Torn Between Hope and Despair


I suppose it is an occupational disease: always being torn between “The world is doomed, we’re all gonna die!” and “There are so many amazing people out there with amazing ideas – we will safe the planet and our lives!” I have studied environmental management for three years and now I’m here between all these wonderful people who now have the same symptoms.

It’s difficult to not lose your hope. It’s difficult to imagine a different world than the one we live in right now. There will be no smooth transition. “Around Christmas, people usually get really depressed in this programme” our lecturers warned us. I see why: The presentations are flooded with horrifying statistics and upwardsloping exponential lines. And these lines don’t seem to stop. On some days I just want to curl up under my blanket and never go outside ever again.

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And then I think: I have a responsibility. I learn all these things in my studies in order to do something good. I educate myself to be able to bring people together and to find solutions. I am trained as a problem solver and that’s what we need to do in the next few decades. Sure, it will be difficult. Sure, we will be hopeless on some days. But losing hope altogether paralyses us. Yet, we need more movement than ever before.

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To fight against this negativity, against all these gloomy statistics, I decided to write some nonfiction again for NaNoWriMo this year. I have participated for three consecutive years now and it’s always been a highlight of my year. I’m going to write about climate change. I’m going to write about what we can do and why it is good when we do something. And voilá, here’s my working title:

Beyond European Climate Solutions: What We Win When We Fight Against Climate Change

This will be my project for November. I’m excited. And a tiny bit terrified.

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In class this week we talked about environmental discourses and how different people see the environmental crises we’re in. It was fascinating.

Promethianism. “Technology is great. Technology will fix everything. Live, Technology!” That’s the Elon Musk kind of discourse.

Survivalism. “We’re all gonna dieeeeee! There are limits to this earth and we jumped over them and it’s really bad and only politicians and smart scientists can save us now.”

Economic Rationalism. “Markets are great, they will fix everything. Leave it to the market, make a carbon tax. Also: Money money money moneyyyyy.”

And then we have a few less dramatic ones that focus on collaboration but that are nationalist and those that are focused on sustainability but in the end put humans on top of every hierarchy. It’s fascinating analysing texts and speeches in connection with these discourses. I think I will go into these in more detail in the book I’m writing. Because they do have a huge impact when it comes to how we see our environmental solutions.

Would you like to read a sneak peak of what I’m writing every day this November?

lopapeysa

Enough of the doom and gloom: Last weekend I finally managed to cast off my lopapeysa, knitted with original léttlopi yarn from Iceland. I’m always torn what to knit my pullovers with: Sheep or alpaca wool is not vegan and I cannot ensure that the animals are treated well. Cotton needs huge loads of water to grow and is harvested in areas where there isn’t a lot of water. Acrylics is made of plastics aka crude oil. And linnen or hemp fibres themselves are not in any way soft and easy to handle. Do you have any suggestions? I’m having a really difficult time deciding on what to knit with. Do you know any good fairtrade organic yarns that you can recommend?

 

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Visiting an Organic Farm


The last two weeks have been super busy which is why I didn’t get around writing anything. I’ve been in university for lectures every single day and have read so many articles that their contents blur in my mind.

But I’d like to tell you about an excursion we made to an organic farm just outside Uppsala. The farmer has huge areas of land and he holds cows, farms wheat, lupines, barley and all kinds of other crops. He doesn’t use any industrial fertiliser and his animals have a lot of space to themselves. He told us about his farm in a presentation in his workshop. All that time, a cat ran around our legs and jumped on the occasional lap that looked comfortable to her.

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In the past few years, the farmer had pigs and let them dig in the forest. You could clearly see where they had been and where they were restricted by a fence: The forest regrew much faster through the pigs’ digging. “This forest is entirely pig-planted”. This kind of integrated agriculture was fascinating to me. In Germany we tend to mark clearly what is “cropland”, “forest” and “animal-land”. Clear structure, no blurred lines.

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In summer this year I had a course called “agroforestry”. It’s a system connecting farmland with trees: You plant rows of crops and in between them rows of trees. They protect the crops from storms, retrieve water from much deeper sources and provide habitats for bees which in turn increases the yield of both crops and trees. I have been studying and planning these systems on paper, but never actually seen them. Now as I’m in Sweden, I get to experience how they work in real life, which was pretty cool.

