Friday, 31 May 2019

I am now celebrating my 3rd year as an active expat:

Greetings to all you lovely ladies and gentlemen out there on this world wide web. I have to say, wow its already Friday with a brand new weekend full of amazing adventures around the corner. So tell me, my friend, what plans have you made for the upcoming two days long break from the daily routine and hard work? Maybe out on the town to paint it read or just stay at home relaxing with your loved ones? I am pretty sure that you have aimed yourself in for something. When it comes to myself, it going to be the same old same old. You know all work and no play or that is how my plan looks like at the moment. At the same time, I have loads of things that need to be focused on when it comes to my blog.
Before I continue or get to the point, I have to say that it's scary and close to borderline insane how fast time seem to fly right now. Because it does feel like yesterday that my flight touched down on the runway at Manila International airport, back in 2016. it is actually three years ago on this day and this is what seems scary to me. One thing that I didn't know back then was the fact that my stay in the Philippines was just one leg on my journey to live as an expat here in Peru. Back then the plan was to at least try to settle down and build somewhat a life in the Philippines, but these plans got changed as time passed. A few months later I started on the long journey from Manila to Lima.
What happened that made us change these plans of ours is something to this day has stayed as a mystery to me. I have my theories, but that's not the important part. I know that I haven't talked much about my stay in the Philippines, but the truth is that I haven't had the need to talk about it. For me, the focus has been on my current situation and trust me when I say that it has been more than enough to cope with. Because the truth is that living here in Peru has been a handful at times. I guess life, in general, has the ability to become a handful or two at times. Guess that I should get back to the topic at hand. When I look back on the past three years I can't say anything else than it has been one amazing experience.
Yes, it has been a journey filled with both ups and downs. Some downs have been bigger than others, but these play the role as a footnote in the long run and in the grand picture of things. At the same time, these negative events have at the same time played an important role in how my life here has been shaped. I am not going to dwell more on these, they are part of my past and that's where they belong and at the same time, the positive events wouldn't have been the same without the more negative ones. My philosophy is as this, if you have no experience with the bad, you won't enjoy the good ones the way you should. That's me anyway.
Sorry, but I have to repeat myself because the journey so far has been an amazing experience, despite the bad things that have happened along the way. These things are impossible to avoid long term. Life has its ups and its downs, just the fact of life. When I look back at this journey, what comes to mind is our stay in Pasamayo, our family adventure to Tumbes, our weekend trips to Lima or Chancay, our year living in Lima and who can forget Huaral. Not to forget all the small everyday events like going to the movies, eating at our favourite restaurants, visiting relatives of my girlfriend or just attending a random party. Or you have my “private” walks around the town. In my eyes, life can't get any better than this.
I am super excited about looking back on the past three years of my adventure as an expat and I get even more excited when I look forward to the next three years. I am super excited to see how our plans for the next three years will play out. One of the big things that will happen in the near future is that my girlfriend will go back to school, now this August. We are talking about investing in property, buying our first car together and I have even been looking at some motorcycles. I guess that the property and car are some into the distance, but anyway it's part of our plans for the future. These are things to get excited about and something to work towards, don't you agree?
Anyway, my friends, I guess its about time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog. All I really wanted to do with this one was to highlight the fact that I have now lived for three years as an expat and for the most part had an amazing experience. One thing that I want to apologize for is the photos that I am using in this post, they have been used a few times in the past. The honest truth is that I have actually run out of fresh photos to use on my blog. So I really need to get out and let the camera do its job, basically. At the same time I do hope you enjoyed my post and if you did, why not check me out on social media? The links are in the sidebar. Wish you an amazing weekend.

Monday, 27 May 2019

I am now looking back on a weekend from hell:

