Posts in daily
Oh Canada! Settling In, Or The Lack Of It

What I find difficult is this: 

- The weather. The constant grey clouds and wet air. The claustrophobic feeling of always being met by rain when outside. 
- The food. Nothing has wowed me yet; food taste weird. Like it's missing components, like it's trying to taste like food but it's not. It's also really expensive: the only thing that saves us at the moment is the conversion rate from Eur/Sek to Cad.
- Smells. On buses, on streets, in houses. Wet clothes, alcohol, drugs, human despair, mold, you name it - it's all there. 
- Being away from my family, of course. 
- The feeling of not fitting in, of not being where I'm meant to be. 
- Being unemployed / looking for jobs. Do I need to explain further? 
- Having no place of our own, and knowing that we need to look for places soon enough. 

What makes my heart sparkle a bit extra is this: 

- Whenever it's not raining, the whole city comes alive. There are beaches, mountains, and sunsets to explore. 
- Our AirBnB, what a gem to find. We're there till the end of March; it's nice to have something for a longer period than couch surfing from place to place. 
- Cute coffee shops and boutiques with local-everything. 
- The library. We just (finally) got our library cards and oh my, what a safe spot! A quiet place where it's warm, where everyone is quiet and give each other space? Bless libraries, may you live on forever. 

daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson
Big Furry Dinosaurs: A -20°C Walk

Writing this at a Starbucks in Vancouver makes me miss home (+ my sister) so-o much. On this day, Ida had a couple of hours off school and we decided to go down to Mollie to give her a good ol' walk in the cold (-20) but sunny weather, seeing as if we would've waited till the dark, it would've been just to cold for the poor fur baby. 

Arriving at the horse yard before everyone else, I introduced myself to the "locals". Horses are just simply incredible creatures. What even are they? Big furry dinosaurs. There's nothing that can make me cry as much as a movie featuring a horse. I guess it's because it's harder to read a horse? You can easily tell if a dog is excited, anxious, and all the feelings in between. It's so easy to tell if a dog likes you or not. But a horse? How do you know? 

I was never a horse person myself. I tried to be, but failed. To be honest, I was 1) too sensitive and 2) I always thought I was too big? What nonsense. Thanks society for that one. Anyway. There's nothing that impress me as much as young girls with their horses. There's nothing they can't do? Having a sister who's broken every bone in her body (not true, but enough bones anyway!) from riding and jumping, I see how much it has affected her self image. She's bold, brave, caring and smart. Yard smart > street smart any day!  


Poor Mollie; being imported from Ireland this is her first proper winter with snow. And now we're making her go over fields instead of on the roads? So she's knee-deep in this icy snow? On top of that, going up the hill over the fields an elk RAN out from the field onto the road we were on. Mollie probably thought it was the weirdest looking horse she'd ever seen. The rest of the walk she spent looking like this, trying to spot another one:


Snacks, anyone? Ida has trained Mollie to "kiss" her now, which Mollie enthusiastically does only cause she knows there's a snack at the end of a trick. So again, does she actually like the kissing? Does she understand the sharing of affection? Who knows! It's cute either way. 


Is there anything nicer than having your hair + eyelashes + (let's be real) nose hair frozen from walking outside? Probably! But it's definitely up there! Mollie was so happy to be back from her walk, she kept rolling around in her paddock and grinning to us. I say grin, but then again, who knows? Haha, I love horses. I just hope they genuinly love us back.  

daily, winter, swedenEmma Carlsson
Roads At Home

What I love most about being home in Sweden is driving around in a huge, safe Volvo stopping everywhere to look at views. Driving really slow to avoid hurting any animal that might take a leap of faith at the exact same time. It's something I miss when I'm away, the freedom of driving and the beauty of the valleys, the red houses and how weather forms the mood. 

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These photos are all taken from my car window, on the same day, on the same trip from my dad's house to my mom's house. The most familiar of views to me. 

winter, dailyEmma Carlsson
Job Hunting Part I

Updating my CV. Updating Linkedin. Updating Indeed. That's all fine and dandy, it's when you actually have to click into the different ads that your soul slowly escapes through the cracks. I can only read through a couple before I give up. I will do literally anything else. Like listen to the Wicked soundtrack and cry. People watching. Going onto Twitter which I'm never on otherwise. Answering emails I've been ignoring for decades (most probably). 

