Blogger of the month: FREEDOMtravel

07 June

This months bloggers are Helena and Peter Bergström from Sweden.

Peter och Helena i Valencia under Las Fallas-festivalen 2015

Tell us about your blog:

Our blog is mainly about travel, adventure and camping, but also about houseboat life and lifestyle in general. We have been blogging every day since 2009 and aim to create a blog that is both personal and filled with useful information. We especially love to travel in our camper called FREEDOM, as this way of travelling stands for freedom for us, but we also travel by plane, train and boat. We hope to inspire our readers to travel in many different ways and to explore new destinations.

Do you have another career than blogging?

Peter is a carpenter and Helena is a public health researcher. Nowadays the blog takes a lot of time though, and we cannot work full time with our other careers any longer …

What is the main reason you love travel so much?

We love our houseboat in Stockholm and we never travel to get away from something. Instead there is a curiosity – as long as there is something left to discover you are curious to discover it! The more places we visit the more we want to travel actually.

Why did you start blogging about your travels?

We bought our camper in 2008 and became fascinated by the freedom this way of travelling offered. We started to plan for many interesting trips and wanted to document our travelling in some way. At the same time we noticed a lack of personal Swedish blogs trying to inspire people to travel in various ways.

Has travel changed you in any way? How?

When travelling you learn about the world and you meet many people. At the same time you learn about yourself and you get perspective of your everyday life and the culture you live in. If you are a curious person (which I guess we are) you all the time want to see more and learn more. Travelling have changed us in the way that we want to travel even more …

Foto: Lasse Persson

Travel is normally a good experience, but not always… Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were truly afraid during traveling?

In 2007 we visited Kenya. We knew that there would be an election, but it turned out much more terrible and violent than anyone could expect. When the opposition leader (Odinga) got more votes than the current president (Kibaki) all broadcasting were turned off for a few days, and when it came back the politicians declared that Kibaki won anyway. Most people believed that there was a great election fraud and a violent fight started between the followers of these two candidates, and the two different tribes they belonged to.

At the time we stayed in a small hotel in Mombasa together with a Dutch couple and a couple from New Zeeland/Italy. People in this area stopped go to work, the stores closed, the airport and the road closed, the hotel slowly ran out of food, and outside the walls of the hotel the people were walking around with weapons. People were killed and when we heard that 50 children and women were burned to death in a church by an angry mob we really became frightened and tried to find possibilities to leave the country. It was not easy though as the taxi drivers refused to come to our neighborhood (as they were too frightened) and as the airport was closed.

After a few more days the road opened and we succeeded to convince a taxi driver to take us and the Dutch couple to the boarder of Tanzania, paying him an amount corresponding to two months’ salary. As the banks were closed we did not have any money but the Dutch couples boss in Amsterdam succeeded to transfer money for our escape (also for us although he had never met us!).

The taxi driver made several nervous phone calls to friends along the road to decide whether he dared to drive or not and when we took of he locked the doors of the car. We drove through slum areas where agitated men were walking around doing nothing (or just carrying weapons) and we constantly had to drive around cars that were still covered in smoke from recent fires.

Finally we reached the boarder to Tanzania. The taxi driver asked us to pray for him for a safe journey back, and when he came home he sent us an sms telling us he was safe! We passed the boarder by foot and jumped on a local bus. Our plan was to go somewhere to celebrate, but we jumped off the bus in the first small town, found a small hotel and fell asleep … Today you can read that more than 1000 people were killed during this election and that more than 300,000 people had to leave their homes.

Which three items do you not leave home without?

Camera, computer and extra batteries

Can you recommend three places our readers must visit in their lifetimes?

New Zealand – A wonderful country to discover with all kinds of nature, from glaciers to volcanoes and rainforests

Zanzibar – An island with fantastic beaches and possibilities for boat tours and fishing trips, without crowds of tourists

Corsica – One of the most beautiful places in Europe, where you find wild nature and beaches with turquoise water

Korsika

Is there any destination you have visited that you know you never will return to? Why?

The greenhouse area around Almería in Spain is such an ugly place. The greenhouses cover 26,000 hectares and when you are driving through the area it feels like it is endless.

What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

When we visited a traditional yurt in the Mongolian steppe we were offered strange products made of horse milk. Not tasty at all, but of course we tried hard to make it seem that we were enjoying while eating …

Check off your favorite:

1. □ Mountains

2. X Fish

3. □ Cocktail

4. □ Suitcase

5. □ Health freak

6. Instagram

7. □ Guide book

8. □ Tent

X Beach

□ Meat

X Wine

X Backpack

□ Party geek

□ Twitter

□ Magazine

□ Resort

□ City

□ Vegetarian

□ Beer

□ Hand luggage

X Tech nerd

X Facebook

X Wikipedia

X Live like a local

Is there a blog post you especially remember to have written? Why? 

We have recently been to Budapest and written an article about what to discover and experience in this beautiful city:  Upplevelser i Budapest

You can read more about Helena and Peter in their profile.

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