About the blog

On the way - through life and around the world - this blog consists of Vagablonds stories, thoughts and ideas.
The blog is divided into categories: 365 consist of everyday stories, updates, current travel experiences and the like. OUT & ABOUT gives you a glimpse of Vagablonds mind. VOYAGER involves anything travel-related; memoirs, advice, impressions.. The supersmart BLOND informs and the love for food category EAT explains itself.. QUOTES - a collection of Vagablonds faves.

Feel free to click around, read, make comments or give feedback. Enjoy travelling - enjoy life!

2012 TO DO

365Posted by vagablond 2012-01-05 18:15:51
Long time no see

and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too!

My appologies for little updates recently. I will not blaim lack of creative environment or poor time management for the "long time no see". I was lazy. End.

So, new year, new start, new beginning is that it?

My 2012 began outdoors in the snow. We were a group of 5 spending the weekend up in the mountains, cheering champagne in plastic cups and looking at amazing fireworks on a clear black sky.

To me a new year is the time of the year where I sit down with pen, paper, dreams and goals for the upcoming year. Every year I write down a yearly to do list and this year is no exception. It is everything BUT an exception actually, as I observe the list becoming longer than any other list I have ever written before!

Hahaha, in other words; a great year up and coming!

Do you plan anything for 2012?

2012 TO DO: (randomly listed)







TRAVEL TO INDONESIA & BALI (Any volcanoes to summit down there?)

A ROMANTIC WEEKEND IN ITALY (where I will wear a nice summer dress, eat a lot of gelato, ride a Vespa, become tipsy on delicious wine early atfernoons (after riding that Vespa of course), start the day saying Bon Giorno, pizza, pasta, another gelato.. oooh, looking a lot forward to this!)




CONTINUE MY WRITING PROJECT (produce produce produce)




And yes, more things are planned - and loads of more things have been thought of, considered, evaluated, dreamt of or removed. Imporant to keep your feet on the ground and stay realistic, right mum?

So, happy new year 2012 to you!

I hope you realize more of your dreams and yourself.

Vagablond -out&about

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365Posted by vagablond 2011-11-06 13:48:33
Spreadsheets, gross profits, exchange rates, profit margins...
And on the outside it is just as grey.
Raindrops, leaves falling, fog... Hmm, spending a Sunday in the office.

However, I must admit that when the outcome at the end of the two-meter long spreadsheet turns out as I hoped for - or better - the time dedicated with my calculator seems well-invested after all ;)

My ROI on this? (Return On Investment) More spare time the upcoming week!

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Vagablond -out&about

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365Posted by vagablond 2011-11-01 23:59:02
This weekend I was in Nore & Uvdal with mr Hunter. It made me draw some parallells to the night we met. The story went as follows:
(If you know David Attenborough, spice it up by reading in the same style as he does)

Once up in the mountains the female hunter carefully observed her desired target.
... After more than 10 years in the serious hunting (read flirting) business, the experienced and well-equipped female hunter (I) sat down on a rock (a bar chair).
It was a beautiful day and the clear autumn sky (the loud and crowded nightclub) allowed to scout for hours. (The dancefloor was packed. I was by myself in the waiting line in a bar.Waiting for drinks. Observing. Being observed..)

A co-hunter had strategically made the female hunter a victim of a Blind Planter move. [Blind Planter] = This is the person who places a bird or bumper at a designated spot for a blind retrieve. (Read: My friend had left me waiting for her in the bar. She never returned...) The patient female hunter scouted for a very long time.
No returning co-hunter.. No target in sight...

The female hunter all of a sudden hears a sound. ?

