The crazy snorkeling tour

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On the speed boat out to Similan islands

After spending a bit over two weeks in Khao Lak in Thailand we were ready to explore some of the famous sites. We have needed time to rest, heal and usually we hardly ever go on group trips and prefer going on our own or in smaller settings, but most of all we love to experience as much of local life as possible. That’s a bit hard on a tourist destination like Khao Lak, but we’ve caught some good moments of that too!

This time we found a price of a snorkling trip that appealed to us and we wanted to experience the Similan islands the way most people do…

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A bit bumpy in the beginning and then a smooth ride

During the full-day trip this was something we would both regret and laugh at. Because what a frenzy it was! Herding tourists like sheep, making quick stops for snorkling, lunch, beach stops (taking pictures) and some more snorkling.

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Not really on our own...

Even though the guide had given information about the schedule and times to be back at the boat, it was so much going on at the same time, we were constantly confused on what we were supposed to do or where to be at what time. And who of all the snorklers in the water were they yelling at? From which boat did they yell? And what did it mean; to come back to the boat, to stay away from the current or that a rare fish or turtle was seen? Lots of questions!

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Follow the mass

Good take-aways from the day:
* We got a good chance to try our new snorkeling/diving masks; Wivan had another little break down when the snorkel didn’t work but it got better with another one, Anders took his snorkeling skills to a new level and is a truly superior under-water-man.

The under-water-pro

The under-water-pro

* We did see some spectacular fishes, a free living turtle and many dolphins!!!
* The amount of snacks, different soft drinks, and lunch alternatives was richer than expected.
* The water was so clear, beautiful and wonderful to swim in.

One of the colorful fishes

One of the colorful fishes

* We didn’t get sea sick! Anders took two motion sickness pills during the day and Wivan none. The boat ride was rather smooth though, but still. Great experience!
* Our gut feeling of not really liking touristy places or very touristy activities is still accurate. When in nature and around animals we love to feel the real nature and be able to see the animals in some sort of freedom or natural habitat – not always chased by tens of cameras.

The beauty of marine life

The beauty of marine life

* Sometimes “Living life fully” means to take big steps out of ones comfort zone, be in the crazyness of it all and afterwards realize you survived, tired like few and grateful at the end of the day. And to wake up the next day and enjoy that it’s mostly the good moments you remember after all!
* Gratitude of having the knowledge, since young years, of how to swim in open water. To, without hesitation or floating devices, jump off a boat in the middle of the Andaman sea and know you can handle it. It’s wonderful to know how to swim!

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

* Deepened knowledge of our big love for water, the ocean, marine life and warm waters + sunshine. A greater lust of learning more, practice, explore and gain more control and experience of diving and snorkeling.

Ascend after free diving

Ascend after free diving

* Off-season traveling rocks! The past week the number of people staying in Khao Lak has increased by a huge number and it makes a big difference in restaurants, tours, pricing and on the beaches.

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White sand on Similan island nr?

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Time to load the boat after a stop

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Beautiful colors

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Famous signature picture

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Crowded beach

Free diving deeper than ever

Free diving deeper than ever

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Boats waiting for next pick-up time

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Pictures taken everywhere

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Tired, happy, confused

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From Kuta to Amed

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Rice fields along the road

The drive was a lot longer than we had thought and luckily we had a good driver and comfortable car to ride in.
It was so nice to see more than just city views during the way from Kuta to Amed here on Bali.

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At the water temple

Kari, the driver, asked if we wanted to see a water temple and when we said yes he stopped at Taman Tirtagangga to show us around a bit.

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Water garden below the temple

In many places it seems like the tourists only get to see parts of the temples or gardens, and traditional clothing is usually required. So we looked at the garden and the beauty of it, and then went on driving.

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Stepping stones above the fish pond

Since we had some language difficulties, we didn’t get much information about the place as such but rather just enjoyed being there.

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Welcome juice at our stay

We were very happy to come to our little inn where we’ll stay until Sunday. It’s right on the beach, quite simple and super friendly owners and staff. All of a sudden we were playing with the owners’ baby, and talking with the dog.

