It’s been three years

Today, three years ago, we signed over our house in Höör, drove from Sweden to France and started our first house-sit assignment.

At first I wrote four years – maybe because so much has happened during these years, or maybe because my math-skills aren’t perfect…

Last night Anders started showing old blog posts, and so many memories came back from our years of traveling, house sitting, exploring and living a different way than before. I don’t think he even was aware of the anniversary, he just likes to bring out those memories and tresure them now and then. It’s also a great way to remember people we’ve met, stories we’ve heard and stay grateful to it all.

The journey of changing our lifestyle, trying out a new attitude towards living, and taking huge leaps of faith started long before 2014 though.

We’ve worked a lot with our dreams and visions for our lives, daring to question what’s actually important and what’s not. And we still are. Though we’re now back in Sweden, living a rather ordinary life, we still ask ourselves what we love doing, what’s important and remind ourselves we don’t have to do things just because we think it’s “expected” from us.

Last night we started to talk about the arrival of our baby in February next year, and again we realized it’s impossible to know what life’s going to look like after that. We simply can’t plan because we’ve got no idea of how it will effect us, what our baby’s going to need and what new great ideas and possibilities might come along. (ok, we do understand the basic needs of a newborn baby, but we don’t know who this little individual is).

We could go on posting tons of photos, but here are just a few from our adventures the past years.

So we’ll just keep balancing through life, putting one foot in front of the other.

House sit, recovery and sunshine

Now it’s begun. Our house- and dog sit outside of Negombo on the Western coast of Sri Lanka. The owner will be gone for about a week, and usually we don’t take on assignments that are shorter than two weeks, but since we had already decided to go to Sri Lanka we thought that this would be a good exception.

image

Daisy and Jazzie

And the timing is perfect! We’ve both caught a cold, Anders has a wound on his foot, I have some sensations of an ear infection and my voice is almost gone – it’s simply time for us to rest and recover a bit. To be able do that in a comfortable, very big house with a nice kitchen, comfortable bed, good living room and easy-going dogs is perfect. We’re a bit away from the hustle of touristy Negombo, which we of course like; a more quiet life with a genuine local community suits us better than the cities and towns adjusted to suit tourists.

image

"Our house" the coming week

This is a bit of a flash-back to our time in Bali last November, when we too were “forced” to slow down and integrate all the experiences and insights, happenings and outings into our beings.

image

Three cups of ayurvedic Samahan a day

We’re becoming more and more cool about this ‘nothing much is happening-state’ of being. Anders have always been ok with it and I have started to enjoy it too! And as long as the tourists or “world travelers” with huge plans stay away from us with their guide books and stop telling what things we just HAVE to go see it’s perfectly quiet and calm around us with locals smiling and noticing we’re not the regular Tourist People. (Usually other people have a lot of opinions on what we should see and do, whereas we’re doing our nomadic life/traveling a bit different than most).

image

Inside the mosquito net tent

So, let’s chill out, enjoy whatever sensations come and be at ease with the knowledge that everything changes.

Happy Friday folks!
// Wivan

image

Painting in the house

A little bit lonely – travelers’ life?

image

Breakfast on the street

Over the past weeks, pretty much since we left Bali, both of us at times have missed having people to talk to and to get to know. In Bali we met so many warm, kind people caring for us, interested in getting to know us regardless of if we speak the same language or not.
In Thailand there were other tourists and travelers and they rarely seemed interested in getting to know new people, and most of the locals were more into “selling to tourists” than open to becoming friends with a couple of Swedes.

image

New friend!

Now, being in a large city, it up at moments – we are a bit lonely. The big plus is that this city is wide open, welcoming and easy to get around. But most people have their lives going already and are in the middle of something. Meeting strangers on the street isn’t really on their agenda. We would need to be part of something, take a course or get into a community to make others notice us here.

image

Our great duo

We guess it’s different too, since we’re not staying in hostels where it’s usually a more sharing atmosphere and people traveling alone also go there. Since we’re a couple, we always have each other and that might close us off to some who don’t want to interfere or get in the way of our twosome.

image

Bathing an elephant and talking to the others

In Thailand, when we went for some tours, both of us were the smiling, chatty people trying to strike up a conversation… It was a bit funny when we realized it after a while!

image

Reminder

This has also made us realize that as humans it is important to be part of something, to be recognized every now and then, to have someone to talk to. For us that are traveling for a long period, it’s very good to see this so clearly as we do now, because then we can act on it. We want to find places and activities where we can be part of something, and our new-found interest for diving might be one of those. To be able to meet with friends, like we did the other week, is awesome. And our Skype sessions with friends and family members, the messages and e-mails that we send and receive really mean something and are precious to us. And, as a matter of fact, this blog is important. We know you are reading and following our journey, it is an outlet for thoughts, insights, creativity, sharing and questions we have. And every now and then there is a comment or an e-mail from someone who wants to talk about a subject, or who just wants to say hi.

image

Great fun cooking with Ploy in Khao Lak

So, to all of you who read this: to all of our friends, to our families: Thank you! You are important, you make a difference and we are grateful for you being part of our lives in one way or another.

