Winter in Sweden

Afternoon in Åhus, Sweden

The past two years we’ve spent the winter abroad, we’ve been in France, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

This year we’ve decided to stay in Sweden for several reasons. It’s a choice we’re happy with, though our thoughts often touch the warm beaches we’ve been to and our bodies long for sunshine and fresh fruit.

Dressed for a day at the beach in Sweden in December

Who knows what the future brings, maybe we’ll staying in a sunny and warm place again next year.

Frosty morning some weeks ago

For now, we treasure the days of sunshine and try to get outside during daylight every day. (Sweden is rather dark this time of year).

Morning at Aspö

Hope you enjoy your days wherever you are!

//Wivan and Anders

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Back in…

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Jungle beach

Both of us are a bit tired after a day of discussing, packing and changing plans yesterday, and a long day of traveling today. Now we’ve arrived in… Weligama! (again)
Yes, there was a plan of going inland to Kandy, Ella and other places, but when thinking of seeing new places all the time, learning about history and move every two nights, we realized what we really want is to settle down a while.

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Colombo Fort Railway station Sunday morning

Train rides here are always a bit humbling to us, and filled with learning about cultures, people, ourselves, heat, comforts and luxuries in the West.

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Inside Colombo Fort Railway station

After an hour’s delay even before departure, and with us standing in the isle and no fans onboard, it was nice to roll out of the city and watch the ocean outside of the train.

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Walking from the train towards Weligama city center

When arriving in Weligama, a couple of tuktuk drivers tried to give us tourist prices for a ride, but since we know the area and what’s a reasonable price, we walked down the street and found another driver to take us for the price we offered.

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View from a beach close to the hotel

We got a room at our favorite hotel for the coming night, and tomorrow we’ll go house shopping, hoping to find someplace to rent for the coming month or so.

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Happy to see Mona surfing

The family we’ve spent so much time with here were very happy to have us back and soon had arranged a wonderful dinner for us at their house.

Now our “challenge” is to tell them how much we love them and all of their care, and that we still want to do some cooking for ourselves and that we like to have some time on our own too.

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Did you know that four backpacks and two people fit into one tuktuk?!

Ok, time for some sleep – hopefully without noisy roosters and village entertainment in outdoor speakers!

Lots of salt water and sunshine,
Anders and Wivan

The Plan for 2016

Map, guide books, notebook, coffee cup and a postcard

Map, guide books, notebook, coffee cup and a postcard

There is no exact plan. But we have some sketches and ideas and a few dates that are set. Now, when we’re exploring this warm water, sunny beach-and-palm tree-area of South East Asia, we take one step at a time. Our next destination, Sri Lanka, was a choice of where there’s dry season and good diving in January/February. Then we checked out the visa rules and from there we took the next step of booking tickets, checking out places to stay and did some basic research.

Anders making air rings

Anders making air rings

On the 8th of February it’s Chinese New Year and lots of people have vacation the weeks before and after. Several friends have told us to consider our choice of place to stay during that period because it can get very crowded at tourist areas. So, we might extend our visas for Sri Lanka and stay in some quiet location during Chinese New Year. We’ll see what happens within the coming weeks.

Singapore getting ready for Chinese New Year

Singapore getting ready for Chinese New Year

The next set date we have is late May or beginning of June, when we’re going to a family reunion in the US and one of our nephews is graduating from high school. And then, after that… there’s a plan of going to Sweden over the summer and Wivan wants to work during the summer. After that we don’t know! Probably we’ll want to go someplace warm again the next fall and winter, but we haven’t decided yet. And we don’t know if we’ll be working or doing volunteer work, if we’ll continue to just explore life and living or if we’ll be diving and surfing around the globe like the beach bums we are becoming.

Wivan jumping into a river in Bali

Wivan jumping into a river in Bali

We have decided to live and use our money while we can and still have a lust to explore and try different ways of living and locations. Our commitment is to live life fully, to follow our dreams even if it’s different from how “most people” do things. To give ourselves and each other space to grow as people and to see what happens when we follow our inner longings.

Anders after snorkling in Lovina, Bali

Anders after snorkling in Lovina, Bali

It’s a privilege to be able to live like this, and to have the means of time and money to be able to, and it’s also a choice to not have a house of our own or to settle down again just yet.

