Intense first week back in Sweden

Last weekend by the pool.

Last Sunday I went back to Sweden after two great weeks in Spain with Anders. He is staying two weeks by himself at our house sit. We had planned for that and still it was both sad and hard to wave goodbye at the airport. I really loved the place and we had such good times together during my time off from work.

Mending a broken parasoll…

Since there was wifi on the plane back I spent a lot of time looking at other ideas for traveling in the future 🙂 this trip and time in a warmer and sunnier climate got my travel bug started again! It’s like my body awakes when it’s warm and sunny, and life just becomes easier and simpler.

Coffee at the airport.

Coming back to Sweden and work wasn’t too bad though I got less than four hours of sleep before getting up Monday morning (I start working at 5.30 am). And thanks to great collegues I have had a very fun week at work, except the cold weather and extreme tiredness I get from my IVF-medicine right now. Most days it feels like I’m drunk from when I get up until I go to bed. And I keep forgetting things and what my priorities are, so I am very grateful to the nice people around me who keeps telling me to rest and only do what I want in my spare time. This is not the time for big projects or effectiveness!

My breakfast today.

It was a great thing to start the treatment for this third IVF-cycle in Spain though, where I had no problem to rest and just do whatever felt good all day long. I belive I had less side-effects from the meds there and part of it might be thanks to my “airy” schedule. This was a big difference from last treatment, when it was a lot tougher right from the start. And all the time I keep reminding myself of why we do this and am always grateful for the Swedish tax system that means we only pay a little part of the cost for these medicines.

Flowering trees in Sweden.

This weekend I let myself totally free and do just as much as I feel like, or rest. It’s a sunny day and I need to get some sun screen on before I go outside.

Take care and keep remembering what’s good in your life.

Love, Wivan 

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Gratitude and house sitting in Spain

The Swedish pool-boy and I.

The happiness over finding this way of travelling, and the wonderful people and places we’ve come to over the years is overwhelming.

After a looong winter in Sweden we’re now in Spain to house sit for a month. Or, Anders will stay the whole month and I’ll go back to work after two weeks here. 

This is it! Beautiful setting.

We found this great place via Trusted Housesitters, and soon got a positive response from the owners. Let’s face it – we’ve gotten good reviews which helps us when applying for new sits.

One of the two cats.

Here there are two cats to look after, and an extra house to check on once in a while. It’s a beautiful location in the country side and there’s even a pool to swim in when the weather is good.

Rain today.

We got here last Sunday and have had good weather this far. Today it’s raining = less watering for us and happy plants 🙂

These first days we’ve gotten to know the place and the cats a bit better, enjoyed the weather by the pool, cooked some great food and have enjoyed tapas, sangria and good local cava outside.

Our own patatas bravas, and a kick-ass dip sauce.

Since we’re outside of town, we need a car to get to the store etc and we probably want to go to the beach some day and also do some sightseeing. So we’ve rented a car for the whole month Anders will be here.

This is one of the perks of staying for free when house sitting – there’s money over to spend on other things than accomodation.

Wild Thyme and Rosemary by the road.

Take care and remember to dream big!

// Wivan

New house sit booked: Sri Lanka!

It’s amazing sometimes how perfect times, plans and needs match. Yesterday we saw a listing we were interested in on Trusted Housesitters, and responded to it. Tonight we had a Skype call with the house- and dog owner in Sri Lanka and have agreed on going there late January for a week of house sitting.

And we’re welcome to come early, or to pass by and leave some stuff if we need to, and we can stay a few extra nights if we want to! In other words, she seems to be very flexible and generous.

Next house sit will be close to the beach!

Next house sit will be close to the beach!

This is something that has struck us time after time over the past 14 months of traveling and house sitting: We meet so many people who are open minded, generous and welcoming.

Despite all the fear that resides in some people and although we hear of humans feeling distrust, there’s a huge chunk of trust, faith in mankind and love for others out here as well.

Rose in France last October

Rose in France last October

We love being part of the trusting community, and hope that our experiences, as well as our being in the world, also becomes a part of a larger movement where we together can bring more trust back into people.

Peace out!

// Wivan and Anders

In the Azores last May

In the Azores last May

First week in Singapore – how was it?

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Orchard Road in Singapore

Coming from many weeks of beach life in small places like Khao Lak in Thailand and Pemuteran in Bali, it was a bit overwhelming to arrive in this fancy business-shopping-eating-city called Singapore. Our house sit is in a nice area close to the river and Robertson Quay with lots of nice restaurants and cafées that does cost a bit to visit.

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Look! A cocoa shop!!!

So, after our first chock of how expensive it really is, we have now settled, found some good places for eating and buying groceries, we have done a bit of sightseeing by foot and really like the many walkable places around.

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Love those stairs!

Yesterday I took a walk in the morning, and found a super nice park that inspired me to do some interval training in the many stairs. Lots of fun! And it does work to do a bit of exercise even in a shorts/skirt and walking boots!

