Keep It Simple (Stupid).



Constantly reminded, and happy to have seen so many contrasts, we try and keep things simple even if we are back in Sweden and have decided to settle down for a while.

Here, in Northern Europe, much of the basics for living are so comfortable and it’s easy to get caught up in making perfect or comparing with others.


Simple packing

After living with less things and constantly coming to new places, we try to remember to let life and the experience be in the center rather than making the outer things perfect. It’s more important, to us, to have fun, feel relaxed and meet ourselves and other with compassion and love. When caught up in the spinning wheel of “should have, could have, would have”, those basics are easy to run away from. Maybe we all of a sudden believe in the thoughts of all we “should” do, have or be, instead of asking ourselves what is important and joyful to us.

Keeping it simple can be done in many parts of life: how much foods we buy and store, what to pack for trips and traveling, when communicating with others, in the planning of activities and every day life, how we interact and play with kids (and how many toys, activities and things they “need”), how we design our home and how perfect we want it, social life, to what degree we engage in and at work, and more.


Train ride to get to Gnesta

When packing to go north to visit my dad and extra mom, I found myself worrying about what to bring, and then I was reminded about the simplicity we’ve had during the long-time travels abroad; if something is missing – either borrow or buy what I need, or be without. And it’s very rarely so important that I can’t be without for a few days.

It also is very good to only unpack what we truly want and miss from the storage; there are many things that are still in the boxes! And I mostly wear the same clothes I’ve had in the past six months, only some warm hats, jackets and underwear is added.


Today snow!

When in doubt, we think of our life and the friends and family in Sri Lanka where the expression ‘less is more’ felt more real than ever.


Kitchen "cabinet" in Sri Lanka


“You happy?”

When walking around in the villages in Weligama on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka in the past couple of weeks, it often struck us how open the hearts and smiles seem to be of locals we’ve met. Even if we come from a different environment, climate and social rules, we’ve been invited to come inside people’s houses and share a moment together. Often we had a cup of tea or were served a meal.


Out walking, met by smiles

For most people living here in Sri Lanka, leading simple lives and earning money from one day to another, it’s hard to understand the concept of long-time travels and the time and money the two of us have decided to “spend” traveling rather than saving for later. And we, Anders and Wivan, certainly have a hard time to explain our situation, sometimes because of language difficulties and sometimes just because our way of living is so very different from most people’s.


Happy fishermen

Often we are surprised by the Sri Lankan’s loving and happy spirit no matter what their living conditions are, and some locals seem a bit confused of how on earth we can go traveling without having a job that gives money day to day. So we, both sides, have some sort of unspoken agreement on not understanding each other’s situations fully and just be friends anyways, accepting our different situations, lifestyles and the not-understanding part.


Tea time

That “agreement” is a lovely thing. At times we just shorten our story a bit, making it all about being in Sri Lanka for a month or three and telling people how much we love this beautiful country, the people, food and the weather. Other times, when language and time to talk is not a problem, we try and explain a bit more, part of it being a way to say that it’s possible to dream big and make things happen if we dare to step into the void every now and then.


Adventures together with Mona

Now after arriving at our next house sit, staying in a very big and nice house, it’s again hard to explain when our Sri Lankan “brother” Mona calls to check how we are after the trip here. Yeah, we get to stay for free in a huge house, taking care of two dogs while their owner travels abroad…
Mona is a lovely guy though, and simply ask his regular question:

You happy?

And when we say ‘yes, we’re very happy’, he goes on:

You happy, me happy.


This lovely guy, Mona, always caring

See, it doesn’t have to be more difficult than that. We’re friends and “family”, and if the other is happy, so are we.

With love and gratitude,
Anders and Wivan


Train station in Weligama

A week of simplicity

This week is my last work-week for the summer, and Anders did his last day of work on Monday.

He’s house sitting at mom’s place and I stay in the guest house of some friends in Åhus. Anders and I enjoy having time together, as well as having time to be alone.

I love these type of periods when I get to simplify life to a maximum. My focus is to work, sleep, spend time with our friends and their kids, and to do some exercise/be outside.

That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.


Quiet breakfast

Do you have periods when you can simplify your days; letting go of all the “should do” and “have to:s”?


Simplicity rules


Warm water + lemon juice

Having breakfast on my own in the small place I am staying during this work week, I just realized how simple things get when there’s not so much to take care of.


Water, coffee and fruits

When the area is small, it’s not so much to clean. When there are not so many things, there’s not so much to fuzz about. And that means a lot more time to do whatever feels fun, inspiring and good. Time to just be, to hang out with friends and family, to stay outside or to read, watch a movie, cook food or _______________ (fill in the blank).


A lake close by

I am not saying it’s wrong to live in a large beautiful mansion or to have a lot of things. Just saying that all different situations have their pros and cons. And that trying different ways is enriching my experience and understanding.

Stay cool!