Some days I just wake up completely exhausted and feeling low. Finding no motivation to get out of bed and I’m even dreading the fact I have to do things. It even triggers me. Yet, I have so many things I “need” to do and what I feel others expect me to do.
Today was one of those days where every single thing is just. An. Effort. So, my worst moment today was when I was having a walk far from home and hunger kicked in. My vegan brain was just rolling its eyes, as it’s still a universal fact that it’s not too easy to fetch an easy, cheap, vegan snack on the road. In other words, my sweet little walk ended up at Rema 1000 to buy some food and just go home. But in those moments, my lazy vegan self kicks in and I actually create some pretty decent stuff, I might say! Here is my super simple, vegan wok for other lazy vegans out there.
The 15th of September is a very important day, as we all know. It’s World Cleanup Day! If you haven’t heard of it, then you’ve missed out on the biggest civic action in human history aka to clean the world in one single day. It all started in my mothercountry, Estonia, in 2008 and has now spread to 150 different countries. This means that there are established cleaning teams all across the world and also in your country.
I guess you know what I’m going to say next. Yes, join World Cleanup Day! It’s the easiest way for you to make this world less crappy.
How to clean a planet 1-0-1
It’s super easy, you’ll just go to https://www.worldcleanupday.org/contact/ and find your country. Then you’ll just contact the team, get instructions and meet up on the 15th of September super happy knowing there’s one less turtle with a straw in its nose. So share this, bring your friends, family, granny or/and your entire company, and Let’s Do It!
As for myself, I’m of course joining the cleaning-spree here in Croatia. I sent a mail to them today and voilá, I’m on the team.
On the blooper picture below you can see one of my not so proudest moments. I tried to take an underwater picture with my poster, but I completely forgot that paper and water don’t mix. Pitty.
A couple of days ago was a good day. That was the day for new adventures for Lars and I! We went on a mission to try our new snorkeling gear on the almighty beach of Rijeka – The Sablicevo Beach. You know the beach with the crystal blue water I visited last time, when I had my mental breakdown? Read the tragic story here. Anyway, this time around it was a blessed experience.
The water seemed to be even more clear this time and the water was at the perfect temperature. I even got Lars to join me, as he’s not the greatest fan of cold water. But yeah, it was amazing to actually spend time together in a different way. In other words, away from our computers. Hehe.
For me this day was the starting point to something I’ve wanted to try for a long time – freediving! And what I mean by a long time, is stalking other freediver’s IG accounts to the point it seriously wasn’t healthy anymore. So the mind-blowing thing happened at the end; why not.. try it?
Anyway, as I child, my cousin and I were constantly in the water during the summer, “pretending” to be mermaids and all that jazz. I also spent so much time with my family, and one of my closest friends, at the local pool back home. I could dive to 5 metres deep with no probs at all and could hold my breath for around 2 minutes.
My younger me is my biggest hero right now. Playful, carefree & explorative! Exactly what my life needs, and are some of the reasons why I’m going into this again.
Trying snorkeling this time was super nostalgic and it just came so naturally for me to be in the water again – and this time with my boo.
It took my awhile to settle into the digital nomad life type of “office”, because there is no normal office. You actually have a lot of offices, like your dinner table, your bed or any other suitable place where you don’t get back pain. And of course co-working spaces, which we haven’t found because of poor planning.
My all-time favorite office has been on the balcony at our current AirBNB place. Like, who doesn’t like a morning stretch on the balcony, sit down and start working to a sea view! Every morning.
A normal day at the office
On the picture below you can I have a very serious meeting with World Cleanup Day (it’s the non-profit organization I volunteer for, and which you should check out if you want to earn som karma-points). I think this was the moment Katrin‘s dog appeared on Skype and I just couldn’t contain my happiness. Anyway, no make-up happy face, a super fancy work suit and some good ol’ Croatian air. That kind of sums up my days at the office, together with poor internet and the company of mosquitos in the evening.
Yesterday was an odd day. I woke up having borderline existential crisis again and I barely wanted to do anything. You know the days where you just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day. But nooooo, I decided to push myself out the door, because guilt hit me for doing nothing and Lars also went out to explore new motorcycle grounds. Stupid indirect peer pressure.
