It’s an early morning in September and I have just gotten on a train headed to Örebro. I am going to spend a few days alone during a slowcation and I feel really good about it, it’ll be a nice change of pace and a way for me to get back into photography a bit more again and really focus on my work.
As the train starts rolling south I feel myself immediately relax and enter a different state.
While sitting there I reflect on being alone and feeling lonely and how they are so very different. Since I have worked from home for years and spend most of my days alone I have learned to really enjoy my own company. I rarely feel lonely, and I like that I get to decide what my days are like and that I can take all the time I want doing certain things.
How you you feel about being alone and doing things on your own?
There’s something about trains and this way of travelling that let’s me focus in a different way. I always feel very productive and inspired. With a moody fall landscape outside the window and warm coffee in my thermos I listen to podcasts, read and plan future work. With nothing else seeking my attention I can really hone in on things in a way I cannot do at home.
Time flies by and before I know it I step off in Örebro. I get lunch from Lill-Annas Café before getting on a bus that will take me out to nature. I am here to enjoy a slowcation on my own and the journey here truly was a good start to my trip. Even before reaching my destination I feel properly wound down.
22km outside of Örebro lies the outdoor recreational area and nature reserve Ånnaboda. It’s easy to get here via public transportation which is great. I love when nature is accesible without the need of a car! At Örebro Resecentrum you just take bus 523 which takes about 40 minutes. I ate my lunch during the ride and then I got off right where I was to stay for the night.
First Camp Ånnaboda
First Camp offers a variety of different accommodation options. You can rent a cabin or a room and they have camping spots for tents, campervans or trailers. While staying at First Camp you have access to a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, disc golf and fishing. In the winter time cross-country skiing as well as down-hill skiing is available.
I am staying in a cabin that I have all to myself and so upon arrival I check in and start to unpack. The sunlight dances on the walls and the slow, relaxed mood I felt on the train is just as present here. After getting settled I look at a map, pack some fika and head out to explore the area.
The app ‘Naturkartan‘ is great for exploring like this, it shows you trails and points of interests in the area where you are at which I think is fenomenal. I open it up and it shows me a nature reserve not too far away that I decide to head towards.
Ånnabodasjön is a gorgeous, tranquil area – and very easily accessible for everyone regardless if you want to walk, run or bike. The path that follows around the water is also both wheelchair and stroller accessible and there are many benches placed along it if you are in need of rest or want a nice spot to sit down for fika.
I walk and take photos in the autumn colors which have hit their peak with vibrant oranges and yellows while the greens are a bit more muted, almost silvery. It’s very inspiring and I love being out exploring nature through my lens.
My Osprey Raven 14l is the perfect pack for outings like this and the color looks great against the fall foliage!
After a lovely time spent around the lake I went back to the restaurant at First Camp to have dinner. Then I spent the last of my evening in the cabin editing photos and reading. After it got dark I stepped outside to just breathe some fresh air and look at the stars before going to bed.
In the morning I enjoyed a slow breakfast at the restaurant. They had a fire going and the athmosphere was very cozy. It was a nice start to the day and a good end to my stay here at First Camp Ånnaboda. After spending some time in nature and walking a lot it was time to slow down even more.
Blåbergen – Spa, events, conference & brewery
Have you ever met people that you feel are just the right people in the right place, doing the right thing? That’s exactly how I feel about Annika and Robert. What they are doing with this place is spot on, and they are two amazing people making sure you feel at home and that you are seen and cared for. Not long after my arrival they felt like people I had known for a very long time and that I could trust and confide in.
Amongst billowing fields at the foot of Kilsbergen you’ll find Blåbergen – an oasis and the perfect place to breathe and relax. After spending a very short amount of time here I noticed my breaths were slower and deeper.
There’s everything from spa treatments to conference spaces, a venue for weddings or parties here. Robert also has his own brewery and pub here so why not enjoy a beer tasting, learn about making beer or even make one yourself?
I got a tour of the place and then we sat down for some afternoon fika before I changed into my swim suit and enjoyed an amazing hamam treatment. I’ve never done that before and it felt really good and like the last of my stress was washed away.
Glamping on the countryside
Feeling refreshed and like a new person I walked across the farm in my bare feet. I felt inspired by the environment and took loads of photos. After a while dinner time came around and so I headed towards my home for the night – a wonderful and cozy glamping tent.
The tents are decorated really nicely and have everything one might need; like electricity and a fridge as well as a BBQ and hot tub outside. Proper glamping! They are placed tucked away from the farm so that you can be on your own.
I loved winding down here and wished I could’ve stayed longer just reading, writing and taking photos.
As I sat by my tent with a beer preparing my dinner I watched the oat sway in the wind and the sun set behind the barn. I ate with the moon as my company as the fog started to roll in over the fields and the deer came out to graze. It was so quiet, still and magical!
Through the darkness I tiptoe to the pub where I spend a few hours engaging with Robert in a beer tasting. It’s very special to do it one-on-one and I got to ask a lot of questions about beer. We smelt and felt the different types of hops and malt: I love getting a more tactile feel to what I enjoy drinking. With some I burst out “this is what my favourite beers taste like!”
After a while Annika joined us and together we continued trying beer while delving into deeper conversations about society and norms, health and social media. We got a few good laughs in as well and as I walk quietly back to my tent in the light of my headlamp I feel filled with joy and warmth. One of the best things about traveling has to be to meet new people.
I wake up early and open up my tent to stare right into the eyes of a deer. The fog is thick on the fields and it’s cold and crisp outside. I make some coffee and have breakfast in bed wrapped in all the blankets. I did not want to close the tent flaps as I enjoyed being able to watch nature awaken with me.
As I sit there I think about the word slow and what it means to me. I think some people associate the word slow with not really doing anything, but that’s not what it is to me. To live slowly is all about making very conscious choices, listening to what you actually want and to be very aware about what’s going on inside you as well as around you.
For me it has helped to have my camera with me. As I explore the world around me to take photos I walk more slowly, look at everything longer and I hone in on details. I am more aware of textures, light, shapes and colors. These days, even when I don’t have my camera with me I notice that I have this mindset.
So in a sense, photography has helped me to slow down and be more aware.
After a nice morning here I say goodbye with a heavy heart, wishing I could stay longer or that I lived closer so that I could come and visit more often. This place as well as the people here did something to me that I don’t think I’ve been able to capture in words or images.
Örebro seems to be a nice city with some interesting shops and restaurants that I would love to come back and check out. The castle in the middle of the city is so cool and I love the walk along the river going through the city. It’s definitely a town worth coming back to explore.
On the train back home I read and nap for a bit. Being on the train is also a good time to let all my experiences sink in a bit more. Then a powerful sunset explodes across the sky painting everything in a deep orange and I want to scream “stop the train!“. But luckily I have plenty of experience in shooting through a window so I still manage to capture it with my camera.
Then I get to experience the best part about being away: coming home.
It’s absolutely wonderful. As I step through the door I am met by our cozy apartment, the smell of home, the warm embrace of my love and Lucis cute attempts at meowing.
Being away makes me miss what I have and returning is such a wonderful feeling.