|2005-05-24 - Final report from Sweden
It’s the 24th of May and all three of us are sitting outside a TV-studio in the town of Norrköping, waiting to be called in and tell folks about our Siberian Expedition. It is the same programme -Gokväll (Good Evening)- that we’ve sent a three minute slot over satellite basically every month during our Expedition. It’s a humid, grey and gloomy day outside the studio window. No wind.
It’s pretty much a month since we left Chersky. We were uncertain until the last minute whether we would be able to make it back home or not. Vitaly Ivanovich and Grigorij Ivanovich, our great friends, didn’t worry one bit. If the plane arrives, it arrives. If not, life goes on, they said. True. It did, however, finally arrive. And this was due to the amazing fact that pretty much every citizen of Chersky had spent the night clearing the run-way! So that we could return back home! It is almost hard to believe!
This feeling of wonder plagues me every single minute. It is like I’ve been in a dream and suddenly woke up and realized that it was nothing else but a grand dream! Our time along the Kolyma makes me think of paradise. And it was a paradise. Above all when it regards the people. They’ve taught me the basic facts of humanity. They’re the most generous, kind, understanding and interested people I’ve ever come across. What a contrast to when we arrived at Arlanda, the airport outside Stockholm. Even if the airport was full of people, it was almost silent and nobody even looked at you. Nobody cared. Another world.
A lot have happened this past month. There haven’t been one single minute of rest. No time at all to relax and spend time contemplating it all. Everything has just moved on at great speed. All of it, nonetheless, very interesting stuff. Titti and myself have thoroughly enjoyed life together. In London and back home in Särna. There’s an enormous interest in our Expedition. We’ve had very successful press conferences in Moscow, Stockholm and London. There’s been dinners in our honour. Best of all, however, is that the interest is not all focused on the physical part of the Expedition, but on the people we’ve come across.
Johan had a lot of job offers to consider when he returned home. His choice was easy. He will, in the middle of June, start working for one of our best and nicest sponsors, Outside Scandinavia, which are general agents for The North Face, MSR, Leatherman and many other of the brand names we used on this Expedition.
The most difficult part of the Expedition is awaiting us now. How to make justice -through books, films, articles and film- to the greatness of everything which has to do with the Kolyma!
If you want to tag along with us in the future and see what happens, do it through www.strandberg.se and Johans own homepage is on its way up.
For those of you, who missed our three minute slots, they´re all to be seen on
Finally, it has been a joy to receive all the enormous amount of feedback that we’ve received. Thank you!