Less things, less mess

Might need a sofa in this living room

This week I moved in to a small house/apartment in Kristianstad, where I will be working this fall. Anders will also live here some days and then we still have our small home at the island of Aspö too. Yes, it’s very different from our traveling life over the past years, and still this is quite a different way of living compared to our own house and all of that.

My bed, and soon another mattress will arrive

When driving the car I have borrowed, filled with stuff from our storage, I remembered the wonderful feeling of deciding to live with less stuff, and not become to eager to have a “perfect” home – it becomes less complicated. And with less things, you also make less of a mess. There simply aren’t enough things to make that big of a mess any more!

Me and a mattress

So, of course when staying in a place over time, it’s comfortable to have a good set of basics for cooking, clearing etc. But it’s also lots of fun to create and make a small place work out with second hand furniture, to only bring out what’s absolutely neccesary and what you actually use, or know you will use in a short future.

Small but will work fine for a basic life

These insights and perspective on what’s actually needed and how much luxury we live in have gotten stronger after traveling to countries where people live quite different from us in the West.

Mending a roof in Sri Lanka

Ok, time to get some sleep!

Enjoy your small and big luxury in life.

Love,

Wivan 

A new phase

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Drying laundry

Today I pack and prepare to go to Åhus, where I’ll live during the week-days this summer when working in Kristianstad.

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Packing

Since it’s eight weeks, it takes a bit of planning, and yet not that big of a deal since I will be home most weekends.

It certainly is a new phase for us though, to live apart more and for me to work full time.

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Last night's dinner preparations

I have already signed up to work until next February, so it’s a phase or change that’s a bit more long term than we’ve been used to over the past years.

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Some sunny days together

So, again, reminding myself of the changes in life that always come, that anything can happen at any given moment and it’s just to ride along and see what comes.

Scared, excited, humble and grateful.

Love,
Wivan

Early flying bird

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Stretch before take off

Went to bed early last night, and woke up at 4 am and couldn’t really go back to sleep. It’s ok though, I’ll gave plenty of time to nap along this trip to Denver.

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New bag tag! #pride

Started the day with some stretching and a little exercise, and a light breakfast. Super smooth to go from my friend’s place to Copenhagen airport Kastrup; in one hour after leaving her place I was checked in and had passed security!

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Belt off for security check

So now I am having my second breakfast and it’s more than an hour and a half before take off.
Might go to the “family area” for some stretching and playing ;).

Have a fun day!
//Wivan

The journey has begun

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Walking with two backpacks

Today I started my journey bound for Denver, Colorado. The plane doesn’t leave until tomorrow, but I’ll be spending the night in Malmö at a friend’s.
It’s been a couple of intense days before leaving Anders and the island this morning. I’ve applied for a part-time job for this coming fall, and getting the application ready has been very stressful. Totally out of my comfort zone to follow the given rules for applying and to manage to update my cv.
The good thing is I made it, and next time it probably won’t be as hard.

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Grandma choosing cookies

Before getting on the train, I visited grandma and we went out for a “fika” (coffee and a cookie) and did some shopping.

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Great way to keep track of the passport

Now it’s a three hour train ride, and I am happy to have some tricks to help me organize the packing, especially when doing a stop for a night before flying.

I love my little plastic bag that holds the passport, vaccination card and a pen – very often when traveling one needs to fill out forms, so keeping a pen together with the passport (and later also the boarding card) comes handy.

Before take off I’ll save the address and other details on where I am going, in case that is needed for any paper work, or if it’s needed for transportation. I save those things in a document on my phone, where I can reach it offline and I don’t need to hold on to a bunch of papers.

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Kitchen cabinet at home

Three weeks away from Anders and our home in Sweden is ahead, and I have mixed emotions about that.
It’s been so great to have a home base since we got back to Sweden, and Anders and I haven’t been apart for this long since last September.

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Anders and the soap bubbles

Ok, I promise to update during the trip, and let you know what’s cooking in Colorado these days.
Haven’t been there since 2007, but have met with my brother and his family in Sweden instead over those years.

