Author Archives: Magnus

We have decided – again!

Again we had said;  ”no, this year we won’t do our family summer camp” and again we just couldn’t resist. We all think it just so great and so much fun to have lots of fantastic people gather here at our place in the middle of Sweden. People who come together, share, do fun things and “just” spend time together.

It’s now the 7th family camp we’ll arrange here at our small farm and we usually are at least around a hundred people, adults and kids. We’ve had people from all over the world participating. Apart from Sweden, they have come from places like Germany, France, Spain, England, Holland, Finland, Norway and some even from as far away as the US, Israel, Taiwan and New Zealand!

So, now you are invited too! To read more about the gathering and see some more pictures from previous years you can go to www.askofamilycamp.info

Hope to see you soon!

 

A while back, we wrote about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman who travelled the world on their motorbikes. One of our comments about that was that when they went on their adventures they left their families at home :-( .

Ready for the big adventure...

Ready for the big adventure...


So today we were very pleased to hear about a similar adventure to their Long Way Down trip from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. This time though, it’s two Swedish families who are leaving from Sweden but with the same destination in mind. 4 adults and 4 young children under the age of 10 on this 8-9 months long road trip through Europe and Africa. They are not riding motorbikes though but two well equipped Land Rovers.

You can follow their journey that started today on: www.smallbigexpedition.se

It sure is an amazing adventure they´re setting off on. Maybe not something that all participants will remember but for sure an experience that will influence their lives in one way or another.

Please don’t be intimidated by this great adventure – it might not be for everyone. These families are well experienced travelers looking for something extra ordinary. For most of us though a more traditional long term journey will offer enough memorable experiences to satisfy us.

We hope to have a reason to come back and tell you more about this expedition and maybe also offer you an interview later on.

We got this question a while back. We do get many questions and we love them so do keep them coming. Send them to Info@extendedworldtravel.com or post them in the comments below. It sure helps us to know what’s on your mind and in what way we might be able to assist you.

Anyway, the whole question was:

“I was just curious as to how possible and realistic it would be to travel for 10 years or more with little initial savings, no education past high school, and no other source of income?”

The answer to that is very simple: it is absolutely possible! But, and this is important to remember, it all depends on any specific desires you may have regarding your travels and what you want them to be like.
cycled
It’s a very common misconception that long term traveling has to be expensive. Maybe it’s because a lot of people see it as an extended one week holiday in high season, when you stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, hang out in bars every night and spend money on tourist attractions. Multiply that by 52 and you will of course get an astronomical figure for a one year journey. And if this is the way you want to travel you will need lots of money in the bank or a big steady income. For most long term travelers , this is not the way they do it though, usually because that are not their circumstances.

A lot of people who want to travel long term don’t have the money for an extravagant journey. So they have to plan accordingly and find solutions that match their situation and their desires. Even without any money saved up it is still possible to go on a long journey.

The truth is, traveling long term can often be much cheaper than staying at home! We have met many and talked to many travelers who confirm this. For instance, when you’re on the road, you don’t have all the fixed costs that come with keeping a home and staying in one place. No rent, no home insurance, no car (if you are not traveling by car that is), no electric bills, no expenses for commuting , no day care costs…

All you got is basically the expenses for food, lodging and transportation. And there are also many things you can do to keep even these at a minimum. It just takes some creativity and a willingness to find solutions.

One idea is network travel which we have written about earlier here. If you choose this way you can basically eat and sleep for free. That would mean that the only expense that remains is the actual transport. Furthermore, you can always choose to ride a bike or walk. Maybe it won’t take you around the world, although that is possible too, but will definitely keep the expenses close to zero :-) .

And this is possible to do for a year or longer. To have plenty of time absolutely makes it easier to be able to travel inexpensively. We have some friends who did just that. They used WWOOF for their network travel, and spent 5 years traveling around Europe (and this is not the cheapest part of the world). They just kept going and even became parents along the way, and then continued to be “WWOOFers” with their child.

Of course this may not be everyone’s choice. But neither are first class tickets and 5 star hotels. You just have to find whatever suites you and your circumstances.

And yes, just to be clear: Education has nothing to do with this being possible or not…

Don’t forget to write your own question in the comments :-)

How does one get the money top travel long term? Or like a recent question that we got from a German lady who wrote:

“I love the idea of getting out of the rat race and spend my whole life travelling. But there will be food and gas that I have to buy. Where do I take the money from, when I’m not working?”

It is a very easy question to ask but much more complex to answer. It really depends on a lot of factors and your personal situation.
mmi
We are all unique with unique talents living our own unique lives. Therefore there is not one answer available that suites all. And as long as you are hoping for someone to give you the one and only answer you run a big risk of being disappointed. What works for us may be impossible for you or the other way round.

A very sad thing we have noticed through the years when we’ve been asked these question, is that our answers may even be more discouraging than encouraging. We can literally see the light and hope vanish from people’s eyes as they hear our answer and they often say something like: “Well we can’t do that”. They take our answer as the only way and then they use it as a reason to why it is not possible for them to do it.

