(Tina Sjogren) Micke Strandberg is well known at ExplorersWeb for his deep winter Siberia expeditions and other travels around the world on foot, by horse, camel, kayak or whatever means locally available.
Last year Micke embarked on a journey of a different kind. Emigrating to UK with his family, the move took his new brood straight to the wild side of the Kingdom; the immigrant badlands of Manchester. Ever since, Micke has dispatched about his descent into the hood, and the unique beams of light he found there.
In an attempt to find and film "the realer England" Micke recently set out on a trek to London with his youngest kid as an icebreaker and friend Georgia on camera. Exweb caught up with Dana, the explorer's daughter, currently walking from Moss side to Buckingham Palace.
Here goes (with Dana's exclusive permission translated by dad).
"Hi Tom and Tina,
When you read this I am snoozing in the tent. Dad was a bit upset with me because I didn´t fall asleep until 9.30 pm, but it isn´t easy you know.
Today was scorching 26C and I spent maybe 7 hours in the stroller, so what else to do than sleep? But it's good to be back in the tent again. That's where I like to sleep the best. Dad and I go to bed at the same time and sleep through the night all cuddled up. I love this life.
I like being outdoors all the time, meeting a lot of people, animals and exploring different playgrounds around England.
I like the slides best. Some are really big, but I still do them. Sometimes people ask me, who is your mum and dad? And I point to dad. They think 22 months is too young to do these things but dad tells me it's OK. So I think he may be different. Instead of removing a sharp knife he teaches me how to properly use it. I can almost slice bread now.
I help dad and Georgia set up and take down the tent everyday and I also help them cook, although I burned my feet on the gas stove once, but I only cried for a couple of minutes.
Dad doesn´t like me complaining or crying, so I don´t. That's why at a restaurant in Oxford yesterday, when we were sitting at the table that was too big for me and I fell over on my head I just continued eating lying on my back until dad picked me up.
I like eating. Food is good on this trip, better than in Moss Side when dad looked after me for 9 months. I think it's because Georgia buys it. In Moss I had mostly macaroni and cheese. Now I have couscous and lots of salad which looks like the grass we sometimes pitch our tent on. Hard to see the difference. So I eat grass too.
I prefer to do everything by myself and can get pretty upset sometimes if people try to help me. It ain't easy being 22 months old you know, but just leave me to try and I can do it. That's what I tell them clearly, sometimes screaming:
"Dana do it!"
I will try as best I can as a toddler to answer your questions.
ExplorersWeb: Can you tell us how old you are?
22 months old. But I know what I want. Sometimes it's hard to get people to understand what I mean because I don't know many words. Like for example when I say I want a shoe. I also say that when I want to get out of the stroller. But dad and Georgia understand.
ExplorersWeb: What is your profession? Are you a student or maybe an explorer?
Dad tells me he loves me all the time and that I can do anything I want. He pushes me into doing things and lets me deal with them myself. Sometimes when it gets too difficult Georgia helps me. Like when I get stuck in the playground.
Dad only comes when I get upset.
I like that dad lets me meet people and deal with situations. Many people we meet say I am a wild child, very confident and happy. And dad doesn´t have to push me into things anymore. I just do them myself. Like in Stratford during a street festival when I started to dance and people seemed to like it. I did som Afro-Caribbean moves I picked up in Moss Side.
I have no idea what a profession is, but I want to do something fun every second I am awake. Except when I'm tied up in the stroller, but that's OK too. Because I get to see things like squirells, cats, dogs, geese and so on. Today we saw a peacock.
ExplorersWeb: Is this your first expedition?
I was in Yakutia when it was very cold with mum and dad. And a few other countries. I was in Yemen in mum's belly. My sister Eva has been in 9 countries, I only 5.
ExplorersWeb: What is most fun?
Trying to solve things.
ExplorersWeb: What is boring?
Being forced to sleep each night.
ExplorersWeb: What has been the hardest?
When dad and Georgia treat me like a toddler and don't give me space to do what I need to do. Like exploring Georgias make-up bag when she's not looking.
ExplorersWeb: Do you miss something?
Mum and my sister sometimes. Not often. I just do things. I don't dwell.
ExplorersWeb: Have you seen any animals?
Many! I like all the birds we hear and see enroute. I like the swans the best.
ExplorersWeb: What is your favorite expedition food?
Pasta and bananas. And ice cream and cookies. And blueberrys that come in a small box that Georgia pays 2 pounds for, dad says they're for free in Sweden. It seems like dad is careful with money.
ExplorersWeb: Anything we forgot to ask?
Daddy is very proud of me and says this is the best time in his life. I believe him.
Dana's expedition by Adventurestats:
- This is to be considered a solo and unassisted expedition due to the fact that Dana at all times keeps a mental distance to her Film Team.
- The expedition is labeled "stroller" and "diaper" supported.
- There are several other world records already broken but we have been asked by Dana not to disclose them since it would take away media focus from the expedition mission: "Meet people and animals, inspire others to get out of the crib, and have fun."