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CONFESSIONS OF A TRAVELER

I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself, so we can get to know each other better. Okay?

I’m Melinda, born and raised in Sweden by Hungarian parents. When I was a teenager I realized my hometown, a city about 30 minutes south of Stockholm, was too small for me. The town isn’t really a small town, it has about 100 000 inhabitants. But I wanted adventures. Adventures I couldn’t find in my hometown.

LONDON CALLING

I got the idea of moving to London during my senior year in high school. I’d never been to England but it didn’t matter. Never mind going there for a weekend to feel the atmosphere, I wanted to move there. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I moved to London during the summer of 2005. I lived in an apartment close to Marble Arch with nine other Swedes, our neighbors were also young Swedes. We called our floor “Fuckingham Palace” because well, you know. I worked at a pub next to Borough Market, near London Bridge. It was a crazy year. I had tasted freedom and I wasn’t going to let it go.

London
(Yes I’m holding a selfie stick)

AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE SEMESTER

I knew I had to return to Sweden to start university. I did so in the summer of 2006 and studied international communication. An opportunity to study abroad for a semester presented itself and I choose University of Newcastle in Australia. I was exited to move across the world on my own and also nervous – mostly about the long flight, and the introvert in me was worrying about how to make friends. The far away from home part didn’t bother me.

I had the time of my life during my semester in Australia and I’d do it all over in a heartbeat. One thousand times again. When the semester in Australia ended I headed home. But not straight home. I traveled to Hawaii (Oahu), Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. I traveled alone and it did absolutely not bother me. I stayed in hostels and made friends in every city but San Francisco (I’ll tell you why in another post).

When I got back to Sweden I had literally traveled around the world. Stockholm-Bangkok-Sydney-Honolulu-Los Angeles-San Francisco-New York-London-Stockholm. I was impressed and depressed. Like crazy depressed. I had made a lot of friends during my travels, but we had all gone our separate ways. I had a boyfriend in Australia but it didn’t work out after I left. I was back at uni and two of my best friends moved to other cities. It was a really tough time for me.

Australia Great Ocean Road 12 Apostels
(Please excuse the poor photo quality of 2008 and whatever is going on with my carefree scarf and hair.)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

I had a friend who used to work as a travel guide and he told me that it’s a great way to move abroad without having much money. I wanted to get away so I applied to the largest travel agency in Sweden – and got a job. The introvert got a job as a travel guide, let that sink in for a moment. I hadn’t finished my studies so I took a gap “year”. Remember I told you I was an all or nothing girl? Well nothing mattered I just needed to leave. So I went all in and moved again.

I worked in Spain, Turkey, Thailand and Bulgaria and visited Mexico, Bali, Malaysia and went back to Hawaii. I planned on coming back to finish my studies, but six months became four years and I still hadn’t touched my books (which I by the way brought with me to every destination, but never opened).

SETTLING DOWN?

I met my fiancée during one of my seasons abroad, he worked for the same travel agency. In the fall of 2013 we decided it was time to move back home. I did finish my studies and was so proud when I finally got my Bachelor’s degree in media- and communication studies. I went on to study copywriting and online communication. We moved to Stockholm but I still had my ties to travel, and I got a job as head of web & graphic design at Sweden’s largest cruise specialist. After a year or so I moved on to try my luck in the banking industry where I was a social media manager and marketing specialist.

As of October 2017 I’m a full time freelance content creator, running my own business at Brewing Content and selling my designs in my newly opened Etsy store. I might be based in Stockholm at the moment, but the road to the airport is always wide open. I’d like to move back to England or Australia. Or why not the US or Spain? What’s that saying, the world is your oyster?

Water villas at Sun Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives
(The Maldives 2015)

 

 

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