Wonderful Australia and Uganda

Hello everyone! I think I should start this post by saying that what should we say about this year… it certaintly did not go the way we all had planned… what a strange year…such a long year and we are only in July… but it feels like there are less restrictions now at least here in Europe and some countries have opened their borders now (alltho only 8 or 9 borders are opened to us Swedes but it is defenitely better than nothing at all 😊😀) Let’s just hope that things will go back to a more healthy and maybe a slower way of life (instead of that extremely stressed way of life that we had before) and that we will be able to travel wherever we want to soon *crossing my fingers, but I have a feeling that whatever the new normal will be, it will be a good one 🙂🙏🏻.

It is a comfort that it is the same for everyone though and frankly 2019 was a strange year as well for me with lots of things happening in that year too. There have been couple of reasons why I haven´t blogged in a great while, but now I really can’t wait to start blogging again! One reason why I havent blogged in a long time is because I have doubted myself a lot, but no good can come from that, at least not if it goes on for a long while, which is why I want to start writing again, and also because I have so much I want to write about! It is hard to know where to start because so much stuff have happened, but I love writing too much not to blog about it so here it goes =)

The fall of 2018 I went to Kampala, Uganda and I spent three months there as an exchange student (with another student from my university in Malmö) and doing that was the coolest and most awesome and most frightening thing I have ever done in my life. But it was also the best decision I have taken. It really took me out of my comfort zone big time! But it was at the same time soo…wow. In every possible way. It was so amazing and mind blowing. It definitely changed me as a person, for the better. I have so many amazing memories from my time there (and also some not so good memories= culture chocks big time=)) so I barely know where to start. But before I start writing about Uganda, I have to tell you about something else that I did in March this year. I went to Australia (Melbourne to be exact). Australia is a country (and continent!) that I had always dreamt about going to ever since I was a kid, and it was really a dream come true to be able to go there… even tho things didn’t really go as planned…

I went to Melbourne and I was going to be there for three months to write on my bachelor thesis there, but I ended up being there only for 12 days unfortunately..due to dear Corona… you could only imagine my disappointment when me and my loved ones realized that I had to re-book my ticket to go home earlier..and so much earlier, like 2 1/2 months earlier. Buuuut, it was the best decision I could take at that time considering the world situation and I´m better off here in Sweden where I have my family and friends and no lock down so far (knock on wood) which had made life here a lot easier than if I would have stayed in Australia. So even tho it hurt like hell having to leave that beautiful place and the beautiful people that live there I´m very grateful for my time there and everything that I got to experience there! I’m grateful for being in Sweden now =) But I also think that even tho Australia is very far away, It is still there, and once the world has gone back to its´ normal state I will come back, thats for sure!

But let´s focus on the good things that I got to experience there. Of course I had a huge list of things and places that I wanted to see, and due to the situation I could only see a small part of that list, but the things that I got to experience were really cool! I really enjoyed my time there and I don’t regret anything. When I went there I stayed at a hotel for the first three nights and then I stayed at a hostel for the rest of my time there. Both of the places were really nice tho! Altho I have to admit that I preferred staying at the hotel =) I like having my own room, and being able to take care of myself and have some alone time and I want to feel comfortable, but the hostel was really nice and I am really grateful and happy about both of my choices =) The name if my hotel was Fraser Place, it´s a small hotel located on Exploration Street, It is very central and just two minute walk from Carlton Gardens which is a very nice park where I went for a run every morning that I stayed at the hotel. I loved the hotel, the staff was super friendly and my room was really nice with a balcony and with a view of some really cool sky scrapers!

I remember my second evening there and I was walking around in the evening just strolling around really in the neighborhoods close to my hotel, and I remember being so curious and so fascinated about everything. I went walking and suddenly I heard music coming from a narrow street, so I went there thinking it was just music coming from a regular bar, but it was quite loud and I could hear people talking and laughing and that made me really curious. I went there to check it out and it turned out that it was a bar in deed that played the music but they had opened up a small dance floor (the bar was located in a small back yard) and people were dancing there, and what I liked was that it was 8pm and not 2 in the morning, and it looked so chill and so…wow. I really thought wow, people are so chill and relaxed and just enjoying the moment. I loooooved that. I really feel safe with people who have a happy and relaxed attitude and these people really seemed happy and relaxed. They seemed to have such positive outlook on life, they decided just to have fun and not to worry so much about things and I remember thinking ” wow, I am going to like it here!”.