Ciao for now!
//Wivan

Shifting tempo

It’s interesting to see how a shift of tempo effects so many areas; thinking, eating, walking, talking.

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A lot of drawing last weekend

Since a few days I’ve spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s to help and look after her because she’s been ill. Mostly I’ve been keeping her company to just be around if she needs me. Quiet, still and slow. Time to slow down, reflect and not do so much.

Now it’s time for me to work for a few more days and the tempo has shifted; getting up early, packing, walking quickly, being on time, producing and keeping a deadline.

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Going to town

For me, the shifts are good to have, it gives perspective and helps me appreciate both the slower times and the faster. Work and rest. Company and time alone. Walking slowly and running. Organize/booking and having no plans.

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Grandma's flowers

What shifts in your life do you appreciate the most? Is there balance between the different tempos, or is it too much or too little of something?

Wake up to the tempo of your life.
With love,
Wivan

Weekday thoughts

Here comes honesty:
Being back in Sweden is both wonderful and at times hard. For me, being here arises many questions – a lot about the future and what I really want with my life. And it’s great to be able to take time being slightly confused.

It’s so nice to be around family members and loved friends; it helps me being more relaxed and that’s probably one of the reasons why these questions sometimes arise.

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Easter decoration

Spending time with other people is also a very good way to see our own patterns, thoughts and responses to situations. Like a magnifying glass right in front of us. Often, as humans, we look at those “magnifying times” as painful or hard, but one can also see it as great learning and gifts.

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Our "what-we-want-in-Sweden-lists"

Today I bring out the lists of what we longed for to do, eat and who to see that we wrote when we had decided to leave Sri Lanka and go back to Sweden. It’s a great way to remember what we love and have missed while being away.
We have already done many things on those lists, and yet it’s so much left!

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Easter lunch - lots of the foods we love

Still we are taking things slowly and easy, no need to rush and do all at once. So, the unpacking and moving into the house we have rented at mom’s place is done one step at a time.

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Soap bubbles, lots of them!

There always has to be space for fun and peaceful things, like soap bubbles and laughter.

With love,
Wivan – who’s now off to the store to buy foods to put on the grill!

KIS(S)

Keep It Simple (Stupid).

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Beauty

Constantly reminded, and happy to have seen so many contrasts, we try and keep things simple even if we are back in Sweden and have decided to settle down for a while.

Here, in Northern Europe, much of the basics for living are so comfortable and it’s easy to get caught up in making perfect or comparing with others.

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Simple packing

After living with less things and constantly coming to new places, we try to remember to let life and the experience be in the center rather than making the outer things perfect. It’s more important, to us, to have fun, feel relaxed and meet ourselves and other with compassion and love. When caught up in the spinning wheel of “should have, could have, would have”, those basics are easy to run away from. Maybe we all of a sudden believe in the thoughts of all we “should” do, have or be, instead of asking ourselves what is important and joyful to us.

Keeping it simple can be done in many parts of life: how much foods we buy and store, what to pack for trips and traveling, when communicating with others, in the planning of activities and every day life, how we interact and play with kids (and how many toys, activities and things they “need”), how we design our home and how perfect we want it, social life, to what degree we engage in and at work, and more.

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Train ride to get to Gnesta

When packing to go north to visit my dad and extra mom, I found myself worrying about what to bring, and then I was reminded about the simplicity we’ve had during the long-time travels abroad; if something is missing – either borrow or buy what I need, or be without. And it’s very rarely so important that I can’t be without for a few days.

It also is very good to only unpack what we truly want and miss from the storage; there are many things that are still in the boxes! And I mostly wear the same clothes I’ve had in the past six months, only some warm hats, jackets and underwear is added.

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Today snow!

When in doubt, we think of our life and the friends and family in Sri Lanka where the expression ‘less is more’ felt more real than ever.

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Kitchen "cabinet" in Sri Lanka

//Wivan

Who’s counting?

After sorting through some of our stuff last night, and this morning, we have found things we need and look forward to use again, and other things we don’t need at the moment – and some that eventually will be given to charity or thrown away.

