Saturday and a slow start

Breakfast in bed

It’s a bit special for me nowadays to wake up and have breakfast at home. Usually, during work-days, I get ready quickly in the morning to be at work before 5.30 am. My breakfast is prepared the night before and I make my own coffee to bring in a thermo-cup to work.

I love my work hours, It’s no problem for me to get up in the morning and to get off by lunch is awesome – especially during winter so I can get some daylight in the afternoon.

At the gym in Colorado last summer

Saturdays and Sundays though are a nice break, and I love to start the day in another tempo, and without rush.

Often I think of going to the gym on Saturdays, but I get stuck with a book, coffee and relax by the breakfast table instead. Or prioritize going for a walk.

Poster on my niece and nephews’s school

Earlier in life, I was often picturing a more free life where I could spend my time however I wanted, without stress. And over the past years I have lived just like that a lot more.

Even now, when I work full time, I feel rather free most of the time, and I know it has a lot to do with my attitude towards priorities, “musts and shoulds”, how I think about time and also that I feel less stress over what others think of me and rather look to what I need and want.

As I write this, I see how far I’ve come on my personal journey, and how rewarding all the coaching sessions, reading, deep thinking and looking at my less charming thoughts and behaviours have payed off. For this I am grateful.

So, I’m ready to go out and meet  this day with curiosity and love and I hope you are too.

Love, Wivan 

A world of possibilities

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My niece K on a walk

It’s more than a week until I head back to Sweden, and except for tomorrow and Thursday, I’ve got no plans.
To some that might be stressful or odd, to me it’s like a world filled with possibilities.

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Snow the other day

When talking to my brother just ten minutes ago, I realized it really is a choice I’ve made – to be open to what comes. Rarely do I need to be entertained, especially here where there’s nature and beauty everywhere.

Sure, I hope to go for a couple of hikes, but I am at least as happy to just hang out, live in the local area, take a bike ride or just enjoy a cup of coffee and a book.

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One of many walks

As we (Anders and I) have traveled so much and to many different places over the past year and a half, I see how I love to slow down a bit, not always go to new places. And I feel that I take in things, people and experiences a bit different nowadays, which needs to be processed. Or I’m just getting a bit older!?
I love to live like a local, not always do the obvious touristy things or pack in as many experiences as possible.

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Nephew M parked the car for the party last weekend

When thinking about it, I see how keeping the schedule open, also gives a lot more openness to what feels fun or good at the time being, instead of being stuck with plans I’d rather get out of. My lovely American family needs to put up with having me around for a while longer since I am staying, and to me that also gives more chances to see the “kids” (16 and 18 years old) every now and then – one of the big reasons why I’m here. Since we don’t have kids of our own, our nieces and nephews are maybe even more important to us.

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Chillaxing on the sofa

So, I look at my open schedule with a bit of “is it ok to do this in the Land-of-maximizing?”.

And the answer is: Hell Yes!

The way we have choosen to live, different than most Westerners, also brings approaches less ordinary to all kinds of situations.

Let’s see what this vacation in the US will bring the coming eight days!

Lots of love and sunshine from Colorado,
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

New place; new beginnings

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At the hotel in Phuket

When constantly coming to new places, changing settings for how and where we live, there are possibilities for new beginnings ever so often. And I must say, we take advantage of that.
When walking home from the grocery store the other day, I realized that when coming to a home, like here in Singapore for almost one month of house- and cat sitting, we bring only a few things and most of how this month is going to play out with activities, routines and food depends both on the setting and our choices.

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Bronson and I doing yoga

Here’s the deal; as humans we tend to stick to routines and habits. It’s often easy, convenient and sometimes effective to put on the shoes in the same order every time, to cook the same type of food, to manage the day in pretty much the same way as the day before… Therefore we might get stuck and forget that we can make new decisions and change things whenever we want. Usually we “save” those changes or decisions for “The Future”, a new year, fresh school semester, the summer holidays, next Monday or whenever seems to be a good time and day for a new beginning.

Picture: oldenglishprints.com

Picture: oldenglishprints.com

Anders and I go from place to place visiting locations and people we’re not familiar with, which gives us physical, hands-on invitations to make changes – when everything around us is new it’s up to us to choose how to tackle it. In Bali we stayed in five different places within four weeks: that makes a lot of new beginnings!

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Trying out local shopping in Bali

Before coming here to Singapore we had set an intention of using the swimming pool and swim regularly, we had decided not to drink alcohol and to cook food bought at the market as one way of keeping a budget while staying in an expensive city (plus we have missed not having a kitchen). Another intention was to try the smaller, simpler food stands and ‘hawker centers’ for local food experiences. This far, we have done all of that, one step at a time, even though it might have been easier to choose differently at times.

