The End of an Era: Excitement for what’s to come

Today, it’s my birthday. Another year has gone by …so quickly. I can’t believe that it’s already my birthday again… And that I turn 26 years old. Instead of panicking over getting closer and closer to my 30s not having anything specific planned for my future, I choose to take my birthday as an opportunity to step back and sort of reflect upon my life. Because, this year, my birthday is special. This year, my birthday is a game changer.
In many ways, 2015 has been the end of an era, and my birthday just underlines this fact. Soon I’m relocating to Amsterdam, Holland, where an entire new life awaits me as a grown-up (ish) graduate with work and lots of responsibility. Although the concept of responsibility scares me, it also excites me. Finally, I’ll be left all to myself – for good and bad – and I’m ready. …I’ve been ready for a long time now.

After having graduated from university this summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am and where I’d like to go. As you can read from the last months’ blog posts, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and come to the conclusion that all I do know is that I want to spend my life traveling and meeting wonderful people. Everything in between is sort of a bonus, as I know that traveling and having wonderful people in my life will automatically make me happy. The fact that I have no strings attached being single and all means I can pretty much do as I please, which is an amazing feeling. I don’t have to consider anybody or anything in the process – except for a relatively good salary for my next job. This makes my life as an aspiring traveler so much easier.

All through my life, I’ve set myself certain goals to reach and worked hard to accomplish these – well-knowing that everything comes at a certain time and pace, and that you can’t really rush things …although, being quite impatient by nature, I wish I could sometimes! These personal goals come to me as inspiration every now and again. Without any hesitation, I follow them to make sure, I not only follow my intuition, however, also my ambition in life. Because, truth is, I am quite ambitious, and I work hard to never let myself down. So far that’s worked out very well. In this sense, being the type of person who plan, organise and schedule all the big things in my life down to the littlest detail, I’m always right on track – especially, because I leave room for obstacles along the way. That’s just how I like it – always prepared, with a back-up plan. As I, now, start a new era in my life, I’m aware that this might not be possible to the same extent in the future, as moving permanently abroad to a country whose (among others) welfare isn’t the same as here in Denmark and things, as a result, are a bit more risky than what I’m used to. However, this fact will undoubtedly only make me work harder – setting and striving for goals while keeping busy living an active life, chasing my ambition…and continuing happiness. Hence… Even with no specific plans for the future, I’m excited for what’s to come. Because, when nothing is sure, everything is possible.

xo P!

Pernnille Oberg....

Wonderlost Wednesday: The Giant’s Causeway

After having relocated to Dublin, Ireland, for seven months last year, I quickly started planning the many trips I wanted to take around the country and Northern Ireland. As a scenery lover, one of my first trips was to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, which has left me with quite an impression.

Giants CausewayGiants Causeway.

The Giant’s Causeway is one of those magical places where you feel overwhelmed not only by the stunning scenery with wild cliffs and the North Atlantic Ocean, however, also the 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that line up at the coast. As a result of volcanic eruption, these basalt columns have been a great source for speculations throughout the years resulting in various and different myths. According to Irish folklore, the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, build the columns across the North Channel in order to fight another giant – namely, the Scottish giant, Benandonner. This is quite the story, and if there’s one thing (beside from Guinness) that the Irish like, it’s myths… (And fairies). This fact and so much more makes Ireland a perfect travel destination for me. And with its wild scenery, dramatic cliffs, the North Atlantic Ocean and myths, the area around the fourth greatest natural wonder of the United Kingdom, the Giant’s Causeway, is definitely worth a visit.

xo P!

Lessons Learned: Growing up at university

Four months ago, I finished five years of studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. It was a joyous day that I spent with good friends from uni, a delicious dinner and some world class wine. For me, graduation marked the end of an era. Now, life was starting as a grown-up (…ish), and for a long time, I had been waiting for this day to arrive. Here, four months later, I’ve been reflecting on my time at university. Granted, maybe I didn’t grow up at university per se as the head line suggests. I think (or rather hope) that I’ll never truly ’grow up,’ however, it did shape and form me by teaching me some highly valuable lessons, which has made me more grown up as a result.

