Having kids was by far the greatest challenge I have had in my life. I normally live for challenges, but becoming a 24/7 service worker after a lifetime of freedom was more than I could deal with. This blog is part of my project of finding back to who I am.
My parents gave me the travel bug during early childhood. After spending the childhood traveling in Asia, living in the Middle East or venturing deep inside the African Savannah the world will never be the same. Once a traveller- always a traveller.
With the age of 14 I was discovered by a model agency, and two years later I was already living and working as a model in Milan. I followed by moving to Paris after high school, and travelled the world going on photo shoots. But around the time I turned 20 I was depressed. I realized it was the job as a model that was the culprit. It was too superficial. It was not in tune with what I valued in life. Instead of living up to other peoples expectations I wanted to be true to myself, so I quit modeling. The following year was spent in South America working as a volunteer in the slum of Quito, Ecuador, and backpacking around the continent. I continued backpacking through Asia and combined traveling with my bachelor degree in Social Anthropology and Human Geography. These subjects were great ways of justifying my travels. I finished up my Bachelor with a semester in Costa Rica, and followed up by traveling north through Central America. Next stop was Florida for a few months of skydiving. I had been skydiving since I was 18, but due to my globetrotting I hadn’t had much time to focus on it. I wanted to work up a better skill level. And then I discovered base jumping, and got hooked.
I did my master degree in Human Geography specializing in Development- and Urban Studies. In the middle of this I took a semester off from University to work as a model again in Hamburg. All my savings from earlier years were spent, and I had grown older and could keep an emotional distance to this job. It was just an extra income, not a lifestyle like before. Part of the master degree in Human Geography involved doing fieldwork, I chose Venezuela. Here I had friends from earlier travels, and I could fulfill my dream of base jumping from Angel Falls. But I fractured my ankle on a skydive during the first month there and ended up spending the remainder of the 6 months jumping around on crutches. I managed to do my field work where I compared a slum upgrading program in two slums in Caracas, but there was no base jumping. This event was a turning point in my life. Opposite of what everybody else would have thought it made me realize how important jumping was to me, and that I wanted to do it full-time. But base jumping and skydiving are time consuming sports. If you want to be good at them, not to mention safe, you need to invest time and energy. Returning home, I spent all my spare time base jumping around the mountains of Norway and Europe. But before I finished my master degree I worked as an intern with the UN in Kenya, a place I also found a cliff to jump off. And here I fractured my second ankle! Now I was more determined than ever to base jump. I finished my master degree, jumped as much as I could, and at the same time signed a sponsorship agreement with Berghaus Ltd.
In 2006 I got a job in Pakistan with The Norwegian Refugee Council helping the supply of shelter after the big earthquake. I lived close to Abbottabad (where Bin Laden also lived) and used to go there often after work to base jump off what looked like a home made cable car crossing a valley. Wonder if he heard of me?! The crazy flying woman? ha ha. I also found time to explore the Kashmiri mountains and later the Himalayas, and my love for the mountains in Pakistan grew so much that I returned after my contract expired to climb Spantik (7025m). During my 6 months in Pakistan some friends of mine had jumping accidents, some fatal and one miraculously survived. It made me think about my values in life, was it more important to me to follow my own adventures, or spend time with friends and family? I chose the latter, and moved home permanently. I met the love of my life, my husband to be, and moved in with him. I didn’t stop exploring and going on fun trips and expeditions, but I was more present at home. I had been practicing yoga for many years, and in 2009 I finished my 200 hours teacher training and got pregnant. And here the new story of my life starts. I gave birth to a son in 2010 and a daughter in 2012. I quit base jumping due to the risk, and I more or less quit everything else in my life due to the fact that there is no time. A lot of mothers find themselves when they have kids. They love the new mommy role. I on the other hand felt like I lost myself. This blog is part of my project to try and define this new role as a mom and find a balance between motherhood and being myself.
My webpage: BellyandBaby -Yoga for pregnancy and newbie mums. This is what I do for a living.
Hi Anniken. Thanks for looking at my Fell Running blog. It gives me lots of fresh air and exercise in some beautiful places but I’ll never get the kind of rush that you base jumpers experience. Crazy!!
Fresh air is more important than adrenaline:-)
Interesting blog. I find your introduction very inspiring.
Hi Anniken thanks for visiting my blog. What a fantastic life you have had, and you’ve only just started compared to some of us. You haven’t really lost yourself, have you. Just a period of consolidation, before the next phase? All the best.
Hi:-) I really liked your blog:-) Thanks for liking and following mine too:-) I think you are right, it is just a period I am going through. Actually starting this blog has helped me see things clearer, and helped me create more space for myself. And it helps:-)
I am impressed for what you have done. Seems that our lives have gone in opposite directions. Your – from adventure to motherhood, mine – from motherhood to adventure, for that is what I want to try now while it isn’t too late 🙂 But motivation to start the blog is the same in both cases. Just time differs when people loose themselves. But I believe, that we’ll find what we are looking for. And kids, they grow very fast 🙂
Likewise! Funny how it is, but I believe that it is a good thing to always do new stuff, and not just stay in your comfort zone all your life. So wether it is from motherhood to adventure ot the other way around does not matter. Any challenge is a challenge, be it learning to change diapers or crossing the Amazon:-) And challenges make us grow:-)
Wise words 🙂
Hi Anikken… nice to meet you.
