I’ve been living in Stockholm a total of one month after a lifetime in London. You might think it’d be a difficult transition, moving from a city of nearly 8 million people to a city of circa 1 million. But it’s not. It’s wonderful. And here why:
(1) Everything is so close
In London, it takes a solid hour to get anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re crossing the city from one end to the other or just popping out, the combination of traffic and delayed tubes means you’re often late.
In Stockholm, you can cut that in half. With the Tunnelbana (their metro system), the fast commuter trains (Pendeltåg) and an awesome bus system, I’m yet to make a journey that has taken longer than 30 minutes. Yippee!
(2) The transport runs to time
Speaking of transport, it is painfully on time here. Admittedly, this might not always be the case in winter (or so I’ve been told) but nothing can be as bad as when it snows in London and everything shuts down.
(3) Wash times (tvätttid) are a thing
In London, we (usually) have a washer and sometimes tumble dryer in our kitchens. In Sweden, especially in bigger apartment blocks, you have one laundry room in the basement that everyone shares. And so you have to book a wash time.
Wash times are usually three-hour slots where you wash and dry your clothes all in one go. Initially, I thought, how inconvenient!
Well, I’m converted. You get everything washed and dried and put away in three hours, which means that pile of washing that builds up and then takes you a full day to sort through just isn’t a thing.
(4) There’s always time for Fika
As someone British, I thoroughly appreciate a time of day dedicated to a hot drink and a sweet treat. Swedes love Fika, which is literally just catching up with someone over a cuppa and (typically) a kanelbullar, which is a cinnamon bun (with cardamom too, which is delicious)
It’s like Afternoon Tea, except Swedes are happy to do it every single day. Which is something I can 100% get on board with.
(5) The Air
I’m not just saying it feels cleaner, although it definitely does. I mean, it’s scientifically cleaner (you can play around with this real-time air quality index if you want to check it out, it’s actually not as boring as it sounds!)
That means my skin has been noticeably clearer since I got over here – which is pretty wonderful news for me.