But what I was off to do was of course something I’ve been looking forward to do for a long time – to find a beach here in Rijeka where I could test my new, super cheap snorkeling gear. So I was thinking that things could get awesome.
Well, it didn’t.
Let me make it clear, I was extremely happy to actually have made it to the beach, but keep on reading to get the juice. So, already the moment I left the house, I had a bad feeling about leaving. And guess what? My gut feeling was right. Cheeky intuition.
The first road I took lead to a dead end, so I had to drive back the same road. My engine stalled when I tried to start my car uphill. A total buzzkill that was. Then on the way, Google Maps and I were miscommunicating so many times, that I seriously considered mission beach to be failed and drive back home. Nope, I kept going.
When I finally arrived, then it felt worth it. Like it always is. The beach was breathtaking, the water was crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling. Like, look at the pictures.
Although, having spent too much of my time going in circles in the Rijeka maze, I only got 10 minutes before I had to go back and let Lars in the apartment. So no snorkeling. And what was supposed to be a 5-minute drive home, became a 30-minute mission.
Every time I missed an exit, Google Maps added 10 more minutes of driving. I stopped. Drove back. Google Maps rerouting. Google Maps rerouting again. Wow, a dead end! Then suddenly I was driving AWAY from town and phooof, I’m outside Rijeka. Somewhere on a mountain side.
At this point, I had already been crying for 15 minutes. To top this adventure, even a black cat crossed the road right before I arrived at home. Then I was just; “Fuck you cat. Fuck you adventure time.” I got home and cried in Lars’ arms for a good 5-minutes more.
Lesson of the day; always listen to your intuition and stay home to watch Netflix.
This morning I just woke up feeling extremely blessed.
We arrived in Rijeka last night and our new crib for the month is just beyond belief. We strategically chose this place as I wanted to be closer to the sea (going to test out my new €15 worth snorkeling gear, yeayuum) and heck, I got the sea. Not even that, I even got a balcony with a sea view. As some may know, I have a thing for balconies too. So yeah, I did shred I tiny tear of happiness last night.
This morning I’m just breathing in this breeze of euphoria and I’m just so grateful for where I am now. Like I wrote on my Instagram account recently:
Not to brag and all, but I’m super rich. I’m actually so rich in happiness, love, experiences, freedom & adventures, that I today know I will never be poor again. I’ve finally found wealth, and it was in the abundance of the immaterial.
I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my core being. To find freedom. And along this journey I’ve also met incredible people who has helped me along this path. At the end, being free is all about being authentic. That was the moment I started to focus on other things in life than money, status and “success”. Don’t get me wrong, I know money is important for survival, but money also gets a different meaning depending on how you use it. Money is just a tool. Some take the choice to spend it on possessions, some people choose to spend it on passions.
For me that changed everything. I’ve gained so much by investing my dollar in the immaterial. And it has lead me to this crazy awesome balcony in a town I didn’t even know existed.
It’s simple, you just join a wine tasting and suddenly you’re 12 hours deep into a new friendship. That’s at least what happened to us. It could’ve been because we have just been lacking friends to talk to for 3 months, and anyone could’ve been a victim to our bla bla. But, I honestly can say that it was one of the greatest days I’ve had and it was because we just totally clicked with the people we met.
This wine tasting was a gift to my boyfriend, Lars the Winelover, for his birthday. Although, this wasn’t the usual kind of wine tasting. It was a wine tasting at a Medieval Castle in Chianti. Who doesn’t love a little castles and Medieval history to a bit of wine, right?
About the wine tasting tour
We met up in Florence and then we drove to a place called Trebbio. The place was just the most Tuscan place I’ve ever seen. A castle on top of one of the many Tuscan green hills as far as the eye can see, vineyards, olive trees and a red fiat casually placed next to a super Italian looking house.
Pazzi and wine tasting – what?
The whole experience started off with a tour around the castle, which by-the-way was owned by Medici’s enemies, The Pazzis, back in the days! We had no idea that our experience was going to involve us actually walking in one of the rooms where The Pazzis conspired against Medici’s power. Lars and I just looked at each other and had a moment of; holy scheisse, this gone be good. And it was amazing.