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An alleycropping system: in the middle there will soon be crops and at the two edges you can the the rows of trees…

In general, the whole farm excursion was really inspiring to me. Agriculture contributes so much to global carbon emissions that a change in it could spare us big deal from the horrifying consequences of climate change. Alternative farming techniques like the farmer proposed are so important and I loved that there are things we can do. I might go into agriculture for my master thesis actually. Study more traditional agricultural systems that have worked for millenials and that today are forgotten due to mechanisation, industrialisation and profit pressure. “Us farmers, we love big machines. If you propose something that replaces them, we’ll fight you” he said. There are other ways, though…

Autumn has been beyond wonderful. We have been blessed with a golden October. Today, a few of my classmates and I met at a friend’s tiny house and sat on the lawn, all of us knitting. Yep, we founded a sustainability knitting club. More about this one next week 😉

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That’s all from me this week! Let me know if you’d like to know about any specific topics in the future!

Sunday Meditations


I’m listening to songs from old choirs I have been in long ago. I remember the rehearsals we used to have. We sang right through the church bells ringing six in the evening. The windows were always wide open. We giggled and shared our stories until the cantor asked us to be quiet. We broke our tongues with the latin masses and sang our hearts out when we finally knew what we were doing. Remembering those wonderful moments of shared tones. Of community. It makes me a little homesick.

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I have a cup of hot tea next to me. I’m wrapped in a shawl I knitted and feel some wool next to me of the jumper I’m working on right now. The knitting needles are cold. It’s going to be a lopapeysa, my first one. I’m going to hide myself in it when the winter gets too cold and dark.

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I’m enjoying a calm Sunday. Outside, rain is pouring down. I can hear the raindrops that platter on the streets. Autumn has come. I can sense it in the air and see it in the trees. Their tops are already changing their colours. I’m getting adventurous whenever autumn comes around. For me, it’s the most beautiful season of the year. Everything is quieting and walking outside becomes a way of discovering nature anew.

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I can hear autumn in the birds that fly over our heads, south, away from here. Away from the cold. I’m wondering where they are going. If they will fly over the land that I call home. Please greet my hometown when you pass it, I want to say to them.

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I finally went for a walk again today. All the things I used to do- writing, painting, walking- I couldn’t find the time nor the energy to do them in the past few weeks. But now, I’m coming back. Slowly. It takes time to adjust yourself to a new chapter in your life. It’s difficult but I will get there.

Impostor Syndrom 101


During breakfast I checked my subscriptions on youtube and saw that Ahsante had uploaded a new video. It perfectly summarised everything I had felt this week: Feeling like a fraud, being the wrong person to sit in the rooms I was sitting in, feeling that I had to work three times as much on my tasks to not be thrown out because “Who allowed her in here?”

 

I sat in choir rehearsal yesterday, well prepared. I had copied all the notes for my alto parts into a computer programme so that I could play them over and over, slower then faster, to be able to learn every note perfectly. Because I struggle so much with the songs we sing. They are in either Latin or Swedish. My Swedish is decent, I can communicate, but I don’t know how to pronounce everything the right way. And Latin… I mean I did learn it in school but that doesn’t prepare you to spit out syllables crazy fast.

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Our choir leader gave us chords that we had to sing and you had to find out which note to sing according to which harmony you are. I failed miserably. I only managed because a dear friend noticed my desperation and turned towards me so that I could copy the tone. So I am standing in this room with magnificent singers and a choir leader who is also conducting perhaps THE choir in Uppsala, Uppsalas Domkyrkokör. And here am I, don’t know how I got in. I feel like every minute someone is going to come up to me and say: “Hey, we tried. But that just doesn’t work. You don’t know how to sing from sheet music. Please leave.” Impostor-Syndrom at its best.

Because… I got in. I auditioned and I got in. I even got to sing at a concert after one week of rehearsals. It can’t be that bad, can it? I’m taking Ahsante’s advice. I need to get out of my head, see how much I worked for getting into the position I am in today and connect to the people around me, talk about my difficulties. “I have a hard time following everything and I have a hard time singing from sheet music because I’ve never done it like that before. Also, I cannot follow anything when you speak that fast.” It’s ok to say that. It’s ok to talk to people if you feel a little lost.

