Monthly archive July, 2015

CROATIA VISUALLY

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Some of the visual beauty that we experienced at the camping sites where we stayed along the coast. This is what I loved about Croatia, the white shapely stones, clear turquoise sea, rocky walls and caves, and peachy sunsets.
 
LOU

SEA

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Such a good little beach set from Brandy & Melville. I’ve literally worn this for most of my vacation, since it’s the most comfy to wear in the constant summer heat by the sea here in Croatia.
 

Shot by Stefan Dotter

 
Soon our vacation is coming to an end, but I still have a bunch of photos to show from the whole trip! Lots of adventures, beautiful sunny days, good food, ice cream, sunsets, dips in the clear turquoise ocean (and of course sun burns, mosquito bites and other unpleasant things as well).
 
 

LOU

DUBROVNIK

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The first stop on out Croatia-roadtrip was in the city Dubrovnik on the south coast of the country. We walked through the beautiful narrow streets of Old town and had pizza by the harbor. Dubrovnik is also known as the place that represents King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, so we made sure to explore some of the areas where they filmed the series.
 
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During our visit in Dubrovnik we had the pleasure of staying in the gorgeous Queen Suite at the St Joseph’s Boutique Hotel, located in a rather hidden part of Old Town’s alley-labyrinth. It was built in the 16h century and is now UNESCO protected, so I thought it would be a good option on our trip since we wanted to get a full cultural experience of the city.
 
Staying in a place filled with history goes really well together with the general vibe of Dubrovnik. Also a big tip for anyone who’s looking for comfort and a bit of luxury! (Major points on the incredible rain-shower and the very comfortable bed).
 
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In the morning we got a lovely breakfast served in the room, with lots of goodie-stuff like fruit, pastries, coffee and and a kick ass green smoothie. Good way to start off the day, to say the least.
 
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Then we headed off to the harbor where we catched the next boat to the island of Lokrum. There we enjoyed some ice coffees in the shade and went all the way up to an old fort, on the top of a hill.
 
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(Spotting little chilled out kittens everywhere )
 
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All and all a very exciting and interesting start of our trip!
 
 

LOU

LEAVING BERLIN

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Berlin has now been my home for almost nine months, and my time here is finally coming to an end. Tomorrow, me and Stefan are leaving for two weeks of vacation in Croatia. After that, my new base will be back home in Sweden again.
 
This is still one of my favorite places in the world and I find it hard to describe how very inspiring it has been to live here. I’ll definitely miss the incredibly chill and relaxed vibe that Berlin has, despite being such a big and crowded city. I’ll miss sitting on Stefan’s balcony, watching the sun go down behind the (very ugly but still charming) Tv-tower. Riding my half-broken little bike from Kreuzberg to all my friends in Neukölln. Having unclear and misunderstood discussions with bus-drivers and all other people in this country who refuse to speak a word of English. Walking in Victoria Park and meditating by the little waterfall. Going around the corner to Zweistrom for cheap (AMAZING) falafel several times per week.
 
I’ll miss the quiet and cosy little pastel streets that go through Mitte and Prenzlauer berg. The Turkish market where you can buy 6 avocados for 1 euro. I’ll miss the fact that you can find a great place to eat around pretty much every corner. To say say simple, I’ll just miss Berlin food in general. I’ll miss getting totally lost and confused when trying to find my way around Alexanderplatz. Kidding. Won’t miss that at all :))
 
Most of all I’ll miss all the amazing people I’ve met here. Here’s a little recap (and hidden Berlin guide) of what I’ve been doing, who I’ve met, what I’ve looked like, my favorite places etc.
 
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Went to some good house parties, like this one at Ringo’s place on New Years eve.
 
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Met Stefan, which happened to be one of the highlights of moving to Berlin. We’ve now been together since my first week here <3
 
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When going shopping in Berlin I find it the easiest to walk around Weinmesisterstrasse, where you can find most shops like Weekday, Monki or American Apparel. If you’re looking for second hand, there are lots of Humana everywhere and on Bergmannstrasse there is a massive second hand store called Colours. Some of the things I’ve been wearing during my time here:
 
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In this city you will see literally ALL KINDS of human beings, which is something that I really appreciate. You definitely won’t have trouble meeting interesting and inspiring people. Some of my favorite Berlin people, Ringo, Stefan, Nico and Natalie:
 
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Having coffee with friends and finding new cafes to try out has for a long time been one of my big callings in life. So naturally I’ve made a little collection (There’s a hella lot to choose from in this city) of my favorite cafes in Berlin:
 
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Bonanza was the first café here that I put as number 1 best coffee in Berlin. Great location, lovely interior and most importantly; their flat white makes you shiver with pleasure.
 
