Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Things I Love About Sweden - Expat Confessions

There are things I love about life in Sweden, and plenty of things I don't like at all. I often find myself thinking about them - both at home here, at home in Australia and when we are in Canada.

That is the fate of an expat - to compare the way things are, the way they are done, the history, the culture, the way of life. It doesn't mean we don't love the country and culture we come from, or the one we now live in. It doesn't mean we don't get homesick, it doesn't mean we want to stay away forever or alternatively, that we aren't happy living in our new country.

But it does mean we listen, we watch, we observe. We don't take things for granted. We don't accept things just because they are, because they always have been. It also means we have to learn to be tactful, to choose when and where to express our opinions and not to dwell on the negative, the frustrating, the different.

There are tons of things I love about Sweden and I will add to the list, but for starters I'm going to quote two other bloggers-

When daddies take care of kids.

Ten reasons why I am glad I will be in Sweden and not in the USA in 2009.


  1. Oh you don't need to be an expat to do that! I do it all the time, with age and wisdom (ha, ha) I do it more and more, it's just to darn easy and *convenient* to think that everything should be done as it always has, that our customs and way of life are the best there are. With age I've realised that really, for all things good, Sweden and its ways are far from as often, as one thought when younger, that great compared to other countries. And for all their good things they too have things that are competely weird and ungraspable etc. I always find that this is one of the good things about travelling, you get to observe, reflect on, compare all these good vs bad traits and customs.

  2. You are right Pia - of course you don't need to be an expat. Anyone who travels, observes and reflects is going to compare. What I mean tho is when you have lived in more that one place you kind of never get any peace in your mind - you are too aware sometimes. And it doesn't need to be a shift from one country to another - just from one town to another can do it - hey we even experience the same sort of thing when we become part of another family!

    That is unless you are one of these nice easy-going souls who just goes with the flow and excepts everything for all that it is - but even then you might well be aware of the differences.

    I wonder if it becomes easier the more differences (different places) we experience?

    Sometimes it really takes some mental gymnastics to accept that things are different and that that's ok. Knowing the background to something makes it easier.

    Ok, now I'm rambling down my philosophical path (ha, ha!).