RELATIONSHIPS: An Observation on Appreciation

As many of you may know, I have a fantastic boyfriend whom I am currently living with abroad (see below).


We have been living together for 3 months now and in that time I have learnt quite a bit about cohabiting, but one thing stands out most in my mind and that is appreciation.

Much like every couple, we have our ups and downs. Luckily, the downs only make-up a small minority of our interactions, often ending quickly and on a light-hearted note.

What makes the ups so regular and downs so few you ask? A healthy amount of appreciation.

According to the dictionary this means; recognising and acknowledging the good qualities in another. However, I´d like to take it one step further and suggest that appreciation entails both recognising the good, but also the lack of bad.

Not only being grateful for all the kind daily gestures, but also acknowledging the things that someone foregoes for your sake. Maybe he hates the smell of popcorn so she makes sure not to eat it when he´s home. Maybe she doesn´t like having any light in the room at bedtime so he turns off all his gadgets before they retire.

Not all things are clear and direct and this is what´s so important. To take some time to not only focus on the good, but the absence of bad. For one day you may find yourself looking back on this time as the ´good old days´and you´ll wish you would have appreciated it more.

Of course, it´s vital to mention that the law of appreciation doesn´t just apply to romantic relationships. It plays a significant role in all connections, be they blood or otherwise.

So let´s all just take a moment to sincerely appreciate the one´s we love and extend a little gratitude their way.






Tiger balm.

Yes, you read that correctly. It may not seem like anything special, but I never leave the house let alone the country without this magical baby.

Why? Well, picture this:

You´ve woken up at 5am. Spent a good couple of hours sitting, waiting (in the car to the airport, at the airport, on the plane) and nervously quadruple checking that you´ve remembered your passport. You reach the airport of your destination, but alas, there´s more. You´re next step is to get to your accomodation. If you´re lucky enough, you´re dropped off at the door by taxi, but if not you may find yourself going by train and having to track down the hotel from the station which may entail a hefty backpack-laden walk.

Talk about a stressful day…and by this time it´s only mid-day.

Sure you´ve mainly been sitting, but by the time you finally plonk yourself down on the bed in the hotel you feel about as energetic as a sloth on a Sunday morning (I imagine that´s an extremely sluggish scene). Plus, if you´re anything like me, your head is probably pounding from all the planning.

So what´s a traveler to do?

Now´s the time to reach for the tiger balm. I rub a thin layer on my temples and forehead and wallah I feel as good as gold.


This impressively potent little jar of goodness is a natural way to combat headaches or any aches and pains for that matter. Not to mention, it feels so fresh and rejuvenating, and smells great to boot. Rub it on your temples during a travel headache, or your aching legs after an action-packed day of sight-seeing.

It´s so simple and easy. Plus its in a travel-sized jar, perfect for fitting into your hand luggage. Trust me, once you try this stuff you´ll never leave without it again. Get your hands on a jar and see why it´s my favourite travel accessory.

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  1. Productive Relaxation

    Sometimes it can be hard to sit and relax. Our busy lifestyles tell us we should always be working towards something. However, this mindset can be counterproductive for our mental health and leave us a frazzled mess. Knitting allows for guilt-free downtime that still feels productive.TAKE IT


  1. Sense of pride

    One of those small happinesses that makes life just that more enjoyable. Seeing the fruits of your labour and painstakingly working through process will make the end product that much sweeter.

  2. Enhances creativity

    Sometimes during the process of creating, something magical happens and we find ourselves in a state of flow. Not only is flow beneficial for positive emotions, but it also enhances our capacity for creativity.

  3. No limits

    Colour combinations, patterns, altering techniques. There is no limit to what you can create.IMG_1500.JPG

  4. Time to think

    Much like meditation, knitting gives us time to process thoughts in a non-judgmental way.

  1. Sweet handmade gifts

    What better present to receive than something made from the heart? Need I say more?

  2. The end result

    Need an extra cozy winter sweater? A case for your phone? Some throw pillows for that new apartment? Guess what? You can make them all.IMG_1490.JPG

  3. Practical skill

    Today´s mentality is focused on growth. What better way to grow than to add a new skill set to your repertoire?

  1. Do it anytime, anywhere

    On the train, in a park, during a roadtrip. Just throw your needles and thread into an extra chic tote (click here) and you´re ready to goIMG_3067

  2. Not just for grandmas

    Yes, this is the number one misconception of knitting. It is true that many grandma´s love it, and I will be candid in saying that my incredibly talented grandma was the one who introduced me to the hobby. But who says you have to be a grandma to knit? Today, there are so many modern patterns to choose. Plus you can knit while watching Girls and show off your progress on insta.

