When living in the US on a J1-visa you are allowed to stay in the country for an extra month to go travel and exploring places you might now have been able to go to during your stay in America. So after that I finished my 18 months as an au pair I decided to spend some time doing just that.

After a morning filled with tears and goodbyes to my loved ones, me and my friend Elin waved goodbye to DC and jumped on a plane that arrived in Orlando, Florida, a couple of hours later. I am so grateful that Elin had the possibility to come with me - both for the support that she gave me through a very hard time leaving what had been my home for the last year and a half, but also because she became one of my best friends there and one of the most important persons I got to know. To end my time in the US with her came so naturally and I was so happy that she joined me.

Orlando has a lot to offer but our favourite thing - and the main reason why we we there - was definitely Disneyland! We became kids again and ran around the park for hour and hours, watched parades, went on rollercoasters, got the first taste of that years holiday spirit, waved to Mickey Mouse and ate Ice-cream until out tummies hurt. It might sound cheesy to say - but our childhood dreams came true!

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Our spring-break vacation wasn't really over when the airplane took off from O'hare international airport. As the matter of fact, Chicago was only the first stop of two destinations on our trip so a little later that day we arrived even more north, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston felt so different from every other city that I've had the pleasure to visit in America. It felt like a small town but in a big-city size. We spent a couple of days souvenir shopping in Quinzy market, walked around and admired the beautiful homes on Beacon hill, walked among the students at Harvard university, went on some sightseeing of the Massachusetts state house and the harbor and we spent way too many hours shopping at Primark.

My first friend in the USA was a Swedish girl, Ninni, that I met up with at Copenhagen airport before departure when I first moved to the US. We got the seats next to each other on the flight and we spent a week together at the training school on Long Island in New York before taking off to our host families for the next year. While I took of to DC, she took the other direction and lived in Boston. So during our visit in Boston we met up with Ninni and spent a day together with her. It was so nice to see her again and to catch up on the months we spent apart from each other in different states. And except from the fact that it was nice to catch up for a little bit - she gave us some great advice on what to do during our time in the city. Because after all - the locals will always possess the best spots.

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During spring break 2016, Elin and I packed our suitcases and took off to norther latitudes and arrived in Chicago, the windy city. The weather was still foggy and the warmer temperatures was nowhere to be found - but that didn't keep us from exploring the city for a couple of days.

We walked around in Millennium park for hours, took a trip out to the Adler Planetarium for some good pictures of the skyline (but the visit only lasted for a couple of minutes, the wind was freezing cold and we decided that Chicago's beautiful skyline wasn't even worth it), walked around the Navy Pier, took an unknown amount of stops at different coffeeshops to get the normal body temperature back, tried ice-cream inside of a huge macaron, did some typical shopping at Michigan Avenue, ate typical Chicago-food like deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati's and a Chicago hotdog at The Wiener's circle. On our last day the weather decided to shift between rain and snow so we took a bus to Andesonville, a Swedish neighbourhood located in the north part of the city. We visited the Swedish American museum, went to several Swedish shops and got bags full of our favourite candy, stopped by a Swedish bakery to fill our tummies with typical pastries from our home-country and after walking around in something so far from home but yet so familiar we finished the day at Tre kronor, a Swedish restaurant and tried to decide which one of all the dishes on the menu that we missed the most.

I don't know if it was the company, the beautiful architecture, the Swedish neighbourhood that gave me so many things that I missed so much, the great food that we tried for the first time or a combination of it all - but I do know that I only have beautiful memories from Chicago, the windy (and extremely cold) city.

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During my Stockholm weekend with my friend Elin, we spent a day walking around in the old town. It is such an beautiful environment with small passages, hidden streets, cute buildings and colours that shift between yellow, grey, brown and green. While walking around we found some perfect spots for a little photoshoot - and even if I am much more comfortable behind the camera I got some, in my opinion, acceptable photos. It's a whole different story to stand in front of the camera than to watch the whole scene through the lens - but you always learn something new while taking a couple of steps outside your comfort-zone.

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Sometimes a weekend trip can be as simple as jumping on an airplane for 45 minutes only to arrive in a city within the borders of your country. Sometimes simple is just what you need to reload some energy and sometimes the most spontaneous trips will create the best memories.

