(already) on the road again

Okay so of course I’ve ment to write this blog post for a while .. ever since I bought the plane tickets in July, actually. And then right before I left, and then when I was already here – and now it’s been almost four weeks. Anyways – I’ve finally sat myself down to write something and update the world so you guys know whats up.

I’m back in Mexico! And I’ve already found a city I love enough to commit to a one month airbnb apartment, so here I am in Mérida in the Yucatan province of Mexico. In other words – I’m in love with Mexico and it wasn’t very hard to find a place that’ll keep me happy and occupied for a while.

Mérida is just big enough so you can walk around and get lost, but small enough that you’ll get to know your neighborhood taqueria and the family that runs it – and make friends you can bump into in the local bar. There’s so much I haven’t even started to explore yet – and I can’t wait to find out what this city have in store. I’m also excited about the rich Mayan heritage you can find here, and the many local mayan villages just outside the city where you can volunteer and get to know the mayan history and way of living.

And last but definitely not least – I’m excited to get to share it all with people I love at home and people I’ve met, and everybody else that would like to get to know more about Mérida and my travels.

Viva México!


From the Plaza de la Independencia in Mérida, México


Coming home

It’s been a little over two days since I landed in Norway. I got surprised by my mom and my sister on the airport, they made a sign and everything – wish I had a picture to show! “BIENVENIDOS A CASA, SARA”, it said. Welcome home.

And here I am. Home. Currently on my way from the city I live, to the city where my family lives, to spend some time with them before I have to return to reality. But the thing is, it feels like I’ve already completely returned. Or maybe like I never left. My first morning back, I had an appointment with my hairdresser at 10 in the morning (I promise, it was BAD after seven months of neglect and growing roots). Got up, had my favorite breakfast, put on my all black clothes, sneakers, winter coat and sunglasses, and I was off taking the tram through the city – listening to music with my headphones of course.

Everything as it always was.

I don’t know if there’s a ‘right’ way to return home. Or if there’s an experience shared by everyone returning home after months away. Well of course, we’ll always have different perceptions of it since we all have our own reality, but there’s probably some common factors. Especially the ‘like I never left’-feeling, I think. Anyone who has experienced the same?



Thoughts on the road pt. 2

Iglesia de San Francisco – Antigua, Guatemala

11/3 – 17 12:50

Sometimes I get overrun by emotions. Whether it’s on a bus going through the beautiful, ancient forests in Panama or walking in the ruins of a monastery where hundreds of people have shown their gratitude for the help of one of their saints. There is an enormous sense of energy and presence in those moments, and I can’t help but get overwhelmed.

For me, there is something about ancient places – cathedrals, mosques, temples, ruins .. the energy contained there from hundreds of years of prayers, rituals, thousands of people coming to be present and send their energy into the universe.

It’s a sense of awe, of appreciation, of a higher presence, a connection to all of what’s been and all that’s to become.

IMG_3547   (The ruins surrounding Iglesia de San Francisco – Antigua, Guatemala)

It’s not all beaches and walks in the parks

I’ll be the first to admit I love the long term, backpacker style traveling. I eat all the street food and seasonal fruits, try the weird looking local drinks, drink the tap water, wear bikinis as underwear and wash my clothes by hand in the outdoor sink, stutter some phrases in the local language, jump in the rivers and pet the stray dogs. And I love it! To me, that’s the way you experience a country, that’s the way to learn about how they live there, and that’s the way to continue to grow as a human being.

And all the incredible places and things you get to see! Waterfalls, endless white beaches, baby turtles, volcanoes with flowing lava, sting rays, sloths, ancient ruins .. you name it, the world’s got it.

