Browsing Category

Motivational

Motivational, Personal

5 Things I Will Do for Myself in 2017

January 20, 2017

If you know me, you’ll know I never make any New Year’s resolutions. Simply because I am weak and never stick to them. The last time that I made a resolution was on New Year’s Eve when I was 17 and swore to quit meat. 10 minutes past midnight, I was eating a kebab (I eventually did stop eating meat on a hot July day in 2006 and never ate it since but still). However, I feel like 2016 taught me a lot and mainly reaffirmed my belief that I should nurture my relationship with myself a bit more. So I’ve decided to do some things throughout the year in order to make myself happy and to make 2017 rock!

 

  1. See new places

    I have a tendency to travel to places I’ve already been. I’ve been in London five times or so and while I love London, there are other places to see too! This year I want to go to places I’ve never been. I already have a sixth London trip planned but other than that I plan to explore new places this year.

  2. Read more books

    In 2016, I didn’t read that many books and I really regret that. I only read during vacations but I want to prioritize books this year. I tend to get stuck with Netflix or HBO shows because it’s just SO easy, but reading gives me so much more. Jacob got me the Harry Potter book set for Christmas and I’ve already startedI just love being so caught up in a book that I simply can’t put it down.

  3. Stay active

    You might be thinking “Oh, what a cliché!” but hear me out. This is not a resolution to work out more but simply to continue working out – yes, even BORING cardio. I love lifting weights in the gym with some old-school hip-hop in my ears. It makes me feel strong and most importantly it keeps my back problems in check. I never feel bad when I work out, I am in the moment, focusing on what’s in front of me: the weights and the amounts of reps and sets I need to do. And even though I hate doing cardio, I love the rush I get when I walk out of the gym. So for 2016, I will continue to work out, not because I need to get in shape but for the sake of my mental health.

  4. Stop thinking about consequences

    I have a  tendency to over-think stuff. Before I do something, I tend to think about the different scenarios in which it could play out. The what ifs and the buts tend to dominate my inner conversation and it usually ends up with nothing. I realize that this is not something that happens overnight, or even in a year but I do plan on keeping this in mind.

  5. Say “No” and “Stop”

    I was always taught to be polite. To smile and nod. To do things for others. But I’ve become rather sick of it during the past few years and I’ve gotten better and better at saying no to doing things I don’t want to do. I’m better at speaking up when I hear someone pull a sexist or racist joke. But I plan on getting even better. I’m going to say no more, even to people that I’m afraid of hurting. I’m not going to stand there and listen to people tear women apart or using the N word or talking bad about Muslims. I’m not here for it and I am going to make that clear.

pexels-photo-26890

Lifestyle, Motivational

My Most Liked Instagram Photos of 2016

December 28, 2016

If you have Instagram, chances are you have seen the hashtag #bestnine2016. It combines nine of your most liked photos from 2016 into one square, Insta-friendly photo. So I thought we should have a look at my top 9 photos of 2016… They are:

 

9. Poolside drink

13573529_291462877853484_8399299_n

This photo was taken by the pool at our hotel in Dubrovnik in July. I spent most of my days by the pool, reading good books and sipping on either a mojito or a Coke Zero because, well, vacation! Seeing as the pool was only 1-2 meters away, I could just jump in to cool off when the sun was too hot. Oh, how I miss it!

8. Times Square

New york

A lot of my most liked photos are from New York. Here I am standing on Times Square, a place that simultaneously astounds and scares me. It was one of our shopping days in the Big Apple and I had some Sephora hauling to do. Jacob wanted to watch a game in some pub, so I just went shopping on my own. I remember feeling like I could never get used to Times Square, it was just TOO MUCH! Too many people, too many screens, too many ads, just too much of everything. Yet it fascinated me and I just stood there, slightly dizzy, trying to make sense of it all.