With lots of love,

Anders and Wivan

image

Morning boat ride in Bali

5 hours in Singapore airport

image

Anders happy in a shop

This airport is a adventure all on its own. Like a shopping mall mixed with a spa. Cinema theatre, restaurants and nap rooms.

image

Merry Christmas signs everywhere

The flight from Bali went well. I was a bit nervous about my ear, but the treatment I did for three days worked well, and now after 5+ hours I’m ready to go up in the air again.

image

Fresh salad at Japanese buffé

We’ve only been in Transfer Terminal 2.

image

Star Wars movie anyone?

Anders was happy to look around in all the tech-stores in the airport, and we were both amazed by the indoor gardens.

image

Living orchids in the airport

Had to take one picture like the locals…

image

Yey! Here we are!

Soon time for boarding, and we’ll arrive in a rainy Phuket at 8 pm local time. Then a taxi to Khao Lak, where we have booked a place for two nights.

Then we’ll see what happens!

//Wivan and Anders

image

...

image

Yeah.

Ready to fly!

image

Green pancakes and fruit breakfast

Packing downsized, we have 15 kg each in the big backpacks, and the smaller weigh around 7-8 kg each.

So, we managed to reduce the amount of things and the size of the packing during our stay here in Bali.

image

Bags ready for take off

We have given some things away, thrown away whats no longer in good shape and finished some of the food we had, as well as some bottles of shampoo etc.

image

Mango tree

Soon time for pick up!
Next stop: Singapore, and then Thailand.

#Ubud

image

Through the mountains

This Sunday morning we actually “moved out” from our hotel in Pemuteran on northern Bali, to go and try out Ubud for a couple of days before leaving Bali for this time.
Our driver took us on a scenic tour over the mountains, passning the Twin Lakes and the lake temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan where we also made a stop.

image

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

It’s a road that certainly needs a good driver with calm nerves; the road is narrow and goes up, down and winds around rice fields, coconut trees, houses and shops along the road.

image

Shops popping up everywhere

With Anders tendency for motion sickness (like on winding roads), and Wivan on medication against an ear infection, the trip was a bit challenging. But stopping to take pictures, see the lakes and visiti the temple made good breaks with fresh air, and it all felt like one long field trip – so much to see just from the car.

image

Wivan and one of the lakes

image

Anders at the temple site

So, finally we made it to Ubud. A place we thought of going to first of all, but change of plans have kept us by the coast our entire three and a half weeks in Bali.

image

Anders and the guitar girl

Directly after arriving at the home stay we had booked in central Ubud, the daughter of the owners came and started talking. She brought out her guitar and she and Anders shared a moment of music magic together on the porch outside the house.

image

Walking in Ubud

So, now we have some time to experience a small part of Ubud before leaving for Thailand on Tuesday morning. We’ll fly to Phuket and probably go on to some smaller place to stay for a couple of weeks. Mid December it’s time for house and cat sitting in Singapore over Christmas and New Years.

image

One of many streets in Ubud

But, now we are here, in Ubud, taking in the local atmosphere and way of living.

// Anders and Wivan

Birthday and Open water divers

image

Pretty decoration of our bed

Yesterday we celebrated Wivan’s 37th birthday here in Pemuteran on Bali, and today we finished our Padi-course to become certified Open Water Divers down to 18 meters.

image

Three intense days are over

So, it’s been a few very intense and fun days.

The staff at the hotel made some lovely surprises yesterday, serving a chocolate cake and singing after our dives, and had also decorated our bed extra special.

image

Coffee on the beach

Tonight we’re ready to have a night “off” after the course, and maybe maybe we’ll dive again on Friday.

