tough to get to. tougher to explain. but, once you get there, you get it.

i have to go to marfa, texas.

you see, my love is in the process of sketching a tent for one of her graphic design classes, and that got me thinking about a place that i ran across on the internet some time ago. a “hotel”, or more like a place to stay, in texas. marfa, texas to be exact. i remembered that i was intrigued by it and thought it’d be awesome to visit there one day. so, since i hadn’t thought about this place in a year or so, i decided to look it up again.

just outside marfa, a tiny little town located in the middle of nowhere in west texas, lies el cosmico. that’s right. it’s a little mexican and a little cosmic = southwestern hippy heaven. at least in my book. among the dirt fields and the tumbleweeds, where the sky meets the ground, and the sun beats down on the dry earth, el cosmico appears to be a little relaxing paradise for those who want to do things a little differently. it’s a place that i am certain lends itself to beauty, funky-ness, and amazing vibes. you see, el cosmico is a “hotel/camping” place of sorts. but. instead of rooms decorated in southwestern and mexican themes, you get the real thing: tee pees, yurts, and rvs. that’s right. just make a reservation, drive your car out into the middle of nowhere, and stay in one of these amazing, classic, funky places – and soak up the atmosphere. crazy amazing, huh?

upon “rediscovering” marfa and el cosmico on the internet, i decided that i simply must go there. like, i will go there. it feels like the perfect road trip for me and my love to experience together – we’ve never been to west texas, we’ve never slept in a tee pee. and we loooove the hippy, community, relaxed vibes of anyplace that deems itself a little bit alternative and off the grid.

so, i’m going. i don’t know when… but sooner, rather than later. and here are photos i’ve found scattered all over the internet demonstrating exactly why this place is on my bucket list…

b285187d9896a1ff211ae8e2c3ac0e2e El-Cosmico-Trailer-Marfa-TX marfa-eric-anderson-main ElCosmico1 Brent-El-Cosmico-Marfa-TX post_display_open-uri20121220-12878-1bu8a0q

7d2ce48275c0d24e59f6aa1be31abb40 one_part_gypsy_365_til_30_american_roadtrip_marfa_texas_el_cosmico_teepee1 El_Cosmico_Marfa_Texas_8 El-Cosmico-Teepee-Marfa marfa7 4877302596_5a74d1efb1_b EL-COSMICO-NIGHT-TENT900x5001

you can find links to all of the photos’ original websites in my pinterest board called “wanderlust.” just click here. don’t you just think this is the most wonderful place?!

“marfa: tough to get to. tougher to explain. but, once you get here, you get it.” from

peace and love. xx


green is the new black.

everybody’s into going green these days. and that’s a good thing. our earth is a beautiful place to live, and somehow, we’ve got to get a handle on learning how to take better care of her. so, i’m all for all things green. and i do my part. i walk. i recycle. i turn off the water as i shower. i’m trying to leave light footprints wherever i go. i’m not so good at growing my own things, but i do buy locally & ecologically, when i can. but i am no where near perfect. i could do way much better.

as a part of the simplicity photo journey, i thought i’d take a few days to consider the earth. to focus on the simplicity and beauty found in nature, for she is one of the important things. and whether you believe in god or mother nature or whatever, nature reveals much to us about spirituality & interconnected-ness. simply being in the middle of nature, slowing down enough to observe the intricate beauty, can give us a connection to each other & the rest of creation. i call that spirit. and if that’s not spirituality, i don’t know what is.

in my opinion, living a green life is a way to take back some of the simplicity we are missing in our face-paced, fake, all-too-convenient world. now, don’t get me wrong, i love convenience, quick fixes, and the fast pace of the city energizes me. but, i also know that i i must balance it all. i must get back to nature in order to nurture my soul, and i must work hard to do my part to leave this world a better place…

today i had a staff luncheon… sort of a last hurrah before the summer begins – everything shuts down & slows down in sweden in the summer (speaking of simplicity…). however, we were not gonna just go to a restaurant in town for lunch. nope. we drove about 30 minutes out into the middle of the swedish countryside to visit an ostrich farm. that’s right. i said ostrich farm! i had no idea what an ostrich farm was doing in the middle of sweden, since they are native to africa. but, i soon found out that a man & his family read an article about the big birds and decided they wanted to raise them. soon i realized that they raised them for their meat. gaaaahhh. on the plus side, i guess, they were raised to be organic and free range. so that’s good, i guess.