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Roamers would probably be my number 1 cafe when it comes to HAVING IT ALL. It’s a beautiful and cosy little whole-in-the-wall place with lots of plants everywhere you turn. The menu includes pretty much everything I love food-wise. Like avocado, poached eggs, sourdough bread, smoothies and juices and amazing salads. And oh the coffee is killer.
 
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The Barn has great coffee and a very bright and spacious environment.
 
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Kaffe Mitte is the first thing you see when you get off at Weinmeisterstrasse, and it’s the typical “we’re too lazy to find something else-cafe” or just a place you go when you’re exhausted from shopping. They have a really nice outside area and interior. The food and coffee is average.
 
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Last but not least, there has of course been an amount of selfies taken.
 
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Some more things on my Berlin Guide list:
 
Cafes Silo coffee, Daluma, Five Elephant, Zeit fur brot.
 
Food Si An, Marienburger, Zia Maria, Zweistrom, Knofi, Disctict mot, Ms Saigon, Datcha.
 
Fancy and more expensive food Dudu, Kimchi Princess, Lokal.
 
Bars Luzia, Odessa bar, Wurgeengel, Fahimi bar, Tier, Villa Neukölln.
 
Parks Victoria park, Friedrichain park, Hasenheide, Görlitzer park.
 
Other Have tea and Vietnamese food at Chén che tea house, chill by the river at Hallesches tor, and go to the Turkish outdoor market by Kottbusser tor on tuesdays and fridays.
 
 

LOU

 

NAT

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One day when I was shooting my darling Natalie on a backstreet of Kreuzberg. She’s one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out.
 
LOU

THE WAY THINGS ARE HEADING

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During the last couple of months I’ve been going through a lot of changes in my life and trying to figure out what I really want. From growing up in this society and being so used to the city life, I’ve naturally chosen a path that has felt the most obvious. You are told that the most important things to focus on amongst other things is money, appearance, material things, building a career and having as much as possible of everything.
Caring way too much about the way you look and how your life is perceived by others, being active in social media and staying up to date with everything going on in the world, having all the newest technology, constantly focusing on ‘tomorrow’ and stressing about either what has been, or about what might be.

 

I’ve always had an interest in philosophy and spirituality, but I’ve barely given myself time to go deeper in to those subjects. It’s just something that has been ongoing for a long time in the back of my mind, mainly asking myself if I’m really living the life I want to live, and wondering if there’s maybe something more to it.

Recently, these questions have been more and more present in my mind and I finally came to the conclusion that, honestly, I’m not happy with the way things are going, and I don’t think I have been for a very long time. I see so many people around me (the majority actually) who are not happy with their lives and are constantly stressing about their future, so much to the point that they can never enjoy what they are experiencing right now.
 
This goes for me as well, and it has literally made me miserable. That’s why I’ve finally decided to do something about it, to try a new way of living, not just moving to another city or changing the way I look. I want the things that truly make me happy to be a big part of my life. Things like being out in the nature, working together with other people on things I believe in, to practise living in the moment through things like yoga and meditation. Fully enjoying music, food, dancing, cooking, exploring nature and learning new things. Everything that makes me feel like there is a purpose of living.

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This autumn I’m leaving the big city life for something more quiet and simple. Firstly, the idea is to spend some time volunteering at a yoga retreat on the countryside, and then going to a 10-day meditation center out in the Swedish forest. After that, we will see. I won’t plan any further yet, since things will always change and anything can happen on the way. This acceptance of ‘not knowing’, is both working as a major stress-relief for me, and also bringing new excitement into my life.

 

Last week I decided to stay away from all social media for seven days, with the exception of keeping contact with my close friends and family through Facebook messenger. I had in my mind that I would write a little bit about my experience and thoughts everyday. It was also a very intense week since I spent a lot of time reading ‘The wisdom of insecurity’ by Alan Watts, which has given me an incredible amount of insight about myself and the world. Here are some bits out of last week’s notes.

