Recently, a friend on Facebook was posting that she had moved to another state and was experiencing some night time anxieties and stress. She also remarked that the “truck” was coming the following day with all her stuff and that would help make her feel more at home. God, yes it would!
I reflected on this because I have had no such truck. I arrived in Sweden with three suitcases and a few carry-ons. The majority of my stuff is in storage in Connecticut. It has been there for as long as I have lived in Sweden. Well … not all my stuff. Most of it was sold, burned or given away. But those few treasures that I did keep are not with me and I have no idea when I’ll be able to send for them.
This was a HUGE mistake!! If you are moving, definitely arrange for a truck. Immediately.
I essentially walked into my guy’s apartment and that was it. I brought a few little items with me and put them on the shelf in the living room but basically … I’m living at “his place”.Read More»
A re-post from my blog at www.lisamikulski.com/blog.
Oh hell no! Not me. But yes, it did happen to me and it was dark and ugly and intense. I never expected to experience culture shock in Sweden. After all, I had visited the country three times and because of the relationship with my guy, I considered myself fairly well educated about the culture, work environment, the society and current events. I mean really, how much different can Sweden be from the US? Even more surprising was that I would experience this seven months into my move to Göteborg. So, when I began to wonder exactly what the hell was wrong with me, it came as a complete shock to learn that indeed I might be shocked. I’m not even sure that I’ve come out the other side of this cultural shakeup yet, but I’d like the think the worst is over and that the pendulum is now swinging toward something more normal. There were several other contributing factors to my melancholia, some of which I will share with you, some of which I will not. For the sake of this post, let’s focus on culture shock.
I was pre-warned about the dark, dark days of winter. And while it was always a concern, I am a solar powered gal, I can write to you that the utter lack of sunlight took a profound toll on my senses. When you hear about the dark Scandinavian days, they don’t just mean dark . . . They mean a total lack of sunlight. Gone were those warming rays of the sun that I once felt in my home land,Read More»
I arrived at Landvetter airport in Göteborg on June 19th, 2012, one day before my mother’s birthday. I didn’t get the chance to visit the grave site of my parents before departing Boston on what was to be perhaps the biggest and longest adventure of my life. I boarded the plane with a new laptop, cellphone and ipod… none of which are still serving me today (there were some bumps in the road). I was raw and haggard as I said goodbye to my two sons, my family, my pets, my house, my friends and nearly everything I had accumulated in my 51 years of life.
Enough. Enough with the boxes, the packing, the dumpsters and the realtors (nothing personal Elaine). Enough with the strange people knocking at my door everyday or randomly appearing in my back yard asking “Hey… you wanna get rid of that car?, “You wanna get rid of that lawn mower?” There comes a time when a person just has to reconnect with who they are and not necessarily with what they have to do.
My son, Puck, came back home this last weekend and stayed until this morning. I suppose, in fact I know, that reclaiming time for himself is in part the general purpose of these visits. He, like me, needs to re-calibrate his mind. To quietly read a book and listen to what the words say. Take an uninterrupted nap in the shade of our apple tree. To quite literally come home to both a place and a space within himself.
This is not to say that this constitutes a lack of love for our friends or a rampant lack of responsibility for our jobs, lives and commitments. We just simply need to be able to shut off our cell phones and be envelop ourselves in solitude. And, it is this alone time that prepares us and makes us warriors in life. I am now in need of that time. I want to sit outside and write to my heart’s content. I want to get all the words out of me and share them with the world. I want to read that book, take that nap, sit on the grass and meditate without distraction. It’s all required and when the time is over… I’ll come out better, faster, stronger and smarter.
Today was a milestone day. After ten days (or more) of preparing my residence application, I was finally able to slip the application, several other forms, photographs proving Tapi and I know each other, passport photos, essays, receipts and a cover letter into the $30 FedEx envelop guaranteeing delivery by 10:30am tomorrow at the Swedish Embassy. The simply act of mailing these documents proved to be a heady experience making me feel almost as if I have one foot in the US and another in Sweden. I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling rather dizzy.
Before a person can move to Sweden, a residence permit must be obtained from Sweden’s Migrationsverket. The application and it’s accompanying forms may be downloaded from the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. and a personal interview will be conducted. There are several ways a person can obtain a residence permit. You can do so if you are someone who will be working in Sweden as an employee, if you are a student, starting a business, an au pair, or if you are a spouse, cohabitant or child of a primary applicant. My permit is based on a family or personal connection so there’s a special app for that.Read More»