Wanderlust by Jona

Travel. Wanderlust. Blog. Photographer. Amanda Jona. Explore. Adventure. World. Traveller

How to be a More Climate Friendly Traveller

 
Happy Earth Day!
 
Earth Day was founded in 1970 and the idea behind it was to emerge the public concusses about air and water pollution and force environmental protection onto the political agenda. We, humans, are living far over earth's capacity, but there is hope! The environmental debate is bigger than ever and most people are starting to make sustainable choices. No one can do everything, but everybody can do something to save this wonderful planet we live on.
 
I think travelling is a great way to open up your eyes to the environmental problems in this world. Once you have gotten to see the world, you know how important it is to save it and therefore I've gathered some of my best tips on how to be a more climate-friendly traveller.
 
Look at Other Alternatives Than Flying
Flying is such an easy way to get around and see the world, but it's, unfortunately, the worst type of transportation for the environment. Airplanes contribute to insanely high numbers of CO2 and we can all just hope that science will give us more environmental friendly flights in the future, but until then it's good to look at other alternatives. If you don't think it's manageable I would like you to take a look at @earthwanderes who are currently travelling from Sweden to Iran without flying or @velovelo.se who are travelling the world by bike. It's a bit inconvenient but just think of all the magical places you might see that you would just have flown over with an airplane.
 
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Reduce your plastic waste by bringing your own water bottle that you can refill instead of buying new ones in the store. This works even in countries where tap water isn't good to drink if you invest in some sort of water filtration/purifier. There are also pills you can buy to make the water drinkable or the oldest trick in the book - boil it before you drink it.
 
 
 
Eat Vegan
Did you know that for every kilo beef that is sold, 7 kg provender and 16 000 L water is used? I try to eat as much vegan food as possible for both environmental, ethical and health reasons and today it's not even that hard to do with a lot of good alternatives in both stores and restaurants! You do not have to go full-on vegan, even if you just exchange one or two meals a week from beef to vegan it's helping the environment a lot.
 
Use Public Transportation
The locals can survive on public transportation and so can you! I know that it's comfortable to go with a taxi or an uber when you have to get somewhere, but it's often even cheaper to go with the public transportation - and it gives you a whole new experience of the place you visit when you get to be around locals in their everyday life. It's also so much better for the climate, a win-win-win situation.
 
Join a Clean Up
Animals in nature are dying of starvation because their stomachs are filled with plastic and it's up to every one of us to keep nature waste free. Join an organized clean up, start one on your own or combine picking up trash in your everyday activities. Did you know that there's a Swedish expression for picking up trash while jogging, called "plogging"?
 
Say No To One Time Use Plastic Items
Spoons to your ice cream and straws to your soda, do you really need them? Probably not. Try to always carry around a spork and all spontaneous ice creams by the water and street food lunches can be free from plastic.
 
Avoid Taking Plastic Bags at Stores
We use 5 trillion plastic bags on earth a year and less than 1% of them gets recycled (!!!!). Just imagine how much we could minimize plastic waste in the world if everybody started to bring a backpack or a tote bag when they go shopping instead of taking these useless plastic bags.
 
 
 
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The Big Guide to Hike Galdhøpiggen

 
Are you looking forward to hiking northern Europe's highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen?
Awesome, that means you have reached the right place! I hiked the mountain in June 2017 together with my boyfriend, my boyfriend's brother, my boyfriend's brothers girlfriend and their dog and it was just such an amazing experience that I think everyone that has the opportunity should try - and therefore I've done a guide on how to hike Galdhøpiggen! Do you think there is something I've missed and are wondering about, just ask me in the comments below!
 
Height: 2469 meters above mean sea level (MAMSL)
Lenght: 6 kilometers, which might sound like nothing, but it's straight uphill and in snow
Time: It took us 5 hours up, and 3 hours down
When: The guides I've read says July-September but we hiked in June and that went well, just look at local weather reports before doing the hike
Where: Loms, Norway
 
 
 
Where to start?
The most common place to start the hike is from Spiterstulen (1104 MAMSL) and Juvasshytta (1841 MAMSL). We started from Spiterstulen which is classified as the easy way up since it's "just a hike", if you start at Juvashytta you'll have to cross a glacier and need to bring both ropes and a guide. At Spiterstulen you can just go, no guides or permits are currently needed.
 
 
 
Who can hike Galdhøpiggen?
I really want to exclaim "ALL!" to this since I live by the theory that you can do anything with the right motivation. However, I would like to say that you should be in good shape and it is good to have some knowledge of walking in snow - or go with someone who does. I am certainly not in good shape and got up to the top on will power, but I'm not sure if I would recommend someone else to do it, haha!
 
Whatever you do, don't be one of those who "give up" and call the mountain rescuers - they have far more important things to do than to "save" people who are tired or badly dressed. This is a big problem right now in the mountains, so please think one more time if you are really capable of doing this before you start.
 
 
 
What to wear?
"Clothes after weather" is a classic expression, but so true. The golden rule to hiking is to wear layers so you easily can put on/remove a layer of clothing if needed. Closest to the skin, I wore underclothing made out of wool. Over that, I wore waterproof hiking trousers and a wind and water-repellent softshell jacket (if it would ha rained or snowed, I would have worn a water-proof jacket instead) and on the way down I also wore a fleece jacket since it was more exhausting (=warmer) to go up than down ;)
 
On the feet, I wore two pairs of hiking socks, one thinner pair, and one thicker pair so they could rub against each other instead of rubbing against the skin to avoid blisters. I also wore a pair of hiking boots with Gore-Tex, regular sneakers are not recommended since you will walk in the snow - even in the middle of summer.
 
 
 
What to bring?
Camera, obviously! However, I can guarantee that you do not want to carry the entire camera equipment (you will hate yourself if you do, because it get's heavy!) so choose a camera body and a lens that you usually use (I brought my Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM) and then stick to that equipment.
 
In my backpack, I brought, except for the camera, some food, extra (dry!) clothes, blister patch, a water bottle and fully charged mobile phone. Now afterward, I would also recommend bringing Norwegian money (since there is a little shop at the top) and something to slide down on, perhaps a bum slider, since it makes the way down so much more FUN!
 
 
 
What to eat?
Before starting the hike, make sure to eat a big and steady breakfast. Do not even think about hiking a mountain with just a bowl of yogurt in your stomach! On the way up you probably will take short breaks so it's good to bring some nuts, fruits or power bars to refill the energy. I ate two sandwiches, three power bars, one banana and drank a lot of water on the way up, and ate nothing on the way down.
 
At the top of the mountain, there's a small cabin with a shop where you can buy sausages and souvenirs so don't forget to bring Norwegian money. I ate one sausage and drank a jar of coke at the top, and when we got down again we stopped for a pizza on the way home.
 
