My story: Visiting the reindeer herders of Mongolia
Tsaatan is a Mongolian word for “people living with reindeer”, but they refer to themselves as Dukhans or Turkic Tuvans.
I spent 1 month in Mongolia, where it took me 7 days one way to reach the tribe. First I had to hitchhike through half of the country and then ride a horse for two days where we spent the nights under the stars.
The reindeer herders seem to live their life like they always have; herding and living of their reindeers. Already at 6 am you can see the women milking their reindeers. The men take care of most of the herding, chopping wood, and collecting berries from the woods, while the women take care of the milking and cooking.
In the Tsaatan community everything seems to evolve around the reindeers. I asked my translator, Gana, if they eat reindeer meat. He replied “yes, everyday”, without asking our hosts. I quickly found out that my translator was kind of useless. Often when asked to translate he seemed reluctant to ask, and often made an answer that he thought was true.
I realized that many of Tsaatans seem a lot older then they actually are. My host, Gamba, and his wife, appeared to be in their 70’s but I was surprised to hear that they were actually closer to 50. The cold dry winters and a lot of hard work under the bare sun is tough on the skin and makes many of them appear physically older then their chronological age would depict. Despite the hard work and tough weather, their spirit seemed full of joy and happiness.
The Tsaatans have been shamanistic for millennia, a kind of magic thinking belief where all humans, animals and all things in nature have a soul or a spirit. Gamba, whose tent was next to mine, was the shaman of the camp. A shaman is a kind of a “priest” or a “magical doctor” whose main function is to restore and maintain balance in his community.
Shamans conduct blessings, rituals of protection, hunting magic, rain making and divination. They also cure sicknesses that have spiritual causes. In Gamba’s tent I saw his costume and his drum he uses during ceremonies. He enters a trance state with the help of energy water (vodka), singing and drumming, and connects with the spirit world seeking cures or advice.
There is a land that lies northwest in the sea
As men say, from Germany 400 miles or more, Iceland is its right name.
It is amazing for its cold, rain, wind and snow in addition, especially for its high mountains. No grass grows there except in the valleys. There is a high mountain, that no one has seen without snow,
This I say entirely on my honor, and to those who do not want or cannot believe this, they ought to go there themselves and travel about as I have done so they can see the reality.
.....But for real, I'm just an Icelandic girl with a huge crush on my country
Photo journey: Travelling to North Korea
North Korea had been on my bucket list for a long time. But I had pretty mixed feelings about visiting the country, since I knew the only way to get there is going with a tour, which is both expensive and pretty strict in terms of what you are allowed to see. I also guessed that most of the tour fees evidentially ends up in Kim’s pocket.
Despite the cost and my own morality, I let the curiosity beat me; the thought of visiting the most secluded country in the world was just too difficult to resist.
I went with a budget tour company called Young Pioneers. The plan was to go during the 70th anniversary of the Worker’s party of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name). I started my tour in the Chinese border town, Dandong, where I took a 7 hour train ride through the countryside of North Korea before arriving in the capital, Pyongyang.
My quick visit was both strange and enlightening, proving and disproving many of the rumors I'd heard and read about before my visit.
Whether one is watching a thrilling thunderstorm or looking up at a mighty tree, the experience of nature is one of awe.
When we look at powerful ocean waves rolling in, we cannot help but feel small and powerless in comparison.
Animal mothers taking care of their young make us question the cruelty with which we sometimes treat one another. The truth is, nature can teach us many valuable lessons.
Joe is more important than his juice
Joe & the Juice is an urban juice bar and coffee concept operating in 160 locations throughout Europe, with a growing presence in Asia and the United States.
Lucky me! I get to create their content here in Iceland
I did a photoshoot with Kate Corey for The Scout Guide magazine. The aim was to capture her adventure in Iceland, travelling to less visited places inside the country.
The Scout Guide is a publication dedicated to living beautifully, living well, and living like an insider—wherever you are.
- The Color Run
- Post Malone
- Hard Rock Grand Opening
- Gung Ho Run
- Vodafone events
- The Voice
Took Aron and Sonja for a walk
Rakel and Steinþór
When one of your best friends get married, it's a special day.
When two of them marry each other.. well.. that's simply magic !