The Scandinavian Adventure Begins

It’s been a week since we’ve swapped our cosy Scottish life for a Scandinavian adventure. And despite giving it much thought, moving places doesn’t really sink it until you finally get there.

The first thing that hit me was not how much things cost or that people drive on the wrong side of the road; but how much we got used to our cosy life in Scotland. When you stay somewhere for a long time, knowing the social protocol becomes second nature.

Now is the time to challenge all that. We arrived with nothing but a few clothes, 2 laptops and a buggy and quickly realised that moving countries is a step up from just moving places. This is our adventure - A couple of late twentysomethings with a small baby living abroad.

So why move? If someone had asked me a year ago where I thought I would be by now, I would say that buying a house and settling down were high on the agenda. And then the baby came along! And as if by a touch of a magic wand, my life became a series of changes. From leaving a full-time job, living on a farm, selling a car and furniture, giving away most of our belongings to arriving in Sweden. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Why all the trouble? Even though I wouldn’t call myself an adventurous person, a prospect of an adventure somehow appealed to us. To keep going the way we knew how was a safe choice. And don’t get me wrong – I like feeling safe. While at the same time something inside me felt that gaining a fresh perspective would help me see, appreciate and contribute even more. It’s too early to know what we make out of it. For now we're still outsiders trying to navigate our life as good as we know how. Moving places can feel like standing at the crossroads. One choice is to live by comparing things to how they used to be and another by embracing the new reality, learning from making mistakes and showing up with an open-mind. The latter is where we’re heading.

My first memories of Stockholm are that it is a place of families, black coffee, cardamom buns, green parks, self-service, hipster fashion and accessible infrastructure.

As I write this, our 6-month old baby Finn rolls over the floor and practices his baby chat. It’s a sweet scene. For Art and I we hope to flourish here as much with work as we do within ourselves and figure out how to live well and be useful.

It’s now early April and the winter is almost gone. Arriving here at this time is a treasure in itself and I’m only looking forward to our upcoming adventures. A week into it, it is time of humble beginnings and with each day things are getting a little easier.

Agnes Branny