About three years ago, a plane from Oslo landed at Arlanda Airport. We had flown to Norway from Bratislava, our home for over a year. Jesper’s mother was waiting for us. Back then, our plans were wide open. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of my three years in Stockholm. Initially, we thought about moving to Linköping or Norrköping. The housing situation was (and still is) appalling in the capital. However, I quickly found a job in Stockholm, so we decided to stay here instead.
As I sit writing this, with a glass of pineapple juice in my hand, I cannot help feeling grateful. For a lot of things, really. I always said that I’d never move to Sweden, like ever. I grew up not so far away from here and the majority of my high school friends moved west after graduating. In this case, not so far from here means the Åland Islands – a group of islands between Finland and Sweden where everybody speaks Swedish. Well, here I sit, in the northern suburbs of the Swedish capital and feel thankful. All the same, how did I end up here?
Three Years In Stockholm – Wow, Where Did Time Fly?
People often experience a culture shock of sorts when they move to a new country. After three years in Stockholm, I’m still waiting for mine to arrive. There are some things that are different here than in Finland.
- People are really into discussing things and arranging meetings
- The tax office is a lot more omnipresent
- Political correctness is everywhere
- Swedes seems to love the simple – they have (almost) the exact same food for Christmas, Easter, and Midsummer
You see, if those are the biggest differences, then I have not much to complain about. I must be honest, life has treated me gently here. Furthermore, moving countries is easier when you already know the language and your cultural background is similar to the new one.
I don’t think three years in Stockholm is sufficient for me. Not too long ago, I received a letter from the Swedish Migration Agency. I am now a double citizen, it took them about two days to approve my citizenship. Life is easy here for Scandinavians. Anyhow, I love Swedish efficiency! In these days of terror, another thing I especially appreciate about Sweden is its openness. Last Friday I was stuck at the office until 7 p.m. My office lies in central Stockholm and it didn’t feel like a very good idea to go outside while wild rumors were flying around and nobody knew what was happening. After the attack last Friday, Sweden is a facing a lot of tough questions. However, the way people reacted with love and pride for their society is such a strength in itself and something to hold on to.
A year from now, life will probably look a lot different. I’m looking forward to the year ahead and hope that you will keep reading our stories.
Do you want to read more about Stockholm? Check out these posts: