Re-establishment of the feeling of groundedness

 The past year has been a happy one for me. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot without burning myself out. Pretty much the opposite – I’ve taken better care of my mental and physical health than ever. A lot has happened since I arrived back home from Hong Kong 14 months ago. I remember how rootless I felt, not having a home or a clue of my future plans in terms of studies and work.
What I did have, was a bunch of loved ones I had missed during the time away. I needed time surrounded by these people to feel grounded again. Then, one by one, things started to fall into place. I landed a job that excited me every day. I learned more than I ever would at classes. The best part though was that I could maximise my time with wifey as colleagues, before she would head to new adventures for the Fall.
Fall, then, was time of studying, working and working out. Day flowing by with routines – which usually makes me feel anxious, but what I had missed in Hong Kong. Also the feeling of accomplishing small but meaningful goals makes you feel good. Spring was time of true self discovery for me. I was lucky to travel three times to Barcelona with Satu, and besides truly falling for the city, I learned a lot about myself. For me, traveling really is the best way to get to know yourself. I also managed to shift my studies towards psychology, which I loved after 5 years of business studies. Also, for the first time in my life, I integrated working out into my daily life. And there’s no going back, being physically active simply is a major part of well being for me.
A lot has happened in a year’s time. I’ve built a life that is comfortable and filled with nurturing relationships which I love, but not that exciting. And excitement is what keeps me feel alive. Seeing new places, meeting new people, hearing new stories. Being inspired. It is time to go and do something new again.
My destination: Cape Town & Stellenbosch, South Africa. My final year as a student will take place in Stellenbosch university as a MBA exchange student. At the moment I’m sitting at Istanbul airport, waiting for my connecting flight to my destination. Feeling: excitement. My wish for being inspired started in the plane already as I sat next to a gentleman who has worked literally all over the world as a consultant and diplomat for the past 25 years. I decided that I want to have as many stories as he does at that age
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I still remember this first meal with wifey at Sushibar + Wine
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Summer Fridays spent at Lonna island
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Catching up over high tea at The Cadogan with my Londoners Henni & Anne and Amanda’s surprise visit from Aberdeen
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Weekends at Hanko
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This cutie visited from down under ❤
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Our beautiful office building
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The perfect holiday at get together with my girls from London & Uppsala
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Getting this girl back from Shanghai ❤
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Elektro music brunch in Barcelona
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Beautiful Helsinki Summer nights
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High on hill sprints and Helsinki skyline
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Nightless nights
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My never-ending project
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Witnessing the tying of the most inspiring love story
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Next time from South Africa xxx

I <3 London

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My personal London tips:

1. Borough Market

London’s oldest market is a paradise for a culinarist. They have the freshest cheese, meat, fruits & veggies, olive oil, juices, ice cream, granola, almost anything you can possibly ask for. After having a veggie burger, we picked couple cakes from what felt like an endless selection, and ended up having lemon cheesecake and carrot cake and enjoyed them by the river. Arguably London’s best coffee is sold there too and I can agree the Monmouth long black was delicious indeed.

2. Notting Hill

Portobello Road and the little side alleys make a perfect place to get lost on a Saturday (or any other day). The scale of colours in the buildings make me inconceivably happy and wish that I could live in one myself. I also did one of my best bargains ever from a little leather shop PappuDoc on Portobello. I bought a case for my laptop, something I had been hunting already for years, and this was a perfect piece.

Anne took me to her favourite comfort food restaurant, Liza’s. To be honest, I was not too excited about having Swedish food as I was travelling to Stockholm the next day, but I understood the hype on my first bite. If I lived in London, I would make my way to Liza’s for the meatballs every week as well, so good were they.

3. Flower Market

I was not surprised when Anne told me that she likes to walk every Sunday here to pick up fresh flowers for the upcoming week. Fresh flowers and coffee on a Sunday morning, what else could you ask for?

4. Camden Market

It’s no secret that I love food markets and Camden Market was no exception. We grabbed lunch here and enjoyed it by the canal, a perfect ending to our little hike to Primrose Hill.

5. Afternoon Tea

This is a must do while in London. We went to The Cadogan. The prestige location in the heart of Knightsbridge and with its atmosphere of stepping centuries back in time and receiving treatment like we were royals was an experience itself. The tea and sweet & savoury bites were a cherry on top of the experience.

6. Angel & Le Merqury restaurant

The lovely area made me feel most cozy, filled with life and boutique shops, cafés and pubs. We went to my girls’ favourite restaurant Le Merqury and I can see why; the food was super delicious and very affordable and the atmosphere very romantic & cozy.

London calling

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Best scones ever with jam and cream at afternoon tea at The Cadogan

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Exploring the streets of hipsterish Shoreditch

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Picking dessert at Borough market

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…And another one in Dark Sugars chocolate shop on Brick Lane

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Monmouth coffee rumoured to be the best in London

London is the only place besides NYC so far that I have immediately felt like home. Likewise with New York, I never fancied too much of visiting London, that was, until I traveled there. 3-day weekend trip with mom turned out to be way too short time to discover it nearly enough. I immediately fell in love with the energetic vibes of the different areas, vividness and history you can sense all over. I love to stay longer periods in cities like these that I feel connected to such deeply, to experience behind the touristy stuff.
I was so happy to reunite with this city and stay at my Londoners Henni’s and Anne’s place. They also pulled me an very unexpected yet happy surprise. Besides seeing these dear friends, also Amanda from Scotland had decided to fly over. London has been everything I remembered and more. This is my iPhone picture diary so far.