IQ

Through five years of classes, assignments, group work, projects, exams, student exchange, internship, friendships, relationships, parties, abroad relocations etc. – constant learning, I’ve grown up. Through laughter, crying, happiness, sadness, celebration, frustration, facing and overcoming obstacles, hangovers etc., I’ve enjoyed every bit of university – good and bad – in Denmark and abroad. I’ve accomplished so much throughout these last five years and fulfilled many of my dreams – all marked by the infamous square academic cap. Academics aside, I’ve learned some highly useful lessons at university for the future me to prosper from. In retrospect, beside from learning how to budget on SU (Danish Student Grant), various complicated drinking games and knowing for certain how long I can actually stay awake for (49 hours in a row), I here present you with my most treasured lessons learned at uni.

Time Management
I’ll argue that you can’t get through university without managing your time. I’ll also argue that it’s an important lesson to learn for the future – especially, if you want a career. Because, to be able to effectively and efficiently manage your time means that you’ll be able to do it all. However, unfortunately, it also means that you have to cut back on some things and spend less time on these. As a result, though, it is possible to do it all.
For me, time was short at university due to classes and assignments/projects, student jobs, volunteer work as well as friends, family and social activities not to forget the planning and implementing of abroad exchanges and relocations. However, living an active life doesn’t mean that there’s no time for fitting it all in and some occasional spontaneity…or simply a nap. Key is time management – learning how to joggle all your interests.

Prioritising
Before you can fully learn how to manage your time, though, you must learn how to prioritise. Because fact is, with an active life, you don’t have the world’s of time, and you’ll most likely find yourself spending less time on certain things simply because there’s no other way to make it all work.
For me, nothing is more important than to socialise – it’s where I give and get energy. As such, I love spending time with my friends going out for dinner, a movie, a concert or comedy gig, a walk or a party. Just… socialising. Therefore, I quickly learned that I needed to prioritise in order to take care of my education. By questioning what’s important, how important is it and its deadline, you learn how to prioritise. As a result, you find that…

There’s a Time for Everything
There’s a time for classes and assignments/projects, another for student jobs and volunteer work, for friends, family and other social activities… as well as a well-deserved nap. Knowing how to prioritise and manage your time, you’ll find a way to make your busy schedule work.

Critically Thinking
By learning how to question various and different theories within my studies, I’ve learned to think critically about information served to me. This way of thinking is something I have come to use in my everyday life as well – simply because you can’t trust all information served to you.
Fore me, living in an era driven by information, it’s important not to believe everything you hear. As a result, you need to question things…and people. You need to think critically! There’s always a motivation and bias behind any information out there. As such, it might be necessary to undertake a little research before accepting certain pieces of information as right or wrong.

It’s All About Perspective
There really isn’t a right or wrong per se, though – it’s all about perspective. If you think about it, people are all different. Sure, there are similarities, however, every person is a puzzle made up of various and different pieces. As such, every person is unique. Hence, discussing certain issues, I’ve quickly learned that it’s all about perspective – and if you want to do yourself (and your counterpart) a favour, accept this and try to put yourself in your counterpart’s place. If you succeed, you might be able to understand where the s/he is coming from and his or her perspective – even if you don’t agree.
For me, this has especially been useful during my abroad relocations, as cultures indeed are as diverse as people. In this sense, being aware and able to understand cultural differences has helped me cope abroad as well as changed my life in more than one way.

Dreams Come True
I’ve always dreamed big. I think it’s important to dream big! You don’t have to be unrealistic while dreaming big, though, as some think. No, you simply have to set yourself some reachable goals and then build on them, once you reach them – step by step. With a lot of hard work and determination, it’s my experience that dreams do come true.

The More You Learn, The Less You Know
One of the first things I learned at University was Rene Sartre’s ”I think, therefore I am”; while the last thing I’ve learned is the fact (and yes, it is a fact) that the more you learn, the less you know. By gradually becoming aware of how big the world really is with all its constructs and paradoxes, I’m sure: There’s always more knowledge to acquire…and various perspectives to consider… It’s funny how education can make you feel extremely intelligent at times while at other times make you seriously question your intelligence.

