Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented lifestyle blog

Looking for our home – Prague

I want to post how we was able to find the home we were dreaming of in Prague so here it goes. It took two and a half week, from the day we arrived to Prague to the day we signed the contract, but we did not know that beforehand, and it felt longer because we were searching intensively. We were prepared for that finding our home would to take time, but in retrospect it could have been even faster to find a home if we had been less discriminating about location, style and neighborhood.

First we started to look at different web pages where rentals are listed. Some of the pages have a realtor as an intermediary (S reality, Expats and Happy house rentals), but we found our home through the website Bez realitky (meaning “without a realtor” in Czech). Be aware that some realtors or landlords can ignore your interest request if you don’t communicate in Czech, so just send your information to several you are interested in at the same time, there will be people that reply in English, often using Google translate.

We were on a few apartment tours during that time, but while we were waiting on replies on our interest requests we were out scouting different areas or just enjoyed that the spring was about to arrive in Prague. The surrounding was important to us and we were not keen on settling down were most other expats do, we wanted to be in the outskirts and feel like we live on the countryside even though we are in a big city. We ended up making Kobylisy our home and this area was where we welcomed our daughter to the world, so we are happy with our choice.

Jag vill berätta hur vi hittade det hem vi drömde om här i Prag så här kommer den berättelsen. Det tog två och en halv vecka, från den dag vi anlände till Prag till den dag då vi tecknade kontraktet, detta visste vi dock inte förväg, och det kändes som att det tog längre tid eftersom vi letade intensivt. Vi var beredda för att de kunde ta tid, men i retrospektiv så kunde det ha gått snabbare att hitta ett hem om vi hade varit mindre noga med plats, stil och stadsdel.

Det första vi gjorde var att undersöka olika webbsidor där hyreslägenheter listas. Några av sidorna har en fastighetsmäklare som mellanhand (S reality, Expats och Happy house rentals), men vi hittade vårt hem via webbplatsen Bez realitky (vilket på tjeckiska betyder “utan fastighetsmäklare”). Var medveten om att fastighetsmäklare eller hyresvärdar kan ignorera din intresseanmälan om du inte kommunicerar på tjeckiska, så skicka din information till flera objekt du är intresserad av samtidigt, det kommer att finnas personer som svarar på engelska och ofta med hjälp av Google translate för översättning.

Vi var på några lägenhetsvisningar under denna tid, men medan vi väntade på svar på våra intresseobjekt var vi ute och tittade på olika områden eller bara njöt av att våren var på väg att anlända till Prag. Omgivningen var viktig för oss och vi var inte angelägna att bosätta oss där de flera andra expats bosätter sig, vi ville vara i utkanten och känna att vi bor på landsbygden även om vi är i en storstad. Nu är Kobylisy vårt hem och det är området där vi välkomnade vår dotter till världen, så vi är nöjda med vårt val.

We were back in Prague again and enjoying familiar grounds, here on a walk in the Stromovka Park.
Beginning of March and we were anticipating spring around the corner. We had a mission this spring, to find our home.
Back in familiar playgrounds.
with familiar faces.
We went to Metrofarm to say hello to the animals.
Othilia in the bunker. It is a stage on Metrofarm where they had a war-inspired show set up.
We also visited the Agricultural museum where they have a lot of stuff for children. Highly recommend a visit.
This is one of the places we would love to open up soon.
So back on the home finding track. We were fortunate to rent a home from friends while we were looking for our own. This was familiar grounds as well and Othilia was happy.
We started to purchase some of our own furniture even though we hadn’t found our own home yet. Othilia got her own bed for the first time in 1.5 years. It doesn’t mean that she will sleep a whole night in her bed, but it is a start to her independence and she will show us the way.
Here we are at IKEA looking at potential furniture to place in our then future home.
There were many areas we were looking at. This one is an example of a place we almost called our home, but in the end it wasn’t our place. Our place was here.

Slottsskogen with family

We planned our journey from Thailand to Prague via Sweden and family. We were only a few days in Sweden, but before we took the ferry to the rest of Europe, we visited Othilia’s cousin Filip. This was before the quarantine days due to the Corona virus, so we were out enjoying the Gothenburg weather in February. One of our favorite parks in Gothenburg is Slottsskogen and we went there with the kids before going to Prague.