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“I just had to laugh so hard. You overworked yourself a LITTLE?!” my friend said. Yep, she was right. I had treated my university impostor-syndrom with overworking. There are so many cool people around, people who have worked in many different workplaces, who have done so much in their lives, who have seen so much of the world. And here I am, 21, just finished with my bachelors, barely any knowledge of life. So what did I do to counteract this? I buried myself in books. And completely lost it. Probably not the best idea.

New strategy: I will admit that I have a hard time and I will review the path that got me here. I’m in Sweden now. This is not out of pure luck. I worked hard for the place I am in today and it’s a lovely place. Ahsante said: “Congratulations, you have levelled up!”.

Pat yourself on the shoulder whenever you feel like an impostor. Connect to others, see what you can still work on and what is still to learn and then enjoy the ride. Because you have come much farther than you thought you had.

Running Until I Fall


Sunrise and sunset are chasing each other, battling on who will be able to inch closer towards midday. The same fight every year. Every year after heatwaves and exhaustion, autumn comes to soothe. I can feel autumn approaching, I can feel it as the icecold wind on my arms in the morning when I bike to school. I can see it in the warm evening light that illuminates the wooden houses and the trees in the forest. I can see it in the apples that seem to be everywhere and that people put in front of their garden fences with little signs saying “Varsågod”. You’re welcome.

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As I biked home from the city yesterday, everything was bathed in this gorgeous golden light. 

I’m thinking back on how summer was. I’ve never been a fan of summer, to be quite frank. For me it was a time of desperately trying to kill Time. Of purposelessness. Autumn meant “back to school”, back to reading and learning, two things I enjoy so much. And now it’s autumn and I’m reading again, learning.

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I visited friends in Stockholm two weeks ago and we went out to the archipelago with the boat. On these islands, life is so serene, so calm. I could imagine spending an entire summer there just walking around and admiring the houses, the apple trees.

I overdid it, though. I stayed up nearly every night in the past two weeks to get my reading done. I read until midnight, went to sleep, woke up at seven and read until my lecture started. After school, I came back home to my books. It’s true that we have to read a lot. But this was not coming from school, this urge. It was coming from my inside.

I am pushing myself more and more because I need to perform, I need to be good at this. I need to take everything in as fast as I can, as much as I can. Now. And when I take breaks I calculate the trade-off. How much time did I lose during this break, time lost to read and write assignments? I have accelerated a lot over the years. I have become more efficient in my work. I read fast. I type fast. I think fast. But this did not aide me to calm down because I would be able to bring the results. No, it encouraged me to do even more, because I could. “You’ve always got by, haven’t you? It was always ok when you took on an additional task, wasn’t it?”

I had two visions in my head the other day. First, I didn’t know how old I was. I didn’t know how I had got here. I got my bachelors degree two weeks before I came here to Uppsala. I am a masters student now but I have had no time to process that. I didn’t know how I had got here. To Uppsala. My new home.

And then I envisioned my life in the future. I would sit in some small room with blank walls with all of my degrees but with the big question in my had: “How did I end up here?” Because everything had been a blur. Everything had gone so fast. And is still accelerating.

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This is a picture I took right before the service we sang in last weekend. Right now, we are rehearsing for the next one which is taking place in two weeks already. Choir gives me so much at the moment and it lets me forget my work for a few beautiful hours. I’m so grateful to be able to sing with them, to be part of all of this.

It’s ironic because in my course literature, the authors often discuss that “growth” is our interpretation of “progress”. We need to make more money in less time, with less workers, exploit all the resources that we can. GDP growth, yay! I’m doing the same. You could say, in economical terms, I’m growth-addicted. I’m accelerating, maximising output. The problem is that I don’t consider my inputs of time and mind space.

There have been many authors advocating for a steady state in our economies, for a balance against the unlimited exponential growth. Because we cannot go on like that with the limited resources we have: clean air, furtile soil, clean water. I need to do the same. I need to find a balance in my life, between working and just enjoying life. I need to acknowledge my most important resource: Time. Time for friends, time for long walks in the forest, time for knitting and painting, time for ridiculously long philosophical chats with my friends back at home in the middle of the night, time for just being in the moment.

A friend of mine said: “I could never do what you are doing. I need my time off, going on holidays to some city and just eating cake for a week.”

For whoever needed it this week: Breathe. Take your time. Eat some cake. It’s going to be ok.

Climate Frustration


This week I understood why I’m doing a masters in Sustainable Development. 

