Tag Archives: Family

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

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.

It may sound a bit provocative, but our own experience from traveling with our kids for extended periods during many years has shown us how awfully much kids learn during travels. And most of the learning takes place in ways which a normal school situation never would be able to provide to them.
Of course traveling isn’t, for many reasons, something that suites everybody, and also in view of how our society is constructed, schools still fills a function. Nevertheless, what I really want to point out is the huge amount of learning that takes place in a child (and adult as well of course) when you’re out there traveling the world.
We have run across many parents who are concerned about what would happen to their kid’s education if they’d follow their desire to go on a longer journey. Would they fall behind? Would they not be educated “enough”?
Well, what’s the meaning of education in the first place? Is it not to learn about the world we live in and to prepare children for life? To educate them about how to function and how to survive – and thrive? How to socialize and cooperate and how to make this world a better place?
Anyway, the other day this was a subject for discussion in our family. It began with someone reminding us that they, the kids, learnt their basic English – in Spain! The discussion continued about other experiences they’d had while being on the road that provided them with lots of learning and the list got rather impressive.
Here are a few of the things they brought up:
Being invited to a family in India who had he most amazing herb garden you could ever imagine with all the medicinal herbs in the world
Going on the train from Tanger to Marrakesh for eight hours and discussing life with all the Moroccans who shared our compartment
Assisting friends with the olive harvest in Spain and then taking the olives to the mill to be cold pressed and bringing our own super tasty oil back home to Sweden
Chatting with a local in Akaroa, New Zealand, who was a descendant from the French colonizing ships, and hearing all about the history.
Participating in a Bar Mitzwah in the old town Augsburg, Germany, in the only synagogue that survived World War 2.
Volunteering at a children’s book festival in Nanaimo, Vancover Island BC, Canada, with friends
Traversing the USA by train and interacting with a whole wagon full of Amish
Being stopped by a police in New Zealand for speeding and listening to him telling us all the local Maori legends
Gossiping with the locals on a small island in Fiji while making baskets out of palm leaves
Visiting a SOS children’s village in Kerala, India, which we are sponsoring and meeting the mothers and the children who live there
Entering Australia with a phobia for snakes and being cured by hearing Crikey – Steve Irwin –  himself telling you all about these “beautiful” animals
Going on a whale safari in Vancouver, Canada, and experiencing the Grey Whales just a few meters away from our little boat
I was happy to hear the kids talk about these memories with such joy and passion and I’m convinced these experiences will be with them for the rest of their lives.
By the way, what would you like your kids toIt may sound a bit provocative, but our own experience from traveling with our kids for extended periods during many years has shown us how awfully much kids learn during travels. And most of the learning takes place in ways which a normal school situation never would be able to provide to them.
Of course traveling isn’t, for many reasons, something that suites everybody, and also in view of how our society is constructed, schools still fills a function. Nevertheless, what I really want to point out is the huge amount of learning that takes place in a child (and adult as well of course) when you’re out there traveling the world.
We have run across many parents who are concerned about what would happen to their kid’s education if they’d follow their desire to go on a longer journey. Would they fall behind? Would they not be educated “enough”?
Well, what’s the meaning of education in the first place? Is it not to learn about the world we live in and to prepare children for life? To educate them about how to function and how to survive – and thrive? How to socialize and cooperate and how to make this world a better place?
Anyway, the other day this was a subject for discussion in our family. It began with someone reminding us that they, the kids, learnt their basic English – in Spain! The discussion continued about other experiences they’d had while being on the road that provided them with lots of learning and the list got rather impressive.
Here are a few of the things they brought up:
Being invited to a family in India who had he most amazing herb garden you could ever imagine with all the medicinal herbs in the world
Going on the train from Tanger to Marrakesh for eight hours and discussing life with all the Moroccans who shared our compartment
Assisting friends with the olive harvest in Spain and then taking the olives to the mill to be cold pressed and bringing our own super tasty oil back home to Sweden
Chatting with a local in Akaroa, New Zealand, who was a descendant from the French colonizing ships, and hearing all about the history.
Participating in a Bar Mitzwah in the old town Augsburg, Germany, in the only synagogue that survived World War 2.
Volunteering at a children’s book festival in Nanaimo, Vancover Island BC, Canada, with friends
Traversing the USA by train and interacting with a whole wagon full of Amish
Being stopped by a police in New Zealand for speeding and listening to him telling us all the local Maori legends
Gossiping with the locals on a small island in Fiji while making baskets out of palm leaves
Visiting a SOS children’s village in Kerala, India, which we are sponsoring and meeting the mothers and the children who live there
Entering Australia with a phobia for snakes and being cured by hearing Crikey – Steve Irwin –  himself telling you all about these “beautiful” animals
Going on a whale safari in Vancouver, Canada, and experiencing the Grey Whales just a few meters away from our little boat
I was happy to hear the kids talk about these memories with such joy and passion and I’m convinced these experiences will be with them for the rest of their lives.
By the way, what would you like your kids to experience and learn when you’ll go traveling the world?
experience and learn when you’ll go traveling the world?

