Freedom of choice and flexibility

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Carrots in the bag

Oh, how good it feels to have trained my flexibility so much over the last couple of years. And to have let go of the thoughts of making perfect.

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Backpack with gym equipment

This morning, as I had just left the house to go to the gym, I got a call from the radio station where I used to work and where I’ll be working this upcoming summer. They were in big need of a host for the afternoon show and hoped I’d be in the area.

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Running from the gym to the train

I was happy to easily make a plan to make it work – and to be able to continue from the gym to the train and onwards to the radio station. No need for more things or different clothes, it’s become so much easier for me to handle the situations that come my way, and to take it as it is. (extra plus for having picked rather good clothes this morning).

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Bought a salad on the way and had lunch as I prepared

From the moment I said yes to make this day of work happen, I also realized there was no prestige in this for me – all I had to do was to be calm and relaxed, knowing that I can handle it.

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Two and a half hours of live radio

After arriving, I had a little more than two hours to prepare myself for the live show – without a personal login to computers, quickly learning how the show is built up, and with hugging former collegues and some small talk in between, I made it!

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There was a producer that had planned and prepared the topics of the show, and reporters doing good work to make it all come together. I am so happy I took the chance to see how it all worked out and how sweet the people were to me.

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Preparation

It’s been about two years since I last broadcasted a whole radio show like this, doing most of the technical stuff myself. After a day like this, it’s clear that it helps to rely on that everything will be good and to humbly work with what some call ‘a beginner’s mind’ – even though I know some of this since long, a lot has changed and is new to me and I learn a lot by letting others show and help.

Finally back home with Anders and time to prepare some food for tomorrow’s lunch. Because, I’ll be working also tomorrow!

Have fun, enjoy your life and maybe take on a challenge every now and again.
//Wivan

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Six months later – back in Sweden

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Waiting for the train at Kastrup

Yesterday morning we arrived back in Copenhagen in Denmark, went though the new ID-controls before getting on the train and then had to show our ID:s again on the train in Sweden.

After about 28 hours of traveling we were met by mom at the station in Karlskrona and went to have lunch together.

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Cold, getting off the train

It all felt very familiar, even though we haven’t been in Sweden over the past six months – it’s clear how used we are to this environment, to the style of houses, traffic and food. There are few surprises, except for some new bills with Astrid Lindgren on (20 SEK).

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On the ferry

And yet, when opening the water tap, I am very aware of that this water is very clean and I won’t need to boil it before drinking (in Sri Lanka too we were drinking tap water without boiling it, after staying there a while).
Things in Sweden are very organized and clean, the streets might have traffic but there are seldom any honking and now cows on the roads!

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Walk by the sea

We already miss the rice and curry from Sri Lanka, and the fun people we have spent a lot of time with the last months. And yet it’s so lovely to sleep in a bed with two (!) covers, in a place that’s quiet.

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This is "our" house at mom's and Bosse's place

It’s nice to be back in Sweden, it’s wonderful to be able to speak with people and to have some of the foods we have missed. The weather is cold and we need to get some things from our storage – we hadn’t planned to be back until June.

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A sunny walk by the sea

One step at a time, we meet this “new” and yet familiar country where we have lived most of our lives. With a deeper understanding of how privileged we are to be here, to have a choice and to be free, we happily meet the spring in Europe.

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Red branches on a bush

Without stress we can get used to the weather and foods, and let ourselves enjoy all the things and people we have missed.
We love contrasts, and like to see the differences of places and cultures. There still is no plan for what we will do or live in the future, that’s something we like to keep open. For now, we are here.

With love, sunshine and long underwear,
Wivan

Ready for take off

Or as ready as can be. Bags are packed, we had a swim in the ocean before breakfast, yesterday we gave small presents to the closest friends here and we will get a ride in a car to the airport this afternoon.
It’s both nice and sad to leave, as it is most of the time in life. Ups and downs,  good and bad, happy and sad.

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Out bying spices to bring

For us, it feels like we’ll come back to Sri Lanka in the future. But life here, and the look of things will most certainly change a lot over the coming years – tourism is yet in the beginning of what’s to come.

We are so grateful for the possibility to be here this time, with the people we have met and to experience a place so beautiful and nice, yet unspoilt. Genuine, that probably is a good word to describe it. Experiences, people and the food feels genuine.

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Last night with the family

So, what awaits us now? More than 24 hours of traveling; car, planes and train.
And then we arrive in Karlskrona and take the ferry out to the small island of Aspö where we’ll be living the coming 6 months. (as the plan looks now).

How it will feel to land in the +1 degree weather? We don’t know. Sweaters are packed to access easily in the hand luggage, and we have asked mom to lend us some hats and socks as we arrive on the island.

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Yesterday I went with a friend who got a haircut

In the bags we bring memories and presents from people here in Weligama, and our wet swim suits!

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After surfing a few weeks ago

Back in…

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Jungle beach

Both of us are a bit tired after a day of discussing, packing and changing plans yesterday, and a long day of traveling today. Now we’ve arrived in… Weligama! (again)
Yes, there was a plan of going inland to Kandy, Ella and other places, but when thinking of seeing new places all the time, learning about history and move every two nights, we realized what we really want is to settle down a while.

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Colombo Fort Railway station Sunday morning

Train rides here are always a bit humbling to us, and filled with learning about cultures, people, ourselves, heat, comforts and luxuries in the West.

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Inside Colombo Fort Railway station

After an hour’s delay even before departure, and with us standing in the isle and no fans onboard, it was nice to roll out of the city and watch the ocean outside of the train.

