what is wild is actually just natural.

you knew that when i said i’d be headed out into the wilderness, i ‘d be taking my camera along with me and snapping away… and then, posting tons of photos for you to see. well, i went. i snapped. and now i’m posting.

for those of you who have never been to north carolina, this is a little taste of some of the things you can see and do in the mountains of north carolina. we weren’t gone very long, but it was plenty of time to have some fun, unexpected adventures. which is just how i like to spend my days. and what lina and i would love to do with y’all!


just so you have a little background information, we rode on the blue ridge parkway (pictured above), a road that winds around, up, down, and through the mountains of tennessee, north carolina, and virginia for 469 miles (755 km). it is a two lane road built over 50 years in the 19th century. much of the road was built as a project of the CCC (civil conservation corps), a public work relief program, started by president franklin d. roosevelt’s New Deal, that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the states for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. today it is the most visited part of the national park system  in the entire US every year since the 1940s. freaking cool, huh?!

the parkway is hailed as one of the best design achievements as a road that lies on the land and blends into the landscape. but, it’s not just a road to drive on… it’s a gateway to much, much more. camping, hiking, waterfalls, and some amazing forests and wilderness.

well, you just have to visit it. it’s so unique. and it lies just 5 minutes from our apartment, as it descends in to the asheville area. once you are on the road, it is only 10-15 minutes and you have left the city far behind and are surround by beautiful vistas and amazing nature.

ok. enough history. ready to check out adventures?!



can you spot the butterfly?! they are everywhere this summer. so lovely.

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do you see it?! that is a BEAR!! a real, live black bear that crossed the road in front of us and headed up the mountain. it was AMAZING!!

54845e3e0cee11e394c222000ab68506_7we had to recover after the bear sighting, so we pulled over at an overlook. lina’s by the car FaceTiming her parents to tell them the crazy story!


the campground where my parents are spending a few days. we gotta do that soon! ok. here’s what we did: my parents were not at their campsite, but their rv was, so we took out our chairs and blanket and plopped ourselves down. yes, we are camping crashers. you should’ve seen their faces when they realized we were there! hehe. fun stuff.


don’t ask. party tricks. practicing our balance. who knows… but, having fun. IMG_3012 DSC_0465 IMG_3038 IMG_3042IMG_3005 DSC_0453

i know you wanna come for a visit now, right?! 

after returning from all those amazing adventures, we had my brother over for dinner and then he took us to an outdoor bar by the french broad river (there’s a river that runs through asheville – and it is in fact the 3rd oldest river in the world, behind the nile in egpyt and the new river in  the states. cool, huh? and another tidbit of trivia: i’ve rafted both the new & the french broad. time for a trip down the nile now! hehe.).

anyway, we had an interesting little discussion with my brother at the bar about the word “wild“. i love that word, it makes me think of wilderness and nature and all the beautiful natural beauty that is in the world. but, i’m thinking about it a little differently right now… and that’s a good thing i think. it’s never wrong to expand your mind. the thing is, when we say wild, we mean that something is not tame. when, actually, the things that are wild are just being natural. so, we define nature, animals, and all that out there in relation to ourselves… we’re civilized. it’s all wild – which has the connotation that we must tame it. as it being wild is wrong. and the truth is, perhaps we should actually learn how to be a little more wild…

wild is beautiful. wild is what’s real. wild is what’s been around longer than we have. just a cool discussion and a cool way to think about wildness, wilderness, and a chance to appreciate it all the more…

hope your weekend was beautiful and restful and wild! peace, wild people.

the lesson of a bird & her nest.


it’s not my birthday today. or any other special day, for that matter. but, perhaps that’s the point. it’s just a day. a regular day. however, is it really just a day? isn’t any & every day a gift? yeah… a day is a moment in time filled with wonder and awe. a chance to do amazing things, whether that means traveling to some exotic and beautiful place, or staying under the covers at home all day, or going to work to do the same thing you do every day. the point is… it’s a day. and you and i are alive. and breathing. and we have choices. we get to be the master of our days, our dreams, our life. we really do.

for the past week i have either been majorly sick myself, taking care of my wife being majorly sick (thanks to me), or quarantined in our home trying to rid ourselves of all the germs and contagiousness. today, we’d had enough. still a bit weak and tired, we decided that since the sun was shining, we’d make our way outside for a short little walk. we needed to feel the sun, to experience the warmth in the air. and it was a short trip outside, but it felt oh so good. not a grand, mind-blowing day in the eyes of many, but a grand, mind-blowing day nonetheless. any day can be extraordinary.