And this happens no matter what our answers have been. Through the years our circumstances have been varying and accordingly so have our solutions been different to how we have made it possible to travel.

It is very important to us to do our best to support anyone who has a desire to go on a long journey. All our long journeys have been extremely rewarding to us and we wish that more could have a similar experience. That is basically why we started writing a book and also this website in the first place.

So nowadays we are very careful to offer quick solutions that have worked for us. We believe it is much more helpful if we can support, encourage and inspire you to find the quick solution that is tailor made for you.

To do that you will basically have to take a look at your own situation and also what you want your extended journey to look at.

We have met so many long term travelers through the years. From the wealthy ones, who stays in hotels and eats in restaurants every night to those traveling on a very limited budget and gets away with spending less money than at home. Yet others even make money traveling and can literally return home to a bigger bank account than they had when they left. Actually, money doesn’t have to be a problem after all… Even if you doubt this we are convinced that it is definitely a possibility for you to.

Someone said:

” You don’t need money to make money – you need creativity”.

We would change that to:

“You don’t need money to travel around the world – you need creativity”.

Our book: Extended World Travel is our attempt to, in the best way possible, support you to create the dream trip of your life, the perfect journey that suites your personal circumstances.

For you who are really determined to make your trip happen and are interested in getting some extra support, Maria will soon start to offer travel coaching. This will of course for natural reasons be a very limited offer and only on a first comes first serve basis. If you want to you can express your interest in an email to Maria at maria@extendedworldtravel.com .

We are not only about traveling even though it is definitely one off  our passions in life. As you might have understood after reading some of our blog posts we kind of like doing things a little bit different sometimes.

The palce for Asko2010

The setting for the Asko2010 gathering

  • We like traveling but will not just settle for going on a two week holiday. We want to explorer the possibilities of going on a 3 or 6 month journey.
  • Our children’s education has always been important to us. And since the conventional way which is to send kids to school isn’t always working that great we took a look into alternatives. We investigated and explored the subject and found other ways that work  just as well or even better. On top of that it offered us the time freedom to go on long journeys…
  • To us the idea of working the 9 to 5 has never really inspired us that much. Although, when times are hard we can sometimes get tempted by the security if offers. But  it has never really convinced us to give up our desire for freedom. Whenever really faced with a choice between the two our need for freedom has always won.

A problem with making unconventional choices though is that sometimes people around you don’t always understand. This of course can often make it harder. With this in mind we have decided to hold a gathering for unconventional choices at our small farm in Sweden. How about that?

We have previously had 4 family gatherings at our farm with participants from more than 10 countries. Even with people coming from such far away places like Israel, Spain, USA, Taiwan and New Zeeland. It has been absolutely amazing.

Not having done it for two years we have now decided to do it again. We are opening up our home for anyone willing to come and share in a network meeting around how we can support each other in our unconventional choices. We expect it to be the best week of the summer.

Read more about it at: www.asko2010.info

And if you are in the neighbourhood do come and join us!

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The other day we watched the movie “Up in the Air”. It is definitely about traveling, lots of traveling and especially about flying. So this post is in contrast to our two previous ones where we wrote about slow travel. In this movie the flying and getting from one place to the next is more or less the destination in itself.
Backpack
We are not here to tell you that one way is better than the other since it’s all up to you. Our personal preference though is to travel slow, rather than rushing from one city to the next only seeing airports and hotel lobbies.

Anyway this is a Hollywood production about a man who spends 320 days per year or more traveling the US, as part of his work. And one of his main goals in life is to accumulate as many frequent flyer miles as possible. So although this definitely is a traveling life style, it really doesn’t have much in common with our approach to traveling and why we believe it is good for you.

The movie itself is not that exceptional and it is not because of the travel theme we mention it here. No, our reason for bringing it up is that the main character also does some freelance speaking engagements where he talks about his take on life. The title of his speech is “What’s in your backpack?” and you can have a look at a 2 minute clip of it below.

Play Video

I can very well relate to what he is saying. All the “stuff” that we have definitely makes it hard to move. Even though we have managed to unburden ourselves several times in one way or another from all the things at home, it still takes an effort every time to set off. As soon as we get back home after a longer journey and settle down for a while, stuff and commitments get hold of us again and the straps on our shoulders get heavier.

Sometimes it can be nice to be settled down, have your stuff around, fulfill your duties and just relax in the comfort of your home. And then at other times the desire to just let go arises. And right now that feeling is rising within us. We want to once again unburden ourselves from things and take off. We don’t know in what way yet and how we will unburden ourselves – but rest assure, we have no intention of doing it with fire :lol:. We know very well that there are other ways, and some of them we have already written about.

You can either do this in a more permanent way by selling and giving your stuff away and resigning from commitments like work. Or you can choose to just put your life on hold for a while by renting out or storing your stuff and asking for a leave of absence from work.

