The following list is of some of my favorite memories from the past four months, 2 weeks, and 6 days. I may not have been to a ton of different countries or studied somewhere completely different from the US or somewhere that I’m not knowledgeable about the culture but I did live somewhere outside of the US for four months and that comes with some different experiences and some amazing memories. While the list doesn't encompass all of my favorite times, it's a good sample size since I wanted to keep it short and sweet.
So, in a somewhat intended order, here they are.
- Hiking Trolltunga. This is a no brainer. I like hiking and being outside and I’ve always wanted to go hiking in the fjords. The hike was exhausting but going with friends was so much fun and the view and experience was one I’ll never forget. The day our plane left for Bergen, I didn’t believe that I was actually going and it wasn’t until we actually got to the trailhead that I started to come to terms with everything that was happening. Even now, it seems surreal that I did it. I can still remember it and I always will but it still amazes me that I hiked that trail and that the pictures are real life. Next time I do it, I’ll hike it when it’s not raining/ snowing so I can get better pictures and be able to spend more time at the summit.
- Skating in Stockholm. UGHHHH. This moment was actually magical and the only thing that would have made it more magical was if I had a real life Viking (re: male Swede) skating next to me and making fun of me for singing along to Mariah Carey. With Christmas music playing, snow falling around me, a Christmas market right next to the rink, lights twinkling around the ice, and buildings rising up outside the park, it was something out of a bad Lifetime movie. It’s one of the more simple moments, something that I could experience anywhere, something that shouldn’t really be special, and it probably isn’t to anyone else, but to me it was magical.
- Hiking in Italy. Hiking the Cinque Terre trail was absolutely stunning; I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The best way to really experience Cinque is to hike the trail between all the towns so you just happen upon them while walking. It’s hilly and tiring and the stairs are endless but I the views that you get over the Aegean Sea are absolutely 100% worth it.
- The ball. Because when else am I going to dress up in a floor length gown and dance to legit music played by a real band? The food was good, the experience was priceless, and the time was insane. I got there before six and didn’t leave until after two. Everything was set up so nicely and it was so professionally done that I couldn’t help but marvel at the entire event. Sorority formals can be fun and all but they aren’t really the same as a ball where everyone is dressed so nicely and there’s great food and amazing music that’s actually good to dance to. Also, I didn’t have to worry about getting a date like I do for formal, so that was millions of kilos off my back and made the ball even better.
- Working brunches. I’m not really sure how this one made it so high up on my memories list. Probably because I never failed to enjoy myself when I worked Sunday brunch. No matter how rough it was to get out of bed and go make other people food, it was always quite fun. We don’t do things like the nation’s brunches in the US so doing it was nice and gave me something to do. Also, listening to Ludvig sing and watching him dance around while cleaning up and seeing him get super stressed before was always pretty hilarious and as much as I tried to not laugh at him, I couldn’t help it. It was just fun and there’s no better way to put it. Also, after the brunches I’m pretty much a professional vegetable cutter but it’s no big deal.
- Wendy’s birthday in Lomma. A group of us went to the nearby beach for a friend’s birthday in October. We watched the sun set over the water and ate too much food laughing all the while. Even though it was a simple time, it was carefree and we planned it at the last minute, making it even better. Nobody really cared about anything except being at the beach and having a good
time. I’ll always remember the feeling of the cold sand between my toes and the sight of the sun as it dipped beneath the waterline, giving off hues of deep indigo and bright orange.
- Svensk jul med min svensk familj. My mom’s cousins let me spend Christmas with them since I was in Sweden so I took the train up to Vimmerby after my exams were done to spend some time with them over the holiday. It was so fun. I ate way too much food (three julbords), walked in the forest with my cousin, and just spent time relaxing. After the week before, it was nice to just sit and sleep and chill instead of doing work all the time. Swedish Christmas is the best too since it’s so much good food like herring, salmon, bread, and potatoes so I was in food
*Just making this up, don’t know if it’s actually true but it probably is because Sweden is great
So there you have it, a couple memories that sum up my time in Sweden. I’ll come back but it won’t be the same. The past few months have been some for the books and I wish I could relive them all over again ten times over.
Even though I’m back in Colorado now, I still miss Sweden and am not ashamed to say that I cried not only on the train from Lund to Copenhagen but on my flight from Copenhagen to London too. I’m pretty sure that the flight attendant thought I was crazy but no regrets. Even though I know that I’ll be back one day, I still long for my little Ikea apartment and the cobblestone streets.