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non-essential travels from Sweden to any other country even if it allows visitors – I will post memories from the past unpublished trips.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.

Traveller’s best friend

Comparing to some of my seriously heavy travelling friends, my average of 60+ annual flights doesn’t look that bad. That is why every time when I heard them bragging about another pair of the newly bought noise cancelling headphones, I used to roll my eyes and go “yup, right, why on earth would I spent that amount of money on the headphones”. Then a colleague of mine borrowed me a pair during the transatlantic flight and I finally got it.

All air companies in the world should run a campaign – rent a pair of the noise cancelling headphones for a flight and offer a passenger to buy one at the end of the flight. If it is not a Ryanair flight, I bet at least 20% of the travellers will purchase a pair. The most cautious airlines can start with the business and the first class passengers.


As you might guess, I bought myself a pair the day after that flight. Gosh, it is truly a product from the category – “you don’t know you need it until you have it”. I am writing this from a T2 of El Prat airport (Barcelona) from a pretty crowdie café. Let’s admit it, T2 is not the nicest terminal and you get what you pay for, huh, but somehow I don’t care. I put on a pair of this white Bose’s, turned them on and all the typical “bzzzzzzzzzzzz”, “grrrrrrrr” and “aghaghgha” that you can never avoid, unless you are sitting in a lounge, have disappeared. No, you are not becoming completely death. All the important messages can still be distinguished, for example, a change of the gate for your flight. But you are getting your own world right where you are. No matter what!

Apart from travels, I will use it in day to day situations, no music, simply in a noise cancelling mode:

  • Open space office desk when I really need to prepare for the Customer meeting;
  • During working in a too noisy café;
  • At home when my beloved boyfriend is watching a FC Barcelona game way too loud and I am reading;
  • During the long runs when I need to relax and let my mind wonder around without any white noise.
  • During live concerts to get past all the unimportant buzz.

Should I mention that listening to music with the noise cancelling mode on is getting you to a different level of really enjoying the sound (no, this is not the marketing post!).

As I made my research, I discovered that there are different types of the noise cancelling headphones (in-ear or over the ear; wired or wireless), different designs and, of course, different price tags. Mine criteria were:

  • Over the ear as I feel uncomfortable with having any in-ear headphones for longer than an hour.
  • Wired as I don’t want my phone to get out of the battery even faster than it does now (yes, even with the battery bank) and yes, using the connector for the newest iPhone is annoying.
  • A sound brand that I can trust.
  • Sleek design in mostly white colour. No comments about this one, matter of taste.

Bose QC25 was a natural choice for me and I am truly in love with them and can honestly recommend them to anybody who is looking for a durable and quality noise cancelling headphones in a pretty design (no, you don’t need to get them in white colour, there are variety of colours available, even your own designed colour scheme).

As a conclusion, if you don’t have noise cancelling headphones, be sure to get a pair asap or put them to the birthday/Christmas wishes list because once you try them on you won’t want to take them off.

A feeling of putting “mute” on the external world is priceless and addictive.




Hotels in Jönköping (Sweden)

Let’s face it, unless you are a hardcore geek visiting a DreamHack event, Jönköping probably will never be your number one destination – it is right in the middle of the southern part of Sweden, it is 10th biggest town in the country and its population is less than 70 000 people.

And it is a pity! THAT view over the Vättern, the second biggest lake in Sweden, is so worth a car ride. Every time when I take a car down there, I already know how this view will make me full of the positive emotions – doesn’t matter if it is a rainy day or sunny and not a cloud on the sky – as long as it is light and I can see the water, all is good. The best part that the lakeview lasts good 10 minutes driving the  E4-motorway. To be honest, on a sunny day, you can get a little bit of Côte d’Azur feeling  – sky-blue water, mild serpentine and houses hiding in rich greenery on the horisont.

vätternledenimage is taken from here

The views in Jönköping are spectacular as well:


If you are already packing your bags, here are the hotels in Jönköping that you might and might not choose to stay. All stated below is my personal opinion from the best to the worst (literally!) based on the stays in these hotels during 2015-2016.

