Blog : travel

Notes from Stockholm

Greetings from Stockholm, my current home until the end of the month. It’s been great so far, as expected. I inhale and savour past memories and make new, colourful ones. The smell of Pressbyrån coffee and kanelbullar, the tingling sound of “Nästa Slussen” in the tunnelbana, the feeling of fresh summer rain.. some things never change.

And some things do, and that’s okay! I loved seeing my friends again – all of us now doing different things and “growing up” as working adults, reminiscing about our student days. But then again, we still do the same things: hanging out at Andy’s place eating candy and watching series, having fika outside, drinking loads of coffee, and just walking in the city, goofing around. I love being around their company. I love the awareness that there is always someone that I can just call to have dinner or coffee with. An awesome time is just a tunnelbana ride away.

I love that even if Stockholm seems like a bubble up in the North, with it’s hard habits and seemingly uniform culture, there are things that change in it too. New discoveries of a cafe by the lake (coffee with a new friend!), a food-court extravaganza smack in the middle of town (burrito fun times with Frida!), and the ultra hip new mall at Hornstull tunnelbana station (dumplings in the sun with Nat!)

I also met the nicest new people: colleagues of mine from the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, Dutchies who live in Sweden now. I love how my two worlds collide in their cozy, little spot in Götgatan. Plus, I got to watch the Holland-Spain world cup game at the Dutch Embassy. A glorious win for Holland!

But above all, I love that my feelings for Stockholm are also changing and growing up with me. I love that I have not two, but three places I consider “home” now, and that my heart expands to accommodate them all. A few years ago, I limited myself without knowing. Now I understand that there is always room: that a life is not contained, but extending.

A perpetual note to self: The good times are always now and yet to come.

Song: Bouquet’s Cave Life – a new favourite. My friend Natalie introduced me to her old band The Finches, where the lead singer is now making music as Bouquet. It sounds like falling in love.

Ask Me Anything: A favourite travel story

Ask Me Anything is a series of questions given by my friends and answered by me, Angel! If you have any questions that you would like me to answer, or if you’re just plain curious about me (because I am such a superstar), feel free to send me a message!

You are a true world traveler and this may be an impossible question to answer but can you tell me one of your favorite stories from your travels? First one that comes to mind!

I am very tempted to tell a Sweden story, but I’m not going to for more variety. Hehe! First one that comes to mind is my first time to travel abroad alone.

I was eighteen, young, free and obsessively in love with a Taiwanese pop boyband! I skipped my Friday classes and jumped on a flight to Hong Kong to attend an autograph signing, haha! It was incredibly fun, but now that I look back on it, the best bits are the moments I was exploring alone in the city, and how amazing it felt (and not really the moment when I met my favourite boyband member).

I remembered checking in alone at my first hotel, smack in the middle of downtown. It was a bit dark and scary, but who cares! I remember roaming the neon-lit streets, pretending I was in a Wong Kar Wai movie, as if everything was in slow motion and I was in the middle of a melancholy love story. I remember buying high top Vans sneakers with pink and black skulls all over it. I remember The Sundays’ My Finest Hour as the soundtrack to that trip.

And of course, I remember meeting up with my good friend Camille and traversing the city streets with her! We discovered an underground video arcade in the middle of the night, we were so happy! We played Guitar Freaks and Dance Dance Revolution (I am the undisputed queen of DDR in Robinsons Metro East! LOL!) I remember us singing Stars’ On Peak Hill together while climbing up a busy shopping street. Cold wind, blowing hair, arms raised up, hearts full of love.

It was almost ten years ago! I hope that sense of wonder, openness to the world, hunger for discovery and the wildness of my heart would never leave me.


This question is brought to you by my good friend Natalie. Natalie grew up in a warm place by the ocean and now lives in a much colder place by an archipelago. She’s working on a PhD at Stockholm University and her project focuses on early color film’s impact on the costume department. She also runs an amazing blog about waiting dogs.