Thank you for taking time to stop by my blog… 😀
Blessing to you… !!
Thanks for stopping by here too:-)
Hey there! Base Jumper- turned Housewife and Mom – 🙂 WOW! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I look forward to following you.
Your life is one of the most interesting I’ve ever heard about. And, I am no spring chicken, I’m old! I hope you find what you’re looking for (ouch, I sound like U2).
Hi and thanks:-) Well, I did think I had found what I was looking for before, but then my life situation changed and now I need to find it again. What I am looking for is the perfect balance in life that makes me jump for joy all the time…ha ha well at least something in that direction:-)
Thanks for your feedback on my blog. Love your story!!
superwoman, no other words can describe you. I am sure your kids will be proud of you when they will grow up. good luck with “mommy role” adventures.
Thank you for the kind words! Yes I hope they will be proud, and I also hope they will enjoy trying out the wind tunnel when they get old enough:-)
Thanks for visiting my blog. I have been many places, and have been many things, and sometimes have even found “me” there, too. I have always seen my life as one adventure after after another. Thanks for sharing yours.
Thanks for commenting:-) life is definitely an adventure:-) and traveling is a good tool for getting closer to oneself:/) have you been to Norway?
We haven’t made to Norway yet. It’s on our list.
It’s always good to receive a ‘like’ but even better to be able to send one. Thanks.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and “liking” by post. I like your blog…and I know totally what you mean about children and balance…it’s what keeps life interesting. God Bless you and your family. I’ll be stopping again soon to read more. See you around the blog~E
You are right about that! It makes it interesting:-)
Wow, I admire how honest you are to yourself! I am sure that you can find something you find exciting maybe even something you can do together with your kids. And when they grow older it will become even easier… I also had to redefine myself many times in my life and the important thing is to be honest to yourself and not lose track of who you are. A happy mummy makes happy children! Jenny
Very wise words:-) It is so true that a happy mummy makes happy children:-) And I am definitely looking forward to doing stuff with my children. I just bought them new sleeping bags and am planning on taking the family camping in the forest and mountains during the summer:-) I hope the kids will enjoy it as much as I do:-)
They surely will as you for sure have a lot of passion about the things you do and you like, so the ‘fire’ will transmit to your children as well 🙂
Thanks for stopping by my blog for a look and also for the like on my post.
Sounds like you have had a good time so far in your life. I really liked the question you posed about being a passenger or the pilot. There are too many passengers in this world.
Best wishes, and I will stop back by on occasion to see what you are up to!
Hi, thanks for stopping by here too:-) See you around:-)
Wow – the mountains ‘temporarily’ lost their lover. The children gained a mother. Parenthood changes us. It is one of the greatest experiences in life, AND VERY CHALLENGING TOO WHEN THEY GROW OLDER 🙂 Have fun and enjoy!
Thank you:-) yes bringing up children is quite a challenge, and a very rewarding too:-)
Thank you for taking time to stop by and check out my blog ‘encouragement for life’ God bless you and what you do.
Thanks the same to you:-)
What an incredible life you have had. The basejumping photo at the top of your blog looks like Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Is it? My husband and i were there a few years ago and saw basejumpers all over. I applaud you for your fearleassness. I would love to know how you disconnect that part of the brain that says I will never fling myself off of a 4000 foot cliff and go ahead and jump. I need a little more fearlessness so if you have any insights I would so appreciate it. Good luck with your new life. It sounds like it will have it’s own wonderfully different adventures Lexi
Hi and thanks:-) Yes this is Lauterbrunnen:-) I guess it is more fear control than fearlessness we’re talking about. I am scared when I jump, very scared actually:-) But I rationalize about what I am about to do: I know how to do it, I have the skills to succeed at this particular jump, I have done it before etc etc. Through deep yoga breath and these thoughts I calm myself enough to focus on my task and do it safely:-) Hope this answered your question:-)
So, what you’re saying is that there isn’t a magic little pill I can take to give me the courage 🙂 Just curious how you managed the first BASE jump. That’s the one I think would really be tough. Thanks for your reply. I will try to channel your techniques next time I’m doing something sketchy. Have a great day and be safe 🙂
i loved reading that – your life growing up sounds amazing i want to do stuff just like that! any advice on where to get started?? im going to check out the rest of your blog soon..im sorry to hear you dont feel fulfilled the way you used to
Hi:-) The best way to get started is to follow your dream:-) We are all different, and you need to do what is right for you. But the most important thing is believing that you can do it, and work towards your goals:-) Wish you luck!