Wivan freediving in Lovina, Bali

Wivan freediving in Lovina, Bali

There are ups and downs of living on “the road” like this, and something we experience now is that we miss seeing friends and family, and to have people to hang out with. Sure, we love spending time on our own and to have lots of quiet moments, but there’s also a need of being around other people.

After sliding down a waterfall in Bali

After sliding down a waterfall in Bali

We welcome the year of 2016 with all that it might bring, and we are open to learn, listen and try. Our intention is to live with our hearts and minds open, to make choices from clear “YES!”-answers rather than what’s logic – and we’re curious to see how that effects us and the world around.

Morning boat ride in Bali, November 2015

Morning boat ride in Bali, November 2015

With lots of love,
Anders and Wivan

Happy 2016

Hi,

Just wanted to check in and say ‘hi’, wishing you a great start of 2016 and hope you’re doing well.

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Breakfast 1st of January

We’re still doing our cat sit in Singapore and have one week left. In the past few days we’ve been doing a bit of touring, we’ve celebrated a quiet New Year’s Eve in the apartment, and started this new year with quite a bit of rain in this shopping-obsessed city.

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By the Singapore river

In a week’s time we’re leaving to get some more beach life, and this time we’re trying out Sri Lanka for the first time in our lives! What we’ve heard is that there’s some really good diving and surfing there, and of course we want to see some of the tea plants, and the cultural history. But mostly we look forward to sunshine and chillaxin’.

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Bronson the cat, chillaxin'

Ok, we’ll be back again soon. Take care and have fun!

// Wivan and Anders

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Board games on New Years Eve

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View from Marina Bay Sands 57th floor

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Posing in Gardens by the bay

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Cartoon café

5th of December

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Pretty flowers

It’s fathers day, and the King’s birthday, here in Thailand today. That’s an official holiday, but it doesn’t really affect a tourist city like Khao Lak that much.

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Palm trees

The past days Anders has been resting to recover from a sore throat, so the days are spent rather quiet and simple.

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Afternoon walk to the beach

I’ve been on the beach most mornings; walking, reading and swimming.

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Sunset

Today I also went down to see the sunset, and have a couple of more dips in the ocean.

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Family watching the sunset

The setting changes all the time, depending on light, clouds, tide, rain and sun.

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Sun, water, clouds

Gratitude and peace of mind, lots of love and compassion.
//Wivan

The ever present

Many of us still remember clearly what we did, where we were and pictures we saw or words we heard when the tsunami hit the coasts of several countries in South East Asia on December 26th in 2004.

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Tree covered with memorials

A lot of people were killed here in Thailand, both locals and tourists and the Khao Lak region was badly hit.

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Trying to take in what happened here

Being here, seeing all the life and activity, understanding how much has happened since 2004 is very powerful. For us, Anders and I, it’s some kind of healing just walking around, seeing buildings, trees, people and the beach. Both of us have been deeply touched and quite emotional back and forth since we arrived.

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Police boat stranded far from the sea

We’ve visited a tsunami museum, and just being here gives a sense of the impact, all the effort afterwards and the spirit of moving forward that seems to be ever present.

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New beginnings

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Escape route

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Empty lot above the beach

All-that-I-can-carry-rubbish

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After about one hour

After all the walking yesterday, I got a clear thought of wanting to do something about all the rubbish that’s laying around on the beaches and streets. We both want to do this, but since Anders has a slight case of “Bali belly” (upset stomach), I went ahead and started with our plan today.

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Lots and lots of plastic

The first challenge was to get something to collect all the trash in – and even though there’s lots of plastic laying around, large sacs are unusual. But our big blue bag from the laundry place, a shopping bag and a couple of large bags from our hotel did the trick.

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Garbage mixed with sand

Next challenge was to pass several groups of people, gathered for a hindu funeral ceremony. There I was, in the middle of people offering, praying and walking with the ashes of the dead person into the ocean.

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Covered to protect from the sun

Finally I made it to the beach I had thought of and got started. About one hour later the bags were filled and so heavy I hardly managed to walk all the way back.

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So much more...

Then it came to finding the gardener at the small hotel where we stay and have him help me find the garbage place and dump it all into the container – because the bags will be reused for our next trash-picking-adventure.

With love,
Wivan

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A slight difference