In the twenty-seventh year of my life, I find myself having lived in three countries within twelve months. Recently attempting to fill out my previous addresses over the past ten years of my life left me confused, and made me realise that while I do not feel particularly free-spirited, perhaps I am? I have a wonderful friend who always tells me I have an adventurous soul and that I inspire her in many ways, but I can never seem to let myself agree with her as this is exactly how I think of her, and most certainly not of myself!
Learning to drive in three months, along with the paperwork and the forms that I have found myself stressing over for this recent move have taught me that while my actions may allow it possible to label me free-spirited (I will let you have this one, aforementioned friend – you know who you are), I am certainly not what you could call carefree and calm (insert big thank you’s to calming friends, Whatsapp group chats, and Facetime here).
PS. It’s actually not the end of the world when you make a mistake on your visa application, but no amount of reassuring words from your boyfriend, best friends, or mother will ever ease your mind. Trying to call Migrationsverket on a Swedish public holiday in the bathroom at 11pm local time will also not help.
However, I have found that it is really not that hard to make a decision to move half way across the world and follow through with it in a relatively short time frame when you have supportive friends and family, and when the reason you’re moving is pretty darn sweet too. People always say, ‘oh wow, you are so brave’, or ‘I could never do that’ – trust me, you can! You just need to make the decision and do it. Thankfully I also have a wonderful work family, who open their arms (and payroll) to me at the drop of a hat (or a hopeful email while you’re still living abroad), and a home base by the sea that provides me with little opportunity to fritter my money away and ample opportunity to enjoy the free things in life such as nature (even if this does include an influx of foreshore rats who interrupt my beach jogs on a daily basis) and quality time with your family (aka Netflix and ice cream eaten out of the tub with mama bear). Without these things, it would have been much harder.
And with that, and thirty odd hours later (on that note, what airport makes it a requirement to have a working SIM card to access their free wi-fi? I am looking at you Istanbul), here I am in Sweden.
A friend suggested I use some of my new found free time to write down my adventures and thoughts, and post my photos to keep me occupied, and give my family and close friends an idea of what it is like here. My five months saving back home has left me in a position where thankfully I have the funds to support myself without employment while I attempt to learn Swedish, so I have quite a lot of spare time.