Tag Archives: Around the World

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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When you’re considering taking some time off and go traveling the world for longer periods, months or even years, here are 10 advices we’d like to give you.

1. Have everything taken care of at home

Have everything taken care of before you leave, your home, car, pets, bills….Don’t drag your everyday stuff and concerns with you on your trip.

2. Leave home at home

Having things taken care of at home makes it easier to let go of all that and be present in your journey. So you can just immerse yourself with all the new along the way. You’re supposed to be here now, not there!

Since you've got the time now, make sure all the travelers in your group can have their needs met. Maybe playing in the sand for a couple of days (weeks?) is important for some...

Since you've got the time now, make sure all the travelers in your group can have their needs met. Maybe playing in the sand for a couple of days (weeks?) is important for some...

3. Take your time

Chances are you are living a pretty hectic life normally, at home. Don’t bring that stressful pace on the trip! It may take a while before you can get rid of it (usually a few weeks) but when you start to relax, stay in that state and experience the world from there.

4. Plan according to the traveler’s ages

Are you traveling with babies, teenagers or both? Take your time to figure out how you can make your journey so that every body’s needs are met, and don’t forget your own!

5. Don’t cram too much “doing” into your trip

There’s this belief that you always have to “do” things for things to happen. Rest assure, when you’re traveling for months, or more, things will undoubtedly turn up and give you opportunities to experience interesting things and adventure. So, try to give the “being” a bit focus too.

6. Be open to changing plans along the way

Even if you have your plans, maybe you actually didn’t know what you really wanted to do or where you wanted to go when you were at home. Or maybe something totally unexpected turned up along the way, a different situation or a new idea. Don’t be afraid to change your plans and follow new roads. That’s what traveling is all about.

7. Stay in the present

Experience what’s here and now. Look around. Listen. See. Try to be HERE and not there, at your next destination, tomorrow, next week, or back home again. Remember, the more you’re here, the more you’ll experience (and it doesn’t have to be “big” things).

8. Respect and try to have a true interest in the people and the customs of the places you are passing along your journey

Also remember, most people are usually more interested in being genuinely listened to than to listen to you (although sharing about your country and your customs of course is part of it).

9. Forget the “my country is the best in the world” mentality.

Even if that’s what you’re thinking, at least before you set of on your long trip, strive for seeing positive and interesting things with every place you’re visiting. What can you learn from people and places that you can bring home and make your own place even better? And what can you share with them that can make their place even better as well?

10. Embrace challenges and see them as part of your trip (or maybe even as the purpose of it).

When you’re traveling long term, challenges turn up. You can choose not to see them as difficulties though, but as opportunities to grow. And surely, these situations will be some of the things you and your family/co-travelers will remember the best and that will help create that strong bond between you. So embrace your learning opportunities!

Happy Travels!

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 .

During the last week or so, we have, once again, been shown that nature’s the one who’s in charge. The volcano eruption on Iceland has made us here in Sweden, in northern Europe, as well as other parts of the world, realize how dependent we are on the flight industry. Sure, if you want to travel around the world it’s obvious that you need to do some extra thinking if the possibility of flying isn’t there. But not only if you want to travel far away for that matter. Our daughter Aurora was supposed to fly to the UK today to visit her sister who’s spending some time there. To their great disappointment, they both had to adjust to the reality that there are no planes neither leaving Sweden nor landing in the UK at the moment.

amtrack

One of our trips by train. Not around the world though, but across the US.


But the traveling is of course just a small part of it. We were talking about what would happen if this ash cloud (or some other reason for that matter) would be of a more permanent nature. What if there wouldn’t be any jet flights available in northern Europe for the whole of next year? Just asked around in our local shop yesterday if they were affected in any way and of course, already there were fruits and vegetables they didn’t have because of this. Interesting! Not that I think it’s essential, or even recommendable, to fly all kinds of food around the world (besides our Swedish strawberries are by far the tastiest and best ones! They’re of course only available during the summer, and the local ones are of course the very best whereas those from the Canary Island or Israel I could certainly do without).

So this is a big catastrophe, not only for the flight industry but for people in many different areas that are affected. Maybe not that bad for buses, boats and trains though:lol:. As always, with the bad comes also something good. And one of the good things is that we now get a chance to see how vulnerable we really are and how important it is to look into flight alternatives as well as alternatives to how we live our lives in general.

Regarding traveling, we ourselves have traveled a lot without flying throughout the years. The reasons were many and my fear of flying was one of them. We’ve traveled many times through Europe with car, campervan and car with a trailer. We’ve used boats and ferries to take us to different places and we’ve traveled by train. Especially in the US we love going with their (slow:grin:) trains which take days and where you meet all kinds of interesting people.

You can read more about different ways to take yourself around the world, as well as a bit about our personal experiences here.

So the situation being as it is at the moment, I thought I’d share a few links where you can find more information about how to travel around the world without flying. The first one is www.lowcarbontravel.com a blog crated by Ed who traveled around the world a whole year 2007-2008, using all kinds of transportations, except flying. A while ago we did an interview with Ed that we will put up here soon for you to listen to.

