Category Archives: News

Life as a constant adventure

Some people asked us directly on return what our next adventure would be about.
“What’s the next challenge?” they asked.
“Each moment of life has the possibility of being a challenge and an adventure, if you so choose.” was our predictable answer.

Now, we might have a more satisfying answer for you all:
We’re expecting a baby in December! This is our biggest adventure to date. Amanda has been struggling with nausea and puking during 4,5 months now, and hasen’t been able to work much, though we’re nearly halfway through the pregnancy. This has been a great challenge for Amanda, as she has not been out or even seen much besides the bed and the toilet. We’re pretty sure it will be worth the struggle x 1000 though, and can’t wait for this years Christmas to come around and expand our little family.

We’re planning on moving to Gotland within a few years, and so we’re keeping an eye on the housing market. We wish for our child to have the privilege of calling Gotland her/his home, just as we’ve had. Inspired by the HelpX and WOOFing community, we’re planning on getting a big house somewhere on the country side. Now, it won’t be expensive and it won’t be pretty but it will be a fun project! And guess what? You’re all invited.

This geographical move will certainly result in a big pile of new challenges that need to be completed! And what an adventure :) ! For starters, we don’t even know if we’ll be able to find work on Gotland, or how we’re going to solve that potential issue. Only time will tell.

This certainly doesn’t mean we won’t keep traveling, blogging etc. Writing about our future journeys as a family will probably be even more relevant and just as interesting.

Now we’ve heard that Niall is about to start his long journey, that Andra and Razvan are moving to China, and Breno is back (and blogging!) in Brazil.

What is your next move?

Credits

Credits

Ideas, inspiration, brain-storms and support. Many of you have helped us complete this journey in different ways. Credit is where credit is due.

  • Hitchhiking concept: Jonas Georgsson & Jesper Lundberg for that night at Lännaplan, when we discussed the project.
  • Meet Our Drivers: Pia-Maria Guldström in the car home from Axelsro when she told us she would like to see ideas from different countries.
  • “What did you have for breakfast”: Margareta Garpe & Molly Harleb for that lunch-meeting where they asked us to make the ideas more hands-on.
  • Introduction movie: Kaspian Jakobsson when he said that it was unbearable.
  • 3D graphics: Kaspian Jakobsson
  • Post frequency: Lukas Jakobsson – “Post five times a day. Sleep, that’s something you can do in Sweden!”
  • Improved sound quality and endless support: Breno Cola sent us some money and told us to get a better dicta phone. Said and done!
  • P3 Planet: Christoffer Hagberg, Jesper Lundberg & Jonas Georgsson. Thanks for the idea!
  • Constant inspiration: Gary Vaynerchuck.
  • Blog traffic: As We Travel, Sofia and Nathan – Thanks a lot! Alastair Humphreys, Thanks! Bicycle Touring Pro, Connection Revolution, Orienteringstanten and of course – Phil In The Blank!
  • Financial support: Barbro & Claes Heijbel, Bodil Heijbel, Peter Jakobsson, Bo & Anita Jakobsson, Kim & Håkan Jakobsson, Breno Cola, Lisette Sandling, Lars Riber and Annie & Lennart Adolphsson.
  • Paid for our material: ABF, P3 & GT.
  • Podcast theme: MattyBlades.
  • Local radio: Jakob Larsson & Johannes Hallbom. Check out their new release with Tony Clifton!
  • Pins and book from Gotland: Julia Bendelin, Oss Reklambyrå.
  • Vaulable help on the road: The girls at the gas station in the Middle of Poland, Tomek & Mateusz in Krakow, The couple who bought us tickets to the ferry to Yalova, Engin in Yalova, Ali with family in Izmir, Makbule, Ömer & Doruk, Aynur in Cirali, Bahar family in Jordan, Muhammad with family in Damascus, The family in Mus, Joey in Arbil, The family in Suran, The family in Piranshar, Mohammad with family in Tabriz, Appas with family in Tabriz, The family in Zahedan.
  • Brave souls who believed in the Chicken dance and participated before we left Sweden, in Visby/Stockholm: Alice Heijbel, Andromeda Lundén, Kaspian Jakobsson, Malin Björkquist, Malin Karlsson, Razmus Nyström, Robert Söderström, Sara Eklund, Signe Ahlsten, Stina Nordberg, Torun Dahlström, Vilhelm Blomgren, Emil Jansson, Johanna Marteleur, Jonas Georgsson and Mindra Ericsson and Ulf Heijbel, for the part in the introduction movie.
  • Chicken Dance Japan: Pontus Jakobsson & Louise Billgren

Thanks again!

Ultima

It was april 2010.
Spring had just come to France. And so had Robin. We spent a sunny Sunday in Céret, a small romantic town in the Pyrenees. We had not seen each other in many weeks. Way to many weeks. We had written more loveletters than it had been days since we were together. Everywhere we went, love went with us.