This is my babygirl, better known as Ginger, Gingin or Ladybug.
Greetings all you lovely ladies and gentlemen out here on the world wide web. Its Monday again guys and for once in my life actually say that I am happy that the weekend now is behind me. You can say that the headline for this post kinda explains a great deal why this is the case. Basically, it has been the weekend from hell on so many levels, but the majority of the reasons for this has been self-inflicted. Anyway my friends, so how has the weekend been for you? Did you get to do all that you had made plans for prior for the weekend? If you ask me, I have to say that I hope your weekend has been amazing and that you haven't done anything even close to the stupidity that I have managed to do.
Okay, I might come off as whiney or extremely negative in this post and I want to apologize ahead for this, but trust me you will understand why when you have read this post. Anyway, just to fill you in on what has happened. I am that type of person that loves milk and everything that is milk related, but my big problem is that I am lactose intolerant. Yes, I am that person who is allergic to lactose but is at the same time unable to stay away from it. It doesn't matter if its simple milk, yoghurt or cheese. So on Friday, I wanted to treat myself with something special, a dish that I have loved since my childhood. This is a dish that is better known as kleppsuppe, but in English, this would be milk soup.
Yes, the name of the dish or soup pretty much say it all and for a normal person with lactose intolerance work as a deterrence, but not for a milk lover as me. So I made what I call a medium sized batch, this way it would be both my lunch and dinner. Rest of the family doesn't like this dish, not that I blame them. To be completely honest, for the past few months I thought that I had outgrown this intolerance since my body has been reacting pretty good to milk. I have had milk soup and other milk-based products on a regular basis without any massive form of reaction to it for months now. Well, it would change big time this time around, but strangely not right away as it usually does.
It would take several hours actually for the reaction to brew, but when it hit it hit me pretty bad. It started with heartburn, continued with some really horrible abdominal pain and continued with the other classic ways that I guess most of you guys out there knows about. Something I won't go into details about, since its pretty gross. Let's just say that I bribed my son so we could swap bedrooms, cause I knew how my night would be like and I didn't want to bother my girlfriend with the problems that were let's say brewing in my body. On top of this and just to make the entire situation even worse, my landlord turned off the water sometime Saturday morning.
From what they have told us, they need to do some maintenance work on the water storage tank on the roof and it couldn't have come on worse time. This is because the storage tank that they “turned” off is the one that is connected to our bathroom and shower. So basically no shower and no washing machine until some time Sunday afternoon. (I am actually not sure when the water got turned back on, had other and bigger issues that have kept me preoccupied). This becomes a problem when I am that type of person who likes to take a shower right before he goes to bed. It plays a very important role in my sleeping routine actually. So now you understand why I label this weekend as a weekend from hell right?
The biggest problem that I have is that when the pain and the stress of the situation are over it usually doesn't take long before the ordeal has been forgotten and I repeat my mistake. When it comes to milk and milk related products I am a serial offender. Hopefully, I have learned my lesson now and at least switch to lactose-free milk when I make my milk soup or pancakes, even when I want to treat myself to an extra tasty cup of coffee. Yes, I do sometimes use milk in my coffee too, but for this, I usually use condensed milk and that doesn't seem to trigger it, as long as I am not overdoing it. what has been positive in all of this is that my kitten has been taking really good care of me, in her own special way.
I guess it's about time for me to start wrapping this post up and get it ready for the blog and I do hope that this wasn't a too much of a personal post. As I see it, this is just part of me being an expat in Peru and that's what this blog really about. Maybe this is the type of content that you want to see more of? Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed my weekend misery and if you did, why not check me out on social media? The links to the different platforms that I am active on is in the sidebar. If you want to support my blog you can do that by buying me a cup of coffee at Ko-fi (Jack Bowler Sr), but please don't feel pressured or forced. I am mentioning this just in case you want to support my work.

P.S, this is just an update or something that I forgot to mention in the original post. On top of my lactose and water issue, we also had a really massive earthquake on the late hours of Saturday night. An earthquake measuring around 8.2 on the Richter scale and from what I understand the longest last one in recorded history (most likely for South America or Peru). The quake itself lasted for 2 minutes and 3 seconds in total. It is at least the strongest one I have been through here in Peru.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Top 5 Youtube travel and expat vloggers/bloggers:

Greetings to all you amazing ladies and gentlemen here on the world wide web. The weekend is over and most of us has returned back to the normality of everyday life. So my question for you is as following, how has the weekend been treating you this time around? Did you get to do all the plans you had made for it? I for sure hope you have had an amazing weekend and that it met all the expectations you had for it. when it comes to me, I have to say that it has been as usual and when I say this it means that it has been more or less all work and no play. At least I can't complain about not having anything to do or being bored because of it right?

Well my friends, today I feel like focusing on a topic that I actually spend a lot of time on. To be completely honest, I am more than an average user of Youtube. If there is one thing that I am sure about is that I spend more time there than most people, mostly because of it's my main source for entertainment these days. You are correct, I do not watch normal tv, instead, I spend that time watching different type of videos on Youtube and to be honest I feel way freer this way. I decide what to watch when I want to watch it. I watch a wide range of videos, from politics, history, food to expat and travel-related ones. Today I want to share with you guys my favourite travel and expat channels.

