Stalking fictional characters (otherwise can you call yourself a real fan?) 🕵🏻♀️
Fiskargatan 9: The home of Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). 🐉 Stieg Larsson and all of his protagonists live and operate in this neighborhood, Sodermalm (the villains live elsewhere 😏).
Part 5/5: It may be obvious, but regardless of how long I’m away, I pack everything into a carry-on and a backpack to avoid baggage check in fees. Did you know that Norwegian charges $65+ (depending on the weight) for the FIRST bag?!?
Even if you’re lucky enough to be gone for a month, it can be done! I did it (somehow!) and you know how I like to keep my look fresh! 🤗👗
Part 4/5 (on making travel happen): Visit your homies and/or family members who already live abroad! 🦄
Germany. 🇩🇪 Morocco. 🇲🇦 Romania. 🇷🇴 Japan. 🇯🇵 all happened thanks to my friends and Moroccan family who put me up for a portion of my trip (I don’t like to overstay my welcome 😜).
PART 3/5: Sign up for sites that offer free perks. Here are a few that I use. 💥
HOTELS.COM - You can earn a free night for every 10 nights you book. ✊🏻 If you're willing to chance it, you can book a room last minute at a heavy discount. Most hotels want to fill up their rooms, so they'll reduce their prices the same day or the night before. We stayed in (nice!) rooms for as little as $60-$70/night throughout Italy.
EBATES - I get about $400-$500 each year in cashback just for using this portal every time I shop online. 👩🏻💻 👍🏼
ORBITZ - I redeemed my Orbitz bucks to get $60 off a hotel booking in Copenhagen. 🇩🇰
Part 2/5 (on making travel happen): 🦄
Travel during the low season and be flexible with the dates. As with comedy, timing is...
I use google flights to find the best time to fly. I've flown to Paris (CDG) for as little as $400 RT.
Over the next few posts, I’m going to share 5 ways I’ve managed to make traveling a part of my life. 🌻 While I haven’t hacked and gamed the system to the same extent as the pros, I still picked up a couple of pointers along the way. Here’s the first one! 👩🏻💻
(1/5) GET THE BEST TRAVEL CREDIT CARD. 💳
This only works if you're currently not in credit card debt. This one has been a GAMECHANGER for me. 🗝 Over time, you’ll earn free flights and hotel nights. During the past 6 years, I've cashed in my points for:
1. Flights - Tokyo 🇯🇵, Copenhagen 🇩🇰, and Bucharest 🇷🇴
2. Hotels - 6 nights in Kyoto 🇯🇵 and 4 nights in Stockholm 🇸🇪 🌎
I stopped using cash completely and paid for everything using my card (even our bills), but I didn't dare change my lifestyle. That’s KEY - DON’T CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE! 😝 Every month, I'd pay off my credit card and made sure I didn't go into debt. ⚡️
BEHIND THE GRAM: I often get asked how I can afford to travel. The short answer: heartbreak. 💔 It may have started there (the best kind of things all do, don’t they? 😏), but it ultimately led to 12 years (and counting) worth of travel funds. 👝
It’s a bit scary to share this, but here goes. Once upon a long time ago, I had a boo who loved to travel. I didn’t have any of THI$, so my ass had to stay home. His travels inspired me to work hard and set aside a portion of my paychecks each week, so that we could see the world together. When I had saved enough, he had a change of heart. Baeless, but with some money finally in my account, I decided I was going to do it on my own. ✊🏻 From that point on, I made a life resolution: Visit a new country every year for as long as I shall live. I started in Spain and have since then, been to 15 countries. 🌻
I know Instagram can bring up all sorts of feelings, but I also think it has the potential to open up places and experiences that we typically don’t see often. And! We can see that traveling is entirely possible and accessible to anyone. 🌪
Through traveling, I’ve learned we all have a lot of common ground with each other and the world is still filled with BEAUTIFUL, KIND, and LOVING people ❤️ (like Muhammad who invited Cip and I to stay as his guests in Morocco two years ago). 🙏
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind." - Seneca. ✊🏻
And, yes the hygge is real. Cafes are stocked with candles, pillows, and blankets. No one whips out their phone when their friend is in the bathroom. People take their time, give you the right of way (I KNOW), and enjoy each other. 💀#lunaandcipgoplaces
500 years of Danish history. 🇩🇰👑 It felt like walking through a huge family photo album. The craftsmanship and details are next level breathtaking - - even the walls, rooms, and ceilings themselves are works of art. 😱 #lunaandcipgoplaces
👑 GAME OF WATERS: Frederick II wanted to control the Sound (a narrow stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden), so he put a (Kronborg) castle on it. 🏰 From then on, about 1.8 million ships would pass through the Sound and all of them had to pay a toll at Kronborg Castle. ✊🏻 #lunaandcipgoplaces
Aaaand for the next leg of my Scandanavian travels, Denmark! 🇩🇰 I have no idea what our tour guide is saying other than “watch your heads.” 🤷🏻♀️ In the meantime, feel free to DM me for DP inquiries. 🤣 #lunaandcipgoplaces
FIN. Toasting to my last night in Norway with aquavit, the country’s national (and potent!) drink. 🥃
A couple of things:
(1) The prices are pretty comparable to NYC and SF. 🤷🏻♀️ A latte and a pastry ran me anywhere between $8-$10. ☕️
(2) People are really happy here! I haven’t seen a single person get agitated. 🤣
(2) It’s safe AF. I mean, “happy people just don’t shoot their husbands,” right?
(3) Oslo is insanely easy to navigate. It’s walkable, shit is easy to find, and public transportation takes you everywhere. 🚆
(4) Have an aquavit at Himkok (named 20th best bar in the world). 👆🏻
Going at it alone (even though I’ve been married for 6 years) is one of my favorite ways to see the world. 🌎 For me, marriage wasn’t about finding “my other half.” The Cip and I value our autonomy, as well as our shared experiences. Plus, I can now do shit like run really fast up a flight of stairs 💃🏻 to catch the train on the the other side of the platform, while carrying a heavy suitcase and backpack. 🌪🌪🌪
Ibsen himself was a tourist attraction. Every morning, he’d write from 9-11:30am (with Strindberg’s eyes on him 👀) and headed down to the Grand Hotel, so that he can be “seen.” Make sure you sign up for the guided tour of his apartment. I definitely left feeling “closer” to him and his wife, Suzanne.
Aaaaand the crown jewel of the museum: Ibsen’s study. 😍 But, what’s with the giant portrait of August Strindberg (1st photo on the right)? Apparently, those two would talk shit about each other’s work in the newspapers and Ibsen wanted “the devil’s eyes on his back” when he was writing. 🤣 How about that for some motivation?