Välkommen! After months of anticipation, I’m here! I finally landed in Stockholm after a 16 hour journey from Denver and the nerves hit me hard. It was really shocking to me that this thing that was so far away for so long was finally here! The reality sank in and I became both really excited and really nervous. Yet, I met my host family and those feelings immediately disappeared.
Honestly, the transition to life in Stockholm took a while. I was plagued with a jetlagged sleep schedule for a week and felt tired most of the day. Especially since the sun sets so early, I felt ready for bed by 6pm most days. I had to quickly become accustomed to new cultural differences:
- Fashion: SO MANY PEOPLE LOOK SO GOOD! It is not uncommon to see proper looking coats, mostly black and gray, scarves, nice hats, and sleek looking shoes on almost everyone while walking by. The sophisticated fashion sense made the city look so clean and proper.
- Shoes: You immediately take off your shoes in a living space. Even at the gym, they ask you to change out of the shoes you wore outside into your “inside” gym shoes. (You leave your shoes on in public spaces like restaurants and school, though. Thank goodness.)
- Snacks and candy: Swedes only snack between meals, eat dessert/candy, and drink alcohol on the weekends. I was so shocked by this! I usually can’t make it a few hours without wanting to munch on something so this was very new to me.
- Public transportation: The system is all pretty easy! But Swedes are not as friendly as people are in the South in the USA. Nobody really talks on the subway – even if it is packed with people, it can be very quiet. The subway stations are all pieces of art! Each stop is painted, has sculptures, and some even have waterfalls. It makes the transportation system so inviting and pleasant.
- People are active: Everyone in my host family is very active and that is not uncommon among Swedes. I see people walking, biking, running, and scootering everyday. Get ready to use your legs if you come here!
These are my first impressions of the city! Overall, I am thoroughly happy and impressed with the city so far. I think I am finally over the jetlag, but I am still so excited to be here! Välkommen!