We are living in the Vletter-Van for a month now. We ended our last blog near Kassel, where we spent a lovely weekend with my family. We continued our trip to Norway with Rob and Frea. But we first had to deal with the German Autobahn for two days, so arriving in Norway felt like paradise. Wild camping, swimming in lakes & fjords, hiking the most beautiful mountains and be completely self supported for days on a row (read our Polarsteps for the complete day to day travel updates and more photos).
Game of post-its
When we were dreaming and talking about our big trip we played a game together. Sitting on our bed (ouch, now i’m thinking back to that wonderfully soft bed with white sheets) we asked each other questions and both wrote the answers on post-its. How long is our trip going to be? Where do we go? How are we going to travel? What will we be doing? What will be most important to you? What scares you?
When we were finished we showed each other the answers one by one and explained the thought behind the answer. This worked out so good for us because we didn’t end up in long never ending conversations about details, which would have definitely demotivated us before we even started. It made sure that we listened to one another and in no time we touched the essence.
Despite the fact that it were answers to relatively simple questions, it resulted in big decisions at the same time. Because within an hour they formed our final travel plan.
Post-it: ‘Selluf doen’
One thing which is typical for the both of us is ‘Selluf doen’ (do it yourself). As a child for me ‘Nadine’ this meant I worked together with my grandfather in his big garden and didn’t allow him to help me with anything. As a 4-year old I really thought I was a great handyman, gardener and road worker. Jorg wasn’t any better (I understood from a reliable source).
In the beginning of our relationship this didn’t worked out that well. Imagine us washing a car together, painting a wall (Vletters don’t trust anybody but themselves with a paint-roller) and packing things. But as we practiced over the years we are doing way better now (read; we choose our battles).
So the first post-it for the trip was; being self supported. We laughed about it, as it is so typical us.
Having our own transportation means we can go wherever we want, whenever we want. First it was our bikes, now we’ve been upgraded and it’s the Van. But the feeling is completely different. With the Van we have electricity, water, a fridge, and we can store food. So we don’t have to go to a supermarket once or twice a day. Here in Norway you have the ‘allemannsretten’, so we camp at the most beautiful places, and take showers in rivers and fjords. This the sum mum of ‘selluf doen’!
Post-it: work-out v.s. time to wander
As Jorg sometimes jokes that he put’s me into a hamster wheel every morning, so he can handle me. Doing some physical activity almost every day makes us happy. As we both know this is our way to first do something, then relax. So thats why we decided to do the cycling trip first. We had an emotional and busy period before we left, so we both found the idea of the simplicity of biking, eating and sleeping attracting. And thats what is was, being in the bike touring rhythm made us calm and relaxed (true, sometimes we were just completely KO).
Now that we are in the Van for a month we take advantage of that period, as we’re not in a rush, and we love to have the time to read, learn and listen. There is a good balance between doing the practical ‘eat, sleep, repeat’ things and doing stuff that makes our minds wander. Like we hoped for.
Post-it: it’s not just a holiday
The questions we get the most are ‘where do you go and what are your plans?’. What we know for sure at this point is that we are in Norway, with the Vletter-Van and that we love it. That’s it. We don’t have a plan. Our entire future is open and uncertain. Quite a scary thought huh? Yup, but we slowly get used to the idea of not knowing.
What we hope for is that, once we get back, we don’t say; that was a nice long holiday. Sounds a bit strange compared with the no plan part, sure. But we know we will find, discover and do things that make our trip complete. This can be work, volunteering, learning or something else we didn’t even think about. With the nice rainy climate in Scandinavia we will have enough time to dream, explore and discover.
These post-its were placed with the rest of them on a big wooden board in our house before the trip started, next to our wold map. If we look at it now, all the things we encountered, did and decided fits in perfectly. We had quality time with friends and family, we explored new places, we met wonderful people and we climbed stunning mountains. We are learning new stuff by reading books, listening to podcasts and Jorg started with a videography course & I finally have the time to read book and articles again.
It’s like making a big puzzle, but we didn’t received all the pieces yet. So we just keep expanding our playground!