7. The New York Skyline at Night

13102409_1710644732547232_1616897837_n

Ah, this one is my favorite NY photo. It was taken at rooftop bar The Press Lounge one night when we met a friend of mine + her friends there for some drinks. I wrote about it here. You know how, before you go somewhere, you have a vision of what that place looks like and what views you are going to see. This was my vision of New York before I got there. This is exactly what I had pictured, and I remember standing there, drink in my hand, just feeling happy that I finally got to see it. And to post in on Instagram 😉

6. Top of the World

Empire state building view

This is New York from the top of the Empire State Building on a somewhat foggy spring day. Unfortunately, we picked the only day of our trip that was really foggy to go see New York from the top. Nevertheless, it was majestic. I mean LOOK at that view. Even though I am really scared of heights, this was a lovely experience and we could really see how huge Manhattan is.

5. Me at the Met

the met new york

This is me at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and my wonderful new lipstick from Anastasia Beverly Hills – it’s called Rio and I love it almost as much as I love cats (but let’s be real). It is taken in the Gallery 548 – the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court. Read more about our visit to the Met (and other NY museums) right here.

4. The Vegan Guide to Dubrovnik

vegan in dubrovnik

A food pic! This picture is from my vegan guide to Dubrovnik and fourth on my list. The food in question is from one of my all time favorite veg*n restaurants called Nishta.

3. Brooklyn Bridge and I

brooklyn bridge liveandletsgo

To be honest, I hate this picture of me because it’s taken from my bad angle (look and you’ll see I almost never pose from this side! 😛 ). But I put my vanity aside and posted it anyway. This was taken on our last full day in New York. It was freezing and raining and I just wanted to take the subway back to our hotel but we decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge anyway and I am glad we did. We walked there as the sun set and once we were in Manhattan it was completely dark (and very cold). We hurried into a Starbucks where I had some tea, before we walked over to our favorite Mexican restaurant and had some Sangría.

2. Wine in Soho

new york

This is one of my favorite memories. We were out shopping all day and walked from Downtown to Soho, doing some real shopping and some window shopping. It was sunny and hot and New York was packed with people. We slid into one of the side streets and found a really nice place on a corner, ordered two glasses of Chardonnay and sat by the open window. They had no wifi, so we were forced to actually talk to eachother and it was great 😉 We returned here the next day as well and really fell in love with the whole area. Next time, we’re definitely staying in Soho.

1. A delicious sandwich

social copenhagen

Seeing that this was the most liked photo on my feed during 2016 was a bit of a surprise. It’s an avocado sandwich with zucchini bread from a lovely place called Social here in Copenhagen. I’ve written more about it in this post.

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, or any other social media channel, my name is @liveandletsgo.

Career, Motivational

Working from Home? 5 Tips to Keep You Focused

February 15, 2016
Working from home

I’ve always liked working from home. Partly because I get an hour of extra sleep and partly because I. Need. Space. Today, many offices have an open-floor office environment and that is great for days when you can easily concentrate on your tasks and when you feel like cracking jokes with your colleagues in between the hard work. But on days where I really need to be left alone, the open-floor environment is just stressful. Luckily, I have always had the luxury of being able to work from home – either full-time or some days of the month. When I discuss this with friends and colleagues they wonder if I really actually do anything: “How can you concentrate at home? There are so many distractions!”. And yes, there are, but over the years I’ve learned a few tricks to staying focused and getting the job done:

  1. Eliminate distractions

The hardest part of working from home is definitely all the distractions. If you know that you’re a person who can’t distract from that pile of dishes waiting in the kitchen sink, eliminate it the night before. Keep the environment you will be in clean and tidy, if that works best for you. Otherwise, it’s easy to convince yourself that you will be more focused if you just do the dishes/make the bed/pick up your clothes off the floor etc. and you will end up procrastinating anything you’re supposed to do.

2. Stay away from social media/the TV

I’ve made the mistake of turning on the TV while I was working, overestimating my multitasking abilities. Or keeping a tab with my Facebook open in my web browser, “just in case”. Turn off the TV, radio and log out of your social media accounts. You can check it during your breaks.

3. Create a work schedule

It’s easier to get distracted if you don’t have that much to do or if you don’t have a plan for today’s tasks. Make a list of things that you need to do and things that you can do if you’ve finished early. I don’t know about you, but I love lists. They keep me focused. Once you’ve written it down and satisfyingly checked tasks off your list, you’ll feel much more productive.

4. Take breaks

Working from home is not different than working from the office when it comes to breaks. They’re important and increase productivity. Make sure to set some time aside for your breaks where you can check your social media, read the newspaper, go for a walk, pet your dog and whatever else that helps get your mind off work.