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Sweaty and happy

We have been using the pool every day since we got here, and we have enjoyed some great coffee from the local Common Man Coffee Roasters, though we got some coffee beans from them and make it ourselves with the beloved Bialetti moka maker that we carry, rather than buying one cup for 5 Singapore dollars. It certainly is something extra with the Bialetti, it is so good!

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Local roast and our well traveled Bialetti

The shopping district of Orchard Road is decorated with Christmas ornaments, glitter and Santa Claus figures all over. To us it feels a bit weird, since its over 25 degrees Celsius and we walk around in flip flop sandals and shorts, nothing like what Christmas used to be to us back in Sweden as kids!

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Decorations

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Orchard Road

The past week we also had the opportunity to meet up with a friend who I have known since we were kids, and the past 20 years she’s been one of my closest friends. She has been living here in Singapore for four years now, so her drawings on a map and tips for getting around sure is great. Not to mention the wonderful feeling of meeting someone who knows us, whom we can talk about anything with, and who cares for us like family. Wonderful!
We will meet up again in January when shes back from the holidays in Sweden.

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Evening at miss C's place

So, all in all, its been a great first week here with some cooking, lots of movies and series – Anders stayed up two whole nights to watch an entire season of Sons of Anarchy, swimming and exercise, cuddling with Bronson the cat, walking, exploring the neighborhood, visiting a dive shop to get some gear and talk about diving, eating fresh fruits, visiting markets and eating local food, washing clothes, sleeping, reading and writing.

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Happy boy after trying out new gear

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Fresh fruits and banana pancake

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Bronson getting combed

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Thai papaya salad in the making

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Neighborhood

Mission soon Completed

There is a special feeling to having house owners coming back after a vacation when we have been in charge of their home and animals. A sense of Mission Accomplished, pride and some type of relief in being able to welcome them back to a clean house and animals that are in good shape.

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Harvest of eggs and tomatoes

Tonight is our last night “in charge” of this house and the animals, for this time. We look forward to having the owners back home, they’re good friends of ours and we like not only to enjoy their beautiful property but also their company.

So, this too is a part of house sitting, to prepare to leave the responsibility back to the owners and for us to step back and just be visitors. This time we will stay for another week though, to continue helping out with a renovation project in the old stable and exchange our work for food an accommodation.

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Wivan looking for caterpillars

Then we take to Paris for a few days before the plane leaves for Bali. That feels right on time now, since autumn has arrived with cooler temperatures and chilly winds around the hills.

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Autumn leaves on the ground

Until next time!
Anders and Wivan

The upsides of house sitting

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Flowers and vegetables in the garden

There are many things that are good about house sitting for others. We have  written earlier about how little we’ve payed for our accomodation over the first ten months without a home.

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Ready for morning ride

There are numerous other cool, fun, nice, tasty and friendly reasons why we like house sitting for others. Right now we stay at a small farm with lots of fresh food that we’re allowed to eat while we take care of the place and all of the animals.

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Fresh chili

Sure, it’s just so much one can eat, but to get to harvest all of these wonderful things is lots of fun, and makes the watering, care and weeding all the better.

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Lovely raspberries

On the down side, we found traces from a mouse earlier today – not our favourites… But, a dip in the pool usually puts a smile on our faces!

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Pool with a view

And the horses, cats, chickens and sheep are a real treat for us animal lovers!

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Anders view from this morning

Wivan is practicing for her future as a cow girl, riding on a horse and having one extra by the hand.

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Happy horse after a mud roll

Today is one of our “watering days”, when bushes and hedges need to be watered. So, there are things to do every day, small tasks like feeding animals, harvesting and taking care of things around the house.

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What we find though, is that those little things usually are fun and that we like to help other people.

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Beautiful cale

We learn new things, just by those daily assignments, and appreciate the possibility we have to try out different ways of living. Along the way we have also gotten to know amazing people, friends for life, and seen places we would never have visited otherwise.

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Fresh walnuts from the trees

It still is amazing to us to follow the weather here in southern France, compared to where we used to live. Here it’s still possible to plant fresh salads and count on their survival without cover. And when we water it now, we know our hosts will benefit from it several months ahead.

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The salad that will be served in November

So, there are many up-sides to house- and pet sitting in different places, and as Anders realized earlier today – this is rather different from a Tuesday in the office!

With sunshine,
Anders and Wivan

New again

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Today we’ve moved in with these two dogs, and two cats while their owners are away. It’s our first house sit in Sweden since we became “professional house sitters” last November.

The furry one, Dorian, is an eight month old puppy and he’s big. Luckily he’s very gentle when walking on a lead and is good at relaxing indoors (when not chewing on things…).
Simba is a older dobberman who loves to cuddle and check out what happens in the kitchen.

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This is a house close to where Anders works, and we’re staying for a week. After a couple of weeks with lots of people around, it feels good to have a week with just the two of us and the pets.

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Dorian chasing a fly...

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Poppy flowers