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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Nygren

Soft Landings and Sweden


Before sharing my latest update, it would be remiss of me to not mention that I would most likely have never booked a one-way ticket to Europe without the “soft-landing” I had in Switzerland.

A soft-landing is a term my family uses, passed down from my grandfather, to describe a smooth arrival to a destination. We typically use this term when one gets picked up directly at the airport/bus stop/train station and their immediate needs of food, water, and thinking about how they are going to get to their home for the night are taken care of by family or friends.

My “soft-landing” in Europe was extra spectacular. Not only were logistics covered, I was with wonderful company and we stayed with someone who had all the activities planned, knew what supermarket to get the best (and cheapest) daily croissants, and had already navigated all the funny nuances of how to thrive in Interlaken as well as speak some Swiss-German!

I have a lot of fears around loneliness and solo travel as a woman, even though my rational brain knows the value and strengthening of these experiences. There was so much comfort for me in beginning these travels with a friend. TY, Jill. ILY!

Next “Soft Landing”: Lund, Sweden

August 7 - 19, 2021

One thing led to the next and while I was in Switzerland I decided it would only make sense to take advantage of my already being all the way over the Atlantic to visit two friends from Boulder in their new home of Lund, Sweden. Lund is in the South of Sweden, a part of the country I’ve never been to, just across the Öresund sound from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fun Fact: I was born in Sweden! But my parents moved to the US before I turned one. Thanks to the neural plasticity and absorption capabilities of babies, I know a fair amount of Swedish! The idea of moving to Sweden and solidifying fluency in Swedish always lingers at the back of my mind. And, now that I am here, more serious Google searches are happening… dun dun dun.

Gosh, it was so good to see Jeanne and Joe! Being with those two is like being with family without all the baggage. New Ikea pullout couch and all, J and J put me up in their apartment for the better portion of two weeks. We biked, sampled various kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls) and cardamombullar, played A LOT of cribbage, practiced some Swedish, urban-foraged blackberries, and got our butts kicked in some park circuit workouts. It was extra special to watch this duo navigating all the challenges of moving to the other side of the world, setting up foreign bank accounts, learn the nuances of a culture, build community, and start a new job all at once. Kudos to them - they are STARS!

Here are some pictures from in and around Lund:

A Day in Copenhagen with David! And Kristina!

Oh…and then there was this phenomenal detail... sweet David happened to have a trip to Denmark planned while I was already in the south of Sweden! So, Jeanne, Joe, David, and I got to savor in a wacky/wonderful Boulder reunion in Copenhagen and Lund with David’s new girlfriend Kristina. Wahoo!

My gosh and kudos to you if you are still reading.

Next Stop: Stockholm, Sweden

August 19 - September 1, 2021

After about two weeks in Lund, I headed to Stockholm to meet my dad! Long story short, Sweden has some funky regulations around renewing an expired passport. One of which being there MUST be a blood family member present at the renewal appointment to confirm your identity… meaning, I couldn’t stay in Europe for much longer without figuring this passport situation out. And, thanks to a year and a half of living in Maine, my dad’s cabin fever had reached an all time high leaving him over the moon to have any excuse to leave and come to help me out. It’s not often these days that I get a lot of quality time with my parents, especially one-on-one, so this time together has been special. Together we wandered the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town), spent a day on the island of Sandhamn in the Swedish Archipelago, explored the Millesgården sculpture museum, tried out (the terrifying) kick-bike/ city scooters, joined the UrbanOm yoga studio per Josh Lipton’s recommendation, and ate a whole bunch of fika treats. If you’re ever in Sweden, you MUST try a slice of princess torta and biskvi - you can thank me later. "Tack" you to all of our wonderful friends who are like family for hosting and feeding us - Sweden holds such a special place in my heart.

Next Stop: Tuscany, Italy

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