BJÖRN SOLUM

- author and life traveler

MY STORY - a story about a boy and the ocean.

I’ve actually been living one of my dreams for many years now. In fact for more than thirty years. And maybe I should be satisfied with that. Maybe I should hold on to the thought which tells me that ”I should enjoy what I made of my life, what I’ve achieved, all whats around me”? Maybe I should cool off, sit back and stop striving? Maybe I should just stick to what’s conventional, look into my passport, which tells me that I’ve now passed sixty years of age and therefore got a good reason to be satisfied?
My answer to all that is nothing but a simple question.
Why should I?

I’m sorry, but I can’t find a more sensible way to answer such questions. Why should I stop challenging myself by trying to learn new skills? Can’t I evolve anymore? Aren’t there any more horizons to discover? No more stories to be told? And as there are, should I just leave those discoveries and stories I would like to tell to others?
Could it really exist any reason for me to stop myself from living before the day it’s time for dying?

I’ll tell you something.
I’m still alive. And there is no reason what so ever for me to stop being alive. No reason at all. I’m still heathy. I’m still strong enough. I’m still vital. I’m still able to learn new skills. There are still horizons to discover, still islands to conquer and definitely still stories to be told.
And...
I still have dreams that I would love to chase.
So, I’m going to move on. I’m going to stay alive. And yes, I’m going to chase the dreams I still would like to conquer.

One of my greatest passions in life has always been to help people to perform better. I’ve actually dedicated all my professional career to that. I’m a trained physiotherapist and mental trainer. Coaching and teaching has been a part of my daily life for many years. In my work I’ve had the luck and honour to be able to work with a great amount of interesting people. I’ve met very successful and famous people as well as not so famous and not so successful. All of them, in their own particular way, interesting.
My passion to help them all with whatever I could help them with, has been my motor, my motivation and a great source of delight to me. I’m really grateful that I’ve been given that opportunity. If I wanted, I could easily lean back and say to my self:
- ”OK Björn, you have conquered the intensions, the goals and the dreams you had at that time thirty years ago. Sit back and enjoy your great memories. Relive those moments of success and glory. Just rest and take it easy.”
The thing is…I’m not that type of person. I know that I just wouldn't stay satisfied if it, at the same time, meant that I had to force myself to stop dreaming new dreams.

I need to feel alive. I love the feeling of being alive. I love to challenge myself. I love to learn and evolve. I’m passionate about life itself.
So, it’s kind of an urge within me. I need my dreams. And I need to chase them to feel and stay alive.

If I think back of the time when I first got here to Spain, I can’t say anything else than it all started with a secret and very sparkling dream within me. In the dream I saw myself sitting in the shade under a palm-tree during a short break from work. I was dressed in white. A prodigious garden and a pool of sparkling blue spread out in front of me. In the background beyond, I could see the sea glitter under the sun.

Exactly that image, picture or film, used to flicker in front of my eyes during my daily struggles against the icy winds up in Sweden in those days. I even used to imagine myself sitting in that garden when I, after a long cold day, finally went to bed at nighttime. On many occasions I literally fell a sleep already dreaming I was there.

One day I just noticed that I had already started to make my preparations to turn the dream into reality. I just got closer and closer and suddenly I realised I had no other option than to leave. There was simply no turning back anymore.
I just had to follow that dream. And so I did.

I sold off more or less all my belongings. All left at the end was two bags with clothing. I also sent off a box with handbooks poste restante to the post office here in Marbella. That was all I brought with me.
I liked the idea of taking a slow trip down here, so I bought a one way bus ticket. The bus trip took 72 hours non stop and I arrived at 6.30 AM a Saturday morning in late November 1987.

I ended up here in southern Spain. I had never been here before. And I definitely didn’t speak the Spanish language. I had nowhere to live, but some money to keep me afloat for a few months.
From there I paved my way step by step, taking advantage of every grain of help and opportunities I could find along my path.
I’ve never, not for a single second, regretted that decision to, no matter what, follow my dream.

