Blogger Spotlight On: Hanne Hellvik from Places People Stories

Welcome to the March edition of Blogger Spotlight On!

We are so happy and relieved that it is finally spring right? :)

To kick off the season, I would like to introduce you to world traveler Hanne Hellvik from Norway.

Hanne-Hellvik-of-placespeoplestories, travel, travelblogger, world traveler, Norway

She writes at Places People Stories which is a blog where she shares insights of her travels and more.

Let’s get to know her better!


Please tell us more about you

I am a twenty something travel junkie that has visited over 50 countries. Usually, I travel sustainable and slow. This means staying a longer time at each place, and working in Development projects. I have been working with HIV/AIDS and Conflict resolution in Nigeria, water management in India, Homeless in New York and 1.5 years as the director of a foundation working with street kids in Bolivia. Travel while doing charity-work is my passion!

Hanne Hellvik, Internship, Nigeria,

During my internship in Nigeria

When did you first start traveling and where did you go?

I started travelling very young. My parents took my sister and me on many trips as kids. We often went on car trips around Norway

Hanne Hellvik, travel, travel blogger, Søgne, Norway, photography

Søgne, Norway

Denmark, Germany and Sweden. So my first trips were around Europe. Then the older I got the longer and longer away from home I went.

What was your first destination where you went all by yourself?

That was New York. I was 20 years old and moved there for a couple of months. This because I knew I was going to travel a lot alone in developing countries. I wanted to start in a place that was similar to home and where they spoke English. I think that New York was a soft and good start for me.

Do you prefer traveling alone or accompanied?

For a long time I preferred traveling alone. This because it was easier to get to know and get in contact with new and local people.

Hanne Hellvik, travel, travel blogger, photography, cholitas, Bolivia, locals

With Cholitas in Bolivia

I could do what I wanted to do when I wanted, and it made me independent. But after getting married things changed. Now I prefer sharing all the memories I get on a trip with my husband. I tried to travel alone after I met my husband, and it was just not the same anymore.

Tell us about an important lesson you learned.

When I lived in Nigeria, I learned that I do not need material things to be happy. I lived without water and electricity. I lived in an armed conflict zone, but I was still happy. Do you know why? Because I got close friends there that cared about me, and people who considered me as family. And that is all you need for be happy.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received by a local?

To give and always be kind to others. If you do and are you will always get many blessings back.

Hanne Hellvik, travel, travel blogger, photography, Iguazu Falls, Brazil, waterfalls

Admiring Iguazu Falls

More than many locals have expressed this in words, they have shown this by acts.

What are the best meals or dishes you’ve eaten?

In every country I have visited I have eaten incredible food. I do not have a big favorite dish, but India, Bolivia and Italy are my favorite countries when it comes to food. Everything they serve is tasty and should be tried!

Which items are a must when you travel?

I always bring with me some tissue and antibacterial gel. These because when you are on travels you never know where they do not have toilet paper and soap on the toilet.

I always also bring my lap-top, so I can write for my blog.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Yes and it is the following: “I haven’t been everywhere but it is on my list”.

This quote defines me and the urge I have to go everywhere I have not been to yet!

Tell us about your blog and what can we find there?

My blog is in many ways a different travel blog. I never write guides about a place, but write posts about the not so obvious when it comes to travel. This can be topics that can be discussed, research results or stories I have experienced on my travels. My goal is that people will learn something useful when reading my blog.

How can we follow you online?

You will find me at:




Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Hanne. We sure enjoyed learning more about you :)

We wish you many happy travels!

Until next time.

Tashi delek, all the best


Top 5 favorite books of all time

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.

The man who never reads only lives one.

George RR Martin 

I have been an avid reader since childhood. Not only have I been able to make important & exciting discoveries but it also left me wanting for more, so much more!

At this stage in my life I should be able to write reviews and write my very own book. You know what? I will do it…eventually ;) I’ve enough material and so much happens on a daily basis that I don’t have time to be bored.

