I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of Sweden-bashing recently. While we are free to think what we want, I believe it’s all too simplistic to focus on the negative and complain about Sweden or Swedes. It’s very easy to focus on what Sweden is not, rather than what it is.
Recently, I’ve been a lot in Asia and Latin America, far away from Sweden and my family and friends. Sometimes when we’re confronted by new environments, it is then we realize what we appreciate about our home locations. I’ve been putting some thought into it. Apart from my loved ones, what is it that I miss about Sweden when I’m away?
Here are my top 10, in no particular order of priority.
- the feeling that the sky is big and endless, giving a sense of freedom in my mind and spirit
- knowing that I can take a deep breath and fill my lungs with fresh oxygen instead of polluted toxic fumes
- the calmness in my thoughts and that I don’t have to battle with external noises in order just to hear myself think
- my anonymity and just blending in with the crowd
- the certainty of knowing how things function and how I am supposed to behave
- walking outside without interruption, confusion or danger
- the knowledge that I don’t have to keep buying bottled water – I can drink directly from the tap without getting seriously sick as a consequence
- the evening light cascading on the colorful buildings – the umbras, the rusty reds and the deep golds
- the sting of the cold air on my nose and cheeks (never thought I’d admit to that one)
- the Swedish aesthetic – environments filled with stylish modern design, cool Nordic solutions and healthy-looking easy-on-the-eye people
None of this is to say that I don’t enjoy traveling, because I do very much so. I just think that sometimes it’s worth taking a moment to reflect over what you appreciate about where you live.
I’m sure, if you do, you’ll find there’s a lot more than you think.
What do you appreciate about Sweden when you’re not here? I’d love to hear your thoughts – write them in the comments below.
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