Something moved. Wait. Was it the bitch? [bitch] = female dog. The co-hunter? Or was it something else?
The female hunter adjusted her riflescope to get a better sight.
A male trophy. WOW. Now wouldn´t that be something!
She sprayed on some attractor scent and fixed her camouflage. ("wow. He´s yummi! hmmm.. Eyecontact?.. ? .. Eyecontact! ... Thank God I am wearing perfume tonight! I better take off my jacket so that he notices me." He had already noticed me and was approaching in a fast pace). The target had left his habitat, he moved quickly and began strutting. [to strut] = part of the courtship behavior to signal the male wants to mate with the female. The male walks near the female with some tail feathers fanned, others dragging on the ground. As he walks like this, he emits a low pitched noise. (read; yes, he had had a few drinks. And so had I)

She loaded her weapon once the target approached. (Oh yes, my secret weapons were definitely loaded. Eyecontact CHECK, hair CHECK, smile CHECK, cleavage CHECK.)
She was ready to take him down! The shotgun was loaded with the most powerful bullet.. (The bullet of looooove) She aimed carefully. She wanted this one and she wanted the bullet to hit precisely! (We were talking, moving around the club.. Time was flying. Music, cocktails, singing, laughing... "Let me get the next round!")

Target in sight. The female hunter shouted: HERE!!! ("Another Gin Tonic or do you want to leave?") [Here] = this obedience command means to come directly to/with me.



Now nothing was left for the opportunists. The female hunter had gotten herself a master trophy! (Haha, ladies! He is going home with ME! or.. more correctly, I ended up at his place..) [Opportunist] = After one animal has exerted the effort to kill prey, the remains will be eaten by another animal (the opportunist, or in this case, other single ladies) who benefitted by, but did not help in the hunt.

Whether it was the gin tonic that triggered it all, the first kiss or the estrus is unknown.. [Estrus] = two to four day period when doe are capable of breeding. It is only during this time that a doe will allow a buck to approach her.

Vagablond - out&about

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Quotes about women

QUOTESPosted by vagablond 2011-10-27 16:24:59

A small input that hopefully will make you smile on a Thursday ;-)

Men will spend 2 bucks on a 1 buck item that they desperately need. Women will spend 1 buck on a 2 buck item that they don’t need at all.

A woman is like a tea bag. She only knows her strength when put in hot water.

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.

I’d much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they are the first to be rescued off of sinking ships.

If the world were ruled by women then there would be no war… just couple of nations not talking with each other.

There are two ways to rule a women and nobody knows them.

Women sleep on the right side of the bed because even while sleeping they have to be right!

A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s – That’s because she changes it more often

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.

If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.

Have a great weekend everyone!

I am starting mine right now - whoooop whooooop!

Vagablond - out&about

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365Posted by vagablond 2011-10-25 21:50:05
Thanks to all of you who voted for me for the trip to Zambia!

I unfortunately didn´t collect the majority of the votes and will therefore spend November at home... dreaming about Africa ;)

Thank you all for your support and your votes! I was amazed how many voted for me from all over the world, from Argentina, Korea, Indonesia, USA, Ireland, Ukraine, Lebanon, Russia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Germany, Norway, Spain, Austria, Sweden and many many more.


Vagablond - out&about

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OUT & ABOUTPosted by vagablond 2011-10-25 20:59:16

The world is full of confrontations between people, groups and nations who think, feel and act differently. At the same time, these people, you and I, groups and nations; we are exposed to common problems that demand cooperation for solution. Economic, environmental, natural, technological and political developments or problems do not stop at national or regional borders. Coping with the threats of volatile currencies, an EU crisis, organized crime, poverty, terrorism, floods, pollution, AIDS, nuclear warfare threats and so on, demands cooperation from leaders of many countries. Jintao, Merkel, Zarkozy, Obama, Patil and Medvedev and their groups of followers, their ways of thinking, how they feel, what they value and how they act: How to deal with all these differences? How are we supposed to ever find mutual understanding on a global level?

What I value as respectful, as important and essential in business relations is most likely not the same values my Russian or Chinese colleague hold. I am programmed to value what the people who have raised me and the people I have grown up with see as important and valuable. If I would have been born in the Middle East or in South-America I would have a mindset today completely different of the one I have. I see myself as a “European” thinker, or, more correctly, “Northern-European”. This is where I live and where I feel accepted, my mindset and perception is common and m neighbours and friends think, feel and act alike. Of course there are varieties among us, but in general we can divide perception and values into geographical areas.

