Travel Guide, Van life. November 3, 2016 – Posted in: Travel

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Rickard Lundgren is a Swedish surfer living in Malmö, Sweden. We at Happi had a chat with him about his latest adventure traveling in Australia and New Zealand! 😊

Hey Rickard, What’s up?

Hey man, all good thank you. The sun is shining down here in Malmö the first time since forever. Vitamin D, come get me!

Cold or warm water surfing?

Oh, hell yeah, warm water! It’s funny though, when you’re in the tropics you can rave on how epic it is to suit up in 6/5 hooded wetsuits and go surfing in a snow storm. Once you’re there though, when the neoprene is still wet and cold since the last session, everything smells weird, fingers already starting to go numb.. it’s a love/hate relationship.

How important is travel for you and what are some of the most rewarding aspects of this lifestyle?

It’s probably the best thing to do, for anyone. Meeting foreign people, experiencing new cultures, exposing yourself, learning to adapt and to just go with it. No matter what dodgy situations or epic things that will come your way you will come home as a new person.

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Jennie checking out the view

You just made a trip of a lifetime! Can you give us a short overview of it?

Me and my girlfriend, Jennie, spent four months in a van driving around New Zealand looking for waves, fishing and outdoor experiences. Along the way we met some incredible people, drank fantastic wine and had our breath taken almost every day by the beauty of the surroundings.

How did you plan for this trip? packing essentials? Quiver selection?

Honestly, we did not do much planning. Just get a car, guide book if you will, camping essentials and just get out there. In my point of view, that’s when the adventures turn out the best. New Zealand has a ton of surf, everything from perfect reeling points to heaving barrels over shallow sand bars, so a one board quiver is tricky. I love surfing shorter equipment, so I brought a 5’9 step down shortboard that I used in everything, often under-gunned but always smiling, and Jennie had her 8 ft mini mal.

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Check out the surf pics.

How do you make the most out of your budget?

The best part of New Zealand is the nature. It’s what draws you there; the mountains, the lakes and the ocean, and it is free to roam in. Without any fees or entry tickets, we pretty much just paid for petrol and food.

If you cook most of your meals yourself, life on the road can be surprisingly cheap. Of course there weren’t really any three course gourmet meals, but we ate everything from vegetarian pots to lamb chops. And lot’s of Pasta Pesto.. lot’s.

You stayed a lot in camper van, how’s life on the road?

According to me, it’s the best way to travel. You have everything you need with you and you don’t have to worry about accommodation, what to eat or how to get this sick spot. If you come across an amazing place where you want to stay, you just.. stay there. There’s nothing better than living in rhythm with the sun – falling asleep after a blistering sunset and to wake up with the sunrise.

What was the top 5 moments/experience you take away from this trip?

It’s hard to boil it down to five, but I’d have to give it to Mother Nature here, wow. Everything from white sandy beaches to snow covered glaciers, lush forests to crystal clear icy rivers. You drive two hours and it’s like you’re on another planet.

All the epic surf we scored on both coasts of both islands.. there’s SO much potential and often you will find yourself with perfect waves and not another soul in sight.

Also, all the amazing people we met along the way, like the Ioasa/Ormond-family. It all started with me asking this friendly local in the surf if there was any shower nearby the, and all of the sudden we were staying at their house. They cooked for us, helped us out with jobs, did our laundry. Just like we were one of them. Would you take a total stranger in if he asked you for a shower?

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Image gallery of 6 pics from the trip

What spots and waves would you recommend checking out?

I really like the Coromandel region. Whangamata, a cool little beach town, has one of the countries best rivermouth lefts. Combined with the sunny weather, good vibe in town and great surf it became a favorite. If it’s flat, keep an eye on the forecast, there’s a good chance that Raglan or the Taranaki region is going off. There’s always somewhere with waves and off-shore winds, it just depends if you’re keen enough to go find it.

This sounds like the dream trip, what tips would you give to people thinking about doing the same?

I would just tell them to go and do it.

Where would you like to see yourself in years from now?

I would like to see myself being able to do what I love more freely; surfing, fishing, being outdoors. I would love to have kids, a dog, a house with a shed where I can fail at shaping my own surfboards and build my own fishing lures. This dream costs lot’s of money so hopefully I’ll have a job too..

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, one last question! 

What makes you Happi?

Life. ✌

Check out Rickards Instagram here:

@rickolundgren

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