However you choose to do it doesn’t matter. It is just that if you are hoping to go somewhere at all for a longer period of time, you will somehow have to unload some of that stuff in your backpack. And when you do, interesting things might happen and you may realize that you have no desire of putting them back in later on, when you finally have got them out :lol:

A while ago we asked the question why is families that do long term travel so uncommon? Judging from the feedback we got, school and money are definitely the most common reasons that stand in the way. Well , for most people money is usually the most popular reason but when it comes to families , then school is just as important.

Long term travel offers many real life opportunities for learning <br> Today we learn about the Alhambra...

Long term travel offers many real life opportunities for learning - Today the Alhambra, Tomorrow???


This hasn’t been the case for us since we have homeschooled most of the time even when we haven’t been traveling but we can very well understand the worries that may arise since we ran into the same kind of concerns when we started homeschooling our children. Could we do it? Would they learn anything? How about friends? And on and on… Not to mentioned how family, friends and even authorities here in Sweden were questioning our decision.

Being questioned like that we of course had to take a closer look at all these worries to see if it made sense to us or if we were just being crazy. We spent a lot of time, years and years, reading and studying the subject of schooling and how children (well ,everybody) learns.

To be honest the conclusion we came to is that school is probably not the best place for an ideal learning situation. We don’t want to be disrespectful of all the teachers and all the people working so hard in schools trying their best to teach children. It is just that the school system in itself is not the perfect set up.

Learning is a natural ability. We learn all the time from everything that is around us and from all that happens to us. We learn from seeing, doing, hearing, reading, and experiencing things. We learn from our failures as well as from our successes. We learn by asking as well as by answering questions. We learn by free will without even being asked to. We learn all the time without even thinking about it. Learning is a lot of fun and not a struggle.

In my personal opinion , by making school compulsory and forcing children to learn against their will, you start off on the wrong foot. You run into a constant uphill battle where the teachers try to motivate the children to learn by offering rewards or threatening with punishments. A human natural behavior is turned into a forced one and the joy of learning goes out the window. And the sad thing is, I believe, that is what happens when children start school. They start first grade happy and eager to learn and after a year or two the light in their eyes have gone out and learning is boring.

I could see this in my own life. And it was not until we started homeschooling our own children and saw the enthusiasm with which they embraced learning that I rediscovered my own joy for learning.

Sorry if I got a bit carried away there. It’s just that learning has become a subject that is very close to my heart. It makes me happy to see kids enjoy learning. And I also want to inspire others to rediscover their joy of learning just like I did

Am I getting of topic here? Not really because what we also discovered is that traveling is a great way of learning, probably one of the best. When traveling, you are constantly faced with new situations and circumstances. And every new situation is a new learning opportunity. The amount of learning that happens when you are out traveling can never be achieved in a classroom. And the amazing thing is that we have had reports from families saying that even if the children for instance have done no math exercises during their whole 6 month journey their understanding of math have still improved and they have no problem keeping up. Rather the opposite, they have very often moved ahead of the rest of the class!

So what I am trying to say here is: Don’t let school be a reason that stops you from long term travel. On the contrary, let your children’s education be the reasons why you need to go on that journey. Give them a real understanding of the world which I am sorry to say they won’t find in text books in a class room.

Somewhere you can find a lot of good stuff about long term travel and learning is on the Soultravelers3 blog.

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The other day we wrote about why travel is good for you and your brain based on scientific studies. Today though, I want to tell you about one of my favorite authors and his view on how to travel. This is rather different from the scientific approach though and much more about personal opinions.

Paulo Coelho gives advice on how to travel

Paulo Coelho gives advice on how to travel


The author is Paulo Coelho and to me he is definitive a great author. I always enjoy reading his books. They are easy to read, usually surprise me and inspire me to not always believe my first impression. He often has a nice twist on things. And the books do make me feel good. So it was nice when, earlier today, I was reminded of his advice on how to travel .

I believe Paulo Coelho to be a man who writes and talks from the heart, not too concerned by what others might think. So when he shares his point of view on traveling, it is nice to see that we seem to think alike in many ways.

First of all, he as well, is of the opinion that travel is the best way to learn. I whole heartedly agree with that and it is of course one of the reasons we have choose to travel with our kids. But not only for the kids, we parents too enjoy to learn and discover new things.

Furthermore Paulo’s basic advices for a traveler are:

• Take your time
• Stay away from tourist traps
• Don’t buy too many souvenirs
• Try and meet the locals and discover what their life is all about.

These are simple things that make a lot of sense to me.

But when you look at what the travel industry in general is all about, it very often seems to be the total opposite. The objective of travel often seems to be to see and do as much as possible of the tourist stuff in the shortest amount of time. Buy the local handicrafts that, no matter where you are, usually are made in China. And then at night party away with the other holiday makers.

No, this is not the kind of stuff that makes us passionate about traveling and why we want you to travel.

Most important, I believe, is probably to give yourself plenty of time. Slow and extended travel is the way to go. And of course do it with your kids! It will be an experience of a life time. Paulo missed that one but it’s probably because he doesn’t have any kids off his own. Otherwise I am sure it would be included in his advice.

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