Bald and Bankrupt: Okay, if you are looking for just one channel that does focus on travel, this is the one for you. He is genuine, honest and will tell you exactly what's on his mind at any given time. Not to forget, he seems to be completely fearless when it comes to the destinations that he choose to visit. The channel Bald and Bankrupt focus on the region of India and eastern Europe. To be honest, I don't want to spoil too much when it comes to his channel, but if there is one thing I can say is that you won't regret subscribing to him, his content is pure gold and as I see it the very best travel channel on Youtube. This is off course my opinion on the matter. You might think otherwise. By the way, he is British.

Serpentza: This channel is one out of two that kind of inspired me to start my Beyond the Horizon blog, at least with the type of content that I am currently focusing on. Serpentza is originally a guy from South Africa that is currently living as an expat in China and make some really great content. He and his friend Laowhy86 has a channel together where they post more travel related videos, known as ADV China. All three of the channels really deserve a spot on this list, but it wouldn't be fair for some of my other favourites, I guess. I have to say that if you are curious about how it is to live in China or Asia in general, this is absolutely your channel. He makes some amazing and informative content.

Tangerine Travels: This channel is more or less a newcomer on my list that I watch more or less on a daily basis. The channel is run by this cute American couple that has settled down in Mexico and seems to focus mainly on content related to their expat life there. I found their channel a couple of months ago and has been a subscriber ever since. They do make some amazing videos, more on the fun, lighthearted and playful side, but they are worth spending time on. So if you are curious about Mexico and are looking for some informative videos on the topic of visiting or moving there, I would recommend having a look at their videos. You will find some solid information on the topic.

Mike Chen: This amazing guy has been featured on my blog before, but for a different topic. As mentioned, this guy creates some amazing good content, but the reason for him getting a 4th place is simple, his focus isn't on travel alone. He focuses more on the food side of things, that's is one video topic that I also love to watch. I love food, but very limited in the kitchen myself, thank god I have a girlfriend that loves to make food. Mike Chen has something like five channels that he works on, with a wide range of topics, but if you check out his channel you will find the links to his other channels there, I would say it would be worth your time for sure. Just to mention it, he seems like an a-okay guy.

Indigo Traveller: Okay, this guy I have kinda mixed feelings about. It's not that he makes bad content or anything, but its something about his personality that rubs me the wrong way. I don't like to be negative like this when I talk about other people or their work, but at the same time, I wish to be completely honest. His videos are good and the destinations he chooses is pure gold, but his personality is kind of dull if you know what I mean. Not that, he is like Bald and Bankrupt, a fearless person and goes where ever his heart desire. Places like Iraq, Iran and amazing places like this. This is actually one of the reasons I keep on watching his videos. So go and check out his channel, you will love it as I do.

This is my official top 5 travel and expat vlogger list, this might change in the future and if that happens I will update you guys on the matter. Who knows, maybe there will be a part 2 sometime in the future. Because there are so many good and fascinating channels on Youtube on this topic that deserve to be on the list, but since it's only a top 5 there will be only five. Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed reading my top 5 travel and expat vlogger list and that you will stick around for future updates on my blog, but remember you can follow me on social media as well. Links to my sites are in the sidebar. Now I guess its time for me to wrap this post up and get back on working on my new about page for the blog! 

P.s: Just so you know, if you want to support my blog you can do this by donating a cup of coffee or two through the site called Ko-fi (JackBowler Sr). Please don't feel pressured into donating, only mentioning it just in case. Have a great week my friend.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Happy birthday to all my fellow Norwegians out there:

