my passport 2005 – 2013

A quick run through my old passport that has been joining me since I started travelling five years ago. I had to renew it as I only had two pages left for stamps and will be travelling soon again. Receiving the new, empty, modern passport felt like starting from scratch, like rebooting the system. What’s next? What now? Was that it? I don’t know.

After speaking to friends who’s biggest obstacle to travelling is the whole process of standing in line for, applying for, paying for, waiting for and hoping for a visa, I have become increasingly thankful for my EU passport that opens doors of trust in most places. Truth is, I’ve only had to apply for visa through an embassy for three of the 38 countries I visited since this passport was printed. Thank you, Sweden.

Work-life Balance

India, 2010

I currently have so much work that life is being cancelled to allocate time for more work.

It all reminds me of that photo exhibition I posted about last night. It was exactly like this – I had an idea  and within no time I was responsible for a hugely ambitious project that grew by itself as I was working on it – I had to do everything from scratch on my own, I was almost losing the grip, but in the end it all turned out really well despite heavy snow storms and other obstacles.

I know that it’s not healthy, but I also know that I have no other choice. Luckily, I don’t suffer and actually work better under pressure, considering the fact that dealing with the deadlines that are breathing down my neck right now will keep me far from not only distractions but also necessities.

But I’m not leaving the blog. The blog is my coffee-brake, my moment for reflection, my loyal friend in all storms. It takes me no more than five minutes to write a post like this and what I get in return is an eternal diary post that I one day can go back to if I wish to be reminded about my life in this stage, about this feeling, and about my priorities.

Memories: Photo Exhibition 2010

Found this old photo of when we were just done setting up the venue for my first solo photo exhibition in Malmö City, I had named it “The children of India and their reality”, and the project was an effort to explore and portray the different contexts that children in India live in.

It all started out like a small idea in my head and had within a week evolved into a proper personal exercise in project management, sponsorship applications, photo mission, partnership hunt, marketing strategy, graphic design efforts, media relations and finally a fundraising event. The time was very tight and it was all overwhelming and very new, but most of all – it was extremely fun and rewarding. The greatest feeling of all was when I first unpacked the delivery from the printing studio and saw my work printed on those big beautiful boards. I sometimes wonder if the photos that were sold are still hanging anywhere.

The sponsors and grants covered the venue, event and printing of posters, flyers and photos. Donations were collected through an online webshop, an sms code, photo sales and a simple vase at the venue – all the money went straight to UNICEF Sweden. All I got was euphoria and a set of new skills.

I haven’t posted these online before, but have now decided to share. Because, why not?

click above for slideshow

Can I have my bag, please?

“Okay, this is your stop – bye!”
“But excuse me, I need my bag.. it’s in there.”
“Right there – please get it out.”
“In there?”
“Yes. Please.”

“Lady come, come with me, come with me, come with me.”
“Wait, I want to get my bag first..”

India 2010, or is it needless to say? Wonderfully unpredictabe country. An engine, who would have thought?

Life, Death, and Varanasi.

Farewell ritual for deceased relatives about to be cremated. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

I barely remember taking this photo. Not because it was a long time ago, as it’s been less than two years, but because it feels as if it was taken in a different lifetime. The overwhelmingly spiritual athmosphere in Varanasi absorbed me completely and guided me into a state of awe and self reflection. It’s not an easy place to spend time in, and many leave after just two days. For me, it gradually became the most beautiful place in India, and if you are open to letting go of your values and norms for a moment and allow reality, life and death to happen before your eyes, this place will show you that there can be a perfect harmony between them.

It’s hard to face, but by talking to locals who see funeral processions every day, families who have travelled for days just to allow their relative to pass away and be cremated in what for them is the most holy of places, and children who play next to the place where the dead one’s are being burnt before finally ending up in the Ganges river, you are forced to let go of whatever fear you might feel towards death. It is nothing but a natural part of life here, and while it happens, groceries need to be brought home, homework has to be done, and reality has to continue.

There is an omnipresent smoke rising to the sky in Varanasi, and while it tells the stories of deceased relatives and friends, the sun rises just like in any other place. And when it is about to go down again, the rooftops all over the city fill up with children running their kites as high up as possible. Because that’s what matters most to them – joy, love and play.

Children on their way back from school. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Young woman carrying groceries. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Boy with a tilaka mark. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Morning prayer by the Ganges. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Children taking care of the family shop. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Men smoking chillum. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Man preparing tobacco holders. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Kites and peace over the holy city. Varanasi, India. October 2010.

Value for money


I bought my black classic havaianas when I was in Brazil in 2008. I remember it felt wrong to pay almost 5€ for a pair of flip flops when I knew I could get a pair for one fifth of that, but I really liked how simple they were and everything else seemed to either have colourful glitter on it or look like bad havaiana copies.

So I bought the original ones. And then I walked. Through Brazil. Through Bolivia and all the way to Lima in Peru. And when I was working at the World Expo in Spain some months later I had to mark the soles with nail polish because a girl I was living with had a pair looking almost the same.. Later I wore them in the South of China where it wasn’t too cold. And they officially survived all of 2008.

The next year they went with me for a month around the Balkans and in 2010 I walked Israel and Palestine.. damn, they even survived dusty and hot India.

2011 was easy. Citybrowsing and beach hangout in Barcelona followed by being only the “going to the shower” footwear here in Copenhagen. And still, they look just as they did the day I bought them, you really can’t see how much they have had to endure except for some sand in between the letters in the logo, and some nailpolish on the soles.

Now it’s 2012 with some serious adventure walking coming up, the havaianas are a mandatory part of my luggage – and I can’t believe I ever hesitated.