i didn’t remember that until yesterday, though. after spending the past few days inside, i made a conscious choice yesterday to make a change. i had gotten stuck in my head. but, i also let myself feel and think. i was tired of feeling sick and disconnected. yet, i wasn’t able to leave the apartment yet & begin life again. part of me didn’t really want to. still, i wanted to move on somehow. i needed to reconnect myself with myself. so, i grabbed my headphones, plugged in some music, and did some yoga. and i felt it. my soul. ahhhh… soon, i found myself having a hour long chat with my mom; and then, watching a beautiful bird as she patiently and diligently built her nest just to the right out my kitchen window. i locked eyes with this gentle creature a few times as she flew back up, carrying a stick in her beak. i pulled up a chair by the window and just sat there. i must have watched her for at least an hour. it was amazing. beautiful.

as i followed her every move in the process of nest-building, i was reminded of the beauty of each creature simply being who or what she/he is. and then, i got it. self-discovery is a wonderful (painstaking) process, but it is not one where we must figure out what is wrong with us and what we need to change (what i’ve been obsessing with lately). instead, it is an opportunity to listen to ourselves, to know ourselves as we are right now. it is simply spending time with ourselves and remembering that who we are, what we love, who we love, etc. and who we are right now is exactly who we are supposed to be. we are just fine as we are. we are enough. all we need to do is that which comes natural to us. all we need to be is ourselves. like the beautiful bird building her nest.

yep. my purpose in life is to simply be me. all the details will take care of themselves.

so, on this regular, ordinary day, i want to celebrate the amazingness of life, of being exactly who we were created to be, with you…. by sharing this video. watch it. listen. look. think. dream. be,

here’s to wishing you a great week ahead. embrace yourself and embrace this crazy, amazing life!

peace & love.

you know what saturday’s are for? they’re for dancing!

ok. i just had to. i known that there are things that go viral on the internet. some are real, some are fake, some are cute, some are weird. and some (ok. many) of them i find annoying. but, no matter what the following video is, it is a message to all of us to live life. to make things happen. to get out there & enjoy the moments that otherwise are slipping by. so, it was worth my time watching.

now, my heart was stolen by this video for many reasons:

  1. it highlights a super cute kid
  2. it has a positive, fun message
  3. it’s creative
  4. it highlights my absolute favorite poem EVER
  5. it has good music in the background
  6. and, at the end, i felt like dancing

so, i’m gonna turn up the music today & dance around my apartment. and then, i’m gonna go celebrate the birthday of friend with bowling, dinner out, & a little bit of party party. and, now, i leave you with this video as your inspiration for saturday – for all of life! make it happen!

at the beginning of the year i decided that my word of the year would be carefree & i wrote about what that means to me here. while i’m remembering to let my  spirit be wild & free every day, and to find the adventures hidden in every day, this video reminded me, once again, to keep at it! there is so much for which to be thankful. so many beautiful moments. so many adventures. and so many possibilities. and, i must say, i have found a new, energized spirit within me in 2013. something has been set free. something is growing. and it feels amazing! yep. i’m here to celebrate. every day.

now, let’s dance! peace.

a little bit of everyday life.


happy saturday, my friends. i don’t have that much to say right now… or perhaps i do, but my words are reserved for another purpose. but, i thought i’d just post a little pic from a short & super cold walk earlier today and say hello to you all. i’m preaching tomorrow, so tonight i’m trying to put the finishing touches together on all of my thoughts on turning water into wine. i could use some good vibes & such from y’all. i always have so much in my head when i prepare these little things for sundays. so much to say, so many ways i could go, so many cool things to mention, that it takes me forever to get it all down on “paper” (computer screen) and make sense. i think my brain must be frozen from the insanely cold temperatures we’ve got gong on here. needless to say, i’ve got a whole roomful of candles lit – seriously, like 13 – and a big cozy sweater. so the atmosphere should be perfect for completing my task. it’s been beautiful outside, as you can see, but i just can’t seem to warm up or get my brain in gear. maybe once i get really into my writing the chill will disappear. yep. that’s what’s on my mind & on my agenda for this regular ole day here in my little world. hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!

peace & warmth.

winter sunrise.


“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” ― Andrew Wyeth

good morning, friends all around the world. wishing you a happy saturday!

sending you peace & snuggles.

a walk with my love.

i woke up this morning and it was cold. i mean well below freezing cold. like really hard to get out from under your covers cold. brrr… but, even though a chill was in the air, the sky was a beautiful blue & the sun was a bright, golden yellow. so, that means only one thing:

at some point we’ve got to get outside and enjoy this amazing-ness.

so late this afternoon we headed out.

after a cozy, slow walk around the city, we decided to stop off at a nearby restaurant and order a wood-fired pizza to take home with us. i must say, it was a delicious pizza and the perfect way to ease into a warm, snuggly evening at home.

now, i’m all hooked on some american suspense movie on tv, which will not be over after 12. but, tonight, that’s perfectly fine, even if i have to get up & go to work in the morning. why, you ask? because tonight, over here in europe, we change times. yep it’s time to fall back tonight & get one extra hour of sleep. yeah. the down side of that is that beginning tomorrow it will be dark between 4 & 4:30, and only get worse until the end of december.

