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Tuesday, 21 December 2010


So have I changed? Of course I have, it would be very sad if I had not. And maybe it is only me who will notice the difference and that is ok. What is the one best thing I have learnt?

That the world really is more beautiful than any picture can ever capture. There is beauty everywhere and in everyone.

I remember when I was very young and had just learnt to read. One day I was walking with my dad in my home town and got really irritated as I realized I could no longer just look at signs and see lovely shapes and colors. I could understand what the words meant and somehow the letters had lost parts of its beauty. From then on I would always have to read what was in front of me.

Then when I started to learn more about photography I started to look at the world differently. I looked at the composition of the reality in front of me, I kind of took in the grayscale of my surroundings, I could see what made the composition more interesting but also what made pictures plain bland.

A few years later I started studying fine art and once again learnt another way of looking at the world. I tried to figure out what colors a white object were composed of or what contrasting colors should be used to paint the shade, how I could depict the perspective of a house or person, and how I could make the skin look more real.

And now, after months of studying the world I finally feel like myself again. I feel that all that I have learnt in my life has somehow come together.  I can mix it all together and hope to see the beauty in everything, ( and that can be terribly frustrating as it takes forever to walk down a road with the camera)

We are here for such a short time that every day, every meeting is a blessing.

Thanks for listening. Ill update you as soon as possible with the name of my new blog.

Friday, 17 December 2010


The excitement of being on my way home was ridiculous. I just wanted to tell everyone about it and  shout out: I am going home, I will meet everyone I love soooooooon, I will see the snow, my dogs, sleep in my own bed....I had a constant smile on my face throughout the journey and would not stop talking to anyone who wanted to listen. On the plane I watched the very dissapointing "Eat, Pray and Love" which of course made me feel nostalgic already since some of it is set in Bali and India. And then!! whilst the plane was preparing to land, the clouds magically disappeared and a snow covered London was right there, who had ordered that? Snow- exactly what I needed in order to appreciate the town again.

And now what? well first I am going to give myself some time to digest everything ( including my newly baked "Lussekatter" which I have lived on today) and celebrate christmas in style. ( I have lived out of a backpack for many months and now I am back with my huge wardrobe)
And then, who knows? I have many plans and feel almost overinspired but for now I just want to enjoy my loved ones.

The most beautiful city in the world

The last few days were filled with joy and sadness.  I could not believe that I would soon meet the people I love the most in the whole- wide world and that I would be in snow!! 

The brazilian coast showed me once again how a simpler life seem to be the answer to true happiness. Is it really that easy? I think maybe I am just complicating things like so many of us do for no reason at all, and then we think that is how it has to be in a city. Any struggle seem to turn into a complaint for many people and then the day has somehow lost its brightness. Any decision we have to make is a hard one, but maybe the answer is just to choose, then act; what is the worst that can happen? Your life will change, but surely that is what it is all about? How can we know real happiness if every day is almost the same?
In order to appreciate the good we need to experience the bad. And that is something my travels brought me. The very few negative things that came up in my head I tried to find the positive in.
For example:

Leeches - I dread them on every jungle trip I make, but in Nepal when they appeared after the rain; Not only did  I ran down the Himalayan mountains very quickly but  I also realized how lucky I had been to not have had them until the last day of trekking.

Negative people - The few I met taught me more than any positive thinking book I have ever read. It is just silly, timewasting and destructive to be negative when you are one of very few lucky people in the world who are able to go on this kind of journey, so stop for your own sake! 

Being ill - The only illness I had during the whole trip was the bug I caught in Kathmandu and which made me very weak among other things climbing up Annanpurna, but as soon as I had overcome it I felt more porwerful than I ever have been before and I realized that I have an inner strength which is bigger than I thought.

Missing you - Well it is true what they say: Absence make the heart grow stronger. Just imagine all the stories we have been carrying these last months, I can't wait to hear yours.

Well I will finish preaching as I really did not intend to do that. But what I really wanted to say is that in everything there is a yin and a yang. Find the positive in everything and you will soon learn that it comes automatically. 

Oh Rio, how mesmerising. I choose some pictures which kind reflects my mood. The last evening I could not leave the beach. I sat watching the waves roll in for what seemed like a short eternity and then watched the sunset. Was I really going home?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Friends reunited

The last few days have been spent in sheer happiness with one of my favourite friends in the world: Maru. She is from Sao Paolo and is getting married soon to a fellow country man which gives me a great excuse to come back to Brazil next year! I stayed at their amazing weekend house in a place called Laranjeiras, swimming in crystal clear water and hanging out on empty beaches for the last few days. Sadly I had to head towards Rio, but first I stopped in Paraty, an incredibly picturesque fishing village for a few days where I met lots of new chilled out people ( well who isn't on the coast of Brazil, silly comment...) went horse riding in the rainforest ( which backs up the whole coast around Rio), swimming in water falls and taking boats out to beaches where I snorkelled in the most unbelievable emerald colored water.

Monday, 29 November 2010

It was just one of those days.

A day on the beach without the sun can be depressing when you only have a week of holiday, but for me: oh it reminded me of home and Sven Nykvist´s cinematography and all those favourite Ingmar Bergman movies of mine. How raw this kind of weather on the beach makes you feel, and how alive!

Tranquility coso.

 Trancoso, a small village in the middle of jungle and mangrove, by the beach is one of those places that are impossible not to love. I stayed there for a few days of solitude. I needed to think and come to terms with the fact that I was going home. The longer I stayed the more I realized that I really could live like this. Living a much simpler life. Am I just being naive?
Of course it is not only paradise once this is your daily life. But maybe the secret to happiness also lies in just simplifying life In London somehow life seems sometimes more difficult that it has to be. Is there a way of living in a city but avoiding the struggles that come with it?