This weekend I decided to do just that - hop on a flight after I finished a long week of work and a long to-do list and arrived in Stockholm a coffee break later. The reason I went on this little weekend-trip was to visit my friend Elin that just moved to Stockholm for school. Elin lived just 10 minutes away from me in Washington DC and she became one of my closest friends. The last time I saw her was when I left the USA to go back home to Sweden. 10 months later she is finally back in Sweden and we finally got to see each other again.

We didn't really have anything planned for the weekend, except from spending time together and catching up some lost time. We spent a whole day walking around in the old town, took several coffee stops, had a little photoshoot on a small, hidden street, ate Mexican dinner for old times sake (we used to do that at least once a week) and when our feet hurt too much we stopped by for some shopping. On the Sunday we spent all day running around like we were kids again at Gröna Lund, which is an amusement park in Stockholm. There were no lines at all so we went from roller coaster to roller coaster, bought cotton candy, won 2 kilos of chocolate and we laughed until our tummy ached.

As with every trip the time flies and I couldn't believe that the weekend was already over when I hugged Elin goodbye to take the train back home. Seeing Elin again felt like we had never been apart - and I guess that's exactly how it's supposed to be with a great friendship.

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(n) A strong desire or urge to travel and explore the world

My biggest and deepest passion in life only contains one word - but that word means so much more than the six letters you can read - travel. Traveling for me means exploring new parts of the world, learn new things about myself, adventures, experience different cultures, develop my knowledge about languages, people, geography. It means getting new friends and meet new people, it means sharing stories, making memories, finding new places. It means struggling, solve problems, feeling lost and find peace. It means always feeling like you are missing something, it means being apart from loved ones, it means creating a home away from home. It means having endless of bucket lists, falling in love with places and persons, doing things outside of your comfort zone, it means being brave and strong. It makes you understand people on a whole different level and it makes you appreciate everything that comes to you and where you come from. It is happiness.


I am, and have always been, a restless soul. I feel the best having things planned from morning to night, I get bored by spending a day at home and I cannot wait to plan the next adventure as soon as the last one ends. Ever since my first vacation outside of the Swedish border, I couldn't wait for the next ticket to be booked. And so it has continued ever since.

My all time favorit country, and a place that will always continue to surprise me in so many different ways is, not surprisingly, the United states of America. It doesn't matter how many places I explore, how many times I go there, it is always something new added to my American bucket-list. I have seen 18 states and I cannot wait to put a check in the box next to the name of the next state I will visit. But first, I think it is time for me to explore some more places outside the country that have become my second home.

Travel makes you realise that no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn.

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Our last days was just around the corner and even if we tried to enjoy every moment we had left it was hard to not be sad when our final day was right in front of us. Our last milestones was The big sur and Santa Barbara before we reached back to Los Angeles. We drove by the coast, with an incredible view for hours, stopped in Monterey for Ice cream, in a Danish community and got a feeling of home, watched elephant seals fighting, walked around at a beach in Santa Barbara and got the last couple of tanning-hours for the trip. We finished the trip at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, said our goodbyes to our new friends from near and far and ate our last dinner together at the Cheesecake factory.

As every other trip it comes to an end, wether you want it or not. Two weeks went by way too fast and I can honestly say that those two weeks was one of my favorit memories I have and I will forever be looking at those pictures with so many stories to tell and a feeling of so much happiness.

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After spending two days in the woods it was time to leave the camping-life for a couple of days, to appreciate everything that the city has to offer. Our next destination was just a good 4 hour roadtrip away from the Yosemite National park - to San Fransisco!

I had already been in San Fransisco once at the time, but this time I got to see a whole different side of the city. We took a sunset cruise under the Golden gate bridge, walked around on the streets of China town, went on tea tastings, got a history lesson at the Alcatraz Island, went to a karaokebar to represent Sweden by singing ABBA all night long and took a powerwalk over the golden gate.

Needless to say, after a couple of days camping it was incredibly nice to get to sleep in a real bed and take a shower in something that isn't covered in spiders and that actually contains warm water. On top of that, San Fransisco is an amazing city that always have something new to offer.

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