Though, the castle today is owned by some very “ordinary” people. It was bought by a duke as a gift for his wife back in the 60’s. Their grandchildren are now making this area into a Tuscan cradle. For me it was mind-blowing. Imagine growing up in a castle. A CASTLE. Their living-room was the Pazzi conspiracy room, like I can’t even.
Then the wine tasting journey took us below ground level and into the pits of wine.
The power of Chianti
We got an amazing introduction to the Chianti wine and how important it is to pronounce Chianti as Ki-anti and not Shi-anti. Otherwise you’ll be banned from Tuscany. And the Chianti God gives you alcohol poisoning even before you drink the wine. We also learnt about how important it is with extra virgin olive oil and got other tricks in the sleeve.
We also got a sneak peek of some wine from the early days, that no one is allowed to drink. I think Lars cried a bit inside, but we had to just give a teary glimpse on the wine and just keep walking.
An intimate wine tasting
Then our group was split up, where some people left on Vespa road-trip, and Lars and I, along with our two new best friends, went on a very intimate wine tasting. So yeah, it was four of us and we got super lucky to meet a couple from Down Under.
We got an amazing wine tasting, with different type of wine and some complimentary snacks from the area. Below you can see a very happy guide showing us some secret information about wine.
After the wine tasting we had some free time. Below you can see one picture of Lars, Mark and Tate, two of our new mateys. Or how they say it in Australia. Tipsy and merry, we just talked about everything between how huge corporations suck and the freedom of travels. We also met another couple from Murica.
After this amazing wine tasting in Tuscany, we drove back to Florence. Guess who was in the car together? Us, the Down Under couple and Murica couple. It hit me in the car that we are from three different continents and how amazing it is that we can just hang.
We also talked about the fact that Australia and North-America have only existed for a couple of hundred years. Sometimes I forget that it’s actually us Europeans back in the days. Tate also had some Swedish heritage in her DNA.
When we arrived back in Florence ready for more, we decided to go to a place where Lars and I once had a beer-date. On a bench.
We found some chairs this time and three beers later, the Muricans left. Yet, the four of us still weren’t done talking. So we ended up talking until 00, Lars and I missed the last train home and had to spend a spontaneous night in Florence. It was a good day.
Disclaimer; Liisa is pissed. There’s a slight chance she will regret posting this.
Lately I’ve been feeling this odd feeling inside me. It’s like a fire in my chest. In my entire body actually. Combined with a sort of lump in my throat. The lump in my throat is definitely sadness. But what is the other feeling? I even feel my hands clenching into a fist and I want to punch shit. I want to scream.
Wait, I think I’ve actually seen this in movies. I think it’s anger? Well this is new to me. And as it’s new for me, I’m afraid I’m going to have an anger word-vomit in a few sentences. Now, let’s have a sneak peek into my brain. Godspeed reader, godspeed.
Are you keeping up with the Joneses fast enough?
So I’m sad and I’m pissed off because we have a this huge societal problem. Like, “yyuuuge,” as Trump would say. And people don’t even see it.
We live in this tiny bubble where we live paycheck to paycheck. Live for the weekend. Hate Mondays. The utmost goal in life is to fit in, to belong, to feel worthy, to gain respect. How do we do that? Ah yeah, the good old get status, to become rich and successful. Whatever that means.
Today, two master’s degrees isn’t even good enough to get the job. You must have a Ph.d. now people. Keep up. Then you need to get married. Especially before you turn 30 so you won’t get pepper (a Danish and Norwegian custom) and be shamed in the society. Then you haaaave to get some kids super fast, because us women will fail being women when we don’t get kids latest at 30 ½.
We also have to take a loan to buy a house. Afterwards we announce it happily to social media, by saying; “Hurray, we are now debt-slaves”. Like it’s an amazing thing to be in debt for the rest of your life. We have to have at least two cars, so we can keep up with the Joneses fast enough. Maybe buy a cabin and let’s just add some puppies to this utopia as well.
Ah yeah, and let’s not forget, you need to look hella good doing all of this. So we alter our our bodies to live up to this era’s beauty standards. In other words, now you’ll look like Kylie Jenner! Congratulations. And when the next era comes, we just alter it again. And again.
Health and emotions – what are those?
Yet, so many of us are stressed out because of this. People are depressed and have anxiety attacks. We get diseases and stomach issues. Keeping up with the Joneses have also made us numb, greedy and selfish and now we don’t even know what emotions are.
