I have tagged 18 blog posts with journalism:

Confluence of Conscience: A Journey through Spirituality, Religion, and the Role of Journalism

A calm fjord with mountains and a person deep in thought, holding a camera and a religious symbol.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, April 1, 2024, 09:00

Inhaling the sharp scent of the crisp Nordic air this chilly morning, I stare vacantly out of the train window, allowing the serene white-capped fjord landscape to captivate my senses. Now, as one who often immerses herself in the pages of a book or the words that flow from my pen, moments of tranquility such as these feel like an open invitation for introspection, a beckoning call to delve into uncharted thought spaces. Today, my mind is ensnared by the convergence of spirituality and religion.

Frost-kissed window panes inspire a thrilling suspense within me as I wrestle with complex thoughts, wrestling with them like waves in an ocean storm. I know the topics of spirituality and religion can act as harbingers of controversy, divergence; they've intricately woven themselves into the tapestry of human civilization, causing rifts yet also fostering unity. Indeed, they are paradoxical topics that never cease to ignite a sense of marvel within me.

This exuberant thrill is not to be confused with a sense of joy. Rather, it's the exhilaration one feels once immersing oneself in a breathtakingly diverse world of beliefs and spiritual practices. Spirituality – a personal voyage for many, an unquenchable thirst for understanding the mysteries of existence, a pursuit for an intimate companionship with an eternal consciousness. Alike, yet different is Religion – serving more like an old, familiar and often comforting road map with clearly defined paths, designed to guide us towards the ultimate destination, divine connection.

Recently, I chanced upon a nerve-racking report. Journalists – brave guardians of truth – assailed in the midst of their duty, their noble pursuit of truth marred by violence. It sends shivers down my spine. Soldiers of truth, armed only with pens, notebooks and cameras, battered and bruised in an environment where their only shield should be the sanctity of their profession. This is a grim reminder that our shared human values are still under threat, that free speech still isn't inviolable.

Even in such dire straits, the thrill that runs through me as I pen these words does not wane, but aggrandizes. The inherent intermingling of spirituality and journalism, seeking truth and seeking higher purpose, both journeys can be tainted by strife, yet they persist.

As my train carves its way through the frosty countryside, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility, as a future journalist, to help construct a world where individual beliefs—whether spiritual, religious, or secular—are treated with respect. As we weave our own narratives in our pursuit of truth, may we also help build a world characterized by unity amidst diversity, a world that treasures the sublime beauty of spiritual exploration. Seeking Truth— in all its forms— is a thrilling journey. And so, in undeterred spirit and purpose, we continue forth in our pursuit.

As the snow gently drifts outside my window and the train keeps thundering towards Oslo, I cannot suppress a feeling of thrilling anticipation of the conversations these thoughts may ignite. After all, aren't these potent dialogues, explorations, and excavations within our minds and hearts, the thrilling essence of being human? For me, they certainly are.

Tags: spirituality religion journalism

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All Aboard the Learning Express: A Journalism Student's Journey to Understanding Truth

A snowy Oslo street with a morning walker, overlaid with a semi-transparent newspaper headline about the ski festival scandal.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, March 11, 2024, 09:04

As the train hums steadily on the snowy tracks, carrying me from the comfort of my rural nook towards the bustling heart of Oslo, I find myself enveloped in the crisp winter morning. The thermometer barely pushes -1°C, yet through the ice flecked window, the world looks powdered in pure, unblemished white. It's another day, another journey towards knowledge, another opportunity to flex my observation skills.

Just before boarding my morning ride, my eyes skimmed across an article from Nettavisen, discussing the media outcry over the recent Holmenkollen Ski Festival. Apparently, the festival has made headlines not for its sportsmanship, but for the bags of cocaine that were unearthed by the police. Of course, it's disheartening to see such a festive, light-hearted event shadowed by negativity. Yet, as a journalism student, one must remember that the truth, however bitter, cannot be sugarcoated for the sake of public sentiments. Interestingly, I find a parallel between my study methods and this journalistic principle.

I've been asked a myriad of times about my study methods. There's no secret formula, no high-tech gadgetry involved - it's just some hard work, a good deal of attention to detail, and a thirst to learn. You'd be surprised how well old-school highlighting and flashcards work for me! But what brings me the most satisfaction is when I submerge myself fully into my subject, much like a detective immersing themselves into a case to dredge up the truth.

The learning process becomes incomplete if we pick and choose what to learn, simply based on palatability. Just as a journalist's duty is to shed light on every facet of a story, regardless of how grim or pleasant, my preferred study method involves delving deep into each aspect of my subject. I strive to focus on understanding the core principles, instead of merely memorising facts.

Taking the negative aspects in stride, turning them into learning opportunities – that is the method I value. Just like Skjelbreid's request for focusing on the positive aspects of the festival, it is important to strike a balance between the wholesome and the unwholesome truths.

Everything that glitters is not gold, and as a journalism student, my favourite lesson is this: shying away from uncomfortable truths leads to an incomplete and bias narrative. It's the pairing of beautiful snow-covered tracks with the chilling temperatures, the combination of twinkling Oslo city lights with anonymity and crowded loneliness, that makes the story complete. My study methods follow a similar pattern – accepting and understanding the whole spectrum of my subject and turning it all into something that helps me grow.

So, as my train trundles onwards, slicing through the frosty morning air, cocooned in tranquil silence and weighed down by dense thoughts, I feel content. For every chilly morning gives way to a warmer day, much like every difficult lesson evolves into fascinating knowledge. In life, as in studying, the wisdom lies in relishing the journey, no matter the bumps and turns along the way.

Tags: journalism study methods Oslo

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Embracing Homesickness: A Journey of Gratitude Amidst Norway's Frosty Dawn

A notebook, pen, and a printed news article lay on a wooden table, surrounded by snowfall visible through a window.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, February 19, 2024, 07:54

As the morning chill of -4°C embraces the Norwegian landscape, I find myself on the train once again; my heated seat a pleasant contrast to the frosty window panes. In the soft hum of the train's machinery, an extraordinary dance of creation unfolds. The windows become a canvas, on which the cold air brushes abstract patterns, which faded as fast as they appeared.