But coming back to the buildings, Melbourne is a big city! It has about 4.5 million people living there so it is a really big city, but for some reason it doesn’t feel that big. I mean in a good way. It feels like smaller towns inside a big city as every neighborhood has its´ own ambiance and different kind of architecture. Even with the sky scrapers the city doesn´t feel that huge, it doesn’t feel frightening to be there. I also remember thinking when I was walking around there that the city had a very friendly ambiance, even the taxi drivers were friendly! My first Monday there I took an uber back and forth during an afternoon because I was going to check out a room that I was interested in renting (that´s the way you do it in Melbourne, you rent a room in either a house or an apartment) and my taxi driver was sooo nice. He smiled a lot and kept chatting to me about Melbourne and the differences between Melbourne and Sydney (Melbourne was obviously the best city to live in according to him=)) and we laughed a lot and talked a lot. I actually enjoyed his company more than I enjoyed the room that I looked at =). I was fortunate enough to have the same taxi driver on my my back to the center so we smiled when we saw each other again when his car was approaching me=)

But coming back to the subject (I tend to drift off to my inner world with all my memories=)), the city rally has a very friendly vibe and I liked that! Obviously it is different when you really work there and you are stressed and you have to achieve things etc, but in general my impression of the people there is that they are really friendly! My impression is that they are easy going which I like a lot. Whenever I have been to big cities before I have always found the ambiance in that city a bit harsh or stand off-ish, or even if the ambiance has been friendly it hasn’t been super welcoming etc, but here the ambiance was really friendly and nice and easy going and that is a vibe that makes me feel very comfortable and happy!

And speaking of the friendly people, everyone was really sooo friendly. It didn’t matter whether I talked to people on the street, the cashiers, the baristas, the people making crepes…everyone was soo nice! Even the men doing labor work on the street were really nice and I didn’t get any vibe that they were hitting on me, they were just friendly to everyone that was passing them by. A memory that comes up to my mind about the friendly people included an orange sweater that I was wearing a lot. It is a sweater that has a bright orange color with a text saying in French ”C´est toi, mon cherie” which means ”It is you, my darling” and the sweater gives a very positive and happy energy, and in Melbourne it made people smile a lot. So every morning I went for a run and since it was quite warm, I wore pink running shorts and a t-shirt and this sweater, and this sweater made many of the people that was passing me by smile a lot. I guess they were surprised to see such a bright color on a sweater and it brought a smile on their face. So I had actually couple of people (both men and women, either on the street or behind desk at a café where I bought a take away) coming up to me asking me whet the text ment, and when I explained it to them they got a huge smile on their face as if it made them really happy, and that made me happy! The people who came up to me, they sometimes started to have a conversation with me (not in an annoying way or a ”I´m hitting on you” kind of way, it was just a very friendly vibe they gave off) because they were curious about my sweater and it made them happy.

And talking to all these people (it is not as if they were many, but it was couple of them) was just really nice and easy to talk to and it made me feel welcome and that is when it hit me ”omg, everyone is soo friendly here, I feel so comfortable talking to everyone here, I feel so safe here” and that was a thought that gave me a very happy vibe. A vibe that I had, on a subconscious level, been looking for my whole adult life. A vibe that made me think…hm…..that feeling and vibe is really here…That is awesome! And I could relax for the first time in my soul. It was as if I had finally come home. Far away, soo far away, but still so close. And that felt really good, strange but in a good way. And I think the reason for that is because there are so many similarities between Australia and the Western world, and they speak really good English (obviously since it´s their mother tongue language =)) but it is still different. Different in a good way.

I was only able to see places in Melbourne, I wasn’t able to go outside of Melbourne as I had planned, not even the beach which made me a bit sad, but it still felt really good to be there. I remember thinking when I was on the phone with my mum or with a good friend of mine, that it felt like as if they were just couple of blocks away and not on the other side of the planet. And that was just so nice. Actually it was awesome! That made me feel safe there, actually safer than what I have felt in all the other places that I have lived in. And just having that thought made me feel like home. I think all of us, we look for a place where it feels like home, and some people find that place in their hometown, or in another city in their country, and some people have to live in many different places before they find their place, and that place can be across the world. And maybe they don’t find the perfect place, but eventually they find a place that makes them feel really good and makes them feel safe. And that is a just an awesome and amazing and an absolutely wonderful feeling =)

I havent really found a solution to how to rotate the pictures so you will have to excuse me on that, but I will try to figure it out until my next post 😊.

I hope you enjoyed my post and sorry that it was super long but I was just so eager to write that it was impossible to keep it short :)) but I really appreciate those who took the time to read it all 🙏🏻💙 and I will see you guys soon again in my next post.

lots of love,