Thanks for stopping by and liking one of my blogs. I appreciate the encouragement. You have an interesting story a little part adventure a little part responsibility. I’ve always found life is about honoring every part of ourselves I hope you continue to find a way to honor both the mother and the misfit in yours.
🙂 mother and misfit:-) great way of putting it:-)
Hello Anniken, thanks for dropping by my blog. I have been riveted reading about your tales of adrenaline and adventure! You must have such a rich resource of advice to offer to others – amazing.
I have three kids who are all grown up now. That has also been an adventure – and not without its own adrenaline rushes….
Personally, I have always liked to keep my feet on the ground and I love long distance walking. However, I love watching programmes about people like you. My daughter’s fiance is an Officer in the Paras – he loves jumping out of planes and bungee jumping and is a total adrenaline junkie.
I wish you well in this next chapter of your life….
Love and light
Hi:-) raising kids can for sure give you adrenaline too:-) Good for your daughters fiancé that he lives out his dreams, I can totally relate to his love of jumping out of planes:-)
Hi, I think it is great that you are finding a balance in your new role – phase of life. That is the ultimate challenge. GL
It is for sure the ultimate challenge and a constant process:-) But I do feel happy and fulfilled these days, so struggling to find the balance is worth while:-)
Hi and thank you for reading my blog about Panama. You must know the area. Good luck with finding your way in your new role in life.
Thank you:-) I have been there but on a very brief visit, San Blas Islands and Panamá city:-) I wouldn’t mind going back though:-)
Wow. What a life you lead, and lead it, you certainly do! Cheers to you and your goals in the next few years! Considering all of the risk taking you embrace, and your love of adventure, I’m sure you’ll find the right balance with motherhood as well! I look forward to reading more on your blog.
Thank you:-) Yes I feel like I am starting to find the balance, but I believe it is a constant process that needs work every day:-)
I know you don’t “need” this but I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and wanted to direct my readers to you. I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. The details are on my blog (http://tipsyyogi.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/rays-of-sunshine/), but it’s totally up to you whether or not you want to participate. Namaste fellow yogini!
I’ve just nominated you for an award! 😉 Great blog! Jenny
Oh my….all I can say is “wow” !!! Amazing…….. nice to meet you !
Very nice to meet you too:-D
Hi Anniken, thank you for the like on my post of Montenegro. In my case, I have found that life is a series of re-inventing yourself. You may find something similar as time goes on……. The Reluctant Retiree
I think you are right about that:-) Things change and we need to adapt:-)
Thank you for visiting my blog. It looks like you’ve lead (and currently still lead) a fascinating life. I look forward to reading your blog in the future.
And the same to you:-) I love checking out new blogs:-)
Hey there! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You don’t have to do anything about it, but if you feel like passing it on, that’d be great too! I always look forward to reading your posts, and I hope there are many more to come!
(The post that I nominated you in: http://theultimatevoyage.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/on-finally-getting-around-to-things/)
Nice reading about you
Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.
Great:-) I will:-)
thank you dear
Wow Anniken!Thats a heroine material for sure!!I still remember the base jump at Abbottabad from that cable car and when you gave me that number that I might have to contact incase of injury or accident,I thought you cant be serious…and then the countdown,3,2,1 see ya! and there you went and at the same time the opening of your canopy with a snapping noise..I followed you till you landed safely and all went well!Good memories though!!!But frankly I like you being a super….mom now!Stay safe!!
Hi, nice to hear form you:-) I really enjoyed my jumps in Pakistan:-) I loved the old home made cable car and all the local kids who came running every time we arrived:-)
Hi Anniken! Thanks for stopping by and following our blog. That gave me the chance to check yours out and enjoy your stories of travel and jumping. Having children will be your next big adventure! I look forward to reading your future posts. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
Hi and thanks for your visit too:-) Having children is definitely an adventure:-)
you have an awesome story, thanks for visiting my blog!
And the same goes to you too!
Hi Anniken – Greetings from Banff, Canada! I’ve been reading through your website tonight. I run a project called The Adventures in Parenthood Project (adventurousparents.com) that explores the transition of outdoor adventurers to parenthood (ie. people like you and me!). Your posts are right up my alley and you have me intrigued. I have done a lot of thinking about risk-taking as parents, so someday I’d be curious about your thoughts about how your perceptions have changed since becoming a mother. Anyways, I have subscribed to your blog (thanks for subscribing to mine!) so that I can follow along.
Hi! Since I became a mother I have not become more scared, but I have become more careful. I am still the same person as before, but with all the responsibility of motherhood, I do not take as many chances as before. My children deserve to grow up with a mother. But they also deserve to grow up with a happy mother. And in my case I need to challenge myself in order to feel alive and happy. It’s just that the challenges have changed slightly:-)
You are great and you will be always, kisses.
He conocido pocas mujeres como tu tan bellas por dentro y por fuera ,
you are so sweet:-) Thank you:-)
I like the idea behind you blog. Since becoming a mum, I feel like I’m constantly finding and losing and finding myself again!
Thanks for stopping by the JoyfulParentingWEC.wordpress.com blog!