Today deserves a throwback to when I once sat down and played my charango in the Bolivian salt flats, while backpacking on my own around the continent.
A trip with constant beautiful moments that shaped me immensely as a person. Months of voluntary uncertainty and complete immersion into a “going with the flow” lifestyle – where only intuition and vibe got to decide where to go next, and all sorts of people were trusted and welcomed into my reality. A time of release from all of the world’s “You should” and full focus on “Who am I and what makes me happy?”
I discovered that things work themselves out magically if you are proactive enough. I discovered that most people can be trusted. I discovered that the reasons for appreciation and happiness are infinite. And I immersed myself into listening and storytelling, photography and human rights – and found that I could combine the things I love to be truly happy with what people refer to as “work“.
So, here I am, 7 years later, gradually changing priorities as I grow and learn – but still refusing to be thrown off track from what “makes me happy” and still not letting any of the “you should” decide things for me.
I shared a video of my Belize City home when I first moved in, with the furniture that is included in my rent and the otherwise empty spaces and big empty white walls. I can’t do much to the place other than putting some stuff up, and I haven’t been wanting to invest in it as I’m moving out in a couple of months. But I moved the furniture around a bit, bought some Mexican blankets and colourful carpets – and this is what it looks like today. I really like my place, I love the breeze, I like that it’s airy and clean, and I love that I have an extra room to host friends. And as a cherry on top – I have free wifi from my very kind neighbours (a company) who don’t mind passing me their password, which is an amazing deal in Belize where wifi is ridiculously expensive.
As I said in my last post, this is a tradition that I wish I had started already when I started moving around, because the place you live in is a very nice memory to keep. Here’s a nostalgia tour of my previous homes, since I started doing this in 2011:
I got a Whatsapp message from a primary school friend: “Hey! Heard you’re in town! We’re organizing a surprise party for Vladi on Saturday – would be great if you could come. Hope to see you!”
Vladi is a friend I’ve known since first grade, we were buddies from the beginning and somehow almost always ended up in the same classroom while switching schools, all the way up until high school. We’ve managed to keep in touch throughout the years, 22 years to be exact, and I visited them just before leaving to Belize. Vladi has also been great at keeping the relations with many of the rest of our primary school friends, the friends from the neighbourhood, the people we grew up with, people from primary, middle and high school.
So, his girlfriend – and a girl I much liked to play with on the school yard, had organized a surprise party inviting all of Vladi’s friends to their apartment – and Vladi had no idea at all.
We shouted surprise, exchanged hugs and continued mingling in what for me was a nostalgia overload of faces and interesting life stories, people I knew as primary school kids were now talking about their parenthood and boyish faces had grown manly beards. In between the “this is sick!” and “wow, 7 years at least!?” greetings and hugs, there were laughs, some dancing, and a selfie stick that got to be the ultimate centre of attention all night. It was a great party, and I was very happy to be there.
Happy Birthday once more, Vladi! Thank you, Nilo! And the biggest of hugs to you all.
Here’s some added goodies from the archive. Wish I was at home right now so I could share some more!
Here’s the 2012 part of my Mobile camera photo archive throwback – enjoy!
The year basically consisted of my last month in Copenhagen, then Mozambique for work at the Swedish Embassy, a quick 4-country hitch-hiking trip around southern Africa, then UNICEF, a one-week hop back to Copenhagen and Malmö, then Mozambique again – and going back to Malmö for Christmas and a welcome party with my favourite people. A lot of back and forth, but a very enriching and memorable year.
I have all the photos and videos ever taken digitally by me saved in neatly organized and dated folders, including those from my mobile cameras. I find the mobile photos particularly fun, especially from before when I wouldn’t take as many photos and when the quality was annoyingly bad.
Since I recently decided to move my “mobile camera” archive from my Dropbox to my external drive, I had a chance to go through the photos again and decided to do some sharing.
Here’s a selection of some of the things I captured with my phone between June 2010 and December 2011.
There’s some thesis writing, some get-away’s and even a quick glimpse of India and my exhibition. Some Barcelona loving, some Poland, some WFP and Copenhagen, and a Distortion selfie with Wifey. Random and fun. Hover for descriptions.
I’ll give you 2012 next time I’m in nostalgia mode. Have a lovely week!
There’s so much love overflow in me right now that I don’t know where to start when it comes to this girl.
She’s been there for so long, through so much, and always, always equally crazy and loving. Through the up’s and the downs, we know each other so well, we know the stories, life’s pains, the one million reasons to burst out laughing or crying. Whether it’s all the little nicknames and codes we created for things and people, or the fact that we used to sneak out of class in high school to go to car showrooms and pretend that we our very rich (and completely made up) father was going to buy us that sparkling new Mercedes SLK cabriolet, so that we could take it for a two hour spin around the city – with the wind in our hair and the CD with Jugoslavian music blasting loud enough to forget about all of life’s worries.
The amount of stories, the amount of memories, the amount of secret things we know about each other equals the amount of love I feel for my Bekica, Belma, Becky – who taught me how to sing in Bosnian and dance kolo.. and still I can’t be there for her wedding today.
And while it completely breaks my heart, I’m bursting of happiness at the same time – you’ve grown up, draga moja. We have grown up. And with a baby in your tummy, and the man of your life next to you – you’re embarking on a new adventure. And I’m there with you. Not physically. But with all my heart.
So as the Rich-face refuses to answer his phone today, despite it being his birthday – I will take the opportunity to showcast some of our shared memories from back in the days until today. It’s a rather embarrassing moment for me (and possibly for other people as well – haha, sorry!) – but well worth it. Richie is one of my favourite people in the world, and this story goes back all the way to 2004.
It’s not midnight over here in Colombia yet, but I would like to wish all of my friends and family back in Europe a wonderful 2014. May it be a year when you don’t catch yourself saying “I wish I had..” too often. :)
Wishing you all a lovely Christmas Eve in the company of your favourite people and loved ones. I hope you get good vibes, warm hugs, genuine laughter and a lot of love. And an extra dosis of patience and positivity for those of you meeting up with extended family members with differing and provocative opinions. Hang in there.
My mother and I send our best wishes all the way from 1988. :)
Wesolych Swiat! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Feliz Natal! Merry-merry yay! Take care of each other and enjoy your day!