 
 
How is the terrain? 
Think of a snowy hill with some patches of grass and stones. The whole hike is quite even, but sometimes I needed to use both my hands to get up. The snow was quite compact, it usually was possible to walk without a problem, but sometimes you could take a step and sink down so you have snow to the waist. Be careful where you step!
 
 
 
Anything else?
Sherpas from Mount Everest have been to Galdhøpiggen and laid out a trail so you can walk safely on the mountain, FOLLOW THIS TRAIL! It is marked with red markings all the way from the start to the top, and if you go there it's no risk you will fall off a cliff somewhere.
 
Also, make sure to hike the mountain with someone, and/or have someone at the ground that knows when you started walking - and can notify you as missing if you're not down again after a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind that the weather in the mountains changes quickly and even though it was sunshine when you left, it could be a snowstorm a couple of minutes later.
 
 
 
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The Breakfast Club - Amsterdam, Netherlands

 
We ate our first breakfast in Amsterdam at a restaurant called The Breakfast Club.
 
We found this place by coincidence and I'm so happy that we did! We had just arrived in Amsterdam and wanted to find a nice breakfast place when it out of nowhere started to hail! We stood in the middle of the street with our phones in our hands, trying to find anything nearby when a dutch woman appeared and asked if we needed help. How nice? With bad English, she tried to explain the directions to "a good breakfast place she had forgotten the name of" and we ended up at The Breakfast Club. I have no idea if this was the place she had in mind, but the interior was cute and the menu sounded delicious so we went in.
 
There are four different The Breakfast Clubs in Amsterdam and we ate at the one at Haarlemmerplein. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and at this place, they serve it from morning to evening. A really good place to go to if you want some pancakes, sandwiches, cereals or eggs in other words!
 
 
Read more from Amsterdam
Travel Diary Day 1 - Travel Diary Day 2 - Travel Diary Day 3 - Hotel2Stay - Corner Bakery - Coffee & Coconuts
 
 
 
Quick facts about The Breakfast Club
 
Name: The Breakfast Club Haarlemmerplein
Menu: Breakfast dishes inspired from London, Mexico City and New York
Location: Haarlemmerplein 31, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Open daily 8 am to 6 pm
 
My rating: 
★★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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Travel Throwback Thursday: Stryn, Geiranger & Lom 2017

 
How is it even possible that I've, as a Swede, traveled to places like Haiti and Australia before I visited my neighboring country Norway?
 
I know I have a lot of Swedish followers and for you, I would just want to say: GO TO NORWAY! I was there for the first time last summer when I went there with my boyfriend and his brother + his girlfriend + their dog. We went there by car and rented a cabin at Øyberg Sæter og Camping and spent our days hiking, visiting glaciers and climbing northern Europes highest mountain. Such magical landscapes!
 
I've actually booked a trip to the Norwegian capital Oslo in a couple of weeks, but I would love to visit even more places like Trolltunga and Lofoten. It shouldn't be so hard to do since it's so easy to get to Norway from Sweden, but until then, here is my Travel Throwback Thursday at Norway 2017:
 
 
Lom Stave Church
 
On the way down to Geiranger
 
 Climbing northern Europe's highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen
 
 
 
 
 
 Casually posing in front of a waterfall in Briksdalsbreen
 
 
 
 
 
 We spent a lot of time in the car, driving past beautiful landscapes...
 
...and stopped every few minutes to get out and take some photos
 
 Casually posing in front of a glacier in Briksdalsbreen
 
 We got chased by some sheep in Stryn
 
 Climbing northern Europe's highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen
 
The glacier in Briksdalsbreen again
 
 The whole gang on top of Galdhøpiggen

Blog of the Week + Nominated to Open World Awards

 
Today I got two amazing news about Wanderlust by Jona!
 
First of all, my blog has gotten the title "Blog of the Week"!
It's my blog portal Blogg.se that has chosen my blog as their Blog of the Week which is just such an honour! I was actually doubting on staying on Blogg.se when I decided to start writing in English instead of Swedish since its a Swedish blog portal, but I'm so happy that I've stayed since I just love the community of this portal! Thank you very much, Blogg.se!
 
As a part of becoming Blog of the Week, Blogg.se did an interview with me (in Swedish) that you can read by pressing here.
 
Second of all, I've been nominated to Momondo Open World Awards in two categories!
Momondo Open Awards is a competition for influencers that inspire others with their passion and curiosity for travel. My blog (wanderlustbyjona.com) has been nominated in the category "Blog" and my Instagram (@wanderlustbyjona) has been nominated in the category "Photography". It would mean so much to me if you take a minute of your life to vote for me! 
 
Press here to vote for me in the category "Blog".
Press here to vote for me in the category "Photography".
 
THANK YOU! 
 

Travel Diary: Kalmar day 3

 
On our third and last day during our Easter weekend road trip, we visited Kalmar Castle.
 
It opened at 10 am and since we lived pretty much next to it, we slept in and had a long breakfast at the hotel before heading over. The castle has two floors containing everything from a church to grand dining rooms to dungeons. The castle is almost a thousand years old (!!!) and it has happened a lot there throughout the history so it was just so fascinating walking around looking at everything.
 
 
 
I also found a throne completely in my taste! Can totally see myself as a queen ;)
 
 
 
After exploring the caste for almost two hours we talked about heading out to see some more places in Kalmar before heading home, but just as the day before at Öland - it was cold! So instead we decided to jump into the car, wave goodbye to our hotel and start the five-hour drive home.
 
 
 
Nothing exciting happened during our drive back home (except that we wanted to find a nice and cozy restaurant in Oskarshamn to eat lunch at, but the only place that was open was McDonald's, haha!) and I honestly think I was asleep for most of the time. Just as I mentioned in my earlier post, the weather was a major set back, but otherwise, this was such a good trip!
 
Read more about my trip to Kalmar & Öland

Travel Diary: Kalmar/Öland day 2

 
I'm home again after my weekend away during Easter, and honestly, I have to say that the trip was a big epic fail.
 
Okay, so the trip itself wasn't actually bad. In reality - it was really good. Me and my family got to spend some quality time together and explore a lot of new places so I'm actually really happy about the weekend. The only problem though was that our purpose with this trip was to get away from Stockholm for a while since it has had the longest, coldest and darkest winter in ages. Our plan was to drive to a more southern part of Sweden where the spring had arrived sooner and ended up in Kalmar - which I honestly think was the greyest place in Sweden during easter, haha! It was more snow there than at home and we didn't see the sun even ones. Oh well. 
 
