of you probably would agree, a lot of the joy of traveling is having something to look forward to. You spend days dreaming, and picturing how great it will be. No matter how boring your average week may be just now, or how busy your days are at your job, you still know that out there, not too far away in time, awaits an amazing journey!

So you start planning, looking up itineraries, and reading through your travel guides to get an idea of what you want to get out of this trip, and before you know, it’s time to get out. To just go there.

Stick around for following posts about my journeys to Lisbon, Cambodia and Moscow in between preparation for upcoming adventures.

Wander on!