Wow! I can’t believe how time flies – I’ve been in OZ for 3,5 months now…
It’s been overwhelming in a lot of ways and it really feels like a dream coming true, that I’m actually staying here for a while. I’m in love with this place!
Those of you that know me well, will probably not believe what I’m about to say: I had a ticket back to Los Angeles on Feb 5th, but I didn’t use it!!! Yeah I know, it sounds out of this world, and in a way it is, but most important: it says a lot about how much I love it here in Byron Bay: I’m setting up my every-day-life here for a while…
Let’s rewind though, and have a look at what’s been going on these past months. Let me take you through my A-Z of Australia so far…a journey that has become the most important ever, this lifetime…
I flew into OZ on October 25th, excited to finally see the continent that had been calling me for so long. I landed in Melbourne and I fell in love immediately! “Mellie” as I like to call her – YES, Melbourne is definitely a fierce little “female” pearl – had me head over heels! Great inspiration blueprinted my experiences of this eclectic place. A mix of San Francisco, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and Stockholm – all in one! I felt a lot of creativity and artistic love wherever I went in Mellie’s inclusive atmosphere.
I will definitely be back soon and I could totally see myself living in Melbourne for a while. I really enjoyed Brunswick and St Kilda, chilling in the Botanical garden, indulging in the cultural scene, walking on the beach and along the Yarra river, as well as admiring the Victorian architechture mixed with modern minimalism. I loved the conveniency to everything whether going by tram, bus, train, car, walking or biking, it was just very smooth to get around Mellie. I dare to say that Melbourne had it all – including 4 seasons in one day – LOL – as the weather changed constantly!!
Thank you so much Gayle and Graham for opening up your home to me! I had a great time with you guys. And, thank you Rakel Jessica Solbränna for reminding me to follow my dreams so that I finally booked the tickets to OZ! Thanks for showing me your hometown as well.
After a week in Mebourne I took the train and a Greyhound bus up north in the state of Victoria, carrying my “travel-light-luggage” = large suitcase, guitar, large North Face trunk and handbag – LOL (I suppose my subconscious packed for moving here for a year!)
I didn’t know anything about the place I was going to, except that it was called “Mildura” and had a lot of fruit farms and vineyards. Honestly I just followed my instinct and went for the countryside to go within, work and make some extra money… Little did I know that I would end up in the shittiest hostel ever in Red Cliffs, with the worst pay ever for the amount of work accomplished. I still had a great time though! And I really enjoyed working out in the orangefields with amazing AnnaBelle from London, Rémi from Paris, and Mirko from Milan. Great people with interesting stories!
Red Cliffs, as a matter of fact, turned out to be a crucial part of my internal journey: ending up in “nowhere” = now here, was perfect for me. When I wasn’t picking oranges, I either played guitar or wrote new lyrics and poetry, slept or cried…
This thing with crying every day had been a major thing for me the last couple of months, a cleansing from old things that needed to be released. It culminated when I landed in OZ, and in Red Cliffs it kept regressing. It was as if something bursted out in me, a river that had been stopped and held up in a damm…as soon as the thunder broke the walls – I couldn’t hold back, neither steer…I actually got really scared of myself for a while…this thick thunder taking over was the most powerful “dark force experience” I’ve ever had. I was raining tears and I was a boiling thunder inside that needed to break down all the walls, all the layers: fuckin’ everything I had ever been, everything I had known, everything I had held back, everything I had protected myself from over the years…A huge transition, a lot of dying!!! But I do believe we have to destroy in order to rebuild…In the midst of nowhere, I finally took the time…
The time in Red Cliffs was like a roller coaster where I was laughing my ass off one second and balling my eyes out the next… I am so grateful for these weeks, they were necessary! And thank God for the great co-workers and the legendary boss (he looked like the Asian guy in “the Hangover” – classic!!!) and my amazing room mates Veronica, Mirko and Catherine – beautiful people. This little town for sure treasured some amazing things and I did write some great stuff that came out of this “walkabout”. Most important of all was that I had time to figure out: what, where and how my soul wanted to go next…
SYDNEY, LENNOX HEAD, BYRON BAY
Next stop was Lennox Head up in NSW, where my cousin Jonas and his family lives. On my way up the coast, I had a day in Sydney between buses. It was great to get a little teaser of the city with the great Opera House, which is now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List! And since I’m Swedish I also wanted to see the ceramic tile work from Höganäs on this quite cool building! I had a great time in Sydney and I’m looking forward to go back soon.
