#MySweden: 'Swedes are cool and have a unique approach to life'

The Local Sweden
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#MySweden: 'Swedes are cool and have a unique approach to life'
Patrick Hamilton Walsh. Photo: Private

Every week one of The Local's readers takes over our Instagram. Today, Patrick Hamilton Walsh from Northern Ireland shows us his Sweden.


How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?
My days seem pretty full and hectic to those on the outside looking in, but I feel like my life is quite chilled and relaxed. I recently turned 41 years old and I tend to only spend time on projects and pastimes that energize me and fill me with passion.  
An average day for me would always consist of meditation and stretching then something to do with the promotion of my new book, Forgive Me, Sister, which I published in the summer. It's about the empowerment of femininity in order for us to create a more sustainable and compassionate world for all. It is an issue I am passionate about and it energizes me.
In addition to that I have been brought in to help the City of Stockholm develop a strategy that will attract the next generation of highly-talented individuals to the city, which is a challenge I really enjoy.
In the evenings you will more than likely find me out running, as I am preparing for the Abu Dhabi marathon in December. Running is a pastime that I started on January 1st this year, as my wife signed us up for the Stockholm marathon. Honestly, I really enjoy it. It is a cheap, easy, effective and healthy activity that provides untold benefits for body, mind and soul.

Hey, I am @PatrickHamiltonWalsh, an Author, Backpacker and Entrepreneur, and I am excited to show you #MySweden I grew up in a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, during 'The Troubles' in a region known as the unemployment blackspot of Europe. I moved to Sweden by going the long way around the world ... a few times. How? Well, in 2007 I quit my job, sold all that I owned (including my Porsche) and set out to backpack around the world (as was my dream since I was 16 years old). I spent the best part of 7 years travelling to 130+ countries across the 7 continents, driving from coast to coast on every land mass I could find on the map. To put this into perspective, one of those journeys was a road trip from London to Sydney. Aye, you read that correctly. We travelled overland from the UK to Australia (go check your map). Everything is always possible. Having completed my travels I published two books on how people can design and achieve the life of their dreams, titled 'Life is' and 'The Backpacker Who Sold His Supercar', and 100% of the royalties that I have received from my book sales to date has gone to helping the homeless and those most vulnerable members of society. It was the profile that I gained from writing those books and travelling the world during the early days of social media that earned me a job in Sweden when Henrik and Mathias of Pickit reached out for me to join them in building their start-up in Stockholm and Visby. After that I said that I would never write another book again ... thus, this year I published my first novel (fiction) titled 'Forgive Me, Sister' which has really hit the zeitgeist, due to the it being a story of a boy battling to Empower Femininity in order to protect and sustain our wonderful planet and it's fragile environment. (Thanks Greta for helping.) My approach to this week is two-fold. My posts will consist of photos from around Sweden and insight into my life here. In addition, I aim to break each of the seven days up into separate topics so those that are interested can tune into the stories that I post and the Live sessions that I give ... Continued in the comments below:

A post shared by The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) on Oct 11, 2019 at 1:58am PDT

When and why did you move to your neighbourhood?
I have lived in the Västra Skogen/Pampas Marina area of Solna for the past three years and I moved here because the area ticked so many items of my must-have list. In no particular order, they are as follows:  
Trees. I just love trees and being in nature. The fact that I can live in a genuine forest so close to the city centre of Stockholm makes me so appreciative. We regularly see badgers, deer, rabbits, foxes and a whole array of other bird and wildlife.  
The area is also close to the water, where I walk or run every night and, during the summer months we swim and bathe. Lots of others skate on the frozen lake during the winter months, but... let's just say I haven't quite mastered that skill set yet.
Tax. I reduced my tax liability by moving across the bridge from Kungsholmen to Solna. Yes. Yes, I did. In addition, I don't have to pay the congestion charge on bringing my car in or out of my home, as Solna is not covered by that. Anything else? Yes, the small matter of having my own parking space for 200 kronor per month and not having to pay 950 kronor per month to spend hours searching for an on-street parking space. And all of this because I moved to the other side of the bridge. One of my better decisions.
What do you love the most about life in Sweden?
I like the Swedish people. They will rarely ever initiate a conversation, but they are really friendly and cool people, who are always willing to help or have a chit-chat. For me life is all about people. It is the most important factor in anything. Swedes are cool and their unique approach to life really makes this city a whole lot more interesting.
In addition, I really appreciate the nature, greenery and chilled-out vibe around the city.
What annoys you the most about life in Sweden?
Nothing annoys me per se. That would be too strong of a word. However, what I don't appreciate so much is the fascination with the supposed great social system that exists in Sweden. I pay a lot of taxes for a system that I have not benefited from at all. I just don't get any value from it. Not once in nearly five years. The locals all think that it is great, so that's the most important thing, I guess. However, Sweden is the fourth country that I have lived in and it has the worst social system and the highest taxes of them all. But that is just my personal experience and is maybe a reflection of where I am in the stage of my life.
How should I spend a day in your city?
I have visited countless cities as I travelled to 130+ countries across the seven continents as a backpacker and I can honestly say that Stockholm is the world's most beautiful summer city. I really appreciate the city during all the seasons but the summer here is spectacular.
So whether it is summer or winter, the best way to spend a day here is by being on the move. Get out and walk around this great city. Meet the locals, have a chat with new people over some fika and fully embrace this great city of Stockholm and all that it offers. It will really surprise you, with all its wonderful diversity.
What's a fun fact not everyone knows about your city?
That the people of Stockholm are some of the kindest, friendliest and most helpful people you could ever meet. Just because they keep to themselves in public doesn't mean that they are not open for a chat or can't help you to find that restaurant you are looking for. Swedes are awesome, they just have a jantelagen approach to showing it off.  

Now the sun sets on my very enjoyable #MySweden Instagram takeover and I just want to say a stort tack så mycket för allt. To the team at The Local for the opportunity and to everyone who has contributed with insight, likes, comments, feedback, love, tears and laughter. You're all amazing and wonderful people and I feel truly honoured. I'll continue this story on my personal account at @PatrickHamiltonWalsh so please feel free to follow me there and keep the conversation going. Sending you all love and blessings and hoping the remaining few months of this decade are kind to you and your loved ones. #LifeIS . ^ @patrickhamiltonwalsh . #Inspired #ForgiveMeSister #is #NordicHub #TheBackpackerWhoSoldHisSupercar #AWomensPlace #authorsofinstagram #newbook #EmpoweringFemininity #sustainability #22 #sunset #tack #Stockholm #Backpacking #Travel #VanLife #Motion #Wander #MoveToStockholm

A post shared by The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) on Oct 17, 2019 at 2:57pm PDT

Follow Patrick Hamilton Walsh on Instagram here. To find out how you can become The Local's next #MySweden host, click HERE.


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