A few years ago I chose to combine my profession as a photographer with the lifestyle of working less and living more. I’ve designed my life so that I can work from all over the world as long as I have a camera, laptop and internet.
I’ve worked hard to blur the lines between work and leisure.
Tomorrow I take advantage of that by going on a journey yet again. I love travelling around in Sweden, but recently I visited Finland for the first time and tomorrow it’s finally time for me to see Norway!
For me life is not about working hard for the sake of earning a lot of money, having a big house or a lot of stuff and only enjoying life during those few vacation weeks each year.
What’s important is making everyday a part of a life that I love and enjoy.
To do so I had to make changes in my view of working. I also had to make sacrifices, other things have had to go in order for me to have the time and energy needed to appreciate all the small things in life.
If you’ve followed me for a while you know I made this happen by stripping away what I don’t need; A natural process that took place during these recent years that I lived in a small house on the countryside. When moving to a smaller space I downshifted and started to lead a slower and more minimalistic life. I gave or sold things until I owned less stuff. This meant I didn’t need to earn as much money, and thus could afford to work less and live more.
In the end, I don’t even feel I sacrificed anything cause my mindset shifted and I realised stuff is not what make me happy in the long run.
I have also come to the realisation that adventures or experiences do not need to be big and grand, well planned, expensive or take place far away;
A sunset hike on a Tuesday, being out bouldering with friends or watching the northern lights outside my home is far more valuable to me than saving money to go on a two week vacation (occurring once a year) to some warm place where I just lay in a sun-chair.
It doesn’t feel right to only do what you really love on some weekends and those semester days during summer. We only have one life and so many amazing things happen all the time. By making sure you can work less you have the time and energy to experience it through out the years. I do smaller things closer to home, I do them often and they make me feel rich and alive.
My every day life consists of me working with my passion while going on close by adventures.
A typical day in my life
I usually start my mornings at home with coffee and some work in the office. I edit photos from recent assignments, email with clients and work on blogposts. While having lunch I read magazines that really inspire me, both as a photographer, writer and explorer. They make me want to meet new people, journey to other parts of the world and spend even more time outside.
I am honestly madly in love with my home, work and lifestyle!
Taking a more slow and minimalistic approach on life has made me so much more happy. I own few things, but the things I’ve chosen to keep are those that have a lot of thought behind them, that really add value to my life, aid me in my work, make my travels easier and most important of all: they are all things of good quality that will last for a lifetime.
It feels really good to finally have a proper watch, eliminating the need to take up my phone whenever I want to know what time it is. We all know how easy it is to think “I’m just going to check the time” and then all of a sudden we’ve scrolled through Facebook, liked a few images on Instagram and maybe tweeted something.
Having a wrist watch makes me slow down, be more present and a bit more disconnected. It is also extremely sturdy, it’s case made from lightweight titanium and the strap made of the same leather that is used in crafting firefighter boots. It is both scratch -and water resistant.
No matter if I am at the office, out hiking, climbing or traveling I know my watch can take it all!
Later in the afternoon I usually pack my bag and hop on my bike to head into town. I might have a meeting to go to, an errand to run or I am meeting up with Dan to do groceries and / or head to the climbing gym. Some days we meet up with our friends to have dinner, hike or play boardgames.
I have a Deluxe Duffel Laptop pack and It’s great for my daily life commute. The laptop compartment is the most essential part since I take it to my meetings or when I go to work at a café. It’s sturdy and has a low profile as well as really good compartmentalisation. It has a lot of attachment points on the front which is great for hanging my water bottle from, or climbing shoes on when we go bouldering.
One neat feature is that you’re able to reach into the main compartment through the front pocket, without undoing the roll top which is great if I need to reach that hoodie or rain jacket I always keep at the bottom of the pack.
Then I always have a power bar or two to keep me going since I am pretty active these days, I bring a journal and notebook wherever I go and the laptop if it’s needed. One of my cameras are of course always with me and then I always have a multi-tool in my pack.
It has been such a lifesaver whenever I need to tighten a screw on my bike or tripod, use a knife to cut up a fruit or bred or open a can of tuna (great trail food) just like I did here in Yosemite while hiking with Katarina.
Now that the days are longer, warmer and brighter we spend a lot more time outdoors in general. We live very close to both North & South Mountain and the summer evenings are perfect to head there with friends and have dinner, a beer or snack while watching the sun set.
This is why I love my work, and the way I have designed my life.
I am the boss of my own time and I can take a break to play the guitar, or even just go outside and read in the sun. I can switch my schedule around and do more work in the evenings instead. We are always very active doing a bunch of different things and a lot of it is very spontaneous, I truly enjoying being able to live like that.
My freedom is priceless and I will never give it up.