katla iceland

The Katla volcano in Iceland.

Continuing on my theme of what I’ve enjoyed about living internationally, here’s part two. And in case you missed it, you can also check out part one of fun things I’ve gotten to do thanks to living in Sweden. Even the process of pulling together these photos makes me realize all over again just how lucky I am to have the opportunity to live abroad.

6. Thanks to my job on Scanorama magazine, I traveled to Reyjkavik, Iceland. This volcanic island is a land of extremes, from its landscape to its people to its light. Waterfall, geysers, hot springs, mud pots and the continental divide, this land simmers with underground activity. The Blue Lagoon is my vision of what a spa on Mars might look like – it’s both magical and odd. It was only after Robert and I had been floating in the murky waters of the lagoon for about an hour that we realized that everyone around us was getting a lot of action. Some sort of aphrodisiac  must have been in the air or water?

Moselle valley

Vineyards in the Moselle valley.

7. A German friend from Swedish class got married to a Swedish man in the German wine country outside of Mannheim. And lucky for us, we got to go along for yet another special event. The ceremony was at a historic town hall and then immediately afterward, they sawed a log together to signify the tough work they would need to do together in their marriage. There were homemade cakes and champagne and then more later when we got to the hotel. It was a crazy hot day and the day after was even warmer as we did a sparkling wine tasting in a vineyard by ancient Roman ruins. We went to a few wine festivals and yes, we drank a lot of wine. It was such an amazing trip in a beautiful part of the world and we were lucky to get to see the sights with the locals.

helicopter archipelago

Enjoying the archipelago view from the front seat of a helicopter.

8. I’ve gotten behind the scenes tours and done food and drink tastings at all sorts of interesting locations around Stockholm, from castles and palaces to the city hall. But one of my very favorite press trips ever was one that I did for Volvo. After cocktails at the luxurious Grand Hotel, I was picked up by a yacht directly outside the hotel. We drove out to our very own archipelago island and got to swim and use the sauna. After a spectacular meal outside, we were picked up by a helicopter to go back to town. We landed on a helicopter pad on the water right by Gamla Stan (the old town). I’ve never felt quite so much like a rock star.

arctic circle

Dog sledding at the Arctic Circle.

9. I’ve travelled to the Arctic Circle four times, twice in the winter. Summer is amazing thanks to the 24-hour light. But winter, now that is something really special to experience so far north. (Actually, I am partial to going in the spring when there is still plenty of snow around, but the daylight hours are long.) Snowmobiling, ice fishing, dog sledding. Reindeer hanging out on the roads and cooked up for dinner as well. What’s not to like about being in a winter wonderland?

10. Thanks to Robert’s work, we travelled to Shanghai, China and stayed for two weeks. It was so different from anything I expected. And I loved it. People were curious and friendly and asked to have their photos taken with me. Shanghai was this crazy mix of old world vegetable carts being pulled by hand on busy highways next to giant skyscrapers. Because I missed my flight home, I had to spend two days in Beijing on my own. Even after all the exploring I had done on my own in Shanghai, it was a little overwhelming at first. But I hiked the Great Wall of China by myself. In the snow of November. And that was awesome. I have plans to see how the sunrise casts a golden hue across the endless African savannah, thus, https://www.kensingtontours.com/ is my next choice.



1 EurotripTips May 9, 2012 at 11:40

Well, I think it’s clear now – I’d love to live your life! Living in Stockholm, working as a travel writer and visiting the world? Sounds like lots of fun 😉

2 Sandra May 9, 2012 at 13:37

OK Eurotrips, you made me smile. Thanks for that. I wrote these last two posts as an exercise to remind myself of what I really do love about living internationally. Because just now, I am working on making some decisions in that regard and life has not been so easy!

3 Lou Lou May 9, 2012 at 21:33

What the hell have I been doing for the past 10 years????

4 Sandra May 9, 2012 at 21:47

You know Lou Lou, I often wonder that myself. There’s nothing like making a list to remind yourself that we do sometimes get to do some interesting things!

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