I have been pretty much circling between five different activities this week:

  • Sleep (of which I didn’t get much)
  • Eating (I realised how much I miss the organic stores in Germany. All the organic food here is wrapped in plastics which sparks the question which sustainability fail I can accept: plastics or glyphosate)
  • Learning choir songs (I was able to sing in the choir concert after only one week of rehearsals because I came in as a newbie. So I had to learn all the songs in a really short time. It worked really well, though)
  • Classes
  • Reading (which probably took the most of my time.)

We have received quite an intensive reading schedule for this first course. Since I haven’t done much reading in my bachelors, let along reading for critical review… I have been a bit lost. And overwhelmed. This week has been about setting the goals for our study programme. They told us what we would gain through it and where we would be at the end. Which I find fascinating. This is a completely new approach for me.

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This is Carolina Rediviva, the most beautiful library in Uppsala in my eyes. It’s so quiet and calm, I didn’t even dare to close my bag afraid that it made too much noise. But you get the best study atmosphere there. 

We had lectures on sustainability education and how we students could actively design and contribute. Education in Germany is like: “Here, take this book from the 1950s. It’s sacred. Don’t ever question what you read there. Learn every single sentence and graph, repeat it on the exam, and then forget it as soon as possible.” Uppsala feels different. Our opinions, our backgrounds, our insights are valued. We have a group work at the moment where people from all kinds of fields came together to solve a geopolitical sustainability issue: We have anthropology, agricultural studies, environmental science, tourism, social sciences and finance… It’s wonderful!

I will do a separate blog post on what my goals for this study course are. I think it is valuable to have that beforehand and to later evaluate how it went.

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I need to tell you this story. We had a skype lecture with a quite famous climatologist, Kevin Anderson. He’s a controversial figure. But I think he states things how they are. The climate change reality that we live in really is that depressing. We are hoping for a technical fix that might (probably won’t) ever come. We made committments in the Paris Agreement that are far too low to reach the 2°C increase that we promised. We are much rather aiming for a 4°C increase. That’s not a four degree increase in your hottest summer days. They mean Global Average. This in case comes with an increase of 6-12°C on top of the hottest days. (I think you can find these assessments in the IPCC report that is published every few years where they make estimations of how bad it gets.) The world is in big trouble.

In his lecture, he talked about all the things we are currently not doing: We are not divesting from fossil fuels (Our university isn’t either. But there is a group of students pushing them to do, which is great), we are not changing the way our society is organised to become more equal and better adapted to climate change, there is no effort to reduce consumption and to move towards more recycling and rebuilding. The future looks pretty dark.

This was the first part of his lecture. In our break, we stood outside and vented. We were angry, frustrated, that the earth as we know it is drastically changing, that we are endangering ourselves while doing nothing to prevent it.

Then came the question session. We now saw him sitting at his table and he saw us in our lecture hall through the screen. We asked him: “What can we as students do?” He explained that first, it was a good thing that we were sitting there. Learning about sustainability. And then, he challenged us to make noise. To use our knowledge, our voices. He said that we would get angry (I was fuming, actually. A colleague of mine had to put a hand on my shoulder to calm me down a little.) Anger is good. But you have to channel it somewhere. That is exactly what we will be doing in the next two years.

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We will learn how to get angry at injustice, and we will learn where to channel it so that we can do something about the injustice. This is why I’m here. And I feel like I’m in the exact right place at the exact right time.

If you are interested how we can transform our economy to better fit this century, then I recommend Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth. It was part of our reading list and it’s brilliant!

Back to Uni


It’s late in the evening as I’m writing this. I’ve only just finished taking notes for my course that starts on Monday. There is a huge literature list that, of course, I have already started working on. Hermione-style, reading all the books before the term starts. I’m that enthusiastic. And with every article I read, I feel more and more like having made the right decision with this programme. This is what I want to learn more about.

And yes, I confess, I have been buying expensive notebooks. I just love notebooks too much.

notes
Notes, notes, notes. I really enjoy being back to sketchnoting. Last semester I didn’t really have the opportunity to do it but now there is a lot of course literature to be sketched 😉

My week has been wonderful. I have explored the city with the people from my programme. We have had so much fun and have made great connections already. We are in the same boat with this programme but we also have similar worldviews and values, which is pleasant. There are law students, neuroscientists, journalists, psychologists, agricultural students… everything you can think of. And just as diverse as our backgrounds are, so are our origins. I’m studying with people from all over the world and we all came here, to Uppsala.

