When 2017 started, I had a strong feeling that I didn’t have the slightest clue where it would end, and what it would bring, but that it would be a year to remember. And it was. And I could never have guessed!
2016 was a tough year. I was unhappy, felt lonesome, had everything you could ask for, dear friends, caring relatives, a flat I loved, an interesting job with nice colleagues… . With Christmas and New Year approaching, the only thing I felt was anxiousness. And loneliness. As strong as ever before… I was close to book a trip to Antarctica by myself. Jump on a flight 10 days later and travel to the end of the world. That thought made me happy, and calm. But there was something that held me back, and I didn’t book the trip…
Instead I felt like I wanted to stay in Stockholm for New Year – but despite having tons of friends in the city, for New Year I had no option. My friends were either at home away from Stockholm, or celebrating with their partners, kids, closer friends. That was painful.
Out of an impulse I decided to write a message in Facebook group I had recently discovered. It is called Heja Livet! and is a group for only women (mostly in Swedish), where the atmosphere is always supporting, open and extremely warm. So I described my situation and asked if someone had an event I could join. I received so many wonderful answers, some praising my braveness to reach out, some inviting me to their party and then also several messages from women in the same situation. Wow. I was not alone? There were other women in the exact same situation? And what now? I couldn’t go to one of the parties I had been invited to knowing that there were others in the same situation?
On a second impulse, I wrote another message. And invited up to 15 girls to my place. Blindly. Everyone who had no company was welcome in my 33m2 apartment. And the response was huge! So many warm comments about the initiative and in the end we were 13 women meeting for the first time at 8 pm on Dec 31st in my home in Stockholm. None had ever met anyone of the others before. Some took Prosecco with them, others food, snacks or desert. And what an evening we had! We all met out of an extremely vulnerable situation, and that set the tome for the whole evening We shared emotions, pain and joy and partied until the early hours of Jan 1st. Could the year start better than rocking the dance floor with 12 amazing new friends?
What happened then? Well, the first months of 2017 were great, with new friends in the same situation: fab women, 30+, single and curious at life! I am so grateful for these girls that were brave enough to take on the invitation at a strangers home!
In early spring I came across the idea of long distance hiking… and from April on until mid June when I started the hike, I spent most of my time preparing for the hike, which was mostly about drying and preparing my food and getting the logistics in place. And when I started the hike, I had a strong feeling that this hike would take me somewhere, but I didn’t know were. If I had only guessed! But I had no idea…
I had taken three months off my work as an engineer to walk through the Swedish mountain range, 1350km. And to be honest, I had no idea what I would expect, but I had a clear feeling that the challenge would not be the physical part, but rather the mental part.
You find all posts about the hike here.
When I came back to Stockholm, it felt like a part of me was missing. A piece of the puzzle just didn’t fit anymore, and despite the fact that I loved what I had in the city, I was longing for something else. I was longing for the mountains, for the silence and for being rather than doing. It was a physical pain when I saw pictures from the fjell. I followed the hikers that were still on their green ribbon hike, chatted with people living up north that I had met during the hike… and longed to get up there again.
One day I spoke to one of the amazing people I had met during the hike and said something in line with “I should just quit my job and move to Jämtland!”. The idea was there already, the feeling that I could do it too, but the details were still missing: where exactly? What would I focus on there? There was still something missing to make up a plan. And then she said: “Well, there is a flat here and maybe also a little work in the hotel during winter. You are mostly welcome!”.
I mean, does that ever happen? You get an offer for a flat and a job (enough to sustain a life for a while) just by expressing the wish to move? All of a sudden the missing ingredients weren’t missing anymore. I had a plan. And all I needed to do was to quit my job and buy a car and drive up north. So I did.
And here I am now, and soon I have been living here for three months! Working in a hotel with a magic view on the mountains, surrounded by amazingly warm, friendly and welcoming people in this little village of just over 20 people. And I couldn’t be happier.
My plans? Who knows! I am looking forward to finding out what life throws at me. For now I am here. And I just don’t need to go anywhere else.