My Life After 2 Years in Sweden

Sweden is a beautiful country with 10 million inhabitants. I relocated to Sweden exactly 2 years ago to join my husband who had lived over a year in Sweden at that time. I was eager to move to a new country which I have never heard so much about before and also ready to explore whatever this new environment brings.

Prior to relocating to Sweden, I have never lived away from my home country (Nigeria). Apart from changing my environment totally, I knew it was going to be a life changing experience, living so far away from my family and friends but here I am 2 years after gladly writing down some of my many memorable experiences.

Hmm Sweden!!! for me the experience has been good, bad, beautiful and even ugly😐. I have experienced both the negative parts and the positive parts. Overall, I will rate Sweden a country of humility and patience. Like seriously, if you don't have these two characters before, Sweden will find a way of teaching you.

I will just list my top 5 high-points/low-points of living in a totally different country. I hope someone somewhere can find any of these useful especially if you are a newbie and leaving your home country for the first time.

My Top 5 Memorable Experiences

1) Experiencing Four seasons first hand: This was one of my best experiences as I was able to know what Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter really meant. It is not enough to just watch the TV and see these amazing seasons, experiencing it first hand has this feeling I cannot even explain. Yes this got me feeling😮. It can be difficult for a newbie especially the winter but you will just blend in with time. 

Quick Tip: Always take pictures. The weather changes so quickly and all that memory will be lost if you did not take at least one or two pictures. So cultivate that habit of taking pictures as each season ushers in. Peep mine below😝

Summer (My best season yet😍)

Spring (Just In between😐. That "no more big jackets" feeling)

Autumn (When the leaves say goodbye😕)

Winter (My worst season yet😪)
2) Meeting People from Different Parts of the World: I have always loved to make new friends and learn from them but Sweden made that even better with thousands of international immigrants living in Sweden either as students or residents. This helped my mindset and of course gave me the opportunity of learning from these people (culture, religion, belief, dressing, food). I have lost count of the people I have met but the few countries I can remember are: Zambia, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Greece, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Iran, Madagascar, Turkey, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda among others. 

Quick Tip: Remember to take pictures😝. This will always be my advice for any newbie because even if you don't have a blog or diary, looking back at those pictures when you leave that country or those friends leave, will surely bring back some sweet memories. I am not also good at it yet, but definitely getting better. Peep the few pictures I have of some friends below.

My Second Family in Sweden (L-R: Ghanaian, Zambian Couple and Us)
Friends from My Language Class (L-R: Mexican, Pakistan, Me and Indian)
3)Learning a new language: I don't even know if this a high point or a low point. Let me just say middle point if there is anything like that😊. In Sweden, the official language is Swedish and so it is expected that if you want to work or live permanently in Sweden, then you have to learn the language. I cannot categorically say that the language is difficult because after comparing it to some other languages, I think it is not bad afterall BUT the low point of learning this language is that, it can be really boring, azzin BORING and it becomes worse when you have no one to speak it with regularly. That means that you can learn it for years and still not be fluent at it. I was able to learn the language but I can say I cannot still speak as much as I can write it😟. My top advice for any newbie is to learn the language first. It just makes your life easier everywhere you go in Sweden (malls, church, workplace, etc)

Quick Tip: Anytime you meet a Swede, even if you don't understand the language or know what to say just say 'hej'😉. I can assure you will get a smile in return. Got this image from here
Hej = Hi or Hello, Hej då = Goodbye
4) Extreme Weather: This has to be my lowest point in Sweden. In my country there is only morning and night,lol👌. That is what I was used to. Until I got to Sweden and discovered there can be extreme darkness and extreme brightness. During the winter season, the sun sets as early as 2pm. Like the whole place looks like 8pm already and you see people already driving with their headlamps on and you will be surprised the day has not even ended yet and then the winter days will gradually fade away and when you feel like "yes💪, let me just enjoy the sunshine". Then the extreme "no darkness" days comes around and the whole place is still lit at 12am midnght and you might even end up having insomnia😓. This has to be my worst experience and I don't think I will blend in on this one😠

Took this shot at 4pm on one of the cold winter dark days

5) Food😭
: Swedes love potatoes. They can fry, bake, grill, cook or just make any soup out of it. I don't even know what they don't do with their potatoes😑. In 2 years, I cannot really say I have really learnt any swedish meal or have a favourite one yet as that one is still hard. I still love my amala, eba, rice, beans, akara, poundo, moinmoin and others BUT Sweden has taught me to be a creative chef😛. I have created some strange recipes and learnt how to make some quickies while making some food I have never tried before. I have also been able to manipulate well. We cannot still manage a week without our typical african delicious meals😉 but if you take me to a Swedish party, I will definitely blend in.

Side Note: Peep some of my cute meals below🙈. Don't mind me, just some wifey brags😜.

Eko and Akara💪
Steamed Corn (Abari) and Tortilla💗 (Perfect for Dessert)
Banana Bread💗 (One of my quickies)

Waffle Akara and Hausa Koko😋

Overall, the experience I can say worth it. I have become more open minded, more polite, adapted to some culture differences that I have sworn I would never adapt to🙈, lost some friends, made new friends, learnt to be much more independent, learnt to listen more, learnt to live and adapt to another home/country😥 and also learnt "patience', no gragra here😀, just calm down. I cannot fully say I love this country as there are so many things I still don't enjoy yet or even think I will love in many years to come but the experience of living outside my home country and learning new things cannot be bought anywhere else. I can proudly conclude with this popular proverb that "experience will always be the best teacher😍"

Until next time...💋