We started our second day of the trip with breakfast at our hotel before heading out to some shops to buy some warmer clothes. After getting prepared for the cold, we drove over the bridge that connects Kalmar at the mainland to the island Öland. Öland is known to be a beautiful summer destination, and as you might already have figured out - it was everything but summer there during our visit so we spent most of the time in the car driving around, looking at the bare, snowy landscape and beautiful windmills.
 
 
 
We had some destinations in mind before getting to Öland and the first stop was Öland alum factory ruin. It's an old factory building that was abandoned about hundred years ago, and since I'm a big fan of ruins this was obviously one of the places on my bucket list. Unfortunately, I was wearing shoes that were not good for walking in snow (you know, I was prepared for spring and all that) and ended up slipping when I tried to climb an elevation. Miraculously I managed to fling my camera over my back, but fell face first and left the ruin with a big bruise on my left knee as a "lovely" memory of the place, haha.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our second destination was the most southern part of Öland, a nature reserve called Ottenby. Ottenby is known for its diverse range of bird species, meaning it was a lot of bird-watchers there. I've gone bird watching ones when I was studying marine vertebrates in Australia and it was a mandatory part of the course. I didn't like it back then and I didn't like it now (mostly because I'm extremely bad at it) but got super excited when I managed (with a little help, because as I said, I suck) to see some seals with a telescope! I have never seen seals out in the open before! I tried to photograph them, but honestly, even with my telezoom the seals pretty much looked like small rocks in my photos, haha ;)
 
One other reason people go to Ottenby is the lighthouse called Långe Jan (translation: Long Jan). It is possible to get up in it but they only let in a couple of people every hour. We missed the first slot with just a couple of minutes when we arrived and missed the second one because we had lunch and we weren't really in the mood to wait for a third slot. If it was warmer, I had totally waited since I love to see places from a higher angle, but it was such cold winds coming from the ocean that made us all just want to go inside the car again and turn the heat up - and so we did.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had driven down Ölands west side on our way to Ottenby, and on the way back we drove on the east side of the island so we had the opportunity to see some more places.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We ended our time on Öland with visiting Borgholm Castle which was closed for the day, but I honestly didn't mind. Once again I have to blame the weather for my lack of enthusiasm, but at this point, my feet where wet and my body was chilled to the bone so it was enough for me just to walk around the big building. They played some "medieval music" in the speakers around the castle which really set a dramatic mood. I have to go back there sometime during summer because I think I would really love Borgholm Castle then!
 
 
 
We drove over the bridge back to the mainland again and I think we all enjoyed taking a hot shower at our hotel before we headed out to get some dinner. We were in the mood for Italian and ended up at a restaurant called Ernesto Ristorante where we ate some delicious pizza.
 
 
 
We walked passed Kalmar Caste on the way home (we literally lived like two blocks away from it) and I used a trash bin as a tripod to get some long exposure photos of the castle when it was dark. Sometimes you have to be creative! After that, we spent the evening playing cards at our hotel room.
 
 
 
Read more about my trip to Kalmar & Öland
Travel Diary Day 1
 

Travel Diary: Kalmar Day 1

 
I have spent this Friday on the road together with my family.
 
We all had a couple of days off during Easter and wanted to travel somewhere together, but pretty much every flight, train and boat ticket was ridiculously expensive, and even though we all love to travel we refuse to pay overprices to get somewhere. We waited on a good "last minute"-deal but realized it was impossible to do with five people (me, my boyfriend, my brother and my parents) in the travelling group and decided to go on a road trip in Sweden instead.
 
We started to talk about possible destinations when we realized that none of us has been to an island called Öland since I was about two years old, which I obviously have no memories of. All said and done we booked a hotel in Kalmar (the city where you have to go to get to the island) packed our bags and headed out on the roads. Like every good road trip, we took a couple of stops on the way at places like Valdemarsvik, Västervik, and Gunnebo. The two photos below are taken in Valdemarsvik, which I, by the way, learned the hard way is a town that is pretty much closed down during public holidays. Let's just said that the search for a toilet after two hours on the road got interesting ;)
 
 
 
After a couple of hours on the road, we finally reached the city Kalmar where we had booked our hotel. The hotel is called Slottshotellet (translation: Castle Hotel) and is decorated in a very old-fashioned style I just adore. I have to remind myself to take some interior photographs before we leave!
 
 
 
We left our bags and the car at our hotel and headed out to explore Kalmar and get some dinner. I ended up with a memory card full of cute houses and a stomach full of spinach with cheese sauce wrapped in filo pastry from the restaurant Table 20. Eat there if you ever visit Kalmar, so so SO delicious!
 
We also stumbled upon a bench that's apparently the longest bench in Sweden. I'm not sure what else I can write about that since they didn't even write how long it was so I think we'll just leave it at that ;)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Before heading back to our hotel where we spent the evening playing cards, we also took a visit to Kalmar Castle which was built in 1100 and used to be an important part of Swedens defense back in the days. Unfortunately, the castle was closed for the day so we only got to see it from the outside, but we plan to go back there before we drive back home to see the inside as well since a lot of historical events has taken place there.
 
 
 
Our main goal with this trip is the island Öland which we will head out to tomorrow, but I'm already so satisfied with this trip since I've already been to so many places I've never been to before. I'm so happy that we actually ended up traveling somewhere this easter even if it's "only" a car ride away. Who said you had to go far to experience new things?

Charles Bridge - Prague, Czech Republic

 
One thing you can't miss when you're in Prague is Charles Bridge.
 
I mean literally, you CAN'T miss it since it's such a central part of the city connecting Staré Město and Malá Strana over the river Vltava. The bridge was built in 1357 (moment to process that please!) and is still used every day. Everyone that knows me know that I'm a huge sucker for old architecture, and I just adored this bridge.
 
 
 
We crossed Charles Bridge every day during our five days stay in Prague, and I think it's one of the most visited places (and the most famous tourist attraction) in Prague, meaning a lot of people in motion all of the time. I don't like when historical places get touristy and crowded and decided to head out to the bridge at 6 am one morning with my dad and we experienced the bridge a lot more majestic than during the day. If it's unclear, the two pictures above are captured at 6 am, and the pictures below are captured sometime during the day. Just a smaaaaall difference in the number of people ;)
 
 
 
Quick facts about Charles Bridge
 
Name: Karlův most
Built: 1357 (opened 1402)
Entrance fee: No entrance fee
Location: Karlův most, Prague
 
My rating: 
★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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Coffee & Coconuts - Amsterdam, Netherlands

 
One of the coolest restaurants we visited in Amsterdam most have been Coffee & Coconuts.
 
We went there for breakfast during our second day in the city, and I have to say that I'm impressed! The restaurant is three stories high and it's built in an old cinema where they have kept a lot of the original architecture from the 1920's which I (the architecture nerd) of course, loved. I had a smoothie bowl and a croissant and my boyfriend had some french toast and we were both satisfied with our choices.
 