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Walking from the train towards Weligama city center

When arriving in Weligama, a couple of tuktuk drivers tried to give us tourist prices for a ride, but since we know the area and what’s a reasonable price, we walked down the street and found another driver to take us for the price we offered.

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View from a beach close to the hotel

We got a room at our favorite hotel for the coming night, and tomorrow we’ll go house shopping, hoping to find someplace to rent for the coming month or so.

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Happy to see Mona surfing

The family we’ve spent so much time with here were very happy to have us back and soon had arranged a wonderful dinner for us at their house.

Now our “challenge” is to tell them how much we love them and all of their care, and that we still want to do some cooking for ourselves and that we like to have some time on our own too.

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Did you know that four backpacks and two people fit into one tuktuk?!

Ok, time for some sleep – hopefully without noisy roosters and village entertainment in outdoor speakers!

Lots of salt water and sunshine,
Anders and Wivan

Choices to make: Many. Decisions: None.

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Not easy to get good pictures of these two

In a couple of days the host we’re currently house- and dog sitting for will be back home and we’re welcome to stay a few extra days. And we probably will, because we just seem totally incapable of making a clear decision on where and when to go next!
Tomorrow we’re off to Colombo to extend our Sri Lankan visas to be able to stay another two months. And we do want to take the train to go inland, towards Kandy, Ella and other cultural places, tea plantations and maybe some national park. But it seems to be too many choices for us to decide on (when to go, where, places to stay, tours, transportation etc), so instead we tend to go blank.

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Trusting answers will come

What we’ll probably do, is to decide on when to leave Negombo (Sunday or Monday), and just take it from there, one step at a time. Our big plan is to go back to Weligama in a few weeks, and spend a longer time in a rented house/apartment there. But, since we’re relatively close to the railway that runs to the inland, and we do want to see some other parts of this beautiful country… yes, there are good reasons to take the train to Kandy and Ella. And it’s another chance to try our trust, gut feeling and just go with what happens at the moment!

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Sunset in Negombo

Yesterday we sort of decided to go to Malaysia in late March, to spend about a month there before heading to the US and some hyper-western-life, a family reunion in late May and then go to Sweden in early June.
Gosh, that’s a whole lot of plans already, right?! So, why bother to plan the next coming days? And is it even important? No, actually not important at all!

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Drawing from the other morning

Over the past week I’ve been to Jasmin Villa Ayurvedic Resort in Kochikade to get massages and treatments for my ear infection and the cold I came up with last week. It’s been wonderful experiences at the Jasmin Villa and also a good time to rest and just be in the moment rather than catching new experiences or spending time with other people. This place offers really good value for money and even pick people up and drop them off at the hotels by the beach in Negombo. We stay rather close to the Jasmin Villa, and they are so surprised we don’t live among all the other foreigners along the beach!

The treatment has done wonders and the ear infection never came close to being as bad as last November when we were in Bali.

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Meanwhile I'll have some more papaya

So, the choices? We’ll just have to keep on playing the fun game of not knowing very much about the future and just see what the next step will be.
Take care and have fun playing!

// Wivan

Bumpy train ride from Weligama to Negombo

Today we took off to Colombo and then to Negombo for a house sit that starts on Thursday/Friday.
After two weeks in Weligama, last night was party night at “our” Sri Lankan family’s house!

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Dancing!

They had prepared many different things for us; coconut torches on the front side, music for dancing, lovely bbq fish, drinks, a big dinner and ice cream (!) with jelly.

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The guys off to buy arrak

I danced for hours, or that’s what it felt like, with kids from the village. The grown-ups didn’t dance until it was dark.

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Some of the kids and parents

People stood out on the street to watch us, and some of them were clapping along with the music. Again, it was a sight to see the “tall” Swedish Sri Lankan girl dancing!

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Kids all excited about us dancing together

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Coconut torches in the making

So, after sharing this lovely time together, we spent a last night in the small hotel by the beach.

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Breakfast with a view

About six hours on trains today, costing around €2,50 for the both of us. Hot, bumpy, beautiful and another very Sri Lankan experience.

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We got seats today!

An hour of waiting in Colombo passed quickly in the company of a Chinese woman.

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Colombo Fort railway station

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Lots of people at the station

Finally we arrived at the place we’ll stay at and care for two shy dogs, and tonight we sort of got a cultural shock when hanging out with expats and westerners after several weeks with mostly locals.

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Train from Colombo to Kochchikade

Anders won a bottle of white wine at the quiz and bingo night we attended in Negombo, so that was very nice!
Tomorrow we’ll probably just rest, get some fresh fruits to the house and get settled with everything around here.

Until then!
//Wivan

Quick update from Sri Lanka

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Slow days at the beach

Let’s see if it’s even possible to post something on the slow internet we’re currently on.

Slow, in a good way, is another way to describe this beautiful and curious island.
We are staying close to a small town in the south, Weligama, and the beaches are lovely, water is warm, sunny all day long. Food delicious (takes a long time to get it, and it’s always worth waiting for), people are nice and our current stay is not in our liking.

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Prison window of our room

Tomorrow we’re moving to another place close by but a bit higher standard (like no ants in the room), and very close to the beach.

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Shade is welcome these days

Tomorrow morning I have a surf date with a local guy, and who knows how that will be – promise to keep you posted. I am by no means a good surfer and by accepting his offer to help me I am taking a huge jump out of my comfort zone.

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Local on the beach

The train ride from Colombo down to Weligama, and the tuktuk rides are stories of their own.
Lots of waves and sunshine!
//Wivan and Anders