We are now living in Stockholm for a year and a half… And almost 3 years in Sweden! Who would have thought so?! When writing these posts, this is how I realize that time is actually flying. As incredible as it sounds, it feels like I have been moving here actually not so long ago…! Well…
As for the previous reviews, I am trying to write a little every month to give you the best insights possible and see the progress along time. Whether good or bad things are happening, I am trying to be as honest as possible. Of course, everyone’s story is different and mine should not be taken as the absolute example. We all have ups and downs and neither they happen at the same time nor the same way! I hope this article can be helpful for all of you who are arriving in Sweden or settling elsewhere around the globe!
February has clearly been a cold and dark month. Another one, let’s say! But it was also a month when we started to look at what was going to be happening throughout the year. Last year at this point, the year was full of deadlines and different things to be achieved. Which was great, as there were objectives. So this year, nothing major to happen (at least for now), but we decided to organize some trips every 2-ish months. And this started, bright and early from early February with Kiev. This trip has been a real eye-opener for me. Though it was not the first time I was going to Eastern Europe, I have often been traveling to either more touristy places or countries that are part of the EU. We both got to learn about the history and it also helped me realize, how lucky I am to be French if I can put it this way.
Later on, I wrote about the fact that traveling was not going to come with luck, but the area or environment to be born in, kinda comes with luck. It is often taken for granted but I am now realizing how grateful we should be for freedom and for ease to move or travel everywhere.
I never thought that a weekend trip could affect me this way. And in a very positive way! Don’t get me wrong here. I am so happy I went to Kyiv, and I had an amazing experience there. Then, February happened to be a busy month, both at work and for the blog. I decided to move away from WordPress.com in order to have more freedom on what I do and what I am working on. It has not been an easy month. It has been actually quite challenging! But a lot of good energy and a positive mindset, which was perfect to overcome another winter month!
This year, March has been a little more difficult than last year. In fact, this winter has been playing with our feelings quite a bit and after some nice spring-like weather, the snow came back and back. March is really tricky as the days are getting longer with a lot more daylight, but very low temperatures.
In March we also made the conscious decision of exploring our surroundings better. Therefore, we spent a day in Björnö – a nature reserve located about one hour away from the city. The landscape there is absolutely beautiful and there were very few people when we went to visit (perks of going off-season).
But except this, March was not a very exciting month where a lot of things happened. We were both busy with work and so our focus was there! Of course, we always go out of the house, for walks or coffee, but this is just daily life, right?!
I cannot believe how time goes fast but also how some months are busy and others way less! This April I started a new Swedish course. I did not really want to at first, though I knew it would be good for me. I talked about my difficult relationship with the Swedish Language (here), and now I am so glad I took this course. Of course, when going to a private course you need to pay for it but I found it great for my self-confidence. I realized I could actually talk if I had to and that I actually knew much more than I thought! This course was made of 10 classes and so ends at the beginning of May. I may write more in detail about language courses in Sweden later on.
In April, we also took some time off from work and discovered some new places around Easter. We went to Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague and this trip has been amazing! Not only to disconnect from work but also to set our minds on what we wanted to do in the future. Sweden is a beautiful country and we enjoy being here, but it doesn’t feel just right for the long term. I believe, when you live abroad, thinking about moving again is just like a ‘routine’. And, though we call Stockholm “home”, there is nothing that really keeps us here for now. This is something in the back of our minds, but for now, there is no plan to move nor quit our jobs.
Lastly, April was the real beginning of spring for us, and despite a bit of snow here and there, we opened the BBQ season once more! The days are getting longer and a little warmer. It is finally nice to walk in the city and be outside without freezing!
May started with some pretty exciting news and an important event for us. Over the last months, we were looking for a new place to live closer to the center. Until now, we lived in the same apartment since we arrived in Stockholm, and we really liked it! However, it took us about 2 hours per day to commute, and lately, it felt like we were just wasting too much time on this. Commuting has always been OK for both of us, but lately, all this time in public transport did not allow us to prioritize the right things. Everything had to be planned and so we could not be as spontaneous as we used to. Therefore, moving closer to the city center became a must!
I wrote here about how we found our apartment. So far, living in the city is quite pleasant! It feels like we are rediscovering the city from a different angle, and as we live close to the sea as well, we are fully enjoying these perks!
In May, the weather was finally nice in Sweden and so, we decided to spend more time exploring our surroundings. By now, we have been living in Stockholm for a while and so we know the city pretty well. Our focus is now to keep traveling – of course – but also to go to places not too far from home. Therefore, we started these local trips by spending a day at Tyresta National Park.
Since the days are getting longer, I feel like it is also going way faster. It has been a crazy month, especially on the private side. A lot of decisions were taken and a lot of things have happened since we moved to our new apartment. It is sometimes quite hard to keep up with everything and this crazy pace. Also, from this winter we planned to visit Vilnius and Lithuania in the early summer. So instead of spending Midsummer in Sweden this year, we went on a little expedition on the other side of the Baltic Sea! Our time there has been amazing, especially for me, as I love visiting new places… But also because it was the first time Erikas was taking me to his home country.
In June, I also “celebrated” the first year of the blog. And I have to say that the outcome is much better than anticipated. Not only I discovered a passion for writing and sharing experiences, but this blog became a bit like a diary. During this first year, we have changed the visual identity of the blog a couple of times (for the better), and we are trying to find the best way to write and share our adventures. Erikas is also more involved in the blog and this is a great thing to share! We have different opinions and ways of seeing things, which I believe will be great to make better and more complete articles.
Every year we think the same: wintertime is so long and slow but when summer comes, we barely have the time to realize and it’s already half gone. How crazy time flies! We are both always really looking forward to the summer as we get to spend a lot of time outside. So, one day we decided to cycle all the way to Hellasgården (the article will be coming soon!). It wasn’t our first time there, but we have only seen it in deep winter.
July also marks the 18 months period since we moved to Stockholm. That’s nuts! Since we moved here I think we’re confident in saying that we really like living in Stockholm and the city still impresses us. Especially in the summer. We are slowly planning some small expeditions to local places or to the archipelago. We both really want to go all the way up north, but also, go to Gothenburg for a weekend or just visit other counties in Sweden.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve been thinking a lot and about many things. Overall, the idea of traveling and getting out of our comfort zones is more and more present. We want to discover as many things as possible and our new objective is to go to every country in Europe. This is a fun challenge, where aims to force ourselves to visit countries we’ve never been to before!
⇒ Let me know, what is your story? For how long have you been abroad?
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