anyway, aside from the whole poor ostriches thing, it was a fabulous day. the weather was outstanding. the landscape was the typical, eye-popping beautiful swedish landscape, and the company of ladies i was with was fun. on top of that, it was the perfect inspiration to get my head in gear for the next 5 days of the photo journey.

today’s word for the photo journey was grow, and i had tons of opportunities to snap pics of things growing. and here’s what i chose to be the official photo of the day:


and here are a few others from the day. you won’t believe the beauty of sweden. even after living here for almost 3 years now, i still can hardly believe my eyes…




IMG_1275 IMG_1291 IMG_1292


IMG_1257  IMG_1333


it was the last time i’d see some of the staff today, so there were moments where i felt overwhelmed at the paradox of the beauty and peace, and the sadness and strangeness of embarking on something new. of course, seeing sweden in all of her natural glory today was both inspiring and difficult, for i will miss this country quite a bit.

but, i’m gonna soak up as much of it as i can over the next month. every single little minute. and for the next 4 days, i’m gonna do it by reminding myself what i have learned about living a simple and green life by living in sweden, a country that is serious about the environment. living here has made me a better person, a much more environmentally conscious person.

well, my friends, if you want to join in the photo journey fun, here are the simple words for the next 4 days:

  • wednesday: solar/sun
  • thursday: fruits & veggies
  • friday: vintage
  • saturday: recycle/reuse

take some pics, and spend the next few things thanking mother nature for being so amazing by going free. just let yourself float back to a time where things were much simpler & much more appreciated. and remember… green is the new black.

now go hug a tree. peace.

out & about in berlin.

back on track with my next to last berlin post. this time, i’m focusing on being out in the city. all over the city, in fact, thanks to the trains, buses, & subways from the previous post. let me just say… being our & about on the weekend we were there was cray cray. the weather was some of the worst weather i have experienced. cold. like raw, cold to your bone cold. wet. snowy, rainy, and super windy. basically we were freezing constantly. so it took alot of effort and motivation for us to get outside, but we did. and we still found moments of enjoyment even in the horrible weather. and now i’m longing to get back there as soon as possible in order to experience berlin in the middle of its finest weather… like summer. so, nope. it wasn’t all bad. and it just made all the inside places we visited that more cozy.

plus, we have great stories. there’s nothing like having uncomfortable, crazy moments to give you stories and memories that will last a lifetime. like waiting for a bus for 35 minutes at night outside in the freeeeeezing cold. and the obsessive hunts for starbucks in order to grab a hot latte and get some free wifi (for directions to our next destination, of course).

anyway, even though it felt like the height of the winter season, it was still cool to hang outside & explore berlin’s urban side.

art signs neighborhood starbucks tv tower lomography street world clock alexandetplatz brunch east hippieurbanphoto booth peopledoor art old and new us embassy tv tower
tv my love and meone more berlin post to go!! have a great saturday! peace & love.

reynolds shenanigans: loose in asheville.

