Say hi to Malin Fränberg, our house photographer who has been a part of creating the world of Astrid Wild since day 1. She’s a photographer, food stylist and adventurer with a great passion for surfing who just traveled down to Biarritz with her family - in their van. We had a chat with this amazing woman, who’s been behind the camera of many of our most iconic photos!
Hi Malin! How is life at the moment? You've gone from being on the road, either surfing with palm trees as a backdrop in Sri Lanka or cooking on a mountain top in Lofoten, to settling down in a limestone house in Gotland with your little family.
Life is very nice. Atm I'm down in Biarritz with my little family surfing until my arms ache. The baby has just learned to laugh, my boyfriend Philip is so nice and lets me get several hours in the waves every day and our dog Bibi digs holes on the beach like never before. The freedom is magical but I’m slowly starting to long for Sweden, routines, friends and the urge to start renovating our little house.
Tell us about your family and background, where does your interest in nature, adventure and creative cooking come from?
I grew up in the countryside in Småland in a family where my mother grew everything that could be grown and we often spent the weekends in the forest picking berries and mushrooms. The adrenaline and the search for adventure probably comes from my father, who gave me my first motocross as a 5-year-old and in the same year also built a motocross track in the garden for me and my brother. Both mum and dad have always been extremely active and took us on camping holidays, kayaking, snorkeling and climbing caves. Then I started Adventure Stories with Kajsa Silow and Lisa Löwenborg in 2016 and that was probably when I really opened my eyes to adventure! Both Kajsa and Lisa, who have many more tent nights behind them, taught me a lot about "taking risks" and how you can even do it in a comfortable way.
How did you find surfing and what does it mean to you today?
The first time I surfed was by "accident" in Biarritz about 8 years ago.
I didn't even know surfing existed but had a friend who had booked a week of surf school and joined him for a lesson, and became hooked for life!
Surfing is my biggest drug. The years before I met Philip and we started a family, it was surfing that ruled much of my life. I, who am otherwise quite restless, find tranquility in surfing but also an outlet for excess energy and a reason to get up early and catch more sunrises. Surfing has also given me a context where I have met people who are like me and have met most of my best friends through surfing, including Maria at Astrid Wild!
We are so impressed that you packed your baby Nea and Bibi the dog into your surf van and drove down to Biarritz via Switzerland. In other words, Nea was just over 3 months old when she started her first road trip. How did your thoughts go? Is there anything that has been easier than you think vs more difficult, when it comes to traveling with a baby? Tip?
Our motto has been that it doesn't get any harder than you make it, but it does take longer with a baby. Usually we plow down to France in 2 nights but now we had a reason to do a different kind of trip with several stops along the way and a detour to Switzerland. We had planned to sleep every night in the van and it probably would have worked well, but the second night it was close to zero degrees outside and of course also quite cold in the van. So I slept like zero hours that night because I was worried that Nea would freeze, but every time I checked she was sleeping soundly in her woolen blanket and knitted overalls. Most of the time, you worry about things that never happen. However, we chose to take in at a B&B for two nights so that I could sleep.
Malin is wearing the Amelia Hiking Pants in camel, size 38.
We love how you prioritize your time (surf, food, friends & family) and the brave choices you make. You are one of those people who really let your heart and passion guide you through life. Do you have a life motto?
I think "Watch more sunsets than Netflix" is a nice motto. Then I try to think: “nobody remembers a coward”. We are extremely privileged in Sweden both financially and with the majority of safety nets so what is the worst that could happen if you chase after a dream but fail? Probably you would have to go back to your old life, but then you have at least dared to give the dream a chance.
Photo by Vera Nording.
Finally, what are you dreaming about now?
I have dreamed of a garden for a long time, but that dream came true last spring, so now I dream of finding a way to enable us to spend half the year in Gotland and half in Biarritz. We have some ideas on how it could work, but it feels scarier now that you not only have to take care of yourself but also support a family. But then again, nobody remembers a coward.
Thank you Malin for this chat and for everything you created together with us! Make sure to follow Malin on instagram and if you can’t get enough of either surfing or Gotland, check out this article about another wild woman.