In the midst of it, university, at times, seemed like a never ending story. Now, four months later, it seems as if time went by flying. It has been a wonderful experience that I remember with a smile on my lips. Although I’m certain I, at times, will miss the time at university including all the great friends I’ve met there, I don’t doubt for a second that the best is yet to come. We make our own luck and fortune, right!?

xo P!

 

Picture
www.hoptimist.com

Wonderlost Wednesday: The Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness

Growing up with the tales of Nessie, a dear friend and I just had to visit Loch Ness when we vacationed in Edinburgh. It turned out to be quite the adventure. As so many previous visitors, we unfortunately did not find Nessie. However, we haven’t given up yet, which is the perfect excuse to return to Scotland. What we did discover, though, was the spectacular Scottish scenery and wildlife throughout the Scottish Highlands.

Scottish HighlandsLoch Ness

 

 

 

 

Taking a day tour from Edinburgh to Loch Ness through the Scottish Highlands, my friend and I had stops along the way, where we explored the highlands with their wild flora and fauna. Along the way, we passed old castles and ruins, small villages as well as rivers – absolutely stunning scenery! – before we arrived at Loch Ness where we went on a boat tour.
On the outlook for Nessie, sailing on Loch Ness was a fun experience even if we didn’t spot her. Dating back to the 7th century, the tale of Nessie has a lot of history to it – so much so that it has become part of the Scottish culture. Our tour guide told us many stories from throughout the years of adventurous’ attempts to find Nessie that included bravery, lies and deceit, which made the experience so fascinating.
Should you ever find yourself in or near the beautiful Scottish highlands, they and Loch Ness are worth a visit – I guarantee. Beside the history and culture in the area, the beautiful scenery and wildlife there are worth exploring along with the fresh air.

xo P!

Study Abroad: My 10 reasons why to study in a foreign country

In 2012, I undertook my first abroad relocation as part of my studies to London, England. There’s no doubt that this was one of the best decisions, I’ve ever made. By leaving Denmark and adapting to the English culture, I learned so much more than I thought possible – both academically and personally. At the same time, I got to follow my childhood dream as an aspiring traveler to travel and acquire insight into and understanding for foreign cultures. Considering this adventure, I can’t find reasons not to leave comfort zones and take a leap of faith. As a result, I wanted to discuss this on my blog. As such, I present you with ten reasons why to study in a foreign country in the following paragraphs.

1) You have the possibility to study courses not available at your home university
You can choose any university in whatever country you find interesting that offers courses you would like to take. Maybe there are courses better suited for you and your future abroad?

2) You have the opportunity to practice your language skills
If you move to a foreign country in which its population speaks a foreign language, it’s the best way to learn the language in question with all its foreign ways. However, even if you move to a country where its population speaks your native tongue, you still have the opportunity to bound with other exchange students and learn or develop your language skills. It’s a win/win, really.

3) You’ll acquire insight into a foreign culture
Living in a foreign culture, you will automatically acquire insight into and understanding for its social norms and ways of living – its culture. You’ll learn about the culture’s history and gradually develop an understanding for its culture and social norms.

4) You learn how to cope in a foreign culture
All cultures have their social norms that dictates how to think and behave. This might be challenging at first, however, it’ll make you aware of cultural differences and teach you foreign ways of doing things that might suit you better than what you’re used to.

5) You learn that it’s all about perspective
As a result of living in a foreign culture, you’ll also come to learn and understand that it’s all about perspective. You might think and behave as you do in your culture, however, people from foreign cultures are not brought up with the same cultural, social norms. As such, you’ll develop an understanding for cultural perspectives that tells you there’s not always a right or wrong – there are, however, different ways of thinking and behaving as well as ways of reaching the same goal.

6) You have the possibility to travel
When settling in a foreign country for a period of time, not only do you acquire understanding for its history and culture, you also have the possibility to travel around the country and get to know other amazing cities, towns and villages in the country.

