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San Francisco is my kind of town, as Sinatra would have put it. A playground for adults, San Francisco has a diversity I’ve never seen before, a charm and mystery few other cities can even compare to – and even though it’s been said already – it has that big city complexity that only larger cities are capable of handling. Even though I’m on a student budget, I try to be smart about how I spend my money so that I can bulk up some extra cash for experiences rather than for things. In my case, I like eating so that’s where I usually invest my money every weekend. A proud foodie, I try new places because I want to learn something new and above all, I want something different. It helps when you’re surrounded with people who share those interests.

The other day when I had breakfast with my friend and mentor Cameron, he told me about this new and exciting business that had that very special San Francisco-ish feeling that I so truly enjoy. It’s called, Carried Away SF. The company was very recently launched by Vikki and Dianne, two ex-planners in San Francisco that loved traveling and uncovering new grounds, and even more so that fell in love with the city so much that they left their work to make a dream come true. I had the privilege of engaging with these super cool ladies the other day, and let me tell you; this is amazing. The idea is to take the getting-to-know-a-city concept and make it much more personal, intimate and even more importantly an experience you’ll always remember. The experiences you can choose from are called an ‘Outing’. Whether you want your own customized sightseeing, taste the best foods and delicacies from every hidden corner, see and learn about the jaw-dropping urban architectural wonders, shop untraditional cool on handpicked locations, drink bubbly champagne along secret alleys or perhaps get blown away by the views you didn’t know existed, all together with the best San Francisco guides you can imagine – then this is something for you. Everything is tailor-made in detail just to fit with your wishes and there will be no more than 4 people going at the same time (and if you’re a lone wolf, that works too). You don’t share it with people you don’t know – it’s for you and your company exclusively whether it’s for a couple of hours or an entire day. So, how do you go around all these fabulous places? Well, they have their own Batmobile of course, perhaps a slightly more discreet and convenient one. They will take you on a journey where you have to do nothing more than to absorb as much as you can with all of your senses. You get to know San Francisco for real, probably better than most people ever have experienced this city. Even though you’re doing routes others might have seen, every outing is unique depending on what the guides have in store for you.

Traveling is about exploring, seeking the adventure and learning about the culture and atmosphere that lies in front of you. I always enjoyed being on vacation with my family because we always did things and made trips even on the designated destination, no matter where in the world we visited – which gave especially us, the children, a point-of-view and impression rather than sand in our shoes and the hopelessness of swimming in the hotel pool with a t-shirt for a week due to sunburned skin. Group tours are unexciting and buses are boring – Carried Away SF is a proper way of how a city, in fact any city, should be discovered. I would call it an experience inside the experience. Carried Away SF just launched their website last week and reservations from visitors and locals are coming in daily. The gift cards are being ordered by enthusiastic followers and newly updated discoverers.

I have read everything about Carried Away SF, I’m a fan on Facebook and I have talked with the creators – now I can’t wait to take-off. My only concern is, which one should I choose? I want them all, simultaneously. Check out their website and see if they have something you might fancy, because if you visit the city in a near future – you really don’t want to miss out on such a journey. With that in mind I’ll say; awesomeness, take me away.

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If you don’t know what Spotify is already, then you should by now – especially since the new update as of yesterday will make Steve Jobs run for cover with his precious iTunes. It’s been out there for a couple of short years – exploding first through Scandinavia and further on finding its way out in Europe. It’s a music service software that let’s you stream and play any music through the Internet directly on your computer and even your iPhone. Yes, other software like Pandora and Last.fm are out there as well, but appear totally irrelevant in comparison.

Imagine your iTunes filled with everything you could ever ask for, but that’s taking no hard disk space. I know what you’re thinking – so, what if I’m out and there’s no reception on my iPhone, or I have lost Internet in my house? Well, then you can download your playlists to an offline mode that will act just like any MP3 player, even if you are connected or not. Pure brilliance. Unfortunately, they haven’t released it in the US yet – Spotify is fighting with licenses and bigger record companies for access, and it shouldn’t be too far now. My way (and many others that are living in the US) around it is; I registered for free in Sweden while I was there, and when I’m now a subscriber every month ($10) I get a premium account which let’s me ‘travel’ with the service indefinitely–otherwise it would shut me down after 2 weeks abroad.

The new update (called ‘The Next Generation’) features pure awesomeness. With your own individual profile on Spotify you can now connect with your friends on Facebook, or whomever you’d like – and share tracks, playlists and artists with easy clicks. With your own inbox you can send and receive songs – you can ‘star’ favorites and let your wireless connection share info between your devices. It’s now even more about sharing, and who doesn’t want great, daily recommendations from other music lovers around their social network? Read about the release and get excited. Soon, when the US will get access, I’m seriously saying that Apple and iTunes will have a hard time competing. This is by far one of the greatest softwares I have ever experienced, and I do like to pride myself in good things that are Swedish. Let the music free!