one year - 365 days

Las Vegas, Nevada July'15
 
Igår var det hela 365 dagar sedan jag lämnade Göteborg och Sverige för 14 veckor i USA. Ibland är det läskigt vad tiden springer iväg, samtidigt som det känns som evigheter sedan. Mycket har hänt på ett år, jösses. Jag säger det igen, jag är så glad att jag tog chansen. Ibland funderar jag på hur livet hade sett ut om jag inte åkt. Frågan är om jag hade haft samma passion och vilja att fortsätta resa. Jag hade definitivt inte planerat för att bege mig till Brasilien om fem dagar, något som är säkert. 
 
Brooklyn Bridge, NYC September'15
 
USA | | Kommentera

top ten - big cities

1. New York City 
It feels a bit too obvious to choose NYC as number one, but it's certainly one of a kind. The best of the best. No city has ever made me feel as alive and as home as New York did. I was part of the city right away. It only takes a New York minute to fall in love, as some people might say. Guess that worked on me.
 
2. London 
I always dreamt of visiting London. Soon after the first Harry Potter movie was released, I was sure I was going to visit the magical city sooner or later. And yes, to visit London was just like stepping into a Harry Potter movie. The streetwalks with its incredible architecture along with the magical spirit of the city is just unforgetable. I visited this magical place in September, can't even imagine the city during Christmas. 
 
3. Paris
Visiting Paris is like falling in love for the first time. I remember my first time getting eye contact with mr Eiffel - love at first sight. And with its fluffy pasteries and sweet macarones in all those cafés around the city, your days abroad feels like dancing on clouds (maybe because you're high on sugar, who knows...). It's a true love story, where I fall in love with a tower and a couple of macarons.
 
4. San Francisco 
After weeks abroad studying in the US last summer, we visited the city of San Francisco up north in Cali. As I'd started to feel homesick after weeks away I remember I felt like home right away. It was something about SF that reminded me about Europe. The city was nothing like the rest of California. I actually liked the city better than Los Angeles, and would love to go back some day!
 
5. Budapest
A weekend in Budapest was one of my latest travels. Another beautiful (well, all of Europe is pretty beautiful but still), charming city in the center of Hungary. 
 
6. Venice 
Venice is small, but so beautiful. Even though is tiny, is easy to loose track of both time and yourself while wandering around the narrow streets and canals. Both cafés and resturants are easily found all over the small city. I recommend having a capuccino with one of all those cute Venezian pasteries, such flavors!
 
7. Rome 
The ancient city of Rome is one of a kind. The Italian capital is so remarkable beautiful (as the rest of Italy) - just breathtaking. Rome quickly became a favorite, and the place above - Fontana di Trevi - might be the reason. It's my favorite place to visit while in Rome (even though is crazy crowded).
 
8. Bangkok
With not much time spent in the Thai capital I know I've seen far from everything (sadly!), but I'm still pretty sure it is an absolute stunning city. Bangkok is just as decribed; vibrant, colorful and with lots of personality. Next time around, I'll visit all those temples and fruit markets, and for sure go down the river.
 
9. Honolulu
I've said a lot about the Hawaiian capital already, but I just love Honolulu. It's a perfect place for both luxorious shopping and beach fun. I've spent a lot of time under those palm trees on the pic above. It was ju two blocks away from school and we spent most of our afternoons down at the beach. I miss the magical aloha spirit of Hawaii. Can't wait to go back some day.
 
 
10. Los Angeles 
I loved LA, and I guess part of it was the city immediately felt like home, especially Redondo Beach where I lived for six weeks last summer. It was the place where I met a friend for life, and we had the time of our lives together. Another great thing about LA, and partly the reason for chosing it as a destination, is that Los Angeles is close to Las Vegas and San Fracisco. I was able to visit both cities during my stay in California which was great.
 
