Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best wishes for 2010

Five months have now passed, since we came back from our wonderful journey from Sweden to Cambodia. The kids have adapted faster than their parents, but after a few months we have all settled in. The children are enjoying school and kindergarten. Nina quit her old job, and will start working at a private dental clinic in Malmö in March. Ola is trying to find time to put our experiences into writing.
We wish you all a very happy 2010. We hope that many positive adventures are awaiting you in the New Year.
Best wishes from Ola, Nina, Temba, Disa, Tinna and Atlas

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 2009

We celebrated Lucia in kindergarten. Tinna and Atlas had practiced a lot and were very cute in their traditional attire.
December was cold and wintry in Sweden. Disa, Tinna and Atlas went ice-skating for the first time ever. They developed their own unique styles, and it was all very entertaining!
It snowed a lot and we all enjoyed the white surroundings.
We celebrated Christmas in Småland with Nina’s family. From the top: Mr. Snowman, Atlas, Tinna, Disa, Temba.
After Christmas we went to the north of Sweden for some skiing in the Arctic mountains. The heavy snowfall all over Sweden meant that Alhambra had a real challenge. 1200 km of driving through snow and ice. It was one of our most extreme drives ever. And we could not really fathom why we drove north for a holiday, instead of south…?!

The Arctic world was a great place to end the year. But at temperatures between -10 and -20, you have to ski very intensely to keep warm!

November 2009

November was full of birthday celebrations. Tinna turned 4 and everything revolved around the princess theme (in pink and purple). Temba turned 9 and threw a party for his friends. Nina celebrated her birthday with friends in Stockholm.

October 2009

In October we celebrated Halloween in Småland with Nina’s sisters and their families.
Tinna and Atlas enjoyed the face paint and Halloween costumes.
One morning the landscape had turned white with frost. We prepared Alhambra for the winter, removing the rooftop tent and other equipment.

September 2009

In September, Nina and Ola went back to their jobs. It felt as awkward as one can imagine. Going back to normal life was a bit of a shock to all of us. Especially as everything was turned upside down when Temba broke his arm in a bad way. But it would have been far worse if the accident had happened somewhere in Nowhere-istan of course!
We enjoyed the beautiful September weather and made nice excursions in and around Malmö.

August 2009

In August we moved back into our apartment in central Malmö. Temba started third grade, with his old class. Disa started prep school. Tinna went back to kindergarten. Atlas joined the same kindergarten as Tinna, but for him it was a big change that the whole family could not be together 24/7.
Ola went to Hamburg and collected our travel companion Alhambra from the shipping container. It felt a bit melancholic to cross the bridge from Copenhagen to Malmö. These were the final kilometers on our wonderful 60,000 km journey across 37 countries.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our book from the Cape Town to Nordkapp journey

If you are interested in the book about our journey from Cape Town (South Africa) to Nordkapp (Norway), you can order a signed copy of "Kapstaden to Nordkapp in 333 days" directly from the Ringdahl family. The book is in Swedish. Please visit our web site for more information about the book and how to order it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back in Sweden

We were welcomed by our relatives at the Copenhagen Airport and we were overwhelmed! It felt great to be back! The party continued in Malmö.
We will now spend the next few weeks settling in. We have traveled east by car for 16 months and the flight back to Sweden took 16 hours. It is quite an abrupt change of environment! But we are coming back to an environment we know very well, and in many ways we will adapt quickly of course. Nevertheless, it will take some time to ’land’ properly. We have so many memories to digest, and a lot to catch up on.

Greetings from Sweden
Ola, Nina, Temba, Disa, Tinna & Atlas

5-12 July – Bangkok, Thailand

We managed to leave Cambodia without any hassle. The customs officers were sleeping, so they did not even bother to check our special car documents (which we had fought quite hard to get when entering Cambodia). However, to our surprise, the Thai Customs insisted on a special Car Import Fee because it was weekend. They really could not know that they were asking the wrong people. If we had traveled this far without paying any ’special fee’, we would not do it now.

We reached Mega-Bangkok through a maze of elevated highways and miraculously reached the tourist district around Khao San Road without too much trouble. We found a hotel and safe parking on Soi Rambuttri. Time to prepare for our return to Sweden.

We spent a lovely week in Bangkok. But true to our promise to our children, we did not visit even one temple... We arranged the car shipment through a very nice and professional agent – Transpeed.
We went to the markets, indulged in excellent street food and relaxed in the hotel pool.
We squeezed the whole family into tuk-tuks, much to the surprise of the drivers. ’One, two, three, four children! Are they all yours?’
We experienced how brave our children were in a close encounter with a python!
We tried to prepare mentally for the trip back to Sweden. It can be a challenge to return after a long journey. But once you know that you are going home, you also start looking forward to it. The difficult phase comes when you have settled in back home and you start to live a life full of everyday routines. This will be a challenge.
We have driven 60,000 km through 37 countries. We have had the pleasure of spending almost one and a half year together, 24 hours a day, in the most exciting and challenging environments. We have enjoyed the freedom and feel extremely privileged and happy. This has been the journey of a lifetime! And who knows, perhaps we get a chance in the future to do something similar again. Once a vagabond – always a vagabond!