Everything from the interior to the menu is tropical themed and I just loved every second of it. If I where a local in Amsterdam, I would probably hang here a lot, working on my computer with a smoothie in my hand. It just felt like such an inspiring atmosphere where you could sit for hours and hours!
 
Read more about my trip to Amsterdam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quick facts about Coffee & Coconuts
 
Name: CT Coffee & Coconuts
Menu: Breakfast, lunch, dinner - and everything in between.
Location: Ceintuurbaan 282-284, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Open daily 8 am to 11 pm
 
My rating: 
★★★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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Travel Throwback Thursday: Prague 2017

 
In the autumn of 2017, I travelled to Prague with my family.
 
We stayed in the Czech Republic capital for five days and explored as much as possible during our visit. Prague stayed intact during the world wars which means that there are a lot of old and beautiful buildings which I just adored - Prague is such a pretty city! We visited the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Saint Nicholas, Prague Castle, the Powder Tower, Wenceslas Square, the Dancing House and Petrin Tower.
 
In other words, we walked a LOT. We also did a Harry Potter themed escape room and ate a lot of trdlnik. I really liked Prague, both because of the historical sites and the cheap food, haha. I have so many pictures from Prague so I'll probably write a couple of more posts about the city. If you want to know anything specific - write it in the comments below!
 
 
 View over Prague from Prague Castle
 
 
 
 
  Trdlnik, a must in Prague!
 
 
 
 
Charles Bridge
 
 
The Dancing Houses and the Astronomical Clock
 
 
Yes, I had two trdlnik! They are a really good snack!
 
 
Looking over the river Vltava at Prague Castle
 
 
 A cute street below Prague Castle

Fotomässan & Explore 2018 - Stockholm, Sweden

 
Yesterday I took the morning off work to go and nerd in my two favourite things: photography and exploring the world.
 
Fotomässan (= photography fair) and Explore Outdoors are two big fairs in Sweden, and this year they decided to have both of them combined in Stockholm and I think no one was happier than me when I heard the news. Especially since I won one ticket to the fair at Stockholm Photo Marathon last year which meant that I didn't even have to pay the entrance fee, haha!
 
I spent four hours roaming around the stalls, trying out camera equipment, listening to lectures from both photographers and adventures and signing up for pretty much every competition available. So can we all have our fingers crossed that I win a trip to hike the Inca Trail or climbing to base camp at Mount Everest? ;) I also got a t-shirt as an early bird gift for signing up to Stockholm Photo Marathon 2018 and brought home a bunch of magazines to scroll in and dream about beautiful destinations I would like to visit.
 
If you are in Stockholm this weekend - go and visit Fotomässan and Explore!
 
 
 
Quick facts about Fotomässan and Explore
 
Name: Fotomässan & Explore (formerly known as "Vildmarksmässan")
What: A fair with hundreds of stalls with photography and outdoor activities around the world. New lectures with inspiring subjects every hour.
Location: Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö
Opening hours: Friday 9/3 (10am-7pm), Saturday 10/3 (10am-6pm) & Sunday 11/3 (10am-6pm)
Price: 165 SEK online, 190 SEK at the door. Only one entrance ticket needed for both fairs.
 
My rating: 
★★★★★/★★★★★
 
 

How to Get 10k Instagram Followers in 3 Months

 
This Monday, I woke up with the news that my Instagram account has reached 10 000 followers. How crazy is that?
 
I have had Instagram for a couple of years but mostly used it to follow my friends and share some photos taken with my phone on the go. I wrote in Swedish and had around 250 followers when I in September 2017 thought that I should use my Instagram more as a portfolio for my company as a photographer and deleted all old phone photos and started to post photographs taken with my camera and write in English. Since I work with photographing everything from interior to weddings (and still wanted to share some photos from my travels) it all just became a blissful mix of everything. I gained around 1000 followers when I'm in January 2018 decided to make a big change - again.
 
I started this blog and ones again decided to rebrand my Instagram and this time only focus on travelling and Wanderlust by Jona was born. Since you unlock a couple of "secret" settings when you reach 10 000 followers on Instagram it's been sort of a goal for me to get there, but I could never imagine it going so fast! So there you have my background story of how I reached 10 000 followers on Instagram. The title to this post is not one hundred percent true, but I thought it sounded better than "how to rebrand your Instagram a couple of times before you gain around 9000 followers in two months and one week", haha. As a big thank you to all of you who have supported me, I would like to share some tips that I have found useful on my way to 10k.
 
 
 
Be active
Follow accounts you find interesting, like pictures you like and comment what you think. You can have the most amazing Instagram account ever, but no one is going to follow it unless they can find it. So spread some love around and it will come back to you, I promise!
 
Use hashtags
No, #love and #girl won't probably give you any more followers but do some investigations and logical thinking about what hashtags you can use. When I went to Amsterdam I searched for #amsterdambrunch to find good brunch places and #amsterdamview to find good lookout spots. There are also a lot of accounts on Instagram that just share other peoples content if you use their hashtag, which can be an amazing opportunity to be seen by their followers. Two I often use is #gohypetravel and #travelbabygirl.
 
Tag accounts in your photos
Tagging is not only just for showing who is in your photo. As I mentioned above, there are a lot of accounts that share other peoples content and I often tag them in my photos. Tags are a great way to be seen by the account you tag since your photo basically ends up in their profile. I also tag accounts like @visitsweden if my photo is taken in Sweden or @fjallraven if I wear a piece of clothing from the brand Fjällräven in my photo.
 
 
 
Don't be too universal
There millions of accounts on Instagram and you have to find that thing that makes YOU special. Being universal works for a few people, but most people simply press the "unfollow" bottom when the content gets too confusing and you can't know what the account is about. Are you a horse girl? Focus on that. Do you like working out? Make your account about healthy food and weightlifting. Do you like fashion? Have your account filled with awesome outfits! Don't confuse your followers, stay clear in what type of account you have.
 
Plan your feed
I'm using an app called UNUM where you simply can plan how your feed will look. I try not to post two pictures that look alike to close to each other and try to follow the same colour scheme. How you plan your feed is up to you but I promise you it helps if you can see how it will look before you post your latest photo.
 
Write in English
My native language is Swedish and I have to say that I'm at least ten times more comfortable writing in Swedish than in English, but I have still chosen to have my social media accounts in English. Why? Because of simple statistics. There are about ten million people speaking Swedish, while there are one billion people speaking English in the world - so it's so much easier to reach out in a language that most people understand.
 
 
 
Use Insta Stories
We have all heard about the algorithm om Instagram that only makes around 10% of your followers see your latest post in their feed. It's a lot of mathematics behind it and I'm not getting into that right now, but the thing you need to know that all of your followers won't even see your photo so I'm always posting in my Insta Story when a new post is up - both on Instagram and on the blog.
 
