Nearly every summer since 2005 I have travelled to the US to visit my relatives for about three weeks. It’s pretty much the same set up every year, but it’s important for me to go because I have all my relatives in the US and I so rarely get to see them. This year I’m not going, I was offered a new job and a full time schedule for most of the summer, so the responsible side of me decided my student budget would benefit more from work than vacation.
The truth is, I’m very sad that I don’t have any vacation or travel planned this summer. The summer is my only time off all year, and the only time I have to travel. A part of me so desperately wants to drop everything and just go. Right now. Just be free. I realize my priorities in life are so often wrong. I’m too responsible for my own good sometimes, and the more I think about it the more I come to appreciate that life is so precious, and short. It should be spent doing things that will make you happy. There’s a time and a place to be responsible, but you only get one life and thus one chance to explore this magnificent world of ours. There’s so much to see, and it’s impossible to see it all in a lifetime, but I’d be a fool to not explore the little bit I can.
I’m going to try my hardest to find the time to travel again soon. Someplace warm would be nice, especially since Sweden has been so cold and rainy all summer, but – crazy as it sounds – the place I’ve been most tempted to go lately… is Iceland. I visited Iceland as a kid with my family. We stayed for three days and did the typical tourist things – the Blue Lagoon, saw some erupting geysirs, and went horseback riding on Iceland ponies. I’ve always loved horses, so as you can imagine I was in heaven on Iceland with all the horses roaming free everywhere. I think I want to go back and re-live that, and just enjoy the big wide open spaces, beautiful nature, and serenity of it all. Who wants to go with me?
It’s amazing what a couple of hours on an island (and the boat ride there and back) can do to you. This day may go down in history as one of the best this year. The sun filled me with energy, gave my shoulders and nose some (much needed) color, lunch tasted heavenly on the cliffs by the water (Jenny’s chicken salad was fantastic), just strolling around the island with a cup of coffee in hand and peeking into stores with Jenny was the epitome of contentment.
Barcelona Sants station. Barcelona, Spain.
On the train between Barcelona and Valencia.
The pier in Valencia, near the old America’s cup headquarters
Stray cats on the pier
Cool architecture everywhere
Palm trees, but cold. Weird contrast.
Clear skies and typical apartment buildings.
The street where I stayed.
Fresh fish in the grocery store.
Cold feet on a beach of sand patterned wavy by the wind.
Pretty castle-like building.
Sunrise early in the morning on the train from Valencia back to Barcelona.
Barcelona airport, love the super shiny black floors.
Studying, coffee and Fidorka at the Prague airport. (Fidorka are wafers covered in chocolate and come in different flavors, they were a favorite of mine when I lived in Prague, I liked the cute shape and size).
I started my second semester of Uni on Thursday last week and since then I’ve been pretty much just studying non-stop (group work, project and an upcoming exam to study for… phew!). Thereof the lack of blog posts lately.
And now I’m in Valencia, Spain. I got to here on Thursday, after travelling for thirteen hours. A flight to Prague, then to Barcelona and from there a train for 3,5h. I got a lot of studying done along the way, I actually enjoyed studying on the airplane and train here. Anything to pass time, right?
I was hoping for nice warm weather but I’ve spent the entire time here freezing my butt off! It’s unusually cold in Valencia right now (just my luck?), only about 3-5 degrees centigrade and below zero once the sun goes down. My toes have been numb for two days and I have slept in a sweater, long pants and socks (and still felt cold all night). Not exactly what I was expecting. I’m actually colder here than I am at home in Sweden!
I’ve had a nice time seeing the city, Thursday I got here late in the evening so S and I just had dinner and watched a movie. Yesterday we walked down to the beach and watched the waves for a bit, and checked out all the fancy boats in the bay. In the afternoon we went biking into town to check out all the fancy buildings, and for dinner we went to a nice tapas bar down the street that had amazing food. It was nice to try real tapas.
This morning a friend of S picked us up and we headed down to the boats because there was going to be a sailing race. The race was cancelled because of the cold so we went and had a cup of coffee nearby, went grocery shopping and then had lunch. Have spent the afternoon watching football and rugby on the laptop (S choice, not mine… haha) and I took a walk down to the beach to take some pictures and collect some shells and sand, it’s insane cold and windy today too.
Around 6pm we’re going to an irish pub in town to watch the rugby game and then coming home for dinner, watch a movie and then it’s straight to bed for me. I’ve got to get up at 3.45am to get a taxi to the train station to go back to Barcelona and then back home. Won’t be home until about midnight tomorrow… it’s going to be a long day.
Here’s my Anthropologie purchase!
I must have spent at least 45 minutes in the store, walking around and around, trying different bags, comparing one with another, squeezing, stroking, and staring until I finally decided to get this bag. It’s not the type of bag I would usually go for, and it wasn’t my first choice, but in the end I opted for this one because it was the most practical and would suit me for school. It’s got lots of good compartments and is big enough to fit a couple of books and a notebook. So far, I love it!
I stocked up on some new makeup while I was in the US because it’s so much cheaper to buy it there than it is here. Here’s what I got…
New foundation and blush brushes from Sephora. Soft and perfect.
I usually buy Maybellines coverstick to lighten up rings under my eyes and conceal any spots or blemishes, but the sticks don’t last very long. I decided to try something new and opted for a liquid concealer, also from Maybelline, this is Super Stay Concealer. I have yet to try it and will have to get back to you on if it’s any good.
My staple mascara is the classic Maybelline GreatLash, so I of course stocked up on that. I got one regular and one with an extra big brush, just to try it. I also got Maybelline’s Define-a-lash after my aunt recommended it and said it’s her favorite. I’ll let you know what I think once I try them.
I picked up two mixed eyeshadow palettes from Sephora, and I’ve already tried the green, brown and gold mix. I give it two thumbs up! The shadow sticks nicely and lasts all day, and I love that there’s three colors in each palette so you can mix and match.
Sugarbomb blush from benefit. I had the makeup clerk at Sephora try this one on me and it looked good in the store, however I’m not as pleased with it after trying it at home. Although the idea is good, with the four different shades that can be used to highlight and shadow cheeks and cheekbones depending on your taste and preference, I find it hard to get much color out of it. I want my blush to show more than this one does, but I’ll keep playing with it and see if I can get that magic working.