the nights seem soooo long this time of year, the darkness is overwhelming, with the sun rising at 9 and setting about 3/3:30. it’s crazy. but, all you gotta do is buy a super-size bad of candles, and burn tons of candles all evening long. and i totally love that!

ok. back to my movie now. hope you’ve had a great saturday!

peace out, peeps.


monday’s message.

hello, world!

it’s a gray, cozy monday here in the northern land of sweden. i’m thinking that we haven’t seen the sun in about 2 weeks here, but i’m not really complaining. it is quite cozy. and, i mean, it’s fall… so it’s supposed to be rainy, chilly, & darker.

it’s been a really good weekend, i think. i was off & it felt quite calm, even if we were pretty busy. nothing was rushed, everything was fun, and the company we kept was tip top. so, here are a few snippets from my fall weekend…

after a lazy saturday morning, we headed out into a foggy, misty norrköping to the industrial area by the river. the old factory buildings are now museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

we went in the yellow building in the above picture for a workshop… and heard an amazing & inspirational woman speak about life & freedom. the theme of the day was: ge into upp! don’t give up!

after the workshop we were invited to dinner at our friend’s home… an american!! and of course, when americans get together, all craziness can happen. fajitas for dinner (she’s from new mexico, so the fajitas rocked. wine, music, singing, video games. i haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

sunday was crazy, yet calm. we were home all day, but we had a revolving door, with people coming in and out all day. lina was busy with projects, i’m not sure what i did, but i loved it. the last visitor was our friend, g, and we watched “the phantom of the opera”, well most of it… g had to go early. a really cozy sunday.

and here comes the message for monday…

i thought it was so inspiring and wonderful. something to think about… no matter where you are, or what you choose to do, even if it’s not much at all, soak it in. do it 100%. and enjoy every little moment of your day.

my monday morning: i’m gonna write today. ♥

what you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. ~author unknown

peace and love.

nyköping by the sea.

on the east coast of sweden, a little bit south of stockholm, and just a 45 minute bus ride north of norrköping (where i live), lies a little city by the sea. it’s no metropolis, but it’s no mere village either. it’s got everything you need – well, everything i need – and, as i said, it’s by the sea. which i love.

yesterday (saturday) i had the chance to visit nyköping for the first time. my love & i were going to meet friends (one of them lives there) for the day… a kind of reunion for my love & her college friends (of which i have become part of the gang – lucky me!). the day was perfect. truly. spending time with my love & the girls was fantastic, and the weather… i can’t even begin to describe it. it was peeerrrfectly stunning. the. whole. day. sweden gave us a fall day better than any other fall day in my recent memory.

a chilly, but beautiful walk to the bus station to start the day.

entertaining myself with some music in my ears.

the swedish countryside passing by.

reading a little to pass the time.

trying to find our way through nyköping… the scenery was gorgeous.

heading out for some shopping with the girls.

everyone headed to systembolaget (the alcohol store = the only place you can by liquor & wine. yes. the only.) before it closes at 3pm on saturdays. crazy, huh, americans?

after a little shopping & a little history tour, it was time for a fika break by the water.

typical swedish fika food. yummy.

time for a long, slow walk down by the harbor.

the colors. i love the late afternoon light during fall. amazing.

dinner out with pub grub.

walking through an empty downtown to catch the bus home.

10pm. waiting for the bus. tired, and totally happy from a fabulous day.

on days like this i am thankful for every single moment. for everything i see and feel and do. i truly hope you are having a great weekend too. well, i’ve now spent the first 2/3 of my sunday doing absolutely nothing – except this, and now it’s time to get ready. we’ve got a family birthday party dinner to go to in about an hour. so, more fun on the way!

hope you enjoyed the pics! now, get out there & have a little adventure of your own – even if you never leave your home town.

peace and love.

i’m thankful for…

today i am thankful for so much:

  • road trips
  • exploring new cities
  • friends
  • sunshine
  • the season of fall
  • long walks
  • being by the sea
  • a good glass of wine
  • blue skies
  • a cozy scarf
  • my camera
  • public transportation
  • eating dinner out
  • laughter
  • telling stories about all the good & tough things in life
  • getting lost
  • music
  • stars
  • coming home
  • an amazing & gorgeous day
  • sharing every little moment with my amazing wife

day 6: i’m thankful for…

i’ve got tons of beautiful pictures to share with y’all from today. the weather was more than perfect, and the setting was spectacular. check back tomorrow, if you’re interested in exploring the old city of nyköping, the city by the sea, from my perspective. i’d love to share it with you. i’ve had a fabulous day exploring the city, walking, eating, shopping, and enjoying every minute of it with friends & my love. but, now, i’m super tired, so i’m gonna snuggle down into my covers & sleep until i wake up tomorrow. then, i’ll be sure and write a post (with pics!) in the morning. wow, what an inspirational day! just what i needed.

goodnight, world. peace.