    Click here for the cutest knitting instagram account you´ve ever seen


So what are you waiting for?


The 17th of May commemorates the signing of the Norwegian constitution and is certainly considered cause for celebration by Norwegians all over the globe.

The following are some of the common 17th of May traditions:

1. Eating ice cream

A favourite among Norwegians of all ages. Ice cream is eaten throughout the entire day, and is common even in cake form.

2. Watching the parades or ´trains´

The Children´s Parade, or ´barnetoget´, occurs at mid-day and consists of school age children in traditional costumes marching through the streets to the delight of large excited crowds. The children are followed by their eldest counterpart, Russ students celebrating their final year of high school and throwing out Russ cards to be collected by younger students. Later in the afternoon is the ´borgertoget´, or Citizen´s Parade. Both trains are considered highlights of the day.

A young boy collects Russ cards

3. Family gatherings

No 17th of May is complete without the extended family coming together to celebrate.

4. Wearing a bunad

A bunad is Norway´s traditional garb. Each region of Norway has it´s own unique form of the bunad, in which men wear a buttoned-jacket, rolled up pants and thick knitted socks while women don a shirt layered with a dress, jewellery and crown.

Vestfold Bunad

5. Exclaiming, ´hipp hipp hurra!´

Heard all through the streets on 17th of may by Norwegians young and old.

6. Eating sausages

A classic Constitution Day snack, grills all across the country sizzle with sausages to feed the masses.

7. Doning a flag

Of course, the Norwegian flag is most common to see, but flags of immigrants living in Norway are also set out in order to show respect.


8. Watching celebrations around the globe on TV

17th of May is not only celebrated in Norway, but around the world. Norwegians everywhere send in pictures of their ode to the special day which are then televised all over the country.

9. Eating spekemat

Also eaten at christmas time, this salted and dried meat fills the plates of hungry Norwegians.


10. ´Gratulerer med dagen´

Literally meaning ´congratulations with the day!´. This expression is also said on birthdays

11.. Drinking beer

Tuborg, Carlsberg, Ringnes, craft beers, you name it, Norwegians will be drinking it on 17th of may.

12. Watching speeches in the park

After the Children´s Parade comes speeches by the Parade leaders, poems read by school children and singing of National songs.


Thanks for reading and hipp hipp hurra!


When your boyfriend suggests a day down at the fjord, your answer is always yes.

Being pleasantly greeted to the sound of songbirds, we trecked our way through the pine trees and down to the shore.

As an Australian girl, being near water means swimming and today was no exception. However, this time I would learn a very important lesson. One I will not forget.

Let me explain.

Recently, the weather has been much hotter than what you might expect of a Norwegian spring. Some days have even reached a balmy 33 degrees C in the sun. So, naturally, I assumed it would be a great time for a swim.


Upon reaching the little inlet, my attention went straight to the water. Never have I seen anything so crystal clear to the point where I could see every little detail of the bottom. I was beyond enticed, and this was my undoing.

I kicked off my sandals and got ready to jump in. Immediately I noticed how painful the pebbles were under my feet. In comparison with the soft sand of Australian beaches, the Norwegian fjord is surrounded by pebbles. Nevertheless, I continued.

Suddenly, my feet were in the water and this is when it hit me.

It´s too cold to swim in Norway in May!

With my legs stinging in pain I had failed to consider that though the weather may be hot, the water may not be. Now, don´t get me wrong, I can handle cold water. I´ve never been one to shy away from a swim, even during winter….or Australian ´winter´ at least. But this was different.

I wanted to just get out and sit on the shore, but I was already too late. I had been dared into swimming, and I was going to do it.

After several failed attempts at getting in, my boyfriend decided he would count me down to help motivate me. Finally, I was in and severely regretting it.

Never again will I attempt to swim in a fjord in spring.


This is my first spring in Norway.

When I arrived here in February everything was covered in a frozen slush. Winter was still abound, but signs of it melting away were everywhere. From the unevenly whitened lawn, to the salt stains on my leather boots, the weather mimicked my own transitional period.

Over the past three months, however, there has been a very definite shift. As my grandpa would say, `Spring has sprung´. It certainly has.

As of yet, it has exceeded my expectations in almost all realms of beauty.

