Into the unknown

On the train to Paris last Friday we were eating our lunch that we brought and I realized we had no clue what that night would be like.

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Train from Toulouse to Paris

There were pictures of the apartment we had rented over the weekend, but one never knows if that is how a place is irl. And we had gotten some suggestions for restaurants in Paris, but nothing was booked and we might not even feel like going out. Is there a grocery store nearby? We had no idea.

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Full moon over Paris tonight

Now we know what the place looks like, that there are great restaurants in the area, several grocery stores and “walking-friendly” streets.
But we’re about to step into the unknown again.

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At the Louvren today

We’re leaving Europe tomorrow, to go via Qatar to Bali, a trip of more than 24 hours from door to door.
In Bali we’re booked for a six-nights stay in Kuta – nothing else is planned. We know the food will be different, the sounds, the temperature and the sun, the people and nature – most things will be different from here, and still we will meet people; people that all have the same needs, desires and wishes as most other human beings.

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Tour Eiffel

So we’re ready to meet what comes our way, curious of how we will react to what is new to us, interested in discovering new places and people from all paths of life.

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Montmartre

Tired from walking, grateful to spend our days together and curious about life.

With love,
Wivan and Anders

When dreams come to life

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Morning reading before breakfast

Have had one of the best days of my life today. This far in life, that is.

After breakfast I got to get out horse back riding with one of the friends who host me this week. The sun was shining, I had a very nice horse, good company and the scenery was astonishing.
I love horses and have been riding for about 30 years. To ride in this part of France was a dream I didn’t realized I had before I was out there!

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Saddle and head piece

After riding I took a swim in the pool and then had lunch. All was calm and peaceful, just like my mind.

In the afternoon we did some work, and I have spent most of the day outside with sun bathing inbetween.

Why this day has been so good probably has more to do with my state of mind and being rather than the actual activities. Well, that’s really how it always is – we can do wonderful things and yet feel crappy. And we can do boring things and have a great experience.

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Afternoon coffee by the pool

Today the combination of activities, setting and state of mind made it a wonderful day for me that I will remember forever.

Until next time!

//Wivan

Good morning!

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Chicken house and sunrise

How about this view in front of the chicken house!? Not bad, huh!

In a few days Anders arrives and I can’t wait to see him again. It’s been three weeks, and so much has happened for both of us it’ll take some time to talk it all through.

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Flower in my bedroom

The first days back in France, together with friends, have been truly awsome. So much caring and love among our friends here, the views take my breath away every day, and I get to both do my own things, be a part of other’s lives, and learn new things. Great mix!

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Yesterday after a pool session

It’s been warm enough to sun bathe and swim in the pool = I’m a happy kid!
As for the renovation project it moves along very well and we have put in some good hours of work.

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Progress

Now time for a little walk before breakfast. Take care and stay cool!

//Wivan

It’s so French!

The minute I stepped out of the shuttle bus from the airport, arriving in Toulouse, I could recognize the sense of France I remember from last winter and spring that we spend in this region.
All of a sudden it was clear that I actually do know and remember quite a lot of French words (in writing), and I was even able to order my lunch in French, with a little translation help from the English menu.

The lunch was a French love story in itself with taste of rosemary, fresh locally grown vegetables and a superb coffee afterwards. High quality products and good cooking does make a huge difference.

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Green grapes

Now I’m back at one of the places we were house sitting at last winter, with people who have become our friends and now host me while I help out with a little work on the farm. Here are horses, cats, sheep and chicken, and today I get to work on a renovation project in the old stable.

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Fresh eggs every day

These people are so sweet, hugging me time and making sure I am doing good all the time. And they too serve food to die for! Lots of it is grown here in their own vegetable garden.

Next week Anders arrives, and then we’ll be house sitting at this place for two weeks. It’s very quiet and calm out here, and a lovely view over the Pyrenees and I am so happy to get to see this view now, when it’s green, sunny and beautiful in another way than last winter.

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French country house

When living a nomadic lifestyle it’s wonderful to come back to places and people, to recognize and be able to actually continue a conversation and not always start a new one.

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Work outfit

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Four new eggs per day

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The sheep love beeing fed grain

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Hills and valleys

Take care and enjoy this day. Who can you take up a conversation with today?

//Wivan

Hello, good bye

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Surf camp house in Ericeira

The life style we (Anders and Wivan) have choosen includes a lot of hellos, but also a lot of good byes.
Many people we meet encourage us to continue do what we dream of, no matter how different it might be to their way of living. A lot of people also say “Oh, to travel that much is something I dream of doing” or “You live the way so many people wish they were living”.

We do believe it’s possible to reach and act upon dreams, to make them happen. As we all know, hardly anything happens in life in the precise order or time we humans think is the “right” way, but it can still happen. Maybe what’s needed is to look at life and dreams from a different angle every now and then. To ask for someone’s view of it, just to broaden the perspective a bit.

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what's your passion?

To take a different path in life, to make a change, usually needs us to say “hello” to something new, and “good bye” to something else. To embrace what earlier might have seemed frightening or odd and see where that takes us.

