COVID-19 blues

It has been 8+ months or 249 days since I haven’t taken a flight. The closest to air-traveling during this period of time was giving a ride to an airport for a friend’s mother. I was lucky to go for 2 boat trips and 1 road trip during the summer – of course, keeping it inside Sweden.

For a person who flew on average 60 flights a year it is a pretty daunting statistics. Don’t even get me started how I had time off during March and April that I have spent re-watching Friends and doing 10k walks in the neighborhood instead of cruising streets of Tokyo, Perth, Seattle and New York (yes, I am still talking to the agencies to get the money back).

At the same time, this made me so humble. My family, friends and colleagues across the globe were sitting in a forced quarantine whilst I was living my “normal” life in Sweden minus air travel. Deducting air travel from my life was like taking away morning coffee from most of you. However it was still a drop in a sea comparing that my friends in Spain were getting 600 euro penalty fee for throwing away trashes 100 m further than their usual trash bin.

COVID-19 made me remember every single moment of the trips that I have done in the past and cherish them. It made it possible to spend the precious time (otherwise spent in taxis, airport lounges, flights and hotels) with the nearest and dearest and come closer to each other (I am sorry that this might not be the case for everybody, so again very humble on this). It made me more focused on my job – because, hey, I haven’t been stuck in a traffic 2 hours a day as well as taking coffee breaks with “random” colleagues (as a newly employed person in a big American corporation, it might actually have been a drawback – time will tell) – instead, I have spent time taking walks during morning Team Check-ins, cooking healthy lunches and digitally interacting with people that I know bring me energy and professional insight.

As you can read between the lines, I have lots of free “free” time over these days. I have decided that until travel situation will remain as it is in Sweden – restrict non-essential travels from Sweden to any other country even if it allows visitors – I will post memories from the past unpublished trips.

*Photo is taken exactly one year ago in an elevator of Arlanda parking (ARN), Terminal 4 on the way home from the day trip to Gothenburg.

Dream destination?

Since I can remember I was always fascinated by Australia. As a kid I mostly thought of it as a massive rainforest surrounded by the ocean with kangaroos jumping around with mini-kangaroos in their pocket and colibri flying from one unimaginable flower to another. As I grew older, Australia became for me a dream destination for so much more – idyllic beaches with best surfing, amazing outdoors swimming pools, fantastic food culture with everything fresh from around the corner (thank you My Kitchen Rules for showing so much of the local side of living!) and, of course, crazy mix of cultures. Sadly, I did also realize that there is mainly a desert landscape and many dangerous species out there – but that is another story.

Dreams should come true, huh? Most often it happens when least waited. Even for two months ago I wouldn’t imagine sitting in a plane to Brisbane. And here I am – have been awake for more than 48 hours, had 3 stops (one of which wasn’t in the itinerary – THAI airways don’t think that passengers need to know ahead that they “pit-stop” at Phuket on the way from Stockholm to Bangkok) but can’t sit straight from all the excitement seeing the country that has been my only big travel dream ever.

All of this means only one thing for this blog – during coming 3,5 weeks I will share my travel notes and photos from the East Australia: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and everything in between.

Australia, here I come.

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