Summer is coming

Imagine a world where the sun doesn’t rise, while the wind howls and bites as a blizzard strikes, making a joke of your mission to dig out the car so you can get to the office and a hot cup of anything, but preferably a coffee, stronger than dynamite and blacker than the morning night.

The winters up north are long.

I keep wondering what makes me stay here.

Spoiler alert: It’s the summers.

snowstorm

I can almost feel the summer coming. It greets me from the eyes of everyone I meet. I hear it as the seagulls return north to sing atop my roof. I see it in the sunset afterglow outside my window… or could it be a creeping sunrise?

I can almost taste it.

Springs are nonexistent beyond the arctic circle. Summer fever, on the other hand, is a very real thing.

If it wasn’t for the fact that this particular mood gets fueled by a wild sun energy that pumps through your system at every waking hour, it could be mistaken for spring fever.

Skjermbilde 2019-04-25 kl. 23.43.12

Also, summer fever tends to afflict people until august-september.

Which is wonderful.

I’m joyously looking forward to it.

Enter the never-ending summer day.

I’m prepared!

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Cuz you only really need a sleeping mask to be happi ❤

Drown the blog in happiness

2018 was obviously a turbulent year. Not that I was a very active blogger, but those times I actually posted something… it wasn’t very a bright input, in any way.

I’ve been struggling with motivation, love, self esteem and blah, blah, blah.

I don’t really want to focus that much on the bad stuff, or manifest that negativity into written words. The fact that my sad musings are excruciatingly embarrassing for me to read now, is partly the reason for my change of course.

I find myself thinking increasingly about how my thoughts, all-consuming as they often feel, actually matter very little.

It’s like waiting for a phone call from a romantic interest. As your head fills with worry about being undesirable and vague speculations about whether the belated caller experienced an accident, the person in question might very well be sleeping.

Giving into negative thinking leads to unhappiness, while positive thoughts pave the way to self-delusion and disappointment.

So I’m trying to think as little as possible. Stopping my train of thought as soon as I realize I unintentionally boarded it, I instead decide to do something which brings me satisfaction.

Light and carefree, that’s how I would like 2019 to be.

It has everything to do with this blog. Enough of tragic words. I’m still as moody and conflicted as most people, but I really want to focus on something else. The plan is to count my blessings and give every one the appreciation they deserve.

Without thinking too much.

I want to feel new

I got to hang out with a fellow journalist today, Vilde, at her office.

We work in the same building, but I rarely have a reason to drop by her publication. Today however, I was making a TV-story about local journalism. So here we are:

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Vilde is a couple years younger than me, recently done with her studies and full of journalistic vigor. She seems happy landing her first full time job and motivated to work her hardest. I remember that feeling, and honestly: I’m a little jealous.

I miss the thrill of being recently employed and seeing the world as full of opportunities. All I’m left with now is that burning desire to excel, without seeing any way to do so.

I’ve even talked to a therapist about this.

For the record: I’ve never talked to a therapist before. Now I have. And she asked me to make a plan, like a calendar with dates, on how I plan to find my inner motivation in order to love my job again. I have recruited Vilde to brainstorm with me on this matter today.

I would like to recruit you who reads this, too! Please answer: How do you feel about your work? (If you don’t mind sharing, what do you do for a living?) What motivates you to do your best? What triggers happiness inside you during working hours? Do you ever hate your job? What gives you this feeling, and how do you deal?

#FirstWorldProblem – I know.

People get jobs for money, not pleasure.

Having a job should be pleasant enough.

Yay.

Welcome to Bøkfjord lighthouse

Honestly, I thought I might faint climbing up and down hills to get to this place.

But the struggles were worth it.

Berries!
Also, we found tons of blueberries on the way!

Some facts:

This lighthouse, on the south side of Varangerfjorden, was established in 1910 as a result of growing traffic connected to the mining activities in Kirkenes.

During the 2nd World War, German troops took over the lighthouse, and before they retreated in 1944, the whole station was demolished.

When it was rebuilt after the war, it was given a modern, functionalistic style by the famous architects Blasted and Munthe-Kaas.

Bøkfjord was de-manned in 2006.

The view
Spectacular hike in Northern Norway…

The station is owned by the state and protected as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Act.

The Coastal Administration is cooperating with local interests to facilitate alternative use of the premises, meaning: You can book it for a night!

Breakfast at Bøkfjord lighthouse
Breakfast at Bøkfjord lighthouse.

And if you don’t have the power to walk to this pearl of a place, you can call for a boat. As we did on the way back (not because of the «power issue» – some of us had to catch a flight in the afternoon, and boating back seemed safer than walking in order to make it to the airport in time).

Boat by Bøkfjord lighthouse
Hoho, got picked up by boat!

As the Norwegian saying goes: Everybody agreed it had been a nice trip.