Then we turn to alcohol, maybe even stronger substances. We buy junk-food and shitton of snacks to all the TV-series we’re going to binge watch the whole weekend. Shit, and it’s Sunday afternoon again.
Before then, of course, we try to show off our lives on social media the best way we possibly can. We especially post pictures that show us being super merry, while the truth is; “You’re fucking miserable, Sharon.” But, as that smile of yours earned some extra likes, then hell yes, you’re accepted for another week. Congratulations again.
It’s like hunger games. You either make it to the finish line of success, or you end up at a psychologist who diagnoses you with something. You get some pills and you’ll be sent home. And of course the moment your prescribed medication, you’ve lost and you are now officially labelled as unsuccessful.
Value authenticity over image
To my point. I have two actually.
Firstly; you have a choice.
All I want is to let people know that we have a choice of freedom to be whomever we want to be and to have a reality that fits you. To be that little happy kiddo again, that you once were.
✓ So, do you really believe that success is based on the amount of money you have? If no, then fight that ideal.
✓ Do you dread Sunday afternoons because you don’t want Monday to come? Change it. You can change anything.
✓ Do you feel anxiety kicking in being around certain people? Ditch em.
And who were you before our society started molding you? What are your dreams, your true dreams? Who are YOU? To make it more simple – who would you be if every, single human being disappeared from this world.
Authenticity is the most liberating thing in the world. It’s fucking scary and it’s a long a** ride to get there, but when you reach that point of who you truly are, then you’re at peace.
Secondly, did you drop your brain?
I honestly don’t understand how people aren’t more curious about our existence.
We are blessed with a brain. We are also blessed with something else huge in life; Google. You know, the place where you can search for:
✓ Alternative lifestyles
✓ How to be happy
✓ The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (great book)
✓ How to meditate
✓ How to start an inner-journey
✓ Was 9/11 really an inside job?
This is me giving you some research tips, by the way. And ladies and gentlemen, and non-genderers, ignorance is a choice nowadays. Ditch TV-series and gossip magazines and find yourself a stack of books, and a list of documentaries and research articles.
Please do question the society. Be as curious as a child. You know the drill; you as “why” to everything. Except in our adult life it would be; Why do we have to wear make-up? Because then you’ll look pretty. Why do I have to look pretty? Because then you’ll be accepted by the majority. Why do I need to be accepted by the majority? …… eh.
The crazy squad
Now, as you’ve managed to read 1005 words of anger and if you still think I talk junk, then I’ll bring a person from my crazy squad in, Steve Jobs himself. He once said;
Well said Jobs, well said. And here’s two more quotes, one by Osho and the other by someone unknown. I bet that person also was “crazy”.
Aka, I want you to see your own worth, I want you to believe in yourself and that your uniqueness is a strength. Your uniqueness is beyond incredible, actually! So, why do what everybody else does. How does that improve who you are, when you do exactly like everybody else? Why try to fit into a box, when you can kick that box straight back to imaginary-land.
Self-love and authenticity are the keys.
Shit, you’re soooooo like, pessimistic, and shit, Liis.
All of this sounds super over the top, right? Maybe you are a bit too pessimistic, Liis? Hmm?
Well this is me being realistic, as this is the reality of the majority of people I know. I see people who are dear to me having eating disorders, anxiety attacks and are constantly stressed out. Stress, the killer disease. It’s the reality to most of us live in and it’s going to be a reality for the children we bring to this world. Do you want your children to grow up in the society we have today?
Also, what do I know about this right? Well, it was my reality too. WAS (a blog post about my story is under construction). But I did something about it and now I’m going to speak up. As I’m very, very pissed off.
I’m not going to ditch you now after dropping this bomb, so I’ll write more posts about my journey to happiness, authenticity and self-love. Keep an eye on the series “Liisa being helpful.”
I’m still pissed, by the way. So stay tuned to my the “Liisa being pissed”-series! Themes will range from everything between environmental issues to motherhood.
There comes days in your life when everything seems to be perfect. You giggle a bit to yourself, smile and think; “Yes, this is it.” For me, that day was when I tasted the Moroccan Salad with kidney beans & chickpeas for the first time.