Lawns are full of hot pink tulips. Young deer scamper through the blossomed-scented forest. And I am told there is still more in store.

By far my favourite progression to witness has been that of the wild flowers. Here, blåveis and hvitveis grow rampantly and unabashed amongst buttercups.

blåveis bouquet

Many a day has been spent picking these beauties and holding buttercups to my boyfriends chin, watching the shadow of proof reflect his love for butter. Surely, there´s no place on Earth quite as lovely.

I cannot wait to see what summer will bring…


If you´re looking for an underrated destination for your next excursion, I have one word for you: Krakow.

Just a week ago, my boyfriend and I visited this brilliant city. In fact, I´m still in the dreamy early days of being back home, reminiscing and not yet accepting the reality of daily life. Today, I´m reliving our experiences in this post.

So let´s get started.

1) Krakow is packed full of history

For today´s nomad, visiting Krakow is like a journey through time. Not only is this city full of colourful Polish architecture and the buzz of passersby, but every cobblestone has seen infamous events in history.


In order to soak all this up we took two of the famous Krakow Free Walking Tours; the Old Town and Jewish Walking Tour. Both were exceptional. If you´re looking for a comprehensive overview of Krakow´s history, then I can recommend nothing better. I was happily surprised with the quality of the information and that the focus was on the city as a whole, rather than simply WWII. Don´t forget to leave your fantastic tour guide a tip.


On a more solemn note, no historical journey to Krakow is complete without a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Though I can promise you this is not your typical fun vacation experience, it is one of great importance and will surely leave a lasting impact.


For those of you who want an even closer look, I highly recommend stopping by the Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory. Inside is a museum dedicated to a snapshot of war torn Poland from 1939 – 1945. We spent a good hour and a half here.

2) You´ll never feel hungry again

If you´re hungry in Poland, you´re not doing it right. This place is characterised by it´s hearty savoury stews and rich cheesecakes. From street foods to michelin star restaurants, there is something for everyone here.


Pizza-like baguettes by the name of zapiekanki are as traditional as they are popular in Krakow. For the most authentic zapiekanki experience we made our way over to Plac Nowy and stopped in at Endzior, popular with the local students. For those interested in trying new local foods, zapiekanki is one to add to the list.


If you´re hunting for a quick and tasty snack, try obwarzanki. These circular pretzels can be found on every corner and made for a great breakfast-on-the-go during our journey to Auschwitz.

Of course, no trip to Poland is complete without at least one pierogi dinner. Try Zapiecek for a huge variety of pierogi. From potato & cheese to plum, this place has every flavour of pierogi you could imagine.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, there´s nothing quite like Polish cheesecake or ´sernik´. Feasting on the homemade sernik with raspberry coulis and fresh fruits from Cafe Camelot was one of my absolute highlights, not to mention the fantastic breakfast and coffee served here.

3) You can drink to your heart´s content

Vodka. Lots and lots of Vodka. Krakow is the perfect destination for a big night out.

For an inexpensive tasting put the Wodka Cafe Bar just outside of the market square to the test. Bison Grass Vodka is one of the popular choices here, but don´t forget to try the chocolate as well (my personal favourite).

4) The Old Town is full of energy and beauty

Krakow´s market square, termed Rynek Glowny, is the largest medieval square in all of Europe. No matter which direction you look in, this square is sure to deliver a pleasant view.


Feast your eyes upon St Mary´s Basilica, with it´s unique mix of gothic and baroque architecture. We made our way inside a few times to marvel at the incredibly colourful ceiling. If you´re here on the hour you can also listen to the famous Hejnal, or trumpet call with its cheery tone and abrupt ending.


In the centre of the square lies the Cloth Hall. Take a quick stroll through and enjoy the knick-knacky souveniers.

On the other side of the square is the Town Hall Tower. Underneath you can also find the unusually large sculpture of a face by the Polish sculpture Mitoraj.


If you´re lucky enough to be in Krakow for the spring season you may also come across the market. Make your way around and be sure to hunt down the stall selling fragrant christmas wreaths perfuming the air.

5) Your wallet will thank you

For the Western traveler, Krakow is one of the most affordable destinations for a vacation.

We dined comfortably for an average of $7 (Australian dollars) at most places.

As long as you don´t get tricked into one of the over-priced tours to Auschwitz or the salt mines, you surely won´t find yourself counting pennies here.


Whether it´s for a relaxing vacation or an adventurous escapade abroad, there is something for everyone in Krakow. Don´t miss out on your chance to visit!