I call it mental programming. The sources of one´s mental programs lie within the social environments in which one grew up and collected one´s life experience. The programming starts within one´s family. Further the neighbourhood, the school, the youth groups, the student environment, the work place and the living community affects our programming. I guess a more customary term for such mental programming is CULTURE. I have read that in the study of social anthropology “culture” is a catchword for all patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. I refer not only to the activities supposed to refine the mind, but also ordinary activities and habits – such as eating, greeting, showing or not showing feelings, keeping a certain physical distance from others, making love or as simple as it may sound; the maintenance of body hygiene. Culture consists of the unwritten rules of the social game. Culture is learned. It derives from one´s social environment and not our genes. Human nature and our individual personalities are other aspects – human nature being a universal level inherited in our genes. Because we all feel anger, joy, sadness, shame... However, how we express these feelings and how we obtain these are closely linked to our culture. The personality on the other hand is unique. Partly inherited, partly learned.

Extremely fascinating!

...and currently a topic I work with every day. This time I am confronted with these exciting differences in a business situation and not on a personal level. I have friends with all over the world and I have different ways to act and communicate with my friends. Nevertheless, I love and respect them all alike. In international business - cultural differences are challenging and a topic that leaders and employees have to cope with. Resistance? Not a solution.

I try to understand, I try to communicate cross-cultural.How to shape a sentence so that the receiver perceives the message I wish to communicate?

It is challenging and from time to time frustrating.

The cultures or people involved in this specific case are mainly Northern-Europeans, nevertheless the perception of certain actions of the past are very different.

I hope the communication flow will contribute to clarification and not confusion – as it previously has been proved was the case.

Challenging challenging but very very interesting. More to come..

Vagablond – out&about

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VOYAGERPosted by vagablond 2011-10-09 11:12:31

The journey back (REISEN TILBAKE)

This fall, three Norwegian aid veterans are returning to countries they used to work in. However, they do not intend to travel alone. The aid workers will be accompanied by nine common Norwegians who will report on the effects of Norwegian aid.

Norway has been involved in public development aid since 1952. The goal has always been to fight poverty - with different means. Many projects over the years have given people a new existence, dignity and faith in the future. But there are also projects where patience is tested.

Three former aid workers will be making a trip back to where they worked, meeting people they worked with at the time, and look at what has happened to the communities and the people.

Nine ordinary Norwegians will travel with the veterans. These will give you a glimpse of Norwegian assistance. They should convey what they experience and share with you their reflections on what they see. The travelers will also meet people and hear their stories, both people who have worked with the assistance and people who have benefited from assistance. Everyone has a story.

The journey back is Norad's information campaign to disseminate the results of Norwegian assistance.

(Article translated from

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

This year Norad arranges the “journey back” to Zambia, Nepal and South-Africa.

I am a contestant and in the run for participating on the journey to Zambia.

Give me your vote and I will do my best to communicate my experiences and share it with you.

Let me give something back – by being part on the Journey back.

To vote, please follow the link: (select Nicole Jacqueline Schmitz and press the “FERDIG” button. You can vote 1 time per device, so please vote from your iPhones and iPads in addition to your Macs and PCs!),97

Thanks in advance! Voting ends Monday October 10 at 14:00 (Norway time)

Vagablond – out&about

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QUOTESPosted by vagablond 2011-10-03 21:44:53
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life!

Confucius 551 BC - 479 BC (Chinese thinker and philosopher)

Vagablond - out&about

- choosing to write - and hoping that someday it can be considered work! :)

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VOYAGERPosted by vagablond 2011-10-02 12:01:15

How strange it may sound, I am inspired by airports. When at airports I am inspires to think big thoughts and write. Is it because of what I see? What I hear?

"Last call for passengers Nielsen and Yoon-Lee, the gate is closing."

Airports are noisy. Yes. To me – a constant buzzing sound, comfortable. And I know I will not be disturbed, although it is noisy. A noisy environment where you´re disturbed every 5 minutes, would annoy me. Airports? Perfect.

Being on the way, for business or pleasure, or maybe just travelling home; people at airports are filled with expectations. The movement is constant. People, luggage, airplanes, sound, information. A constant, never still.