Post when your followers are active
If you have a business profile on Instagram you can see statistics over what time your followers are most active - and most likely to like your post. I always try to post around 3pm-6pm since that's the time most of my followers are active.

Do it because you want to
The moment you feel that you HAVE to post a picture on Instagram is the moment you lose the joy in it. Social Media should be fun and it is always so clear when someone posts something just to post it, and not put any effort into it. Have fun while doing it and your halfway there.
 
My Instagram is @wanderlustbyjona, what is yours?
 
 
 
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Find your next adventure with FlightFrom.com

Post sponsored by FlightsFrom.com
 
 
Okay guys, I'm starting to get really sick of the weather in Stockholm right now!
 
It's been snowing non-stop for a week and the temperature is low below Amanda-approved so I'm pretty much spending my days looking for flights to take me away from my misery (haha!) and I have spent hours on a site called FlightsFrom.com. It is basically just a map of the world where you can enter your nearest airport and then find all destinations you can travel to with a direct flight and it's just such a simple and fun way to find new destinations! It is also possible to put on filters like how long flight time you want and what time you want to departure, perfect if you planning a short weekend somewhere and want to max out the time at your destination. There are 168 destinations connected to my home airport Arlanda in Stockholm, so I have already discovered a bunch of new ones I would like to visit. 
 
 

Travel Throwback Thursday: Playa del Carmen 2014

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Back in April 2014, my mun turned 50 and we travelled with the family + my grandmother to the Yucatán in Mexico.
 
We stayed at the five-star Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya* in Playa del Carmen for two weeks and enjoyed the sun, the ocean, and the all-inclusive buffet, hehe. We also took a couple of day trips and explored ancient Mayan temples, went swimming in cenotes, the park Xcaret, had tacos with the locals and snorkelled with a couple of sea turtles out in the open. It is still one of my coolest experience ever, snorkelling in the ocean when a two-meter-long sea turtle dives just an arm's length away from me.
 
We had such a good time in Mexico and I think it's an amazing destination for both the climate and the historical cites - Chichán Itzá is even one of the new seven wonders of the world and has a fascinating history. I know that Mexico has sort of a bad reputation, but Yucatán is all for tourism and I didn't feel unsafe a single time during our visit.
 
 
 
The beach at our hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya*
 
 
Me in front of El Castillo in Chichán Itzá
 
 
A snorkelling beach at Xcaret
 
 
Flamingos at Xcaret
 
 
The beach at our hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya*
 
 
Some interesting details at Xcaret
 
The pool at our hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya* and a theatre at Xcaret about Mexicos history
 
 
Parasailing at the beach
 
 
A statue in Playa del Carmen
 
 
Sea turtle! ❤
 
 
Nothing beats having a drink from a coconut! 
 
*Affiliate links 

Corner Bakery - Amsterdam, Netherlands

 
Whoever said money can't buy happiness, has obviously never bought a Freak Shake from the Corner Bakery in Amsterdam, haha!
 
I was looking on Instagram for cool places to visit in Amsterdam before our trip there when I came across a photo with one of these amazing milkshakes and pretty much decided on the spot that I had to go there. The Corner Bakery offers many different kinds of sweets and I honestly wanted to try them all but I had my eyes on the Freak Shake! I also ordered some avocado toast since I'm a professional sugar-eater and know my body can't handle that amount of sugar without balancing it out with some "real" food, haha. 
 
We got there around 4 pm on a Friday and the place was smacked with teenage girls, not surprised though since the café is super "insta friendly" in both food and interior. The Corner Bakery is a bit of the central parts of Amsterdam, and there is not much to see in the area around it, but I would still recommend a visit just to get a Freak Shake, haha. It might honestly have been the most delicious thing I've ever tasted! Take a stroll through Vondelpark on your way over there and you're halfway there!
 
Read more about my trip to Amsterdam
Travel Diary Day 1 - Travel Diary Day 2 - Travel Diary Day 3 - Hotel2Stay - Coffee & Coconuts -The Breakfast Club
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quick facts about Corner Bakery
 
Name: Corner Bakery
Menu: Sweet pastries, toasts, smoothie bowls and a wide selection of hot and cold drinks - everything homemade.
Location: Kon. Wilhelminaplein 60-62, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Open daily 8 am to 5 pm
 
My rating: 
★★★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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Travel Diary: Sandhamn

Yesterday I met up with my friend Annie at 6 am to take a day trip to Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago.

Even though the 30 000 islands outside of Stockholms central is just a boat ride away, I've never been to a single island before. So bad, I know! Annie, on the other hand, is often out in the archipelago and even has a house on one of the islands and has a web page where you can buy her archipelago photographs. Check it out here.

We took a bus from Slussen to Stavsnäs, and there we jumped on a boat to Sandhamn. If you have a public transportation card in Stockholm (SL Access Card) for 30 days or more, you can actually ride the boats in the archipelago for free during winter. If you don't have the card or planning a visit during the summer, you can buy tickets onboard the boats. We took the first boat of the day and watched the sunrise from the boat and had some breakfast in the small café. 




We got off the boat 8:16 am and started to explore Sandhamn. Such a cute little town! 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Stockholm archipelago is a popular destination in the summer, and Sandhamn on the island Sandön is probably the most well known (and touristy) of them all. In the winter, on the other hand, the town was very calm and quiet and we actually just met a handful of people during the day so we headed out in the woods to explore more of the island.
 
 
  
We walked in the woods to the other side of the island where we spent our time hiking the beaches and photographing pretty much everything we saw. There was a bit of wind, but we found a perfect windless place upon a little cliff next to Trouville Beach near Rönnuddsvägen where we had lunch out in the open. Is it just me, or does food taste so much better out in nature?
 
 
 
After a couple of hours, we headed back to the town Sandhamn again to wait for the boat back to the mainland. We had some time left so we walked around exploring and photographing pretty much every single building and alley in the town, haha.
 
 
 
The weather during the day shifted a bit between being sunny and cloudy, but the out of nowhere - hell broke loose. Okay, I may exaggerate a bit since I'm not a big fan of either snow or to be cold, but suddenly it started to snow like crazy! The sky just turned dark grey and then the snow fell down, and I had to go inside the local food store (which was open only four hours a day) to buy some candy to survive until our boat came, haha!
 
 

We were on the island about 5 hours and I fell asleep straight away when I got home, haha! It is tiring being out in nature ;) Both me and Annie were very happy about our day trip and I have to say that the Stockholm archipelago is not just for the summer, its an awesome winter destination as well if you just dress properly. Now I just want to get out and explore more islands!

Hotel2Stay - Amsterdam, Netherlands

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During our visit to Amsterdam, we stayed at Hotel2Stay*.
 
