when you find yourself booked for a 24 hour cruise, you start to wonder, “what’s the freaking purpose?” well, i’ll tell you: the purpose is the trip.

it is completely about the journey. who gives a f*ck about the destination when you’ve only got 24 hours. it’s all about soaking up each moment as it passes. the whole point is everything that happens between leaving the harbor + docking again. 

and that, my friends, is some of the most amazing advice that life can teach us.

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so, a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law asked for us to join her on one of these 24-hour cruises to celebrate her 40th birthday. 24 hours with family out on the sea… eating, dancing, drinking, enjoying each others’ company. fun! and yes, that’s right. even in the middle of winter. you see, in sweden, we are hard core. hehe.

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so, this past saturday, all 12 of us met up at the harbor in stockholm ready for a little adventure together. my fellow adventurers were my wife, my brother-in-law + his wife, my sister-in-law + her husband + 4 kids (ages 5-16), and my parents-in-law. a great crowd!

we boarded the ship and started with a few drinks to toast the birthday girl.

however, we didn’t actually go anywhere for about 5 hours, you see, there was a bit of a winter storm howling around us. snow, wind, cold. the ship’s departure was delayed about. but, safety first! and, of course, we were easily entertained. you know, the drinks and stuff. Untitled

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once we got into our cabins, the captain came over the speaker system to “warn” us about the waves + wind waiting for us out in the open sea. they even changed the route so we wouldn’t be out in the open sea as long. ummm…. ok. needless to say, with the delayed departure + change of course we were a bit freaked out.

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after calming down and settling in, we met up for dinner together in the dining room and then made a run to the tax free store to do some looking (shopping). we also did a little celebrating of my sister-in-law, and then somehow found ourselves almost locked in some creepy stairwell after going out some secret door to snag a view as we left stockholm. upon heading back into the ship, there were 9 of us in the family, running up + down some floors, only to find all doors totally locked tight. we started imagining spending the rest of the trip stuck in that metal, back stairwell. bouncing around on the rough seas, unable to see or do anything. trapped for the rest of the trip! but, luckily, that didn’t happen. phew. 

Look!

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after finding our way back to the regular part of the ship (saved at last!), we hung out in a pub onboard to listen to a troubadour show (good) and karaoke (not so good). and then some of us ended the night in one of our cabins, drinking beer + chatting into the wee hours of the morning.

tired and perhaps buzzed, lina and i dragged ourselves to our cabin. so far so good with the seas. but, after a few hours of sleep, we both woke to some pretty intense rocking + rolling. the waves were tossing even this big ole ship about. nothing was flying around or sliding around yet, but it was still a bit unsettling. i think we lay there awake for a while, eventually dozing off again from exhaustion from the sheer excitement + thrill of living life on the edge (read a tiny bit of sarcasm into this. hehe).

sometime while sleeping, we had docked at an island in finland.we took it easy in the cabin for a while, watching the harbor goings-on from our porthole window. 

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after a couple of hours, the ship left the harbor and we headed back towards stockholm. we met the entire family for breakfast, at just the same time that the ship entered open waters again, rocking + rolling like crazy. i admit that i had a super hard time carrying my breakfast plate + cups of coffee. it was pretty intense. but, not quite as bad as in the middle of the night. at this point it was more funny, watching everyone try to handle walking and balancing. 

Sunday at sea.⚓️ #thehappynow #theartofslowliving #verilymoment #travel #scandinavia #balticsea #birkacruises

the rest of the day was more chatting, relaxing, enjoying the view of the ocean, and just being together. oh, and i totally filled up my nature soul. who cares that it was freezing outside. a ship at sea – what is more liberating?!

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From the open sea, through the Swedish archipelago, and back home again. My nature soul is filled to the brim on this Sunday evening. ≏ #nature #nordic #sea #archipelago #visitsweden #theartofslowliving

we docked in stockholm again just before 4pm, got on a bus, and were home in uppsala an hour later.

as i think about it, it was just the perfect thing for me and my love. we had a chance to get away+ just be. to leave behind all that has been swirling around us for a while now and just focus on each other. i just love weekends where we end up falling in love with each other even more. plus, it was super fun being with the entire family.

all in all, it was a 24 hour trip that was literally all about the trip. the journey was the point. and it just goes to show that living in the moment, focusing on what’s going on right around you, making each step just as important as the next, is truly the best way to live life.

have you ever been on a trip that was more focused on the journey than the destination? where did you go? what did you do?

lots of love + adventure to you.

xoxo. liz