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!

 

I’m sitting here with a box full of books beside me. Not any books though – our own book! It’s an amazing thing, being able to hold it in your hands after all this time of talking about it, planning and working with it.
book
You could without exaggeration call it a 5 year plan – we started brainstorming around it in 2005 :) More exactly on Viktoria’s 17th birthday when we were sitting in the café at Thursday Plantation, the Tea Tree Oil place south of Byron Bay, Australia. I remember it well, we had been traveling around the world for some months and were discussing, again, all these questions people always ask us when we’re away. Like;

How do you get the money to travel?

How do you have the time?

What about the children’s school and

How could you travel when you have a job?

We’d all heard them more than once :) and realized that what people really want to know with all these questions, is how they could do it too. How they could leave their jobs for a while, let the kids take a break from school, find the means to go on a 6 month trip and maybe create a more independent lifestyle in general.
ewt-047
Anyway, that day, at the café, someone (jokingly) came up with this idea that we should write a book with our answers and then we could just give it to people. We first just laughed at the idea but then started thinking that it actually didn’t seem like such a bad thing. And now see where it has led us, that discussion around the lunch table!

Our first attempt was our ebook, which already has been out for a while, you can find it HERE. But now we also have a “REAL” one, a paper book! It contains lots of information on how to make a reality of that long dream trip for any family – how you could travel – and also our ideas about why we think that you should. We really think that traveling around as a family is GOOD for you and want to do our best to help you get out there and see for yourselves.
ewt-134
Here are some different links, depending on where in the world you’re living, or traveling :) and where you can check out the book and buy it.

USA – www.amazon.com & www.barnesandnoble.com/
Canada – www.amazon.ca
UK – www.amazon.co.uk
Germany – www.amazon.de
France – www.amazon.fr
Japan – www.amazon.co.jp
Sweden – www.bokus.com& www.adlibris.com

So check it out! Order it for yourselves and for your friends so they can go too or give it away as a Christmas present!

Happy Trip!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover“
Mark Twain

“We just want to take a break and to experience the world and other cultures and people together with our children”, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway told the press the other day.

haakonmette

The Norwegian Crown Prince family

We, of course :-) , think they’re doing the right thing going traveling the world and spending time together as a family. The parents call it “an educational trip” and say they want to teach their three children, aged 4, 6 and 13, about diversity, show them a bit of the world, that there are many different cultures and ways to live.

They will be away for two months (which probably is a really long trip royal wise) and will take care of the education themselves. I love the fact that the royal family of Norway will be homeschooling :-) !

There has been criticism to this trip (of course) and especially to the fact that the children will be taken out of school. Arguments like “they will fall behind” are not to uncommon, and this especially I find really unrealistic and unconsidered and the total opposite of my own experience.

There’s obviously a growing trend of parents taking their kids out of school for a one or two weeks holiday which I think is great. A couple of weeks is of course not exactly a long term trip, but at least a chance to spend time together as a family for a while in a new environment and experience something together. Usually a one or two week trip doesn’t require any special focus on the school issue. You just let go of everthing and take a break.

When you’re away for months though, most parents usually give the school issue much more focus. If the kids go to school when you’re at home, you might get plans to follow and material to bring. If you’re used to homeschooling, you just adjust your way of learning to the new situation. But either way, you will probably spend a lot of thinking and focus on the kids learning and it will be a big part of the trip.

And that’s the big difference between going away for a week or two compared to taking a trip for 6 months or a year (or two months for that matter). It’s another way of thinking and it’s a different way of living. And when you travel long term, when the trip is a part of your life, you will see things to learn everywhere. You will experience everything as “education” and the amount of things a child (and you too) will learn when you’re out in the world is massive. Because, as someone had commented regarding this royal trip “the school of life is really the one that’s most important”.

So, I’m really curious to follow this family on their new adventure which will start at the end of November. Now they of course want to be as private as possible and don’t want any involvement of the press, but at least it will be interesting to hear about their experiences when they get back and to see if they have changed in any way.

Come to think of it, maybe we should ask for an interview when they get back! Yes, we definitely will!

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“We’d love if you would like to enter our competition. We want to nominate you as one of the most adventurous families!”
LOTR all
That’s the email we got the other day from this travel magazine, one of the biggest here in Sweden. It’s actually called “Adventurous Families” and that’s what they write about, families who take a break from their everyday struggles and do something else together. Often this “something else” includes travel but it doesn’t have to.

Of course you can be adventurous anywhere. And what is “adventurous” is of course relative. For some, like the “Smallbigexpedition” that we recently wrote about here, the adventure can be to travel through Europe and Africa with a Land Rover. For others, it can involve things like climbing Kilimanjaro or swimming with white sharks. For yet others, the adventure can be to just leave your familiar surrounding and all the people you know and experience a totally new place for a while. For some, the real adventure can be to just be together, as a family, 24/7, something you may never have experienced and have no idea how it will work out.

