Not moving so fast

My view at the moment. Far from stores and public beaches.

It’s Wednesday and we have talked about going to the store as well as doing a bit of sightseeing in town and by the beach. But it’s just not happening. We’re reading, sunbathing and chilling out instead.

Today’s breakfast.

A thought crossed my mind as I am laying in the sun: too bad the house owners don’t have bikes we could use. It would be so great to ride bikes on the small roads around here. And then I realized that maybe it’s very good there are no bikes – so we get to see and explore the area and nature at a slower pace instead of trying to cover as much ground as possible.

Anders during a hike the other day. The big house with the pool is where we stay.

There are so many sounds, smells, birds, plants and flowers to experience. The wind, the warmth of the sun and all different colors.

Lots of love,

Wivan 

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After breakfast

Sunrise, before my breakfast

This Thursday holds many possibilities, as most days do. Sometimes we might forget all the possible things to do, be, have or find – because we are busy planning or thinking about plans.

Now I have had vacation for almost two weeks, been at home all the time and enjoyed sleeping until the daylight comes – no alarm clock and no routines, just take the day as it is. Still there have been some planning going on: when to visit grandma, what day to go to the gym, calling to a office-person on certain hours and celebrating New Year on the exact day and time – that takes planning!

Coffee grinder

This morning I remembered what one of our friends in France use to say when we ask what’s on today’s schedule.

– After breakfast, he says.

No decisions until he’s had breakfast. Of course, he does have days that are planned: going to the market on Saturday or when friends are coming for dinner etc. But when it’s a blank day in the calendar, it’s always ‘after breakfast’.

Green breakfast smoothie with banana, spinach, avocado, raspberries, water, chili and ginger

Before breakfast today I took a walk and decided to not make any plans until I had eaten my breakfast. So here I am, finishing up my coffee, rice cakes and smoothie – with no idea of what comes next in this day.

Bialetti coffee maker doing its job

I love to play in life – not always being so serious or “grown up”. This too is a way of playing: to see what really wants to unfold today.

My morning meal is almost finished and I am excited to find out what comes out of this day!

//Wivan

Details vs. bigger picture

Zooming in.

Have you thought about what picture you tend to look at if you face a problem, struggle or meet resistance in life?

The bigger picture.

Are you one who usually look at the small pieces, details and close-ups to find fault?

Or do you see a greater view, the wider horizon and how it all comes together in the long run?

Do you see one mis-colored apple, or the whole picture?

My experience is that some of us look for details, search for faults and problems without trying to see the greater picture: how it all comes together.

How would a greater view effect our conclusions and decisions about a person, a relationship or a situation instead of judging it from the past hour, day or week?

Could looking at it from a broader horizon help us be a bit more patient with ourselves and others? Maybe. Probably.

View: a greater perspective.

Sometimes if I think I am stuck, or I belive that there are only tiny pieces, not a large puzzle, it really helps to try and lift my head up or step up on a chair (or climb a hill) just to get another view – both another view of the thing in particular but also on my small thinking or what I believe my struggles are.

This was a sweaty and hard early morning climb.

This also works as a mental excercise when stuck – take a mental step back, or remind yourself of a longer time perspective and see what possibilities that opens up for you.

Was it worth the climb? Oh, yes!

Maybe a friend, collegue or someone in your family can help you see a bigger picture if you find yourself totally stuck.

Wivan 

Again: the little things

The beach in Åhus at 7.30 pm

From our traveling life to a more “common” lifestyle with work, routines and a (or two) more long-term place to stay.

During the past four weeks I’ve been working full time, living at friends’ and going home to Aspö and Anders during the weekends. It’s rather intense and I meet a lot of people while working, and yet I feel like it’s vacation quite often!

Low season at the gym = lots of space!

Maybe it’s because I appreciate many of the the small things, like bringing my own high quality coffee to work, or that I make sure to exercise regularly, or because I am outside daily and love to be able to take a swim after work.

Tex mex dinner with friends

Simply put, I do what I can to notice all the good in life, make sure to take care of myself with enough sleep, good food and routines, and to play with the daily to-dos and not get too stuck in “should, could, would”.

