What Happened in Sweden?
I have been back home in Sweden for 2 weeks already and it is time to go back to my Miami “home”. Right this moment, I am sitting on the train on the way to the airport. Gosh, time flew away so fast…
It also moved very slow in regards to my longing for my dear babies; Max and Abigail (picture below). It felt very long and distant until getting those loving dog kisses and happy tail wagging again, but I am almost there now. Pure happiness!
It was also incredible joyful and emotional to meet my family and friends again. 4 years feels like a long time, but at the same time it felt like yesterday to meet all of them. We more or less took off where we left things when I moved. Amazing how you can come back to where you once were in seconds when you have been apart for so long.
This blog post will be more of a picture diary of my visit back home. I will let the images speak for themselves with just a few comments.
Happy reunion – mom and me on one of our daily nature walks. As you can see my mom is in great shape. Mom and dad are walking every day, so I know where I got the love of nature from and the urge to stay active.
The nature in Linkoping (where I grew up), is so green and beautiful. You will see more of Swedish nature in this blog post, since I am a true nature nerd. Proud to be, since nature is where everything started and were people still can breathe fresh air and recharge their bodies.
I wonder how many times I have walked on this path during my lifetime. I use to walk my precious Rottweiler female, Diva, through this forest countless amount of times. Also, my first dog, Rambo, a super smart and so well trained Tervuren. I miss them both so much. My animals are my life!
I grew up with a cat, Emma, and had my own beautiful horse for years. His name was Keribo and he was black and gorgeous. Darn, I was so in love with that horse!
When I grew out of him (got too tall to ride him) and had to sell him to another girl, who could appreciate his incredible skills in jumping, my heart almost bled to death. I stopped everything with horses and started my 20 years long dance career instead by a coincidence.
Beautiful green fields. A cattle farm in sight. Luckily, we still have many of those. I really appreciate that most farmers in Sweden have their cattle outside in nice surroundings where they can eat grass and enjoy life.
Nature on one of my forest walks. I love it!
Swedish smorblommor – directly translated; butter flowers.
This is the house I grew up in and its enormous back yard. I have so many memories here. Mom and dad used to have lots of land, so we had a rather deep and big forest where me, my brother, and friends were building tree houses. We had a blast back then.
Mom and dad’s tree hammock. Very comfy. Unfortunately, it was rather cold in the shade so I did not use it this year. The summer has been quite cold in Sweden this far, but thankfully sunny. It was warm the 2 first days when I came, so I had time to prepare a bit at least.
The second day I met my dear friend Johanna. What a happy reunion! Johanna and I have been friends from the age of 16 when we first met in the stables. We had the common interest of horses back then. The both of us switched interest and started dancing 2 years later – you know the reason to my rapid switch of interest already. Johanna took a break only.
After about 3 years with an unstable and a bit crazy dance teacher we started our own dance group, Confusion. We were 4 girls in the group and were performing all around Linkoping. Such good times… we were dope!
Johanna is super smart and ambitious. She has made sure to climb the career latter. I am very proud of her. She has always been a dear best friend that always had my back and protected me from any threats. One time she gave a guy, that was spreading lies about me, a beating so he almost slammed down the floor. Yup, that is my Jonna – I love you girl!
Johanna & me some years ago.
Johanna and me also met at her house some days later, and I got to meet my godchildren; Theo and Ebba. Our mutual friend and previous dance partner, Jenny, came as well (picture further down). It was really good to see her and hang out again all 3 of us.
Theo and Ebba have grown so much. That is when I understand how long I have been away, and it is a bit sad to not follow them and my brother’s kids closer. Although, I have to be where I feel most at ease and happy, and I need the warmth and sun to feel my best.
The 3rd day I met with my best friend and dance partner from the age of 18. Our meeting was very emotional and pure joy. Petra is my true soul- and dance sister and I have missed her so much while being in Miami. Even before Miami we got separated when I moved to the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm, but we could still see each other quite often at that time.
Petra surprised me with a hotel stay at Linkoping’s finest hotel, Scandic, so we could spend time catching up all to ourselves. Such an incredible sweet thing to do. This memory will stay with me forever! We had so much fun and the hours flew away like lightening.
We talked and talked, and laughed and laughed. We went out eating at a nice restaurant next to Stangan, a kanal which runs from Osterskon to Kattegatt (2 oceans in Sweden). After eating, and with a constant glass of champagne in the hand, we went back to the hotel and continued catching up until we fell asleep.
The hotel breakfast was amazing. We filled the whole table with plates of food. I have not eaten so much in long.
Of course Petra and me also met in the dance studio to dance together (video clip coming soon). Before we started Petra had a class with her dance students – being the awesome dance teacher that she is. She surprised me with announcing that they could have a little question time with me to advise them what to think of when trying to become a professional dancer.
These young talents, 12-14, were so adorable and engaged. They asked me questions like; “how much the dance styles differ between Sweden and the US?” And “how it feels dancing in Miami in general?”
Petra made sure that I would feel extra special and welcomed – an understatement really. She even showed me a recording where she had taught her students a dance routine from one of our bigger dance performances that was dedicated to me. So cute, and they did it amazingly good!
Petra & me back in the days, at least 8 years ago.
So good to see my brother the next day with his fiance’ Kristina, my niece Lilly and my nephew Hugo! A happy moment! I moved to Miami right at the same time Lilly was born, so this was the first time meeting her.
Lilly is exactly 4 years old now, the time I have been away. Such an incredible sweet and happy girl! I was positively surprised that she was not shy to meet me. Lilly almost instantly came to sit on my lap.
