Therese (23) from Sweden, living in Berlin
Therese – Student of life and world traveller
Most of us share the dream to travel the world, but what makes us want to see all these places and why are we constantly starving for new experiences? For Therese it’s all about new perspectives and different ways of looking at things – travelling after all can free our mind and will broaden our horizon. We met Therese from Sweden, who is currently living in Berlin, to discuss her never ending hunger for adventure and new experiencs and what is traveling is all about.
Therese, what is your dream?
I want to see the whole world. I want to go to at least every continent, maybe not every country, but every continent, for sure. I want to go everywhere and experience everything the world has to offer. I am looking forward to new experiences, but also to new perspectives and different ways of looking at things. I come from a very small town in Sweden. There, people tend to be quite like-minded. When I moved away, I realized that there are so many ways of looking at the same thing. And people see things very, very differently. I always thought that this is quite interesting. Trying to understand that, that’s the reason I want to travel.
How do you want to realize it? Are your saving money for the next trip?
Actually, I’m really bad at saving money. So, it’s on my list of things to do, to figure out how I’m actually gonna travel, in spite of my inability to save. Right now I’m realizing it by applying for work and education in foreign countries. I’m trying to use all those opportunities to go abroad, but ultimately I would like to just take off on a really long trip, go by myself, go really slowly, just stay with people that I meet along the way and go really lightly as well, not having anything unnecessary with me. I wanna sell of everything that I don’t need. Maybe work my way forward, just figuring it out when I get to a new place.
Did you travel a lot before?
I lived in the U.S. during high-school for one year as an exchange student. Then I went to Berlin in Germany for one year. When I came back I moved to Stockholm, lived there for two years and then moved back to the U.S. and came back for Stockholm for another half year. Currently, I’m in Berlin, again. I’ve also seen a little bit of Asia and the South of Europe. The best trip I’ve ever done, was going to Mexico and Cuba, because to me that was something very different.
What was so different about this trip to Mexico?
I think it might have to do with my background, coming from a small town in the north of Sweden and all that. Visiting Mexico City, that is so big that I could not see the edges of the city when I was flying over it, felt like the complete opposite to where I grew up. And in some way I think that helped open me up fully to whatever experiences I would collect during that particular travel. I did have some prejudice before going there. I had this idea of ‘Mexico’. You know …they drink Tequila and they have these hats. It’s not a real third world country, but it’s not as developed as the U.S. – this is what I thought. And then I went to Mexico City and from the start it was not at all what I had imagined, so then all the prejudice I came with kind of withered and died. It was a feeling I carried with me the whole time we were travelling, I wanted to see more, eat more, go further, meet more people, understand better. And I did, I met some wonderful people during this trip and I think a big part of that was due to me travelling there on a sort of clean slate.
So you’re trying to wash away all these prejudices?
Yes, exactly. Actually, I try to go into things not expecting too much. I’m trying not to bee too excited before I do something, because I’m afraid of getting disappointed. You now what I mean? I think when you spend too much time expecting things, you are kind of living in the future. And even though it is super hard, I wanna be the person who’s like “Okay, I’ll experience it when I am there and that is when I am gonna be excited about it, for now I am gonna be excited about the present.”
What was your happiest moment?
I guess it was during the trip to Mexico. I was traveling with my really good friends from university and we had not seen each other for six months. It was just such a good trip, they’re like a family to me. We were celebrating new years eve on the beach in Mexico, Playa del Carmen. It was just us, a billion other people, great music in the background. It was warm, stars in the sky, we were sitting at the beach and singing swedish songs. I don’t know, but everyone was laughing and everyone was so happy and I was like “This is how I want to experience life every day from now on.”
Does your day-to-day job allow traveling, too?
Yes, I am currently here at Web Summit Conference in Dublin. I work for a startup incubator. It basically means that we build companies. I’m working in marketing and I’m specifically in charge of employer branding. However, right now my tasks are not very travel-related tasks, but we have about 40 nationalities in the office, and we’re only about 300 people in total. We have people from every stage in life, from all different cultures and countries. People are just from everywhere, and that’s really cool. And that makes for a really interesting place to work, and for a very good learning environment. So I don’t really need to travel at the moment to get those impressions I am looking for, I have them every day at work instead. And as soon as I think that this is not enough anymore, then I will have to fulfil the urge of going out and travel.
When you think about your future is there something you want to accomplish?
I can make a plan and stick to it for the next three months or so, but I cannot commit longer than that. Because if a chance comes up that I might never get again, I need to take it. I wanna be happy, I wanna be learning, I wanna be experiencing and feeling like every day is teaching me something new and giving me something. There is no large plan. As long as I am with people that I love, it’s all good.