 

Day 1

A confusing day for my mind, almost like trying to quit an addiction.
Realized that everyday is about working for the future. You end up sitting with your phone, computer or other technical devises, working on or planning something that might come tomorrow. And tomorrow when you’re doing what you planned, you will be busy thinking about what you need to do the next day.
And so it goes on. It’s not surprising that we find it hard to appreciate what we have right now in this moment. To not plan at all is obviously quite impossible for human beings, since we have our basic needs. But I found that I want to reduce my ”future planning” to the minimum, to be able to enjoy the moment as much as possible. Otherwise it all seems a bit pointless to me.
To be aware of what is happening now, with all of my senses. To see, feel, smell and hear everything around me. And when spending time with someone, to fully be able to feel that persons presence. I don’t think you can realize what here is until you experience it properly with full awareness, which is something we rarely do when we live these hectic lives.

 

Day 2

Thought about that our lives are constantly changing and there is nothing we can do about it. We can try to fit everything, ourselves and the world in to little squares, name everything around us, build up a sense of ”security” and tell ourselves that this will be everlasting, but I think this will only do us harm. I will from now on try to let life happen to me with less restrictions and boundaries, and to learn to let things go happen in a natural way. To not push away the changes that come my way, but to embrace them.

 

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Day 3

Found that there actually are some really great things about the internet. Since a lot of things are going on in my life right now, I felt obligated to stay connected with my friends and family through Facebook messenger and Skype. It’s important for me to be able to be there for the people close to me, even in situations where I would actually need some space.

I also realized that I was starting to get very restless, without all the distractions of social media. For me, being restless or bored is usually momentarily cured by for example scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But now I slowly started figuring out what other things I would like to do with my time. At first, it was an extreme feeling of being anxious and stressed, to the point where I felt like exploding. Finally I decided to catch the train a little towards the outskirts of Berlin, where there is a lake and forest. I walked around there, meditated by the water while it was raining, and then went back home to read my book the rest of the evening.

 

Day 4

Now that my mind had become more “openminded”, it was ready to listen to what my body wanted. Usually it would be easier to sit still and work on something on the computer all day, but now that my body finally had my minds attention, it started waking up. In the morning I knew that I needed to get some exercise, and without question went straight out and took a long walk. Meditated for a while in the park, surrounded by nature and breathing fresh air. When I think about it, it should be quite obvious that these things make me feel happy and calm, but for some reason I don’t do it enough. For some reason, it’s easier to stay in the dark of my room with my computer, scrolling through unnecessary information for hours.

 

Day 5 & 6

During these two days I was caught up in everything happening around me and didn’t feel the urge to document my thoughts. I don’t believe in forcing things, and later this even made me realize something else. That as soon as you add strict structure and rules, like ”writing one page in my book everyday for seven days”, it takes away the whole purpose of the practice and turns in to something you have to do, rather than to just let it happen naturally. Some of the days I even felt like writing two-three pages but I could feel how I was pulled back by the rules I had set up and therefore even limited myself.

The idea was that I would write a little bit everyday, but then ”life happened” and the structure fell apart, leaving two empty pages in my book. This was a great thing though, because something really good came out of it and I obviously had something to say about those two days after all. I’ve found that sometimes it can be very rewarding to just let go of the structure, and embrace the chaos.

 

Day 7

I would still say that I have some doubt in me regarding the ”plan” that I’ve made for myself this autumn. But I’ve also realized that it might be because of my new way of seeing things. It doesn’t matter how much I try to plan my life, anything can happen. Therefore the ‘unknown’ and the ‘doubt’ can only be seen as natural, positive things. I think I’ve always known this, and maybe that’s the reason why I’ve always had trouble with planning and ‘setting things in stone’. Now it has fully reached my attention that there is no such thing as a bulletproof plan. Only having ‘loose plans’ is realistic, anything else just doesn’t exist.

 

Monday. I woke up and knew that I was ”aloud” to use social media again. I thought about how great it actually is that there are a whole bunch of people out there who like to follow me and appreciate what I do. The fact is that I still love working creatively and I will keep sharing my journey with you all, even if things are constantly changing. For me, it’s all rather about the quality than the quantity of you who follow me. To share something valuable and real with a few people who really appreciate it, gives me much more sense of meaning than to represent yet another purely superficial and unreal view of life.

What you will see on my Instagram and blog from now on, will still be with focus on aesthetics, but maybe something a little bit more personal and honest. A glimpse of the adventures that lie ahead of me, but also following my inner experiences and realizations.

 
/LOU