Archive for August, 2010

29th August
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It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’m day dreaming about travelling. I’m just looking through my holiday pictures from last years trip to Rome… What a beautiful city! I could see myself living in Rome – especially if I ever find the time to learn Italian.

Being in Rome as a turist can be a little stressful because there is so many things to see and places to go. I have been to Rome a few times now and have found my favorite places to hang out, take pictures and just revel in being a turist. For me these places are the essense of turist Rome. I will just share my top 5 with you – one blog post at a time… They are all places you should go see but I have ordered them so that I will write about my favorite place in Rome last and number five first.

My fifth favorite place in Rome is… the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s square.

I could use endless hours in the Vatican looking at art from the different ages – some religious art, some not so religious. The range of different styles of art is amazing and it’s coming from all corners of the catholic World as paintings, sculptures and even furniture. St. Peter’s square is just around the corner from the Vatican Museums and it is a must-see. The number of people coming to this place every day is enough reason to come here too, but also just to feel the historic presence standing in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. I have only been inside the Basilica once and for me it is not worth the long line and the security checkpoint – I much prefer the square in front and the museums.

For at day at the Vatican Museums I have a few pointers coming from my own experience:

A day in the Vatican Museum is hard – you should make sure that you have saved up strenght, that you wear sensible shoes and that you conserve your energy before going (and bring food and water). If you buy tickets in advance online, you can skip the usual VERY LONG line, so consider it. We didn’t buy tickets in advance last fall and had to stand in line for more than an hour outside in the rain. We also walked half way across the city center to come to the Vatican – I can recommend taking a bus or a taxi, so you have more steps left in you when you get to the museum – though it is an impressive walk over the bridge and up to St. Peter’s square.

Once you are inside the Museums, take your time. I see a lot of people just following the crowd the long way to the Sixtine Chapel without taking the time to see the amazing art on the way there. The tour through the museum can feel like standing/walking in line for 30 minutes if you just follow the crowd. Take some time in the central yard to plan your trip through the museum and make sure you see the pieces that you really want to. I prefer egyptian, roman and greek art a couple of thousand years old and there is plenty to see.

Oh – and consider bringing lunch because the food inside the Vatican museums can be expensive and bad. I tried a pizza slice and it was mostly just dough – not enough toppings to cover the whole slice. I don’t know what alternatives that are inside the museums but I can advise you to stay away from the pizza.

And make sure to take in the architecture – one of my favorite photos from our trip to the Vatican Museums last year is the stairs at the exit.

I think that is all the advice I have about the Vatican Museums. If you have more, I would love to read about it in the comment section.

26th August
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I just found this great blog post on the MoMA-blog. This is what happens when you give MoMA-employees a Friday afternoon with Lego; they start copying the art!

My favorite was this yellow piece that they have made. It is probably the most complex of the pieces, so you can imagine that most pieces are quite simple, but so are the artwork that they copy. (You will have to go to the MoMA-blog to see the other photos.)

Lego from Moma

MoMA pieces in Lego

I would love to see an exhibit at MoMA just with Lego art. The Lego company should just send loads of Lego bricks to artists to see what would come of it.

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23rd August
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This is what Poul is working on at Lego :-).

That’s soooo cool. I wish it was me working on that.

22nd August
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As I have said before – I love the RSA Animate videos. This one is about enlightenment, which I as a scientist at heart feel is a very important subject.

Because of our upcoming trip I can’t help but to read an extra level of enlightenment of travel into this video and the term “global empathy” really hit the nail on the head for me. I hope to learn much from our journey through the world and feeling the global empathy more is one of those fields I hope to improve in. Sometimes it is about the journey and not the destination.

12th August
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This little Lego monkey wants to be King Kong…

Wannabe King Kong

Wannabe King Kong by Poul Foged

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8th August
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First of all: I’m not really the backpacking type. The reality is that I’m going travelling for what right now looks like a year, but as my husband says: “Don’t put an end date on it. It will just confuse people if we decide to come back after 3 months or 3 years.” And he’s probably right.

