Road Trip to Sweden pt1

The sounds of the ocean, lighthouses and the seagulls flying around – the sunset – it’s hard not to feel inspired.

It was around 12pm when Kevin showed up at my workplace so we could start our journey. Our first destination was Dover in England and from there we would get a ship to Calais in France – this didn’t take long considering that we’re only 2 hours away from the Port but it was a beautiful start. The white cliffs of Dover are huge and the views breath-taking. I got myself thinking that we have to come back to spend a full day there as the place deserves more time to be explored – I’m planning something for when the weather starts to warm up. 

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We only had around 90 minutes in the ship but it was quite an experience as the sea seemed to be angry and the strong winds coming from the North caught us up in the middle of the journey. I have no problems with the motion but many people do, bathrooms got crowded as I sat by the window to watch the waves while the ship went up and down – it started getting dark soon after that. This has just confirmed that one day Kevin and I are going to get a sail boat, we both love the sea and dream about going out there on our own adventure. The idea of getting a boat and travelling makes me excited and I feel that this is something we will conquer as soon as we can.

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In a blink of an eye we crossed France – it really didn’t take long for us to get to Belgium and then arrive to the Netherlands where we decided to stop to sleep. Our plans were that if we’re going to do a 30-hour trip, we would have to be fully rested for the drive starting at 9am, stop frequently to stretch/eat and to sleep around 10pm. We have stuck to that and it has worked for us, a whole night of sleep made us much more attentive on the road and aware of the beautiful views while it was still bright outside.

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Our longest drive during daylight was in Germany and in Sweden – and I couldn’t be more amazed by the views. Lots of nature around, beautiful houses and windmills – I can’t help but think about the little lives that make that place alive. Someone making coffee in the morning, taking the dog for a walk or their children to school. The old man taking care of his garden and the two friends shaking hands at the bakery. Europe is beautiful – even though I feel that there is no word to describe its beauty – I am in constant awe since I’ve moved here. I feel lucky to live in a place as safe as it could be, with peace, green fields, with different seasons and really tall trees. I specially love the tall trees. 

When we reached Sweden we started seeing snow – as we still had a 10-hour drive ahead we knew it would get cold…and so it did! By the time we reached the North Pole (yes, we were that far North) it was already -27ºC outside. I was thankful for the hot air in our car and for the thousand layers of clothes that we’ve brought with us plus the snacks. We had tons of snacks which I will make a separate post about, with tips of what to bring on a long road trip apart from the ‘nuts’ and ‘water’ that every single site tells you to bring on this kind of journey. 

If I could describe this road trip in three words it would be: Adventurous, exciting and tiring. By the time we were 5 hours away from our destination we’ve started feeling extremely tired and we had to stop a lot to stretch. Each hour seemed to have 120 minutes in it and we couldn’t stand the same Spotify album going on over and over again – you can’t really fill 30 hours of songs without repeating most of them. Well, at least we can’t, Kevin has a really peculiar taste for music so we were picky with the soundtrack. 

Having said that, nothing beats the happiness to be back together with family. We arrived there 1 day earlier than expected (they had no idea we were going with a car) and their surprise was extremely fun to experience. I would surely do this all over again. We were very blessed with a smooth trip, our car was amazing apart from the fact that the water to spray the windows froze and everything else went just as planned. I couldn’t have asked for an easier and happier trip, full of pictures and memories for us to share with our grandchildren (and on my blog!). 

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Have you ever gone on a road trip or plan on going on one? Is there anything that you would like to know more about? Just let me know and I will add it on my Road Trip tips post. 

The post with the big surprise that I’ve been working on will probably go live by the end of next week – so stay tuned! 

Nadine

 

 

Too much on my plate

I’ve been married for almost 3 years and have moved three times – one of them was overseas. When you have so much on your plate in so little time it’s extremely easy to forget about yourself.

I’ve always loved to read and write, it’s something I have a passion for. I would long to come home after work just to continue the story that I had to stop the night before. I have journals – three of them – that have hundreds of scribbled pages. I used to sit down and do it, I loved to learn and to start new courses – challenging myself.

I think the fact that everything that has happened challenged me so much in every single way possible, I now tend to try to ‘escape’ it by ignoring what I’m feeling. I would think that it would be nice to start a new book but had none at home. I would want to get my favorite pen to write but next minute I would just give up. My workplace actually offered to pay me some courses to make me grow on my career but I haven’t chosen what I want to do.

I’ve noticed this was happening around a year ago but haven’t tried to change it until I could see that it was affecting my marriage. I would be extremely moody, anxious, extremely tired and not looking forward the weekends. I can’t say I had depression but I was really close.

The first thing I did was to take a deep breath, then I put things to action. Organised my house, started writing, made a blog and I am now choosing which course I want to do and planning on learn how to knit, paint and calligraphy. I feel energised and proud of what I’m doing/ who I am. I missed this feeling.

I can still get myself feeling a bit down once in a while but everybody does. I can see how much healthier my way of thinking is and how it has impacted positively on my husband. We’re in a much better place now together. I just love it.

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After a really rainy week, we’ve had sunshine today. I like to think it was just because I got the day off from work to finish some Christmas shopping and take some time to myself. My day was amazing and I forgot how much I enjoy spending some time alone – it’s like I’ve met myself all over again.

On the ups and downs of life I have thousands reasons to be thankful today and that’s all that I am.

Please notice that even though I was able to snap out of it, depression is real and can come and go. If you are struggling with your feelings – please reach for a family member, friends and/or your doctor. There’s no shame on getting a bit of help and maybe all you need is someone to turn on the lights.

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Nadine