Wondering what I am up to? Check this out 🙂
Ps: I now have my visa and passport – Russia next!
Wondering what I am up to? Check this out 🙂
Ps: I now have my visa and passport – Russia next!
We couldn’t visit Dubrovnik, Croatia in the summer and not experience one of their sunsets. What a sight!
In which we brave 31 degrees celcius in the shade to wander the streets of Old Town Dubrovnik. There are so many incredible things to see in this city, including a LOT of Game of Thrones locations.
The first vlog-series about the epic backpacking adventure covers the first train ride, the flights and the journey to Croatia, the first country on our list.
A little mini-vlog showing some glimpses of a sunny afternoon in Amsterdam, before i jetted off to Newcastle Upon Tyne in the morning.
As it happens my flight tickets turned out cheaper with a brief stop in the Netherlands so here I am now. I have left the nest (again) and set off to face my fears, face the unknown, and be with my beloved Englishman. First however, I was lucky enough to get to stay with my former flatmate Christa in her current place of study: The gorgeous town of Groningen in the North-East of the Netherlands. Here is a little blog from one of our days!
As I am writing this I am listening to my Finnish lecturer talk with my Icelandic classmate. I am sat in an office at work in Northern Norway. Our course leader is in Tromsø, our online moderator is in Rovaniemi, Finland and my groupmate is from Malta. It is an interactive online space unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.
I am currently enrolled in a distance learning course from the University of Tromsø (the Arctic University of Norway)- created in cooperation with the NarFU Northern Arctic Federal University in Russia and LAPIN AMK Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Basically, it is the Barents region, Nordic Region, the Arctic region, or Lapland, depending on what you know it as and what makes sense to you. What tourism in these areas has in common is a focus on native tourism, nature-based adventure tourism and natural phenomenons like Northern Lights and Midnight Sun.
In theory I could sit anywhere in the world, and as long I have internet and am awake as the lecture is live I can participate, “raise my hand” with a button and talk by turning my microphone on. It is perfect for travellers, and as an extra course alongside work or other studies.
It’s not free of problems however. The work-load can be overwhelming at times, as you learn about the tourism industry, business planning, business management and ways of thinking about tourism in sociological terms. I am expected to write a thesis, but it is not a Masters degree, nor is it enough credits to be a Bachelors. It is a One-year diploma, created to quickly expand your knowledge on all things tourism, particularly about tourism in Arctic areas. We also do a lot of group work, never meeting or seeing our groupmates in person. Learning to work in groups using only the internet and online tools to cooperate can be tough, but the content of the course is so very interesting for those who are interested in the field.
As a Media and Communications graduate I view the audience experience very differently than before I began my degree. I view video, advertising and cultural outputs differently. I view text and image with new, critical eyes. And as a student of Travel & Tourism Management I am now starting to view travelling differently.
Studying Travel & Tourism Management is learning both business and societal factors of the tourism industry, but it is also complicating the travel experience and questioning the tourism moment. How do we meet natives? How do we preserve or destroy culture? What happens before, during and after a tourism boom?`How do we promote and create sustainable places of work, particularly in rural areas? How do we protect nature when nature itself becomes a product? Why does “dark tourism” exist?
I am finding the course and the courswork challenging, but so interesting. I am also loving the business management aspects of it. Previously I didn’t want to take elective business classes due to the general nature of them, but framed by tourism the course is highly enganging. Learning across borders brings challenges in terms of cultures, but it also brings benefits in terms of contacts, networks and perspective.
Despite occasionally having trouble balancing full-time work with university I know for a fact that this course is leading me down a path I want to be on work-wise. And what better course for an avid traveller then a Tourism course?
I never quite know how I feel about my hometown. When I am away, I long for the mountains, for the food, for the friends and family that I left behind. When I am home however, all I do is dream about interailing and flying and going away to the farthest corners of the world.