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A coral reef just outside our stay

From our room it’s about 50 meters down to the water, and a bit further out the reef is ready to greet us when snorkling. The water here in the bay of Amed is warm. Really warm and one can lay down and relax floating without getting cold.

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Sunset behind clouds and mountain

The sunset was beautiful to watch, and to sit on the beach at night, listening to live music in the dark was truly an awsome ending of the day.

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Ready to sit down

We are so grateful for what we have and what we get to experience along our life, and for all the people we meet.

Until next time,
Anders and Wivan

World citizens asking for help

Right now is a great time to practice the beautiful art of asking for help, as well as receiving help. To us this is sometimes a challenge, and now is the time to take this to the next level, considering what we’re up to with our future travels.

– from our blog in November last year –

Last summer we asked for help, and got to stay for free in a summer house for 10 days

Last summer we asked for help, and got to stay for free in a summer house for 10 days

Today Anders bought a new motorcycle. In Sweden. It’s amazing what’s possible to do over the Internet and with some help from friends and family!

So, here’s the deal: We’re going to Sweden this summer. Anders is gonna work at his old job, covering up for vacations etc. And we asked for help from friends and family to find a place to stay nearby. What happened? We got several proposals, and a friend of the family offered us to stay for free in a spare room with shower and WC that they have above of their shop!

Picture from the ad on Blocket.se, Anders bought his third Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom

Picture from the ad on Blocket.se, Anders bought his third Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom


Knowing this, we also realized we will need more than just the car to be able to get around. So Anders started to look for a motorcycle. And, with a lot of help from a good friend, he’s now bought one, and the same friend has already picked it up and will keep it in a nice garage until Anders gets home late May to pick it up.

It is fantastic to be able to sit here on Flores in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, talk to Sweden via Skype, transfer money and get all things done in seconds.

And just a few weeks ago, Anders was able to sort out the situation regarding his work this summer, making plans with good collegues, his boss and whatever needed to be arranged in order for us to be in Sweden over June, July, August and September.

Picture: hashslush.com. In september Wivan's going surfin' in Portugal

Picture: hashslush.com. In september Wivan’s going surfin’ in Portugal


Now we’re happy to have Internet and seeing work ads online, since Wivan is looking for a job over the summer in Sweden. She’s been able to look up some places and to send the applications online instead of on paper or calling. And for interviews, they will be done over Skype too. We have payed to have some credits to call regular phones in order to stay in touch with those who aren’t already using Skype.

A beautiful flower to all of our wonderful friends and family members who help out and send us so much love

A beautiful flower to all of our wonderful friends and family members who help out and send us so much love

An important thing to mention here, when it comes to asking for help, and to recieve help, is that we have wonderful ground service, provided by Wivan’s mom and dad. Wivan’s mom is taking care of all the post we still recive in Sweden, and Wivan’s dad is giving advice on some of the money issues and paperwork we need to do.

Picture from cardiffunison.co.uk

Picture from cardiffunison.co.uk

So, it’s a combination of asking for help, recieving and also having wonderful, helpful people around us. We are so, so grateful, words can’t really explain it. And, we already know, we won’t be able to pay it back. Ever. And that’s fine too. Because we know the mathematics of life: You give, and you recieve. Never knowing if it’s going to be in the same currency or to/from the same person or place. That’s just how it is. If we’re helpful and giving, sometime, somewhere it will come back, just don’t try and count on it or calculate, ‘cos that’s not how it works. It just is.

Love, gratefulness and joy!
// Anders & Wivan

Gratitude list

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Sunshine is back!

* Sunshine
* Time together
* Loving friends and family
* Great technology
* Yoga mat
* Fresh air
* Wonderful food and local produce
* Ability to say ‘hi’ and ‘thank you’ in French
* High quality clothes and shoes
* Laughter
* Open minds and acceptance
* Good movies
* Music
* Interesting people and caring hosts

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Drying up after some rainy days

That’s the start of today’s list!