Continue reading “Hotels in Jönköping (Sweden)”

34th Berlin Halfmarathon 2014 – How was it


Day before the race
Saturday, 17.30 – realised that I supposed to pick up my racing kit the latest 18.00 today or I cannot go for a run. Thanks god, I can dress in 30 seconds and a taxi driver was super nice to drive there in 16 minutes instead of regular 25.
Saturday, 17.55 – running through the old airport where running Expo is located and of course the point where you pick it up located at the very end of the Expo. It was a nice warm up 🙂 but very disappointing to know that a race kit could have been anyway picked up at the day of the race. Damn Germans, could have distributed information better.
Saturday, 18.15 – bought special pins for putting racing number to the clothes that would kinda be the biggest puzzle during the race.
Race day (starting time 10.00 am)
8.45 – still at the room, not sure what kind of clothes to wear and deciding what to eat for breakfast.
9.15 – belgium waffles with cream and a latte – champion’s breakfast (not!). Very nerve braking sitting and watching other runners dressed just in t-shirts and shorts whilst I am wearing long socks, long tights, light sweater and a windstopper. Couldn’t decide whether it is majority weird or me (well, yeah, me of course but too late to regret).
9.25 – took off light sweater, put on windstopper, took off windstopper, left light sweater, realised that light sweater doesn’t have pockets for the energi gels, took off light sweater…On top of that, the problem with the racing number appeared. You supposed to make it visible during the whole run and I put the race number to the windstopper. Well, since I bought awesome pins that look awesome, hold great and not are not supposed to change on the go, I needed to decide whether I want to have windstopper or a light sweater and change the racing number accordingly, I chose to stay in a windstopper (as i would realise on second kilometer, that was soo wrong decision).
Start – I applied to the slowest group, which means that my group waits for everybody else to start that took almost 35 minutes. I was pretty happy with the windstopper at this moment.
Start to 2,5 km – Marc Ronson in the ears, people cheering all around and me trying not to cry of being sooooo thrilled that I am doing it, people around me doing it and spectators have all kind of cute handmade signs ‘Run mama run’ that 3 years old are holding surrounded by grandparents.
3 km – OMG, how i was wrong with the clothes. “Windstopper, long tights and long socks – REALLY? WHAT THE *#€% WERE YOU THINKING?!” – cannot think about anything else, though all the spectators are still thrilling me.
4,5 km – I can see Victory Column, tanks and cannot believe that I am doing this. Emotoins are overwhelming, If somebody would tell me 5 years ago, whilst I was hardly cycling the same route, that I would run half-marathon here, I would think that the person is totally out of his mind.
6 km – suddenly, I see ton of plastic cups on the ground, wet asphalt and realise that it is a water supply point and I was supposed to eat energi gel before it. I open the little bag fast with my teeth, make first sip and USSSH HOW DISGUSTING IS THIS?! I make myself eat at least half (never ever strawberry taste again), grab glass of water and feel that another ruuner poured his glass right on my left shoe. Yup, second lesson learned – be aware of the water at water supply points. Plastic cups under my feet make sound for another 400 meters after water supply point.
8 km – WHY WHY WHY am I wearing this windstopper? It is at least a perfect spring day with 14 degrees and sun and I am dressed for +3C run. If I take a windstopper, where should I put last energy gel? What to do with the racing nu,ber, because obviously I cannot repin it on the run.
8,5 km – still annoyed with being too warm and trying to think logically: I have electronical chip in my right shoe that tracks the time for the official record, I do not care that much about “professional” photos, I have sports bra-slash-top-that-I-can-wear-in.public under my windstopper (and come on, it is Germany, for God’s sake, they do mixed naked sauna on a regular basis) and I am fine running and having windstopper around my hips and holding energu drink in my right hand. So yup, hello, Sharlottenburg, from me in a sports-bra-slash-top.
8,8 km – hell ya, how awesome it is to run and not to be too warm! I am very happy again, back to the please-do-not-cry-right-now mode and giving high fives to the kids.
10 km – almost haaalf way there and made 10k in 1:03, how awesome is that! Once I think that another runner pours water 1 cm from my left shoe and I realise that it is another water station. This time I am very careful, once I grabbed my glass try to avoid every other runner on the left side of the track.

Continue reading “34th Berlin Halfmarathon 2014 – How was it”

Hello, world!

wake-up-and-be-awesomeI hate first blog posts but I feel that they are always the most interesting ones, especially if a blog keeps running for many years, it is always great to see how the purpose and narration of it changed.

Apart from my family and personal life that I don’t plan to mention in this blog, I have three big passions in my life – work, travels and running. Well, to be honest, I mostly have all kind of combinations of these three: run during work, work and run at the same time, travel because I want to run somewhere and etc. So I plan to write about all of them together.

So, that is what you should know about me: I am a geek and an absolute technology believer, a foodie, a traveller, a workaholic, a perfectionist and kinda-a-runner. I live in Stockholm right now and plan to run my first half-marathon in Berlin on 30th of March that really scares me off a lot because I haven’t been following the plan and barely ran enough to nail it. And one last thing: I wake up in the mornings with the thought “Wake up and be awesome” (okay, I wake up after one hour snoozing and then have a thought).

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