Today, like every other morning, I use the peaceful rhythm of the journey to exercise my craft, my passion - journalism, and carve out a space for my thoughts online. Today, I feel the need to talk about something a little more personal, a little more resonating - homesickness.

Home. A simple four-letter word that carries a universe of emotions, memories and warmth within it. For many like me, who are living away from their familiar corners, homesickness can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow. It can sneak upon us in the most unexpected moments; when we sip coffee that just isn't brewed right or when we hear a familiar tune being hummed by a stranger.

This morning, while scanning through the news, I stumbled upon an article from ABC Nyheter. It was an account of an unfortunate series of events unfolding in Avdiivka, a small town in Eastern Ukraine. The pleasant rhythm of my morning journey was disrupted by the vivid descriptions of turmoil, control, and disaster. Yet, reading about Avdiivka, it wasn't the political intrigues that resonated with me. It was the unspoken sense of longing for normalcy, for the comfort of peace. And a deep, underlying appreciation for home.

Among the bombarded structures and disrupted routines, I began to see homesickness in another light. Not as an ailment to be soothed, but as a testament to the deep connections we form with our environment, our culture, our people, and our homes. In my own struggle with homesickness, I see fragments of a universal longing for a sense of belonging that transcends borders and conflicts, knitting us closer to the human tribe.

So for those of us fighting the familiar ache of missing home, perhaps it is time to shift perspective and embrace it with a hint of gratitude. Let it serve as a reminder of the love you carry for your home, the connections you have forged, and the personal growth you have experienced in your journey away from it. Take a moment and cherish the warmth it brings, against the cold, -4°C morning.

For as much as homesickness is a longing for a place, it is equally a longing for time - a time that once seemed ordinary, until viewed from the rear-view mirror of distance. It reminds us of the incandescent joy of simple, mundane routines, and the beautiful complexity of our connections.

Life will always be a journey on a moving train. Home, the well-loved and sorely missed station we pass now and again. And homesickness, the ache that reminds us of the beautiful sights, scents, and sounds etched deep in our hearts. And for this constant reminder, today, I am grateful.

Tags: homesickness journalism Norwegian landscape

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Jot, Scribble, Succeed: Essential Stationery for the Discerning College Student

A young woman bundled up against the snow, holding pens and notebooks against a backdrop of Oslo University.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, January 26, 2024, 09:18

Hello, lovely readers!

I glance outside and spot snowflakes softly kissing the ground as the Norwegian landscape passes by. It's a chilly -3 degrees Celsius this morning, quite the perfect setting for curling up with a warm drink and reflecting on my thoughts. As I make my way to university in bustling Oslo from my humble home tucked amid the tranquility outside the city, I thought I'd share some insights that I've gleaned over time, in the hopes that they would be of help, especially to my fellow students.

There's an understated magic in old-school stationary, wouldn't you say? Those tangible keepsakes preserving our thoughts, our dreams, our aspirations. Yes, we live in a digital era where laptops and tablets are pretty much ubiquitous. Yet, there is something intrinsically comforting about the good old pen and paper. This brings me to the topic of how essential stationary is for us, college students.

As a journalism major, I’ve found that a selection of notebooks is crucial. A larger, spiral-bound pad is perfect for lecture notes, while a pocket-sized version is best suited for jotting down spontaneous thoughts or those Eureka moments that seem to appear out of the ether when you're not hunched over your desk actively searching for them. Dotted notebooks, in particular, have been a personal favorite. They maintain neatness while allowing freedom to sketch quick diagrams or charts, proving essential, for example, during my media law lectures.

A range of pens, from ballpoints for rapid note-taking, to gel pens for more considered prose, can make the process of writing as much about pleasure as practicality. And of course, highlighters of varying colors help emphasize important points, rendering revision a less daunting task.

I also firmly believe in the value of sticky notes and flags for book marking and quick scribbles, as well as index cards for keeping track of research sources. Moreover, a sturdy, aesthetic organizer or pencil case is a worthwhile investment. It secures your tools in place, and there's a certain sense of satisfaction in being able to lay your hands on what you need without wasting precious study time foraging through your backpack.

Finally, let's not forget the grace of a planner or a calendar. In the whirlwind that is college life, with classes, assignments, club meetings, and social events, a dedicated space to log your tasks and deadlines can provide a tremendous sense of control reducing stress levels significantly.

As a side note, while writing this blog post, I stumbled across a news article that echoed how miscommunication can lead to potentially grave consequences. The narrative led me to reflect on the importance of clarity and precision, whether in conveying important information or, for that matter, in our daily academic pursuits.

The train pulls into the station, bringing me back to reality from my cocoon of thoughts. It's time for me to prepare for another day of journalistic exploration. Here's hoping this little share of mine resonates with some of you. Remember, the right tools can set the tone for success.

Stay warm, stay organised, and keep exploring, everyone!

Tags: stationary college life journalism

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Soundscapes and Solitude: A Norwegian Commute with Podcasts as My Lifeline

A young woman stares from a train window with headphones on, a podcast playing.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 27, 2023, 08:15

In the humdrum silence of my train car, surrounded by the hazy grays of this chilly Norwegian morning, I find solace in the familiar melody of the recorded voices braiding into my eardrums. Despite the world's ceaseless orchestration of tension and strife, these podcasts form musical compositions of thought, a matchless concert, pulling me from reality's icy grip.

One would think that as a journalism student, my preference for audio content would hover around the lines of current affairs - the staple diet for a prospective news Andrew. But in the midst of my daily news digest, I found my spiritual haven somewhere between the human psyche and philosophical navel-gazing. Between coping with isolation in Nordic weather and keeping up with global dilemmas, these discourse-filled podcasts are my comforting hot cocoa, a soft refuge in a world swirling with perpetual conundra.

I've taken a particular liking to podcasts that delve into the labyrinth of human consciousness, spinning webs of captivating discourse about how we perceive reality, penned in the poignant lingua franca of moral philosophy or cognitive psychology. Something about exploring these intricate cerebral pathways, concealed deep within layers of corporeal matter, feels both intimate and humbling, a haven in my personal storm of intellectual overwhelming.