Lots of love,
Anders and Wivan

Peaceful gratitude and palm trees

image

Sunset in Lovina

The sun is slowly setting and I see the sky turning pink above the palm trees outside the stone wall behind “our” pool. It’s a beautiful stillness and the noise from the street is shifting from the daytime activity to a calmer, more content type of off-duty-sound of kids playing, people preparing food and someone chanting a prayer.

image

Global Village Kafé in Lovina

We’ve visited a new favorite restaurant/café/meeting place called Global Village Kafé here in Lovina. A truly inspiring setting with lots of little spaces within the restaurant, a project that supports less fortunate families and children here in Bali and the basic value of Global Village Kafé is that every person has the same right to live free, safe and be accepted. They not only sell and serve great food and coffee (best coffee we’ve had in many, many weeks), but also different art pieces, jewelry, organic soap and shampoo, naturally made insect repellent and other things.

image

Part of the shop/restaurant

The staff is very friendly and we enjoy being in such an inspiring environment all together. As a matter of fact, we’ve been there twice already, and we’ll go again before leaving Lovina. Anders will order the same dish as the other times – his new favorite Mie Goreng (fried noodles with vegetables), and I will continue praising their coffee and look at all their things.

image

Mie Goreng at Global Village

image

The statement

image

The counter at the café

From Amed to Lovina, north Bali

image

Our driver Kari picked us up

This morning it was time to go further north, and then west to reach Lovina on the north coast of Bali. We had heard that northern Bali has less tourists, and not as much development as southern and eastern parts.

image

A mountain we passed

It was a nice trip, mainly along good roads and with the same driver as last time. We got to see many people, scooters, small shops, ocean views and different trees along the way. Here in Bali it’s rather common to not only rent a car, but also a driver, and this far we are more than happy to do so. Traffic here runs on the left side of the road, and it’s often busy with lots of things happening at the same time, and the signs of where to go are rather hard to find, if there are any.

image

"Our" street in Lovina

To turn off the main road through Lovina, onto the smaller street with the house we’ve rented, was like coming to another world. A narrow, rather quiet little street that reaches down to the ocean eventually.

image

View towards the mountains

Arriving here, we came to the Bali we had thought of and hoped for all along. A place where it’s possible to walk without being run over or all the time have heavy traffic passing, and the ocean is close by.

image

On the beach to have lunch

The main road still is rather loud with lots of motor vehicles, but there are side-walks!

image

Watch your step!

Yesterday we were lucky to find a super nice place to rent for five nights, a little more expensive than what we had in Kuta and Amed, but it seemed to be very nice. And it is!

image

We have a private pool!

The last two stays here in Bali costed ca €20-22 per night (for the both of us), and this one in Lovina about €34 per night. This and the last place includes breakfast, free coffee and tea during the day, and staff that manages everything around the house and helps out with booking of trips, driver, massage etc.

image

Our front door

Here we have an entire two-bedroom villa with a private pool all to ourselves. And there’s a few work-out machines, two bathrooms, and tomorrow morning we will go with the house keeper to the local market to buy ingredients for her to cook us a Balinese meal, so we can learn how to. This is something we’re very excited about!

image

The small outdoor kitchen

All in all, we’re more than happy and have both been like 10-years old when splashing around in the pool, enjoying our own little place!

Warm greetings from Lovina,

Anders & Wivan

From Kuta to Amed

image

Rice fields along the road

The drive was a lot longer than we had thought and luckily we had a good driver and comfortable car to ride in.
It was so nice to see more than just city views during the way from Kuta to Amed here on Bali.

image

At the water temple

Kari, the driver, asked if we wanted to see a water temple and when we said yes he stopped at Taman Tirtagangga to show us around a bit.

image

Water garden below the temple

In many places it seems like the tourists only get to see parts of the temples or gardens, and traditional clothing is usually required. So we looked at the garden and the beauty of it, and then went on driving.

image

Stepping stones above the fish pond

Since we had some language difficulties, we didn’t get much information about the place as such but rather just enjoyed being there.

image

Welcome juice at our stay

We were very happy to come to our little inn where we’ll stay until Sunday. It’s right on the beach, quite simple and super friendly owners and staff. All of a sudden we were playing with the owners’ baby, and talking with the dog.

image

A coral reef just outside our stay

From our room it’s about 50 meters down to the water, and a bit further out the reef is ready to greet us when snorkling. The water here in the bay of Amed is warm. Really warm and one can lay down and relax floating without getting cold.

image

Sunset behind clouds and mountain

The sunset was beautiful to watch, and to sit on the beach at night, listening to live music in the dark was truly an awsome ending of the day.

image

Ready to sit down

We are so grateful for what we have and what we get to experience along our life, and for all the people we meet.

Until next time,
Anders and Wivan