Airports have good light – gigantic windows. If I ever have a house, I will have large windows. Lots of light and a lot of view.

"Good afternoon. Flight SK1638 to Copenhagen is now ready for boarding at gate B24. Passengers seated from row 15 to 30 are kindly asked to board the plane at the back entrance."

Airports never sleep. They are vivid. It´s an international place, we are on international ground. We share the facilities, we function together in order to progress the movement. A mini version of the whole world (the peaceful version...) People... Arab, European, American, Asian, Russian, young, old, religious, dressed for business or wearing leather pants and piercings, burkas, different languages, different preferences. It all meets at airports. And it works. Forward. Manpower goes hand in hand with modern technology. We respect waiting lines. We respect each other. Why don´t we do that elsewhere?

Airports give the basis for a functional environment. The movement is constant.

"Flight LH1448 to Moscow-Domodedovo wih departure time 13:25 has been delayed. Please contact your airline for further information"

Despite the hassle that accompanies modern travel (online check-ins, bag drop off queues, liquid limitations, and although you wear no metals, it beeps when passing the security check; having to take off the belt and the watch and the bracelet and the shoes.. still beeping... Then putting it all back on...) Additionally I have to mention that I was never stuck at an airport due to bomb threats, volcanic ash or storms. I appologize my enthusiasm to those who have. However, I have had my experiences with regards to delays, overbookings, technical problems...

Overbooked in Havana, Cuba; 14 hours waiting for the next plane uncertain if there´s a seat available... Airport shuttle bus breakdown on the freeway, 5 km away from Incheon airport, Seoul, South-Korea – resulted in a night on an airport bench and the cost of a new ticket with another airline. Missing connecting flights (too many to bother mention any). Waiting for plane parts flying in from other countries, for 10 hours or so, due to technical problems discovered after boarding. And then, not seldom, the magical word DELAYED has resulted in a measureable effect in terms of increased travel expenditure (Fashion shop Celine, terminal 2E; Charles de Gaulle, Paris) and a decrease in level of patience.

Goethe said “Do not travel to reach a destination, but to travel”. And I agree; travel for the sake of travelling. When planes are delayed or have technical problems; something is wrong and I am happy to wait till it’s fixed. Furthermore, it is not under my control or influence, and not under the control of the (poor) crew working at the gates (whom always receive reprisals from angry passengers).

"We wish you a pleasant flight. Thank you for flying with Norwegian"

At airports, I most often find myself at a table. With my laptop or pen and paper, a book, a coffee, the newspapers of the day, the boarding pass and a clear mind. I am on my way to somewhere. I am focused and exist in the moment, in the middle of surroundings in constant movement. The mind, the thoughts and the idea factory runs smoothly forwards, just like everything else around. On the way to somewhere; one step at a time.

Safe travels everyone!

Vagablond – out&about

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EATPosted by vagablond 2011-09-27 11:48:58
Elected the national dish of Norway in the 70`s, fårikål is a winner every early autumn. I already look forward to prepare this extremely easily cooked dish and enjoy it after a day spent outdoors.

A plate of fårikål looks nothing like the colourful autumn nature, it looks undelicate and some people react to the smell of the mutton.
However, it is a poor mans delicassy and every norwegian is obliged to have a plate once a year.

Literally fårikål means "mutton in cabbage". How you prepare it?
Throw pieces of mutton with bone, cabbage-quarters and whole black pepper into a cassserole. Cover with water and let it cook for hours. Serve it with boiled potatoes.

Fårikål Feast Day (Fårikålens festdag) is celebrated on the last Thursday in September each year - so now you know what to do on Thursday!


I remember student life in Barcelona and especially a cold evening where I was longing for something that reminded me of home. I was homesick, it was autumn.. Windy and cold outdoor and indoor (someone please teach the Spanish the concept of isolation) and I came up with the idea of preparing fårikål.

However, as a poor student I couldn´t afford the mutton and ended up preparing kålikål (or cabbage in cabbage).


Vagablond -out&about

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