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Further south in Bahia.

Sitting in a little bar sipping my coco water whilst waiting for my new beautiful friend whom I am having a ¨holiday week ¨with: Sophie,  I contemplate about how fortunate I am to have followed my dream to do this trip. I am slowly coming to the end of the trip, and it feels unreal. In a way it almost feels like I have been in a dream for these months, did it really happen?

I have met the most incredible people I could imagine and really, the trip has been one of the best things things I have ever done in my life. It scares me to think how I would have wasted all these months had I not decided to buy the ticket. All the moments, all the meetings, the converstations, the sights and the feelings that I would not have experienced had I stayed in London.

 It will be with very mixed emotions I am leaving this continent. Apart from longing to see my closest ones, and of course to celebrate christmas in the snow, I can not think of much else that I am looking forward to encountering ( maybe the Swedish bread and yoghurt a bit).
I try to live in the moment and appreciate it to the fullest and not to think about the day that is getting closer, but then I hear about the rain in London, and then the snow, and then of course the cancellations of any sort of transport in London and then oops, I did it again, I left the now!
 How can this paradise exist in a parallell universe with London? How will it be possible for me to continue living in London when I am confronted there, every day by  people struggling  to be happy; complaining about the weather, living standards,  their commute, their salaries etc
I have seen people living under such poor conditions but being far happier than the average Londoner.  But maybe I will come back, and slowly fall back into the rythm of the city and forgetting the happiness I have encountered. Forget that there is a much bigger world that is so easy to get to....

If it was not for my loved ones being so far away, I could stay here in Itacare for a long time. It really is my kind of place. Surfing in paradise beaches, chilled atmosphere with hippies everywhere, drinking coco water in the beach bar hammocks, the music and the dancing and of course the rainforest comes straight down to the beach so I fall asleep every night listening to my favourite sounds of the jungle. Too good to be true.

I have mixed feelings about the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho; some books I love and then others I find too self indulgent but whilst reading some of his short stories ( ¨Like the flowing river¨) I came across this that I would like to share:

-People don´t think very much about death. They spend their lives worrying about absurdities; they put things off, and fail to notice important moments. They dont´t take risks, because they think it is dangerous. They complain a lot, but are afraid to take action. They want everything to change, but they themselves refuse to change. If they thought a little more about death, they would never forget to make that much- postponed phone call. They would be a little crazier.
So many people do everything on automatic pilot, unaware of the magic moment that each day brings with it, not understanding that the next minute could be their last on this planet.

Paulo Coelho also writes about an elderly  Brazilian lady he met whilst living in Madrid. She had energy in abundance and one night he asked her for the secret recipe:
¨I have a magic calender she answered and if you want I´ll show it to you. So the next night she showed him a much scribbled calender:

¨Right, today is the day they discovered a vaccine agains polio¨she said, ¨we must celebrate that¨, because life is beautiful.

On each day of the year, the lady had written down something good that had happened on that date. For her, life was always a reason to be happy!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The road not taken by Robert Frost

I fell for this poem many years ago, ( as most people do who read it) and always carry it with me, but what I love about it is how it´s meaning changes. The more I read it the less I seem to understand it.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

I´m in love

The brazilian coastline is proving to be far better than I had ever hoped for. It is a country I could imagine living in: the colors, the weather, all the beautiful, friendly and happy people, the culture with its rich heritage and of course the never ending beaches. After a few indulging days of lots of splendid veggie food and juices from fruits that I did not even know existed: graviola. caja,caju, macaxeira, twice a day yoga and meditation and plenty of paradisical beaches; I headed for the first town of Brazil which really is the heart of the country: Salvador.

The historic centre of the town is oh so beautiful, in a run down " Pere Lachaise cemetary " kind of way.  Unfortunately as this is Brazil it is quite tricky as you need to be really careful with the camera, I really don´t want to loose it now after all these months, so I could not take all the pictures that I wanted to take. Especially during one of the most memorable nights I have ever had: tuesday night, which is basically a smaller version of carneval. Music is everywhere and as this is is the happiest country I have ever come across: EVERYONE is dancing. We were following a carnival band which had some amazing dancers at the front . All of us trying to copy them whilst we were travelling through the town on its cobbled streets, the group was getting bigger and bigger. What an atmosphere! After several hours of this workout ( Mr M  and my dance partner Fransesco, I  have acquired some new dance moves that I can´t wait to show you) we moved on whilst drinking Caprinha to a samba club( yes, I kind of know the first step of samba but it is sooo hard) then we finished by dancing  Farro.
What a magical night.

( Michael Jackson´s "They don´t really care about us" was filmed in Salvador, watch it to get a small idea of how the town is).

Monday, 15 November 2010

Ashram time

I will be spending some time at the yoga ashram Ecohar eating well, and doing lots of yoga and meditation, so I will not be able to update for a few days. But after that you can follow me again on my brazil beach hopping. Hard life.

Happiness (part 2)

It must be so much harder to feel down in a country like Brazil; Wherever you look there are the brightest and most intense colors: flowering bouganvillea and hibiscus, people dressed in fluorescent colors, nature giving you all the tones between lightblue and darkgreen, all tropical fruits you know of growing on the
trees ready to be picked and wherever you go in late afternoon you hear the music. Music coming out from massive loudspeaker in the back of cars, houses, shops, fruitsellers and even bikes. And somehow everyone seems to smile and dance without any worries at all.

      Just going for a ride on the beach