Then there’s “The man in seat 61”: www.seat61.comprobably the no 1 site for people interested in traveling around the world without using a plane. As they say themselves “The man in seat 61 will tell you how to travel comfortably & affordably overland where you think air was now the only option”.

I also found this short informative and interesting article from www.worldinslowmotion.com who traveled the world for 10 months without flying. Here they share some great ideas you can have use for if you consider traveling in this way.

And finally, I just have to share this imagination stimulating article by Alain de Botton philosopher and author of many books, “The Art of Travel” being one of them (which I really can recommend). I just can’t resist quoting from this article because this part so very much resonates with what we often talk about here at Extended World Travel:

“If one of our key motives for traveling is to try to put the past behind us, then we often need something very large and time-consuming, like the experience of a month long journey across an ocean or a hike over a mountain range, to establish a sufficient sense of distance”.

Couldn’t have said it better myself :lol:

So, you see, if you want to travel around the world without flying, either by your own free choice or if forced by Mother Nature, there’s always a way to go!

Happy Slow Travels!

Last week, we wrote about Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, who chose to travel around the world on their motorbikes. We’ve watched the DVDs from their trip several times and it seems like an amazing adventure with some amazing challenges as well:lol:

Rosie Swale running around the world

Rosie Swale's way to travel around the world


Well, now our friend Gabi (who by the way is an avid traveler herself as well as a fantastic photographer: www.5reicherts.com ) just told me about this book she’s reading. It’s about Rosie Swan-Pope who made the same trip as Ewan and Charlie, but not on a motorbike though. Rosies way to take herself around the world was by running!

I had to check this out and got really fascinated by this woman, who, on her 57th Birthday 2003, started off on a 20 000 miles / over 30 000 km long trip. After Rosies husband had died in cancer she wanted to do something to raise awareness of a couple of very small charities; a prostate cancer charity, a charity for orphan children in Russia and the Nepal Trust, and the way she chose to do this was by running around the world.

The initial plan was to use two years to run the whole way from Wales, UK, through Holland, Germany, Poland and Moscow, and the Trans Siberian Railway route. Then go on to the Bering Straits, Alaska, America, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and England, before returning to the start and finishing line at Tenby, Wales. As we all can imagine, a trip like this can provide many different surprises along the way, as did Rosies.

With no back-up team and little funding, she ran through some of the planet’s most remote and rugged areas, pulling a cart containing provisions and camping gear. On most nights, she camped at the side of the road, sometimes in the snow, using up to 4 sleeping bags at the same time!

She had to overcome things like frostbite and broken ribs, pneumonia as well as being hit by a bus and knocked unconscious as she tried to cross a river. And when she got back home, 45 pairs of shoes later, the trip had actually taken her almost 5 years.

When asked why she wanted to do this, she says:

“What else would I be doing? Sit around thinking about what I did in the past?”

I love that, and I also love what she says when she gets questions about getting “older” and taking it easy:

“People think like: Oh now I’m 40, I better take things easy. It’s usually taking things easy that kills you! It’s the doing things that keeps you going”

This is something I have noticed so many times with people I have around me as well as people I’ve met. The more you “sit around thinking about what you did in the past” the less you usually do and the more limited and lifeless your life gets. And also the opposite, the more you interest yourself in others and in the world, the more you “do” the more alive you feel and the more you can do and see and be…

I just thought about my own mother here in Sweden, who recently, in her seventies went on a tour to Canada with her band (the kids loved telling people that “grandma’s on a tour with her band”). Not a rock band though:lol:

Anyway, there are so many interesting angles with Rosie and the way she takes herself around the world I think. Like the contact with people you get when you do it her way. We have often talked about traveling really slow, but haven’t done it so far. Like when we have been driving around Europe. Oftentimes we have felt that driving is a too fast way to travel to have the time to really experience people and the landscape. We have some friends though, a Swedish family, who walked all the way from Sweden to England and this has always fascinated me.

I just want to finish by quoting Rosie again regarding this:

“Running can take you to places that do not exist if you travel in any other way. Maybe even more than walking, because you can get so exhausted, almost fail so every often, and are vulnerable and shaky. Sometimes when you are weakest, you can feel things the most strongly. This is when those you meet in the midst of their own difficult lives and situations, are not fearful of you. You’re treading gently through someone else’s land, part of the life going on all around you. Part of the people, places, sunrises, storms, terrors and joys; seeing, feeling, laughing, crying, in happiness or despair.”

How about that!

There is a short BBC film about her fantastic trip that you can watch here

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As I’m just on my way to the airport to fly to London, I started thinking about another time when we went there, the whole family. This special occasion, we were actually flying too, something then totally new to us. We had been traveling a lot as a family even before this, but always by car, train or boat and, except for Morocco, always around Europe.

If I hadn’t done something about my fear of flying I would probably never had experienced one of my favourite places, Fiji!

If I hadn’t done something about my fear of flying I would probably never had experienced one of my favourite places, Fiji!