It's a hotel next door to Sloterdijk Station where you can get to the airport in 10 minutes or the Central Station in 5 minutes with the train. We lived in a Queen Studio with a big double bed and a fully functional kitchen, and the hotel also offers a gym, sauna, and a rooftop "garden".
 
Me and my boyfriend have very different travel styles - I want it to be as cheap as possible, while he doesn't mind spending a bit more for better comfort. Therefore, we compromised and ended up both being satisfied with this hotel's high standard - for only 70€ per night. It's a bit outside of the central parts of the city, but the public transportation is very good in Amsterdam so this wasn't anything that bothered us. It may not have been av "WOOOOAW"-experience staying here but the beds were comfortable, everything was tidy and clean and the staff was super friendly, and what more do you really need?
 
Read more about my trip to Amsterdam
 
 
 
Quick facts about Hotel2Stay*
 
Name: Hotel2Stay*
Location: Tempelhofstraat 2, Amsterdam
24-hour reception: Yes
Animals allowed: No
Breakfast: Yes 
Gym: Yes
Parking: Yes
Pool: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Price per night: Around 70€ for a Queen Studio
Distances: Anne Frank Huis (4,1 km), Central Station (4,6 km), Rijksmuseum (5,0 km)
Other: All 157 rooms have their own bathroom and kitchen. Super friendly staff who can help with anything from booking tours to bike rental.
 
My rating: 
★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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*Affiliate links 

Mumin Kaffe - Helsinki Finland

 
When I was in Helsinki in the beginning of the year, I had brunch in this cute café called Mumin Kaffe.
 
Since we only had 6 hours in Helsinki, we didn't want to spend much time on the whole, "We need to eat something"-process and decided to find a place beforehand where we could combine breakfast and lunch. I googled quite a lot before finding Mumin Kaffe, and since the children book characters the Moomins are the main thing I think about when I think of Finland, we obviously had to go there.
 
There are actually in total 4 Mumin Kaffe's in Helsinki, but after looking at pictures we decided to go to the one called Fabianinkatu, mostly because we liked the colours of the walls, haha. I had a spinach filled croissant and my friend Madeleine a broccoli pie and we were both happy with our choices. We were there a bit after 10 am on a Monday and it was only us and another family there, which gave us a calm start of the day where we could plan on where to go next. There was also a little shop with Moomin products which we had a look at before we left and explored the streets of Helsinki.

Read more about my trip to Helsinki
 
 
 
Quick facts about Mumin Kaffe
 
Name: Mumin Kaffe Fabianinkatu
Menu: Sweet pastries, sandwiches, pies, ice cream and a wide selection of hot and cold drinks.
Location: Fabianinkatu 29, Helsinki
Opening hours: Open daily 10 am to 6 pm
Other: Has a small Moomin shop with Moomin products for sale and an area for kids to play in. Super family-friendly!
 
My rating: 
★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
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6 of my Favourite Travel Accounts on Instagram

 
Happy Valentine's day!
 
I must say that I'm not really into valentine's day that much, but it is never wrong to share some extra love in this world! Therefore, I decided that I want to share my 6 favourite travel accounts on Instagram with you! Don't forget to follow my travel account, wanderlustbyjona.
 
 
 
theslowtraveler
 
This account is made by Carolyn from the UK who works as a freelance photographer! I really like her soft and down to earth color scheme and the windows at her home are just to die for! Check it out here!
 
wanderersandwarriors
 
My favorite travel couple, Charlie and Lauren! They are originally from the UK, but travels the world together and shares amazing (and often super cute) photographs from their journey. Don't forget to watch their insta stories with daily updates, they are just so funny. Check it out here!
 
 
 
 
pepas95
 
Another account with the base in the UK! I seem to have a thing for those, haha. 22-year-old Pedro shares really cool photographs from his travels which often are taken on hidden places in even the most well-traveled cities. Check it out here!
 
helloemelie
 
This account is probably my favorite one of all time and with the 1,1 million followers, I'm probably not the only one who thinks so. Emelie share photos from all around the world with a sort of minimalistic feeling which I just adore. Check it out here!
 
 
 
travel_inhershoes
 
LA-based Aggie can make anyone want to book a flight ticket immediately. She shares photos daily from her adventures around the world. Check it out here!
 
pilotmadeleine
 
I found Madeleine's account just a couple of days ago, but it has already turned into one of my favorites! Her photos are just amazing, and she was recently in Austria and makes even me who hates snow daydreaming of the snowy mountains and taking a hot bath in the cold air. Check it out here!
 
 
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Which ones are your favorite accounts on Instagram? Tell me in the comments below!

Travel Diary: Boden

 
I've spent the weekend in northern Sweden, in a small town called Boden.
 
My mom grew up in Boden so most of my relatives on her side of the family still lives there, and I try to visit at least ones a year. I was there Thursday to Sunday and thought about doing a travel diary like the ones I did in Helsinki and Amsterdam but realized that most days looked pretty similar with either laying on my grandmother's couch dressed in long johns watching the Olympics or eating food in different relative's houses, haha.
 
 
 
Other than hanging with my relatives, the main reason for my visit to Boden this time was that my cousin's son turned one year old and had a birthday party! I haven't seen him since August and he has grown so much! Gosh, he couldn't even crawl back then, and now he's running around! My cousin asked me if I could do a smash the cake photo shoot with him when I was there, and of course, my answer was yes. I've never done one before, but it was so much fun!
 
 

Travel Diary: Amsterdam Day 3

 
We started our third (and last) day in Amsterdam with packing all of our stuff and checking out of the hotel.
 
We left our bags (which apparently were four this time, weird since we only had two when we got there, haha) in the hotel's storage area and headed out to take the tram into the city. We lived next to the station Sloterdijk and even though we saw the big bike parking every day, it still amazed me every time. All big cities should have bikes instead of cars.
 
 
 
We took the tram to Dam Square and ate breakfast at Metropolitain. I have realised that I more and more choose hotels without breakfast when I travel so I have the opportunity to try out different breakfast-places every day. I mean, who doesn't love breakfast?
 
 
 
After breakfast we hit some stores, I needed a pair of sunglasses since it was so sunny that day and we also had to buy a souvenir since we (= me and my boyfriend) have a souvenir from every country we have visited together.
 
 
 
We also had a look at the famous Bloemenmarkt which is the only floating flower market in the world. Such a pretty (and colourful!) place but I think they have gone tired of people going there for pretty Instagram-pictures because there were signs everywhere saying that you were not allowed to take pictures, haha.
 
 
 
Then we spent our last hours in Amsterdam in Vondelpark, just sucking in all of the warmth from the sun and embracing the spring feelings before flying back to Sweden which is still covered in a thick layer of snow.
 
