Who would have known

15 months ago, we had no clue we would end up doing house sits in Singapore and Sri Lanka this year. Well, probably nobody knew or imagined that back then.
But, it’s happened and for that we are forever grateful. So many possibilities opening up, people we get to meet and learn from, houses, animals, foods and cultures we never had thought of experiencing.

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Excited Jazzie

This is true though for most parts of life: little is predictable and there’s always change, no matter how much we hope to control or plan – there’s always change. Not saying plans are bad or unneccesary, just that they, and we, need to be flexible and adjust to whatever comes our way.

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Extended visa

When flying to Sri Lanka four weeks ago we had no clue we would fall in love with this country and be so happy about having extended our visas for another two months.
That a thought I spent some time on yesterday was when we leave here in April, when will we be able to come back again?! How many months will we be away from Sri Lanka until next time?

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A6, our waiting number at the Immigration office

With that thought in mind, I started smiling – how can one miss a place when still being there, and what do I know about what is to come in the following months? The thinking/feeling might be totally different then, so why spend time worrying over it now?

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Daisy says 'smile and be happy'

Anyways: Little do we know.
How can we live in that understanding today? (that we basically don’t know squat).

Let’s go explore what happens when knowing we don’t know!

Love and joy,
Wivan

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New place; new beginnings

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At the hotel in Phuket

When constantly coming to new places, changing settings for how and where we live, there are possibilities for new beginnings ever so often. And I must say, we take advantage of that.
When walking home from the grocery store the other day, I realized that when coming to a home, like here in Singapore for almost one month of house- and cat sitting, we bring only a few things and most of how this month is going to play out with activities, routines and food depends both on the setting and our choices.

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Bronson and I doing yoga

Here’s the deal; as humans we tend to stick to routines and habits. It’s often easy, convenient and sometimes effective to put on the shoes in the same order every time, to cook the same type of food, to manage the day in pretty much the same way as the day before… Therefore we might get stuck and forget that we can make new decisions and change things whenever we want. Usually we “save” those changes or decisions for “The Future”, a new year, fresh school semester, the summer holidays, next Monday or whenever seems to be a good time and day for a new beginning.

Picture: oldenglishprints.com

Picture: oldenglishprints.com

Anders and I go from place to place visiting locations and people we’re not familiar with, which gives us physical, hands-on invitations to make changes – when everything around us is new it’s up to us to choose how to tackle it. In Bali we stayed in five different places within four weeks: that makes a lot of new beginnings!

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Trying out local shopping in Bali

Before coming here to Singapore we had set an intention of using the swimming pool and swim regularly, we had decided not to drink alcohol and to cook food bought at the market as one way of keeping a budget while staying in an expensive city (plus we have missed not having a kitchen). Another intention was to try the smaller, simpler food stands and ‘hawker centers’ for local food experiences. This far, we have done all of that, one step at a time, even though it might have been easier to choose differently at times.

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Tiong Bahru hawker center

So, we have some sort of “help” in making new beginnings by physically changing settings often, and at the same time we meet other travelers who rarely step out of their habits; always sticking with their preferred way of doing things, their favorite foods, only talking to people from the same country and so on. Hereby I want to state that you can travel around the world ten times and not learn or do anything different, and you can stay in the exact same spot for years and make tons of changes – we have met those open-minded, curious people too.

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New breakfast choices: banana, pumpkin seeds, oats and soy milk

In Bali where I had hoped to be able to walk a lot, it was a bit hard to find good places for just plain walking, so I had to do things differently than I was used to and had hoped for. When coming to Singapore I was used to buying lots of fresh, local fruit at good prices, and yet the very first day I was pushed off that trail when seeing the prices at the fancy super market in a shopping mall. Now, there are other markets where one can get fresh produce at more reasonable prices, but my first encounter was a knock down.

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Tiong Bahru wet market

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Shopping at the wet market

So, in closing, even though it might seem easier to make changes when the calendar switches to a new year, or when our physical place is new or different – there’s almost always a choice how to spend our money, use our body, time and what we make of our lives.

With love,
Wivan

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Nacho night in the apartment

1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.

– Leo Babauta –

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The pool, used frequently by us

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Lunch at hawker center

Monday morning

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Morning bath in Paris

Some days we smile a little extra at the difference in way of living we enjoy nowadays. Like a bath on a Monday morning in a rented airbnb-apartment close to Montmartre in Paris. It’s a nice contrast to the last weeks of country life and farm work.
Nothing lasts forever, and the way we live is a manifestation of just that – we change, places change and our surroundings change. So how can we make the best out of it?
Today Anders and I enjoy a day of no schedule, no obligations and some small preparations before we fly to Bali tomorrow afternoon.