Breakfast at home, and a full day together with Anders!

Whatever the combination is, part of it is to take care of the basics to make sure this person is well, and to remember and notice beauty in the little everyday things.

Practicing on our slackline

And for me, it’s very important to play, learn new things and to be around people I love.

Take care and notice what’s important to you, and all the beauty you have around the corner!

Xoxo,

Wivan 

These youngsters…

Breakfast in London XX years ago

… Were us some 10 years ago. The picture was taken when we had breakfast at a friend’s place, whom was living in London back then.

I look at the picture that our friend recently found and sent me. At first I could hardly recognize the people in it, we looked different and maybe most of all I can somehow read our faces and eyes and see how different we were on the inside.

Interesting, and good to see – when wondering how much have changed or in what direction we’re moving, we sometimes need to look back and compare before we can see what the difference is.

2016

In the same spirit, I look back into my memory and remember what I felt like less than three weeks ago and realize how much much much better my back is!

Warm feet after lots of walking

Happy Thursday!

//Wivan 

Before leaving Colorado

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Me and niece E on Mount Royal

Yesterday and today I got to do a couple of hikes, as I had hoped for but not really planned into the non-existing schedule of mine.
Yesterday it was only me, and this morning my niece and I left the house a little after 4 am to see the sun rise over the mountains.

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Before sunrise

Let me say, it’s a bit rough to wake the body up by climbing uphill in the dark at 4.30 in the morning.

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The top of Mount Royal before sunrise

It was so worth it, though!

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We got to wait a bit before we saw Miss Sunshine

And if the climb was a bit hard at times, it’s at the same time a great metaphor for life – sometimes we walk in the dark, only seeing what’s in reach of the headlight. As you continue walking, the light helps you see further and eventually the surroundings lightens up.

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How the sun warms up both people and mountains

This was a great start of the day with many hours of traveling ahead of me.

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Beautiful natural sculptures on Mount Royal

Yesterday I realized how good these three weeks in Colorado has been – every day I have done things that I like, and I’ve gotten to spend my time very freely.

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My day-pack is pimped with some new stuff

Until next time!
//Wivan

When enough is enough

Regarding the money: we will not send you any money. If you are looking for economic help you need to find someone else.

Usually I prefer to be polite and nice when writing letters, but today I had enough and went for the very clear line above.

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We payed for this roof repair

Since leaving Sri Lanka we have kept an e-mail conversation going between us and “our” Sri Lankan family. They asked us for money (€500) to celebrate their New Year in April, and last week we recieved another e-mail where they asked for money to buy a three-wheeler/tuktuk.

Living in the Western world, under circumstances not  possible to compare to how the locals in Weligama live, it was very hard for us in the beginning not to give money every day when we were there. But bit by bit, we learned about the culture, their habits and thought a lot about what actually would help in the long run.
And sorry to say; giving money is most likely not a long-term solution for people in a developing country.

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Some fishing boats are owned by Europeans

When speaking to help-organizations and finding out how they work, it’s seldom money but education that helps over time.
For us, it seemed like teaching English to  locals was a good thing – when they speak better English, it’s easier for them to go into the tourism industry that’s about to boom.

Another thing would be to talk about saving money, to have a small amount at hand when something unpredictable happens (or when the rain period comes, as it does every year). Many people in the villages live from day to day. Regarding teaching people about economy, we got stuck in language difficulties. As we did when having ideas of different ways to make money.
So it seemed to always come back to the language.

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Food market in Sri Lanka

Anyways, today I decided to be very clear about our view of sending money. Usually Anders and I discuss this before sending, but today I just had enough and wrote an answer directly.

We are now realizing why some people asked us in the beginning if these family members were taking such good care of us just because they wanted our money. Many Westerners have had experiences like ours, and ended up giving, giving, giving. And I would prefer to actually help the development in some way, maybe by finding some good material for learning English that we could send them. Perhaps something on DVD so they not only read but also can hear the language.

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The English memory game I made for practice with village girls

Today I practice saying ‘no’ when enough is enough.
//Wivan