 
 
Read more about my trip to Amsterdam

Travel Diary: Amsterdam Day 2

 
I am home in Stockholm again, but I have still two days left from Amsterdam to write about.
 
We started our second day in Amsterdam with breakfast at Coffee & Coconuts (which has the coolest interior ever!) and honestly had my best breakfast experience ever. I would probably hang here every day if I lived in Amsterdam, haha!
 
 
 
After breakfast, we pretty much just walked around and enjoyed the beautiful city. I have a thing for cute houses and always end up with a bunch of pictures of doors, windows and walls when I travel and this trip was not an exception to that.
 
 
 
 
Somewhere along the way we also ate some pancakes at The Pancake Bakery but we ended up sharing a table with three very nice Englishmen and I did not want to act like the freak that I am and take photos of everything I eat, haha! After lunch, we watched some ice skaters outside Rijksmuseum and I wondered why people want to take pictures with an overcrowded sign.
 
 
 
My favourite way of exploring new places is by getting lost in it, and somewhere along the way, we ended up on a street with a market that sold everything imaginable. I've tried to retrace our steps on Google Maps and think the market street was Albert Cuyp Market.
 
 
 
And then I saw it, a woman carrying a Primark-bag! I actually had no idea that there was a Primark in Amsterdam and got super excited and had to go there straight away - end ended up spending an hour in the seven-storey store buying mostly Harry Potter-related stuff. Forever a Potterhead.
 
 
 
Before our feets gave up we took a quick visit to the central station (where apparently 250 000 people travel through daily, and it seemed that all of those 250 000 people were there the same time as us) and also found a Fjällräven-store where I hoped to find a pair of hiking tights that have been sold out in Sweden since September, without any luck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We took the tram back to our hotel to rest our feets for a bit before we went back to the city to eat dinner at Thrill Grill.
 
 
 
I actually brought my tripod to dinner because I wanted to take some night photos of all the lights reflected in the canals, but it was SO COLD outside so I didn't even take a single photo before I gave up and jumped on the tram back to the hotel again, where we spent the evening streaming Melodifestivalen. 
 

Travel Diary: Amsterdam Day 1

 
I got up at 2 am this morning to travel to Amsterdam with my boyfriend.
 
I've never been to the Netherlands before (if you don't count my visit on the Dutch island Sint Maarten in the Carribean in 2009, which I don't) so I have been super excited about going here! We took the early morning flight and started our day in Amsterdam with a taxi ride to our hotel to drop off our bags and then head out to find some breakfast.
 
 
 
We had no specific goal in mind and just went wandering about in the city when a hail storm showed up from nowhere. We both stood with our smartphones in our hands trying to find a breakfast restaurant nearby that we could run to when a local lady came up to us offering us her help. How nice? With her help, we ended up at The Breakfast Club and had a really nice breakfast!
 
 
 
After breakfast, we went exploring some of the main sights like Rijksmuseum, Begijnhof, Dam Square and Anne Frank Huis. I really wanted to get inside Anne Frank's house but you have to prebook your entrance ticket online, and when I thought about it two weeks ago, it was already sold out for the whole weekend we were there. At least we saw the building from the outside, but with people posing for photos in front of it and some sort of salesman walking around and yelling about going on a canal boat tour - it wasn't as emotional as I thought it would have been. I just hate when historical places get's to "touristy".
 
 
 
The sun had been shining after the hail, but after that came the rain so we decided to hit the main shopping road Kalverstraat to find an umbrella and ended up with also buying matching raincoats! We also had a look in some interesting stores, like one that sold every sort of cheese imaginable (and you could taste everything, heaven for this cheese-lover I might add!) and one four stories high English bookshop.
 
 
 
By this point, our feet were already tired, but I had seen a café on Instagram that sold amazing milkshakes and I really wanted to go there, so we walked out of the central parts of the city, visited some "fancy stores" at Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat and then walked through the big park Vondelpark to a place called Corner Bakery. I ate an avocado toast and a milkshake with a doughnut and was super happy.
 
 
 
We were both super tired after the Corner Bakery (getting up at 2 am and walking the whole day) so we decided to buy a 48-hour card for public transportation and took the metro back to our hotel where we could check in, take a shower and lay down for a while.
 
 
 
We talked about getting back into the city again for dinner, but ended up buying chips at a grocery store nearby and watched some Netflix before falling asleep at 8 pm instead, haha!
 
 
 
I am really happy with our first day in Amsterdam. My first impression is that I really love the idea of a city where it is easier and faster to walk around than take a car and that I really have underestimated the proportion of bikes in this city! Look at any direction and you'll see at least 100 bikes at the same time!
 

How to Photograph in the Cold Winter

 
And once again the temperature is below zero and snow lay on the ground in Stockholm.
 
This is really the part I hate most about winter when the temperature swings between -5° to +5°, leaving both wet slushes from the snow everywhere and dangerous ice spots where you can slip and fall (a lot of broken bones this time of the year!). I have never gone on a skiing trip and the only time I actually travel to a colder place is when I'm visiting family in northern Sweden. 
 
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not very fond of either snow or the cold, but I have to agree that it can look really beautiful on camera! Therefore, I've gathered my best tips in this post on how to photograph in the cold winter!
 
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❄️  Dress warm
Quite obvious, but you really don't want to miss a photo opportunity because of something as ridiculous as being cold.
 
❄️  Charge the batteries
Batteries do not feel well in the cold and die faster. Therefore, be sure to have fully charged batteries when you get out or bring an extra battery if you are going to be out for a long time.
 
 
 
❄️  Wear thin gloves
I love my thick mittens, but they are very impractical when you want to change the camera settings. Therefore, I always wear a pair of thin gloves under my thick mittens so I can take off the mittens when I have to use my fingers without getting cold.
 
❄️  Be careful with the camera equipment
Many materials become weaker when it's cold, including plastic. Many of the camera's parts consist of plastic so be careful when handling your camera in the cold so nothing breaks.
 
 
 
❄️  Shoot manually
The camera does not work as well as the human eye and will underexpose images with a lot of white snow on auto mode since it's "too bright". Learn how to shoot manually and your photos of snow will be as white as reality.
 
❄️  Catch the snowflakes
Can't you see how much it snows in your photographs? Be sure to have a short shutter speed and a large aperture to capture the flakes, and/or use a light flash to light them up.
 
 
 
❄️  Use the backlight
During the winter up here in the north, the sun is not as high in the sky and does not shine as strong as in the summer = perfect opportunity to photograph with beautiful backlight!
 
❄️  Beware of condensation
Have you seen someone wearing glasses go inside after being outside in the cold? Their glasses will condensate and the same thing happens to your camera lens if you bring it in immediately. Condense is moisture and if you're unlucky it can get inside your camera and ruin it. To avoid this you should leave your camera in the camera bag for a while when you get inside so it can slowly get used to the room temperature.
 