Extracting warmth from the philosophical, I then often glide into the waltz of socio-political podcasts, absolutely unafraid to stir the pot. Any cold morning becomes an invitation to explore the intricate play between power, government and its omnicompetent populace. Today's news makes a detour to a convoluted world where geopolitical complexities are constant reminders of the daunting task ahead for a budding journalist like me.

The recent resumption of operations in Gaza was a painful reminder layered over the icy landscapes outside my window. Countries can wage struggles of ideologies and power, and amidst this, the toll often remains upon the innocent, underreported, over-suffered populace, whose stories we, as journalists, try to foreground. No hypothetical podcast could dissect this conflict enough.

Lest the world weigh too heavily, sometimes I indulge in culinary podcasts, a welcome delight, providing a light-hearted breather amidst an otherwise dreary morning commute. With no personal summons to the kitchen in sight, these mouth-watering concoctions of culinary stories and recipes are my vicarious gastronomic adventures.

As my frosty breath fogs up the cold glass pane, I'm carried through the weaving tales of the world, immersed in soundscapes that amplify my human connection. Even when reality seems a weary march on cracking ice, these audio lifelines keep my spirit tethered, a beacon in my solitary pursuit of ethical storytelling. This exhaustive reality—an orchestra of international tensions, the bewildering intricacies of the human mind, and the comforting crumb of culinary adventures—are my everyday etudes in empathy and incessant learning.

The world outside continues its icy, slow waltz, and I quietly steel myself for yet another day at the university.

Tags: podcasts journalism Travel

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Meditation on the Move: How Mindfulness Fuels My Journalistic Journey

A woman meditating on a train, eyes closed, with icy landscapes visible through the window.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, November 24, 2023, 09:45

As I watch the chilled landscape whiz past my window this morning, ice crystals glistening like diamonds on the bare branches outside, I am tucked up comfortably in train carriage, comfortably nestled in my thoughts. The world outside is a sharp, glittering 1°C but within me is a kindling warmth - the result of my daily ritual of morning meditation and mindfulness practices.

Meditation and mindfulness, terms often used interchangeably, are essentially practices of focusing one's mind, usually with the aim of achieving a mentally and physically calm state. Meditation, I find, has become as integral to my daily routine as my requisite morning coffee, and to omit it would be the equivalent of walking out into the freezing Nordic winter without a coat. An unadvisable idea, you might agree.

After the early morning news digest, often featuring articles like the one I read today about Israeli Defense Force's videos and the contentious debates it's stirred, I like to sink into my meditation. It provides a crucial bridge between the clamour of the outer world and the tranquility of my inner world.

Mindfulness, like monitoring the rhythm of each breath, often forms the core of my meditation. It helps me navigate both my thoughts and the frequently hectic world around me, offering a silent, peaceful respite. To the outside observer, meditation may seem to be a passive process, a non-action. But within, it is a dynamo of quiet, reflective activity that can both soothe and stimulate the mind.

Being a journalist-in-training, my journey into the realms of mindfulness and meditation was initially inspired by curiosity, a desire to understand. And as I sank deeper into the practice, I discovered an introspection I hadn't previously granted myself. This empowering self-awareness, born out of mindfulness, I believe, is key to my approach in journalism - offering balance, sensitivity and a genuine desire to understand different perspectives.

Mirroring the relentless rhythm of this commuting train, news and world events rarely pause, demanding our continual and intense scrutiny. Yet, withdrawing into the meditative sanctuary of my mind provides me a chance to surface for air, recharge, and return with renewed vigor to the ceaseless flow of information. It offers perspective, which is integral when dealing with polarizing topics, such as the recent escalation of tensions between Israel and Palestine.

The culmination of every meditation session leaves me feeling content, mentally refreshed and ready to dive back into the swirling currents of the world, the news, and the endless intricacies of analysing them. As the Oslo skyline comes into view, promising another day of relentless information consumption and analysis, I am ready, poised and serene.

In our fast-paced world, I find that the practice of meditation, an art of concentrated silence and attention provides a much-needed respite, a soothing balm to our frayed nerves. And as the train slows down to a halt, signaling the end of my daily commute and my meditation session, I am warmed, not just by the heating in the train carriage, but also by the tranquility that meditation and mindfulness have lent me. What awaits is a day at university, filled with knowledge, introspection, and, above, understanding.

Tags: meditation mindfulness journalism

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Chasing Aspirations: A Reflection on Career Goals Amidst Frosted Norwegian Landscapes

A young journalist gazing out a snowy train window in Oslo, laptop and powerbank on the table.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, November 21, 2023, 15:57

From the cozy cocoon of my train carriage, insulated from the chilly -1°C of an Oslo afternoon, I sit blissfully lost in a flurry of thoughts about career goals. Nestled in the warm semi-silence, I feel my fingers just itching to tap into existence my musings on this seemingly vast topic.

As the world outside speeds by in a blur of snow-capped trees and frosted landscapes, I find myself reflecting on the myriad paths we all have the ability to tread when it comes to forging our careers. Whatever field it is - journalism, medicine, art or even politics - the choices, twists and turns are as vast and diverse as the drifting snowflakes cascading down from the heavens.

It's enthralling to think about the freedom that lies within these infinite decisions. We wield the power to mold our lives, like flexible clay, into whatever shape we dream to be. Each choice we make, every risk we take, lead us towards different realities – ones that we alone are capable of creating. It's truly empowering to think of it that way.

I was reading an intriguing news article today about Sindre Finnes promising to sell his stock shares by 2025, due to a potential conflict of interest issue arising out of his political and business associations. Despite the criticism he faced, he has decided to pave a new path, aligning with his values and beliefs.

Isn’t this what career goals are truly about? They are not merely about garnering wealth, power, or status, but also about aligning with our personal values and ethics. Essentially, they are about having the courage to make changes that echo with our core beliefs, thereby leading us toward a future we genuinely believe in.

Speaking of belief, here I am, a journalism student, filled with dreams, just at the start of my own career, and excited for what the future holds. My powerbank is my reliable companion on this journey, much like a steadfast lighthouse guiding ships in the dark. This humble piece of tech keeps me connected to my dreams, as my fingers translate thoughts into words even in the unplugged confines of a speeding train filled with homeward-bound souls.