Vi planerade vår resa från Thailand till Prag via Sverige och familjen. Vi var bara några dagar i Sverige, men innan vi tog färjan till resten av Europa så besökte vi Othilias kusin Filip. Detta var före karantändagarna på grund av Corona-viruset, så vi var ute och njöt av Göteborgsvädret i februari. En av våra favoritparker i Göteborg är Slottsskogen och vi åkte dit med barnen innan vi åkte till Prag.

These two! It is not easy to get both of them to stick in one picture.
Our Othilia look so big in this outfit, where has our baby gone?
We took our children to Slottskogen to look at the animals, but one had fallen asleep!
He soon woke up and joined the exploration.
Othilia was happy!
We soon came to the playground Plikta (what a name on a playground meaning somewhere close to oblige in English)
Our children were soon running different ways on the playground, while the mothers were occupied (notice Rebecca on the left)
Just happy memories!
So lovely to have these moments together with the cousins. Here Filip is showing his aunts the numbers 1-10. Soon we would say goodbye for this time.
The ferry between Gothenburg and Kiel would bring us closer to Prague and this boat had a play area that Othilia liked.
We fell asleep on a rocking boat not knowing that in a few weeks we would have keys to our own home, the first home for Othilia.

1878 days – a new chapter begins

1878 days are how long we have been voluntarily homeless, but this has now changed. After five years we now have keys and a contract for our own home. Home is no longer Sweden for us, but Prague. There are many reasons behind this, but one reason spells worldschooling, which is not allowed in Sweden. Other reasons we may perhaps share in the future, but for now we will make Prague, the Czech people and their culture our home in the world.
I don’t know how frequent our updates here will be, but we will still update you on Othilia’s development and special occasions.

We hope to see you in Praha!

1878 dagar är hur länge vi har varit frivilligt hemlösa, men detta har nu förändrats. Efter fem år har vi nu nycklar och ett kontrakt för vårt eget hem. Hem är inte längre Sverige för oss, utan Prag. Det finns många orsaker bakom detta, men en anledning stavas världsskolning, vilket inte är tillåtet i Sverige. Det finns också andra skäl, som vi kanske delar med oss till er i framtiden, men för tillfället kommer vi fokusera på att göra Prag, det tjeckiska folket och deras kultur till vårt hem i världen.
Jag vet inte hur ofta vi kommer uppdatera här, men vi kommer fortfarande att uppdatera bloggen om Othilias utveckling och speciella tillfällen.

Vi hoppas på att få träffas i Praha!

The keys to our home – after 1878 days it feels almost surreal.
Our home just after we signed the contract. Our home is on the upper floor.
This is our door. We feel so excited to open this new chapter in our life. We will not call ourselves nomads anymore, our homebase is here behind this door.

Last days on Koh Lanta

We had our last days on Koh Lanta and we took the opportunity to spend time at our closest beach, Long beach, and hang out with our nomad friend Jonas. We have known Jonas since the Corax conference on Malta in 2017 and we usually meet up when we are close to each other. Now Thailand was our latest close encounter.
We also enjoyed our last sunsets on the beach, soon we would go back to much colder weather and darker days so we wanted to enjoy the sun before leaving.

Vi hade våra sista dagar på Koh Lanta och vi tog chansen att spendera denna tid på vår närmaste strand, Long beach, och umgås med vår nomadvän Jonas. Vi har känt Jonas sedan Corax-konferensen på Malta 2017 och vi brukar ses när vi befinner oss nära varandra. Nu var Thailand vår senaste sammanstrålning.
Vi har också njutit av våra sista solnedgångar på stranden, snart skulle vi tillbaka till mycket kallare väder och mörkare dagar så vi ville njuta av solen innan vi åkte.

We found a lovely restaurant/hotel which had a Swedish owner and he let us use their swimming pool in exchange of that we ate at their restaurant, so we did. Papillon Bungalows had lovely food so we would go there anyway.
Othilia and her balls, it is her favorite thing to play with.
She even dared to wet her head in this pool and jump from the edge.
Dad started to be alright again after a developmental leap that Othilia went through.
More things we wanted to do before leaving Koh Lanta. Othilia got to try sitting in the front of the scooter (on a parking lot).
She also got to try our friend Jonas’s upgraded scooter.
Our friend Jonas is a nomad as well. Before we left the island Pontus and Jonas went out on a off-grid dirt bike tour. They had a couple of hours riding a dirt bike around the island and they had a lovely time.
The days were running out so we also spent a few sunsets on the beach.
I will miss this!
Our last evening on Koh Lanta!
Had our last dinner with Jonas for a while and we found a ping pong table that we used. It was 10 to 0 to Ulrika before she let Jonas know that she was left handed. Then he won!
Next evening our view was the mountains in Northern Afghanistan while we were flying back to Europe. It was time for a big change!