The sun was beautiful. The buildings were beautiful. The people were beautiful, like characters in a movie where we played the leads. Amanda with a flower in her hair, Robin with the smile of a happy child. The cars stopped for us. The people greeted us.
An old man walked up to us and offered some candy. A street choir walked the main street down and spread their tones.
Céret smelled of coffee, spring and love. When we smiled, the world smiled back at us, and we said to each other,
“We have to express this passion. We have to keep expressing it, and share it with the rest of the world”.
We will never forget Céret, or the people who live there. Maybe the people in Céret won’t forget us either, who knows.

We didn’t know it by then. But on that sunny Sunday in Céret, MangoManjaro was born.

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July, 2010.

Map

India, we said. Let’s hitchhike to India. And we did. We hitchhiked – ONLY – until we reached Pakistan. As soon as we’d crossed the border from Iran, we had to get escorted by armed guards, half way through Pakistan. “For security reasons, you are not allowed to hitchhike, sorry.”

We made it to the Indian border, the very east of Pakistan. Because of some visa issues and poor planning from our side, we actually finished this journey in Pakistan. So we did travel all the way TO India, all we didn’t do was to enter it. It will be a future project, since we are quite certain India will still be there. So will we, and along with us comes a big portion of curiosity and passion.

###

We want to thank you all again.
All of our drivers, the people who have hosted us, all you Chicken Dancers, blog readers, donors, reporters and other Njaros out there.
Thank you for making our personal experience absolutely amazing.
Thank you for everything that you have shared with us, and for everything that you have taught us.
Thanks for all the chai and all the joy. Thanks for being brave and open minded, and for treating us so well.

Anton, one of our drivers in Bulgaria made a wise statement that we came to like so much that we copied it and printed it at some of our business cards.
“The world is a big village”. This line has really proved itself to be true during the last few months.

We started this trip with an empashis on challenging the fears that people in Sweden have. It turned out that most of the fears are shared amongst all people, across all of the countries that we’ve passed. This is our most important lesson, our most important discovery. It is not dangerous to hitchhike, talk to strangers, or stay in a strangers home. It’s rather the opposite! The most dangerous thing you can do is to isolate yourself and only trust situations where you’re paying someone to do something for you.

Fear in itself is what’s dangerous, because it hinders us from communicating with each other. And that makes us stupid.

###

MangoManjaro is now about 6 moths old, in other words it is still a baby who will grow and learn.
We hope to meet you all in our future projects!

Love, magical Mango energy and best wishes,

Amanda and Robin

Internet in Iran

We have come to what might be the most interesting and different country on our list: Iran.
This means we are currently unable to reach most of our commonly used websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Because of this there are lots of uploads that will have to wait for a bit, like two unforgettable Chicken dances, one from Jordan and one from Iraq. Hold on for it :) !

If any of you plan to go to Iran, try not to be on a strict schedule. We literally had to drag our selves away and hide in a hotel room for a night to catch up some precious Internet-time. This is of course an amazing thing. If you think we got invited to lots of homes previously, that’s nothing compared to now. Everywhere we go, people start speaking to us.

“Hello, where are you from? Please come to my house and meet my family!”
It is an interesting and important experience for us. And since we stay in people’s homes, we spend less time by the Internet and more time with our new found friends. If we didn’t have a time limit of 15 days in Iran, we could have stayed forever just to take time and get to know them all.

Stay with us and keep shining, Njaros!

Get Fancy – Spread the Word!



We are proud to invite you all to our newest addition at MangoManjaro.se – our online store!

We offer you organic clothing and different kinds of cups (you know how much we love coffee ;) ).

All of it carrying our most important message: Fear is more dangerous than the things we fear.

This is our core message. Our heart beat. The essence of our trip. A few T-shirts and coffee mugs won’t make it justice. It’s rather the inevitable discussions that will blossom when you use it. So get talking! Spread the word: Fear is more dangerous than the things we fear!

Check it out and let us know what you think!

The Surprises of Embassies

We have now been waiting around in Ankara for over a week expecting an e-mail from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran, that never showed up. One might think we should know by now, that’s not always how embassies work…

After applying for an e-visa on the Internet (yes, it’s possible!) we’ve spent over a week in Ankara waiting for an e-mail confirming Amanda’s application. Robin’s was done at the day of our arrival, but when we finally got to the embassy in Ankara, it seemed like Amanda’s just wasn’t there. It was lost in cyberspace, and a new application would take a few weeks.

Luckily we’ve been Couchsurfing during this time and therefore made some new great friends. Our host Deniz inspires us with her bakery skills! And as you can guess, Turkey is a country we don’t mind staying in.

Outside the embassy we got lucky to meet a Belgian couple on a long journey driving from Belgium to Vietnam. They recommended us to go to Trabzon in Northeast Turkey where Iranian visas are issued in one or two days. After an espresso with our new found friends, we called the embassy in Trabzon and confirmed.

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road again. See you out there, Njaros!