When I (Héloïse) started to write these reviews I had no idea what was going to come to me. And for sure, I could have never expected writing one of these during a global pandemic. This is my 30 months living in Stockholm review and from far the most dramatic review I ever wrote!
Once again, writing this review and I am super excited! It’s now been 2 and a half years since we have moved to Stockholm and in August we are celebrating our 4 years in this beautiful country! Wow! And what an experience it’s been! I remember the feeling 4 years ago when thinking about what I should bring with me to Sweden for my master… Little did I know I would still be here now! I have never thought of settling in Sweden after my studies and I am beyond happy I decided to stay and even more that Erikas moved with me to Stockholm! So, are you ready for this 30 months living in Stockholm review?
Looking back in February, I remember it as being a difficult month. It was still deep winter and the tiredness started to hit me. I did not find anything interesting or did not feel passion for anything I was doing back then. Whether it was at home or work I struggled to find interesting things to focus on and there were no projects that I could throw myself in.
Luckily, mid-February we were off to our first trip of the year and we spent a long weekend in Kiruna, in the Swedish Lapland! It was an amazing weekend. The weather was on and off but we still managed to get some beautiful days to discover Lapland and enjoy some time exploring an environment that is drastically different from Stockholm.
This trip allowed us to reset and press pause for a few days. We also had time to think about what’s next, and especially where should we travel next. We both needed some sun and warmth. Once back home from this trip, we booked our Easter vacation and got super excited to spend 10 days in Turkey. Spoiler alert: we had to cancel our trip.
The most dramatic month of the year probably! For a few reasons. First, because March in Sweden is still winter. The weather is not good, often raining and cold – it is normal to get snow until the end of March. So, as you can imagine, being full of energy and positive in these conditions requires a lot more effort. But overall we had our Turkey holidays at the beginning of April, which has been a great objective and something to look forward to.
From mid-March, the coronavirus started to spread more intensely in Europe and soon everything changed. We were asked to work from home, the borders started to close and all countries went into lockdowns. Except for Sweden. Our mental health got a hit back then because we could not do anything about the situation and the decisions of the government. We wrote a specific article about it here if you want deeper insights.
Shortly after the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, we have had to cancel our trip to Turkey since flying there was not an option anymore. And I am not going to lie saying that it was quite heartbreaking. We’ve made all plans and scheduled everything (almost) and ended up canceling it a week before. At that time, I was really sad about it since our last vacation was in August last year and we desperately needed a break. But now, looking back, I’m, of course, sad we could not go but also very thankful we stayed in Sweden and both of us remained healthy.
In April, although we stayed in Stockholm, we have not done much. We have focused a lot on our mental health and set objectives to ourselves to help “see the light at the end of the tunnel”. We live in a small apartment in Stockholm, without a balcony or anything so when we are both stuck in here all day long, living, working, working out, etc. it is easy to get on each other’s nerves.
So, we decided that we would (when possible) start going on day-trips and other excursions where we would be in nature, not seeing or interacting with anyone. But still being outside and having a different scenery than what we can see from our sofa. As we did not want to use public transport, we have been renting a car and went to Stendörren’s National Park. Which was a great discovery – especially when the days are getting warmer.
In April we have also started doing a massive cleaning of our apartment, getting rid of some of the things and clothes we do not use, move furniture around so we could enjoy a little more space, etc. And by doing this, many things were also clearer in our minds. We started to think about what next, do we want to travel again, where and when. Many questions have been rising since the coronavirus outbreak and we were just at the tip of the iceberg in April.
Hello May, sunny and long days, the month where summer starts! I enjoy the May-June period in Sweden. The days are extremely long, it’s sunny and getting warmer. In May we have been on a few day-trips, exploring Stockholm and around. There never was a quarantine period in Sweden but we still could not move around too much, and we could only stay in a 2-hour drive radius. And this has been fine for us as we discovered new places or could just go on a day-trip to the nearby nature. Being “stuck” in Stockholm has not been a bad thing as we have also been doing all the things we postponed until now, which includes visiting places like Sigtuna or Artipelag.
The coronavirus was still pretty important and most countries were still closed for tourism and business. I have been working shorter hours for work as business decreased but used this extra time to work on the blog (and eat ice cream!). So overall, and despite the situation, we have been thinking about the blog and what we want to do there. The future of it and how much time and effort we can dedicate to it. May and June were the months where we have fixed all the older articles. Checked all the photos and texts, updated some information, etc. It’s been so much work but we are really happy and proud we have done this!
The beginning of the summer in Sweden has been amazing. The weather has been perfect, there were only a few days of rain, a lot of sun and long days with beautiful sunsets! But June was the month when we started to feel a bit bored with this whole “stay at home” situation. There was no return planned to the office until the beginning of September and so we felt like we know by heart the walls of our (small) apartment.
It is also very weird to us that we have not been anywhere in so long. Last year, or even the year before, we would have holidays or weekend trips planned every other month. Which is an amazing incentive for us! But now that we have been in Stockholm for a while without going anywhere, and with the only perspective of traveling within Sweden for the upcoming trips… We felt a bit lazy or at least not willing to do anything.
We both had holidays planned for June and we decided to book something in Sweden. Mainly because we were too scared we would need to cancel our trip if we would go abroad. Höga Kusten, the High Coast of Sweden, has been on our bucket list for a while and so it was time for us to visit this place! We wrote an extensive article about this place here.
Early July, we came back from Höga Kusten and then Erikas went to visit his family for a few days since he was still off. This year more than any other, we felt like we missed our family more and the idea of not having the possibility of going back home was not easy. So, after he spent a week there, I also went to visit my family. And believe me, I’ve never been so happy to go home. It almost feels like a relief to be able to see everyone again.
Other than that, July has been very quiet! It also took us a while to get back into the working rhythm and we’ve tried to figure out what we wanted to do with the blog and we have a lot of cool projects we are excited about! We hope you guys will follow along!
I hope you have enjoyed this review and though it was (a little) more dramatic than usual, I’m glad you’ve been reading it till the end! This pandemic has been an eye-opener for many things and made us realize we are living in a beautiful country. Both Erikas and I are super happy we get to explore all of Sweden over these past (and upcoming) months. We hope this review also made you realize that local exploration is a great way to explore your surroundings and maybe Sweden?
⇒ Let’s keep in touch! If you don’t want to wait for these reviews, we are sending monthly newsletters! Once a month only and it takes 2 clicks to get it! Subscribe here.
Pin it for Later!