Home Sweet (empty) Home

November 3, 2016


We woke up fairly early and ate breakfast, re-packed the car, and headed to the Swedish MV (immigration office). I had an appointment scheduled to get my fingerprints, photo, signature, and other info registered so I can receive my Swedish residency card.  Usually these sorts of things involve line ups, waiting rooms, and some sort of woman that hates her life.  But this is Sweden, and the whole ordeal was done quick and painlessly, with the blonde woman behind the glass chatting away nicely to Thomas and I.  So far this whole moving across the world thing has been a breeze! Yesterday when I got off the plane, all of my luggage arrived safe and sound, aside from a part of my hub missing off my trail bike. Not bad considering it was 3 flights and 7 pieces of luggage to potentially lose along the way.


After the immigration office we headed back to the Stockholm apartment to finish loading the bikes on the car, vacuum, take the soap dispenser, and half-disassemble the couch we are planning to bring up with us next week for the guest room/office.  We stopped in Uppsala to check out our potential new living room couch, and confirmed it's exactly what we're looking for. It's the Clint Soffa by DB Möbler, in a warm mid-toned leather with dark-no, light, wait no maybe dark- legs and frame. You can custom choose the leather, frame colour, and back cushions, so we can find exactly what we are looking for (although we aren't quite sure what that is yet).  Just don't ask us how we are going to transport it once we get it (it'll be fine).


After the sofa store we headed north. And north, and north some more.  We detoured slightly to stop and deliver some cross country ski boots to his Uncle in Sundsvall. The man is a legend. 75 years old and still riding moto, road riding, xc skiing, and he bought his first mountain bike last year and is now tearing up the local trails! #seniorgoals. There's something in the water over here I swear, and I can't wait to start drinking it ;).  His wife also got xc boots, and showed me some of the art she's most recently created. We had some Fika (coffee and cinnamon buns), said our goodbyes, and headed Northwest to our new home!


We hadn't planned on buying an apartment, but, when this one showed up on Blocket (Swedish Craigslist), the size, location, and price were just too good to pass up! 81sq m (or about 850square ft.), with lots of storage space and windows, located in Swedens most famous ski town. It's the perfect home.  The gym is literally across the street, you can ski out from the hill, the main square and grocery store are just down the hill, and you can see the big lake and sunset from our balcony. Oh yeah, and it's a mountain bike park in the summer! Essentially we've moved to a smaller, less Australian, Whistler.


We open the door to the apartment and I'm surprised at how big it feels. I mean, the apartment is essentially empty, but still. So far Thomas has managed to acquire two chairs, a stool, and his brothers dining room table.  Oh yeah, and his grandmothers chandelier, which is rather grand, and hangs right at head-hitting height (but it'll be fine).  He's been sleeping on a tiny IKEA cot since he moved in a month ago, but surprised me today that he has ordered a bed for us!! I was secretly hoping we'd get a new bed, but since my income is that if a freelancing Canadian (syn: poor, broke, homeless-if-it-wasn't-for-mom), I don't get much say in those matters.

We unpacked my belongings (aka putting things on the floor in the appropriate rooms), got all the bikes in the storage locker located across the hall (convenient as F), and headed to his parents for dinner.  Side note: his parents are in the building next door, and their apartment is the same as ours, but with a flipped layout and one floor lower.  We have fish and mashed potatoes with salad, followed by homemade rhubarb pie and whipped cream. Thomas's mom owned and ran a bakery/restaurant in Åre for years, so every meal is super amazing. 


Since we haven't gotten our bed yet, we disassembled his parents pull-out couch and carried it back to our house. Yay for IKEA! It's really comfortable, and is the same couch that we will bring up from Stockholm for our guests. We fell asleep giddy and excited that our new life has finally started!!!! 



Leaving on A Jet Plane

I've never felt like I've had much of a reason to write, or, should I say, blog. But I guess moving across the world and starting a new life in Northern Sweden is one deserving of it's own chapter.

So here I go.

I met Thomas 2 years, 2 months, and three days ago, in Sweden, after I'd been injured and unable to race a World Cup in France.  I was hurt, pissed off, lonely, and generally just over it.  (Little did I know but that injury would end up being the end of my World Cup racing career, and the beginning of the biggest adventure of my life).  A friend of mine knew of my injury and invited me to Sweden to spend a few weeks with her, while I healed up for the World Championships in Norway.  To make a long story short, I flew to Sweden, got introduced to Thomas, was instantly smitten in a matter of 3 days, raced World Champs, and hitchhiked back to Stockholm where I spent the next 10 days with my new Swedish infatuation.  Then we fell in love, flew back and forth to see each other for 2 years, and now, here I am.  Visa accepted, bags packed, and moving my life to Sweden.  Love is a crazy thing!

Since I already travel a lot, it's been hard for me to emotionally and mentally register the impact of what getting on that plane today really means.  As of right now, it just feels like I'm going on another trip.  When I was packing I had to keep reminding myself that I might not be back home until next spring, and to not worry about over-packing.  In the end I fit my whole life as I know it into the following:

3 big suitcases
2 bikes
1 set of skis
1 boot bag
1 backpack
1 purse
And a whole lot of weird feelings.
Total: $725.00

Not too bad considering I jammed every available space in every bag full of anything I thought I'd need, miss, want, or would cost a stupid amount in Sweden (which is everything, by the way).  The packing process itself was a bit of a blur; interrupted by surprise visits from friends and family, and one panicked drive downtown to deliver a painting (you gotta hustle to make the money!).  Mom and Dad both drove me to the airport, and we enjoyed a very rare meal where it was just the three of us.  It's funny and beautiful how life-changes can bring people together, no matter what the occasion. 

It's been a bittersweet goodbye for the last few days.  Half of me feels like a chunk of me is being ripped out and left behind, while the other half bounds giddily towards my potential forever.  The hardest is seeing my friends and family cry.  Yet, in a selfish and twisted way, I like it, because it means they really care about my existence, which always feels nice.

I board the first plane out of three: Vancouver to Calgary.  Seems a bit anti-climatic, saying these big goodbyes, all the tears just to take a 2 hour flight next door to Alberta.  Thankfully my 3 cart-worthy entourage of inanimate objects are being checked straight through to Stockholm, so I don't have to go through the circus of transporting everything solo more than once. Phew!

After that, it's Calgary to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to Stockholm!