It was back a few years ago now that I made the decision to move to Sweden. It was just one of those lazy September days. The rain had washed away all traces of what was the summer.
It was by far a spur of the moment decision. It was something that I had planned for some time. I just knew that as I was approaching the last few years of my thirties I had no ties in the UK that were keeping me there. I had a chance of forging a new life in a new country. Indeed everything was new, the language, the culture, the people and the places.
I was not that naive about Sweden. I had visited many times before and my knowledge far exceeded just Abba, Volvo’s a puppet chef and Sven Goran Eriksson. Fast forward several years (most captured within this blog!) and times have changed.
I no longer consider myself a ”newbie Swede.” My writing and reading are fluent, my speaking still needs a little work. I know where the ”kopping’s” are on the map. I know the difference between a simple coffees with a friend and the importance of Friday night Fika.
Yet in this ocean of Swedishness I still have a lot to learn. I still stare at blank faces when some ageing celebrity comes on TV. Much the same as if a Swede was trying to figure out who Sir Bruce Forsythe is.
This year is flying by. Another Melodifestivalan arrives, a Studenten will follow. Then the basking in the Swedish summer before the mass hibernation in winter begins. Every year seems routine, yet with each year it becomes more and more exciting each time.
Yet this year is different for me.
For the first time, work has given me the possibility of returning home. Not that it is a certainty but with the exception of the movie I am writing most of my work in Sweden has been complete. I am not panicking at all, I still have a year or so left on my contract, which is great, a few months ago I was thinking about maybe going back. Returning to London, returning ”home.”
Yet my decision was already subconsciously answered sometime ago.
I am home.
Somewhere along the line Sweden did not just grab my heart and own it, it entwined its routes into my heart and just simply became part of who I was. Somehow this country became home.
Whatever happens this year and into next one thing is for sure. I am staying here. They will have to physically kick me out before I leave.
Sweden, you gorgeous, funny, slightly quirky country. I have become part of you.
I am home.