I have a masters degree, I've produced a feature film. I still don't know if it's film I want to work with. When do you finally decide? And why does work have to be that important anyway? I want to just slide into a career. I want to just work with something I'm happy with. Ideally a job where I don't get an anxiety attack every morning. 

Some jobs I would love: 

x Something with dogs! Read: dog shop, dog spa (yeah, why not), doggy daycare, dog shelter, dog training, dog photographer etc. You name it, I'm there. If it includes a dog/dogs. 
x Children / YA author. The ultimate goal? 
x Local news reporter. No world news here, only interested in local activities. Think pieces as well, but for a local audience? With social media everything has become so global. Will local be the new big thing (again)? 
x Real estate / special mission photographer. This might be a weird one. But I'd love to be a photographer on request. Not a wedding photographer or a people photographer. I like places, to photograph houses or landscapes. I love moving things around within the picture with my hands, not giving people instructions. 
x Animal sanctuary farmer. Preferably want to combine this with any other job on the list. 
x Creative Content Strategist. Work with clients who want to develop their brand. I'm into logos, websites, even copywriting even though I have very little experience with it. I'd love to meet people, get a sense of who they are and create a brand around them. Especially everyday companies. I'm not talking tech companies or any type of corporation. I'm talking my dad with his timber house company. Small. Again, local. 
x Video teacher. Not film teacher, even though this would probably be the term institutions would use. I would love to teach people how to create effective videos. How video is art, how video is everything. How we can utilize even small clips to get our point across. Love to focus on female creatives, of course. 
x Holiday home caretaker. I'd love to work with Airbnb. My retirement dream is to own a couple of huts (built by my dad) somewhere in the wilderness and have people come over with their families and friends and I can help them have a wonderful time. Perhaps while petting my saved animals? This needs to happen. 

Those are just jobs I can think of right now. None of them really requires a city, which is a must for me since I see myself settling down somewhere way smaller. I wrote this post instead of actually looking for real jobs. But it's Friday, and this week has been as intense as I allowed it to be. I'm ready for the weekend. Monday will come either way, and I'll be ready for it. Maybe. 

daily, philosophyEmma Carlsson
Vancouver, CA

We just extended our booking at the Airbnb we're staying at, close to Fraser street / Mountain View area. I would lie if I said it was love at first sight. Vancouver and me didn't hit it off straight away. Leaving home, and the beauty that is a snow dressed Sweden, hurts more than I thought it would. The rainy, grey city just didn't do it for me the first couple of days. 

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For some reason, I underestimated just how much of a city Vancouver is? Being so close to the mountains, nature, I didn't foresee all the tall buildings and city people. I'm not a city person, far from it. I can adapt, for sure. There are things about cities I loved. But the first couple of days I felt small, insignificant, not at home. Naturally - because I wasn't home. I was somewhere else. 

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The first day was an extreme example of how a new place can scare the living shit out of you. We had been walking around the city the whole day. We were wet and tired. Jetlagged, vulnerable and foreign. I had a pain in my back from travelling that just kept on intensifying throughout the day. At home, in the evening, the pain made it impossible for me to move. I had serious trouble breathing and even laying down hurt my insides. It felt like my chest had collapsed, a very scary thought when you're fresh in a new country. I thought of medical bills, insurance, of wanting to be home where everything was safe and familiar. In the end, it got so bad that we had to call the insurance company, we had to get to the ER. Great. Maybe I'll write about the experience another day, maybe not. I'm safe and alive though so hey, all good! 

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Apart from that, we've been taking it slow. Getting essentials out of the way, going back and forth between hospital and insurance company. We've been exploring the city while trying to find gems and places that feel more like home than the others. We went to the cinema, finally saw Call me by your name and god was it beautiful. We haven't applied for a single job yet, but it'll come. Probably tomorrow already. 

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Hopefully with each day we will feel like we have it more together, that things are going forward. Right now it feels like a weird dream. But at least we have a place to stay, food to eat and things to do. 