Despite the unpredictable paths, no journey is too arduous provided we remain firmly tethered to the powerhouses of our ethics, passions, and dreams. It's heartening to imagine that with every blog post I share, every story I pen, I am setting stepping stones towards my own grand career goal.

Even as dusk blankets the Norwegian landscape outside, a warm glow of satisfaction wraps around me. The spark from the fire of my career aspirations has ignited the kindling, soon, it'll turn into a full-blown flame. As the train chugs along, I look forward to the challenges, victories, and the endless opportunities that lay ahead on this chosen path.

So, here's to the journey, cherishing the process, respecting the power of choices, and of course, the undying loyalty of powerbanks. I look forward to becoming a worthy steward of the journalistic values, eager to contribute my own melody to the symphony of words that is journalism. But for now, I’m headed home where a steaming cup of tea awaits me.

Tags: career goals journalism personal reflection

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Journeying Through Winter's Reflection: A Journalist's Contemplation on Achievements and Ethics

A lone figure gazing out the window of a moving train, newspaper in lap, lost in thought.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 20, 2023, 15:12

As the train rattles on familiar tracks towards home, away from Oslo and the whirlwind of academia’s careful conflict, I find myself in a contemplative mood. Outside, the temperature drops to a chilly -1°C, minuscule snowflakes falling haphazardly against the train windows. The stark rawness of winter reflects perfectly the tearful mood that envelops me.

I've always believed that as people, we should celebrate our personal achievements no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Today, I thought, was a day to celebrate, for I had taken a step further towards my dreams of becoming a journalist; navigating through the labyrinth of ethics, responsibility, and the power to influence. But a celebration quickly turned into introspection after reading a particular piece of news.

Celebrating personal achievements often acts as a mirror, reflecting the essence of our actions and decisions. In my case, it made me contemplate the very purpose of my chosen path and its more profound implications. I've always been taught that journalism’s luminary principles include the pursuit of truth, a commitment to fairness, and protecting the underdogs. But today, the news I encountered made me question everything.

Linking personal achievements with what I'd just read, I thought of those accolades earned, not by virtue, but with questionable ethical conduct. The merit of such achievements presents itself as a conundrum. As journalists, we wield a potent sword, with the power to influence, the ability to shape perceptions. But such power surely warrants immense responsibility?

In the chilling fold of such introspection, I'm left tearful, not quite by the biting cold sneaking into the confines of my train compartment. Rather, it is the frosty revelation of the very real potential for misuse of the power vested in me. It's realizing that a well-intentioned path might unwittingly contribute to an ecosystem teetering precariously on the edges of exploitation, simplification of grave offenses, and skewed representation.

A sense of achievement certainly nurtures our development, fosters hope, and fuels perseverance. But at what cost? Here, on a train veering through the wintry landscapes of Norway, I grapple with these concerns.

Today, I celebrate myself, the progress made, but I also build stronger consciousness, one with the capacity to question the very roots of my actions and choices. Personal achievement should not be ephemeral, rather, it should be a portrait of rights, responsibilities, and ethicality we paint, one stroke at a time. As I embark on this continuous journey of development, I'm reminded that integrity, ethics, and responsibility are not just words, but vital pillars holding high the sanctity of my dreams.

There is indeed a fine line between celebration and contemplation. My reflections today teetered precariously on this edge. Today wasn't as much about celebration but a realization. Here's to the personal celebrations that validate our growth, and may the purity of our intentions continue to guide our way forward, even amidst the harshest of winters. As I peer out into the winter gloom, the frost catching on the corners of the window, I understand that today was an achievement in its own right - a tearful realization, the reinforcement of an ethos.

Tags: journalism ethics self-reflection

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Winter Musings: From the Frosty Shores of Norway to a Taste of Global Resilience

A snowy landscape with a train crossing, juxtaposed with a warm apple pie and pumpkin soup.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 16, 2023, 15:18

A delightful glow dances on the frosty glass as the sun begins to set over the winter landscape. The temperature lingers around -2°C, double-checking the smartphone for accuracy. A sigh fogs up the window, creating a temporary blank canvas. As the train moves through the Norwegian countryside, the white, snowy panorama turns into a cinematic background. It is under these conditions the pleasant anticipation of a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket and a favorite book unfolds.

Yet, sipping hot cocoa, my mind drifts away from the cozy, frost-kissed landscapes of Norway and my heart reaches out to those in communities plagued by economic hardship and societal turmoil where not everyone has the basic security that we often take for granted. I read today about the trials endured by the residents of an area half a world away in the Gaza Strip. The happenings there are far removed from our comfortable hearths yet intrinsically interwoven with our humanity. As a student of journalism, it’s my responsibility to pay attention to these stories, to educate myself about the complex problems in our world, and to use my platform to amplify these unheard narratives.

On to a lighter note, there is something inherently intimate in the act of cooking— taking ingredients, putting them together in a specific way, and creating something not only edible but soul-warming. And this train of thought led me to think about her favorite recipes, those that she shared with so much passion and love, those that seem to miraculously bring comfort and kindness even in the face of adversity.

First, there's the hearty apple pie, a darling during the frosty season. The crispness of the tart apples united with the sweetness of cinnamon and caramel in a delicate crumble. The recipe is simple, yet the result is empowering, symbolizing the resilience and courage of those who, in harsh conditions, manage to create something comforting, uniting and full of love.

And then, the steaming bowl of pumpkin and ginger soup, the color of which matches the autumn leaves that fall just outside my window. The creaminess of pumpkin puree, the slight spice from the ginger, and nuances of herbs make it not just a recipe, but an expression of soul and sentiment.

Amidst the awareness of inequalities and pain that I read about today, these recipes offer a balm, a delightful note in this melody of life. Food connects us, it’s our common language throughout moments of joy or immense hardships. It is the spur, the remedy, and occasionally, the revolution. Let's continue to share our favorite recipes, our tales and our hopes, for there lies our strength as a community.