After living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for three years I feel too foreign for Norway. I can’t quite settle down and the travelbug is bugging me (Ha.) more than I thought it would. Is this little town in Northern Norway still my home? I don’t know. I know that it is where I came from. But I lived in over 15 different houses/flats/apartments in two different cities growing up so I don’t have much of a tie to the place other than my family. I don’t have a house that I’ve lived in all my life and a room that still has toys from when I was a kid on the shelves. I have boxes and suitcases and a lot of books and clothes that I have unpacked, but most of my stuff? It’s waiting for me to decide where home is as much as I am waiting for figure it out.
I guess looking back it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I struggle to find peace and a true feeling of home anywhere. I grew up on the go, shuttled between places and schools and parents. I was loved and spoiled for attention, but I grew to love the change of scenery too. The new room, new decorations, new sights and sounds and routes to school.
I thrive on new situations and new places because for a large part of my life that was all I knew. I don’t know how to stay still. I can feel at home and I certainly consider where my family lives for home… but I don’t think it will be my permanent home. I want to live in more countries. I want to see more of the places I have read about. And make no mistake, when I can’t travel in flesh, I travel in mind. Thailand, India, Italy, Australia, Narnia, in my mind I have visited them all.
I read a lot as a kid. As much and as many books from remote countries and imaginary magical realms as I could get my hands on. I scoured the library and spent any and all savings on books. The pattern seems to be that the constant in my life was movement and imagination and travelling the only way I could at the time.
What “home” is to me then, are the people I love and the few things I bring with me wherever life takes me. It is the things I treasure, the values I have and the lessons I learn. It is the comfort and peace of mind I, like many other travellers, seek when we go abroad. Home is the paved road, the gravel path and the rough rivers that bring me to and from moments in life. Home is the little smiles, the warm fuzzy feelings of reunions and the knowledge that a small town as a home is in no way limiting, but inspring. Home is the roots of who I am and the safe and loving web of family who will support me wherever I go. Home is not a place to me, but a concept and a feeling, and to find the peace I seek while spending some months at home this is what I need to focus on. Wanderlust and a travellers “home” are often juxtaposed as people forget that where you came from is why you belong in more places than one.
Hey, ya´ll. It’s been six months. I wrote a bachelors dissertation. Explanation done. No, but really. I have missed blogging and writing down the details of my journeys both big and small so much. There just hasn’t been enough time or energy or mental health left in me to do so. So let’s update you all on my life now, and then start the actual blogging again next week with a post about Dublin in February.
I finished university! I am graduating! I gave myself anxiety and a panic attack in the process but I got there! The past six months were draining. That is all I will say about the subject for now. Draining but in hindsight a valuable experience and definitely something to learn from. University has for me been a wonderful and adventurous time, but I am looking forward to the new chapter and new challenges.
Long Distance Relationship
So I have written a couple of posts in the past about my LDR and how to deal with the sadness of it. I am still in an LDR and still dealing with the sadness of it, but also the joy of it and the happy moments in between. Once our current four weeks of summer time together comes to a close I will share some of my other thoughts on the subject, because dayum, it is hard.
I did a fair bit of traveling in the past six months, hitting up Dublin, Copenhagen, Rio De Janeiro, Eurovision and Stockholm, York, Scarborough and some home time in between lectures and seminars. Posts about all of these to come in time. 🙂
What’s to Come
I am currently sat in my flat in Newcastle upon Tyne, counting down the days until graduation and moving. I am not moving anywhere exciting, I am moving home. Home to family and friends, home to a job offer, home to help and grow and reconnect with everything I was so eager to run away from when I moved abroad. For a few months anyway 😉 In 2017 I am off again to new places and new adventures, hopefully feeling a lot more settled and a lot less confused about what I want to do with my life.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but the next six months are sort of sorted in terms of what I am doing. I will be graduating, I will be moving home to Northern Norway and I will continue the journey that is being 22 years old and down with a serious case of wanderlust.
Love, Cat xxx
We were hanging out in our hostel in Dublin and decided we should make a video together about what out hostel essentials are. For those of you who prefer it in a handy list form :
Hope you found this useful! What is on our hostel essentials list?