Koh Lanta – North and South

We had already traveled from the West to the East coast on Koh Lanta, but we also wanted to see the North and South part of the island. In the South we found Koh Lanta National park and in the North we found a lovely beach.

Vi hade redan åkt från väst- till östkusten på Koh Lanta, men vi ville också se den norra och södra delen av ön. I söder hittade vi Koh Lantas nationalpark och i norra delen hittade vi en härlig strand.

We drove all the way down to the South tip to see the lighthouse.
Othilia walking on the rocks. It was incredibly warm this day, so we didn’t want to be out in the sun to long.
We wanted to get up there!
We reached the lighthouse! Drank a lot of water though. Othilia is happy!
We had a lovely view over the National Park area from the lighthouse.
There was an option to hike around 2 kilometer in the djungle and see animals, but the heat and the fact that Ulrika at the time was the only person allowed to carry Othilia discouraged us to hike this time around.
We took our scooter and visited one of the Northernmost beaches on Koh Lanta, Laem Kho Kwang Beach.
We stayed in the shadow.
Othilia was skeptical towards sand when we first arrived to Koh Lanta, but over the course of days she slowly changed her mind about sand as you will see.
The water left beautiful marks in the sand. It was not all days we went to the beach, we didn’t want to expose ourselves to the sun so much.
It can be tricky with animal sanctuaries, but we found one for cats and dogs run by a Norwegian woman who works on getting her abandoned animals to be internationally adopted. We lived quite near this place so we visited the cat city one day. There is no entrance fee, but donations are most welcome.
We thought Othilia would love to visit the cats, but she was more interested in the balls (the cat’s toys) and the water fountain in the middle, so we didn’t stay so long.

Soon our days here on Koh Lanta would end for this time.

Old town Koh Lanta twice

We like to explore wherever we go so naturally we wanted to see the other side of Koh Lanta and visit Old town which is located there. We took the scooter and traveled over the mountain and came to a different part of Koh Lanta. Old town looks quite different from the towns located on the west side, and has much less tourists.

Vi tycker om att utforska platser vi är på så naturligtvis ville vi se den andra sidan av Koh Lanta och besöka Old town som ligger där. Vi tog mopeden och körde över berget och kom till en annan del av Koh Lanta. Old town ser ganska annorlunda ut än byarna på västsidan och har mycket mindre turister.

On our way to the other side of the island! We went twice to old town so this will be pictures in random order from both times.
Ulrika managed to take a pciture of us three on the scooter. The traffic is so easy here and we take it slowly.
We are driving over a mountain that separates the eat and west coast of Koh Lanta. Here we saw the east side for the first time. So we had to stop and take a picture.
Old town is so cozy and looks a lot different from the other places on Koh Lanta.
The tuk tuks are so beautiful in Old town.
We found a huge lobster at the pier.
We walked all the way out on the pier and realised that we could have taken our scooter out. It was kind of a hot day so our minds weren’t with us at the time.
The view from the pier and a fisherman’s boat.
We had read that there was a playground near the pier in Old town so we wanted to go there with Othilia.
Othilia on her way up to the slide.
Now it is only the down part that can be a little scary and Othilia wants to hold a hand when going down.
Pontus found a playground for adults as well.
Lunch time and we tried two different restaurants next to the pier. The first one we tried was called Fresh and Othilia needed a snack before lunch.
The second time we tried a really cozy restaurant called Pinto. Othilia was fascinated by the tables that were converted sewing machines.
Back at our beach we needed to jump in the water after being out in the sun all day on a scooter. We are both wearing dresses we found in Old town.

I’m so blessed to walk beside you my wonderful daughter and experience the world with you!

Long beach and Worldschooling

Our closest beach is Long beach and this is where we hang out the most of our time here on Koh Lanta. Here, we often meet up with our friends and it was also on this beach that we also wanted to meet up with the Swedish Worldschooling community that is located here this winter.
There are a few Swedish families on Koh Lanta that has taken their children’s well-being and education into their own hands and we managed to meet up with them on Long beach so that the children could play and us adults could talk.