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Portugese pattern on a house

This “hello, good bye” is not only for traveling, or leaving something physical, it’s also useful on thought patterns, relations and habits.

Today I am leaving Portugal to go to France. It’s a good bye and “hope to see you again”-time. I fell in love with Portugal already last spring when we spent two and a half months on Flores in the Azores.
I fell in love again this time, with the ocean, the food, the sun, surfing, people and views. For that I am very grateful.

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Sunset in Ericeira

Now it’s time to re-unite with France, with friends and wonderful animals, views, food and nature. I look forward to that. But right now I allow myself to feel the depth of a good bye, a sense of that all we have is an ever changing wave, that we move on.

Till we meet again; good bye!
//Wivan

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Lizandro beach

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Pretty flowers

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Rarely buy souvenirs, but this deck of cards reminds me of good times and might come handy

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Some Starbucks-love this morning!

The luxury of locals

In Egypt last December we had a very clear example of what good connections with locals can do for us as foreigners and travellers in a new place. We got to have an amazing experience of the pyramids thanks to our very nice taxi driver Hassan who did as much as he ever could for us to have a good time.

Anders, Hassan and Wivan

Anders, Hassan and Wivan

And in France we’ve been invited to many dinners, lunches, excursions and trips to markets thanks to newly found friends who’ve taken great care of us.

Here in the Azores we get lots and lots of help from a neighbor. We get to use her car, so we can make small trips, go to the store or whatever. The other day we borrowed her scooter for a little drive in the sunshine. She comes over to ask if everything is ok, if we need anything or if she can help in any way and it’s very nice and comforting. We’ve also gotten maps of the island and been invited to volleyball practice with her, to come and listen and see her and her group practice folklore music and dancing.

Sightseeing in Flores thanks to our neighbor

Sightseeing in Flores thanks to our neighbor

Folk music and dancing practice in Lajes das Flores

Folk music and dancing practice in Lajes das Flores

Since the island of Flores has less than 4000 inhabitants, it’s very clear who is a local and who is not… most people know each other, at least in each village. So, we are trying our best to say hello and thanks in Portuguese and just see what we see and whom we will meet when we’re out. What we have learned this far, after travelling Europe for about six months, is that you can never predict what opportunity awaits around the corner, and to have some locals to help out or just show the way is very nice.

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Scooter ride in the sun - awfully cold wind on the top of the hill

In the store the other day we met a French guy who we spoke to for a little bit. And guess what?! After our encounter with the Frenchman, he’s now invited us for dinner with his family and our neighbor! We hope to schedule that soon.

// Anders and Wivan, hoping to make some new friends in Flores

To play in a new kitchen

Since three days back, we now “live” in the island of Flores, in the western part of the Azores that belongs to Portugal. We’ve slowly started to explore it by foot and by car. Mostly by foot, since we now have a new dog to take care of, Lucky. House- and dog sitting at its best: in a beautiful location, with lots of places to walk on and discover, and in a nice house that is comfortable.

Lucky and Anders on yesterday's hike on the western part of the island

Lucky and Anders on yesterday’s hike on the western part of the island

So, when cooking last night’s dinner (it was an easy one: toasts in the oven + cabbage salad), and washing up afterwards, Wivan realized that this is the… seventh house we live in during the past five months. We blogged about always being someplace new a few months ago, but this was a new fun way of seeing our situation.

The possibilities have been different in every place we’ve stayed. For example, in France where we’ve stayed the longest time the houses really have their own characteristics and plus and minuses to them.

Anders and Lucky in front of the house

Anders and Lucky in front of the house

This house we’re now staying in is very modern in comparison to the French country houses, and yet there’s no dish washer. But: we have a kitchen fan, which we haven’t had in the last three places. We’re fine with washing by hand and to us, by now, it’s almost like a game to see the new places in an exploring way; to enjoy the things we haven’t had before, or to really appreciate places we’ve been to.

Washing up after dinner

Washing up after dinner

Here, living on a small island far out in the Atlantic, it was quite damp when we arrived, and a bit chilly inside the house. All of a sudden we remembered our own house in Sweden, the one we sold last November, really was a warm and dry house. So if not earlier, now we know more to appreciate that part of the living situation we had then.

Where we used to live, outside of Höör in Sweden

Where we used to live, outside of Höör in Sweden

The conclusion is this; By seeing more places, trying other people’s lifestyles and experiencing new or unknown ways of spending our days, we get a larger perspective and a broader view of things. Like kitchens. This very kitchen shows us that it works perfectly fine to just have two large pots – no small ones, and no frying pan. So, we practice to see the fun in finding new ways of doing things, of cooking, cleaning or doing laundry. And how to live our lives.

Discovering, playing, experiencing in Flores

Discovering, playing, experiencing in Flores


That’s also very helpful when being used to having certain things in the stores or surroundings, that are not available in a new location. How do you play with things that are different to you? What new ways of behaving or reacting are possible?

// Anders and Wivan