My train gradually decelerates, marking the end of today's journey. The warm embrace of home awaits and simultaneously the promise of tomorrow, full of as yet unwritten blog posts, new stories to unearth, and lessons to grasp. As we sip our hot cocoa, let us remember the strength, resilience, and warmth from a distant kitchen, from her favorite recipes. It's a heartening thought that even within adversity, there remains kindness, comfort, and the delightful ability to share love through food.

Tags: journalism cooking social issues

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Chasing Stories in the Frost: A Norwegian Journey through College and Journalism

A woman on a frosty Norwegian train looking thoughtfully at a journalism textbook, snowy mountains in the background.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 16, 2023, 08:34

Hello delightful readers!

I am typing today's message accompanied by the rhythmic hum of the train and a glowing sunrise that paints the frosty Norwegian landscape in beautiful hues. It is -5°C outside, yet Mother Nature has always had a way to wrap even the coldest day in the warmth of its beauty.

Reflecting on college life, especially while studying for a degree in journalism, fills me with an overwhelming amount of joy. It's every bit as colorful as I had expected - bustling with energy, friendly faces and the incessant thirst for knowledge. Despite the daily grinds, there is still something positively enchanting about this environment that makes it all worth it.

Today, I read an article in the news that resonated deeply. It's about several Norwegian citizens trapped in Gaza due to an Israeli blockade who may possibly be able to exit tomorrow. The predicament they face makes me grateful for the freedom and safety I enjoy, being able to commute to my university and return home each day. It's these small details often overlooked that my journalism studies have taught me to appreciate.

This news also speaks to the heart of journalism as it celebrates the cooperation between governments and beautifully echoes some of the key values instilled in us by our lecturers at the college - communication, understanding, and working towards a common goal, despite differences in perspectives.

While consuming my daily dose of news completes my train journeys, attentively observing those around me paints a colorful picture. Each person is a living tapestry of stories and experiences, probably with their own reflections on college life, professional life, or even life itself.

Commute time has turned into sort of a 'pause' button in the hurried pace of life, a reflection pit-stop. A cup of hot coffee, the news article and my academic reflections suddenly melt the frostiness of the external temperature and leave me toasty on the inside.

Despite the looming deadlines and mid-terms, it's hard to lose touch with the joy that college life brings. There's a distinct charm in the friendships made in lecture halls, the wisdom gathered from teachers, the first-hand experience of good governance while analyzing news, and the privilege to access education.

So, toast along with me to these early morning university trips, brimming with promise, joy, and gratefulness, even amidst a freezing Norwegian morning, because they are, without a doubt, the snapshots that will make up the collage of our college life.

Remember, we may all be students of different subjects, but aren't we lifelong students of life? That is one universal lesson, instilled in us, that college life beautifully mirrors. And it makes waking up in these chilly mornings an adventure I wholeheartedly look forward to.

Stay warm and remain curious!

Until my next train-bound murmurs.

Stay tuned.

Tags: college life journalism reflective journeys

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Embarking on the Leadership Journey: Lessons from the Chilly Mornings of Oslo

A focused woman at a boardroom table amidst diverse team members, gesturing at a project plan.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 07:52

As my train slices through the frost-tipped calm of an Oslo morning, a jubilant energy seems to permeate the frigid air of 4°C, infusing my fingers with ardour as I begin typing on my trusty ally, my laptop. Through my finger taps on the keys, I'm formulating today's expedition into a topic that's close to my heart. The kaleidoscopic journey of being a team leader.

A team leader's path is an exhilarating, eye-opening journey across a diverse landscape of human interactions, brimming with lessons of empathy, resilience, and growth. The responsibility of steering your squad, akin to captaining a ship through unknown waters, is indeed rewarding and comes with an abundance of revelations.

My heartbeat quickens in jubilation as I dig into the nitty-gritty of leadership. I've discovered that mastery lies within understated details - understanding the unique rhythm of every team member, building a resilient morale, and knowing when to steer and when to yield.

A rewarding leadership experience doesn't even stop at achieving collective goals - it extends to witnessing the growth of individuals and the team as a whole. The moment you see your team members play a symphony of collaboration and skill, a bubbling surge of gratification rebounds off your heart, bypassing even the jabbing chill of an Oslo winter.

Nestled amidst the rhythm and cadence of the train ride, an unexpected ally joins our narrative – the powerbank. The unsung hero of my daily excursions. As a busy journalist-in-making, an dead electronic device can prove to be a not-so-minor inconvenience. However, with reliable powerbanks at my side, I can bravely charge forward into the arena of relentless information exchange.

Reading an engaging article this morning about the former Prime Minister Erna Solberg's hearing gave me further insights into leadership. Fearless in the face of scrutiny, confident in her abilities, and expecting that the hearing will shed light on any unresolved questions – oh, what an embodiment of powerful leadership!

As a student, a team leader, and an aspiring journalist, I carry these lessons of transparency and fearlessness with me. Leadership, after all, is not just about guiding a team to victory, but embracing the challenges that accompany it with grace, courage and integrity.

And so, as Oslo's urban pulse starts to intertwine with the serenity of dawn, I wrap up today's chronicle. With my trusty powerbank by my side, I brave the uncertain currents of information, leadership, and icy Norwegian mornings. Herewith I leave you with these thoughts, hoping they dissolve into your reflections like sunbeams into the waking city.

Remember, in the splendid theatre of life, we are all performers - and through understanding and collaboration, we can turn our personal stages into a grand spectacle of mutual accomplishment. The train might halt, but the journey never ends. It continues. Each moment, a new story!

Tags: leadership team management journalism

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From Stationery to Stories: Unmasking the Might of a Journalist's Tools

Piles of colorful pens, notebooks, newspaper clippings and a laptop with election headlines.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 6, 2023, 08:05

Another chilly morning on my commute to the heart of Oslo, but that's typical for this time of year. Snowflakes drift exhaustingly against the cold train windows, too close to teardrops for comfort, while everyone inside is just trying to keep warm. Grief tiptoes around the corners of my heart as I pull out my laptop to write today's blog post; a topic that once brought joy, now only brings memories.

Stationery, the heartbeat of any college student. Not only an essential part of our educational journey, but also a subtle representation of who we are.