12 bones: popular hometown diner in asheville.
12 bones: popular hometown diner in asheville.
obama eats here every time he's in asheville.
obama eats here every time he’s in asheville.
my sis-in-laws studio. she's a potter.
my sis-in-laws studio in the river arts district. she’s a potter.
typical asheville.
typical asheville.
the grove park inn
the grove park inn. an amazing resort.
the famous gingerbread house contest on display at the grove park.
the famous gingerbread house contest on display at the grove park.
sidewalk music.
sidewalk music.
love this funky store.
love this funky store. loft on lexington avenue.
i. want. this.
i. want. this.

brick. warehouses. asheville. love.

love the streets.
love the streets.
vintage shopping.
vintage shopping.
izzy's coffee den. hipster cafe.
izzy’s coffee den. awesome hipster cafe.
alley love.
alley love.
gourmet chips. food i crave.
gourmet chips. food i crave.
so typical i can't even begin to describe how typical it is. hippie. homeless. nature. eclectic.
so typical i can’t even begin to describe how typical it is. hippie. natural. eclectic. diverse. creative.
industrial view
industrial view
family dinner. fabulous fun.
family dinner. fabulous fun.
saying goodbye to some of the fam on their way back to connecticut.

saying goodbye to some of the fam on their way back to connecticut.

part 3 is on it’s way soon! peace, man.

i wanna sleep under the stars.

for the first time in a few years i have this unbelievable desire to go camping. not that i have never wanted to go camping – i’m always up for it. but, there hasn’t been a chance to do it here in sweden. or, it hasn’t been priority.

i’m sure we could have made it happen, i mean, this is sweden – the land of forests & lakes & outdoors-y people. a country full of people who a love, respect, and enjoy nature any time they have a chance. and then there’s this thing called allemansrätten (everyman’s right), which gives everyone the right to roam. it is the freedom to wander, to camp, to hike, to ski, to ride, to swim, to access any land – with the exception of private gardens & farms. the right to roam also comes with the responsibility to take care of the environment. “do not disturb, do not destroy”. the belief is that everyone should have access to nature. very, very cool.

anyway, i’m not so sure if it’s the season of fall, or the inspiration i get from amazing travel & nature bloggers like ashleypaige, or my homesickness for north carolina & my family, or my craving to spend time in nature – living simply, roughing it. actually, i’m pretty sure it’s all of the above reasons together… but, camping has been on my mind almost constantly lately.

i spent a lot of my teenage & college years camping with my family. and when i lived as the mountains, during my adult years, i lived about 15-30 minutes from amazing & beautiful campgrounds & woods. needless to say, i have tons of fond memories of hanging out in the woods, sitting by a fire, sleeping in a tent, looking up at the stars, hiking through trails. i always felt safe when surrounded by a canopy of trees, calm with a babbling brook nearby, and cozy with a fire cracking. these times remind me of laughter, of stories, or laying in the tent reading a book, sitting in a camp chair roasting marshmallows, sipping on hot chocolate.

i loooove camping.

i love being one with nature. leaving civilization behind and living with the land, being a part of everything around me.

it’s on my mind every day right now, and i’m counting down the days until i pack up my tent, lace up my boots, and hit the trail again. i have no idea when that’ll be… but, thanks to pinterest, tumblr, and other blogs, i have the joy of seeing some beautiful images which heighten my senses & draw me closer.

all pics found on my tree hugger board on pinterest.

It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.

It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
― Cheryl StrayedWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

look up at the stars, if you can. stare into the night sky. take a long, deep breath. and soak it all in. peace.

25: unusual.

listen to this song as you read the post. it’s a little unusual, but it’s just perfect. i’ve had it on repeat all day.

[spotify id=”spotify:track:69vRwesV32B8GU6bBJ63uT” width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

the weather around has been unusually warm, which means that i completely missed spring fever & hopped right on over to summer madness. i’m telling you, it’s been w. a. r. m. dare i say hot. but, if i say hot, i say it in a non-complaining way because after months of cold & darkness there is no way this chick is gonna complain about some warm sunshine on her skin.

so, basically, i want to go on vacation. like now. it’s pretty much all i can think about. if i was in the states, then i would be having a mini-vacation this weekend. it’s memorial day… the unofficial official beginning of the summer season. a trip to the beach would have been in the cards. but, i’m gonna deal with the here & now. vacation comes in the middle of july. and again, i’m not complaining. i work part-time & have 3 weeks paid vacation in july/august. unheard of to this ex-pat from the country with no understanding of the importance of vacation. seriously, usa, 1 – 2 weeks per year? lucky i live here now where i have a total of 5 weeks paid vacation.

