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Byrums raukar, Öland

Hi! I actually left my apartment for something other than going to work och going to the vet (my cat broke a toe haha!) this week. I hopped into my car and drove over to Öland which is an island on the east coast of Sweden. I’m very fourtunate to live 5 mins away from the crossing bridge but I can count the times I visited on one hand. So when they called from work and asked if I wanted to take a day off I said HELL YES! And planned an adventure. My plan was to drive up to Byrums Raukar and hike and take some photos. Raukar is a Swedish word for a special stone formation which is formed when relatively softer rocks at beaches are eroded by the surrounding sea and a harder limestone core remains. Look at the pictures and you will understand! I’ve never seen them IRL and I wanted to. I drove the 1,5 hrs there and was greeted with a storm and -3ºC meaning that it was very cold! So I didn’t hike as much as I planned but I still got some nice photos.
Everything was covered in ice and I had to be extremely careful not to fall over even with my hiking boots on. But it still looked beautiful and I got there just in time for sunset which made the whole experience so much better! In these pictures you can see what I meant with the rocks, they’ve all been formed by the ocean which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Do you explore the place where you live often? I’m a big believer in “exploring my own backyard” but I don’t do it enough! A personal goal for 2018 must be to explore the city I live in and it’s surroundings more. I’ve only lived here for 1,5 years and I’ve not seen nearly enough. There will definitely be another trip over to Öland soon.
Travel Tips

Traveling on a budget

It’s not a secret that I love traveling! But, I’m also a student which equals not very much money to travel for. However I still manage to squeeze in some traveling now and then. Here I present to you: traveling on a budget and how to do it!

I’m going to start off by saying that if you want to travel cheap you need to be flexible both on date, flight time and luggage etc. It’s usually cheaper to travel in the middle of the week and very early in the morning/late in the evening so look for that. However don’t be fooled, it’s easy to google ”cheap flights to …” and find a super cheap ticket to your destination but usually with these cheap airlines they will charge you for everything else.

Want to check in a bag? They will charge you for it. Want some food on your 8h flight? They will charge you for it. And don’t forget about all the different taxes they add in the end. They price you clicked on in the beginning is no longer as cheap… So don’t just look for the cheapest option available, do some digging. And when you’re done digging, clear your browser history and cookies! Why? The internet is not stupid, the websites remember (they collect what’s called cookies) where and when you want to travel so they will up the price since they know you’re probably gonna buy it anyway.

Another tip is to sign up to email-lists for several airlines, then you will get notified if they are traveling to a specific destination extra cheap or if they are having a sale!

The transport part is almost always the most expensive part but now when thats dealt with lets move on. During your stay is where you really can cut some expenses and be fine with a small budget. For accommodation there are several options: you can have all meals, some meals or no meals at the hotel/hostel/apartment. What I usually do is either book a hotel/hostel with breakfast included or no meals included. This will save some money but you will still have to eat. Since I’m a extremely picky eater (sad but true) and vegetarian I prefer cooking my own meals and occasionally eat at a restaurant to try the local food! Cooking my own meals have saved me quite a bit of money actually so I can afford to do other fun things!

Walking! It’s not only a great way to experience a destination it is also FREE. You can save a lot of money by walking instead of taking a taxi, Uber or using the local transportation systems. But if you’re going somewhere far away save some time and energy and use the local transportation, it’s usually the cheapest!

 

Tourist attractions (museums etc.) can sometimes be expensive so if you know before hand that there is something you really want to visit try to book it in advance. It can sometimes be cheaper to book your ticket/entrance online in advance instead of buying it at the door. This can save you some money!

They key to traveling on a budget is planning, planning and planning. Have a budget each day and do not exceed it. Cut out unnecessary expenses like buying coffee out everyday, you can usually make coffee in your hotel/hostel room, or like buying other people gifts. Buying gifts for people at home is something I struggle with not doing haha. I like to give presents and gifts so therefor I usually buy something when I’m traveling but it’s totally not necessary. Look at your habits and try to cut out unnecessary spending and your money will last a lot longer!

Look at me not following my own advice…

Personal

My camera gear

Hi there! Today I thought I would share one of the most questions on the entire world wide web; ”What camera do you use?”. Disclaimer: I’m not doing this because I want to brag or what ever. I just really enjoy reading other peoples blog posts like this so I wanted to do my own. I hope you’ll like it! Another disclaimer: photography is my main hobby and was one of my sources of income in high school. That’s why I have some expensive gear, you don’t need expensive gear to start out with, but it makes the process easier when you are more advanced. With all those disclaimers out of the way let’s dive right in.