The breath of a brand-new notebook, those blank pages begging to be filled with rambling thoughts, dreams, or perhaps lecture notes. It is a fresh start, a new semester captured in between two covers, its pages yet untouched by the inevitable mistakes and unreadable handwriting. It's a silent promise, an unspoken pact between us and our aspirations.

Pens are just as vital. They are our weapons, our tools. They help us manifest our thoughts, ideas, dreams onto the world, even if that world is just a simple piece of paper or the margins of our textbooks. We are lost without them, be it pens that bleed ink like wounded soldiers or those with tips finer than a needle's edge.

Highlighters are the unsung heroes of the stationery family. Adding colour to our monotonous lecture notes, they create subtle emphasis that draws the wandering mind back to the essence, back to what's important. Oh, how we neglect their importance until we are adrift in a sea of text.

Pocketsize post-its, sitting in our backpacks like ignorable whispers, only find themselves sticking out from textbooks, marking significant sections. They are like breadcrumbs for the academic Hansel and Gretel, guiding us though the maze-like forest of knowledge.

Reading about the recent US Presidential election in the Aftenposten this morning, I couldn't help but feel a pang of sorrow. It is heartbreaking to see the allegations and controversies making headlines. The whole world is in turmoil. The debates about mail-in voting, the unfounded claims of fraud, and declaring victory before final results - it all feels so unfair, so unjust. It's a dark reminder of the fragility of democracy, even in the so-called 'Land of the Free.'

If there's a lesson we, as future reporters and journalists, can extract from this situation, it's the importance of facts and transparency. Just as our pens, notebooks, highlighters, and sticky notes help us in our pursuit of knowledge, truth, and clarity, we must remember our roles and responsibilities.

In our hands, the stationery turns into instruments of change. They transform from mere objects to catalysts, driving us towards our objectives. We wade through oceans of information, pick apart the facts, and piece together a narrative. This isn't just about stationery in our backpacks; it's about principles in our hearts.

The train pulls into Oslo, the morning's sorrow temporarily set aside, tucked away into the backpack with the rest of my stationery. Classes await. It's time to face another day, armed with pens, notebooks, and a determination to uncover the truth - for isn't that what we aspiring journalists are studying to do?

Tags: student life stationery college life journalism

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Through Frost and Fog: My Journey into a Global Storytelling Career

A young journalist scribbling tin a notebook, by a frosty train window, eyes reflecting the winter landscape.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, October 25, 2023, 09:02

As my breath clings to the train window this brisk 3°C morning, fogging up my tiny panorama of Norway's winter kissed landscape, I can't help but chuckle, contemplatively tickled by life's unpredictable journey. The chilly dance of frost on the train tracks mirrors my own shivering excitement as I venture into the world of journalism: my chosen arena of storytelling, sleuthing and making sense of this complex, global society.

As we zip through the snowy scenery, I fall into a curious introspection. Career goals seem so near yet far, and they have a delightful duality: they’re both the destination you tirelessly toil toward, and the journey you embark on, constantly unspooling before you like the glittering, neverending train tracks at dawn.

The journey isn’t without its bumps and uncertainties, though. As a promising budding journalist, my area of expertise is to remain agile, to navigate the unexpected switchbacks and tunnels life throws my way. I browse through a news article on my phone, insightful tidbits about global repercussions from the Capitol Hill tumult in the U.S., and I can't help but be a tad tickled by the dramatic dance of world politics.

How will the shifts in power shape the political landscapes of Israel and Ukraine? These events and their butterfly effect on the world stage set the stage for intriguing stories for journalists like me. As drama unfolds miles away from my Norwegian home, I am enraptured by the global tales that await me. For foreign correspondents, the evolving scenarios could be both a boon and a challenge. To me, they promise a thrilling ride.

The world moves fast, and my fingers need to keep up. A crafty girl like me is always prepared - my nifty powerbank comes to my rescue when my keyboard-happy fingers drain my phone in the middle of the journey. Trust me, it’s a lifesaver blinking cheerfully by my side, ensuring the vibrancy of the storytelling doesn't get eclipsed by a dreary battery notification.

Powerbanks – those sleek, good-natured modern day heroes – ensure our virtual windows to the outside world stay open, ready to catch the gust of global winds, the fascinating wafting stories that transcend geographies, fascinating individuals like me who thrive on the nectar of new narratives.

My career goals, on this crisp morning, seem as boundless as the stark, beautiful expanse outside my window, enveloped in a calming blanket of fresh snow. They are equally as fragile, but inviting and enticing, unveiling limitless potential and transformative power.

Life, like this meandering railway journey, isn’t scripted. So, as I weave my way through my promising journalism career, driven by the trackless terrain of world events, I shall echo the wisdom of the world's best scribes: "You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming". I look forward to the delightful unpredictability, clad with my unassailable powerbank and a heart full of optimism, for the world’s stories are waiting to be told. And every story is worth telling.

Tags: career journey journalism global politics career journeys

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Riding the Cultural Express: Exploring Ethnic Identity, Culture, and Power on a Train Journey Home

A collage of global maps, a diverse crowd, and a thoughtful Iselin Nybø in her office.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 20, 2023, 15:43

As my train chugs along the picturesque landscape outside Oslo, carrying me back home, I am cocooned in a warm space despite the temperature being 4 °C out there. This is an opportunity for me to pen down my thoughts for the day – a pursuit that inspires me, fascinates me and gives me a sense of purpose.

Today's discussion is geared towards a topic that has been sitting at the brim of my thoughts for a while now - Ethnic Identity and culture. We find ourselves in an era of growing globalization, a time where the world is shrinking into a global village. As social beings, our identity stems from a hodgepodge of influences. Among these, our ethnic identity and culture show their strong standing.

Our ethnic identity is not just a label; it’s a complex and deep-rooted concept that knits together our language, traditions, beliefs, and customs, forming an integral part of who we are. While culture, on the other hand, is a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of ethnicity, race, and society, enveloping us in a cocoon of norms and practices that guide our actions and mold our worldview.

