I love to travel. I love to write. And I love to talk about travel, making me perhaps your worst nightmare at a dinner party, but a good source of info if you want to know where to eat or drink in a city. For as far back as I can remember, I dreamed of leaving my Midwestern roots behind and living abroad. So when my Australian husband Robert and I together decided we would move to Europe, London, Paris, Sydney, Florence and Barcelona all came to my mind. But perversely, the one city that was never on my radar – Stockholm – was somehow where we ended up in September of 2004. It’s a good story. And one you can find out about in my book, Going Viking, which you can read about in brief below and in more depth on the About the Book page.
I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with my adopted hometown, loving it during the long days of almost total light in the summer and hating it in the long and dark winter. Luckily, I’ve done enough traveling to other countries, both near and far, to balance me out, mostly. Australia and the US are regulars in my travel rotation and I’ve gotten in trips to New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Germany, further south to Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and lots more.
Career-wise, I spent 16 years at F&W Publications, working my way up from intern to editorial director of the art magazine group. For many years, I was paid to judge, look at and speak about art in my role on The Artist’s Magazine. You have to admit that was a good gig! Here in Stockholm, I had the equally cool job of getting to write about travel as the editor in chief of Scanorama, the in-flight magazine for SAS. Now I’m an editorial consultant and freelance writer for art and travel magazines. My most recent articles were for Condé Nast Traveler and HOW magazine’s design blog.
By the way, I am also available for freelance writing, editing and consulting assignments, guest blogging, public speaking, and press trips. I live in Stockholm, but travel regularly and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on on Twitter @Sandrastravels.
But my main occupation of late has been writing my first book. It’s called Going Viking and shares the story of what happens when I give up my cushy career and life in Cincinnati to follow that dream of living in Europe and traveling the world. Of course, it all goes bad quickly thanks to the not-too-pretty reality of me trying to learn Swedish and fit into the culture. I’m left reeling, struggling to figure out who I am without all the things that formed my identity in the US. To find out what happens next, read the book. (Did you really think I would give away the ending here?) I will tell you that travel helps. South African safaris, four-wheeel drive treks in the Australian outback and dog sled races across the Arctic are just a few of the adventures that provide adrenalin-pumping relief.
As for the more fun stuff about me, I tend to listen to alternative music and am just now loving Sweden’s Peter, Bjorn and Jon as well as Lykke Li and First Aid Kit. From there, it’s the Dandy Warhols, the Coral, Manu Chao, Gipsy Kings, Adele and Nick Cave, but the list is always changing. I’m a big fan of riding my bicycle, but winter in Stockholm dictates that I switch to spinning class indoors during the winter.
Food wise, I love salsa and guacamole and think that just about any meal is better with chili peppers, cilantro and lime added to it. A good glass or two of cabernet sauvignon always makes me happy. My husband Robert is my willing partner in adventure and even after nine years of marriage, he still rocks my world.