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Sunset in Langkawi


Sunset at Pentai Tengah and Pentai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia. No more, no less…

The start of a new journey

Taking off

The sun is shedding it’s first rays reflecting like a kaleidoscope on the glass buildings that seems to go on forever into the sky. Loud chants from the nearby minarets is echoing trough a maze of futuristic buildings, picture perfect gardens and traditional mosques. It’s 6 am in Dubai, and I’ve never felt longer from home.

How I got here started about 5 years ago on a trip around the U.S. We we’re soaring at 10 000 ft. over Los Angeles, heading for New York when it bit me. The travel-bug had sunken it’s fangs. I knew that I had to make time for some extensive traveling and see what the world had to offer. As always, life got in the way. For the next couple of years I did 2-3 weeks of travel a year, meaning some 49 weeks where spent working. Doesn’t sound like the long time travel dreams I was looking for, does it?

In early summer of 2010, on a similar trip, going from Stockholm to New York on a one week vacation to visit my girlfriend Lina, who was studying there at the time, it hit me. If we don’t travel now, it will never happen. We just had to figure out how to transform our thoughts into action.

The rough plan was to spend at least 3 months abroad starting around New Years 2010/2011.

Having a full-time job, which I was enjoying, and Lina being occupied with her second year of social studies at the university with 1,5 years left to graduation, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.

On top of this, some hard earned cash had to be saved up for a trip like this. Blessed with a partner living on a student budget, I was off to a good start. Though it didn’t take me long to realize that this couldn’t be achieved by just crunching numbers and skipping the occasional dining out, or splurging on the next hot gadget. The change had to run deeper then just saving up on little things, my whole perspective on consumerism had to be changed. The constant race to buy myself happier had to stop, or at least be severely slowed down. Suffering from a bad case of Apple- fandom and being an overall tech-junky, it would become quite a challenge.

Having gone vegan, cold turkey, 8 month earlier, I knew that dramatic changes isn’t that hard if you just go for it. Trying to apply the same mindset I used when I turned in a bloody steak for a plate of vegetables, I knew I had to focus on the essential.

What is it that makes me get out of bed in the morning? Is it the material objects I’ve been hoarding over the years, or is it the people I’ve met? The things I’ve done? The experiences I’ve had?

The answer was simple. I had to focus on Doing things rather then Buying things. Seems pretty obvious, but in our modern society stepping outside the box, trying to find a more aware, minimalistic approach to living was for me a major game-changer.

With the support of a great boss and co-workers I was granted 5 months off work and Lina put her studies on a 6 month hiatus. We got the ball rolling…

One thing led to another and in the beginning of february we took off for Dubai to begin our round the world trip.

To end this lengthy post (sorry for the jabbering) I think a proper introduction is in order. My name is Olov and I’m from a small town in northern Sweden. My expectations is to keep this blog updated as often as possible on my quest to live more, travel more, learn more.

Sitting on the porch of our hotel in Manila right now and slowly adjusting to life abroad.

Hope to bring you along for the ride!