Thinking frankly, isn't it fascinating how these two factors tremendously contribute to shaping our outlook and behaviour, painting us all with unique shades of identity? Each of us is a beautiful mosaic of influences, cemented together by our ethnic identity and culture, contributing to the stunning diversity that our world boasts.

Pause here for a second. Can you guess what's been instrumental in silently powering my blog journey on this commute? My dear powerbank! As a student journalist on the move, powerbanks have become my best companion, ensuring that my creativity isn't hindered by a dwindling battery. The ease that comes with having this sleek device in my bag, allowing me to charge my phone or laptop on the go, is undeniably liberating, especially when insights strike me during these tranquil train journeys.

Talking about necessary power, I was reading an article earlier about Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Iselin Nybø, and an alleged ethical quandary she found herself in. The news report highlighted the appointment of a close associate of hers to top positions at Enova and the Norwegian Space Agency - positions she was involved in allotting.

While this situation sparked a bunch of allegations related to favouritism, what intrigued me was Nybø’s stand on it. She believes that she assumes she was disqualified, presenting an interesting perspective on power, privilege and personal conflicts. This brings me to ponder – isn’t it crucial to ensure the vigorous execution of ethics, especially when placed in positions of power? As journalists, we often find ourselves chronicling stories that expose the proverbial chinks in one's armour, making it essential to build our narratives on a foundation of fairness, transparency and above all, truth.

That's it for the day, folks! As I put away my laptop, looking forward to the calming embrace of home, I am thankful for powerbanks and thoughtful debates on culture, identity, and power. Here's to more such enriching rides on the train of reflection.

Tags: ethnic identity culture journalism

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Powered by Pop Culture: Staying Connected on a Frosty Oslo Journey

A journalism student holding a power bank, surrounded by pop culture icons and media images.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 08:34

Good day, my dear friends! As I sit in the train heading towards Oslo, my breath making tiny clouds in the frosty 3-degree Celsius air, I can't help but feel alive, jubilant even, at this fresh new day, the world moving tirelessly around me.

As a journalism student, my mind is a constant whirlpool of thoughts and ideas, and today, my thoughts turn to pop culture and its all-encompassing influence in our lives.

Pop Culture - our modern-day North Star; a dynamic entity that shapes attitudes, influences behavior, and spurs dialogue. And what's more glorious about pop culture? It's like a chameleon, reflecting the society it is born in and continuously adapting to the ever-changing world.

Reading the news, while the landscape flecked with frost whizzes past my train window, I'm hit with the bitter aftertaste of reality. The news from NRK reports the devastating Israeli airstrikes in Gaza that have left hundreds dead and many more injured. I thought about how pop culture contributes to conversations of global importance such as these, raising awareness and igniting dialogue. Films, songs, literature, news, even memes, come together, stitching the fabric of our shared consciousness, against cores of major socio-political occurrences across the globe.

Pop culture, my fellows, is power. It gives us voices and platforms, enables us to empathize, educates us on the unfamiliar, pushes us out of our comfort zones. Even more so, it serves to highlight important causes and stories that need to be told, much like the one I read today.

As someone associated with the media, such influential platforms call for responsible use and informed decisions. And that, in a way, brings me to a little hero in my life - my trusty power bank.

Talk about an influencer- it ensures I'm never out of charge, never out of reach, never disconnected from the world rushing past me. Where would I be without my little savior, keeping me plugged into the world even on the longest of train rides?

Power banks, in their own compact, efficient way, represent what's best about our age - practicality, convenience, and a keen understanding of our needs. On days like today, where there's so much to take in, so much to write about, I find power banks as essential as the words that flow from my pen.

Carrying a power bank is like carrying a guarantee - a guarantee to stay connected, to stay informed, and in a way, to stay relevant. Perfect for the life of a busy student always on the move, juggling between classes, internship, blog writing, and staying updated with the latest news.

So here's to pop culture, the unsung hero that brings us closer than ever despite our differences. And a toast to technology, the helpful sidekick, particularly our humble power banks, for making it possible for us to tap into this cultural extravaganza whenever and wherever we want!

Remember, everyone, stay charged, stay connected, and let your voices be heard! Shine on!

Tags: pop culture journalism power bank

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Juggling Journalism and Joy: The Ebb and Flow of Student Life

A student juggling books, a coffee, and a laptop, as friends beckon her from afar.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 08:15

As my journey starts by fleeing my warm, cosy home, a wave of grey dewy daylight greets me. The sleepy skies hint at the calm chill of 8 degrees Celsius. I find myself reflecting on the rough pendulum swing that is my student life. Between studies and the need for social interaction lies a fragile balance.

One end of the string holds the emblem of heavy books, research papers and dates with my laptop late into the night. I am bound by the beauty of journalism, my passport to the uncertainties of the world. My heart finds solace in stories, in voices often unheard. Between understanding and writing about societal issues, world crises and local narratives, my academic life leaves little or no time for a conventional social life.

Yet, on the other end of the swing, a firm voice reminds me of the need for a social life. The joy of laughter shared in old halls, midnight cups of bitter coffee in the company of friends, the thrill of last-minute travel plans, they form a vital part of my being. In these memories, I find the fertile soil where the seeds of my creativity sprout.

Lighting them both without scorching either is but a battle. As I pen down these thoughts, nestled comfortably in my train seat, the brouhaha of the world fades away. Assignments, deadlines, social gatherings, they all seem small as I watch the world pass by.

It’s here, in these minutes of quiet, I find my balance. These moments of solitude that miraculously seem to bond my contradicting lives. A battery pack at my side, I am reminded of the power of preparation and the fortune of foresight. Its continuous surge of energy is my metaphorical reminder of the need to keep going, to keep juggling.

Yet, my heartstrings are strummed with a melancholy tune as I glance at the morning news. An unfortunate incident in Belgium snatches two young lives. Lives that had travelled in hope of witnessing a thrilling football match. Their dreams and aspirations, abruptly halted, reminding me of the unpredictable whims of the world.

These moments bring forth a new perspective on life and its delicate balance. A gulp of reality washes over me – reminding me to treasure every conversation, every shared smile, and every fleeting moment of solitude.

