Back together

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Saturday afternoon

After 23 hours of traveling from Frisco, Colorado to Malmö, Sweden, I did a pit stop at a friend’s house before going back home to Anders.
This was a genious move in order to get a headstart on the jetlag. I was alone in my friend’s apartment and simply went to bed early, with ear plugs in and slept rather well till the next morning.
Then I was ok to go on the train to Karlskrona.

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Train ride from Malmö to Karlskrona

After visiting grandma for a couple of hours, I finally went home to Anders. After 3,5 weeks apart it was so nice to get back together!

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Sunday "fika" in the sun

It’s been 18 years since the first time we met (in person), and we’re still excited to live together, to grow and expand as people – and yet we have that core between us, that spark and love that’s kept us together through high and low.

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Beautiful Swedish summer

It’s been a couple of days with long walks, talks and good meals together. It’s two weeks until I start working again, and it’s great to have some time just for us.

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Flowers and rocks

Ciao for now,
Wivan

Practicing being apart

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Last week going to Höör together

Since November 2014, when we sold our house and took off to Southern France, the two of us have been together most of the time.
Choosing to live in a different style, often staying in other people’s houses and in countries we’re not familiar with, it’s been our new normal – always together.

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In Bali, last November

If you have read the blog for a while you might know that we do have different internal “time zones”, and actually spend quite some time separately, but still – we’ve been staying at the same places most of the time.
Last summer there were some exceptions when we worked in different places, and went for some trips separately.

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After bathing an elephant in Thailand

When we’ve been in France and Asia over the past six months, we have been together every day, rain or shine.

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After morning surf in Sri Lanka

Last week I spent one night away from Anders, and now I am off on my own for several days. Yesterday we didn’t even speak on the phone, and tonight I try to not call him again just because I am used to always talking to him… It’ll be so much fun to get together again on Saturday!

Gosh is it a good reality check to see how closely we have been living! As a couple we have always been used to having periods of separation – if only a weekend here and there. But it has been a way for us to see each other from a distance, to remember what we love about each other and to also enjoy our separate interests on our own or together with friends.

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First day back in Sweden

So now we practice being apart, explore our interests and to talk with others – which is also a challenge when you’re used to mostly talk to this one person who knows you really well and just gets you.
17 years we’ve been a couple. By spending time apart we keep the curiousity alive and still have things to tell each other.

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Moon over the ocean

With love,
Wivan

Guests at local wedding

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The two of us and the bride and groom

Today was the big day for Praneeth and Nirasha, a young couple in the village outside of Weligama where we have spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks. Honestly, we don’t really know them…

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Beautiful couple in their own house

Praneeth had invited us to come, and every time we’ve walked by the house they’ve been working hard on to finish before the wedding, he’s asked us to promise to come and his friends and family members have told us they’d be honored if we come. So we’ve asked around, with various luck due to language difficulties, about what to wear, what to bring, how to act and what a Sri Lankan wedding usually is like.

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Among the women at the wedding

Anders decided to wear his new, Sri Lankan sarong and a shirt and that was “approved” by the members of “our” local family. I asked the mother of the family if she had a saree I could borrow from her, and when coming there today she had bought a new saree for me to wear… There are many things that happen here without us understanding even half of it. So I just said thank you and decided to pay her back in some way further on. (they usually refuse to take money from us, even if we want to pay for something).

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Andrew in his sarong with elephants on

It took seven women to get me dressed and ready with make up, hair, ear rings, shoes and jewelry.

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A big gathering to get me ready

The younger girls ran to other houses to borrow make up, bracelets and safety pins.

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Smiles, laughter and excitement

Someone almost pinned my underwear to the dress, a make up pen broke before both eyes were done, and I broke some bracelet because my hands are bigger than the girl’s that had lended it to me.

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Picture time on the beach

Anyways, everyone was happy and these people were so proud of us wanting to wear the traditional clothing to the wedding.

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Us with the mother and father of "our" family here

When arriving at the wedding, the groom, his friends and family were so happy to see us, they held our hands and made sure to let us know how honored they felt.

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Off to take pictures

For us, the wedding party ment a lot of sitting inside the new house and in the neighbor’s garden (where the men gathered for strong drinks and snacks), listening to very loud live music, eating good food, smiling and accepting not understanding what went on, trying to figure out when and where to give our present, taking pictures of kids that one of the women wants us to send copies of, and telling everyone how much we love Sri Lanka.

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Dancing

And then there was dancing. Only men dancing, making spectacular moves to the extremely loud music, and I couldn’t help but get up there… As the only woman dancing, people came outside or stopped on the street to see the Swedish lady dancing in her Sri Lankan dress with the men at this local wedding.

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Moves...

We didn’t know if this was very inappropriate or not, but apparently it was some kind of success.

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All different combinations of pictures

After some hours of sweating, smiling, talking, eating, sitting, smiling, dancing and talking some more, we left and walked back home.

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Our pictures with the couple

Probably we made some “mistakes”, but we tried our best to show respect and give the newly wedded couple our warmest wishes. We enjoyed being part of something this big in these people’s lives, and smiled at the excitement our presence and dressing caused. We had a really good time and were totally exhaused afterwards.

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Some of the kids

Oh, the present we bought was a clay pot for the couple to use in their new kitchen – from today they live together in the new house and will start their life together as husband and wife.

