A world of possibilities

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My niece K on a walk

It’s more than a week until I head back to Sweden, and except for tomorrow and Thursday, I’ve got no plans.
To some that might be stressful or odd, to me it’s like a world filled with possibilities.

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Snow the other day

When talking to my brother just ten minutes ago, I realized it really is a choice I’ve made – to be open to what comes. Rarely do I need to be entertained, especially here where there’s nature and beauty everywhere.

Sure, I hope to go for a couple of hikes, but I am at least as happy to just hang out, live in the local area, take a bike ride or just enjoy a cup of coffee and a book.

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One of many walks

As we (Anders and I) have traveled so much and to many different places over the past year and a half, I see how I love to slow down a bit, not always go to new places. And I feel that I take in things, people and experiences a bit different nowadays, which needs to be processed. Or I’m just getting a bit older!?
I love to live like a local, not always do the obvious touristy things or pack in as many experiences as possible.

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Nephew M parked the car for the party last weekend

When thinking about it, I see how keeping the schedule open, also gives a lot more openness to what feels fun or good at the time being, instead of being stuck with plans I’d rather get out of. My lovely American family needs to put up with having me around for a while longer since I am staying, and to me that also gives more chances to see the “kids” (16 and 18 years old) every now and then – one of the big reasons why I’m here. Since we don’t have kids of our own, our nieces and nephews are maybe even more important to us.

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Chillaxing on the sofa

So, I look at my open schedule with a bit of “is it ok to do this in the Land-of-maximizing?”.

And the answer is: Hell Yes!

The way we have choosen to live, different than most Westerners, also brings approaches less ordinary to all kinds of situations.

Let’s see what this vacation in the US will bring the coming eight days!

Lots of love and sunshine from Colorado,
Wivan

#life and living

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Today's setting for our lunch

After some weeks I am back here on the blog. Not that I haven’t written any posts, I just haven’t finished and posted any lately.
It’s been so much living going on!

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Flower buds on Öland

Though it’s more than a month and a half since we returned to Sweden, there is still so many things to see and do, people to visit and at the same time there are many memories and insights to digest.

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From the troll forrest on Öland earlier this week

And after practicing another way of living for quite some time now, we try to keep living life a bit more in the moment and with space for ourselves to just be.

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Sunset over Öland

For me it’s perfect not to work full time, but to be able to have a mix of free time and work, schedule and flexibility.

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At a family gathering last weekend

This also is the challenge: to stay free in the mind, to live by own choices and values among all the people who struggle with a lot of “must, should and have-to”.

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Café wisdom in Kalmar

If you would have the choice to create more balance in your life, what would you do?

//Wivan

To do your own thing

When did you last listen to the inner voice of yours, and followed it?

How many times have you made decisions because you listened more to what others said than to your own truth?

What would you do, say or who would you be if you weren’t scared of what other people would think or say about you?

Xoxo,
Wivan

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Who's life are you living?

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