Secondly, I’m too old for budget backpacking and cheap hotels. I like a comfy bed and running hot water IN my hotel room. I like to dress up to go out in the evening and I can’t live without WiFi and my computer. I’m probably a “medium” budget traveller: no 5 star hotels for me unless they are really cheap, but I’ll prefer a 3 star minimum and I love swimming pools.

We have decided to tour a bit of Asia with stops in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and maybe more but we really like the thought of just “winging it” as we go along, so nothing is set in stone. We need to keep expenses at about 3500 USD/20000 DKK a month to be able to stay for 12 months, that is if we do not produce anything of value as we go along. (The plan is to code up some of our own projects, that we have been neglecting and if some of those projects produce an income that would allow us to tweak the budget. Of course this blog is also a very small source of income through Google Ads.)

So… what to pack for such a trip? I found inspiration in this video:

As Nick mentions:
A security pouch, passport, copy of passport, credit card, cash, comfy shoes, clothes (in his case mens clothes), underwear, a first aid kit, medicine, sun screen, sun hat, a flashlight (head lamp), an iPod, travel alarm clock, light towel, rain jacket, rain poncho for you AND backpack, water bottle, a backpack with a day bag, camera and sunglasses.

As a girl (geek) and a more luxury traveller I will also bring:
dressy shoes,
3 dresses and a skirt,
bathing suit,
vaccination papers,
duct tape (and I really think Nick forgot this or maybe it is in his first aid kit),
a book,
a computer (and all the computer cords that comes with that),
a computer sleeve,
an extension cord,
computer speakers,
an external hard drive,
an external computer battery possibly with solar panel,
insurance papers,
my idea book (long story),
makeup and other beauty products (in DK the chemical levels are closely monitored and regulated – I don’t know if that is true for products bought in Asia).

But I will leave (with a heavy heart) at my parents house:
my wedding ring and all my real gold and diamond jewelry that I can’t bear see lost or stolen,
All my other shoes and clothes,
my library of great books and
all gadgets, computers and consoles not fit for travelling.

Of course there is probably a few things on my list that I could buy during my travels instead of packing them, but these are the things I like to have with me from day one. Can you help me tweak this list? What have I forgotten? What would you leave out if you were taking this trip?

1st August
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It’s been underway for some time, but now I can make it official: I quit my job.

I’ve been called stupid because I quit my well-paying job right in the midst of a financial crisis, where jobs are scarce and as a graduate from 2009 (the lost generation) I should count my blessings for just having a job. On the other hand I have had a lot of people congratulate me for daring to go on this adventure – and there is an adventure underway.

I did not quit to end my current job (but of course that is a side effect), I quit to start a new phase of my life – a travelling phase. November 1. 2010 I’m going to leave Denmark to go travelling Asia with my husband. Not much is planned yet except the departure date, so if you know a place that we just have to see, please let us know in the comments of this blog.

We are hesitant to put an end date to this adventure, but just to be able to tell people something, we have said that this adventure will take a year. This could of course turn out to be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or whatever…

The last few months we have started to prepare this trip by giving notice to leave our rented apartment (we had to give a 3 months notice), I have quit my job, I have been going to doctors to make sure my nose will be fixed before we leave (it’s broken – long story), we put all our money in a travel fund and I have been researching places to go and sights to see.

I have arranged with my father that we can stay at his place from the date that we have to leave the apartment and until we leave the country, and our parents are going to store our furniture, while we are gone.

Along the way I will try to get some freelance work, either as a coder (I would love to do some Android, web or Java/C#-work), a photographer (learning something new every day) or as a blogger but if that doesn’t work out, I will start writing some e-books or tutorials and find some funding through advertising. I have also sold how-to videos before and if my nose get fixed I will consider making more.

Just writing this I get butterflies in my stomach – I can’t wait to start this adventure!

Bangkok by night - image by Poul Foged

Bangkok by night - photo taken by Poul Foged

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