Simplify!

Our homes are cluttered with stuff, our schedules cluttered with commitments, our minds are spinning trying to keep track of it all, and it all just moves so fast. We want to rest more, travel more, visit more, laugh more, give more… live more, but there just isn’t time, or money, or space, or energy. Or is there?
Like so many others before us, we are discovering that sometimes less is more. Here we write about our baby steps to reduce what we don’t really need, and how we are finding more space in our lives for what we want most.

Micah’s First Birthday

first birthday

Time flies when you’re having fun and somehow the summer ended, September rolled in, and it was time to celebrate Micah’s first birthday. It seems one universal experience of parenting is the sensation that some hours can be stretched into what feels like months, while a year seems to pass in the blink of an eye. Hard as it is to believe, the calendar doesn’t lie. Our baby is a year old. (There wasn’t much Continue Reading →

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Lessons from a Borrowed House

Swedish house

Have you ever needed to borrow clothes or shoes from someone, maybe because you were caught in the rain or spilled something down the front of you, but it didn’t quite fit? You’re so thankful because someone was willing to loan you something in your hour of need, but at the same time you’re uncomfortable because it isn’t really right. It works in a pinch, but it just isn’t you. I can think of several Continue Reading →

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Summer in Sweden

Nordanå

Vi hade iallafall tur med vädret. Roughly translated: At least we had good luck with the weather. Our Swedish readers are already chuckling to themselves a little bit. In the (somewhat likely) event that you’re not Swedish, allow me to explain. This is a well-known expression in Sweden that comes from the title of a made-for-TV movie from 1980. The film is a comedy of errors about a family on vacation where everything that can Continue Reading →

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Straddling the Atlantic

“Välkommen hem!” (Welcome home!) is what everyone in Skellefteå said when we saw each other for the first time after our 7 months of traveling the United States. Most of the time they paused and seemed unsure, contemplating their use of the word “home” and looking at us questioningly. “We’re home,” we’d say, “for the summer. Then in the fall we’ll go home again.” We laughed but affirmed their insecurity. The concept of home is admittedly Continue Reading →

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Holidays on the Road: Easter

kids on Easter

Celebrating holidays on the road can present some special challenges. I reflected on this back at Christmas , which was our first holiday in our camper, but we had yet to hit the road at that point and we were still able to celebrate with family and many familiar traditions. A Traditional Easter? Everyone has their own traditions around certain holidays, of course, but I grew up celebrating Easter as second only to Christmas – Continue Reading →

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Favorite Things in February and March

Maclaren

February and March were full and eventful, and our favorite things this time around are things that make daily life a little smoother, and that have allowed us to better enjoy big events like the Full-time Families Rally and our Disney vacation. Once again we are using Amazon affiliate links when possible. If you’re interested in any of this month’s favorite things, we’d love it if you’d use our link when you order. 1. Our Continue Reading →

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Peace River

peace river

One of the things we’re learning about a traveling lifestyle is pacing. When you’re on vacation, you usually want to see and do as much as you can before you head back to everyday life. The days are fun but intense and often we talk about needing to recover after a vacation. Even on our big trip in 2012, our time was limited to about 3 months and we moved on to a new place Continue Reading →

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Our Favorite Things in January

mifold grab and go

We’re trying something new and we hope you’ll let us know if you love it or hate it. About once a month, we want to let you know what some of our favorite things have been lately and why. It will be a different way to tell stories that might not fit in another post, and we hope that it gives you a different kind of insight into our life on the road. We also Continue Reading →

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Our First Camper Christmas

Christmas 2016 will forever be remembered as our first camper Christmas. Many people have wondered how we celebrated Christmas now that we’re living in a camper, and the short answer is much the same way as we celebrated when we lived in an apartment. Admittedly, it does take a little bit of extra planning and creativity. At least it did for us. Part of that is because of the limited space and part of that Continue Reading →

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Merry Christmas 2016

Once again, it’s been much too long between blog posts. We appreciate your patience and understanding. This transition has been intense and demanding on our time and our energy. It seems there hasn’t been enough of either left at the end of the day to sit down and put it all into words. Today isn’t the day for that either. Today we simply want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and assure you all that Continue Reading →

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Waiting

They say a watched pot never boils. We all know that this is scientifically untrue. The water in that pot will boil when it reaches 100C whether you’re watching it happen or not. All the same, we all know what the expression means and have felt its truth over and over again. The time we spend waiting seems to move at its own (snail-like) pace and the more you think about it the slower it Continue Reading →

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Summer is Short

swimming ice cream

When I first moved to Sweden at the beginning of fall 2006, I started language school almost right away. One of our early lessons centered around a well-known song. As I sat with my dictionary and translated the words to English, I was filled with a sadness and sense of dread that did not suit the upbeat, happy feeling of the song I was listening to. The summer is short, the chorus begins. And most Continue Reading →

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Farewell to Orkestervägen

This morning we handed over the all the keys… the keys to the apartment, to the storage closet, to the laundry room, to the outlet on our parking space. After months of working to shed our belongings and a very intense last week of moving out what was left and cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning, it’s almost difficult to understand that we have officially closed this chapter of our lives. I’m sure it will continue Continue Reading →

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The Infinite Nature of Stuff

I am married to an eternal optimist. Most of the time, this is an endearing quality, and his voice is absolutely one that I need in my life. There are also times when he needs a dose of my realism (as I call it), though most of the time we’re able to agree that the reality is probably somewhere in the middle. Now that it’s April and our apartment will be empty in less than Continue Reading →

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The First Point of No-Return

unpacking

At the end of January, we passed our first “point of no-return” as we pursue our dream of a location independent lifestyle: we gave our 3 month’s notice on our apartment. While we still aren’t planning to leave this area until the fall, we will be out of our apartment by April 30. From May 1 until we are ready to board a plane, we will be living in our camper. Why? We made this Continue Reading →

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Welcome 2016!

It’s a strange feeling to stand at midnight on New Year’s Eve and toast the arrival of a year you’ve looked forward to and planned for but which has, up until now, remained stubbornly and elusively in the future as though it may actually be imaginary. But then suddenly there we stand, glasses in hand. And on TV, a stagehand in Stockholm is walking away with the giant 5 and another arrives with a 6 Continue Reading →

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Our (Simple) Christmas 2015

This week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a favorite of mine. Here in Sweden, there’s even a word for this week: mellandagarna, the “in between days”. Even before I had a word for them, I’ve loved these days. There’s no school, many people are off from work, and there isn’t much going on except for gatherings of family and friends that might not see each other very often. The hype and stress of Continue Reading →

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Sell it or Donate it?

A decision to live with less stuff brings with it a series of other decisions. Obviously one of the first decisions is what to get rid of and what to keep. Actually, this is often more of a process than a single decision, but nevertheless, hard on the heels of the decision to get rid of something comes the question of what to do with it. Granted, a lot of what we’re cleaning out is Continue Reading →

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Thoughts on Seasons and Hurdles

A few weeks ago, unceremoniously and without even knowing it, I washed my last cloth diaper. Of course I knew we were in the midst of potty training and naturally I noticed we were using fewer and fewer diapers. But on that day when I washed the last one, I didn’t know it was the last. Packing, changing, rinsing, washing, drying and folding those diapers was a part of our daily routine for well over Continue Reading →

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Taming the Clutter Monster

“A place for everything, and everything in its place” has always been a bit out of reach for me. While I like it in theory, it always evokes an image of a woman wearing those stereotypical librarian glasses on a chain with her hair pulled tightly back into a bun, as though nothing out of place refers just as much to hair as to things. In other words, the expression always seemed rigid, boring and Continue Reading →

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