2019 in the rearview mirror

I feel that a look in the rearview mirror is appropriate by the end of a year, before looking ahead towards new goals. 2019 was a rollercoaster at times, but also incredibly rewarding. I’ve been enjoying having a virtual cup of coffee with many of you every weekend. That have been an important part of my weekend routine. I’ve met some amazing people in real life. You all know who you are! I somehow managed to get a few new allergies. I’ve visited many National Parks. Some of them made it into the book I self published by the end of the year. I’ve been camping in incredible places, definitely among my favourite experiences this year, along with the laughs I’ve shared with my daughter. I also read 25,651 pages across 85 books so far this year, (I’m planning on reading a few hundred pages this last week.) These are some of my 2019 highlights:


I had gotten used to living in Las Vegas, after living there for almost six months, and found strategies that worked for me (=getting out of the city every second of my free time.) One of my favourite spots to hang out at in January was Valley of Fire State Park.


These are my two favourite photos from January 2019.


I lived by the motto The difference between those who succeed and those who fail isn’t what they have-it’s what they choose to see and do with their resources and their experiences of life. 

– Anthony Robbins


I’d say that February was my absolute favourite month in Las Vegas, because it was cold!


Red Rock Canyon was my favourite place to spend my free time at in February.


Red Rock Canyon is fascinating, and worth a visit any time of the year, but I had my best experiences in February for some reason. I think it had to do with how quickly the weather changed, and how the clouds danced on the sky every time I drove out there.


In March I experimented with cityscapes in Las Vegas. Here is a couple of my favourites.



We also went canoeing on the Colorado River (AZ.)


March is a very comfortable month in southern Nevada and Arizona. Just perfect.


I’d say that it started to get too hot in Las Vegas for my likings in April. I did spend some time at Mojave National Preserve (CA.) One of the most memorable days was when we visited Carl Faber’s home in Mojave.



The Mojave Desert shows its most beautiful face in April.


Blooming Joshua Trees in Red Rock Canyon.


In May we went camping in Death Valley National Park (CA) for Mother’s Day weekend, and saw some wild horses up in Mt Charleston (NV.) My daughter also graduated first grade as an honor student.


Camping in Death Valley a few weeks before the big earthquake here!


Wild horse baby born in May, near Mt Charleston (NV.)


I spent the first two days of June at my property in Arizona. Those where the best days of the month!


I also took my daughter to Grand Canyon during that roadtrip, which I am very grateful that I got to do.



We tried our hands at gardening in the desert, which wasn’t impossible, but challenging.


In July I put a lot of effort into making a Birthday Cake just the way my daughter wanted it. (She can be demanding at times..but of course I enjoyed it a lot.)




I had severe breathing problems in August, and I found out about several allergies, and sensitivities that I’ve developed. The heat was horrible. The first two weeks of August I had a debate with myself (you usually get the best answers then..) about what to do. It was obvious that I would have to do something. As a start I quit my job, moved from the house I was living in (I still think the house was a big part of my problem,) and I started to homeschool my daughter. I started to think about maybe moving from Vegas here. The very reason I moved to Las Vegas was so that my daughter could spend time with her dad. I hated Las Vegas the whole time. Her dad did not make our daughter a priority, and in August he didn’t even live in Las Vegas anymore! August was a very difficult month. I also spent all my savings on health care.

These were my two favourite photos from August:


The pomegranates starts to ripe in southern Nevada this time of the year.


The limes on the lime tree still has some way to go in August, but I think they are beautiful.


Breathing is still a big challenge, so is the heat. It is a little better since I left the old house, but I have serious problems. My Doctor now says he is certain that allergies, mainly sensitivities to pollution (the air is very dirty in Las Vegas) are the cause to my problems. At higher elevations the temperatures are starting to get tolerable by the end of September, and we spend a lot of time in Cold Creek (NV.)


Dried seedpod on a Joshua Tree, Cold Creek (NV.)


Sunset silhouettes of Joshua Trees.


In October we did some camping, on several amazing locations in the desert of Nevada. Like here at Gold Butte Monument (NV.)



I love camping, it is one of my favourite things to do.


November was an intense month to say the least! We started the month with a trip to my property in Arizona. It was lovely! As soon as we left the pollution in Las Vegas my breathing went back to normal, and I felt great. If you ever had trouble breathing you know that amazing doesn’t even come close to describe that feeling of getting your breath back.



At my property in Arizona.



High desert sunsets are pretty amazing, and should be experienced!


On the way back to Las Vegas we visited the old gold rush town Oatman (AZ,) where the burros rules the street. Oatman is a very fascinating place!