Well, maybe we don’t have to take it to the extreme here:), but our own experience from traveling with our kids for extended periods during many years has shown us how awfully much kids learn during travels. And most of the learning takes place in ways which a normal school situation never would be able to provide to them.

Of course traveling isn’t, for many reasons, something that suites everybody, and also in view of how our society is constructed, schools still fills a function. Nevertheless, what I really want to point out is the huge amount of learning that takes place in a child (and adult as well of course) when you’re out there traveling the world.

We have run across many parents who are concerned about what would happen to their kid’s education if they’d follow their desire to go on a longer journey. Would they fall behind? Would they not be educated “enough”?

Well, what’s the meaning of education in the first place? Is it not to learn about the world we live in and to prepare children for life? To educate them about how to function and how to survive – and thrive? How to socialize and cooperate and how to make this world a better place?

Anyway, the other day this was a subject for discussion in our family. It began with someone reminding us that they, the kids, learnt their basic English – in Spain! The discussion continued about other experiences they’d had while being on the road that provided them with lots of learning and the list got rather impressive.

Aurora with a bread fruit in Kerala, India

Aurora with a bread fruit in Kerala, India

Helping friends with the olive harvest in the mountains north of Marbella, Spain

Helping friends with the olive harvest in the mountains north of Marbella, Spain

Aron in the ”French” part of New Zealand – the cute little town Akaroa

Aron in the ”French” part of New Zealand – the cute little town Akaroa

Here are a few of the things they mentioned:

  • Being invited to a family in India who had he most amazing herb garden you could ever imagine with all the medicinal herbs in the world
  • Going on the train from Tanger to Marrakesh for eight hours and discussing life with all the Moroccans who shared our compartment
  • Assisting friends with the olive harvest in Spain and then taking the olives to the mill to be cold pressed and bringing our own super tasty oil back home to Sweden
  • Chatting with a local in Akaroa, New Zealand, who was a descendant from the French colonizing ships, and hearing all about the history.
  • Participating in a Bar Mitzwah in the old town Augsburg, Germany, in the only synagogue that survived World War 2.
  • Volunteering at a children’s book festival in Nanaimo, Vancover Island BC, Canada, with friends
  • Traversing the USA by train and interacting with a whole carriage full of Amish
  • Being stopped by a police in New Zealand for speeding and listening to him telling us all the local Maori legends
  • Gossiping with the locals on a small island in Fiji while making baskets out of palm leaves
  • Visiting a SOS children’s village in Kerala, India, which we are sponsoring and meeting the mothers and the children who live there
  • Entering Australia with a phobia for snakes and being cured by hearing Crikey – Steve Irwin –  himself telling you all about these “beautiful” animals
  • Going on a whale safari in Vancouver, Canada, and experiencing the Grey Whales just a few meters away from our little boat
The girls with friends participating as volunteers at the Children’s Book Festival, Nanaimo, Canada

The girls with friends participating as volunteers at the Children’s Book Festival, Nanaimo, Canada

I was happy to hear the kids talk about these memories with such joy and passion and I’m convinced these experiences will be with them for the rest of their lives.

By the way, what would you like your kids to experience and learn when you’ll go traveling the world?

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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 .

  • Our Books

    Our book is available both as paper back and as an eBook

    Read more and order here...

  • e-Course

    We have just created this amazing support program for anyone who really want to make their travel dream happen. During eight weeks we will take you from discovering your travel dream to actually having it all set up so you will be ready to go.

    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...

    Read more about it and book your place here...

  • Talks

    To share from of our own traveling independent lifestyle and to encourage and support families (well, anybody) to act on their dreams of doing something different, like a longer journey, we offer two different talks, in Swedish or English:


    Read more about them here...

  • Coaching

    Are you seriously considering taking yourself and your family on that journey of a lifetime, but have now idea where, or how, to start?

    To strengthen your inner as well as your outer supporting systems and to help you find solutions you, at the moment, may not even imagine exist, we have created our special Travel Coaching Program.

    Find out more about it here...

     

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