During our welcome reception I just sat in awe for a while, letting it sink in how I had come there. I considered all the decisions I made thus far in my life and I’m so grateful how well everything has worked out. I breathed the air of excitement, of wonder, of solemnity. I breathed the air of centuries.

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This is the ceiling of the aula in the main university building. Since my former university was so new and modern, this is even more inspiring to me. I’ve always wanted to study in an old university where the bricks tell you of the many people they have seen. And now here I am in Scandinavia’s oldest uni…

I’ve also had an audition for a choir and have been accepted to Schola Cantorum, which is a choir that sings in the largest cathedral in Uppsala. It has been a lot of fun and since everyone is speaking Swedish, I’m not only improve my singing but also my language skills on the way. It was a completely new experience for me to have a rehearsal in Swedish. I cannot say that I understood everything but then again, it’s music and gestures – it makes it much easier.

After this first rehearsal I felt a bit more at home in this city. I’m starting to grow my roots here. I’m starting to settle, to connect, to discover all the wonders of this place.

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I’ve also been knitting this week to keep myself warm and cosy and relaxed. Alexandra Tavel, a knitwear designer, published the pattern for her “Coast to Coast Wrap” on her blog. She designed it during a road trip through the US, from coast to coast. She wanted to capture all the different landscapes in a piece and I think it’s beautiful.

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It’s a wrap! I finished the last stitches in the forest today because I really wanted to be outside.

That’s been my week thus far: Some uni work, some trying to learn latin songs because we have a concert next weekend, many new people and lots of fun.

Late Sumer in Sweden


The mornings are cold, I awake with a sore throat and a little shiver. The air smells of apples and roses, of autumn. Yet the sun still sends its long beautiful rays out to us, to warm and to remind us of the past months.

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An apple tree that I found in my neighbourhood

Last week I have been in Jönköping, to visit a dear friend I met in Halmstad. She is studying to become a biologist and whenever we wanted to do something, we would choose the “nature option”.

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Her dream is to be a marine biologist, so I sewed this bag for her and made a little embroidery. It was so much fun!

One day, we went to a little island in the middle of lake Vättern. It looks more than a sea than a lake, to be honest.

sunflowers
Visingsö

We cycled around the entire island and sat down on the steps in front of a red barn to have our lunch. Leaves were flying around us and the air had this special taste that told us that autumn is not far. It’s so strange since in Germany, the heat wave is ongoing and summer seems to have a long breath this year. Here, we are already done with it.

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Exploring the island

The countryside is beautiful and reminds me so much of my childhood and the books of Astrid Lindgren I have read. “It’s so Småland” my friend always said: red wooden houses, blue skies, yellow fields.

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We have had a lovely time together and it almost felt like a dream, exploring this new place. It was a good idea to travel a bit around Sweden before going to Uppsala. This way, I adjusted myself again, calmed down.

And now, I’m in Uppsala. Today, I took the bike into town to see how long it would take me. I visited the university with its beautiful old buildings, the castle, the cathedral, and walked along the river. This is the city I will be studying in now. These are the streets that I will wander on.

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Fyrisån in Uppsala

I’m so excited for this. I bought some notebooks today for my courses that start next week. I got some new wool with which I’m making myself a little wrap (I’ve been pretty much knitting all weekend since I was so exhausted that I needed a break. What better way than to knit and sit calmly)

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The big cathedral in Uppsala. I have an audition for a choir next week and if I get accepted, I will be singing in this one!

It will be fascinating what I think of the city in two years time. Here is what I think today: It is quite busy with people but at the same time, there is a lot of space. It feels majestic with its old buildings and the atmosphere of the university. I almost feel the chatter and footsteps of generations of students before me who have chosen this place. I feel honoured to be able to study here. It is a place full of things just waiting to be explored, a city of streets that lead to new places and a city, where you can have everything you need. A city where old and new seem to clash but not in a negative way. Somehow, the balance is still maintained.

And finally, here is a painting I made for my friend back in Halmstad. I had so many unfinished paintings under my bed and she said that I should finish them one day. She particularly liked this one so I made it for her.