The week after getting back to Las Vegas I have an appointment with my Doctor who now tells me that I should move from Las Vegas sooner than later. I knew that I would have to make some sort of decision in a near future, for the sake of my health. I decided to take his advice and not waste my time. I am a doer. I had recently got permission to bring my daughter to Sweden. That had not been an option earlier. Now it was. I sold most of my things, and bought tickets to Sweden.


We landed in Stockholm November 18, and took the train up to Dalarna, where I was born 40 years ago. I already had some job interviews lined up, jobs that I applied for while still living in Las Vegas. I went to the first one two days after arriving, and everything felt just right. They offered me the job, and I accepted.


December have been a very busy month. My daughter started her new school, we found a house (that we haven’t moved into yet,) I filled out a lot of paperwork, I had a birthday, we played a lot in the snow, we spent many hours on the bus between the town where I was born (where we are staying until we move into our new house) and the town where my daughter goes to school, and I started working right before Christmas.


December is cold and beautiful in these parts of Sweden.


My daughter and I spent Christmas just enjoying down time together. We had several dinner invitations but she just wanted the two of us to be together doing nothing. I understand her and I am secretly very happy that she felt that she needed this time to just relax. We are going to move next week, but these last days of the year will have more down time in store for us. We are going to go for picnics with hot chocolate and read books together. If you asked me in the beginning of 2019 about my plans for the year I assure you that Sweden would not of been something I would of ever imagined! Life is good, and always full of surprises ❤  This is probably my longest blog post ever, breaking all the rules of blogging. …well, it has been a loooooooooong year. I hope you enjoyed my favorite photos from the past year. I want to thank YOU for being a part of my year. How is your 2019 in the rearview mirror?





Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

27 thoughts on “2019 in the rearview mirror

  1. Yu have been a busy bee, Maria. It sounds amazing with all the trips you have done in U.S. and the. Ending by flying across the Atlantic to Sweden from where you once began. Good fortune to you and your daughter


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your year in review! You have had quite an interesting one. 😉 Your forays into the wilderness and camping yielding gorgeous photos, and your overcoming your challenges is inspiring. Looking forward to seeing what 2020 holds for you both. ❤
    Regarding my year… not as exciting as yours! Being older, my husband and I have had health challenges, which I'm glad to say we are handling fairly well. My garden work was satisfying and key to staying sane! A new cat came into our lives and she is such a joy. Overall, life is good! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe Eliza, thank you so much for your kind words! Your gardening is inspiring to me, especially when I haven’t had the chance to have much of a garden this past year. I am sorry to hear that you’ve had health challenges. Your attitude, and your way of finding beauty in life is contagious. All the best to your New Year ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a WONDERFUL post!! You’ve inspired me to write one too about how my year has gone. I think it goes without saying how inspirational you are too all of us that have gotten to know you and the friendships made here on WordPress are amazing. ❤️

    To say you’ve had a busy year, definitely an understatement but you’ve made it through and am thankful your health has improved and I know you had to make some difficult decisions and look where you landed! Home! ❤️ Looking forward to new adventures!! Thank you for sharing, as we join you on this journey we call life! Cheers to you and your beautiful daughter as we bring in this new year! ❤️🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Diana! I think it is beneficial to look back, before going forward. It felt good. No regrets, but some lessons learned. I am very grateful for all my friends ❤ Looking forward to read your post. Much love to you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting year review, Maria. Life is ups and downs, but the latter teach us to be stronger. 2019 as far as I am concerned has been a traveling year – which I enjoy at the upmost -, also as I am a grandma am happy to see that my kids and grandsons are well and happy. That’s the best part of my 365 days of 2019. All the best to you, Maria and also to your daughter. Keep forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A fascinating year, Maria, and I guess your 2020 will be fascinating as well! You are a doer, and you make things happen – looking forward to reading of your adventures! Wishing you two a very Happy
    New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful year you had, Maria! Full of changes and adventures! I was so glad to have met you in person last January in Las Vegas. I’m glad I read this because I couldn’t figure out how you were able to take your daughter to Sweden. I’m glad she can be with you. We are enjoying Arizona and got to finally see the Grand Canyon yesterday (covered with snow)–pics soon, with one post to IG yesterday. Happy New Year, Maria and cheers to a wonderful 2020!


  7. Wow. Quite a year! I don’t usually care for long posts either, but yours captivated me. Viva Las Vegas! I lived there off and on in the ’70s (19, not 18), so your post brought many memories to me also. Sorry you had to leave but it is quite the megalopolis now. Sweden must be quite calming by comparison. I’ve been to Goteborg, Stockholm, and Uppsala. Best wishes for 2020.


  8. Well, I enjoyed your story, and your photos! I live in Arizona too, and love it here 🙂 Although Sweden sounds very fascinating! I’m so glad it all worked out for you. And a great story to tell!


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