Lulu Escapes Meets Swedish Travel Blogger: Christine
Christine travels the world with her boyfriend Alex and documents all of her amazing travel experiences on her blog Alien Chris. She loves to explore wild destinations, try local foods, learn about different cultures and, most importantly, she is passionate about animals and wants to stop animal cruelty. A few years ago, she decided to follow her dreams so she left Stockholm to discover the world and, since then, she has been to over 40 countries.
What has been you most amazing travel experience to date?
My best travel experiences I’ve got from using Homestay. So far I’ve done Homestay in Kathmandu in Nepal and also in Tuscany, Italy. Of those two I have to say that my experience in Tuscany is the most amazing travel experience I’ve had.
We stayed with a local family in a traditional stone house out on the countryside of Tuscany. The man of the house couldn’t speak English (just a few words) and the woman (Rina) could speak OK/good English. The house was surrounded by olive trees, and the family made their own olive oil. We got to help them cut the olive trees, eat breakfast and dinner with them and just enjoy the tranquility of staying in such a beautiful and remote place.
One of the nights we had dinner with them and 3 other guests from Northern Italy. It was 3 older men, and they couldn’t speak English either. During that dinner, I understood around 50% of what everyone was saying, because Rina was nice and translated some for us. But I must say that it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever been to - haha. We laughed so much while trying to communicate, learnt about each others countries and cultures, and ate delicious Italian food.
It was one of those experiences that I’ll never forget, and I’ll for sure do Homestay in more countries in the future!
How is it like to travel and work with your boyfriend? Do you find that you inspire each other a lot?
It’s great and I couldn’t see myself traveling any other way. The best part of traveling with Alex is that I’ve got someone to share all the travel moments/memories with, always having someone around in difficult situations, and just to have someone to have fun with while traveling the world.
Yes, we inspired each other a lot, and we also create great ideas together since we both so different. I’m the creative one and he’s the logic one - which makes a good match :)
Have you ever travelled solo?
No, I haven’t.
What are your favourite places in your hometown Stockholm?
I’ve got many, but here’s a couple of them:
The Archipelago of Stockholm: Take a boat ride and enjoy the nature.
"Fika": Take a ”fika” (Swedish word for socializing with friends/family over coffee and pastries) at one of the several Cafés. A must is to try the cinnamon buns, Swedish coffee and to taste ”Lussebullar” during Christmas.
Fjällgatan and Monteliusvägen: From these two spots you get some of the best views of central Stockholm.
Himlen Restaurant: A restaurant/skybar that’s located 104 meters above the ground on Södermalm in Stockholm. From this place you get a great view over the city while sipping on delicious cocktails/having good food.
Underground Art: Stockholm is famous for its art in the subway stations. Some of my favorite art pieces can be found at Stadion, Rådhuset, Kungsträdgården and T-Centralen (the blue line).
SoFo: The heart of Södermalm is called SoFo ("Söder om Folkungagatan"), and here you’ll find several nice restaurants, bars, cafés and cool shops. You could say that SoFo have that similar atmosphere to Brooklyn in New York.
The Vasa Museum: A classical and historic sight in Stockholm that cannot be missed during your stay.
What do you find the most challenging part about travel blogging?
Spending several hours a week/month at the airport and in airplanes. It’s just so boring - haha. And after I’ve been traveling full-time for almost 3 years now, it’s quite challenging to not have a real home - something that I really miss.
You say you love to try local foods – what’s the best local dish you’ve ever tried?
Sushi in Japan. It’s simply delicious and the best sushi I’ve ever had. Before I loved eating sushi in Sweden and other countries (I’ve tried some of the best sushi restaurants in some countries) but it does not taste the same and as delicious as in Japan.
How long have you been blogging for? Is there anything you would have done better at the time if you knew when you started?
I started my blog during our 6 month trip in Asia about 2 years ago, so for about 2 years ago. Back then I wished that I could have focused more on SEO.
Do you prefer city escapes or to be in the wild?
I love exploring cities but I love being out in the wild even more. I love hiking in the mountains and finding those hidden paradise beaches!
As a passionate photographer, what is it that you enjoy the most about taking photos?
I love capturing real moments while traveling. I especially love shooting photos of people and animals since you can create such powerful images.
Another thing that I really love is when Alex and I wake up early to visit these usually crowded historical places. It’s something magical strolling around at these places when you’re completely alone. It almost feels like you’ve traveled back in time.
What are your top 3 tips to get the ultimate travel photo?
Shoot in manual mode: Learn your camera and shoot in manual mode. You can do so much more and the results will be so much better.
Wake up early: Waking up early is one of the best tips that I can give you. And when I say early, I mean really early. I’m not a morning person, but when I’m going to visit famous/ usually crowded places, we’re always going up at sunrise. Sometimes I’ve been waking up around 3-4 am, but the results of the photos are so much better than if you go when there’s other people around.
Be creative: Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Be creative and find new angles and things to shoot photos of while traveling. Look up, look back, lay down on the ground and have fun with it!
Where are you travelling to next?
We’re currently in the Maldives and in about a week we’re traveling to Bangkok. We’re going to stay in Bangkok for about 20 days to catch up on some work and then we’re flying home to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with our family.
How do you see your blog evolving in the next couple of years and what are your main goals?
My main goal is to grow my blog into being one of the biggest travel blogs in the world, something that I’m going to work on in Bangkok and while settling down for 3 months in December this year.