How can you make a change that benefits you?
//Wivan

Separate ways

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Sightseeing last Saturday

Now Anders is off to main land Portugal, to stay in Lisboa a few days before returning to Sweden for the first time in almost seven months.

I’m staying here on the island for another two weeks before going to Stockholm and a family reunion, so it’ll be three weeks until the two of us get together again.

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Anders outside airport security

Seven months we’ve been together every single day. Seen new places, finding our way to different houses (without gps), getting to know people and pets, trusting other people’s kindness, talked about life and our innermost fears, joys and dreams, explored and lived.

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The dogs didn't want Anders to leave

We’ve split our First Aid Kit in two and taken one mobile charger each… And yes, it most likely will be odd not spending time together tomorrow. And the coming 21 days.

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Anders, the camera man

Now it’s a new time in our lives and again; a chance to embrace change.

//Wivan

Finding new balance

Little Irviljish moved in today

Little Irviljish moved in today

Today a new little dog moved in with us here at the place where we’re dog- and house sitting in Flores. One of the  neighbors is going away and her dog is staying with us the remaining weeks until we leave the island.

Lucky likes the bed...

Lucky likes the bed…

It’s always a bit of a challenge to find balance in a new setting, no matter if it’s a new place, a person coming to visit or adapting to a new member of the pack.

In this case, the dogs know each other but we’ve only had one of them with us and the whole constellation is new. So, as humans, we need to figure the little one out and see how things changes when having the two dogs together. For little Irviljish it’s new to be with us and she needs to find out what we’re like.

The two friends, swopping spots

The two friends, swopping spots

Now, we’re lucky to have the dogs help us highlight what’s happening in most constellations – when a place, a team member or conditions change, there’s a shift happening. The balance is lost for a short period before everything falls into place again. We often talk about finding ones role in a group, seeing the possibilities in a change or to figure out how to handle whatever comes flying in life.

Anders got up "early" to take care of the dogs

Anders got up “early” to take care of the dogs

So, today, we’re having a chance to embrace change and see what balance will look like from now on.

Take care!

//Anders and Wivan

Does bedding count?

The things we say

So, we’ve committed to live abroad for about eight months to come. Or, that’s what it looks like at the moment.

About ten days ago we moved out of our house and stored away the furniture and things we haven’t already sold. Some things are in our “home away from home”, at Wivan’s mom’s place.

The other night we both woke up at four in the morning, for different reasons, and Wivan felt uncomfortable and had thoughts about the sheets in the bed not being the way she likes them the best. It’s really no idea to even complain about it, since we don’t have an option at the moment. Or we’ve choosen it to be this way, and it’s time to face the consequences of our choices.

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We are happy we have a bed to sleep in, that someone (the owner of the place we currently house sit at) provides us with a bed, sheets and towels, and that we’re able to visit new places, get to meet with unknown friends and explore life and the world a bit more.

There are many things we like in certain ways. But when it comes down to what’s really important, most of it doesn’t matter anymore. When we’ve discussed those type of things the past week we’ve realized that living like this, with a backpack each and some extra things in the car, we’re challenging our standards, values and get to see what really counts and how many things that all of a sudden falls away and how flexible we are and can be.

Sharma75

 

Sure, when we can pick whatever we want we might choose something in particular, but when keeping life more simple by owning and bringing less things, all of a sudden we see it a bit different. Wonder what’ll happen and change in our thinking regarding things, certain ways and routines the coming eight months. The journey just started!

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Five for change

In an article about us (yes, it’s in Swedish) that’s published in the local Swedish newspaper Skånska Dagbladet today, we give five tips or suggestions on how to start a personal change. We’ve translated it for you, lovely blog readers, and would love to hear your comments or additions to the list.

 

Anders & Wivans best tips and questions for those who are ready to make a change of some sort.

  •  Why do you want a change? Is it something you want to “dodge from” or something you are longing for?
  • Give your self time to reflect. Where are you today? How would you like your life/situation? What are you dreaming of?
  • Find your role models. There are books, movies, You Tube, blogs, seminars, TED talks, friends and acquaints – who inspires you?
  • Dare to try! Each change starts with a small step. Let things take time and keep on – we never know until we actually tried.
Summer of 2007 in Halmstad

Summer of 2007 in Halmstad