Tag Archives: Lord Of The Rings

“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 Maria
LOTR Magnus

We’re having a family here visiting at the moment, from Romania. Actually, they are Swedish but they live in here mostly during the summers and in Romania the other half of the year, in Transylvania more precisely (yes, the land of Dracula).
We wondered how they ended up in Romania and it turned out the parents (before they were married) first went there to help out at an orphanage and also to work with helping street children to get a better life. This lead to them coming back again and again and finally they moved there with their own family. This got us talking about how to travel and how we can create our own “travel themes”. Oftentimes we don’t just go traveling, we travel for a reason, with a purpose, because we want to pursue an interest or to learn something new.

there, a dream came true! <br> Matamata New Zealand

Finally there, a dream came true! Matamata New Zealand

You have probably heard by now about how we once traveled around New Zealand in the footsteps of the Lord of the Rings. For a long time LOTR had been a big part of our family’s life. We had read the books and watched the films (and not only once, I’ll tell you). The children had sewn their own cloaks which they walked around in. They made a play on the theme and even studied elfish! What more could they do with this passion? Visit the places for the movie shootings of course! So we flew to NZ and went to places like Matamata, where “Hobbiton” is situated and Mount Ruapehu, aka “Mount Doom”. You couldn’t see the ski lifts in the movie though, maybe Sauron didn’t like skiing? To our big surprise, we found “Dunharrow” in the middle of Wellington! We even met a guy who worked at Weta workshops (who made all the props for the films) and who also acts as a body double for Aragorn. Got to hear some interesting inside stories there! Anyway, we had so much fun during this, in many ways, rather “touristy” trip.

Mount Dome in the background. The weather, as you can see, helped to create the perfect “dark” atmosphere

Mount Doom in the background. The weather, as you can see, helped to create the perfect “dark” atmosphere

As for other “theme trips” we have spent lots of time in places like Spain to learn Spanish. Although, the first time we went there, the kids actually learnt their first basic English (some parts of Spain are very international).

Another time, we made a long “pen pal visiting tour” around the USA and Canada. This whole trip originated in a letter Viktoria had received about 5 years earlier from a girl on Vancouver Island BC Canada, asking if she wanted to be her pen pal.

We also thought about some of our best friends who spend months and months traveling around the beaches of the world taking photos, since that’s their passion. And another friend of ours, who spent 3 months in a Buddhist center in northern India, to learn more about that specific religion and about herself.

As for another example on how to travel with a special purpose, or with a special theme, we came to think about all the people we’ve heard about who go to Argentina to learn “real” Tango and maybe also some Spanish at the same time.

So, is there a theme you would like to give your trip? This isn’t necessary of course, you can just travel and see what turns up, but for some people, or sometimes, having an overall theme for your trip can be of help as well as great fun.

• What are you or your family interested in or even passionate about?
• Are there people you’d like to visit somewhere in the world
• Is there anything you’d love to learn more about?
• Is there a cause which is close to your heart that you could contribute some of your time to?
• Maybe you’re in desperate need to do an “in search for a new business idea” trip?

Since ideas become more real when you share them and talk about them you’re very welcome to tell us about any travel themes that pops up in your head!

And remember, anything can be an excuse to travel!

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A couple of years ago, the Lord Of The Rings interest was huge in our family. So huge we even created part of our RTW trip around it. We went to New Zealand where the films were made, bought a LOTR guide book, rented a campervan and traveled around visiting places and meeting with people connected to the film.

A real Uru-Kai mask from the movies

A real Uruk-Hai mask from the movies

We all had a great time and of course couldn’t avoid doing a lot more than “just” LOTR things. We took the opportunity to visit old relatives as well as many homeschooling families, we experienced the fantastic nature as well as the Maori culture and last but not least, learned about the most boring sport we’ve ever experienced – cricket (sorry cricket lovers). Especially the 3 day version!

What kind of person are you? What do you like to do? What are you interested in and passionate about? Where have you always wanted to go?

These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to get more clarity around which way to travel that would be the most suitable to you. We all have different interests, needs and desires and if you really want to do some travel but have no idea what it could look like, these are some of the questions you can start by asking yourself.

Some friends of ours, a German family, have another interest, photography. They just got back from a 6 month trip around Norway, England, Scotland and France where they have been spending time on all kinds of different beaches taking the most fantastic pictures. We did a post about them a while ago when they were passing here on their way up to northern Norway. You can read it here and go to www.5reicherts.com if you want to check out some of their amazing photos.
Another Swedish friend has a passion for motorcycling, Scottish Whisky and playing the bag pipe and you can probably easily guess where he and his wife spend lots of their time traveling around on motorbike.

Yet another close friend of ours went to Rumania to spend some time there helping street children to get a better life. She got so involved in the project, she and her family now lives there 6 months every year. If you think you’d be interested in doing some volunteering too, here’s a great site with lots of information www.oneworld365.org. You can also have a look here, where we write a bit more about this way to travel and give of your time and energy.

If you’re interested in using your trip to boosting your career (yes, as we like to point out, it doesn’t have to be travel OR career, it can be both!), you can have this as your main focus. You may want to do things to improve a special skill, meet with people who are connected to your field, visit exhibitions and museums or attend seminars around the world. Learn a new language is another possibility that often can be a bonus.

Maybe you’re the really adventurous type who don’t want to plan or pre book anything and just want to lock your door, give the key to your neighbor, set off and see where the roads will lead you.

We’re all different and finding out how you’d really like to spend your time away from home and which way to travel that suite you the best lays a good foundation for creating a fantastic time!

You can also check out our page “What to do while traveling” by clicking here.

And remember, whatever you want to do and don’t have the time to do on this trip, you can always do on the next!

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