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Sunset after the wedding

With love,
Anders and Wivan

The night owl and the early bird

That’s us, Anders and Wivan, the former is a real night owl and the latter a early bird. Both of us can enjoy getting up early, catching the first sun in the morning, listening to a new day waking up and how nature goes from night to day. And both of us can enjoy staying up until late, talking, reading, dancing, watching a movie, reflecting on life or take a late night swim.

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Morning walk

But we have quite different natural patterns in form of what’s easiest. For Anders it’s the late-night-life and for Wivan it’s getting-up-before-everyone. (But really, lately Wivan has sort of lost that ability, and rather wakes up in the middle of the night, or late morning.)

The other night, at dinner with friends, we came to talk about differences between the individuals in a couple, and how those differences can be very good in order to keep the relationship alive and healthy. We also discussed the importance of doing things separately even if you live together. For us, part of that happens naturally when one of us either gets up earlier than the other, or stays up later at night.

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Early morning overlooking the Pyrenees

When’s your favorite time to be alone or to do your own thing?
// Anders & Wivan

Back together!

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Happy couple

Late Sunday night Anders arrived at Toulouse airport and we are back together after more than three weeks of traveling and exploring separately.

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Working in the old stable

It’s very nice to spend time together again, and lots of catching up to do. We’ve been talking and watching the moon until late the past two nights.

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Bonfire with friends last night

We are now both at the house we will be house sitting at the coming two weeks, and have exchanged some work for food and accomodation. Tomorrow our hosts leave and we’re in charge of chickens, sheep, horses, cats and the highly productive vegetable garden.

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Today's harvest of tomatoes

We’re gonna have tomatoes in all different ways possible over the coming weeks.

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Lots of cherry tomatoes

Anders have been part of checking if the apples are ripe enough to collect for winter storage.

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Apple picker

This is the second time we’re house sitting for this couple, and we really like to spend time with them, as well as experiencing this part of France in the late summer/early fall.

Since we don’t have a car here, it will be different from last winter in the area and we’re lucky to know several people not too far from us.

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Team work

See you soon! //Anders and Wivan

FAQ

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions we get about our life, lifestyle and living.

Where are you now?
Currently we’re in the island Flores in the Azores. Anders will stay here till the end of May and Wivan till the beginning of June and then we’re going back to Sweden over the summer.

After Beach

After Beach

What is it you’re doing?
Taking a time-out, doing what we’ve dreamed of for a long time; travel and have time to think. In order to experience life like locals, we house sit and care for pets at different people’s houses while they’re away from home. We get to stay for free while they have someone to care for their property and their pets = win win.
At times we’ve also done some workaway-projects, where we’ve been working 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week, in exchange for food and accommodation.

The dogs Lucky and Irviljish, our current "clients"

The dogs Lucky and Irviljish, our current “clients”

How long will you be travelling?
We don’t know. There’s no complete plan, no time line or set dates. We try and make decisions by feeling what’s inspiring and fun, how we are doing and what places/climate we’d like to be in.

How do you earn money?
Right now we don’t work. We live out of savings and some passive income from work we’ve done earlier with Mannatech. This upcoming summer we will be working in Sweden in our former jobs.

Wivan found €30 on a walk last week

Wivan found €30 on a walk last week

What’s it like not having a place of your own?
It’s working very well for us this far, we feel at peace with our chosen situation and enjoy trying another way of living. At times it’s tiring to move in and out of places but mostly it’s been great. When in mainland Europe we brought our own pillows everyplace we stayed which was a good thing!
We still have a home away from home at Wivan’s mom’s house, where we will spend some time this summer.

Last day in France

Last day in France

What do you do during the days?
Well, we don’t always do very much and we practice to go with the flow, do what we feel like and when we feel like it. Sounds a bit hippie-like to some, but really, it’s a practice! (Especially for Wivan…).

The pets we take care of are always a priority and we love to talk and think about things; patterns, feelings and basically we’re finding out what life is all about. (We will tell you when we’re “done”!).
We also watch movies, cook food, walk and exercise, try and find out what the places we visit are all about, do some sightseeing, swim, read, write, play games (Anders has a PS Vita). And we talk to friends and family, sleep, drink coffee, and do some cleaning (not too much).

When the weather is good...

When the weather is good…

Watching the clouds

Watching the clouds

Wivan on one of her alone-time hikes

Wivan on one of her alone-time hikes

Do you speak French now that you’ve been in France?
No, we’ve learned some basics, but it’s a lot left to learn.

What’s it like to spend so much time together?
This far it’s been a lot of fun and we learn things from and with each other; getting to know our selves and each other in new ways and it’s taking our relationship to a new level. At times it would be nice to be able to do more things on our own, like we used to back in Sweden.
Still it feels like a wonderful gift to be able to, and want, to spend so much time together after being a couple for about 16,5 years. We laugh a lot more together now than we used to. That’s fun!

Sun bathing in Santa Cruz

Sun bathing in Santa Cruz

Do you miss Sweden?
Not really. Some people and places but at the moment we don’t miss living in Sweden. Rather, we like having a variety, being able to see and experience new places, people, food and lifestyles. We do look forward to spending the summer in our old hoods and with our dear ones.

Midsummer Eve 2014

Midsummer Eve 2014

Did we miss anything you’d like to ask us? Please feel free to send us a message here through the contact form or e-mail us at: anwisandberg[at]gmail.com

// Anders & Wivan