so, i’m not in the states, and i’m not heading to the beach this weekend, BUT the weather here is quite summer-like. ok, really summer-like! i broke out some summer staples from my wardrobe today, and that put a big ole smile on my face. luckily, i’ve also been able to enjoy some time outside almost every day with my love… just chilling on a blanket or taking a little walk.  love that quality time together. love soaking up the sun. love taking my shoes off and feeling the grass. love seeing the little creatures, like 3 squirrels that i am gonna say i’ve made friends with, as they scamper about taking care of business. love to see the trees all full of thick, bright green leaves. i just love it all. yeah, it’s been unusually beautiful here. and i’ve been enjoying seeing things come alive again.

so, this here post’s gonna be all about the sun, the blue skies (which are waaaay more beautiful than in north carolina. sorry, nc, but we don’t have the humidity here), and the warm temps, which have even caused a cozy little thunderstorm or 2.

walking through downtown today, i unintentionally found myself following behind 2 very interesting & unusual men. what’s their story, i wonder…

like i said. blue skies. green leaves. amazing. these are my 2 favorite colors. for real.

my most important summer item: my flip-flops. i live in them. and yes, they make me a total american. one of those laid back, hippie, tree-hugger-ish kind. i’m just not one of those high-fashion swedish chicks; and i embrace my free-spirited, non-fashionista, inner hippie. and hey, i’m in my late 30s. i know who i am and i don’t feel any pressure to be anything but me. yep.

 happy, sunny me!

hope you’ll have a gorgeous weekend, rain or shine, filled with those things that are most important to you. for me, it’s all about my love, my work, and a little time for myself. if i can balance all of that well, then i just might pull off a fabulous weekend.

wishing you sunshine, music to make you dance, and moments of peace.

my beloved nc mountains. asheville.

after a fantastic week in the north, it was time for a little taste of the south. yep. down south… where the dialects are long, rocking chairs on porches are the favorite seat, time moves a little slowly, manners are everything, the people are friendly, and you never meet a stranger. it was time to go home to north carolina – where i was born & raised. time to visit asheville – where my heart will always be. and canton – that smelly paper mill town that captured my heart. and, of course, lake junaluska – the beautiful community where my childhood memories live. it was time to nestle myself in the middle of the blue/gray mountains, and nestle i did. well, that, and eat, drink, laugh, chat, hug, rest, drive, visit pubs, catch up with friends, hang out with family, make memories with my love, and reconnect with myself…

here’s the asheville stuff!

finally driving again! i seriously love to drive. so freaking much! headed to asheville!

going to the movies!!!! so much cheaper in the states! we are most definitely movie geeks.

the first picture of downtown asheville. there is truly no other place like it. and, yes, you will see many more pictures. i can’t help it. this place holds a large part of my heart. the diversity, the funky-ness, the uniqueness, the art, the pubs, the people, the nature. everything about it makes lina & i feel at home.

after a visit at my brother & his wife’s new (old) home that they are completely renovating, lina & i headed to barnes & noble… an amazing, wonderful, big, & cozy book store. yep. you can find everything here.

first my brother. then some books. and finally some beer. at one of our favorite pubs, the thirsty monk. love it!

five walnut wine bar. a new place suggested by our amazing friend who lives & soaks up life like no one i’ve ever met before. looove her!

we visited the wine bar with friends (fellow teachers) that i worked with in asheville when i was teacher at a high school. such a crazy, eclectic group of individuals. to spend time with them is to get a glimpse of real life. i will always cherish the year & a half that i worked & hung out with them. and it meant so much to us that they made time to hang out with us! by the way, j, we absolutely loved 5 walnuts!

 there is an apartment for rent above this funky, hippie bookstore in the middle of downtown. cool.