CAMERAS

My main camera is a Canon EOS 6D since of June 2017 and it’s my first full frame camera. I switched from a Nikon D3000 which I had for 7 (!!!) years! I still have it but unfortunately it fell to the floor some while ago and now every picture turns out grainy no matter what settings you use. That’s a shame, but it will forever have a special place in my heart. On the other side, my Canon, oh my god what a camera! It’s such a difference from my old Nikon and finally I can create better images and I finally feel like the camera is on the same level as me and that we are cooperating. My Nikon was a beginners camera and after a couple of years it was too simple for me and I kind of outgrew it.
I also own two smaller cameras. A GoPro Hero 5 Black and a Nikon Coolpix S9900 (not seen in the pictures since my cousin is borrowing it right now). I got the GoPro for my birthday in September 2017 so I haven’t used it as much as I would like to yet, but I really like it! The Nikon S9900 was my blog/vlog camera back in the day when I ran a Swedish blog. I still keep it if I want to vlog but I rarely use it.

LENSES

I have three lenses for my Canon 6D and one for my Nikon (I sold the others when I got my new camera). My three lenses are Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 and a Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4. Out of these three I use the nifty-fifty the most since I think it produces the best quality photos and it’s the most versatile. It’s the lens that’s always on my camera.

AUDIO

For audio I use a Røde Videomic GO. It does the job and it’s better than the built-in audio in my camera so I’m satisfied. I also have a Blue Yeti Pro if I want to do voiceovers in videos.

OTHER EQUIPMENT

My tripod is a Manfrotto MT190 XPRO3 and it’s perfect! I rarely travel with my tripod so I only use it for shoots at home. I have been thinking of buying a super small and cheap tripod that I can bring with my without having to be too careful with it, but we’ll see. I also own a five sided reflector that I never use anymore haha.
For editing I use my MacBook Pro 13’ with Photoshop, Lightroom and Final Cut Pro X. I store everything on a WD Elements hard drive. I also use a pair of Marshall-headphones when I edit videos.
I bought my camera bag on Wish (don’t do this) and it broke at the airport on my way home from Edinburgh this winter so almost all my gear fell out of the bag whilst going through security. So now I have to buy a new one pretty soon haha.

Also, today is the one year anniversary of Stroke of Adventure. So happy birthday blog!

Travel Tips

Where to travel in 2018

Another year of travels is finally upon us and once again new destinations are waiting to be discovered. So now to the big question; where should you travel in 2018? Here’s five destinations, inspired by Lonely Planets ”BEST IN TRAVEL”, that you totally should visit this year if you haven’t already.


CHILE

On the west coast of South America we find Chile, a country with a rough history but it’s now recovering. They used to have problems with human rights, democracy and poverty but just in the last 15 years Chile has reduced their poverty with over 50 %. Chile is now considered a safe country to travel to and is also home to beautiful nature, amazing culture and food! I guess that’s why it made Lonely Planets list haha. Personally I’ve never been to Chile or even South America but would love to some day, maybe in 2018?

PORTUGAL

A European country that I’ve actually looked in to visiting this year. Portugal has for many years been in the shadow of it’s neighbor Spain but since my grandparents visited a couple years ago I’ve been very interested in Portugal. In Portugal you can find both long sandy beaches as well as bigger cities like Lisbon. For me, as a student and a European, Portugal is a relatively affordable destination. I did a quick flight search and from the US to Portugal it’s about $800 but if you live in Europe it’s around $150. So for me, it’s an affordable destination that I would love to visit soon!

Picture: THE THELEGRAPH

MAURITIUS

Who can say no to this beautiful, exotic, tropical island? I have a friend visiting Mauritius in this very moment and oh gosh her Instagram-feed right now, so beautiful (I truly sounded like a millennial there haha). Just outside Madagascar in the middle of the Indian Ocean we find this paradise island. Mauritius is definitely one of my dream destinations with it’s beautiful beaches. Mauritius used to be a colony of the Netherlands, France and U.K. so they have therefor no official language but speak French and English.

Picture: AND BEYOND 

MALTA

Another beautiful island and another European gem. In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea we find Malta, a small country with only about 400,000 people. Malta offers something for everyone; beautiful snorkeling, hiking, golfing and of course just hanging out on some of the nice beaches. I realized, writing this, that I don’t have much knowledge about Malta so I take this as a hint that I have to travel there soon haha!