One of life’s greatest pleasures is reading and we are incredibly lucky to have access to a vast selection of stories in many different genres.

I must admit that I am a fan of the printed word and prefer it over ebooks. I do carry one or a couple of them in my handbag or backpack. Yes, I know electronic copies are much easier & more convenient to carry but I do love to have a real book in my hands, flip pages & just delve into it.

I love feeling empowered & inspired right after finishing the very last page and looking forward to rereading it at a later date and find things I didn’t the first time!

Allow me to share with you the books that have helped me do just that. For me they are classics!

Without further ado, here are my Top 5 favorite books of all time.

1- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist, book, best seller, spirituality, top 5 books

A magnificent fable about following your dream but also discovering who you really are along the journey.

Favorite quote:

“When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

(Tried, tested & so true!)

2- The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy, book, spirituality, top 5 books

Definitely a book everyone must read. The universe operates in incredible, mysterious & inexplicable ways but we just have to go out and live this adventure and spiritual journey. It will change you forever. It did for me! ;)

Favorite quote:

“The awareness begins with a feeling of restlessness – an inner urging to find more meaning in life. As we respond to this inner prompting we begin to notice the “chance coincidences” – strange synchronistic events in our life. We begin to realize that some underlying process is operating our life.”

3- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

 Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, book, best seller, love, top 5 books

You know, there are some books you honestly can never get tired of reading and captivates you from the get go. This is just one of them!

It is such a powerful love story. Nicholas Sparks has a way of just bringing the whole story to life & it just stays with you even long after you are done reading it. It stays in the memory of your heart ♥. Noah and Allie withstand the test of time & so many obstacles (class difference among many) that it’s just so incredible.

Here are two of my favorite quotes:

“You’re bored Allie. You’re bored and you know it. You wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t something missing.”

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that’s what you’ve given me. I love you. I’ll be seeing you. Noah”

4- Many lives, many masters by Dr. Brian Weiss

Brian L. Weiss, Many Lives, Many Masters, book, best seller, spirituality, top 5 books

This book opened my eyes & made me become so interested in past lives/reincarnation. It explained quite clearly what it is all about and answered some of my questions (that I had for years & couldn’t quite understand why but I sure did afterwards). It was transformational too! I have had the enormous privilege of meeting him in person & do a live past life regression and it was quite an experience! Life changing indeed.

One of my favorite quote from the book is the following:

“Everything comes when it must come. A life cannot be rushed… we must accept what comes to us at a given time… life is endless… we just pass through different phases. There is no end. Time is not as we see time, but rather in lessons that are learned.” The Masters.

5-The Art of Happiness by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama

 HH Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness, book, best seller, spirituality, top 5 books

Being happy does not come from the outside, it is found within. You & only you are responsible for it, not material things or people.

This is by far the best book by his holiness. He gives us profound insights, teaches us important lessons and gives us directions & guidance.

Happiness is not to be pursued but created. As within so without as I’d say. How powerful really.

Here’s my favorite quote:

“I believe that happiness can be achieved through training the mind… Generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness.”

In summary, each and every single book has important messages & teaches us to be the very best we can be!

After all, life is a one time show. There is no stop or pause button, so we better make the best out of it! Don’t you agree?

Now it’s your turn.

Tell us…

What are your favorite books?

What lesson(s) did you learn after reading them?

I’m curious to know which ones YOU like :)

Until next time!

Tashi delek, all the best.


Travel Theme: Spring

“Spring is Nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!”

Robin Williams

Today marks the arrival of a season we were all anxiously waiting for…SPRING!  Can I get an amen? A halleluyah? It is such a big relief since the winter was anything but brutal for us living in North America.

Although it may still be cold outside,  soon the temperature will rise and we’ll enjoy warmer and brighter days.

This week Ailsa, from Where’s My Backpack?, asked us to share with you what Spring means.

Have I told you I am a big flower fan? I LOVE taking photos of all kinds of seasonal flowers such as tulips, magnolias, daisies etc.

