Wow, 2018 just flew by, didn’t it? (And so did half of January…) Many say it’s been a bit of a strange, quick year, and I couldn’t agree more. I wrote exactly 4 blog posts, which means there’s definitely room for improvement in 2019, but also that I didn’t share much of what I’ve been up to. So here comes the first part of a few random bests of my 2018!

Best trip

I’ve been traveling a bit less compared to the past couple of years, but still managed to get in a few good trips every 1-2 months. In March, Robert and I went to Kaohsiung, Taiwan for our friends’ awesome Polish-American-Taiwanese wedding, and had life-changing beef noodles in this simple little restaurant. In June, I spent a beautiful summer week in New York visiting my parents and some dear friends.

The best trip of the year, however, was to Osaka in December. It was my first time visiting Japan, and I LOVED it. It was a very short 2-day visit, so I didn’t really have time to do anything besides check out some must-see and must-eat places, but I stayed long enough to get a sense of the overall atmosphere. Paired with Japanese food and their wonderful service culture and hospitality, Osaka turned out to be one of the nicest places I’ve been to in a while. Can’t wait to go back to Japan.

Best professional moment

It’s been a very interesting year professionally. I’m still on the board and managing marketing for IPWS, and we’ve had a fab anniversary year celebrating 25 years of connecting professional women since the organization was first founded in 1993. If you’re in Shanghai and looking to expand your professional network while gaining valuable insight through quality content events, make sure to check us out.

I was also invited to join the board of Explore China, an organization that helps the Nordic region remain competitive in the global market by exposing top talent to the innovation, scale and speed of today’s China. Through Explore China, a batch of university students are invited to China for a 2-week inspirational programme to visit and meet with world-leading companies, entrepreneurs and experts. Last year’s pilot programme was a huge success with visits to companies like Alibaba, Baidu, Didi Chuxing and Mobike. Application for Explore China 2019 is currently open to all Swedish university students – go go go!

Aside from the day-to-day, two things in particular stood out in my professional year 2018. The first is that my passion and love for photography turned into a profession. How cool is that! I do more and more photography projects, mostly shooting portraits, Shanghai-cityscapes and events. I still have incredibly much to learn and tons of lenses to buy, but it’s pretty cool to be able to work with something that genuinely brings me so much joy and happiness. The second big highlight of the year was when, out of the blue, Nat Geo Travel reached out and wanted to work with me. I mean, again, how cool is that!

Best purchase

Without a doubt, my S’well water bottle. Who knew a water bottle could bring me so much joy, haha. That little thing is the best, it keeps water cold for 24 hours in the +40 Celsius summer heat, and vice versa in the winter. (Yes, I now drink hot water like a Chinese person.) Plus it’s environmentally friendly with gorgeous design. Ah and I’m so happy, I just got a second bottle from Robert for Christmas! Both are purchased through Baopals on Tmall from this seller.

Best dress

Every year in December, the Finnish-Chinese community in Shanghai throws a big black-tie party at the Fairmont Peace Hotel to celebrate Finland’s independence day. This year was no exception, and I was so happy with my outfit for the night. For the second year in a row, I had my dress made at Angela’s, a small tailor boutique specializing in evening gowns. I can warmly recommend Angela, she’s very professional and friendly, and speaks perfect English. Her prices are a bit higher than tailoring at the South Bund Fabric Market, but quality and results have also been significantly better, at least in my experience. Her location is also much more convenient with a shop in central Jing’an. Find Angela’s on 141 Maoming North Road, or feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to connect you on WeChat.

More 2018 bests coming soon!

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