Vanlife: Lessons learned about traveling with our kids

The Beast from the East is raging in Sweden right now, giving us blizzards, sub-freezing temperatures and snowy roads with poor accessibility. But summer is actually not far away and we have started planning for it.

Last summer we did our first longer van trip. We were on the road for a month, traveled endless kilometers, visited Öland, Kinnekulle, Åre, Stalon, Lofoten, and Åre once again. We experienced so much wonderful nature and enjoyed so many magnificent sceneries: the wide, beautiful alvars of Öland, the dramatically orange colored Kinnekulle quarry with its turquoise lake and of course all the breathtaking mountains and waterfalls in the north of Sweden and our neighboring country Norway.

The kids weren’t as impressed as us though. Sure they appreciate road trips, hikes and camping sessions, but to them, it’s not about the beauty of nature. They just care about adventurous activities, having fun and doing things together as a family.

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Also, when we think back on it, it kinda felt like we were always on our way, constantly heading somewhere else. The fact that we were free and able to go where ever we wanted actually got us a little stressed. In retrospect, I think we tried to squeeze a little too much (nature) into our four weeks long holiday. And although the trip was a blast, there are things we are going to do differently next time.

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This summer we are headed south. Our plan is to explore Denmark.
But we’re not gonna have a long list of beautiful places to visit, instead, we are going to focus more on the kids’ desires. We will stay longer in one place, and hang out as long as the kids want. We’re going to hit beaches, bike parks, cafés and even Legoland. Chasing after scenic views will have to wait. It might mean a little less Oh Wow moments (for the adults at least) and maybe not as many Instagram friendly photo locations. I’m not saying Denmark isn’t beautiful because I know it truly is, but when you have a soft spot for mountains and deserted landscapes, it might not be exactly it. But I’m feeling positive that we’re going to have a great time though! And I’m crossing my fingers for more sun and less mosquitos this year…

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Vanlife: Mobile Living Made Easy

Last fall we started a collaboration with Dometic that gives us the opportunity to try the HBG 2335 cook top. Dometic’s slogan says Mobile Living Made Easy, and we can certify that their statement is right on point.

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With the installation of the kitchen area with the built in the cook top, we went from our morning coffee taking 15 minutes to make, to ready in 5!

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One of my favorite things about the cook top is the space efficient design with a lid, that gives us extra workspace when the hob is not in use. For us, it’s a must that every little inch in the van can be used to the max. Also, the kids thinks the glass lid looks sooo classy!

The guys at Dometic interviewed us about… well, vanlife of course 😉 You can read it here.

Vanlife: Hej

and welcome!

Ok, I’m finally trying this blog thing 🙂

The story about The horizon is calling began with the Instagram page with the same name where I share my family’s outdoors- and vanlife pictures. The vanlife part of it started just over a year ago, when we bought our Opel Movano and began the conversion. During this last year lots of new followers joined and the account grew. Vanlife and the “stuff” we associate with it, like freedom, simple living, nature and DIY seems to be popular subjects.

This blog is supposed to be a place where I can expand my thoughts, share links, tips and the pictures that doesn’t make it to Instagram.
Maybe a little further on, I will also publish videos covering topics that I get a lot of questions about, like our bunk bed construction and a guided tour in the van.

The Horizon Is Calling features the adventures of our family of four (plus two): Danne -the driver/builder/constructor and me Anna, -the one taking pictures and running all the social media stuff, our two kids Eddie -the big bro and Charlie -the little one. And of course our pups Echo & Rio, former strays, adopted from Spain.

We live in Ingarö, Sweden and honestly, we spend the majority of our time working and going to school. But whenever we get the chance, we jump in our self build camper van MoMo and head for the horizon! Most of the time we don’t make it very far, but that’s ok, because you know what they say: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”.

We are weekend (and vacation) warriors, dreaming about a life on the road. Join us!