 
 
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Helsinki Cathedral - Helsinki, Finland

 
 
 Helsinki Cathedral is such a distinctive part of the Helsinki cityscape.
 
Just google Helsinki and you find this majestic building in pretty much every picture. It is also one of Helsinki's most visited buildings with almost 350 000 visitors annually. The cathedral, who is called Helsingin tuomiokirkko in Finnish, was completed in 1852 and is still used regularly for religious services and weddings and has the compacity of 1300 people.
 
The white exterior with the green domes really appeals to me, but I have to admit that the interior wasn't blowing me away. I think I had imagined the interior to be a little bit more like St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, so I was surprised that everything was pretty simple and white. Although, I can just imagine how pretty it must be to get married in here! I've worked as a wedding photographer and can with experience say that it would be easy shooting beautiful and bright wedding photos in this environment ;)
 
Read more about my trip to Helsinki
 
 
 
 
 
Quick facts about Helsinki Cathedral
 
Name: Helsingin tuomiokirkko
Opened: 1852
Visitors: 350 000 annually
Entrance fee: No entrance fee
Location: Unioninkatu 29, Helsinki
Opening hours: Open daily 9 am–6 pm, June–August 9 am–midnight. Sightseeing visits are not possible during church ceremonies.
 
My rating: 
★★★/★★★★★
 
 
 
 
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Travel Diary: Mälarhöjden, Sweden

 
Sometimes you don't have to travel far to explore new places.
 
This weekend, the sun shined in Stockholm for the first time in forever so I decided to take a walk with my camera and get to know my brand new tripod - and ended up being out for almost four hours. My goal was to reach the water in Mälarhöjden but instead of taking the quickest way there, I just went wandering about, exploring every street and trail I could find and ended up finding some amazing lookout points on the way.
 
This is honestly my favourite way of exploring the world, by getting lost in it. And isn't it amazing that you can live in a city for almost 22 years, and still find new places in it every single day? 
 
 

Places I Want to Visit: Poland

Post sponsored by EnjoyPolen


The definition of the word Wanderlust is "a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world".
 
I'm honestly filled with wanderlust every single day when I daydream about places I would like to visit in this world, and as most Europeans right now, I have my eyes set on Poland. It has really become a trend to visit Poland in the last couple of years, and I think it only makes sense since it's in the heart of Europe, have so much interesting history, and is really cheap compared to other European countries.
 
I'm proud to say that this post is sponsored by EnjoyPolen, which is a company that offers tours for both groups and individuals in some of Poland's most historic and beautiful places. They are all for service and can also fix everything with transportation to and from the airport, and book restaurants and hotels that fit you and your needs. I know that a lot of my Swedish followers from my old lifestyle blog have followed me to this blog, so I also have to mention that all of their tours are offered in Swedish! Everything just becomes easier when you can speak your native language, I have to agree on that.
 
Here are three tours I would love to do with EnjoyPolen:

 
Photography from EnjoyPolen
 
City tour in Kraków
Kraków is the second biggest city in Poland with a history stretching back to medieval times. A lot of the city stayed intact during the world wars so Kraków Old Town is actually on UNESCO's world heritage list. I'm a sucker for history and old architecture so I think this would be a perfect tour for me.
 
Find the tour here.
 
 
Photography from EnjoyPolen
 
Guided tour in Auschwitz
I honestly think that this is a place everyone should visit in their lifetime. I haven't been there myself yet, but I can only imagine the emotions you have to get, walking around and seeing the place where more than 1,2 million people lost their lives to such unnecessary evil.
 
 
 
Photography from EnjoyPolen
 
River rafting along Dunajec
I have gone river rafting ones in Turkey and it was such an amazing experience that I would love to do again! Dunajec is a river in southern Poland and this rafting tour starts in Sromowce and ends in Szczawnica and for two hours you can just sit back and experience the beautiful nature passing by. 
 

Travel Throwback Thursday: Edinburgh 2017

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I love looking back at the travels I've done, and thought about starting a new category called "Travel Throwback Thursday".
Who doesn't love a good alliteration, right?
 
Anyway. In November 2017, I travelled to Scotlands capital Edinburgh together with Helena de Ilenczfalva and stayed there for two days. Edinburgh has been on my bucket list forever since this is the place where J.K. Rowling lived when she wrote the books about Harry Potter, and as a true Potterhead I just had to go there. I was not disappointed!
 
We lived Old Town Chambers* in one of the "closes" on The Royal Mile and pretty much walked everywhere in the city to see everything from Dean's Village, to the Castel, to Calton Hill - and we even climbed Arthur's Hill. Such an awesome trip that I'm pretty sure I'll come back to and write a lot about in the future, but until then, this is how it looked like:
 
 
Me in front of Edinburgh Castle
 
Dugald Stewart Monument, probably one of the most photographed views of Edinburgh
 
 
The beautiful street Circus Lane
 
 
Climbing Arthur's Seat during sunset
 
 
 Bagpipe player in front of Edinburgh Castle
 
 
 Victoria Street or Diagon Alley? Nobody knows.
 
 
Our enormous suite (with three bedrooms) at Old Town Chambers*
 
 
Dean Village right outside central Edinburgh was so cute
 
 
 Me and Helena at the top of Arthur's Seat
 
*Affiliate links 

Rock Church - Helsinki, Finland

 
During my quick visit to Helsinki at the beginning of this week, I had a look at the famous Rock Church
- or Temppeliaukion kirkko as the Finnish calls it.
 
Opened in 1969, this church was built into solid rock, hence the nickname "Rock Church". It is one of Helsinki's most popular tourist attractions and there where a lot of people who wrote to me on Instagram before my trip telling me that I had to go there and I really understand why.
 
The architecture-nerd in me just loved the place. It does not scream religion (and I think that there where actually just one cross in the whole place?) and it feels more like a calm place to go when the world is too stressful than a place for prayer. There were a lot of people just sitting there with a book and I could totally see myself doing the same thing if I lived in Helsinki, it was just something special about the atmosphere. I can also imagine going to a concert at Rock Church, the acoustics have to be amazing with that round architecture with a copper roof.
 
Read more about my trip to Helsinki
Travel Diary - Helsinki Cathedral - Mumin Kaffe
 
 

 
Quick facts about Rock Church
 
Name: Temppeliaukion kirkko (Temple Square Church in English)
Opened: 1969
Visitors: Half a million annually
Entrance fee: 3€ (Free with Helsinki Card)
Location: Lutherinkatu 3, Helsinki
Opening hours: Differs, so make sure to keep updated before you go
 
My rating: 
★★★★/★★★★★
 
 
  
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