November 25, 2020


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),

expat life, Life, Sweden 5 Replies to “HEJDÅ SVERIGE/GOODBYE SWEDEN”



    Author’s gravatar

    You’ve been fortunate to have this experience. Sweden has been a good fit for you in a lot of ways. It’ll always be a special place for you.

    Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 here you come!!

    Author’s gravatar

    Hej då, min vän! See you when we next visit Edinburgh or when you next visit Malmö! You always have a place to stay!

      Author’s gravatar

      Tack så mycket! <3 I'll miss you, but hopefully see you soon! xx

    Author’s gravatar

    How do you feel about Tegnell “herd immunity” imposed on Sweden?

      Author’s gravatar

      Good question! It was definitely very interesting living in Sweden during this pandemic and seeing how different the response was from the rest of the world.
      Though some view it as such, from what I’ve read and experienced, Sweden’s response is not a complete heard immunity approach – Sweden is attempting to stop the spread just like every other country, and the goal is not for everyone to get the virus. Many people are working from home, staying indoors, cancelling events, etc. The hospitals haven’t been overwhelmed, and for the most part businesses and schools have stayed open. It’s been really interesting though – just like in the US some people in Sweden are very respectful of social distancing etc. and some are not. I think people would be surprised to know that most people do take it seriously. Trust is something that is very central to Swedish culture, and these’s definitely a sense of responsibility to stay home if you’re sick, and abide by the guidelines, etc.

      Of course this has just been my personal experience, but I’m actually glad to have been in Sweden during this time. I know that people in other countries have had a very difficult year, and while I definitely tried to stay as safe as possible, I was lucky enough not to experience some of the things I know others did (layoffs, food scarcity, inability to travel, business failures, etc.).

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      xx Emily

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