But then you wake up the day of your $70 full day snorkeling tour and you can’t really see with your throbbing, incredibly swollen left eye. And you have diarrhea. And fever. But you get some drops and cream for your eye and you swallow 10 tablets of activated charcoal and some painkillers and you are on your way. Sea is a little rough, but you lie down on deck to catch some sun (and some much needed sleep) and jump in the ocean, ready for your first real snorkeling experience. You’re excited but exhausted after the first trip in the water, but you saw a huge turtle and a lot of stingrays and nurse sharks! You can’t really eat any of the fresh seafood lunch you get served, but you gulp down some nice, cold orange juice and you’re ready for some coral reef. This time you decide to get the floatie to help keep you somewhat afloat in the waves, and after some help getting your mask (that keeps leaking into your still swollen eye) fitted, you think you’re getting the hang of it. But the snorkel feels uncomfortable in your mouth and you keep gagging on it. You decide it’s best to swim without it and just hold your breath whenever you wanna see what you came to see.

You feel a little relieved when you’re back on the boat, but also a lot worse than you did earlier, so you decide to sit under deck for a little while. It takes you all about five minutes to realize this is not going to end well, so you head towards the teeny tiny toilet with the bicycle pump, and close the door behind you. And then you puke. Everything you’ve eaten or drunk the last 12 hours comes up, colored black by the charcoal tablets, in violent bursts.

When you’re done, you realize there’s nothing left to do but throw in the towel, lay down under deck with your returning fever and wait until you’re finally back on the island.

The next day, still with your crazy eye and diarrhea, you decide to take the short boat ride and the long bus ride to your next destination, instead of the two and a half hour boat ride to the other side of the border. Probably a good idea. But when the pain in your back comes creeping and overwhelms you while you’re trying to enjoy your tacos (after all, you’ve just arrived in taco-land and you’re starving after two days without food) you throw in the towel once again and hurry back to go sleep another 12 hours and hope it’ll all be better tomorrow ..


(picture of the crazy eye three/four days after the above mentioned incidents occurred)

Yes, I’m going home .. just not yet!

Today I have four weeks left of my current adventure. More time than a lot of people ever get to take off to travel. And yet it feels like too little time – too much ground to cover, too much ruins and animals to see, too much food to taste, too many beaches to discover .. I want weeks in each and every place I go to discover it all ! That’s the part I love the most about traveling, the getting to know a place-part. When you find that lady in the market with the best avocados or that perfect spot to swim at the beach. When you learn the names of the kids in the street, get a go-to bar with new friends and understand the local slang. That’s when I feel like I’ve been to a country, that I’ve gotten to know it – and not just seen it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate that I now have the opportunity to travel through all these amazingly different countries and see their most beautiful places, talk to their people, dance to their music, eat their delicious food and survive their public transportation. And I will treasure every moment of it, even when I’m sleep deprived on an overcrowded bus or spending too much time in the bathroom after scuffling down sketchy street food.

But my point is – yes, I am going home ! In four short weeks I’m back in Norway, and I am very excited about it ! I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family, spending hours catching up, eat my favorite food ( oh how I long for indian food !!! ), being able to speak with people without fumbling for words, going to work with the kids I miss and love, wear different clothes ( you know, underwear without holes in them and more than the four different tops and one pair of pants I have ) and just in general being back in ‘the comfort zone’. Ever since I decided on a date and bought the ticket I’ve been thinking about all the things I miss and am looking forward to.

So I’m coming home .. I’m just not ready quite yet!

Traveling backpacker-style

I can say a thousand things about what I love with slow traveling, for sure. But there’s a lot of good things about the more fast moving traveling too. Here’s a list of what I’ve found to be good the last few weeks of traveling through Central America !

– making your friends at home jealous 😉

Lets be honest … I love sharing those picture perfect places I’m seeing and that plate of delicious food or fancy colorful drinks on social media. Of course it’s partly because I want my friends to be a little up to speed about what happens in my life, as I want to be updated on their lives, but I also enjoy being ‘the lucky one’ that gets to experience all of this. After all, it’s a choice I’ve made that also includes some sacrifices on my behalf – and I want to let everyone know that I’m enjoying it!


