Next up: POLAND!

I've spent the last few days down south visiting my parents and as I told you in this blog post we were planning to roadtrip trough Denmark for my mums 50th birthday BUT change of plans! We are going to Poland instead! And I'm very excited since that's a country I've never visited before. We are not traveling until April but I can't wait! We are going to Gdańsk in the north of Poland and we are staying for three nights and I will definitely do a review of the hotel.
I don't know much about Gdańsk so had to browse the web for a bit to gather some information. So here's some fast info:
  • Gdańsk is the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship.
  • Gdańsk has a population of 460,000+.
  • The city used to be a part of Germany.
  • The St. Mary’s Cathedral in Gdansk is the largest brick church in Europe, with a capacity of 25,000 people.
Just like I did before my trip to Edinburgh I will write a post about our plans and my expectations so if you've ever been to Gdansk and know where to eat, what places to visit and so on, PLEASE tell me in the comments since as of right now we have zero plans and neither of us have ever been to Poland before!
READ MORE:  Traveling on a budget
PICTURE: Forellenresor
The only thing I knew before hand about Poland is that food and drinks are very cheap and you can get a really nice meal for almost nothing. I don't know how true that is, I guess I'll have to wait and see! Gdańsk has in recent years become a popular tourist destination so that will probably affect the prices there but I do not doubt that it still will be cheaper than in Sweden, which is my home country. I'm really looking forward to discovering this gorgeous city with my family so stay tuned until April and follow along!
As I wrote earlier; if you have any recommendations please hit me up in the comments or in Instagram DM's!

Why you should hike more + 5 easy tips to get you started!

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Hiking is a favorite of mine and I do it a lot. And now I'm going to try to get you interested as well haha! I love hiking just because of the simplicity, you can hike almost anywhere, you get to be out in nature and it's just very simple! It also just happens to be the only kind of exercise/cardio that I don't hate, so that's very helpful. 
So why should you hike more?
Well, it's not only a great form of exercise but every hike is a new adventure. On every hike you discover something new and that's something I really like. I always hike without headphones or any other distraction which is just so much nicer than listening to some boring pop-song and not listening to the wonderful sounds of nature. Wow, writing that I realised what a nerd I am haha. 
Hiking is also super cheap and more than often FREE! A free adventure?! Who would say no to that?! So while you are saving up for those other amazing adventures you can still explore and discover via hiking. Also, you don't really need anything but a good pair of boots and clothes to fit the weather and you're good to go!
When I was younger I didn't really understand the point of hiking but the older I got I realised that it's very relaxing and as a student I can really benefit from that. Between stressing over exams and going to lectures I try to squeeze a hike in to get my mind off things and you should too!
READ MORE: How to afford traveling
To help you get started with hiking I hereby present to you 5 easy tips to start hiking!
1. Invest in a good pair of boots! Although hiking isn't about the gear, you will benefit from a good pair of boots and they will probably last you a long time if you take good care of them. I use the Hanwag Tatra Lady GTX and I'm very satisfied since they are not only warm but also water proof.
2. Bring a friend! It's easier to get started if you bring a friend also if you plan to hike together it's harder to bail on eachother since no one wants to be that friend.
3. Dress for success! I learned this the hard way, look at the weather forecast BEFORE going on your hike or you might end up very cold or even worse in my opinion very hot. Also bring a rain jacket no matter the forecast, because you never know. 
4. Bring water and snacks! Hiking can be tougher than you think so bring water and snacks to be able to make it all the way. Hiking is no fun if you have low blood sugar, let's just leave it at that. 
5. Let other people know your hiking! If you are hiking in a remote area please inform a friend or family member three things; where you plan to hike, who you are with and how long you are planning to hike for (if it's a hike during several days). It's better to be safe than sorry in case of an emergency!
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Current plans

I've had a VERY hectic last week in my student life. I've decided to drop some courses and today I was finally accepted to some other courses. It's all very complicated and I'm not going to rant about it too much. Something that is way more exciting is that my part of Sweden suddenly turned in to winter wonderland over a night! There's snow EVERYWHERE! Which made me realise that I don't own any winter boots so I strolled around in my sneakers the entire day and my toes were literally wet from the moment I left my apartment until I got back home. I also managed to squeeze in a visit to IKEA (being as Swedish as I can...). But that's not the meaning of this post! I want to talk about my current travel plans!
So far I have no plans for the rest of January or for February but in March and April there will be some travel. My friend Olivia and I are planning to go to Brussels in March. Have any of you been there? None of us has been there before so we really want to go! Olivia is not only a good friend but also an experienced traveller. She just got home from a two month backpacking trip through Australia. I might be able to convince her to write a guest post about that haha!
After our potential trip to Brussel in March it's time for my mothers 50th birthday in April and she really wants to go somewhere to celebrate. Right now we are thinking about roadtripping to Denmark but we've also discussed Germany, Italy and some other countries in Europe. She's the one to make the final decision so we'll have to wait and see haha. 
Do you have any current travel plans? Or something else planned? Tell me in the comments!
Last year my family went roadtripping twice in Sweden. Would really like to do Denmark this year!

