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December 2016

Flying via Fiji

Bula! (Word with lots of meanings in Fiji, but always positively charged)

All of you who have been traveling know that long transits can be a pain in the ass. This was one of my longest, yet one of the best. I somehow had to “kill” 16 hours on Fiji and I’ve had bigger problems in my life than this, trust me.

Since it was a short stay on Fiji (the main island) this is going to be a short blogpost. On my way from LA to New Zealand I had a little stop in Fiji were we landed at 05.30 in the morning and my flight to NZ was at 10 PM. So, I asked a taxi driver at the airport do if there was a paradise beach within an hours drive from here. He first said: “Bula!” and then he told me about this place called Natadola Beach. It took us about an hour to get there and I ain’t even going to try to describe the day or the place, just look at the pictures.

However, even though I found this paradise beach and had a good time I would recommend at least one week in the Fiji Island since they are many and said to be very beautiful. After having had some really nice beaches and waters in both Belize and Mexico my mind was now craving mountains. See you in a bit New Zealand!

Natadola Beach

Lost in the city of angels

Los Angeles, L.A, City of Angels, City of Dreams (and broken dreams), City of Lights, the Big Orange and the list goes on. We find many names for those we love. I’ll get straight to the point; I love this city and it’s in my top 3 cities in the world – perhaps even number one if I really had to pick just one. (Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Vancouver and San Diego are some other favorites). A lot of people question my choice and often say: “How can you like it? It’s so shallow and superficial” – Well, if you call a city with 18 million people living there, that city is not superficial – you are.

I’ve been here 5 times now and the things I like (love) about this place are many. First of all the climate is perfect with warm and sunny weather, but not too warm thanks to the Pacific breeze that keeps it dry and not humid. The climate and weather brings an outdoor and sporty lifestyle that I really like. To have a morning walk, run, bikerun or surfing session in the morning is for me quality of life. When it comes to the location it really has it all: a scenic coastline with beaches, proximity to both small and big cities, somewhat close to the mountains for snowboarding. The fact that you have an endless summer but if you want you can drive to the mountains for winter sports is really unique and worth a lot, at least for me.

Since it’s a really big city (18 million in the metropolitan area) you have all kinds of people and from all over the world and this place never sleeps. You can find everything here and there is always something to do. Not to mention the food, you have some really good restaurants and cuisines from all over the world both pricy and cheap.

Ever since the first time I got here I’ve had this feeling and attraction to this city that I would like to live here, at least for a year or two, to find out if this place is as good to live in or just an amazing place to visit. When here on holiday, you can do all those things you like but if you live here perhaps you won’t do it as much because you take it for granted and have to work many hours every week in order to have a descent life here since it’s expensive with accommodation. I wonder if that vibe and that special “California feeling” will be lost or even greater when living here. There is only one way to find out and it’s to try to get that VISA and move here. If you never go you’ll never know. I still have 10 months left of traveling and at that time maybe I miss home and my thoughts about life has changed, but as I feel know I really want to give LA and California a try and see how deep the rabbit hole is. Probably it would be good for the career to, if I’m able to get a descent and relevant job.

Though this city in many ways is amazing, even paradise has its snake. There are of course things here that are not optimal. First of all; the traffic. It can be insane and really congested. I was lucky now over Christmas people probably didn’t go to work as much so the traffic wasn’t an issue. Secondly, far from all in LA live the glamorous life in the hills or by the beach. It’s a very small minority and I wonder if I would be in that minority being able to enjoy the best of this city in the everyday life.

Since I couldn’t spend Christmas at home this year, I’m really glad I got to spend it in LA which feels like home in a way since I’ve been here many times and like it as much as I do. Also very grateful that a girl from Oslo spent her Christmas here and we had some really good days. Beaching, hiking, eating good food and enjoying the Christmas vibe in the city. Everything for sure is big in the states and they know how to decorate for Christmas.

My batteries are recharged and the “vacation” is over and I’m off to the back-packing life and new adventures. Very soon I’ll go on a 3 week road trip in New Zealand, which is a place I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t done due to the distance and that you need at least 3 weeks there (I will spend 4). But first, perhaps the best place in the world for a 16 hour transit; Fiji!

Btw, I really this song about LA and the video is pretty cool too.

City of Angels

My last latino stop: Mexico

In January 2014, when leaving Mexico, I told myself I would never go back. It had been one of my worst holidays with ingredients such as too much rain and a bad ear infection. Now, almost 3 years later, I came back and guess what: I was happy about it.

The Caribbean east coast of Mexico called Quintana Roo is pretty touristic and in my point of view pretty boring, but right now I didn’t care. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very scenic and the beaches are awesome and since I had been here before if felt like seeing a familiar face again. After 4 months of mostly intense adventure high and low it felt good being back in somewhat civilization being able to have good food, relaxing days and I was lucky having a Norwegian friend of a friend here to hang with. I knew him a little from before, but it turned out we had a lot in common and we shared many of the same thoughts. It was also really good to finally speak a Scandinavian language again and believe it or not, but the first few minutes actually was a little hard after 4 months of only English and Spanish. Once again, one of the best things traveling is the people you meet. There are mostly good people in the world and out traveling. Only because they are good people, doesn’t mean you connect. But when you find good people that you also connect with, that’s the jackpot!

So, it’s about time to end yet another chapter: Central-America. In my point of view Central-America could have been one big country. It’s pretty similar all over with tropical jungle, beaches, volcanoes, small cosy colonial cities and big dangerous capitals. I know I rushed it a little bit since I had to reach a flight from Cancun in Mexico, but still I think I got to experience much of it and a good mix. Now in the aftermath I’m really glad I visited these countries. Looking back I had a great time and I can really recommend this area for backpacking. It’s cheap, good climate, lots of different things to do, tasty food and even though these countries are said to be dangerous I felt safe everywhere I went. They are also small countries and it’s easy to get around with either (very uncomfortable public buses) or (just uncomfortable) faster shuttle buses to a little higher price.

I have been looking forward to this day a lot, when I finally will fly to Los Angeles to celebrate Christmas. It’s my favorite city in the world with a lifestyle that really attracts me. It will be good to have some days in real the civilization to charge my batteries before going back to the backpacker-life and the next chapter of my adventures: New Zealand.