Vår närmaste strand är Long beach och det är här vi tillbringar den mesta av vår tid här på Koh Lanta. Här träffar vi oftast våra vänner och det var på denna strand som vi också ville träffa det svenska “Worldschooling“-gänget som bor här i vinter.
Det finns några svenska familjer på Koh Lanta som har tagit sina barns välbefinnande och utbildning i sina egna händer och vi lyckades träffa dem på Long Beach så att barnen kunde leka och oss vuxna kunde prata.

Long beach at sunset. This was a dream for Ulrika to one day have our own child sitting on white sand during a sunset and taking a photo. Her dream came finally true here on Long beach.
We didn’t bring our best camera so the result was a bit dark, but it didn’t matter to us. We were finally here with our daughter Othilia and captured the moment in our minds instead.
We finally got the time to meet with other Worldschoolers.
Othilia was well taken care of by the other older girls.
Our second meeting with the Worldschoolers at Long beach.
Othilia grew tired of the beach so she soon left the company.
and walked her own way to discover new areas.
and found drums that she was eager to try.
She is not prone to walking our daughter, but a few lamps can get her moving. This is our part of Long beach too.
Our favorite Thai dish is Khao Soi, a Northern Thai dish, and we had a lovely place just next to us that served the most delicious Khao Soi we have eaten so far. The name of the restaurant is Kwan’s cookery 2.
The brisket at the Irish Embassy is usually also a lovely dish we have eaten here.
Thai Cat has ok food, but the good thing about this place is that they have a lot of things for the children to do.
The Fat Turtle at the south part of Long beach is another place we like, both for food and for the view. Here we are eating with our Swedish friends their last night here on Koh Lanta.
Ending this blog post with two different sunsets from long beach.

A secret beach and a water park – Koh Lanta

After our successful attempt with taking Othilia on a scooter, we now felt confident to explore more parts of Koh Lanta with a toddler. Together with our friends Caroline, David, Oliver and Elvira we explored different ways to cool ourselves in the heat. We followed them to a “secret beach” in the South and to an interesting visit to a water park on the second island, Koh Lanta Noi.

Efter vårt lyckade försök med att ta Othilia på en moped, så kände vi oss redo att utforska fler delar av Koh Lanta med ett småbarn.
Tillsammans med våra vänner Caroline, David, Oliver och Elvira utforskade vi olika sätt att svalka oss i värmen. Vi följde med dem till en “hemlig” strand i södra delen av Koh Lanta och till ett intressant besök i en vattenpark på den andra ön, Koh Lanta Noi.

Arriving to Nui Bay or what we called it, the Secret beach. It was steep stairs down to the small restaurant which was situated next to the beach.
We ate lunch at the small restaurant, Relax Lanta, before we went out in the sun.
On our way with all the kids.
The second part down the hill was even steeper than the stairs.
Just beautiful!
We had three tired children after we had been playing in the water.
The monkeys came visiting and stole coconuts from the restaurants, but our children missed it, they were sleeping through the whole thing.
Another day we took the Scooter to Rattana Waterpark. We came in the morning and we were the only ones here. Felt like we had arrived to an abandoned Water park.
We even got to see the procedure to fill this giant water park attractions with air.
We had a fun day here almost alone in the water park. A few other families came a bit later during the day.
All children dared to go on the giant water slide. Even Othilia, but she was a bit skeptical after coming down. Here is Elvira going down the slide with her dad!
The entrance to the park wasn’t expensive. The open hours was a bit tricky. Google maps and their web page said one thing, but the staff at the entrance said another thing. The attraction looked a bit worn, but the water was clean.
We ended our day at the water park with Thai-Elvis and Othilia wasn’t impressed.

Othilia amazed by fire show – Koh Lanta

We are on Koh Lanta and have a much needed family time. We decided to check out from the online world during most of January, so we are now a bit behind in our diary.
The first ten days on Koh Lanta was about dealing with jet lag for Othilia, but after those days we managed to establish some routines here. We mostly hung out with our friends and got into the island vacation rhythm. There wasn’t so much to do here on Koh Lanta with a toddler so before we arranged our own means of transport we hung out on the beach both day and night.

Vi är på Koh Lanta och har välbehövlig familjetid. Vi beslutade att vara ifrån online-världen under större delen av januari, så vi är nu lite efter i vår dagbok.
De första tio dagarna på Koh Lanta handlade om att hantera jetlag för Othilia, men efter dessa dagar lyckades vi fastställa en del rutiner här. Vi umgicks mestadels med våra vänner och kom in i öns semesterrytm. Det var inte så mycket att göra här på Koh Lanta med ett litet barn och innan vi ordnade med vårt eget transportmedel så hängde vi på stranden både dag och natt.