I arrived in Byron Bay on nov 13th and got picked up by my cousin Jonas. I spent a week with him, his wife Sarah and their beautiful daughter Lovisa. Amazing to finally get to hang out with them in their beautiful house in Lennox. Chill days, a lot of sleep and soulfood by masterchef Sarah! It was very healing to be around these three beautiful souls.
The crying kept on flowing through, but was more of a silent and healing one now, which was relieveing. To be in this house with people that lived an amazing life, was so inspiring and comforting. To witness people that have a beautiful relation to each other, love and respect, a united track no matter what circumstances life presents – was amazing. It made me believe in real lives and healthy relationships again, very inspiring! Thank you Jonas, Sarah and Lovisa, for opening up your home and hearts to me. The week in your house and the breakfast on the beach, the dinners, the help with friggin’ everything has been amazing – Thank you thank you thank you!
On nov 20th I moved in to the YHA Byron Bay, a hostel in the centre of Byron where I started working for accomodation. I got to share rooms with Michelle and Michelle – one from Canada and one from Yorkshire. What beautiful girls!!! Lucky me again!!
Byron Bay proved to be what I had wished for and more. Whether one loves music, yoga, surfing, art, organic food, alternative lifestyles or partying – there’s something for everyone! I got back into surfing again, wrote some more songs, watched 4 seasons of “Sons of Anarchy” LOL (I got HOOKED big time), went out dancing to amazing bands… One thing that’s lovely about Byron is all the live music everywhere – amazing! I’ve found so many great bands and musicians here. If you haven’t heard of Garrett Kato, check out:
First time I heard him was when Jonas and Sarah took me to the premiere of the documentary Byron Bay – the meeting place where Garrett’s songs were featured. Have a look at this teaser from the doc that actually two Swedish guys produced:
Over Christmas and New Years my best friends flew in to OZ! I was so happy to see Sofie, Fredrik and Andy. Days filled with coffee, talks, reading, hanging out, chilling on the beach, BBQing, cracking some beers… It was amazing to just BE around each other again. And as always with good friends, it’s healing-time. I really started to come out of this period of dark clouds hovering over me. The tipping point for sure was when Sofie & Co were here and when I went to Woodford over New Years, to work for my friend Christina with her Orchid Treasures Australia.
Woodford Folk Festival, was just something special. I’ve been to a couple of different festivals around the world and a lot of concerts, but never experienced anything like this before. Woodford had all kinds of music, workshops, lectures, stalls with amazing handicrafts and the audience ranged from babies to retired elderly people. There sure was something for everyone, whether interested in aerial acrobatics, pottery, yoga, sliding guitar, african dance, blues – you name it – it was all there!
I found some amazing acts that were new to me: Matt Andersen, Gotye, Genevieve Chadwick, Andy Bull, Hiatus Kaiyote, Jesca Hoop, Jack Carty, Tinpan Orange, to name a few of them. A lot of great acts, dancers, performers, craftsmen and craftswomen shared their love and passion – very inspiring! I was lucky to have a lot of time to read and write between the working hours with the beautiful Orchids. I think I wrote a whole book while I was there…
It was on the way back from Woodford that I realized I wanted to stay in Byron. As we came closer to Byron and drove through the hills, spotting the Light House – I felt like I was going home – I felt home. I finally felt grounded again and knew where I wanted to be.
So I’ve decided to stay here… Byron Bay has become my home and I’ve just moved in by the beach with some beautiful friends. I’m working with my amazing friend Terry and her brand Buffalo Girl as well as with beautiful Christina and her Orchid Treasures Australia. I’ve started recording some of the songs I’ve written this past year and really gotten back into nurturing my soul with different creative outlets… I’m taking it step by step, day by day, not planning to far ahead…what’s meant to be will be in the divine timing…
Life is good and pretty simple and I feel so blessed to be here. Big thanks to my family and friends that have supported me through this transition. I couldn’t have done it without you! For real! Three months ago I didn’t even know if I wanted to live anymore. Now everything is more than I could have dreamed of! Thank you for always trusting my instincts and my intuition, even when it doesn’t make sense for anyone else but me. Thank you Mom, my brother Christian and his family, my sister Tina; Sofie, Fredrik & Andy; Jonas, Sarah & Lovisa; Michelle X 2; Natasha & Martin; Rachel…..the list is long and I can go on forever. Just know that if you read this, somehow, somewhere we have been connected and we share universal love. Thank you!