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Christmas is in the air

6 Dec

I seriously can’t believe we are right in the thick of things with Christmas just 19 days away! Yikes! We got our official first snow in Helsingborg yesterday, which lasted a good 15 minutes and then went away. That is my favorite kind of snow. Over this past weekend Joachim and I met up with my good friend Lykke and her boyfriend Stefan to check out a Christmas market at a park called Fredriksdahl that is located just across the street from our apartment. We spent a few hours at the market on Sunday wandering around to the different stalls that were set up, selling different Swedish delicacies such as different breads, meats, cheeses, jams and sweets along with other little gifts you would find at a typical Christmas market.

What was also neat about this market was that they bring in old houses that have to be at least 200 years old and place them inside the park. Then, they have actors inside the house doing what a typical family would’ve been doing 200 years ago. And let me tell you one thing, THANK GOD I WASN’T AROUND BACK THEN! Yikes. I would definitely be one whiney little bit** if I had to endure the kind of stuff they did. More power to ’em.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped over the weekend:

All bundled up, waiting at the entrance for Lykke and Stefan

Typical stars that you’ll see in the window of every Swedish house during Christmas time  🙂

This one’s for you mom! A giant troll-thingie that costs 1,000 kr (equal to approx. 150 dollars). I would’ve bought it for you but then I would’ve had to pay for an extra seat on the flight home!

Accordion-playing men

Santa looks a bit different here, below is an attempt at capturing Swedish Santa through the window (Joachim didn’t have the patience to let me wait in line to snap a real one!)

Here he is!

My cute little guy trying to stay warm inside the barn

A stand full of sweet treats!

And finally, this one’s for you sister! You can buy your very own eel to have on the Christmas table this year!

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Some (really) big news

15 Nov

Joachim and I are moving back to AMERICA!

I was taught in Journalism school to write a really great headline to catch the reader’s attention and then spill the other stuff later on because the reader usually loses interest when they get halfway down the page. So there it is. The most important information is right up there. Yes, Joachim and I have made the decision to try our luck back in Colorado. Now, I know you’re probably wondering why and I’ll get to that, but just know that this hasn’t been the easiest decision ever (especially considering the visa situation) but we figured this was the best for the both of us, especially since we both eventually wanted to end up back in Colorado anyway.

So for those of you wondering, I was told by my company two weeks ago that my contract that expires on January 1st will not be extended any longer. It’s pretty normal over here to get hired for 6-12 months at a time and then see what the future holds. For those of you who don’t know, my job (along with my work visa) was the only thing that was allowing me to stay in Sweden for a long period of time. Unfortunately, it will expire 1 day after we planned to return to Sweden from our Christmas trip to Colorado, so I will not be able to return to Sweden with Joachim after the holidays… 😦

With 6 weeks left in the country, Joachim and I had some MAJOR planning to do in order to still be able to be together in the same country. Basically these were our options:

If we were to return to the US:

1. Joachim needs to get a work visa (finding a job, getting them to fill out work visa papers, etc. isn’t the easiest thing in the world)

2. Joachim needs to get a student visa (this could happen but the money situation is not ideal)

3. Get married! (ah, maybe we’re too young for that)

In order for me to come back to Sweden:

1. Find a job ASAP and get them to give me a work visa before I return back to the States so I can apply while I’m home (virtually impossible, given that I currently have 4 weeks until I leave)

2. Return to Colorado and fill out some forms to let me temporarily come back to Sweden (for up to two years) and THEN look for a job once I get back.

3. Return to Colorado, fill out the temporary forms and wait for the visa ALL THE WHILE I look for another job in Colorado.. (this could work but Joachim and I will have to be apart for a bit, once again)

So what do you think we decided to do exactly? Yes, I know you know that we decided to head back to Colorado but what do you think our plan is from there?

I’ll update you tomorrow! (love the suspense)

Day 20

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!! I hope you all (back in America) are having a great time dressing up and celebrating with all of your friends!! Eat some good candy for me since they don’t really celebrate Halloween here!!

Anyway, today’s photo challenge is:

A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Perhaps it’s because I’ve never been to the southern hemisphere before, but I’ve had this wanderlust to travel to Brazil ever since I got back from my Semester at Sea trip. I am hoping that Joachim and I will make it down there for the 2014 World Cup and be able to watch the U.S. or Sweden play! I would also love to make my way outside of the city and discover all the other beautiful attractions that Brazil has to offer.