Othilia has gotten over her fear of walking on sand!
Othilia with dad in the water.
Most of the tourists had not come at this point. We were surprised how empty the beach was, but that would come to change.
Othilia got to experience her first tuk tuk ride and she liked it.
We got to know a lovely Swedish family who is relatives to one of our nomadic friends. Othilia liked the children Oliver and Elvira, here she is on the swing with Oliver.
There are a number of different fire shows on the beaches here on Koh Lanta and Othilia was fascinated.
The show ended with fire flies and the kids were so impressed.
Music evening with our friends. The children liked the band and wanted to dance.
Ulrika got two children up on her arms during a few songs when Elvira also wanted to dance with her and Othilia.
We found our favorite restaurants quite fast. Here we were at the Fat turtle and Othilia had a blast.
We mainly stayed at the South end of Long beach, but we soon needed to find a way to explore other parts of the island. Here Othilia is in Saladan after our first Scooter ride with her.
We hired a Scooter to see if it was possible for us to use it as our transportation solution with Othilia to explore Koh Lanta. She loved it and now speed and stopping for breaks was in our hands.

A long flight later – Thailand

We were finally ready to leave Europe and the cold and darkness. We had tried flying with Othilia once, so now it was time for a longer flight and see how it would go for her. So where would we go?

Thailand! We have been here before, we have a whole category with previous visits to Thailand, and now we wanted to take Othilia here.

Vi var äntligen redo att lämna Europa och kyla och mörker. Vi hade försökt flyga med Othilia en gång, så nu var det dags för en längre flygning och se hur det skulle gå för henne på en sådan. Så vart skulle vi åka?

Thailand! Vi har varit här tidigare, vi har en hel kategori med tidigare besök i Thailand, och nu ville vi ta med Othilia hit.

We were so excited, sizing down after increasing our belongings this last few years (thanks to our families for taking care of the rest this winter). This much is what a family of three thinks is necessary to bring to Asia.
Othilia just loved the play area at Arlanda and this was her favorite thing to play with. Unfortunately, a few other children also loved this airplane so lets just say that Othilia didn’t like to share this toy.
Ten hours later we landed at Krabi airport in Thailand. Othilia was the only child on the airplane that was running up and down the isles while Ulrika envied the other parents who where sleeping next to their child. Othilia fell asleep just before the cabin crew turned the lights on and started serving breakfast. Pontus got a few hours of sleep, but Ulrika was up almost 24 hours. It was worth it!
We landed at lunch time (Thai time), but for us it was early morning so our afternoon the first day was just to sleep. We went out just when the sun was about to set. It was lovely to see the sun again!
We meet up with our nomad friend Simon during our first night here and we got to know part of his family who were visiting him here on Koh Lanta.
This is what we came to Thailand for. To see Othilia’s eyes shine and the noise she makes when she is happy!
Othilia leveled up on her first days here. She finally understands why sun glasses is a good thing. She has also learned to count to three when we play hide and seek. The Swedish words for 1-3 are ett/en, två, tre and Othilia currently pronounces them as en, da, de. It is so cute!
Othilia walks much more in this kind of weather. Here inspecting the Thai shrines.
We live close to Long beach here on Koh Lanta so it is our beach to go for a swim. Othilia is a bit skeptical towards waves, so we have to carry Othilia past the part where the waves breaks.
In the water everything is fine as long as the water doesn’t touch Othilia’s face.
There is a children’s festival at the first weekend after schools starts so we decided to go there.
There are a few Swedish schools here on Koh Lanta and they had a tent on the festival with stuff for children to try, like innebandy (floor ball).
Also, Thailand’s SWAT team was here to show the kids all their guns.
Most of the things were free for kids, but they had a few food stalls where we found food and drink to buy.
Mum bought an ice cream for her, but it immediately turned in to being Othilia’s ice cream. It was Othilia’s first whole ice cream of her life and she liked it.
The children got free balloons, but the queue to get one of the free balloons was so long, so we bought Othilia a Nemo the fish helium balloon. This way we also prevented her from stealing other children’s baloons.
Then it was only Othilia and her balloon. Balloons, balls and now scooters are her favorite things.
This was our first few days here in Thailand. Our friend Simon took a rare photo of us three while the sun was about to set. Thailand is lovely!
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