The reason for this was me. I was totally terrified at the thought of getting myself into a plane. It hadn’t always been like this though. The first time I flew, with my parents, I was about the age of one. I then continued to fly regularly around the world and actually enjoyed it, or even loved that exciting feeling of being high up in the sky on my way somewhere. My first job dream was even to become a pilot!

Anyway, some 30 years after my first flight I became a mother, and everything changed. Just the thought of flying and placing my life in the hands of someone I didn’t know, or not even could see, was totally unimaginable. It wasn’t even an option when we planned our different trips. So, we did lots of slow traveling and got to learn the geography of Europe really well. Until one day, when the rest of the family started talking about traveling farther away, like Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the US. And they didn’t want to go by boat!

I realized, the time had come for me to do something about this fear of mine. So I signed up for a weekend “fear of flying” program and went there with a rapidly beating heart. There we got to learn loads about, both the psychology around our fears, as well as how a plane is built and how it works. We even got the chance to fly ourselves (a simulator:lol:) which was great fun, like a huge computer game. That weekend really changed everything. I could actually imagine myself on a plane again!

So, shortly after this we went on this flight to London, all of us, and that was the beginning of our new traveling life. We then did this trip to Australia, as well as the one to New Zealand. We visited friends in Canada and the US and it all went very well. I have to admit, I almost enjoyed it at times! Since then there have been many more trips than these ones, both by plane and other ways of travel.

Being able to fly again has given me, and the rest of the family, so many opportunities to see fantastic places and meet wonderful people that I’m really glad I took some action and confronted my fear.

As an extra bonus it has helped me to be less frightened in other situations as well. I am generally more daring now. It has helped me realize that many of the things I have been afraid of haven’t been dangerous at all, they were just notions that had existed in my mind.

Of course, for doing some extended world travel, you don’t necessarily have to fly. There are many other forms of transportation to choose from and your journey will be something different if flying isn’t on your program. But if you do want to fly and are avoiding it because of fear, you can turn that around! And of course, whatever fears you might have that keeps you from going out in the world, there are always ways to change them around!

“Nothing is so much to be feared as fear”
Loesje

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While I was considering weather it is possible to travel around the world in a safe way somebody handled me this article about a man planning to drive around the world. Heading out from New York he will be spending a year driving down South America, up through Africa, east out of Europe and onwards through Asia and then finally the homestretch, a cross country drive through the US. It definitely sounds exciting to me.
Around the world in a car
I just thought about the fact that I have read several stories about circumnavigating the world in different ways. Be it by car, motorcycle and boat. Amazing stories like that always inspire my imagination but they all seem to involve danger to a certain extent. I just remembered a fantasy I had when I was younger and had just completed my flying training and had a brand new flight certificate. I dreamt of getting my own single engine airplane and fly it around the world. I could see pictures in my imagination of me flying over Africa like Denys in “Out of Africa” with hoards of animals running below the plane (and this was even before the film was actually made). But would it have been a safe way to travel around the world? Probably not…

Well as you may imagine, nothing came of it. And nothing has, so far, come out of the stories I’ve read about driving, riding, sailing or walking around the world. When we’ve been traveling to places outside of Europe, we’ve always “only” been flying. Even though this way of traveling around the world doesn’t make the headlines it is definitely the most common one. And to be honest we have never felt in any kind of danger.

And this is something to keep in mind. The newspapers and other media are not interested in the ordinary. They don’t cover ordinary stories. They want something unique and special. Therefore, most of the stories about people traveling around the world are describing out of the ordinary journeys that are dangerous or special in some way.

This is also probably why the name of the blog about this man who’s driving around the word isn’t just “Trans World Expedition” but it also has the subtitle: “The year of living dangerously”.

Why? I don’t know how dangerous this journey may be. Maybe he is risking his life by taking off on this adventure? But then maybe it is not more dangerous than walking down certain streets in his home town New York?

The thing I am trying to get at anyway is that even though these fantastic stories can inspire us to take off on our own journey they can also have a discouraging effect. They can actually scare us from daring to do anything about our dreams. We just feel we are not adventures or courageous enough. Instead we stay in the comfort and security of our home.

But I want to tell you that it is possible to make longer journeys just as adventures or secure as you want them to be. Don’t let these stories of brave young men discourage you. You can be old and grey and still do your thing. You can bring your kids without putting them through any kind of danger greater than an ordinary day in school.

The world may seem big and dangerous from the safety of your home. And maybe some parts are. But what’s also important to remember is that the world is a big place where most people really are friendly and helpful and where you can feel safe.

Friendliness and safety aren’t things, unfortunately, that create big headlines and catches peoples attention. Therefore you don’t hear much about it in the TV news. The focus of the media is not on the safe and harmonious places in the world but rather on chaotic and unstable ones. Because of this our awareness of the world around us sometimes runs the risk of being a bit unbalanced.

If you’re considering traveling and for some reason don’t feel totally safe about it, having a look at our Crime and Terrorism page may be of some help.

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  • Our Books

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