It’s hard to believe that exactly one week ago today, I moved into my dorm room in Linköping and started my (official) Scandinavian adventure. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions and events. Between taking my first class on the 4th to meeting new friends to celebrating France’s victory against Germany at the bar, I have adjusted (somewhat) to life in Sweden. The fact that it is only dark between 12am-3:30am still throws me off, but for the most part I am adapting quite well.
I wish there were words to describe this experience thus far. I am not often speechless, but there is really nothing that I can say that describes how this country feels, or how my town looks. I guess if I had to choose one word (and for the purpose of this blog post I will choose only one word) it would be ‘surreal’. I can’t fully explain it, and I don’t even know where to start trying to explain it, but it is a good thing. I think I am still waiting for someone to pinch me, and tell me that I am daydreaming in class again.
There is so much to see and do here, and it makes me feel kind of sad that I only have 3 weeks left and there is still so much I want to do. I wish I was going to Norway to visit Oslo and see the beautiful sights there, or going to Copenhagen to experience Denmark (cream cheese Danish’s anyone?), but there is so much left for me here that I don’t mind sticking to local sights and attractions.
Today, with some friends, I went into Norrköping, which is a picturesque town on the Baltic Sea, about 40min from where I am staying. We took the train (and when we got there it was a raining mess…) but it eventually cleared up and we walked the entire town, snapping pictures and sharing laughs. It is the Venice of Sweden, with waterways in between buildings and free flowing waterfalls under bridges. I even found an imitation Ponts des Arts (known as the “love lock bridge” in Paris). Ultimately the thing I learned today, is you find the cutest gems in the most unlikely places.
I won’t lie to you. The adjustment process was really hard. I initially went 48 hours with less than 3 hours of sleep; I was grumpy, sad, and felt a little sick. Jet lag does unwelcome things to your body. The 20hrs of daylight took a while to get used too (I’m still not fully adjusted), and sometimes being with so many people gets a bit frustrating. But in all honesty, these past 7 days have been phenomenal. I have already learned so much about myself, and I look forward to continuing to grow on this trip.
If you want to understand how wonderful this country is, you need to be here. Seriously. Get here. Be here. Love it as much as I do. You won’t regret it.