For me, I think adventurous is when you challenge yourself and take a step, or several, outside of your comfort zone. And since we all have our own (perceived) limits around ourselves, this is very personal. What’s adventurous for some, is just a piece of cake for others and vice versa.

So, regarding the competition, of course we accepted! They then wanted to come and do an “adventurous photo shoot” and, since we had mentioned our “Lord of the Rings” tour around New Zealand, they suggested that theme for the photos.

So, the other day they came, with props and everything (swords, nice dresses…) from the Swedish television. They even had us asking around our neighbors for a white horse that we could use. And we found one! Here are some photos from the shoot, our own of course, the professional ones will be in the magazine. Viktoria, our oldest daughter is unfortunately missing though. She’s in England at the moment, doing her own adventurous things.

So, fingers crossed for winning (it’s a nice big travel check). And if we don’t, it’s still a great opportunity to spread the word about our new book (soon to be printed)!

And, by the way, what would be adventurous for your family?
LOTR aam
LOTR Aurora
LOTR Aron
LOTR Maria
LOTR Magnus

Yes, we’re hiking around in new territory again. Not physically though (well, not by foot anyway).

We’re working on our first real book! Of course it’s about traveling – extended travel. Actually it’s a development of our e-book: “Extended World Travel – How to take a break from the rat race and travel the world with your family for 6 months – or more” and it will be out soon!!

We haven’t been too active with our blog lately, and this is the reason. We’re also starting to do talks soon here in Sweden. That’s also a totally new track for us and we’re very excited!

At the moment, most of our time goes into book editing and preparing slide shows and talks and we’ve spent lots of time lately looking at old paper photos and not so old digital photos. I thought I’d post a few of them here.

I must say, working with this, and looking at all the photos, brings back so many memories, as well a reminder of how quickly times goes. The kids are almost adults now and I’m so grateful for having been able to spend so much time together with them and to travel around the world as a family. We’ll have all those memories together, I’m sure (and of course, the photos :) )

Aurora collecting drinking water at our favorite spring in the mountains above Marbella, southern Spain

Aurora collecting drinking water at our favorite spring in the mountains above Marbella, southern Spain

Viktoria got her hands painted by some Berber women in Marrakesh, Morocco. She was fascinated by the different outlook of this well known can.

Viktoria got her hands painted by some Berber women in Marrakesh, Morocco. She was fascinated by the different outlook of this well known can.

Tiny Aron with huge cactus in southern Arizona

Tiny Aron with huge cactus in southern Arizona

Just arrived in Fiji – look how pale we are! And yes, we got way to sunburned :(

Just arrived in Fiji – look how pale we are! And yes, we got way to sunburned :(

“Our” bure (cottage) on Nacula Island, Fiji. Certainly wouldn’t mind spending some time there now.

“Our” bure (cottage) on Nacula Island, Fiji. Certainly wouldn’t mind spending some time there now

Aron in Mumbai, India. The sun’s almost in zenith and the shadow fascinated him (wouldn’t mind being there either:))

Aron in Mumbai, India. The sun’s almost in zenith and the shadow fascinated him (wouldn’t mind being there either:))

We saw this fantastic sunset at the beach in Newport, Oregon, USA

We saw this fantastic sunset at the beach in Newport, Oregon, USA

Just sent the girls off to England (with different flights) so I’ve visited our nearby airport twice during the last days. It’s interesting how that part of the world suddenly has become like a second home to them (well, to all of us). Being used to traveling around, the UK feels really close, in more than one sense.

”Homes” along the road in Mumbai, India - traveling gives you perspective

”Homes” along the road in Mumbai, India - traveling gives you perspective

Anyway, I picked up a new magazine for that local airport – Take Off- and found some interesting articles. One, “Journey of life”, which I found especially exciting was written by the airport priest, Mattias Bähr (didn’t even know they had one there). He talks about all those internal and external journeys you can experience at a place like that. People on their way somewhere, both physically as well as mentally. We ourselves love to talk about traveling, and especially long term travel, as a life transforming event, so I totally agree with him there.

I also like the way he uses the airport as a metaphor for life and want to quote him on that:

Sometimes people stop me on my journey. An airport security inspector or someone else who wishes me well, would inquire if I really need all the “life luggage” that I am carrying around. “Luggage” that diminishes me; like prestige, never ending anger, discouragement and envy, would be a relief to just leave behind. Perhaps the journey, the vacation, meeting new people and places will give me the opportunity to reflect over my luggage and get my life into perspective.