Day 15

24 Oct

The challenge for the day is :

A picture of something you want to do before you die

Visit the Seven New Wonders of the World (Created in 2007)

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

2. The Colisseum in Rome

3. Petra Jordan

4. Christ Redeemer, Brazil

5. The Great Wall of China

6. Chichen Itza, Mexico

7. The Taj Mahal, India

I am so lucky to have already been to three of the seven and I am pretty certain that I can complete the last four before I die. I think it’s so important to see the world and understand that it’s such a bigger place than just where you grew up. It’s a true blessing that we are able to have transportation that can get us anywhere we want to (for a cost) and I think everyone should take advantage of this. Hopefully I will still have this blog up and running by the time I see the rest of the places on the list 🙂 I’ll be sure to upload pics when I make it there!

 

Day 8

13 Oct

A picture that makes you laugh:

This picture was taken during my good ol’ high school years. My friend Angie and I got the bright idea to use each other’s faces as easels and it went a bit too far. Afterward, our friend Kelli (not pictured) decided that we should get into her car, drive around town and scare the crap out of people. The strategy was, I would sit in the front seat, Angie would sit behind me and when we pulled up to a stop light I would roll the window down and stare at the person in the car next to us then Angie would pop out of the backseat. Nonetheless, we got plenty of laughs that day 🙂

 

 

Day 5

10 Oct

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and managed to squeeze in everything you wanted 🙂 Here we are at Day 5 of the photo challenge and I’m surprised with how well I have been keeping up with it! I hope you all are liking what each day brings and are still interested about “what’s next.”

So, today’s challenge reads:

A picture of your favorite memory

After looking through a whole lot of pictures and saying to myself “could this be my favorite memory?” I was overwhelmed with how many choices I had of things that have happened in my life that could seriously be a favorite memory of mine. It’s really, extremely, hard to narrow down which one is my favorite but I think I’ve landed on one…

Look how happy my family is. I can’t help but smile (and hold back the tears) when I look at this picture.

This picture was taken on the day I got back to the United States from sailing around the world for 110 days. I remember this day so clearly, as if it were yesterday. The ship backed into the port in Ft.Lauderdale, FL around 8:30 a.m. and everybody was trying to nudge their way to the side of the ship to see if they could pick out their families from the hundreds of families waiting on the dock. I was a bit worried that my family wouldn’t see me because of how many people there were (around 800) but then, in an instant, my mom and I caught each other’s eyes and the tears started flowing. I then spotted my dad, my sister and her husband Steve and I couldn’t STOP CRYING.

When I look back on that day, there were so many emotions running through my body. The first, and obvious one, was how GLAD I was to see and be with my family again. I couldn’t wait to tell them my millions of stories, show them all my pictures, and hand out the many gifts I had bought for them throughout the world. I was also a bit nervous because I wasn’t exactly sure how I would put into words all of the things I experienced. I knew that I had changed throughout the journey and I was hoping, praying, that they would understand the new, “worldly”, Hadley who was about to step back onto U.S. soil. Little did they know that I had also met the love of my life while in Thailand and my whole world was about to turn upside down. I was so excited to see what this new life of mine was about to bring and the new opportunities that were about to come about, all because I decided to jump on a ship and sail around the world.

This was the start to the new and improved Hadley and I am so blessed to have even gotten that chance, at the age of 20, to open my eyes to a whole new world.

For those of you who are curious…here is a picture my sister took of me after I saw my family for the first time. I’m above the sign where it says “Mom” in pink, wiping the tears off my face.

Malmö

19 Sep

Our weekend in Malmö was a great success. We spent Saturday roaming around the city, walked in and out of many stores, had a drink before lunch at a French bistro and ate Pizza Hut for lunch (the only Pizza Hut on this side of the country, therefore it was long overdue). We stopped for another drink in a square near our hotel, rested for a bit back in our room, drank some celebratory champagne, got ready for the evening then went out to dinner. After dinner we took a little walk around the area we stayed in, had another drink at an overpriced bar and then decided to call it a night and went back to our room. We really had a great time just being able to get away (but not too far) and spend some time in another city. The breakfast buffet (which is something that Joachim and I tend to look forward to) was of course wonderful but we did get some weird looks for wearing our hotel slippers to breakfast. Oh well! We now are proud owners of THREE pairs of Hilton slippers (thanks Mom!) and TWO pairs of slippers from the hotel this past weekend. Joachim loves them.