That is why I looked into my photo archives and was very happy to find a folder that contained pretty captures that I took last year at home and on the road. I thought they would be perfect for this occasion.

Personally I call it free color therapy and aromatherapy. It automatically brings a smile to your face and you can definitely feel its power just by staring at them!

Enjoy these colorful creations courtesy of the one and only, Mother Nature :)

dahlia, fuchsia dahlia, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography


Daisy, white daisy, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography


tulip, yellow pink tulip, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

tulip, pink tulip, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography


star lilly, lilly, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

Star Lilly

cosmos, white cosmos, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

pink cosmos, cosmos, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

Cosmos flowers

pink magnolias, magnolias, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

stunning magnolias

and some other unidentified yet beautiful species such as these

blue flower, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

white flower, white round flower, flower, flower power, nature, outdoor, TS76, photography

Hope you enjoyed this introduction to flower photography! I sure will be on the lookout for many more this upcoming season!

Now over to you!

Tell us.

What does spring mean to you?

Any plans or goals?

We can’t wait to read, hear or see it!

Until next time, have a great one.

Tashi delek, all the best

K :)

52 inspiring quotes by unforgettable women

In honor of International Woman’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8th every year, I decided to compile a list of the most inspiring and memorable quotes by some of amazing female writers, activists, heroines and brilliant minds.

I’ve read or seen them in many of the books I’ve read since I was young and It is only in adulthood that I truly understood the real meaning behind their powerful statements.

I am sure that more than one will resonate with you and you’ll certainly agree.

Enjoy the following 52 powerful and inspiring quotes by unforgettable women.

Coco Chanel, fabulosity, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself, and wait for the answer in silence. Byron Katie

A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success. Joyce Brothers

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. Diane Mariechild

A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears. Anne Roiphe

Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go. The difference in how easy it seems will amaze you. Heidi Johnson

Ruth Gordon, courage, courage quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. Erica Jong

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. Author Unknown

Goals are dreams with deadlines. Diana Scharf Hunt

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank

I am not afraid, I was born to do this. Joan of Arc

I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with. Evita Peron

I’m just a person trapped inside a woman’s body. Elaine Boosler

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it. Erma Bombeck

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. Margaret Fuller

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. Katharine Hepburn

In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman. Margaret Thatcher

Anais Nin, life, life quote, quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Love is a great beautifier. Louisa May Alcott

Harriet Beecher Stowe, encouragement, encouragement quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible! Audrey Hepburn

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. Hannah More

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. Simone de Beauvoir

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Sometimes questions are more important than answers. Nancy Willard

Success breeds confidence. Beryl Markham

Ingrid Bergman, success, success quote, quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic. Rosalind Russell

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. Maureen Dowd

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand

The road to success is always under construction. Lily Tomlin

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Sally Burger

The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. Emily Dickinson

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey

To love what you do and feel that it matters – How could anything be more fun? Katherine Graham

Margaret Fuller, leadership, leadership quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same. Anne Frank

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. Marie Curie

What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner. Colette

What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. Eleanor Powell

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed-door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. Helen Keller

Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. Hillary Clinton

Cher, society, society quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

Women don’t realize how powerful they are. Judith Light

Women have always been courageous… They are always fearless when protecting their children and in the last century they have been fearless in the fight for their rights. Isabel Allende

Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society. Candace Bushnell

Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others. Amelia Earhart

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. Indira Gandhi

Barbara De Angelis, giving, giving quote, women, quote, quote of the day, quote by women

You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can everyday. Marian Wright Edelman
I hope you enjoyed this compilation.

Now tell me.


What is(are) YOUR favorite(s) quote(s) by famous women?


Let me know!

Until next time.

Tashi Delek,

All the best!



If you can’t get enough of quotes, there is more to read :)

52 of the most inspiring travel quotes

quote, quote of the day, travel quote, Jack Kerouac, On the road, Jack Kerouac quotes

52 inspiring and motivating success quotes

success, quote, success quote, Ben Sweetland, motivation, inspiration, TS76