crazy personal ads. cleaning. yoga. music. herbal medicine. beer & pubs. birth dancing (not sure what that is. hehe. but it’s soooo asheville!). religion. crafts. you get the picture, right?

 why, yes, i did go into the tattoo shop at the back of the courtyard. hehe.

 lexington avenue. let me just say… the best.

 the other favorite pub. yes, it’s a brewery. it’s a pub. it’s irish. yeah.

ok. here it is. the new FAVORITE pub & brewery in asheville. the wedge. in the river arts district, where my sister-in-law has her pottery studio. and where i feel like i have walked into asheville’s version of copenhagen’s (denmark) christiana. all i can say is that i am in love. lina is too.. with the people of all kinds. the locally made beer (as in i can see it being made as i drink mine). the outside seating. the informality & relaxed atmosphere. the lights. the hippie vans. oh hell, just everything. i love it.

 the beer. awesome.

 oh, how i love it.

 cheers, asheville!! oooh-pah!

well, my dear friends & readers, that’s a snapshot of my beloved asheville. peace out.

road trip!


Hey!! Thought it was time for a really short update… much more coming later. We’ve been in Vermont (a tiny, little, northeastern state full of outdoorsy & hippy-ish people = I love it!) since Tuesday & it has been fabulous!!! All we’ve done is laugh, eat, drink, laugh more, chit chat, and enjoy just being together (Lina did some skiing, too! Not me. I suck. But I’m great at sipping on a beer from inside the lodge!). My cousins, aunt, & uncle have a super cozy condo at a beautiful ski resort, and the view from up here is spectacular! Why, yes, I have taken a lot of pictures that I will post soon. It has been cold, snowy, & perfect in every way! We’ve been wanting to get up here for year snow, and I’m so thankful that it worked out on this trip. Sooooo thankful.

But, alas, our time in Vermont has drawn to a close, and today we’re off on another road trip. This time we’re southward bound… to North Carolina. HOME!!! It’ll take us 2 days, but it will be 2 days filled with side trips, adventures, music, & good ‘ole fun times with my parents. I freaking love road trips. Freedom. Carefree. Spontaneity. Living in the moment. Yes! Oh, my travel soul is getting so full… I’m bursting with excitement & overflowing with joy!

Ok. It’s time to watch some morning news & drink some coffee while I look out the windows at this…


Peace & love.

# 4. i left my in ♥ asheville.

there is no other place like it. i know i’ve written about asheville several times, but seriously. it is a unique and wonderful place! the mountains of NC are amazing, beautiful, peaceful, wild, and inspiring… from the rivers, to the woods, to the mountaintops, to the dirt roads, to the history, and the hidden coves yet to be discovered. it is a place to get away. to get back to nature. to enjoy the opportunity to slow down and soak up everything that is around you. the city of asheville (which is in the middle of the mountains, & about the size of norrköping = 130,000-150,000 people) is diverse, alive, colorful, entertaining, artsy. a haven for all things hippie, earthy, environmental, cultural, open-minded, eclectic. a place where you can learn, observe, grow, dance, create, and just be. i know i’m making it sound too good to be true, but i’m telling the truth. there is no place like asheville & the mountains of NC.

after the beach week with my family, lina & i headed up to the mountains to visit friends and to feel the beats of our hearts in asheville. it was a super quick, 36-hour trip, but it was amazing! i lived in the NC mountains for 11 years, part of the time in the middle of nature, part of the time in a small town, and part of the time in the middle of asheville. lina lived with me in asheville for about a year as well – i believe we will always consider it home. our hearts are there. our souls are there. and so now, i share that little corner of the world with you…

instead of writing a long, rambling post about how much i love asheville, i thought i’d simply sum up this indescribable heaven on earth found in the southeastern usa using 10 words and lots of my photos of the city. take a peek!

1. natural




2. diverse




3. beer





4. hippie






5. music





6. architecture


DSC_0537 - Version 2



7. food



8. historic




9. relaxing



10. funky







namaste. liz ♥