There’s something terrifying yet thrilling when you arrive at a destination that is 5500 km away from everything you know, everything you love.
There’s something terrifying yet thrilling about walking through a crowd, where you don’t hear a word of your mother language.
There’s something terrifying yet thrilling when you walk around with your eyes the size of saucers, taking in your new surroundings.
There’s something terrifying yet thrilling about starting a new adventure. But that is exactly why it is an adventure.
Throughout my first week of living in Stockholm, Sweden, I have been noticed one key aspect. Life here is so similar to life in Halifax, yet so very different.
The people in Stockholm are friendly and welcoming, just like in Halifax. The systems in Stockholm are set to help you succeed – in everything from the transportation system to the education system – just like in Halifax. And the weather is pretty much exactly the same.
But there are key differences.
While in Halifax it isn’t uncommon to chat with the person next to you on the bus or on the sidewalk, that doesn’t appear to be as common in Stockholm. Instead of attending six hours of class per day for fourteen weeks as we do in Halifax, in Stockholm you attend four hours of class per week for four weeks, but must to plenty of readings and independent study. And while it is common to work continuously from morning until night in Halifax, all aspects of work grind to a halt in Stockholm for the daily fika (I’ll write more on this beautiful cultural aspect in the future.)
So I have been here for one week. What have I learned?
Perhaps it could best be described in the following story.
When I arrived, one of my first tasks was to set up a phone plan and Internet. However, this proved to be more difficult that imagined. In order to activate my new SIM card, my Canadian telephone provider had to unlock my phone. To do this, I had to access my online account with the provider.
In a completely separate series of unfortunate events, the power adapter for my Canadian plugs blew a fuse. This left my laptop dead. And in order to search for a location to purchase a new power adapter, I had to search it on my phone. Which was not activated.
(Okay looking back I can there were many obvious solutions to this situation, i.e. borrow someone else’s charger. Find one at the local store. Call the service provider from another phone. But when you’re tired, hungry, jet-lagged and in a different continent, this problem seemed colossal.)
When faced with this seemingly complicated problem, I looked at the steps I could take to solve the situation. Okay, my laptop was dead. Let’s change the fuse. I need to contact the Canadian provider. Let’s borrow the phone of a friend who has international calling. One thing after another and the complicated problem was history.
So what was the lesson I had learned?
When faced with an overwhelmingly large problem, sometimes you must take a closer look and discover the necessary steps to solve the situation.
Tills nästa gång, (Until next time)