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daily, winterEmma Carlsson
Check in

Classic Emma. To only write one entry about her beloved Sweden after promising herself to Document. Remember. Glorify the glory. Take loads of cute pics of how amazing Sweden is. Cause it is. Amazing, I mean.

I've been here for almost a month now. I've treasured it, held the moments close. I took some pictures, but made sure to also put my camera away. To just be in moments without documenting it on social media. 

Things that probably won't appear in pictures on my blog about my time in Sweden: 

1) Me and my sister watching Riverdale, me forcing her to scratch my arms or play with my hair. 
2) Cuddles with the Giant Schnauzer Chansa, her spooning me in bed. Her trying to get closer, closer, closer. 
3) Me and dad having dinners and tv nights where we don't say much, but we enjoy each other's company, find joy in just being together. 
4) My mom embracing and looking for hugs and the smiles that follow. 
5) Meaningful conversations with my brother and his girlfriend during their winter visit here. 
6) Me eating every single thing I've missed without an inch of guilt. 
7) Me sitting on one of my oldest friend's floor talking about our fears and our growth, to feel how close you can be to someone who you only see every two years or so. 

Only a couple of days left till I pick up Andrew from the airport. Only a couple of days till we fly off to Vancouver. After that, only god knows I guess. 

daily, winterEmma Carlsson
The First Days In Sweden
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Reflection. Welcome, 2018! You'll be one of the more exciting years I'll have in my lifetime. The first day of the year was quiet, and not at all sunny like the image above. This was earlier last week, before Christmas even. Walking down to the stables to visit my mom + sister's new horse. Everything was beautiful outside, magical. 

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If you take the road less travelled in towards the forest, you'll see a hidden away spot where my mom + sister has their horse Mollie. It's such a sanctuary, and I know they love going there daily. Walking there through the forest myself, I know why they treasure the spot so dearly. 

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Due to some current back problems, Mollie needs to be walked to gain strength. Her winter fur was incredibly soft, and so was she. Haven't met a more gentle horse who embraces cuddles and kisses and always walks behind you faithfully. 

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All these photos are iPhone photos. Mollie, you're so precious. Can't wait to go on more walks with you in 2018! 

daily, winterEmma Carlsson

Idag har jag bara fjorton arbetsdagar kvar. Det blir en vecka sena pass, sen två veckor tidiga. Med en lång helg mitt i. Sen är det slut, finito. Aldrig mer. Som vanligt så trivs man allra mest på jobbet den här sista tiden, alla är extra snälla och roliga, man får beröm och det går bra för en. Man tänker att man kommer sakna allt, att det var inte så farligt ändå. Man blir rädd och tänker men nej, vad har jag gjort. Hur hade jag tänkt att detta ska funka. Flytta, till ett annat land, igen! Utan kontakter eller jobbsäkerhet. Det kommer nog sluta med att vi blir olyckliga, fattiga och kryper hem utan någonting kvar med svansen mellan benen till slut ändå. 

Men sådär har jag känt förut, många gånger. Rädslan, av att förlora allt. Skillnaden nu och då är att jag kommer åka med Andrew, vilket bara är ett STORT plus. Det kommer alltså bli bättre än de gångerna förr! Jag kommer inte vara ensam, jag kommer ha min bästa vän där. Vi kommer ha kul, fokusera på att göra det till en bra upplevelse. Och ja, skiter det sig får vi åka hem igen. Men det är inte världens förlust det heller. Fjorton dagar kvar nu, tre veckor. Sen en vecka till med förberedelser innan jag tar flyget till Sverige och firar jul, och stannar där i en månad helt själv utan Andrew. För att sedan, den 20de Januari, åka iväg igen. 

dailyEmma Carlsson
Storm Brian
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Det är kallt där jag sitter framför fönstret med en (kall) kaffekopp. Bäst jag sätter på vår mini-heater och riktar den emot ansiktet så jag får brännsår över hela kinden och halsen. Det finns ingen som gillar värme mer än jag, om möjligt så min mamma kanske. Och morfar. Och mormors terrier Harley. Jag menar inte utomhusvärme, jag menar inomhusvärme. Finns det något värre än att frysa inomhus, känns så onödigt på något vis, när man inte behöver. Finns det något bättre än att frysa utomhus och sen komma in i värmen? Jag tror liksom inte det. 