About two years ago I finished and published my first novel, ”Det Vita Snäckskalet” (The White Shell). To describe the novel shortly, the story is about a man who, through his dreams, creates a second and different reality.
When I started that project, I did know something about writing, but I didn’t have a clue about how to write a novel. I just decided to start writing the book, go ahead and learn while doing it. It took me a while, but I finished it and managed to publish it.
Not without proud, I can tell you that the book later on was nominated for a quiet prestigious literary prize in Sweden. At the end I didn’t win the prize, but I was nominated as one of the top 5 finalists, which after all gave me an inspiring official acknowledgement, I as a novelist and the book as a novel well worth to be read and considered.
I’ve never regretted that decision either.

And now, again, I have another enormously vivid dream to chase and conquer.

I’ve always been attracted to the sea. I was born and raised in a small inland town in Sweden, but we used to spend a couple of weeks every summer in a coastal town in Norway. I remember how I used to sit by myself in the harbour there, just looking at the boats coming and going. I could sit there for hours imagining myself being the skipper of my own boat.
Occasionally the whole family used to go out to an island where we could see the Atlantic Ocean spread out into infinity. I was amazed by the view and its glittery promises of exciting adventures. I can still remember the feeling I had, when imagining myself travel into an unknown world behind the horizon.

Even now, living at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, I often sit on the beach watching the swell roll in right in front of my eyes, seeing the boats sailing ahead and having that tickling feeling that something is calling on me. Like if the sea actually is talking to me. Of course not with spoken words, but with thoughts and feelings.
I can’t help dream myself away, like if I’m still that little boy, sitting in the harbour or by the Atlantic Ocean, imagining myself how it would be, sailing away over immense waters towards an unknown destiny.
The adventure seems irresistible to me.

Yes, I know. Something must be going on between the sea and me. The sea is definitely an important and beloved part of my life. And lately I have realised that it has formed an irresistible dream within me. I’ve ignored it for a long time. I realise that. But I’ve decided not to do so anymore.
It’s time for me to do something about it.

As well as I love the sea, I love boats. And I would love to write and tell stories about adventures at sea.
So this is what my dream is about.
My dream is to sail over seas and oceans, to have time and resources to do it and to write novels about it. I want to have my own sailing vessel and to be fit and able to sail over any ocean.
So there you have it in short words and sentences. My personal, and up to now secret dream and what I've decided to aim for. I simply cannot stop myself from doing it.

There are just some obstacles I have to overcome along the way.
First: I don’t own a boat and I don’t have the money to buy one good enough for such journeys.
Second: I don’t know how to sail and manage a sailing vessel.
Trifles?!
Of course they are. Just trifles.
If plenty of people have been able to find the money to buy a good boat, there is a good and reasonable possibility that I can do so too.
And if there are many others who have been able to learn how to sail and manage a sailing vessel. I can learn it too.
Will it be worth the time and the effort?
Of course. It’s my dream. And I’m eager to chase it.

So here we go. The journey has in fact already begun. I have wanted something. I am dreaming about it. And now, I’m on my way to do it and live it.
I’m going to chase and conquer my dream step by step. As it is a dream anchored deep within myself, it doesn’t matter to me how many steps I will have to climb. It doesn’t matter how tall the ladder will appear to be. I will keep on climbing that ladder. If I fall down, I’ll start all over again. I will try to learn from every mistake and take advantage of everything I succeed with. If I die during my attempts, I will die in peace because I then died being alive, chasing my very own and beloved dream.

If you want to follow my, probably bumpy, journey, and maybe learn something valuable to you, you’re welcome to do so by reading my blog "..The beginning..." and signing up for my newsletter "Bright News!!".
Looking forward sharing my story with you, best wishes from,
Björn

MY BACKGROUND

1957 - Being born in Borlänge, Sweden.
1964 - Starts school.
1976 - Finishes school.
1976 - Enters into obligatory military service in Sweden.
1977 - Becomes combat diver within The Swedish Coastal Rangers division.
1977 - Enters into university. (Civil engineering)
1981 - Starts education and training to become physiotherapist.
1983 - Starts his first own business with Gym and Clinic.
1987 - Emigrates to Spain.
1988 - Starts clinic in Marbella, Spain.
2003 - Lic. Mental Trainer.
2004 - Marries his wife. (4 sons)
2021 - Still alive, still married, still active professionally, still in Spain. On his way chasing his new dream.