7) You’ll meet new friends from all over the world
You’re most likely not the only one on an adventure, there are many just like you on campus and in town. Therefore, there are many potential friends to gain from all over the world. These friendships may or may not last a lifetime, however, one thing is certain: You’ll have the possibility to visit them in their home country and explore their cultures as well. And having friends in foreign countries is not too bad – although you will miss them.

8) You become less dependent and more independent
Being on your own, away from familiar surroundings, friends and family, you are forced to cope on your own. It can be quite a challenge, however, when you learn how to overcome certain obstacles, you’ll feel like you can handle anything. As a result, you find yourself able to handle situations you never thought you could – and you’ll be less dependent on others and more independent as a result.

9) You grow up
Quite simply, you grow up as a result of facing your new reality – your new life.

10) You’ll make your CV stand out after university
Let’s face it: We increasingly live in an international and intercultural world in which businesses cooperate across countries. The fact that you’ll have approximately six months of abroad experience will make you stand out when it’s time to apply for a job after university!

See…! There are so many good things to gain from studying abroad. What are you waiting for? …Maybe you’ve already studied abroad? So you may agree with my ten reasons why to go abroad for studies? Maybe you have other good reasons to do it? Please, feel free to share.

xo P!

Study abroad

Wonderlost Wednesday: Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

I’ve visited a lot of palaces and castles on my travels and seen them from the inside, however, nothing beats Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England – not even Buckingham Palace. Never having belonged to royalty but aristocracy (including the Spencer-Churchill family), the palace is the only non-royal residens in England to hold the title of ’palace’ – for good reasons! As such, not only does the palace have the majestic feel of a true palace including the building itself as well as the interior, it also has stunning gardens with sculptures, water fountains and lakes along with spectacular history.
If you ever find yourself in the nabourhood, please, do check it out. I promise, it would not have been in vain.

xo P!

Introducing: Wonderlost Wednesday

Starting Wednesday next week, I’ll be doing a weekly Wonderlost Wednesday post. The concept of Wonderlost Wednesday is about posting a photo with a brief description of my previous travels. As such, it will be a flash back to one of my adventures.

Actually, I haven’t traveled much yet. I’ve only been to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Germany. However, because I’ve been living in Denmark, England, Ireland and Germany for longer periods of time, I’ve traveled around the countries. As a result, I’ve seen much of the countries’ attractions and scenery while mingling with locals and acquired an understanding for the cultures. Hence, the idea of Wonderlost Wednesday, which is a result of a previous blog post on my four favourite travel destinations. As such, I wish to share one of my travel memories with you every Wednesday. I hope you’ll like it.

xo P!

Moving abroad

Down Memory Lane: My four favourite travel destinations

Because I find myself stranded in Denmark for the next three months, I’m constantly daydreaming about traveling – what could be…and what have been. As such, I wanted to present a little top three of my favourite travel destinations – places where I have been…so far. Because I couldn’t just pick three, I’ll give you my four favourite travel destinations. These four destinations are places that will have a special place in my heart forevermore. Like you can fall in love with people, you can definitely fall in love with destinations, too. I’ve fallen hard for these four destinations.

London
What a cliche, right!? Truth is, I fell in love with the United Kingdom when I very young due to its culture, history and scenery, and my first love was London. In 2012, I was lucky enough to be able to undertake a student exchange for seven months in this amazing city. It was such a wonderful experience where I explored much of England and Wales and made some very good friends. In short, London has it all. It’s such a cultural diverse capital with cultural treasures around every corner. The different districts alone vary and so do the people that live in these districts. It’s rather fascinating – especially when coming from a small town in the southern part of Denmark.
My favourite district is Camden. This area is full of life in all its colourful variations. It’s a rather artistic area in which creativity is the driving force and where people can just be themselves – and express themselves in whatever way they deem fit. As a result, it’s a colourful as well as musical district where the cuisine is highly cultural diverse along with the clothing. You cannot visit this district and not be influenced by its essence and reminded of how great life truly is. For me, this district, namely, celebrates diversity… as well as life.