And here again, I couldn’t agree more. This is also our own experience and something I want to emphasize, traveling really makes you get perspective on your life and helps you to become a better person! Imaging if we just could look at our everyday lives as if we’re on a constant round the world trip, with minds open to the “new” (to everything that is, because do we really know everybody and everything as well as we think?). We would get innumerable opportunities to reflect on who we really are, what we are doing and what we really would want to do, not take everything for granted and be more open to looking at things in a different way.

For me, it’s an interesting thought, a bit zen like I guess, and it does require quite some practice. And in the meantime, we can always rehearse this way of looking at the world by traveling around in it and bring the new perspectives back home, can’t we?

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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.

So, finally they’re on the road! Our friends, the Reichert family, have now left old jobs and schools behind them and are now full time travelers! After having dreamed about it, talked about it and worked hard for it, their new journey (in every aspect) has now started.
We’ve just had them visiting on their way up north. And not just north btw, but about as far up as you can get on this earth, northern Norway.  If you’ve been following us here you probably know that for this family, it’s all about oceans and photography and this passion is what will be leading their way now.  They have now taken the leap to live on what they love and their first project will be to meet with a marine biologist in Lofoten and do a project together with her. I think this is so great and when they were here, we talked a lot about all the things you can do and learn from when you travel together full time as a family. How everybody can participate on different levels in projects and fill a function, how what you do feel “real” and how your family feels “whole”.  I also love how Gabi, the mother, expresses it when she talks about how they’re into this together, all five of them, which, in the world of photography, obviously isn’t  the most common thing, and if people don’t like that, too bad for them…
We ourselves have done many, (well, most) things together as a family and it has been interesting to see peoples surprise many times when they expect you to be there as one adult and we turn up all five of us 
Well, I’m really looking forward to see their new photos. If you haven’t seen what they have done before, you must have a look at some amazing pictures here, in one of our previous posts about them.
By the way, Gabi, the mother, recently won a very big photo contest with one of her seaweed pictures (I wasn’t to surprised )
To me, it’s just so inspiring to meet with people who take what they love so seriously so they take the leap. I think it’s fantastic, and courageous; to actually leave a safe income, school, family and friends to do something more with their lives than just living an everyday life (and longing for something else) and I wish them everything good on their journey. May they find great places and people along the way, sell loads of pictures that’ll give joy and inspiration to others and just have lots of fun together!
For more pictures check out their blog (and if you read German you can also follow what they write )

So, finally they’re on the road! Our friends, the Reichert family, have now left old jobs and schools behind them and are now full time travelers! After having dreamed about it, talked about it and worked hard for it, their new journey (in every aspect) has now started.

The Reichert family – full time travelers

Full time travelers – Gabi, Gunter and the kids Esra, Noah and Ami with their campervan just leaving our place to travel up north

We’ve just had them visiting on their way up north. And not just north btw, but about as far up as you can get on this earth, northern Norway.  If you’ve been following us here you probably know that for this family, it’s all about oceans and photography and this passion is what will be leading their way now.  They have now taken the leap to live of what they love and their first project will be to meet with a marine biologist in Lofoten and do a project together with her. I think this is so great and when they were here, we talked a lot about all the things you can do and learn from when you travel together full time as a family. How everybody can participate on different levels in projects and fill a function, how what you do feels “real” and how your family feels “whole”.  I also love how Gabi, the mother, expresses it when she talks about how they’re into this together, all five of them, which, in the world of photography, obviously isn’t  the most common thing, and if people don’t like that, too bad for them…

We ourselves have done many, (well, most) things together as a family and it has been interesting to see peoples surprise many times when they expect you to be there as one adult and we turn up all five of us :-)

Well, I’m really looking forward to see their new photos. If you haven’t seen what they have done before, you must have a look at some amazing pictures here, in one of our previous posts about them.

By the way, Gabi, the mother, recently won a very big photo contest with one of her seaweed pictures (I wasn’t to surprised :-) )

To me, it’s just so inspiring to meet with people who take what they love so seriously so they take the leap. I think it’s fantastic, and courageous; to actually leave a safe income, school, family and friends to do something more with their lives than just living an everyday life (and longing for something else) and I wish them everything good on their journey. May they find great places and people along the way, sell loads of pictures that’ll give joy and inspiration to others and just have lots of fun together!

For more pictures check out their blog at www.blog.5reicherts.com (and if you read German you can also follow what they write :-) )

One of Gabi’s photos

One of Gabi’s photos

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  • Our Books

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    This first opportunity is on the 27th of October and is offered at a substatially reduced price. If you want to join us hurry up because it is already starting to fill up and spaces are limited...

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