5. Set privacy boundaries

The thing with working from home is that you’re not always alone. Maybe your partner is at home sick or your cat is placing itself onto your computer as you work (speaking from personal experience). It’s important that the people you live with understand that you’re not home to relax or hang out with them. It’s important that they understand that just because you’re not at the office doesn’t mean that you can be disturbed. For example, if my partner is at home sick, watching TV or playing video games, we agree that he has to wear head phones (and not swear loudly when he loses).

 

Featured photo: vitra.com

Motivational

Cutting down on meat? A few things we need to discuss…

February 9, 2016

Following countless documentaries about how meat affects our planet, how badly animals are treated, and how bad it is for your health, I’ve noticed a huge interest in reducing meat intake or taking steps to vegetarianism or veganism. Needless to say, I’m thrilled about this trend. Finally even Denmark, the land of pig meat production, is following the trend and I no longer feel like the weird Swedish (feminist) vegetarian at parties and dinners, constantly being interrogated and/or mocked about my choice not to consume meat. I gave up meat almost ten years ago and it’s something I am very proud of. Why proud? Well, cutting meat out of my diet was a hard choice because I truly loved the taste of meat. However, at some point I realized that I am not entitled to another animal’s flesh simply because I think it tastes good and I quit cold turkey (pun intended) overnight. Since then, I’ve become more aware of how many things actually contain animal derived ingredients – my favorite candy, many cakes, makeup, shampoo…oh and chicken/fish stock in basically every thai restaurant I’ve been to. I had no idea about this before I started. I did no research whatsoever (which is very unlike me, nowadays I research restaurants, books, movies, clothes, hair spray…basically everything else) and so had no clue about all the extra stuff. Truthfully, I think knowing all of it would have put me off going vegetarian at the time, so I am glad that I took it in steps and realized that while I did give up meat and fish, I did not give up good, tasty food. I learned along the way, even if it took me a few years. And this is exactly my point – you don’t have to do it all at once and there are no rules to stopping eating meat.

Of course, I would love it if everyone stopped eating meat, but I also realize that’s not feasible for everyone. In the veg*n communities that I am part of, there are so many questions from people on how to do it right: “But what about medicine, can we consume that despite it being tested on animals?”, “If I go vegan do I have to throw out all of my leather shoes and bags?”, “Can you be vegan and still go horse riding?”, “Can you be vegan and have a cat/dog/rabbit?”. And of course, we can discuss these things from a personal and ideological level but there are really no rules for you, unless you really want to wear the label of being a vegetarian or vegan.

However, you don’t need to have a label and call yourself a vegetarian or a vegan to cut down on meat (and/or eggs and dairy) and you don’t necessarily need a guidebook on how to “do it right”. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you’d like to cut down on meat, then do that. If you’d still like to wear your leather shoes while chewing down a vegan burrito then do that – it’s better than if you were eating a chicken burrito after all. You can skip meat on Mondays and Thursdays or all together. The important thing is that you don’t just do nothing at all, because you can’t commit to an all vegan lifestyle, which I can see a lot of people are doing.

“But if I stop eating meat, I would be a hypocrite to wear my old favorite leather shoes, and if I give up meat then I would be a hypocrite to eat eggs because male chickens die, and if I stop eating eggs, then what about milk? And if I stop consuming milk, do I have to throw my wool jacket out?” But I repeat; It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe one day you’ll take more steps towards a vegan lifestyle and maybe you won’t. Because let’s be honest, cutting out everything at once is no joke. It takes research and willpower. If you don’t have the motivation to become veg*n, you might just think it’s all too hard and go back to your old ways, but remember that every meal counts. Every meal that you try to cut down on animal products is great, even if it isn’t your every meal.

I know that many veg*ns are frustrated that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to care about animals dying, pollution etc. and the reality is that we can’t expect everyone to care. We can only lead by example and inspire others to do the same, but ultimately it’s an individual choice and it is better to do something than to do nothing at all. After ten years of being a vegetarian, I’ve faced criticism from both avid meat-eaters who think I’m down right stupid and naive (“But what if you were stranded on an island and there was a pig/chicken/cow?“), and vegans who claim I might as well eat meat because vegetarianism doesn’t change a thing. Except it does. Every single meal is a choice that makes a difference – some more than others, but it is still a change.

deserted-island1

“But what if you were stranded on an island with a pig?” is one question I don’t want to hear again.

