Say hi to Kajsa Silow! Swedish adventurer, designer, MSc engineer and co-founder of Adventure Stories. Living in Åre part-time, and part-time in her tent and self-built digital nomad van, called iVan.
Photo by Linnea Karlsson
Everyday Kajsa inspires thousands of people on Instagram, not only posting jaw dropping photos but also sharing her thoughts on personal development and how nature works as her healer (after being bed-bound for 5 years). We caught up with Kajsa to hear more about her relationship with nature.
When I say “balance”, you say..?
A highly individual combo of work, time off, training, friends, personal development, spontaneity and freedom. My city-mountain balance is just as important as my work-life balance. If I only stayed here I’d be left with views too wide to focus, if I only stayed in the city I’d be left with a tunnel vision too narrow to see the views. The chaos is my driving force but I can’t be without horizons, so living a combo-lifestyle is my way of staying sane, humble, creative, organized, driven, inspired, energized and filled with love. I think that’s why I always enjoy to keep dancing, even in the most chaotic storm. Because I always know it clarifies my views and lays out my path ahead.
It hasn’t always been like this though, tell us how you did to get your nature and adventure fix when you lived in Gothenburg and worked at Volvo?
So the trick was to get in to work super early so I could leave early and drive down to Varberg if there was surf, or head out for some other adventure outside of Gothenburg like wake boarding, kitesurfing or skateboarding. Having access to a car was crucial to get out of town quickly. Not saying everyone should buy their own car though, there’s plenty of car pooling options and groups on Facebook where you can find travel buddies. Sweden you have On Edge, Adventure Stories and Sörfaretjejer to name a few.
So if you feel like you want to try the digital nomad lifestyle but not sure if it’s your cup of tea, what’s your best advice?
I’d say try out small. It might not be right for everyone to just quit their job from one day to another to live your dream. Instead, see if you can work part time and have 1 day off a week for adventure & nature time! Try out new projects on the side first to see if you enjoy working with them. Following your passions naturally sorts it out itself – not everything you do or want in your life has to become your source of income. But if you need it, you can try to integrate it. If you make money on it or see that you will, then you can start working part time.
Also allow other jobs to enter your life if that’s a way to solve your situation. Even though I’m a design engineer consultant and love my job, I don’t always need to work with it. I could easily take a part-time job, like I did at Surfers in Varberg or as a breakfast host at hotels in Åre, just to be able to live in a place I wanted.
Eventually I found ways to work part time with everything I want in my life and live in a place I love, but it sure took some years to reach that perfect combo of work and lifestyle.
Now over to Åre, would love to get your inside tips on what to do now when the snow is gone in Åre. We’ve seen you around a beautiful lake called, Blanktjärn, is the water really that emerald green or is Instagram playing it’s filter trick on us?
Omg, yes, Blanktjärn is incredibly beautiful with it’s crystal clear turquoise water! It’s a perfect day tour (12 km), starting off at the track center in Vålådalen, walk or run through the birch- and fir woods and bring your tent to stay overnight.
Another favorite is Ottsjön by an area called Vålådalen which is big as Öland. I’m addicted to views. Running up a mountain to enjoy the view over the lake and nearby mountain tops, nothing beats that. This is also relates to my best tip when it comes to eating out in Åre. “Bring your own veggies” You’ll find me munching on a carrot or a piece of cucumber on the top.