Best day ever syndrome

A moment lived in Sweden by Georgina Mckimm, a traveller from United Kingdom

One Van and No Plan

On February 22nd 2016, I moved into my VW Caddy and have been living in it ever since. One Van and No Plan is literally what it says on the tin! I live in my van (Callie the Caddy) and just take each day as it comes. Check out what I have learnt and experience along the way!

Living in a van, every single day is an adventure, every single day something amazing happens and without prompt 3 words just keep falling out of my mouth – BEST DAY EVER! I find myself saying it every day, something as simple as being sat having breakfast and an old guy that speaks no English comes over and offers us fresh berries that he has just picked from the field across the road “BEST DAY EVER”. Then the next day a van pulling up next to you for their midmorning coffee break, popping out and chatting to you for half an hour then leaving. Suddenly you have a whole new set of knowledge on Australia and New Zealand, a bottle of red wine and a pack of cookies “BEST DAY EVER”. The complete and utter kindness of people in this world really melts my heart. During my time in Sweden, I felt this more than ever.

Setting off for the day in the van not knowing where you will be sleeping that night is always exciting. You kind of just stumble across an amazing spot at some point during the day and are like yep this is awesome let’s sleep here tonight. So on this day, driving over a bridge onto an Island in the middle of the lake was exciting at first. Then once you are deep into the woods and driving down lane ways that look like your driving into a horror film, you start to question yourself. Should I turn around? Is this even going to lead anywhere? Are my low profile tyres going to make it across this terrain? But me being me I have to drive and see, as you never know what could be waiting at the end of the road. I’m so happy that I did not let fear get the better of me as this is where the road leads to…
A mini beach on an Island in the middle of nowhere. “ BEST DAY EVER”

So what do u do next? You strategically reverse the van onto the beach and sit back and chill. That was until about an hour later a 4×4 truck comes down, so I go over and start speaking to the guy just to double check I wasn’t in his way. He was like no not at all, the only reason I came down was because we saw your English number plate as you drove past earlier and wanted to invite you to our house for a drink.

Um okay, hell Yes! Jumped into the truck and drove up to the house to be greeted by some truly amazing people. Then learnt some Swedish, got plied with rum & coke, had shots of brandy and Swedish beer and then it was apparently time to go down to the lake for a midnight dip! What the hell lets go, no mum I did not drive the Swedish guys 4×4 truck down to the lake, I drove it back! ?

The morning after being woken up with an offering of an English breakfast ‘BEST DAY EVER’ once again spring to mind! The kindness of these people just amazed me. Ended up actually moving in with one of the locals and not leaving the Island for 4 or 5 days. Just explored the woods, took turns at cooking for each other, listen to their travel stories, play some good old card games and really just got to know one another. It was easy to see why he lived there, you’re there in the middle of nowhere, pure tranquility and a few days in you kind of forget there is a world outside of the Island.
I entered the Island looking for a place to park up for the night and left the Island with the most incredible memories, friends for life and an invite to the North of Sweden.

If travel has taught me one thing, it is that every single day is the ‘BEST DAY EVER’!

This traveller has a blog : Wake up to the World

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The mysterious northern island

A moment lived in Sweden by Lauren Barratt, a traveller from United Kingdom

To pick places to visit, George and I have a random and exciting way of choosing places. What we do is look on the map see somewhere that might be interesting and drive there. For some of you this may sound a bit risky, who knows what we will find? So many what ifs could be said about our random method. On the other hand, though it allows us to come across some incredible places with incredible people. This is the case with Bolmso Island.

After checking the map I could see an Island with a nature reserve in the middle of a lake my imagination was running wild of what exactly was on there so we set off on a two hours drive to find out. When we arrived it did not disappoint. The island was covered in a forest which looked both intriguing and also slightly eerie. Personally, forests always have more of a fear factor as you never know what is in them! Also, being in a foreign country often means most of the animals you see are completely new to you; I have seen some scary looking bugs which never would make an appearance in England! I know what you are thinking… bugs come on now Lauren you little wimp but half of them bite over here or are just ridiculously big. There are also Moose’s and Bears just to make me seem a bit harder…

Driving across the island the eeriness of it all was intensified we were driving down a beaten track road surrounded in thick forest which looked like something out of a horror film. We considered turning around but we could see on the google satellite that an amazing beach was at the end and of course being the adventurers we are the risk of murder was worth it. As the forest cleared we first came across a cute little village full of Swedish style houses which look like shacks made out of wood. It was cute here. Very different from the eeriness of the forest that surrounded it. We kept going and found our self a marina with our own private beach for the night.

We parked up and decided a chilled night in the van was on the cards, especially when the heavens opened. After a few hours though a local Swedish guy turned up we assumed he was going to ask us to move this is usually the case as campervanners are not fully welcomed everywhere especially within local villages. Instead, he surprised us, he told us about his and his families love of English people and how no one ever visits the island inviting us into his house for a few drinks. We accepted the offer, At this point, the story could go two ways
1. I’m going to tell you how I narrowly escaped being murdered in some horror film story or
2. I’m going to tell you about how they got me so drunk I spent the next two days spewing my guts up.

Off we followed him at this point we hadn’t even found his name out… arriving at the house we could see a welcoming party of about 8-9 people inside. As I walked in my first offer was a drink of rum I was practically at home! We chatted for hours and after a few too many Captain Morgans and coke (provided by the rum queen herself Lotta) I decided to make a bet with Christof and somehow ended up going for a swim in the lake around the Island. This is the last bit I remember of the night. The next morning I woke up and spewed for the whole day. Anyone who knows me well enough will know it was always going to be option 2… I still blame Lotta for my hangover! After finally recovering from my hangover we were invited to stay for a few more days which we took up. Lars was lovely enough to welcome us into his house showing us the Island, telling us his stories and just staying in a shack in the forest was refreshing. I needed refreshing after my hangover!

The Island of Bolmso is well worth a visit and if not this Island why not pick another? Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you adventuring… just make sure you take calculated risks!

This traveller has a blog : The adventure diary

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