Sweden | February 2018
To be honest, it had been quite some time since my last trip out of the country. The memories from those trips are mixed, they were amazing yet quite traumatizing since I was extremely ill and had no clue what was happening. It can be difficult to overcome those past traumas, to change those thought patterns and realize that not every experience will be the same. Difficult but not impossible.
So when I heard my brother was going to have a baby in SWEDEN, I was beyond ecstatic. A bit fearful of the long trip ahead but I just kept reminding myself of the bundle of love I'd be arriving to.
To my surprise, the trip wasn't bad AT ALL. I made sure to upgrade my seat to one with more legroom (ended up having the seat next to me free as well!) and I bought a bunch of interesting things to try and keep me comfy on the flight. Here are a few of my favorite new things to travel with:
1. Go Sleep eye mask (comes with a little pillow that is now my MUST HAVE... the eye mask actually applied too much pressure on my face so I never use it.. BUT I would buy it again just for the little pillow.. seriously, it transforms any large pillow into a temperpedic feel by just placing it in the base of your neck )
2. inflatable foot pillow.. this thing was super cool, you basically blow it up with your breath until its filled with enough air to hold your feet up, yet not too much that you won't be able to squeeze it in the small floor space.
3. at least one good book (on this trip I took Crushing It & Jab Jab Right Hook - both by Gary Vaynerchuk)
4. SNACKS!!!! If you're allergic or intolerant to many foods like I am, bringing snacks (and even full meals) is a must. Some of my favorite things to pack are: quinoa, chicken, boiled yuca or malanga, arepas, nuts!! *I get them in the bulk section of whole foods and bring a variety of my favorites, blueberries and more. The key is to bring enough food to hold you over for the whole flight and even that first night if possible. I always make sure I bring enough nuts to last me at least a few days through the trip. (if you'd like me to go further in detail of how/what food I bring with me on trips leave a comment below and I'll make sure to make a blogpost specifically covering that)
5. Essential oils!! My must have oils for flying are balance (for anxiety), peppermint (for stomach, nausea) and on guard (immune support) *if you’re new to oils feel free to shoot me an email with any questions, I know it can seem like a lot at first but wow these oils really have changed my life. Would love to help you find the ones that help support you in your day to day as well 💛
6. VOGMASK!! If you're immunocompromised this is a must. I don't love how the straps pull your ears forward... to be honest its actually kinda painful for me at times, but I still wear it because it really does help protect you from the germs floating around.
Okay back to the trip...
To my surprise, none of the traumas I had experienced before - that were worrying me so much - even came up. The flight was easy, I actually slept for a little! (If you know me you know just how difficult this is for me)
Once we got there I just couldn't contain myself. My brother picked us up from the airport and we started our hour and a half drive to our airbnb (where my niece and sister in law were waiting). We ended up getting to the house around 3am and when I say I've never jumped in the shower so quickly.. I mean it. I wasn't wasting one second, and the only requirement was that everyone shower before they met Pennie (my niece)... she was only 2 weeks old at the time after all.
Long story short, that was one of the best moments ever. Holding my little niece, there just aren't words to describe the feeling. I spent the following 2 weeks soaking up every single second I could with her... lucky for her I was pretty much bedridden the whole trip so that meant she had a permanent nap buddy (and so did I 💞).
It snowed every single day we were there. Non stop. Definitely one of the top 5 most beautiful experiences of my life. The house we were staying in felt like you were inside a snow globe thanks to its floor to ceiling windows (you can see more in my sweden vlog). Laying there, on the couch, surrounded by snow fluttering outside was beyond relaxing. Magical really. We didn't leave the house much, because well.. leaving the house with a 2 week old while it's snowing isn't that easy. Plus my body was begging for rest, so I listened. The few days we did get out were incredible, I can't wait to go back and explore Sweden even more.. the architecture, the forests, the people... everything was just so dreamy.
There were signs the whole trip, rainbows on my flight there (like inside the plane!! photo is up above so you can see :) ), and even a rainbow outside my window on my flight back home.
I worked with my friend and editor @th3visualist to create a little vlog to recap my trip, if you haven't seen it yet click here to watch. It really is one of my favorite videos I’ve ever put together.
I can't wait to explore more, create more and continue to live my life despite pain and challenges.
Remember, just because you're sick doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life. Take every second your given and try and make the best of it... I promise it makes the ride a lot more enjoyable.