Living with an open heart

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Ever dreamed of quitting your job, sell all your stuff and leave the world as you know it behind? Head out the door, get on a plane and travel the world? Well, Sandra Ankarstrand just took the leap and did it!

Sandra’s journey started a week ago, and her first stop was Pacijan Island, in the Philippines. Next stop is Bali, to Raja Ampat where she will spend Christmas with her best friend and his family. After that, nothing is planned.
- I want to see where my heart takes me. But on my wish list I have Asia, South Africa and South America, Sandra says.

 How long she will be away, and if she will ever return to Sweden, is unclear.
- Of course, I will visit everyone back home, but this is the beginning of my new life and I doubt it will take me back to Sweden. I am looking for a place where I feel at home. Someplace to spend my life, simpler, giving me the chance to find true and genuine happiness.

So, what inspired Sandra to sell all her belongings, pack her bag and set out on an unplanned journey?

Having through the years struggled with an alcohol problem, low self-esteem and anxiety, made Sandra start questioning her life. Did she really want to spend most her days working as much as she did? Did all her belongings and all that materialism really bring her true joy? And would she ever feel true satisfaction, seeing as for each highlight in her life she reached, she simply started searching for the next. So, she started searching within herself for what gave her true happiness. And the answer was simple: traveling! 
- I have wanted to do this for a while, but always found myself pushing the thought aside, thinking “what if”. I guess I simply wasn’t ready, until a friend of mine, who is also a Life Coach, made me realise the only thing holding me back is myself. So, I took the leap, Sandra explains.  

Freedom for me is living my life with an open heart and with an open mind.

Having handed in her resignation and decided she didn’t have any plans on returning, made the decision to sell her apartment, car and all her belongings easier.
- I wanted to do this wholeheartedly, and having one foot out in the world, and another at home just didn’t feel right to me. And by selling everything I own I have more money in my pocket to travel the world for. 

How has the reaction been from the people around you?
- Most of the people around me said it was expected. Some are scared, and some are sad, but in the end, they want me to be happy, and most of them believe that this is something that will be good for me, so they all support me.

- And the support I have received since I announced it on Instagram is amazing. I never felt as loved as I have done the last couple of months. And when you decide to do something as life changing as this, people tend to show their true colors, and you find out who your true friends are.

What has been the most challenging part before departure?
- Honestly, I didn’t think it would be much more than pack my bag and leave. Turns out there is a lot of planning involved. We are talking travel insurance, vaccination (and the whole debate about needing them or not), the balance between carrying credit cards and cash, what to pack and then of course the whole process of ending a chapter at home, and start a new one out in the world. So, there is a lot more to think about then I realised, she says with a smile.

We are excited to see where Sandra´s journey takes her and wish her all the best. A true inspiration, showing the importance of following your dreams and not let society tell you what you need to find true happiness.

  Sandra Ankarstrand

Sandra Ankarstrand

Want to follow keep updated on how everything is going for Sandra? You can follow her blog here and here Instagram here.


By: Henriette Danielsen