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Tiong Bahru hawker center

So, we have some sort of “help” in making new beginnings by physically changing settings often, and at the same time we meet other travelers who rarely step out of their habits; always sticking with their preferred way of doing things, their favorite foods, only talking to people from the same country and so on. Hereby I want to state that you can travel around the world ten times and not learn or do anything different, and you can stay in the exact same spot for years and make tons of changes – we have met those open-minded, curious people too.

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New breakfast choices: banana, pumpkin seeds, oats and soy milk

In Bali where I had hoped to be able to walk a lot, it was a bit hard to find good places for just plain walking, so I had to do things differently than I was used to and had hoped for. When coming to Singapore I was used to buying lots of fresh, local fruit at good prices, and yet the very first day I was pushed off that trail when seeing the prices at the fancy super market in a shopping mall. Now, there are other markets where one can get fresh produce at more reasonable prices, but my first encounter was a knock down.

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Tiong Bahru wet market

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Shopping at the wet market

So, in closing, even though it might seem easier to make changes when the calendar switches to a new year, or when our physical place is new or different – there’s almost always a choice how to spend our money, use our body, time and what we make of our lives.

With love,
Wivan

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Nacho night in the apartment

1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.

– Leo Babauta –

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The pool, used frequently by us

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Lunch at hawker center

Oh, I treasure the moments!

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Morning mix today

We have written about it before, the fact of our different personalities and the different “time zones” Anders and I usually have.
Both of us need space and time for ourselves, and we tend to find it and use it in various ways.

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Morning under a coconut tree

Mornings usually are “my” time, and here in Thailand I’ve often taken walks, done yoga, read and had breakfast on my own.
This morning is no exception, and I just realized how much I treasure these moments. It was something I used to dream about years ago; to be able to start and spend my days in a very free way, doing what I really love to do – first thing in the morning. I created habits and schedules to make it possible when working, and now I am more free to do it however feels good at the time being.

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Yesterday's morning walk

It’s the little things and moments that builds up a day, a week, a month and a life. How we decide to spend our time matters.

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Afternoon on the beach the other day

We also love (luckily!!!) to spend time together – and those moments also become more important since we actually do take time to do things separately. It is a balance to play with.

Anders is now feeling better and today we have booked a very special tour to go on together in the afternoon.

What moments builds up your day?
//Wivan

Letting choice take time or not

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South East Asia

Sometimes it’s good and easy to make decisions fast, at other times it’s better to give it some more consideration or just leave it for a bit and see what more comes to mind in the meantime.

We’re living in that type of space at the moment; making some decisions fast and let others take more time.

Like the situation of where to stay from tomorrow. We’ve had so many ideas coming up, and there’s been some uncertainty regarding what we’d really like to do next. The only two things that sort of boxes us in, are the 30-day visa here in Indonesia, and our next house sit that starts on December 18th in Singapore.

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Next destination: Amed

What do we really want to do here in Bali? We accepted the fact that the decision of where to go from here on would take some time, and meanwhile we’ve been looking at maps and online to get inspiration. Finally, this morning, we booked a stay in Amed on Bali’s east coast where snorkling is supposed to be great, the nature holds many varieties and there are less tourists.

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Zooming out

We also got a new idea; to extend our visa and stay in Indonesia the whole time until we leave for Singapore. So we tried that idea, we even went to a visa
extension office – and then dropped the idea again. The price of an extension, in our situation, was 2 million Rupiah per visa and for that money we can fly someplace else and rather come back to Indonesia another time.

Where we’ll go when our visa expired is not yet clear – so we let it be for a while and know that a decision (and new ideas) will come.

// Anders and Wivan

Time alone among others

It’s been a rather people-intense week since our hosts came back from their vacation, and we’ve been working together most of the days and spent time with guests/visitors most days. I do love to be around people and yet am in need of time alone every now and then.
This morning I felt in need of some extra time just being on my own – something that can be rather rare when living as a guest in someone else’s house.

One of our jobs

One of our jobs

But, here’s the lovely thing about being honest, and staying at really nice people’s place – it’s ok! At a small break during today’s work, I said that I felt a little tired “on the inside” and needed some time alone. So, after lunch when I asked what the plan was for the rest of the day, the spontaneous answer was: “Aren’t you going on a walk, or a bike ride on your own?”.

Anders' photo art

Anders’ photo art

Love it! It was like they had planned for me to get away for a bit, to be alone and it was nothing odd or any hard feelings, rather totally natural. So I took a walk with a fresh podcast in my headphones and enjoyed the afternoon sun. Then a dip in the pool, a shower and some yoga in our room and here I am now, ready to face other people again!

Nice huh!?

See ya! // Wivan