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Hrmmmm, some stuff

When packing, unpacking, lifting and sorting among the boxes, I found myself trying to make some type of conclusion from it all. Something like: “If we have X number of boxes, it means that we own things to fill X square meters of living space”, or “If we get rid of X number of things, we own even less and that makes us more free”.

And then I remembered what Anders use to say: ‘Who’s counting?!?’
By that he simply questions the truth in whatever counting or number conclusion I or someone else makes.
It can be when a friend have heard of a person who only uses 100 pieces of clothing (in total), and she wants to try to do the same. Or when I say that I will do 40 repetitions of each exercise because I want to be prepared until I am 40 years old. Or when something becomes very specific in numbers just because… (blogging every day for a 100 days, eating five fruits per day, saying hello to three new people every day, ten steps to more happiness, trying one new dish every week…).

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Lifting, lifting

It’s not that numbers aren’t relevant, it’s just that when we focus so much on one specific number, we might become obsessed and a bit blind to what really serves us in the moment. What if I feel like doing more push-ups – should I avoid it? Or if you have lots of inspiration and energy – why only do ten pages of home work? If you have many other things distracting you, maybe it’s better to do what you had planned at another time, if it’s possible?

So, the number of boxes we have in our storage don’t mean anything, unless we give it meaning. Sometimes a specific time limit or number is really good, as a guide line or help for a certain reason.

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Someone elses moving truck...

All we can do is what feels right for us, not for someone else. So if wearing only five items of clothing for a week feels inspiring to you, go ahead! The thing is to do it by choice and not because someone else is doing it, or tells you it’s the only way to show commitment, being environmentally friendly or it’s the cool way to be.

So, me not using Facebook for one year and two days isn’t very interesting, is it? Because – who’s counting?!

//Wivan

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Out on a walk

Totally unexpected

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A long night of repacking

When waking up this morning none of us knew that we would drive to our former home-town Höör and almost empty our storage and repack many of the boxes to get what we want to have close by nowadays.

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We got to borrow mom's car

Neither did we know we would rent a trailer to bring all the boxes and a few pieces of furniture. Or that we would rent a new, smaller storage (downsizing again!!!) closer to where we stay for the coming months.

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Loading boxes

None of us knew, and yet we made it happen!

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This is what's left in Höör

We need some of our warmer clothes, and since we’re staying until September, at least,  in the same place, we want to make it a little more our own. Some kitchen ware, linen and other details are now being integrated with what’s already in the small house we stay in.

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On the ferry this morning

It’s rather cool to see our reactions to the things we still have, and when reading the inventory list we’re quite clear about what is neccesary and what we really want – everything else is still in boxes and will be stored until we’re ready to either settle down or get rid of those things.

Now time to rest!
// Wivan and Anders

Ready for take off

Or as ready as can be. Bags are packed, we had a swim in the ocean before breakfast, yesterday we gave small presents to the closest friends here and we will get a ride in a car to the airport this afternoon.
It’s both nice and sad to leave, as it is most of the time in life. Ups and downs,  good and bad, happy and sad.

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Out bying spices to bring

For us, it feels like we’ll come back to Sri Lanka in the future. But life here, and the look of things will most certainly change a lot over the coming years – tourism is yet in the beginning of what’s to come.

We are so grateful for the possibility to be here this time, with the people we have met and to experience a place so beautiful and nice, yet unspoilt. Genuine, that probably is a good word to describe it. Experiences, people and the food feels genuine.

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Last night with the family

So, what awaits us now? More than 24 hours of traveling; car, planes and train.
And then we arrive in Karlskrona and take the ferry out to the small island of Aspö where we’ll be living the coming 6 months. (as the plan looks now).

How it will feel to land in the +1 degree weather? We don’t know. Sweaters are packed to access easily in the hand luggage, and we have asked mom to lend us some hats and socks as we arrive on the island.

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Yesterday I went with a friend who got a haircut

In the bags we bring memories and presents from people here in Weligama, and our wet swim suits!

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After surfing a few weeks ago