Picture: HOLIDAY GURU

DJIBOUTI

This is the destination I was most excited about when I read Lonely Planets list. I’ve never heard of Djibouti so I immediately started googling haha, but I couldn’t find much information about it! Djibouti is a small country in Eastern Africa with a population of less than a million and the country is apparently a must if you like snorkeling. INDEPENDENT  writes ”the experience is more like swimming in David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – and entails the kind of wildness that’s so rare in today’s tourism.” so I guess it must be outstanding! According to Lonely Planet, “this petite nation is in the process of being ripped in three by diverging tectonic plates. Magma seethes beneath ever-thinning crust; Martian-like deserts spew steam from fumaroles; and sunken lake shores glisten with huge salt crystals.” so it seems like if you want to visit Djibouti soon before it’s literally ripped apart.

Picture: KEMPINSKI

I’ve not really planned any big trips (yet!) for 2018 but I really hope to go somewhere tropical since all my recent trips has been city-weekends. Me and a friend were talking about going somewhere in June but I’m sure I will do at least one other journey before that haha. Have you planned any travels for 2018? Where to? Are you going to visit any destinations from the list? Please tell me in the comments! And also, happy new year! Can’t wait to see what this year will bring!
Travel Tips

Travel mistakes to avoid

Many of us love to travel and when we decide to do so mistakes are unavoidable. I’ve made mistakes and propaply you too. So here are some travel mistakes you should try to avoid!
 

Planning too much

Trying to plan out your entire trip is tempting since nowadays you can get so many tips and recommendations online. But be careful not to plan too much, usually the best and most memorable moments are spontaneus and not planned in advance. So try not to plan and follow the guide book too much. Plan in moderation and then explore the location more when you get there. Ask locals for recommendations or just walk around and try to find your own hidden gems!

Overpacking 

I’ve not always been a light packer but oh boy has it saved many of my travels! On recent trips I made an effort to just bring a carry-on bag and a backpack since that’s usually all I need. Of course if I’m going on a longer trip than just a week or a couple of days I would probably bring a check-in bag but I try to avoid it for as long as I can. Whilst packing I try to do some research on the weather so I don’t pack clothes I won’t be using. I try to bring as little as possible and in case I run out of clothes I can always do some washing up at the hostel or where ever I’m staying.

Experiencing your trip through your camera

Sometimes you just need to put your camera away and actually experience your travels. This has been very hard for me especially since I am a photographer but the older I got I realised that photos to show everyone back home or to post on Instagram isn’t everything. So put your camera down and explore some more! Also, don’t forget to back-up the photos you actually take! You’ll be devastated if you loose all you pictures…

Forgetting to check your passport

You probably already made sure that your passport hasn’t expired BUT you must be aware of that some countries require that passports must be valid for six months past the date of your flight home, and 26 European nations require that passports must be valid for three months past. So check your passport once again to make sure you’ll be fine!

Following everyone else

If you’re traveling with someone or in a group there will always be discussions about what to do. Some might want to go shopping whilst some of the group might want to visit a local museum. Don’t follow everyone else, split up for the day and do what makes YOU happy and do want you want to do or you’ll regret it when you get back home. There’s nothing wrong with having different interests and wanting to see and experience different things or parts of a location but make sure you get what you want out of YOUR trip.
Edinburgh

My travel diary: Edinburgh

This post was planned weeks ago but exams and Christmas came in the way… But better late than never I guess!
I’m back home from Edinburgh and it’s time to conclude my trip! I had never been to Edinburgh or Scotland before and I LOVED IT! Even though it reminded me of England it was completely different. We spent 3 nights in Edinburgh and we stayed at the Britannia Hotel West End. The hotel was nothing fancy or extra ordinary but it was a bed to sleep in and breakfast in the morning. It was actually the only hotel availabe relatively close to the city centre during our stay so we didn’t have much choice haha. But it was super cosy since we lived in the “old part” of the hotel and not in the recently built part.
On the night we arrived we also went to a really nice pub called The Grosvenor on Shadwick Place which was only a 5-8 min walk from our hotel. The perfect distance after traveling the entire evening (our flight was of course delayed…).
The first day we spent Christmas shopping! We were all very excited for Primark since we don’t have that in Sweden. And I will admit that I spent a bit more money then planned haha. But the highlight of the day was the evening as we went on a ghost tour around the city! It was so interesting! I learned a lot about the horrible history of Edinburgh. This was my first time doing a guided tour (except at like museums with school when I was younger) and I will totally do it again! I doesn’t have to be expensive either. In fact, the tour we did was free but we of course paid tips at the end since we really liked it. The tour started on the Royal Mile and took circa 1hr 15mins.
On day 2 we decided to explore the area around the Royal Mile some more. One of our favourite discoveries was a super cute vintage shop called W. Armstrong & Son. If you want to see more of the shop, check out the video below! The area where the vintage shop is located is called Grassmarket and of course there was a market as well. Not very big but so cute!
One of the highlights of this day was our visit to Greyfriars kirkyard. Both Sandra and I are big Harry Potter fans so obviously we had to visit Voldemorts grave. Definitely a must-visit if you are a HP-fan! Hope you like this very touristy picture of me next to the stone haha.
That same day we also walked up to the Edinburgh Castle and oh my gosh the view from up there! Beautiful! But waaaaay too many people for my liking. There were people EVERYWHERE. Not a big fan. We didn’t go inside the castle this time but if I visit Edinburgh again I would love to.
On the last day we visited the Christmas Market again and it felt so nice getting into the Christmas spirit. There was mulled wine, hot chocolate, handy crafts and many other things. I bought a hot chocolate and a hand made wooden lantern for my mum for Christmas (she really liked it!). This concluded our trip to Edinburgh as we traveled back home the day after. But before we went to the airport we hade some time to visit the National Museum of Scotland (they have a roof terrace with a panoramic view over Edinburgh!!!). Big recommendation if you visit Edinburgh!

