Aug 27, 2013

Georgia and New York!


After Hawaii I headed back to Georgia, in the Deep South, where I went to college back in 2010. As a good Southerner I spent my days together with my American host family, the Campbells,  going to the country club, attending Rotary meetings, driving around playing country songs, eating Georgia peaches on the porch and buying things in bulk. Oh, fond memories! I also got to catch up with a lot of friends I hadn't seen in ages, and we ate good food, partied and tanned by the pool. In that order. The time flew by so quickly, and I wish I could have packed Ansley in my backpack and dragged her along to my next fabulous stop: New York City, baby!


After having done some shopping in Georgia, I arrived in New York with two big backpacks, one on the back and one on the front, as well as one heavy bag on each shoulder. I looked like a mule trekking up Everest. In order to catch the third subway on the way to my hostel, I ran awkwardly (but in my head quick as the wind) onto the platform, and in a split second the strap on my bag broke, fell in front of my feet, and so I took my most epic face plant ever in front of a crowd of robust New Yorkers. It was one sweaty bird that arrived to the hostel that day.

At the hostel I quickly ran into the hilarious Dan and Danny, and we spent some great days together, roaming around doing touristy must do's and recuperating in beautiful Central Park. The rest of my time I spent doing my favourite thing; soaking up the different cosy and quirky atmospheres in the city. My favourite times were spent in Brooklyn, the hip shopping area Soho and in cute Chelsea. I was merely walking around for hours on end to parks, flea markets, cute hidden away cafes, restaurants and shops, while people watching. New York is so wonderful. It has room for everyone! Room for everyone to grow and enjoy their lives. 

For the last weekend of my trip I moved into a new friend’s apartment in Queens, and Tyler and I had an amazing weekend together dining and wining and watching a meteor shower from the roof top at night. And I finally met up with my Norwegian bestie, Thea, who came into the city to catch up for a few hours! What a great weekend. Now I understand what all the fuzz is about. I have now added the city that never sleeps to my list of top cities, along with wonderful Melbourne of course. I'll be back.

Thank you to everyone who has made my journey through some of the corners of the world into the fantastic experience that it has been. From new and old gems of friends to the friendly stranger on the street, you are all stars and I have so much love for you. I cannot believe how quickly the months have flown by, I guess that's what happens when you're part time euphoric! Until next time, Beauties.

Thanks for following me! 

Love from Oslo,

Merete // Mellie 

Jul 31, 2013

Fiji & Hawaii

Bula! Fijians are very nice and accommodating, though ridiculously slow at getting anything done (Fiji time, you have been warned). Having come from Australia wanting to occupy my mind, I went just a little crazy when I arrived and got greeted with "Bula! Welcome, it's Fiji time. Relax and do absolutely nothing!" And it is so true. In Fiji you do nothing but taking your time, spreading out your chores and sit in a hippie circle playing guitar and drink the traditional root drink, kava, at night. After spending many days sick in bed while the rain poured down outside, I was nurtured back to health by my little international clique and we shared some relaxing days eating, napping, doing laundry, sitting, reading, eating some more and sleeping. Which with ongoing, great banter isn't all bad! Doing nothing got more and more alright with this beautiful bunch!

When I felt well enough, I jumped on a boat to gorgeous Mana Island, where I met some fun backpackers, and a lot of beautiful dogs.There is tremendous beauty as well as ugliness wherever you go in this world, unfortunately this time I came across some of the ugly.  It's with a heavy heart I mention that I witnessed a lot of severe animal cruelty inflicted by the local men, and I interfered. I can hardly bare to talk about it, so my stay at this picturesque island was far from perfect. On a brighter note I spent about 40% of my time on the island socializing with some great people and 60% living with a pack of wild dogs on the sandy white beaches. True story. I made my way into the pack and moved up in ranks. After a couple of days I would at all times have a pack of at least six dogs with me wherever I went. Running through the woods, picking ticks off the puppies, and lazing on the beach together. Now that's my therapy. I looked wild and I loved it!

My next stop was Hawaii. I only had four days in Honolulu, Oahu, but I loved it. It was a busy and loud city around the clock, which I really enjoyed after Fiji. It goes without saying that Hawaii has a far more tropical feel to it than mainland USA, but you know you're back in the States when you have to ask if they put real fruit in your fruit smoothie. FYI, the answer is always no. Lack of fresh fruit aside, I enjoyed some wonderful days playing ball and tanning at infamous Waikiki beach, and playing Russian card games while having a laugh at the hostel at night. I finally felt relaxed. My last day I spent driving around on the island, hiking in Waimanalo, and chilling out on some incredible white beaches on the East coast, where I, to top it off, got to swim with some friendly turtles. Hawaii was exactly what I needed. It's good to be back in the States! Aloha.

Lots of Love,

Merete // Mellie


Jul 30, 2013


G'day mate! After I touched down in the land down under I let myself into my good friend Phoebe's apartment in Melbourne, where I would stay with her brothers. It was the coldest place on my trip so far, and I did certainly not have the appropriate clothing (read: WOOL!) in my backpack. It's always a good icebreaker when you meet someone for the first time and you're sat in their apartment looking blue, wrapped in their clothes (Ta, Nick). From then on out we were friends. A few days later brother number two came limping along on his crutches, and so I just never left the fantastic Livingston brothers. They're great.

The following month consisted of delicious homemade meals, lots of new friends and good laughs, visits to Ballarat, good ole' parties and pokies, wildlife park with really cool Aussie animals, fun and boozy Australian footy games and driving the beautiful Great Ocean Road with Hame. I am in love with Melbourne. Hidden cafes and bars, lots of culture and style, close to the ocean... A very happening place with heaps of awesome people. I haven't met a traveler who hasn't loved this city. I could easily live there. 

I did make my way up to Sydney for a couple of days, but it was monsoon rain and I lived in a skanky hostel between 'The Pleasure Den' and 'Happy Hookers', where lovely Nikki informed me she would break my fingers if I so much as touched her food, so I quickly made my way back down to Melbourne. And so life was immediately great again. 

One week later I flew to Adelaide to catch up with my fellow feisty Rotary friend, Sara Hondy-roo. It was so exciting to see her again, what a cutie she is. We went around to different wineries all weekend for tastings, never spilling a drop of wine, like the classy broads we are. Catching up over delicious food and wine ain't too shabby for Mellie! Great times.

I had such a fantastic time in Australia with all the people I met. It always sucks to leave, and I might have shed an extra tear leaving this place. Until next time Aussie beauties, hooroo!

Lots of Love,
Merete// Mellie