Greetings to all you lovely ladies and gentlemen here on the great world wide web. Today I have to say that this week has just passed by like one big supersonic missile. I have been so unbelievably busy at work and on updating pages on my blog that I have hardly noticed that 4 days have passed me by. Not even joking about this my friend. So I hope you guys have had an amazing week and that you are ready for the two days long break from everyday life. This is one break that I for once wish I could have, but I have no real reason to complain. Life is good and that is all one can demand, right? At the same time, I do love living a busy life in general. So that's the life I guess.
From a children parade in Snarøya, Bærum ( photo credit:Jan Fredrik Breivik )
Today is one very special day for us Norwegians. 17th of May is the day when we celebrate our constitution and independence from the forced union with Sweden. As I see it, a liberation from Swedish occupation, but this is part of our long history now. The thing is that Norway isn't like other nations around the world. While most celebrate with fireworks and huge military parades we don't do it like this. Instead, we let our kids do the talking on a day like this. With talking I am thinking about our unique children parade in the early hours of the day, the graduating students at mid-day and everyone else around dinner time. This is actually a day that is celebrated by Norwegians all over the world.
The Nowegian royal guard regiment ( photo credit: Kjetilbjornsrud )
To be completely honest, I love this day and for me, this is a day that even rank days like Christmas and New years eve, not to forget my own birthday. Not that this has anything to do with any nationalistic feelings, but more because of the traditions that follow. For me this day means that the family are gathered, we spend the entire day together and are focused on having nothing but fun all day. Not to forget to eat a lot of good food and whatever else that comes to mind. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this day is hotdogs, balloons and happy kids everywhere, but rarely any decent weather. At least not where I am from back home in Norway.
From a children parade in Trondheim ( photo credit: Municipal Archives of Trondheim )
The sad part is that I haven't been able to celebrate this day in the way it should be this year, this is for many reasons. The most important one is that I am not in Norway and it's kind of natural right, but I did make some of the Norwegian dishes that I love so much. One of the was a typical milk soup and I have to say it was amazing, but I had to eat it all by myself. My family doesn't like it, but they had something else instead. At the same time, there isn't any Norwegians that I know of living in the area, but we have had an amazing day together and I am hoping that by next year we are spending it together back home in Norway. It's allowed to hope and dream right?
Anyway, all I really wanted with this post was to say congrats on this day to all Norwegians all over the world. For me, it meant as a way to end the day and mark the tradition in my own way. I do hope that you have enjoyed reading my post and a little bit about Norwegian traditions. Not that I went into super details about it, but that wasn't the idea either. So before I wrap this post up and publish it, I want to apologize for my silence on all fronts this week. The truth is as I mentioned earlier that I have been swamped and the week has just passed me by in supersonic speed. Hopefully, I will be back on track this Monday, even with a brand new about page as well. So have great weekend guys and girls.

Friday, 10 May 2019

It is Friday and I have to say what a week it has been:

Greetings to all you ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web. Think about it, its already Friday again and I have to ask, where did this week go? Because if I am going to be completely honest, I have no clue where it has gone. The fact is that the days have just flown away from me, but then again this week has kinda been crazy or out of the ordinary for me. So tell me guys and girls, how has your week been treating you? At some points, better then mine has been. I am not saying that my week has been that bad, but so many things have happened that has kinda flipped things upside down for me. I guess that the reality is that some weeks are just like what I have had or still having.
So before I continue on the main topic fo this post I wish to step off the track and tell you guys a little bit about the story behind these photos that I have included in this post. I took these once a few years back while I was living in Spain and the city of Malaga. There reason for me moving to Spain is simple, a Scandinavian company offered me a job and I accepted. Well, it didn't turn out as I had hoped in getting paid what I was offered, but then again you learn through experience right? Not that, I enjoyed living in Malaga and to this daydreaming about going back at some point in time. Anyway, all these photos are from the area where I ended up renting an apartment.
So I guess its about time for me to get started on the main topic for the day! As mentioned previous, it has so far been a crazy week on so many levels, some of it has been negative and some has been positive. Okay, I might have oversold the part that the craziness in the week, cause both Monday and Tuesday has been pretty good, but the bad part came for a visit on Wednesday. Lets put it like this, it is going to cost me a pretty penny. It all started with my sink and kitchen faucet falling apart while trying to find the emergency switch for the water I managed to do so the wall pretty much came tumbling down over me. On top of this, I went on breaking my girlfriend's favourite full-figure mirror just a short while after.
So you can say that this day was the perfect storm of bad luck or whatever you want to call it, but there is one thing that bothers me. This thing is the wall, or it wasn't the entire wall that came down but the tiles on the wall. The entire wall with tiles came tumbling down over me and I can tell you that it was painful. Another weird thing is that we couldn't find any emergency switch for the water either, but luckily we managed to get the attention of our landlord, at midnight. At least we managed to get the sink and faucet fixed, but the kitchen wall will be fixed tomorrow. There has been some arguing about who is going to cover the damages that have been done to the apartment.
Yes, our landlord tried to be smart and wanted us to pay for the damages, but as I stated the tiles were faulty or put up by someone who did a crap job. After a lot of back and forth, we came to the agreement that I pay for the material and they pay for the labour. I know that it might seem unfair since the damage most likely has happened before we moved in, but at the same time, it's not that big of a deal. We are talking about a few hundred and its history. As I see it, it's not worth ruining a good and productive relationship with them over it. Maybe I am too nice when it comes to these things but it's not worth to become hostile over such small things like this. How would you have handled this?
Now we have arrived at the amazing day of Friday and I am positive that we have left the period of bad luck behind us for now. I can't possibly imagine that we have more of this in store for us at the moment. The truth is that I have been a bit worried about touching things here in our apartment in the last couple of days, worried about breaking more things. Maybe not so strange since so much has broken in such a short period of time. Might sound a bit weird, but I don't want to have to replace more things or stuff in the apartment at the moment and if something like this happened again it would be overly embarrassing for me. Anyway, its time for me to wrap this post up and I for sure hope you guys will have an amazing weekend.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