Creeping in broad nightlight

Maaan, I hate working evenings. It should be enjoyable. But it’s lonely, and I don’t get enough sleep. After finishing work around 11 PM, I spend hours watching Netflix, playing Sims 4 and (on good nights) reading books. Sometimes I annoy myself purple reading comment sections online, and I once found myself in a vertigo of belly dancing videos on Youtube.

Then I go to bed when other people get up, and hate life when I wake up in the afternoon, after slumbering my phone alarm for ever – not feeling rested.

I used to think I’m a B-person. Turns out I just love sleeping more than waking up early.

Tonight, I decided to have a walk under the midnight sun. The grey weather of the last weeks kind of made me forget the magic of living up north.

I enjoyed the bright night with my camera (Sony A7III), feeling kind of sneaky while photographing the houses in the neighborhood. If anyone saw me, they might have assumed I was planning a robbery. But all was quiet.

Lapland holidays

When you’re living in the great north, country boundaries aren’t that big of a deal as in more populated areas. No matter if you live in the northern Norway, Finland, Sweden or Russia – you live behind the wall (you get it, if you’ve seen GOT). People up north share a lot of traditions and struggles, and there is a lot of border crossing going on. Which is why I didn’t think of going to Finnish Saariselkä yesterday as a big deal.

I didn’t take a single photo.

Whyyy,  Ksenia?

._.

Saariselkä with it’s 350 inhabitants was pretty much as expected: Quiet, empty and moody. The rain was poring down most of the day with no sight of the midnight sun. The Acho-shop was closed.

Midsummer’s Day is a Holiday in Finland. So after a delicious dinner at the hotel, we found the only open bar “downtown”. Germany beat Sweden 2-1 in the World Cup, as we were drinking fresh blueberry shots with cream while kind of watching the game.

I really wish I had some proper photos to share from this trip (not counting the selfies or snaps on my iphone).

Recommendation: If you go to Finland you MUST drink Minttu Cacao with cream! It’s delicious.

Other things you probably should do in Finland – not in the midnight sun season, though ^^

Lapland, Visit Finland

Hello there, blog

Well.

It seems I’m starting yet another post with complains about how I don’t update you often enough. I’m pretty sure nobody in the whole world cares about why you have not been getting any new content for a while. Which is why this post is dedicated specifically to you, my outdated online journal.

What’s the point of having a blog in 2018 anyways?

You were created to be the place where I could showcase my photography and write about the stuff that matter. Now, all half decent pics go to Instagram, while I write about the “important stuff” as I my job. Which makes me want to forget everything about the existence of “important stuff” when my shift is done.

Perhaps it’s time to realize that my days of blogging are over? I want to lock the box.

Yet it feels like I would also be locking up my window to the internet world, the one outside the feeds and echo chambers of the social media where the people I know post their amazing vacation life and puppies. It’s through WordPress (and some odd forums) I have chatted with random people all over the world, read their everyday stories and thoughts, and felt that I’m a part of a global internet community. It looks like Facebook groups are the right place to seek that feeling now.

So what now, blog. Is it over for us?

As I write it, I realize that the surest way for me to keep up with an activity must be to determine that “I’m never doing that again”.

Stop entertaining the dream that one day I’ll become a real blogger who shares her thoughts and images on an everyday basis, making people laugh and cry and understand what life is all about? Never! (So what if my mom (and maybe my ex) are my steadiest followers?)

Even if my sketchy dream above doesn’t come true, at least I’ll have a random collection of online memories to flip through on hangover days. So we’re not doing the farewell scene after all, blog. In fact, I promise to never write the “Ops, it’s been a while…” speech again  I will never work out ever again! No guilt! I will just not do it!!!

So I’ll jut go on rambling about nothing now and then, maybe share some photos from my last vacation some day. I bet you are looking forward to that!

– and maybe I’ll find a new blogger friend to exchange RAWs or do photo challenges with? 

Kenya 2018

The promised vacation pic.

In the darkest hour they arrived

Traveling to a new place is always exciting, even more so when you’re arriving in the middle of the night with no one coming to pick you up.

Fortunately I’m not entirely on my own. I’m traveling with wonderful Caroline, my best friend and partner when it comes to exotic adventures. She is actually the main reason for why we are going to Kenya. Caroline is writing a master paper about how Kenya has prohibited plastic bags – while I just tag along. I’ve never been to Africa or seen a giraffe before, and I desperately needed a vacation. Deciding to join Carol was easy.

And this is how we came to be at Jomo Kenyatta Int. Airport at 02:00 AM.

(No photos from these moments, because I really didn’t feel like packing up my camera).

You can imagine we were somewhat stressed concerning how to get to Nairobi city. It turned out the the airport is prepared for travelers like us. In some 15 minutes we got ourselves Kenyan SIM cards, local money and a taxi to the apartment where we are staying for the next couple of days.

Check out all the elephants on the cash! I wonder what other money pictures they have over here!

I’m guessing this little story is about how you shouldn’t worry, especially when your sole reason for worrying is that you don’t know any better, or lack knowledge or experience.

Trust the world and the people in it – everything works out 😉

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