 PS: I’m not particularly into tofu, and you don’t need to be either!

Motivational, Personal, Places I've Been, Travel

When I Fell in Love with Traveling

February 7, 2016

This year is going to be my year of traveling. After years of trying to find what makes me happy (as in really, really, madly happy) I’ve learned that traveling is one of those rare things that fulfills me. And after the last couple of months, which have been really difficult, I’ve promised myself to do a lot more of what makes me happy. The thing is though, I still have a job to keep; I’m not blessed with untold riches so I also need to fund my expensive hobby. However, my happiness is not in traveling all the time. I’m quite content with having an everyday life where I can put my knowledge to the test at my work, binge watch Homeland any given Sunday, cook food, pet my beloved cats and long home for the weekend just to be able to open up a bottle of wine. But I get bored quickly and need a trip to look forward to every now and then.

I have always been curious of the world, of other people and other cultures. I wanted to explore it all but always put my traveling plans aside due to insufficient funds and no friends who shared this passion. So it wasn’t until 2009, when I was 22 years old, that I fell in love with traveling. It was me, my best friend at the time, and a rented scooter in the island of Rhodes, Greece.

I had a rough year; I saw the end of a relationship, me suddenly living alone and paying all the bills, getting out of a depression and having almost daily panic attacks. All the while, I was running my own company and studied full-time at the university. Ambition is my middle name! So when summer came, I really needed a break. I took a week out of my schedule (which is difficult when you’re the one in charge of your own salary) and decided that I needed to get away. Badly. My sister worked and lived in Rhodes at the time, so me and my then-BFF decided to go there for a week. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I was single, had finally started to feel better and learned to handle those panic attacks and my finances were finally looking okay, so there was no stopping me. I was set on having fun. We lived in a pretty nice room with a huge terrace with the most amazing sunset (see picture below). We could see all the way to Turkey from there. During the days we hung out on the beach, read books and ate ice lollies. We laughed. We ate a lot of Nutella on white bread. We fought and made up. We Googled people we met the night before. We befriended the parrot in the hotel reception and tried to learn it dirty Swedish words. I guess it wasn’t appreciated though, because the parrot started to catcall men passing our hotel any time we were by the open windows.

Falling in love with traveling

Amazing sunset from our hotel room in Rhodes.

One day we decided to explore the island and rented a scooter. I have no idea what kind of scooter they gave us because we were able to drive at more than 100 km/h, which we of course did all the time. She drove, I sat behind her holding on for dear life. Truth is, my friend did have a license for driving it, just not one that was valid in Greece. So we kindly begged someone with a real driver’s license to rent it for us while we hid around the corner. It worked.

We’d spot a little path somewhere and drive down it just to see where it would lead. Sometimes it was somebody’s house, painted in traditional white and blue, other times it was an olive tree or beautiful beaches where we went for a swim before we hopped on our little ride again, off to the next place we found. We’d slow down and say hi to the goats that were literally everywhere, wave to hot guys we saw. At one point a car came towards us, driving in the wrong direction and we had nowhere to go. I held on to my friend’s waist and thought that was it. We were going to die. But the car steered away and as we finally relaxed and thanked our lucky star that we were okay I said “It wouldn’t have mattered if we had died, because I finally felt like I would at least die happy”. That was the truth. There was nowhere I would rather have been than exploring a Greek island with my best friend at that time and it forced me to live in the moment and not to worry about what was waiting when I came back home. I still believe that living in the moment, as cliché as it may sound, is the key to happiness.

Rhodes

My sister and I back in 2009 (how do you like my glasses?)

Acropolis in Rhodes

The Acropolis in Rhodes

Whenever I go traveling, every problem, worry and bad thought seems to vanish and I only think about how I am going to make the most out of those days. Next week doesn’t matter. It’s all about enjoying life as it is right now, in the place I am right now. There’s something very peaceful about that.

Here’s to 2016 – my year of travels.

/Anja