This is the top of my travel and exploration bucket list:

Nazi and Soviet controled Europe by May/June 1941 ( photo credit: MaGioZal
Greetings ladies and gentlemen of the greater world wide web. We have today, once again arrived at the mid-week and that means at the same time that we have worked ourself half way through our work week or at least that's the situation for the most of us. For me, it is, as usual, 7 days with all work and no play. It doesn't look like I am in any way able to break this habit, at all. I might be a workaholic. So my friends, how has the week been treating you so far? All good and as stress-free as possible I hope? When it comes to me, all I really can say is that life is good and things are moving forward, on all fronts. It seems like I even managed to fight off the flu before it got the chance to get a foothold.
German soldiers on the eastern front, at Stalingrad ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Citizens of Leningrad leaving their houses destroyed by German bombing ( photo credit: RIA Novosti )
So guys, today I want to talk about a topic that has been a huge dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Yes, I am talking about travel and adventures, but maybe I should start by telling you guys the story behind this dream first? The truth is that I am a history geek of dimensions and I have been like this since my childhood and especially world war 2. For some reason, the second world war has always fascinated me greatly. It has nothing to do with political views, but more with where I grew up, I think. I grew up among bunkers and fortresses built during the German occupation of Norway. My hometown was part of the famous Festung Norwegen, an extension of Festung Europa.
German soldiers on the eastern front ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Soldiers of Soviet Union, but backstory unknown
With this kind of luggage its not strange or weird that I have developed this huge fascination with all that has to do with the topic. So after I had explored everything from museums to bunker sites all over Norway I started to build on this idea to do the same on the European continent. Or at least exploring what once was the eastern front. From the bunker in Berlin to the gates of Moscow and everything in between. I know that this is a huge undertaking since Europe is littered with thousands of sites like this. Everything from German command bunkers to more typical battlefields and camps, but it has to be worth it as I see it. Just think about all the amazing videos and blog posts that would come out of it?
German tanks on the eastern front, battle for Kursk ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Soldiers of the Soviet Union on the 1st Baltic front.
As previously mentioned, I am fully aware of the scale of this adventure and that is why I want to spend “enough” time planning it. Because this is not something you just throw yourself into on a whim, not me anyway. I can be an impulsive person, but not when it comes to things like this. The more I think about this the bigger the plans get. Right now I see myself completing this adventure and then set out on a similar one for the Pacific theatre of war. Not only will I make a dream come true, but I will also visit many new countries as I explore. Because I have never been to Russia, Poland and Romania just to mention a few. Maybe you think this idea is crazy? Not that it would surprise me, cause it is kinda crazy.
Soldiers of the Soviet union celebrating VE day ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
German advances on the eastern front ( photo credit: Gdr )
Anyway, this is something I really want to do, but two things have to fall into place before it can happen or become realistic. The first thing is better cameras and the second one is an improved financial situation because this will be one extremely expensive adventure. In theory, I think such an adventure would be in the price range of my second trip to Peru or it might get even more expensive than that since I need hotels and such. The second trip to Peru I spent 3 months here but stayed at the house of her aunt instead of a hotel. How I think is that I want this to be crossed out of my bucket list before I turn 50, so with other words I have about 6,5 years to complete this one. It should be possible, do you disagree?

P.S: I found these photos on Wikipedia, I thought that today's topic had to have some relevant photos. Anyway, if there are any companies that want to support an adventure like this, feel free to contact me. You can also support my blog through Ko-fi (Jack Bowler Sr). All donations would go towards improving the blog.