THOUGHTS | | Kommentera

travel tips: connections in london

I read this post and found it hilarious since I've made all those mistakes trying to catch a connection flight at London Heathrow. 
 
Here's her tips on how to make a (sucessful) connection through Heathrow:
 
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If you’re headed to Europe, chances are you’ll probably transfer through London Heathrow at some point. As one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, London Heathrow is a thorough-fare for millions of people every year.  In all our years of traveling to Europe, we often find ourselves transferring through this airport and making connections at London Heathrow and we’ve picked up a few tricks and tips to make this easier along the way.

Heathrow is a huge airport with multiple terminals, as well as being the entry point to the UK so even when transferring intra-Europe, it’s still more time consuming since you have to redo the UK security checkpoint.  When all is said and done, it’s not super easy to transfer at Heathrow, but it’s doable with the right preparation and knowing what you’re doing.  So if you have travel plans making connections at London Heathrow, here are my best tips:

 

- Give yourself at least 90 minutes, no less. -

I’m always trying to shorten our layover times in airports because really, who wants to sit for 5 hours waiting for a flight? But in truth, sometimes and at certain airports it’s necessary to give yourself ample time to connect to another flight.  (LAX is the same as this by the way.)  At Heathrow, you’ll need NO LESS than 90 minutes for connections. And seriously, don’t try to book a connection with less time than that… you’ll miss your flight.

So when booking connecting flights from Heathrow on to wherever else you’re heading, be sure to plan into your itineraries at least 90 minutes to change planes.  That way you’re safe even if you’re flight is late and you won’t have to be sprinting through the terminal!

 

- Know if you'll need to change terminals. -

Be aware before you land if you’ll need to change terminals as this will greatly impact how much time you need to connect at Heathrow.  For example on this past trip, we arrived on American Air but flew British Airways to Paris, landing in Terminal 5 and departing from Terminal 7.  If you’ll need to change terminals for your connection, you have to take a bus which takes about 20 minutes to get you from point A to point B.  After the bus drops you off, then you’ll need 45 minutes or more to get through immigration and security checkpoints and on to your gate.

 

- Try not to check luggage... if you do, your connection time shouldn't be less than 2.5 hours. -

A trick at Heathrow, don’t check luggage if you’re connecting.  Or if you have to, you’ll need to add time to your layover.  I would suggest no less than 2.5-3 hour layovers at Heathrow if you’re checking luggage.  The reason for this is that if you are checking luggage, land at Heathrow, you’ll have to collect your luggage, check it back in and then go through all the immigration and security checks on top of that.  So if you can, do carry on only if you’re connecting through Heathrow or add time to your connection.

 

- Know you'll have to go through security again. -

Because you're going through UK checkpoints, you'll have to clear a quick immigration (just quickly looking at your passport) and security again once landing in the UK before continuing on. And this can take a ton of time so be aware that you'll have to clear security again before your connection.

 

- Ask to use the FastTrack line at immigration and security if you're running late. -

If you’re running late (like we were recently) and might miss your flight, you can try to speed up your connection time by asking to use the FastTrak lane although in our experience it didn’t do much for us and we almost missed our flight anyways.  But it’s worth a shot if it looks shorter than the regular lines for immigration and security.

 

- Check out Duty Free if you have time. -

If you have time, Heathrow has some of the best shopping of any airport in the world and their Duty Free shops are particularly great.  I never miss the opportunity to pick up my favorite Fortnum and Mason tea while at Heathrow as well as so many other amazing British and International products.  But make sure you have time and won’t miss your flight to stop and check out Duty Free!

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I had 40 minutes to connect. I had no idea I had to change terminals. I had luggage to check in. And I had NO idea you needed to go through security again. My latest connection through London Heathrow sure was hectic, and running down the gates as speakers were calling out my name over and over again wasn't making it better... Next time I'll make sure I have enough time, even for some Duty Free shopping!
 
ENGLAND, TRAVEL PREPS | | Kommentera
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