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Since June 2017 Mette and Morten have traveled, lived and worked around Europe in their rolling home, the campervan “Turtle”. Now they are home in Aalborg to make presentations about their travels, visit friends and family and to earn money for their next trip. But that doesn’t mean that the adventures are put to standby, because the couple still live in their car, and here in North Jutland the small adventures awaits right outside the door.
A proud Turtle decorated with tyl
Last time when we sent a travel letter home to you, we were still on adventures in Italy. Today we’re back in Denmark for a while – more specifically in North Jutland.
Not because we have given up or finished traveling in Europe in our campervan, but mainly to visit family and friends. Clearly, there are many at home we miss while we travel, and it is SO nice to be home and see them all again!
In fact, we already knew before we left Denmark in December, that we would be home again this summer. Because we (and not least Turtle) had an invitation to a party we just had to participate in.
Namely, a wedding with Turtle as a honorary guest in the very special job as a wedding car! So of course we were home to this wedding – and all three of us had a fantastic day there, both as wedding car and -drivers.
Forgot the turtle pace in Italy
As the date for our return approached, more and more plans came up for our time at home in Denmark. First we were hired for a lecture in Tønder, then a studyweekend for Mette was planned, and then we were hired to the project ‘The Cultural Caravan’ in the North Jutland, where we’ll hold a whole series of presentations as an introduction to conversation salons focusing on the good life and taking active choices in everyday life. Then we were hired for a number of lectures at evening schools, senior colleges and a family club, invited to another wedding – in Sweden, both got a summer holiday job and were invited to Mette’s nephew’s baby christening, a bachelorette party, etc.
As we were going to most of the northern Jutland municipalities with the Cultural Caravan, we came to the idea that we could expand to drive around in ALL the northern Jutland municipalities and experience ‘everyday adventures’ and then report it home to the radiostation ‘Radio Nordjyske’ a couple of times a week.
But that’s not even all. We also thought, it would be fun to go home and surprise our friends in the shared house, we used to live in, to the Carnival in Aalborg, which was the day before Mette’s nephew’s christening. And suddenly ‘Aftenshowet’ (a Danish TV-program) called us and asked, if we wanted to come to Copenhagen and join the show (!)
Do we need to say that we actually made a little TOO many plans after returning to Denmark?
It wasn’t something we thought about before we were in the middle of it, because the plans came along little by little and all of it was something we both wanted, but actually it ended up so we – completely opposite from the way we like to travel – hurried from one thing to another and felt a bit stressed.
We didn’t have time to rest and visit family and friends as we really wanted after we had come home to Denmark after half a year abroad. So hopefully we’ve learned something for the next time ..
Everyday adventures in North Jutland
Just because we’re home in North Jutland, the adventures aren’t over. We still live in Turtle, which is our only home, and continues to travel and experience the world – just more locally at the moment than the last six months.
It has been nice to be in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, but it’s ALSO super cool to be in Denmark! It was crazy to experience how the temperature just rose, the longer we drove north, and it’s such a wonderful summer at home this year! Then there’s no other place on earth that’s better to be than in North Jutland.
Therefore we chose to use some of our fall and autumn to visit all the 11 municipalities in North Jutland and go on everyday adventures here in the country.
In the last 4 weeks we have driven around Aalborg, Frederikshavn, Jammerbugt and Brønderslev Municipality. To name just a few examples of the everyday adventures we’ve experienced here, we’ll mention: a couple of days at Poulstrup Lake which is a fantastic idyllic oasis with a wealth of wildlife and plenty of hiking and MTB routes only 10 km from Aalborg, Knivholt Hovedgård by Frederikshavn, which offered a surprising number of activities, the most beautiful sunset over the North Sea at Lille Norway north of Saltum and strawberries (self-picked of course) with cream and sugar eaten at the parking lot in front of Jerslev Market.
As mentioned, some of our summer should be spent on work and make some money for future trips. A large part of our income this summer comes from presentations. It’s nice to experience, that after only a year on the road we’ve been able to create curiosity and interest among people to book us to tell about our choices and our experiences.
It’s one of our dreams: to be able to live from traveling and inspiring people, and already now it seems that this dream can actually be fulfilled over time.
However, we have also found other jobs this summer to make sure that our economy wont be a problem. We’ve been lucky enough (or skilled enough) to both get a job at a summer camp in West Jutland. Morten helps in the first half of July and Mette got the job as camp leader in the second half of July.
This also means, that we have the opportunity to get some experiences AND some time on our own, away from each other – which is much needed at the moment. Over the last six months we’ve more or less been together all the time and in very little space. It’s been a tough challenge and many times it has led to conflicts to be each other’s friends, partners, coworkers and live on just four rolling square meters. It’s really a big test of the relationship, and it’s definitely the biggest challenge we have at the moment.
It’s not resolved yet, but we’re aware of the problem and talk a lot about what we can do differently to make more space for ourselves and how we deal with disagreements more appropriately than we do at the moment. Hopefully we’ll find a more long-term solution during the summer, so our relationship can flourish instead of breaking down in the current framework. So, at the moment, we still live in our van, Turtle, our only home, also in Denmark. So if you want to, please come and say hey if you see us in the beachpark in Nørresundby (one of our favorite places right now), by the ‘fjordwife’ in Nibe or by ‘the clogshouse’ in Klim – or a whole fourth place here in North Jutland or the rest of Denmark.
Have a great summer!
Sweaty greetings from Mette, Morten and Turtle.
This blogpost was originally written as a travel letter home to the newspaper and online media Aalborg:nu.