So, I wrote this while sitting in Arlanda Airport in a -slightly- hungover, very drowsy state.
I’m looking forward to finding my seat on the plane so I can sleep my way to Manchester. In true Sweden style the sunset is peaking over the runway at 3pm, drenching the landscape in a sombre orange in an attempt to mimic my mood – that’s pathetic fallacy right there. As I sit here aircraft are taking off, taking people on holiday, or to visit their families, or to a busy work week, or in my case back home because my Stockholm experience has come to an end. It doesn’t seem two minutes ago since I was sashaying through arrivals ready to start my Stockholm adventure and what an adventure it has been. When I look back at my Stockholm experience of course I will remember the city. The beautiful Gamla Stan, the highest natural point, where I spent many an hour sat admiring the view. Writing a poem or a lazy travel article. I’ll remember the Modern Art Museum, Slussen, T-Centralen, Södermalm and all the places we went for a coffee or a beer and chatted the night away. Discussing crazy stories that made us laugh until our cheeks ached. That leads me onto what I’ll remember most about my Stockholm experience. The people. The friends I have made here, completely, have made my experience what it was. I know they will probably read this so I’ll try not to make it too cheesy, but I have been astronomically lucky with the people I have met here. I feel like we became a little family. If I needed a gossip, or if I was feeling down, or if I just wanted to get drunk and dance the night away someone would always be there. I will remember our walks around the city, our Mexican nights, partying next to the beach, dancing on my roof to ABBA and all the conversations we had. I hate to leave you all, but even though we are going back to different cities and different walks of life I know we will keep in touch. I’m excited to visit your different cities and reminisce over our time here.
Stockholm, for me, has been so much more than just a study semester. I have grown in ways I didn’t think I could. I’ve learnt so much about myself and in many ways surprised myself with how I am able to cope with situations. I have gone through massive changes while living here. Am I scared to go back? Yes, of course I am. I’m very anxious because my life is so much different to what it was before I left. However, with the skills and the confidence in myself I have gained in Stockholm I know I will be able to overcome it because I am a better person due to this experience. Do I have any regrets? If I could would I go back and change aspects about my Stockholm experience? Honestly, no. It has been everything I wanted it to be and more. I hate to leave the people here, you know, things that could have been. I know this is not the end. I am happy. I am leaving Stockholm happy and I am so *fucking* proud of myself for doing this experience, and it’s probably the hangover but I’m desperately trying not to cry in this airport waiting room – or maybe I should to freak out some Swedes one last time (no pants subway wooop wooop!)
If you ever have the chance to live abroad, do it. The world is there to explore. I know people get so caught up in their little bubble because they are scared of exploring. Start off by taking the bus to the next city, then take a train down south (or up north if there’s no south left) then take a plane and watch how your mind progressively expands. I’ve become friends with people from all over and it’s made me so much more aware of my global citizenship and that is vital. Please, go explore, just book that holiday. Don’t be scared to do it by yourself. In times like this it’s especially important to meet different people and understand we still have so much in common despite being from different places.
I love you Stockholm! My heart will always belong to you.
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(Please ignore the many grammar and spelling mistakes, I’m tried. I’m back Manchester!)