How to: Afford Traveling

Traveling doesn't have to be expensive but it sure isn't for free. I love to travel. A lot. And I'm a student which means I'm not rich, at all. So how do I afford it? Let me break it down to you. 
Me in front of the Eiffeltower on my first ever solo trip in 2015!
This is the obvious answer but it's hard to save up a great amount of savings if you don't have a great income to begin with. But still, do your best. Put aside a small amount each salary and slowly but surely they will add up and become a bigger amout. I found this great 12 week savings plan over at FITnancials that you could follow or you can make your own plan. The important part is that you begin somewhere. I also try to sell clothing and other stuff I don't use anymore online. It might not make me a millionare but it's always something. My cat recently broke a toe and had to go into surgery (those vet bills were NOT cheap) and I had to dig in to my travel savings but you know what? It doesn't matter if you have a set back, YOU ARE TRYING!
Don't by coffee on the go, make it at home. Bring lunch to work instead of eating out. Don't buy things you don't need or won't use. A little goes a long way and you will be surprised how much you can save each month just by changing a few things in your everyday life.
READ MORE: Traveling on a budget
I took a disposable under water camera to Cyprus with my cousin in 2014!
This is very important for this to work out. It's very unlikely that you will save up $2,000 in a month because you obviosly need to live as well. Don't skip out on paying your rent just so you can go to Italy or what ever haha. NOT a good idea! Instead, set a realistic goal. Maybe save $100 a month or more if you can afford. Start with small amounts, this will take time. 
Hopefully, you already got one. BUT if you want to go that extra mile and speed things up a bit you can always get another job. It might be hard to balance two jobs at once so my advice is to head over to the internet. Maybe you are an awesome photographer? Sell your images online! You're an excelent writer? Do some freelancing! There are even websites like Italki where you can sign up as a online teacher and teach your language to students online! You don't have to be at two jobs at the same time, but instead of watching a whole season of Riverdale on Netflix you can earn a few bucks. As I said earlier: a little comes a long way. 
READ MORE: Travel mistakes to avoid
Traveling alone to Madrid in 2016!
If you're not 100% commited it will never work and you will dig into that bank account and use that money for other things. Don't do that except in case of emergency (TB to my cat that I mentioned earlier). If you really want to travel you will make it work, even if it means that you will have to live very cheap for a while. I promise, it will be worth it in the end!

My Goals for 2018

And just like that 2017 is over and a new year has started. This means that its time to set up some goals for 2018. I'm not usually one for setting goals but I really want to try it out this year. So I've come up with three major goals for this coming year.
Climb a mountain
This is my biggest goal for this year. Me and a group of family/friends is planning to climb Kebnekaise, which is the highest mountain in Sweden. It's 2096 metres above sea levels so it's not a walk in the park. This will take some serious dedication and exercise to be able to reach the top and I can admit that I'm not really in the best shape of my life right now and will have to work out more regularly if this is going to be possible. I love hiking and doing something like this has been a dream for a long time! The climb is currently planned to take place in the late summer of 2018. 
Focus on Stroke of Adventure
Most of you have no idea, but SOA was actually founded on Jan 4, 2017 which is more than a year ago. The plan was to start this blog back then but life (more about this later) came in the way. So therefore I really want to give this blog, YT-channel and its social media all of my attention (that's left after working and studying at uni haha...) to make it into the blog and community it was meant to be! I really want to build the brand Stroke of Adventure and continue working with it. And maybe earn a couple of bucks so I can afford to travel and share my adventures? One can only dream haha.

Travel more
To keep this blog running and to have adventures to share I have to go on adventures. And when I say travel more I mean both big and small travels. Both in Sweden and outside Sweden. I want to explore as much as possible and hope to do so this year. I hope to save up enough money this year to be able to travel to Canada either this fall or in spring 2019. I want to travel more in the region I live in and explore the northern parts of Sweden. I do feel like it's possible to travel this year and I hope it turns out that way.
What are your goals for 2018? Do you have anything special planned? Tell me in the comments!
Stroke of Adventure is a travel related blog, Instagram and YouTube-channel. Stroke of Adventure was founded with the purpose for me to share my adventures (both big and small), tips and other things related to travel.

SOA is written by me, Mie, and I'm a 20 y/o traveler, student and photographer from Sweden. You can read more about me if you click "About me" in the top menu.

Welcome to Stroke of Adventure. Come travel the world with me.

Enjoy your reading!