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My portrait of Frida Kahlo

Holidays in Halmstad


I came to Halmstad in the rain. It was such a relief. In Germany, it had been over 30°C pretty much the last four weeks. I arrived in Halmstad and it was 14°C and rain. What a gift!

halmstad3
I realised today that it is actually exactly one year ago that I moved to Halmstad for my semester abroad. And now, I’m here again…

My dear friend picked me up from the station and going through the city I thought: Hey, I know this! These are the paths I used to walk in winter. It’s only eight months ago but it seems like an eternity.

I remember the vintage shop that always looked closed but had lots of furniture in it, I remember the bakery always advertising for its cinnamon buns, I remember the main street and its cute little cafés, I remember the balcony on the third floor of this gorgous old house that we sang Christmas songs on for the Christmas fair, I remember the paths along the river Nissan which I walked so often to clear my head and to find my peace again.

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I remember all of these, and yet, everything is new. The scenery itself hasn’t changed much: Trees have been cut down, buildings have appeared, the bus station has been relocated. But apart from that, it has remained the same since I left.

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It’s still Halmstad as I know it and that gives me a lot of comfort. I have changed and I look upon the world with a lot more happiness now, with a lot more gratefulness for what is, and with a lot more acceptance of what was and what will be. That has changed. And thus, my view on the city.

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We have had a wonderful time together. It was great to visit my friends again, see where they live now. It is such a calm neighbourhood with little lakes and lots of green around. A great place to live in.

We played Frisbeegolf in the forest (I can’t play golf and I throw a frisbee three metres, but not straight ahead but to the right or left, so perfect sport for me), we took long walks, visited friends and had great food, we went to my friend’s parent’s house for the weekend and had such a relaxing time there, and there was a lot of Fika. Absolutely wonderful times.

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It was a time to connect to my base again. I came home for a week. Home to friends and home to a city that is dear to my heart. I’m so grateful for the warm welcome that I received.

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And here’s a little extra for you: I drew a little birthday wish for my friend Eva yesterday. So if you are reading this, and are also called Eva and it happened to be your birthday in the last time, then All the Best to You My Friend! ❤

Closing a Chapter


Today is my last day here in Germany, which feels really strange.

I finally got all my papers last week. A friend of mine and I went to Cottbus for the last time and picked them up. We took some pictures in front of our main study hall where three years ago it all had started. We had met in a chemistry pre-course, where we tried to brush up on our knowledge. I can’t say that it worked but at least, we became friends during that week.

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Got my papers!

And all the wonderful things we had done together in our little group of four: We shoveled 2m deep holes in the frozen forest ground for soil science, we participated in a resource simulation where we all played different countries dealing with resources and trying to protect the environment. We lay at the lake with little paper notes with all the exam knowledge on them and at one point just lost it and ran into the lake screaming because our brains were overfilled. We took a road trip together to visit a friend of ours in Poland and the little yellow car we drove in nearly broke down at one point and we stood on the highway and didn’t really know what to do and the situation was at the same time frightening and utterly hilarious. We walked three hours in the boiling heat through the forest and finally went into a valley where mosquitos were eating us up and our professor asked three of the guys to build a hole in the ground so that we could find lignite. Oh, the crazy things we have done. They have been great.

Yesterday, we had a little celebration/ goodbye party with friends and family. I will miss them so much but I’m so grateful that I always have a place to come back to. For Fika, I made some Chokladbollar, aka chocolate balls, which are non-bake vegan Swedish treats.

chokladbollar
You make them out of oats, cocoa powder, vegan butter, and sugar. Then you form the dough and put them in a bowl of cocos. You refrigerate them for a few hours and then they have the absolute perfect consistency and temperature for a warm summer afternoon.

It was also a time of finishing pieces. For example, I painted this clock for my family, for the kitchen:

clock

And then I made a new portrait of Meryl. Because… Meryl. Obviously.

meryl

This has pretty much been my week. Lots of packing, organising, bringing paintings to people, and a tiny bit of celebration along the way. I have to say I’m really nervous right now, I even feel stressed out. I know that I will be fine and that I cannot plan every detail about my next few months, especially since I’m not even in Sweden yet. But my brain is trying to and thus hits a wall. I think I’ll make myself a cup of tea now, put on some music, and try to calm down for a while. And then, back to packing and cleaning and running around the house with fifteen different items piled on top of each other so that I don’t even see my feet anymore. It’s fun, this wandering life. But it can also be quite challenging. Nevertheless, I’m so grateful to be able to live it.