Manzanillo, Costa Rica – daily snapchats of secret beaches? Yes please!

– you get really good at organizing and packing your backpack

I’ve noticed I need less and less time packing up my backpack when I get up early in the morning to catch the first bus, in order to make it to my new destination. Everything has its own place, and it seems effortless to make it all fit. Depending on the ratio of clean to dirty clothes – if most of my clothes are clean it’s harder to get the backpack closed. This is simply because my clean clothes go in the zip-lock vacuum bag (so handy – check it out !), and when that’s completely full it takes up space in a slightly different way. But it also means I can pick and chose what I want to wear next day!

– not getting the sense of ‘everyday’

There’s little that beats ‘not working’ when it comes to escaping your everyday life – and traveling often allows you that time off work (big shoutout to all working nomads!). And even though I recently read a great blogpost about how long time travel indeed can transform into your normal everyday life, I have to admit it still feels pretty awesome to have this kind of ‘everyday’.  The ability to move around freely, go to bed and get up whenever you want (except when you need to catch that one and only bus out of town at 4:20 in the morning), eat out several days a week (even if it’s non-fancy streetfood – often my favorite), and generally being free to do whatever you want – every day – is pretty great.


Pearl Keys, Nicaragua – I don’t mind having this as my everyday

– trying all kinds of different activities, food and transportation

This comes with both perks and downsides. While there are tons of cool things to do, awesome food to try and fun transportation you might find yourself stuck on a twelve hour bumpy bus ride with the only food-option being some weird milk-based dish that some women entering the bus now and then sells. Not fun if your stomach doesn’t handle milk well. That aside – you normally get so many choices that the choice in itself can be overwhelming. Zip-line through the jungle or hiking an active volcano? Fresh lobster from the sea or first class Mexican tacos? Jeep – boat – horse or road trip with new friends? All great choices, all new experiences!


Pearl Keys, Nicaragua – trying the caribbean ‘national dish’ rondon

– you make tons of friends

When you travel, and especially if you stay in hostels, you usually find a lot of travelers in the same situation as you – wanting someone to do stuff with. And that’s great, cause it means you can team up and for example take turns on watching each others stuff while swimming, getting discounts on tours and activities, or simply having someone to share stories, advise and a beer with. There’s something magical that happens when you make friends while traveling – you skip that awkward “I don’t know anything about you”-fase and go straight to the fun stories, great adventures and if needed – mental support. I’ve met so many awesome people while traveling, and it feels good to be surrounded by people that loves and does the same as you.

– sunrises and sunsets

Even though I’ve seen more sunsets than sunrises, I have to admit they can both be pretty awesome. This trip I’ve seen the sun set in both the pacific and the Caribbean oceans, and I’ve watched it rise over the beautiful mountains in Costa Rica’s landscape. I’ve stayed up all night having a blast with friends to see the sun rise and wake up the beautiful city of León, Nicaragua. In Panama I got to see how beautiful the sunset was high up in the cloud forest, and I was lucky enough to live a month in a place that produced sunsets like this almost ever single day ;

IMG_2971Las Peñitas, Nicaragua – watching the light reflect in the clouds and estuary

Copyright: Sara Frisvold

Thoughts on the road pt. 1

San Miguel – San Salvador, El Salvador
2/3-17 11:30

I hope I never stop being amazed by the things I see and experience while traveling. Even if it’s my thousandth sunset in the pacific ocean, snorkeling with starfish again or another volcano. Because I’ll never know when it’s over, when I don’t get to experience that again. And I hope I never take my health, my family and friends, the wonderful social system in my home country, or anything else I’m privileged to have in my life for granted.

Because I know I’ve been dealt a good hand. And I try to play it as best I can – to the benefit of more people than myself. I want to use it for the betterment of the world. I believe that starts with the betterment of oneself. So I do me, I chose my own path, break barriers, play nice .. and I hope that I’ll eventually leave this world in a better place.