This past month has flown by in a flurry of activity – some of the best things, including a visit to Canada, the parade (and wedding) of two of the best people, and a move back to Stockholm, a city I deeply love. While these are the highlights – the glittery bright spots of the last 4 week, I have been rather stressed – lots of travel, endless packing, and far too much dragging all of my things around behind me in a tattered hockey bag or strapped to my back.
Only now that I have settled into my new home until the fall do I have the brain space to write a blog post!
Here are the 4 main phases of the last 4 weeks.
Phase 1: Public disturbances of happiness, sparkly things, and Canada love
Exactly one month ago, I was arriving in Canada to start a two-week tour of friends and family. A big part of this trip was to be part of my bestie’s wedding celebration, which included a PARADE led by a New Orleans brass band. It was totally magical. As part of this, I got my makeup done, and looked like such a lady. All the contouring! And got to hang with my fam.
And remember what a beautiful place Ontario is!
Phase 2: A stolen week in London
My plan was to fly to Stockholm immediately upon my return to London, but partly because I was waiting for a residence permit from Sweden, and partly because I was whalloped by exhaustion from the jetlag and the trip, I decided to steal a few days and hide away in London. I got to visit the deer in Richmond Park, eat some of the most delicious food of my life, see friends, and sleep late into the day. This was a total treat and allowed me to savour the spring weather in London, ensure all my stuff was tucked away for my London subletter, and re-gain sanity before heading off once more.
Phase 3: Getting to Stockholm
There were a few things that made this phase particularly challenging – sorting out a residence permit, packing my life into a few bags, and lugging those through bags through the streets.
Right down to the wire (literally the afternoon before my flight to Stockholm), I got word that there was a decision on my residence permit. A flurry of emails and phone calls later, I was standing in the Swedish embassy with a copy of my permit to stay in Sweden for the next 6 months. The next morning, I was at the airport with all of my things – 1 carry-on bag, 1 hockey bag, (together equalling 35kg) and my road bike (the unweildly bottom bag).
I have to say, despite my recent attempts at minimalism, it is hella hard to pack for a 6-month stay! I wanted to have a selection of office-appropriate attire with some options as the seasons changed from what has proven to be a rather freezing April through a hopefully sweltery summer. I also wanted to take along a few pretty summery favs, so I would be ready to frolic in parks or laze on the beach. I also needed to pack all the equipment I needed to train for the upcoming LEJOG and Coast to Coast adventure race. Fitting this all into a few bags was incredibly difficult!
Lugging said stuff around:
I was immediately aware of the physical hassle that too much stuff can have, as I landed shortly before an attack in downtown Stockholm, which stopped transportation from the airport. I spent the next 8 hours wearily weaving between other stressed travellers and tight security with all of my stuff in tow.
I settled in my first home, an Airbnb where I spent my first 1.5 weeks back in town. I had to once again wrangle all of my things and transport them across town yesterday in order to settle in my new home, which (thankfully) is mine for the rest of my stay.
All this dragging stuff up and down stairs and in and out of buses, trains, and airplanes had me wanting to re-invigorate my efforts in miniamlism, but then other times your fav brand launches a new line of swimwear and you want it all. This is the constant battle in my brain!
Phase 4: Settling into Stockholm
Ahhhh. At last. Yesterday, I met my new home and it is so charming. I am really excited to be in such a lovely space for the rest of my stay in Stockholm. I also spent the Easter weekend biking and running in Stockholm county, spending lots of time on beautiful bike paths and weaving through woods. Even though I froze my tushie on these excursions (including a 21km run and an 80km bike ride), it was exactly what I needed to renew my love for this magnificant place. The fact that you can leave your house in the city and take a few paths to perfect wilderness is just one of the things that make this city great.
I am hoping that once I am settled, I will have time to catch up on my backlog of posts – I went to Warsaw, had a great time, and took pictures! There were some notable Canadian adventures that I would love to share, and maybe even a few more posts on other things that have been trapped inside my head for too long.
The sun is shining in Stockholm and it is the first day that there is enough warmth that I think spring might actually be winning the battle with winter. It is gonna be glorious.