If you want to see the entire trip in a video, you’re in luck! I made a video for my YouTube. If you like it, don’t forget to like and subscribe HERE. Also don’t forget to follow my adventures over on Instagram! @STROKEOFADVENTURE 

Edinburgh

EDINBURGH: Plans and Expectations

As I revealed a couple of posts ago I am going to Edinburgh next week. I have never visited Edinburgh or Scotland, so I’m very excited! And since I’ve never been, I thought I would share some of our plans and my expectations for this trip. We are six people in total travelling together on this trip and that means a LOT of people that want to do different things. We arrive in Edinburgh on November 30th and fly back home on December 3rd.
Plans
We have three main activities planned for this trip. But they may change due to weather etc.
First off, shopping. Since we are going to a country in which it is cheaper to shop for clothes etc. than in Sweden we are going to do some Christmas shopping. I’m planning to buy the majority of my Christmas presents in Edinburgh and so are the others. Hopefully, I can find some goodies for my self as well. I just recently cleaned out my entire closet because I’m moving to a different appartment when I get back from this trip. So now I need to fill it back up, right?! I plan to spend a lot of time in Primark since we don’t have that in Sweden haha.
Picture: TECHRETE
Secondly, a ghost tour! Edinburgh is a very old city and therefor it has a lot of history, especially haunted history. There are multiple tours all around the city for around £10-20. We’re planning to take a walking tour around Edinburgh if the weather allows it and then find somewhere to eat dinner. Hopefully the weather will be nice to us because I’m very excited about this tour! Have anyone of you done a tour like this in Edinburgh? Do you have any recommendations?
Picture: MY HOLIDAY GURU
Lastly, we plan on climbing Arthur’s Seat. Everyone on this trip are nature freaks and loves the outdoors so of course we plan to hike up Arthur’s Seat. Once again this activity might change due to the weather but I’m bringing a rain jacket and my hiking boots, so no one can stop me haha!
Picture: WALKHIGHLANDS
These are the three main activities on this trip but of course we have a whole lot more planned. Me and my cousin are big Harry Potter-fans so we plan on visiting Tom Riddles grave at Greyfriars kirkyard as well as the cafés where J.K. Rowling apparently wrote some of the books. We also want to visit the Museum of Edinburgh and the Edinburh Castle.
Expectations
As I’ve never been to Scotland at all before I really don’t know what to expect. I’ve heard only good things of Edinburgh but I don’t like to listen to rumors too much. I have visted the UK quite a lot so in some ways I expect it to be very similar to that. Right now I just hope the weather will be okay and that it doesn’t rain the entrie trip haha. But other than that, I will just have to wait and experience it on my own!
Travel Tips

Five countries to travel alone

Many of us LOVE to travel but can never seem to get it done. One of the most common reasons not to travel is that you have no one to travel with. This is common for various different reasons; your and your travelmates schedules don’t add up, your travelmate haven’t saved up as much money as you and so on, the reasons are endless. So here I present to you five countries that are great for solo travel! Ditch you friend (unless they can come of course) and go by yourself. You will not only discover a new county or place, you will also discover things about yourself you didn’t already know!
First location, Norway!
Picture: EARTH TREKKERS
With stunning nature and lovely people, Norway had a given place on this list. The people in Norway are helpful and speak good English. And Norway is also the home of many famous “Instagram-locations” as Trolltunga and Trollstigen. Norway is to say the least a beautiful country with a different culture. If you want to visit Norway I recommend you do it the right way – pack your best hiking boots and rent a car and go for a roadtrip through this beautiful country. This is perfect for solo travel as you can stop where ever you want and whenever you want! Norway is also concidered a “safe” country to visit so what are you waiting for?
Austria!
Austria is similar to Norway with its beautiful nature. Here goes the same as Norway, rent a car and drive through the mountains. Or travel in the winter for some absolute fantastic skiing. A popular destination in Austria is the capital Vienna and with its 1.8 million people its the 7th largest city in the EU. In Vienna you can enjoy beautiful architechture or why not visit the opera?
Third on the list, Canada!
Picture: Source not found.
Canada is a dream destination for me as well as for many others! Canada offers both stunning nature and big cities. As well as Norway and Austria, Canada offers skiing in the winter. Canada offers everything from the big city of Toronto to Banff National Park. It is safe to say that canada is the nature lovers dream. While in Canada you should also make sure you go see an ice hockey game since it is their national sport in the winter time! And who knows, you might even meet some nice people at the game that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Number 4 is Thailand!
Picture: G ADVENTURE
If you want to solo travel but at the same time meet new friends, Thailand is the place to go. Thailand is very popular for both solo och groups of backpackers. You will most likely meet other backpackers and maybe you even end up travelling together for a while. Thailand and South East Asia is very cheap to travel within and the most expensive thing on the trip will likely be your plane ticket to get there. You can also chose if you want to spend your time on the mainland or on some of the islands. Maybe Koh Samet? Or Bangkok?
Last but not least we have Australia!
Not unlike Thailand backpackers are all over Australia. Australia is a great place to travel to if you want to meet other travelers. Australia is the home to a rich wildlife with animals like koalas, kangaroos and sharks! Go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or celebrate New Year’s in Sydney. If you are feeling really adventurous you can even book a ticket to The Ghan, which is a train that goes from Adelaide to Darwin. The Ghan is a 54 hour (two nights) train ride through the wilderness of Australia. While riding the The Ghan you can stop to visit Ayers rock, Kakadu National Park and more!
I hope this left you inspired to travel solo! You don’t need to rely on friends and family to travel, you can do it alone. Please tell me in the comments below if you ever visited any of these countries and what your favourite part of the trip was! See you soon.
Personal

Who Am I?

So I thought it would be fair to do an introduction of myself. So you guys know who’s on the other side of the screen.

First of all, my name is Mie and I’m a student and a photographer living in Sweden. I’m 20 years old. Currently, I’m studying business administration with a focus on the tourism industry at university and right now I’m about 50% (as of November, 2017) done with my studies. There is, however, a problem. I don’t know what I want to do when I’m done! I guess time will tell. Right now I’m just focusing on living now and trying not to focus too much on the future. I’m a big fan of travelling (as you might have noticed haha!) and I even lived abroad for a short while and for a short while my home was Liverpool, UK. I then moved back to Sweden to study, as mentioned earlier. 

I’m a very active person and any time not spent studying I’m spending swimming, hiking or (occationally) running. Hiking and outdoor-living is one of my biggest hobbies. But as much as I love being on the go with travelling or hiking or camping, I love to stay in my bed all day and watch Netflix like any other teenager (although I’m technically an adult). I hope you enjoyed this little introduction of me. I assume we will get to know eachother more and better along the way. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me in the comments or via the link in the top menu!

My Top 3 Dream Travel Destinations (atm)

  • Bali
  • Iceland
  • Norway
My Top 3 Visited Destinations (atm)
  • Cyprus
  • Paris, France
  • Tossa De Mar, Spain
Personal

Welcome to Stroke of Adventure!

Hello! And welcome to Stroke of Adventure. Stroke of Adventure is a travel related blog, Instagram and YouTube-channel (links in the top menu). Stroke of Adventure was founded with the purpose for me to share my adventures (both big and small), tips and other things related to travel. It is my vision about exploring the world and making my life an adventure. An introduction of me will be up shortly as well.

Traveling and photography is a big part of my life and I have had a dream for the longest of time to combine the two. And this is the result. Here I will try to gather my best travel photos, recommendations, tips, destinations and other useful travel related information. I hope you want to tag along exploring the world with me and follow my travels.

So take a seat and buckle up because in just a few days we’re heading of to our first destination…. *drum roll* Edinburgh, Scotland!

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