It’s been nearly a week since I’ve arrived in Stockholm and I’ve felt every emotion a human can feel: excitement, anxiety, confusion, embarrassment, joy, and even some brief anger. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions leaving my family and friends, but it’s starting to steady out and let me say, I can’t be happier at this moment.
*Disclaimer: this post may get a little sappy and cliché.
My friend and soul-sister Louise has been the best host I could ever ask for; scrounging up a bike for me, planning brunches and outings, letting me share her quaint, adorable flat in Stockholm. I have to say, through all the emotions and decisions, I am where I want to be and doing what I want to do.
Since I have quite a bit of time in Stockholm, I’ve really been taking my time, letting it soak in, letting my mind and body wander through this city that has so much to offer. I’m living on my time (though definitely taking a chunk of every day for some work) and I couldn’t ask for more.
Which leads me to a bit of travel advice…
One of the most important things you can do when in a new place is to spend a day wandering… just wandering. Take the time to get lost and stroll the side streets. I know, a lot of people aren’t comfortable with that idea and that’s completely understandable. If getting completely lost makes you nervous, pull up the map on your phone of where you want to end up but let yourself get distracted if you see an area that intrigues you. Always carry a map but don’t feel obligated to get there right away.
I’ve been here nearly a week now and every time my intuition tells me to turn down a random street, it’s been the best decision. I wouldn’t have discovered the majority of the things I have if I had made a B-line for my destination. There’s something invigorating about pushing yourself to find your own way, and you [almost] always feel more accomplished at the end of the day because of it.
A good friend told me before I left, “The unknown is equally as exciting as it is frightening,” and that is quite true. To be blunt, you’re going to die one day anyway and it could be tomorrow, so you might as well take a risk. You could discover something beautiful or astounding. You could meet a new friend or find a new favorite food. After all, the whole reason I’m in Stockholm at this very moment is because I met my friend at a hostel in Cape Town by chance.
The unexpected is what changes our lives – this is what I live my life by. If that’s not motivation to get out and be adventurous, check out the places I merely stumbled upon just by wandering aimlessly…
Your time on this earth is limited, and I know that sounds totally cliché, but do you really want to spend it on someone else’s watch or worrying about what may happen? Starting something is always the hardest part, but once your out and doing it, who knows where it will take you.
-end corny but true post
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist, that is all” – Oscar Wilde