This post has been blinking at me for a few days now. Pictures of sunny scandinavia uploaded and ready to go but drawing a blank on words and thoughts to accompany them. Life has been pretty wild lately, and looking back through these pictures it feels like a whole lifetime ago. It’s crazy to think that only three weeks ago we were still in Sweden – so much has happened in the in between. I’ve moved back to a city in which I have not lived for a long time, it’s an adjustment for sure. Slowly getting back into a routine, and trying to hold on to the girl I discovered over the summer. In my last post I mentioned that we continue to live our travels long after we land, and I believe that more each day. I find myself longing for days spent outside and nights under the stars – even if it was often cold and wet, it was also quiet, calm and we had each other. It was so much more than enough.
We landed in Stockholm at midnight, with no where to sleep and bikes that still needed to be assembled. I don’t think we even had a map or a particular direction to take, we had no swedish currency or any idea of what the next few months were going to bring. But we knew Norway was part of the plan so we headed north west, and found a field where we could pitch our tent in around 2am. There was just enough light to set up without our head lamps, and we weren’t sure at this point whether it was dawn or dusk. We were exhausted, but we had made it.
The following weeks were some of the most challenging times I’ve ever been through. We had rain, and wind and snow and it was all we could do not to sell our bikes and fly somewhere far, far south. I honestly wasn’t convinced that we had made the right choice, that a trip like this was for me. Before we left I admit I had my doubts, I thought that I would be far to picky about what we ate and where we slept. I guess I have always lived a pretty comfortable life, never too cold or too hungry or too tired. Never too far away from the comforts of home; a hot shower, a warm bed, a fridge of good food. But quickly we found comfort in the few things that we had packed our on bikes, and at the end of the day when the rain was pouring down on the tent and we were tucked away in our sleeping bags, reading books and eating cheap chocolate, we sometimes had to let out a giggle because in that moment we just knew we had all we could ever want.
It’s not often that we allow ourselves to be proud, to be so totally blown away by something we have accomplished, to take credit in our glory. This trip allowed me to do that, and if you ask me now I’ll probably blush and say it wasn’t a huge deal, but I remember falling asleep at night so damn proud of how far we’d come, and of everything that I had made it through. It was no grand expedition by any means, but it was enough for me. It was enough to show me that I am capable of so much more than I could have imagined. It has been, without a doubt, one of my life’s greatest accomplishments, even if all I have to show for it is an empty bank account and a few great stories to tell. Pasta, olive oil + herbamare will always be a meal with a special place in my heart.
The majority of these photos are from the Lofoten in northern Norway. It was definitely our coup de coeur from the country, but that probably has a lot to do with the week of sunny weather we had there. If anyone out there is interested in our route, what we packed or details of our trip, please just send me an email, jodi(at)happyheartedkitchen(dot)com – and I would be more than happy to share more with you. Matt will tell you that he thinks everyone should take two trips in their life, one to get to know yourself and one to get to know your partner. And while he has now checked off both, I guess that means I have a free ticket to ride solo sometime in the future. But for now, the memories we made together on our little adventure in the north are enough to keep me dreaming for a while.
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” – Jack Kerouac