CamdenCamden.

 

 

 

 

The Scottish Highlands
I’m a huge fan of beautiful scenery and landscapes! When I travel, I like to combine city and country life. As a result, I’ve explored much scenery on my travels. However, no place has yet beaten the Scottish Highlands. Oh my, it’s breathtaking!
I visited the Scottish Highlands in 2013 when I along with a dear friend decided to spend a week’s holiday in Edinburgh. On a day trip to Loch Ness, we drove through parts of the Scottish Highlands – what an adventure. We were nothing but amazed by the scenery and discussed seriously in detail (and still do) to live in the area one day. The green, rough scenery with mountains and lakes is, for me, the perfect landscape combination.

Scottish highlandScottish highland.

 

 

 

 

Berlin
Growing up 10 km. to the German boarder, I’ve visited Berlin a few times in my up-bringing. However, I also chose to live there for six months this year while writing my MA dissertation. Truly one of my best decisions thus far.
Like London (or any big capital, really), this metropolis is full of diversity – and full of artists. Walking around this historic and artistic city with lots of green areas is a treat for any traveler, I think. Where London is more proper and characterised as a rather hierarchical class society with guidelines on behaviour, Berlin is more open-minded and there is room for everyone there. Also divided into districts, Berlin is build up of various and different variations of itself – my favourite being the artistic Kreuzberg. Along with the visible artistic expressions and the many green areas, the cultural diversity and open-mindedness is something I really enjoyed while living in Berlin.

BerlinBerlin Wall

 

 

 

 

Connemara and Galway City
With its wild flora and fauna in west Ireland, the region of Connemara in county Galway is stunningly beautiful. In general, Ireland is not only a historical interesting country to visit, however, the Emerald Island also has a lot to offer considering the landscape. However, Connemara, in my opinion, stands out with a rather diverse and wild scenery. Admiring the combination of mountains, lakes and green areas, Connemara has it all. I would love to return for a visit and just drive around this area and do a picnics in the middle of nowhere.
In this county, also Galway city is worth a visit. Along with a dear friend, I spent a long weekend in Galway exploring the city itself and its treasures. This city is not big, however, is full of charm. With day tours, museums, cinemas, shopping street and centers, nice restaurants and a lively city life, there’s enough to do in Galway and you won’t get easily bored there.

Connemara Kylemore AbbeyGalway

 

 

 

 

As you might have figured out by now, the perfect travel experience for me includes insight into the city as well as country life of a country. I really like the contrasts between the city life with lots of life and cultural diverse attractions/food/history etc. and country life rooted in the country in question’s history, scenery and landscape. For me, it’s just the perfect combination.

What are your favourite travel destinations?

xo P!

Exploring the World of Westeros: My Game of Thrones adventure in Northern Ireland

As a true and loyal Game of Thrones fan that has even written her MA dissertation on Game of Thrones and the tourism that has followed the series from a marketing and consumption perspective, it’s no secret that I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. After having returned to Denmark, I now extra leisure time to myself. As such, I’m in the middle of re-watching the last five seasons of Game of Thrones at the moment. It’s exciting re-watching all the episodes for several reasons – the most notable being remembering my own little Westeros experience in Northern Ireland.

At first, I didn’t know that the Television series is filmed in among others Northern Ireland. However, when I lived in Ireland last year, my friend made me aware of this fact. She had heard of a guided tour of the Northern Irish film locations where a group can explore parts of Westeros. Surreal, right!? As we didn’t have a car to drive around Northern Ireland for ourselves, this seemed like a great idea to explore the GoT world for ourselves along with fellow fans on the tour. We, simply, had to go!!! So we did. And it was absolutely amazing. Nothing less!