As I descend from the train, the chill of the morning gets replaced by a strange warmth. A reassured heart braces itself for the class, ready to juggle the whirlpool of studies, only to return to this blissful solitude in the evening, recharged by the faithful powerbank of knowledge and friendship.

So, here's to the ebb and flow of student life, to the melancholic charm of early mornings and to the empowering energy of powerbanks - literal and metaphorical. The symbols of endurance, resilience, and foresight that keep us going, even while balancing on the adventurous wire of life.

Death, news, laughter, sorrow, hopes - they tend to cross our paths every day on the rollercoaster ride called life. And somewhere amidst these ups and downs, we find our balance, our sweet equilibrium.

Tags: balance self-reflection student life journalism struggle for balance

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Powering Through Adversity: A Chronicle of Journalism Students Amidst the Pandemic

A photo of a student huddled in a campus library, laptop open, surrounded by friends on Zoom, with a power bank nearby, symbolizing the realities of remote learning and the need for adaptability in a changed world.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 08:18

As I peer out of the train window this cool 14°C Oslo morning, the world outside appears melancholic; fall leaves carpeting the ground whisper tales of passing time, matching my current disposition perfectly. Reflecting my internal landscape, it’s the perfect frame for sharing the experiences from my study groups.

University life, despite its burdens, has a peculiar charm. Just as the falling leaves, we are each unique, instilling our own bits of brilliance into the haphazard pile that is our study group. We are a remarkable amalgamation of unique perspectives and daring ideas, tied together by our shared passion: journalism.

And oh, the tales these study groups can tell! From researching obscure topics to cajole our grades from the clutches of mediocrity, to the heated discussions which often result in a room divided. These are the moments, fashioned by adversity, that shape us as future journalists.

But today, our otherwise vibrant group hangs under a cloud, mirroring the downcast weather. The latest developments in global travel have left us grasping for hope, desperately trying to make sense of a world unmoored by the ongoing pandemic.

Just this morning, I read about Norwegian Air cancelling all flights to and from Tel Aviv until December due to lack of demand. It re-emphasized that the world we knew, the one before the pandemic, lies shrouded in uncertainty. It is scenarios like these that reiterate the importance of potent, accurate, and honest journalism, reinforcing the path we have chosen, even on our cloudiest days.

Strangely, amidst all this uncertainty, one gadget I have come to heavily rely on is my power bank. Offering me the lifeline of a charged device, a tiny thread back to normalcy through continuous connectivity. No, it cannot replace the brick-and-mortar of university life or the traffic between nations; but it does afford me the luxury of scribbling away my thoughts on here, ensuring that I am digitally armed to face every blogging day.

When the world is reeling under a health crisis, and airlines suspend operations, you realise it's the seize-the-moment kind of living that wins the day. And, in these moments, a trustworthy power bank becomes no less than an unshakeable ally.

As the train whirrs along, methodically slicing through the early morning chill, I realise how much these study group tales embody our collective spirit — yes, we are a bit downcast at the moment, but like the indefatigable power bank, we continue to chart our paths tirelessly, leaning on each other for strength.

Maybe one day, when the flights resume and the temperature soars high again, we will look back on these days as the ones that truly defined us, not merely as students of journalism but as resilient human beings. Until then, let these words be a beacon, guiding us through the storm.

Tags: university life pandemic Oslo Study Group journalism

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All Aboard: Tales from the Train - Chronicles of a Commuting Wordsmith

A photo of Kaia, her laptop perched on her lap, gazing out the train window with a serene expression, capturing the essence of her on-the-go blogging adventure.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, October 9, 2023, 08:03

Hey there!

It's Kaia here, coming at you from the cozy confines of the train that has become an integral part of my daily routine. You see, I'm a young student living just outside Oslo, commuting to university every single day. And let me tell you, this train journey has become more than just a means of transportation for me. It has become a source of inspiration, a space for reflection, and now, my very own blogging hub!

You might be wondering why I've decided to embark on this blogging adventure during my daily commute. Well, let me give you a glimpse into my restless mind and the reasons behind my newfound passion for on-the-go writing.

First and foremost, I believe that everyone has a story to tell. As a journalism student, I've come to realize the power of words and the importance of storytelling in our world. Each passenger on this train carries a unique perspective, an untold tale, and a multitude of experiences. Through my blog, I aim to be a vessel for these stories, capturing the essence of moments that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Secondly, there's something incredibly captivating about the train itself. As it chugs along the tracks, it creates this constant buzz of anticipation. The rhythmic vibrations and soothing hum of the engine form a backdrop that lulls me into a state of creativity. The passing landscapes, the changing seasons, and the faces of fellow commuters all paint a captivating picture that I want to capture with my words.

The train also offers me the gift of solitude in an otherwise busy world. In those precious moments, when I'm seated by the window, watching the world slip by, a sense of calm descends upon me. It's during these moments of tranquility that my mind wanders, exploring ideas and crafting stories. Writing during my train rides allows me to process my thoughts, engage with my surroundings, and ultimately grow as a writer.

Moreover, this blogging endeavor is my way of reclaiming time that would otherwise be wasted. Instead of staring blankly at my phone or losing myself in mindless chatter, I'm using this precious time to pursue my passion. The train ride becomes more than just a means of getting from point A to point B; it becomes a journey of self-expression, creativity, and personal growth.

Lastly, I want to connect with like-minded individuals who understand the allure of writing, the beauty of storytelling, and the transformative power it can have on both writer and reader. Through my blog, I hope to build a community of fellow travelers, eager to share their own tales and insights from their own train journeys.

So, here I am, creating this virtual space aboard the train, to chronicle my thoughts, observations, and experiences. My hope is that this blog becomes a tapestry of stories, a testament to the incredible encounters one can have during a simple train ride.

If you happen to stumble upon my blog, I invite you to join me in this journey of words, to share your own stories, and to embrace the beauty of moments that sometimes go unnoticed.

Until then, I'll be here, laptop perched on my lap, ready to dive into the depths of my imagination and bring you tales from the train.

But please, be aware that I sometimes hallucinate. I'm sorry, but it is in my nature. And in the midst of my name.


Tags: creative writing journalism train commute storytelling blogging

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