I veckan har jag jobbat kvällsskift. Annars har jag mest kollat på Mindhunters (Netflix) - så bra. Storm Brian far över Irland nu i helgen, det är regnigt och mörkt. Vilket är helt okej, jobbar bara tre dagar nästa vecka så ska passa på att vila, planera, läsa och förhoppningsvis vara ute lite. Regn och jobb verkligen hindrar mig att gå ut. Känner alltid att jag måste be om ursäkt till min kropp, för vi bara sitter på kontorsstolar eller soffor hela dagarna. Men sen måste jag förlåta mig själv igen, för att känna skuldkänslor. Så onödigt, ibland ser livet ut som det gör bara. Betyder ju inte att man inte alltid gör sitt allra bästa. 

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It's cold where I'm sitting, in front of the window with a (cold) coffee cup. I better put on our mini-heater and face it towards my face until it gives me burn marks all over my cheeks and neck. No one likes heat more than me, mom maybe. And grandpa. And grandma's terrier Harley. I don't mean outdoor-heat, i mean indoor-heat. Is there anything worse than being cold inside, feels so unnecessary, when you don't really need to. Is there anything better than being cold outside and to then come in to the heat? I don't think so. 

Throughout the week I've been working evening shifts. Other than that I've been watching Mindhunters (Netflix) - so good. Storm Brian is going over Ireland over the weekend, it's rainy and dark. I don't mind, I'm only working three days next week so I'm going to make sure to rest up, plan, read and hopefully spend some time outdoors. Rain and work really stops me from going outside. I always feel like I have to apologise to my body, for sitting around in office chairs and couches all day. But then I have to forgive myself again, for feeling guilty. So unnecessary, sometimes life just is the way it is. Doesn't mean you're not doing your very best. 

daily, autumnEmma Carlsson
Storm Ophelia

Today is a home day. Hurricane Ophelia is raging across Ireland. So far, where we live, it's not really worse than any other rainy, windy day.

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CUT TO: cinnamon bun and hot chocolate break in front of the last episode of GLOW.

CUT TO: Scratch that. One hour later and we're now facing a proper blizzard. I hope everyone is safe and sound and cuddled up inside. Two people have already died in Ireland due to trees falling. Weather scares me, I respect it deeply. Mother Nature controls everything around us. What if I were to get stuck here, on this island, filled with water? What if I were to never see Sweden again; my family, my forests? I know that won't happen right now, but I've catastrophizing as long as I can remember so why stop now, right? Joking aside, I'm respecting you Ophelia. Do what you have to do, and then leave. Like the rest of us. 

Today I'm spending time with myself, working on pictures, reading, writing, listening. I changed the name on this blog to blue lakes deep forests, same as my instagram account. follow if you want! 

daily, autumnEmma Carlsson
Birthday 2017
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Here I am, on the 20th of September, it's my birthday. I'm on my way to work even though I can barely stand up without wanting to, needing to, sit down. A couple of hours later I leave work again. Head to the doctor, find out that I have shingles. It all makes sense, the big itchy, painful patch area on my back. The dizziness. The rundown, drained feeling. The doctor hands me a note that says I'm off work for more than a week. Stress. What will I miss? What will people think of me? Will I even be able to relax? Will I get fired when I come back? And then, Andrew's gone for work. Long days at home by myself, evenings by myself. The internet stops working. I spend the days reading, dreaming, listening to swedish music, talking to friends + family. We go up to Sligo for a night, for my birthday. More on that later. More on a lot of things later. Internet's back, Andrew's gone again, the September sun is shining outside. 

daily, autumn, , birthdayEmma Carlsson
Säkert - Inte Jag Heller

Sunday was filled with alone time and Sunday roast with a family only mine by extension. Despite all, I feel more content than I've been in a while. Praise alone time and headphones and Swedish music. 


dailyEmma Carlsson