on the shore of oresund sweden
Soul talks

5 things I learned from my time in Sweden with mom

It was my birthday this Saturday, I have 26 years to my name and a lot of white hairs. Starting a few years ago, I began taking mom on trips. Part because it’s my way of repaying her years of taking care of me, a devilish baby, part because she is one fantastic human being and I simply love being around her.

I went to Sweden with mom and it was awesome

I booked this trip a long time ago. It was my great, great desire to visit Sweden as I am currently learning the language ( and I adore it, btw) and since my birthday happens to be in February, a cheap month to go north, I didn’t even think twice.

It was a life changing experience

I love traveling, this is something you should definitely know about me. It’s more important than my name. Traveling is what makes me happy to the core, it’s what makes me squeal and jump up and down, to the shame of my companions  😅 I am so thankful that I can afford and live in a place that has access to other countries. I am aware it’s a privilege and I never take it for granted.

Usually, when you say something was life changing, you expect a lot of BAAAAM and WHOOM. Welp, nothing of the kind happened here. Quite the contrary. This trip made me see that my life has an abundance of baams and whooms and I don’t need any more of that, thank you.

  • inside a submarine
  • travel girl in malmo
  • woman on the shore of water
  • den bla aquarium
  • coffee factory malmo
  • coffee factory malmo
  • mcjoy's choice copenhagen
  • green boa on a branch

Lesson #1 : Lagom

Lagom is the word of all words. It means not too much, not too little, just the right amount. This is something you may have heard about before, I have too. To see it applied though, it was something else.

I loved the modesty and simplicity. It was such a relief for the mind and eyes to see calm colors, simple lines, relaxed movement. To see people come from work and have fika together or go for a walk in the freezing air. The balance and calm was something you could feel vibrating everywhere.

Lesson #2 Go out. A lot.

I don’t think I mentioned this but I was in Malmö not Stockholm. I know capitals are usually the go-to cities if you ever travel abroad but I wanted to see a city that’s more typical to the country. Capitals tend to be internationalized.

These people not only have a lot of green space, but they use it too. From walking their dogs, to strolling with children, to reading on benches or simply having a walk on the shore, they are always out.

It made me think about my habits at home. I walk everyday outside for at least 30 minutes, to and from the tram station,but that’s it. It made me decide to spend a lot more time in the open. The air is polluted in the cities, I know, in Timisoara, where I live, it’s been exceptionally bad lately. But maybe I could take the bus or just drive to the surrounding villages to have a walk for a few hours.

Lesson #3 Fika is important.

Hot cocoa at espresso house malmo
Hot cocoa at espresso house malmo

Since they apply number 2, they can have desert quite a lot. Fika is the more commonly known coffee break but it implies socializing, making new friends, spending quality time with your loved ones.

Jenny Mustard ( don’t tell me you don’t know her because that is simply NOT accepted! However, if you are guilty of having lived under a rock until now, here is a link to Jenny Mustard’s channel ) made a video on what Fika is and the 5 rules of fika 😀

It made me aware of just how important winding down is, how socializing is a human need and we should put a lot more effort in it.

I am the kind of person who closes in and shuts people out when things are going bad, who doesn’t like having a lot of people around and who loves alone time. However, this can get out of control and I sometimes end up isolating myself from everyone. Which is not okay. So taking time to stop for a coffee at work, after, with friends or strangers is something I could try to incorporate in my life 🙂 Especially since I am a top fan of coffee.

Lesson #4 Adulthood is cool

You know, my heart stopped for a bit when I realized I am 4 years away from 30, almost 10 years past high school, and at the age my mom was when she had my baby sister. The fact that I seem to be a rusher when it comes to white hair didn’t help at all.

What I love though is that through me being an adult, I can get to know my parents from the position of people of their own and not just my mom and my dad. I get to discover and see them for the adults they are, to understand some of their decisions, their opinions, fears and hopes. Ain’t that cool, man??

That’s why I keep traveling with my mom and I think it’s perfectly okay. I love her, I love her presence, her energy, her humor and her absolute and total lack of orientation in space :)) It makes for hilarious moments and I love them!

Also, this is the time when we get to be our own people too. So take that time, spend it wisely and don’t forget that some of the coolest people you may ever get to know may be a lot closer than you think 🙂

Lesson #5 Reading brings people together

I told you I am learning Swedish. I went in a library looking for some easy novel to read in order to get used to the syntax, grammar, vocabulary. I can’t tell you what a fantastic conversation I had with the girl helping me choose the books. Isn’t it awesome that books are such a great conversation opening topic? I mean it was so great to hear this girl loved Matilda as much as I did and although she read it in Swedish and I in Romanian, we both had this connection to the book and could squeal over it?

(I ended up buying both Matilda and The little prince)

Matilda by Roald Dahl
The tea before bed and Matilda by Roald Dahl

10 thoughts on “5 things I learned from my time in Sweden with mom”

  1. So glad you enjoyed your trip to Malmö. I moved to Sweden to study my MA in Lund, near Malmö, and I’d say I learned many of the same lessons while I was there. I definitely miss fika since I moved away! Stockholm is beautiful too, if you get the chance to go, but Malmö has a distinctive character I would say. It’s also quite international – you probably noticed lots of places selling falafel, for example, and some of these businesses are owned by people who moved to Sweden as refugees.

    Like

    1. Oh yes, I noticed the foreign shops and small businesses.
      I am so, so happy to have someone who’s been there here on the blog, reading my article and to find they learned the same things ❤ Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!
      (Also, I envy you so much for doing your MA there!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post! I definitely love a good coffee break–we used to have them all the time when I studied abroad in England but now but they’re not as popular as socializing breaks in the US. My friends and I in law school have tried to work them into our busy schedules!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck with that! Here in Romania we looove drinking coffee together, it’s a long tradition so it’s theoretically easier to incorporate. However, life now is sooo fast and so busy we hardly get to drink one by ourselves, never mind in a group :))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anda!! Happy Birthday!! 🎂🎂☕ I just settled back to read your travelogue on your trip to Sweden, and I didn’t want it to end. Your “voice” in writing always makes me smile. It’s so true! I can totally picture you squealing over Matilda with a new friend at the bookstore. So cute!! Swedish culture sounds so wonderful. I have heard about that social aspect in their culture. It’s something we all need to learn from. Are you back home now? So happy you enjoyed your birthday trip with your Mom. Thank you for sharing it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s awesome! Never been to Sweden, though I have seen a bit of Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Lichtenstein), spent time in Afghanistan, and even lived in South Africa for four years! Traveling really is great, and such a privilege. It really helps with giving yourself some perspective on the world at large.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow!! That is quite a bit of traveling! I have never been on any other continent but Europe, hopefully I will change that soon. Indeed, it widens your perspective and gives you a different understanding on how wonderful this world is and how beautiful people can be.

      Liked by 1 person

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