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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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).

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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

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Painting in the house

A little bit lonely – travelers’ life?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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Morning boat ride in Bali

5 hours in Singapore airport

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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.

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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.

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Fresh salad at Japanese buffé

We’ve only been in Transfer Terminal 2.

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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.

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Living orchids in the airport

Had to take one picture like the locals…

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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

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...

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Yeah.

Ready to fly!

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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.

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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.

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Mango tree

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

#Ubud

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wivan and one of the lakes

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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