6.28.2011

Abroad & Below: Revisiting Stockholm Fantasies

We have arrived! Finally we are in Sweden AND I have WiFi. My out of tune sleeping schedule has allowed me to write a few entries, but I'll try to post periodically and add in some photos soon!

Why is it that we are so anxious when it comes to time? It's been just two days in Sweden and already I am worried I wont see enough, absorb enough, or make enough memories. I guess I always have this anxiety when it comes to events I have looked forward to for so long, but I really wish I didn’t! Time to slow down and just enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery we arrived in.

Sweden has already given us such a warm welcome. We spent our first night along the water’s edge in Stockholm with the Forslund family, learning how to decipher menus and comparing American and Swedish pop culture with their daughters. They are not on vacation until next week so we will head back to Stockholm at the end of our trip, with lots of sights and venues already being squeezed into the days we will have there.

Stockholm has the European energy everyone imagines before they go abroad. People bustling in the streets and still taking evening strolls at 10pm. The city is actually built on 14 islands of the archipelago, giving it a peaceful charm amidst city life. The architecture is modern and stunning and I promise I will add photos to these posts as soon as I am home and able to upload, edit, and organize! Already I have smiled at the unique design elements and fashion statements I only had faint memories of—recollections of a culture I adore.

Sweden seems to have that charm of sophistication. The country is constantly building itself and yet it maintains the nature that brought it success. And not just picturesque nature, but human nature. When you see the outdoor cafĂ©’s, friendly locals, scenic paths, and minimalist elements, you can’t help but assume these ideas are pulled out of a hat for what we term as The Golden Age. But this isn’t the past. This is actually stable satisfaction that has been able to remain throughout other modern advancements and in spite of a shrinking world. They seem to understand the growth of a city without forgetting the community than inhabits it.

There is something about Sweden than when you are in these settings or in Gamla Stans (Old Towns), there is a longing for their way of life to exist now instead of having to join it in the past. The past certainly isn’t a fantasy and why should it be if the dreamy ideals we hold to are available right here, right now? This is my current mindset. The best never fades and its when you just allow yourself to become immersed in a way of life that you discover exactly what you were looking for.