Right now, while writing this blog, I am sitting at Arlanda airport, gazing at the screen to shout “boarding”. You might be wondering, why is this worth mentioning, everyone does that. Well, I travel a lot too, but this time it is different, I’m going to India for the first time since I moved to Stockholm. So yeah, after 517 days of being away from home I finally am going to India, though I have just a week, but the list of things to do is endless.
Living at the same place for 500ish days might sound like just a number, though for me, this changed the spelling of Stockholm to StockHOME. The time I’ve spent here since I moved has been the most eventful and maybe the most career redefining period of my life so far. I’ve done everything in bits and pieces, starting from following professional interests to following my personal passions. I’ve been able to check off a lot of to-do lists in this time and hopefully, it stays on a rise. There are some things, that have been unique and the highlights of this time.
The crazy-eventful first 24 hours
Normally, when anyone moves to a new place, there’s a simple set of events that happen Takeoff-Landing-settling at the new place. But my day was set to be a roller coaster ride, right after my parents and friends dropped me at the airport, I discovered that my luggage was overweight, this was followed by one hour trying to resolve an argument between the airline staff and a friend who was traveling with me. This resulted in us being late to board the plane; in a hurry, I forgot my passport at the security check, luckily didn’t lose it, we were the last people to board the plane.
This was not the worst thing after I reached Stockholm. After I landed, I was in the awe of the beauty of this place and pleasant August weather. I collected the keys and started traveling towards my apartment, and then the “perfect” tragedy happened. I dropped my wallet in the metro. I lost all my cards, money and was left with just some money in my bag. So maybe the first day wasn’t exactly how I imagined it to be.
Being a Blogger
Following the not-so-good first day experience, the rest of the days went fine. I explored the city, made new friends, got to know a new educational system. One weekend, while we were trying to figure out some things for a lab task, my friend told me that KTH is recruiting student bloggers. This reminded me of my long-term interest in blogging, which I hadn’t pursued so far. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to pursue this interest and eventually I got selected too. This might be one of the biggest highlights of being at KTH, as I’ve gotten to know so many interesting people and do some interesting projects like KTH Faces during my time because of being a blogger. The 53K views I’ve gotten in last one year have been overwhelming.
Well, this is the primary reason why I came to Sweden – To study Embedded Systems. And I’ve had a great experience with the different, flexible and more practical educational system. If you ask me what I enjoyed most, I’ll say working on projects. I’ve always liked that and when I had a choice to craft my programme, I chose to take as much project based courses as I could and even worked on projects outside the regular courses. Which was hugely made possible because of having a lab like Mentorspace which had everything we needed with a 24-hour access. I even ended up being the project manager in one of the course projects, which was a different experience.
Family away from home
I have met a lot of amazing people since I moved to Stockholm. Yet my close friend circle has been my family all the time. From celebrating festivals to traveling to places. From training at the gym to playing badminton. From going to parties to cooking mega-meals. It has been the same group of people all the time, pulling each others’ legs without missing a chance.
This is one of my interests that developed into a hobby since I came to Sweden. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed cooking, and so have my friends enjoyed it. Now that I’m going away, my friends are more worried about food than me.
A “few” things we cooked when I invited friends for dinner on Diwali.
A question that has been frequently asked from me is Why did you decide to come to Sweden, and my usual answer is Because I am a photographer and wanted to travel. Which is partially true as well.
I used to travel somewhere since my bachelor’s days every six months after the semester exams ended. When I came to KTH, I realized that four study periods means 4 exam seasons, so four potential traveling excuses every year. I have exploited those post-exam weeks quite well. I managed to use the Schengen permit quite well and have been to 14 European countries so far. Next on list are Iceland, Portugal, and Netherlands…and practically all the countries in green on this map.
Overall, I have enjoyed my 500 days in Stockholm very well and hope to have a nice time in Gonthenburg too.