HEJDÅ SVERIGE/GOODBYE SWEDEN
We leave for Scotland tomorrow, and it’s finally starting to set in that I’ll no longer be living in Sweden. No more midsummer, afternoon fika, or dalahästar. No daily kanelbullar, summerhouses, or ABBA – there are so many things I’ll miss, but I’m certain many of the Swedish things I’ve come to love will find a way to stay with me (fika, I’m looking at you!).
When we moved to Malmö in August 2018, I was beyond excited to finally be living abroad. Ever since my university semester in England, I had known I wanted to live in Europe. I wasn’t sure how it would happen, but I knew that somehow, someway it would. Never would I have imagined just two years later I would be living in Sweden!
Sweden has been my home for the last two years, and so many exciting and wonderful things have happened during my time here – I wouldn’t change this experience for the world! Being able to live abroad and experience a new culture isn’t something that many Americans choose to or are able to do, and I’m so thankful for this experience. Living abroad, and traveling in general, is an amazing way to expand your understanding of the world, connect with people with different ideas and values, practice empathy and humility, and overall create a more global mindset. If you have the opportunity to travel or live abroad, I highly recommend that you make it a priority!
Though I often only show the highlights, my time in Sweden wasn’t always easy. Moving abroad is hard, and I definitely didn’t expect all the challenges that come with being an expat. Learning a new language, getting a job, figuring out taxes, buying an apartment, finding a good doctor, attending a university, making new friends, navigating public transit, getting an ID card … the list goes on and on. In a way, I’m glad I was a bit naive going into it all – if I had any idea how difficult some things would be, I might have second-guessed the move. But despite the challenges, I’ve surprised myself in the ways I’ve been able to adapt. In the last few years, I’ve become more independent and confident than ever. Part of that is just growing up, but I also think a large part is continuing to put myself in difficult and uncomfortable situations, and finding ways to adapt. One of the reasons I’m feeling so good about our next move, even though we’re in a pandemic, is because I know I’ve done it before (and in another language!). Knowing this has made me feel much better about all the uncertainty – it may be tough, but I trust myself and I’m looking forward to it all.
My last few days in Sweden have been spent saying goodbye to friends, eating my fave Swedish foods, cycling around the city, and trying to wrap my head around the fact I won’t live here anymore. It’s a strange feeling, saying goodbye. Of course I’m sad to leave the friends and places that have become so important to me, but I know that they will always have a place in my heart.
Tomorrow we take the cats and move to Edinburgh. Our journey is going to be a bit crazy – nothing comes easy these days! Stay tuned next week, and hopefully I won’t have too many harrowing tales to tell!
So now it’s time to say hejdå to Sweden. Thank you for the amazing memories, friends, and experiences. It’s been fun, it’s been real, and I know I’ll be back to visit soon!
Puss & kram (kiss & hug),