The tour started early in the morning departing from Dublin and excited as we were, we were the first at the meeting point. Warmly dressed, lots of food packed for the long day ahead and in good spirits, we were ready for the adventure that awaited us!
On the tour from Dublin to our first stop in Northern Ireland, we talked, quizzed and saw clips from the Television series with fellow GoT fans. The atmosphere in the bus was accelerating to say the least. We talked a lot about the series being a fantasy series and how much reality we could expect when visiting the film locations. We expected a lot of CGI to be involved, however, we were pleasantly surprised. Except for Winterfell, the film locations were real and almost no CGI had been involved in the making of the series at these locations.

Inch Abbey
Our first stop was at Inch Abbey where Catelyn Stark negotiated a treaty with Walder Frey and where Robb Stark is proclaimed King of the North. We don’t see this in the series, however, the abbey in which Robb is proclaimed king is far from intact. As you can see in the picture below, it’s in ruins. Nevertheless, it’s in an amazing green area close to a river and a forest. Across this river is the Twins (or at least the one of them that hasn’t been CGIed in). Here, we spend a half an hour or so exploring the abbey and the nearby forest.
Being there with fellow fans and walking in the shoes of beloved characters was nothing but amazing! The tour guide had coats for us to rent, which some of the other fans did while reenacting certain scenes from the series. It was rather interesting traveling to Westeros with such fans, I must say – they kept the reality of the series up all day long.

Inch AbbeyTwin Towers

 

 

 

 

Tollymore Forest
Our second stop was Tollymore Forest Park. With over 600 hektars of land, there’s a lot to explore at Tollymore, which is also evident in GoT. The forest is not only where the dire wolf puppies where found by the Starks, it’s also where Bran Stark meets the mysterious three-eyed raven, where Ramsay Bolton hunts down Theon Greyjoy and where the White Walkers begin their march into the realm of men. For a Game of Throne fan this is the mecca! And what a beautiful one. The forest itself is astonishing – the scenery is absolutely beautiful with rough landscapes, wild plant life, rivers and bridges. We must have walked around the forest for around two hours or so exploring various film locations and hearing stories about the series from the guide before returning to the bus for our third stop.

Tyllumore ForestTullymore Forest.

 

 

 

 

Winterfell
Our third stop at Winterfell was my favourite film location and not only for the obvious reason that I support the Starks, no! Winterfell and the estate has Game of Thrones written all over it. We arrived right at the clock tower (yes, there’s only one again, the second has been CGIed in) where we met with William, an extra from the series that taught the actors archery. We was introduced to the estate and was given the choice of either exploring the Dark Hedges or try archery with William for an hour. What an unfair choice to give us, right!? We choose archery for an hour. We did this because William was going to teach us how to shoot with a bow and arrow – just as he had the actors from GoT. We were the only ones and I don’t regret this choice! It was SO much fun! And we heard a lot of background stories about the series as well as the actors – I love this, as no other fan knows about these stories. After an hour there, it was time to return to Dublin. Oh, the horror! We all wanted to stay.

WinterfellWinterfell..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Islands
However, there was one last stop on our return. Our last stop was at Ballintoy Harbour – the Iron Islands. Here we walked around the harbour and gazed at the ocean before buying a light snack for the return to Dublin. There’s not a lot to explore here except for the harbour. Ballintoy itself it a village, and if you turn the camera from the harbour inland (see picture below), what you see is among others this little cafe where older ladies were having a bite or two to eat – completely unaware of us tourists.

Iron IslandsGame of Thrones Tour

 

 

 

 

All in all, exploring Westeros was a surreal experience! Not only did we get to explore where Robb was proclaimed King of the North, the Stark’s estate and where they found the dire wolf puppies, we even meet extras from the series who shared stories about the series and actors. The entire day was just filled with pure excitement. As a fan, it’s incredible walking in the shoes of your favourite characters and ’join them’ on their quests and adventures. Furthermore, sharing your fandom with fellow fans makes such an experience even more eventful. But… Not only did we get to explore the world of Westeros, we also got to explore those parts of Northern Ireland. Known mainly for Londonderry and Belfast as well as Titanic and the Troubles, I must say that Northern Ireland has a lot more to offer than it’s known for.

Now… I must return to season three. Arya is about to run away from the Brotherhood, only to be captured by the Hound…

xo P!