I wish I could have spent more time with them. Fortunately my parents were baby sitting the day prior to this as well, so I got to see them twice at least.
Chilly day with mom in Vadstena. A cute town a bit out on the country side with this beautiful castle. We walked over to the regular Wednesday car show, but there was not many people nor cars because of the cold weather I guess.
Last Saturday, I headed up north to Stockholm to see my friends from my old job, DC. This amazing gang have stayed together even after some of us left the company, and we all became good friends. We often hanged out together after work or in the weekend as well.
On the picture to the right you can see me, Mia, Jo (Johanna), Ida (girlfriend to Matthias), Matthias, Philip, and Cristian. I love them all – the best peeps ever!
Cristian had prepared an awesome barbecue and Mia had been baking a delicious strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake. What makes this gang stand out the most is that each and everyone is so caring and thoughtful. They truly care and want the best for one another.
Unfortunately, the 6 hours together flew away and it felt way too short. Even so, I really appreciate this moment, and that they had taken time to come and see me.
I found this 5 year old photo of the gang. With us on this photo is Paolo from DC as well.
I just started crying like baby. I am so touched by a message I got from a woman I have never met, who works at my old job, and that just wanted to send me a message telling me how much my friends care for me and miss me. What a wonderful woman that wanted to give me this gift of love!! I wish that more people would be like her (Lollo) and pay-it-forward.
It is in Swedish, but directly translated it says:
You do not know me, nor have we met, but we have many mutual friends. I am working at.. “(my old job)” hence why.
Life is short and it is all about doing the best of our time and because of this I want you to know. Ever since my first day working here they told me about the pretty, caring, wonderful and wise Stina
I just want you to hear this from a stranger, me. To hear how incredible much you mean to others and how much they love you. Take care of yourself & enjoy life like I understand you already do / xx
I am speechless to say the least. There are not many people that would take the time to actually write a stranger just to make them feel extra good. Lollo will never be considered a stranger to me anymore though, it feels like I already know her.
Lollo, I hope you will get lots of love and blessings in your life. From the bottom of my heart – thank you! I will live on this for long.
Back to my visit with friends in Stockholm… Let us talk about my dear friend Mia. This photo is taken in Cyprus about 6 years ago.
Mia is special to me. We found a true friend in each other very fast. She is unbelievable kind and funny. She is beautiful both on the inside and out. I am always in a good mood laughing when I am with her. She has a heart of gold, and is so good to talk to. With Mia I can share things I normally would not share with many. I wish I could see her more often.
Like with all my wonderful friends back home. I am living on the hope that they will come and visit me some day. I will also have the opportunity to go home and visit more often now when I have a Green Card.
Just a nice sunset on our way home from Stockholm. My mom and dad joined me to go shopping while I was away. I was happy I did not need to drive because I still had yet-lag and had hardly been sleeping in 1.5 weeks. Sweden is 6 hours before the US, so it took until about 3 to 4am Swedish time before I got tired.
I am especially happy that I got to meet my dear aunt, Turid and my cute cousin, Camilla. It was way too long since last.
Camilla is such a kind soul. She has such a big heart that shines through when she talks.
Facebook has been good for us to keep in touch and follow each other’s lives. It makes it easier to stay so far apart with family and friends.
Me and Jenny after a nice power walk. Jenny is a super strong woman that battled breast cancer some years ago.
I was really scared during that time and I felt so bad for her having to go through painful and horrible chemotherapy treatments that made her so sick afterwards.
Jenny impressed me with her positive attitude during this difficult time, and I do strongly believe that it helped her beat cancer and get well again.
I am so glad everything went well and that we are still going strong.
My happiest moment – teaching Petra my new dance routine and get to dance together again! A dance clip from our rehearsals is coming soon.
As you can see my visit home has been eventful and full of happy moments. Tomorrow I will start my journey back to my Miami “home” again and I am so excited to meet my babies. I can hardly wait!!
If I have learn something these 2 weeks, it is that I have true amazing friends in Sweden. Also, that I love my dogs more than anything and that I do not want to be separated from them for one more day. Needless to say, I understand that I have to let go sometimes when there is no way to actually bring them. I will limit those moments.
I hope you have enjoyed following my picture diary. Feel free to comment in the comment section below if you want to share something with me. I would be happy to answer all questions about Sweden, my visit, or whatever else.
Stay happy and blessed!
Update Day of Flying Back to Miami, 06/06/2017:
It was more difficult than I thought to say good bye to my parents this morning. I had a knot in my stomach already when waking up, and I felt sad. I hate that Miami is so far away and that Sweden is not warmer to live.
I have bad conscious that I am not living closer to them, but at the same time Miami feels so right and I am happier than I ever were in Sweden. I know that it is hard on mom and dad when I am leaving and that I chose to live so far away. Despite this, we all tried to be happy waving each other off at the train station. They were just too cute standing there until the train left!
I hope they know that it is not because I do not love them enough to be closer, because I do love them both dearly.
Well, almost time to board the flight now. Talk to you again!
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About the Author
My name is Stina Pettersson. I am the founder of Make a Living from Home in 2017 and the author of the articles on this site. I am originally from Sweden and am currently a business owner to 3 online businesses.
I help people to start their own online business and make a living from home. I am especially fond of helping the stay at home parent, or single parents to increase their income.
I hope I will get the honor to help YOU achieving your online success.
To my other friends I did not have the time to meet this time – you are not forgotten! Next time I will make it up to you.
I Am Truly Grateful for My Family & Friends – Love You All!
True friend & daughter
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