This week marks two years of my time in Sweden and it has been an amazing journey. The primary reason is attributed to the culture and lifestyle followed in Sweden. I ended up falling in love with the culture and the life I was building myself here. I felt comfortable in numerous ways with many of the nuances and quirks of Swedish culture. In this blog post, I write about the cultural differences that make Sweden one of the most ideal places to stay.
Striking a Work-Life Balance
I had read about the balanced work environment and I am glad I got to experience it first hand on many occasions. Work is considered to be just one aspect of the day along with several other activities and hobbies. It is common to have long vacations, especially during the summer season. The employee-friendly policies by every company also support striking this balance.
Prioritising Health and Fitness
On a cold, dark winter day or a hot sunny summer afternoon, I can always see several Swedes on the sidelines exercising or taking a run. This sight is a main motivation for me to put on the running shoes as well every morning despite the extreme weather conditions. Swedes prioritise maintaining their fitness and this enthusiasm is contagious.
Well Connected Public Transport
Sweden has a well connected public transport system, especially Stockholm. I have never had to use a taxi (which is expensive as a student) in the city because public transportation is quite efficient. Many people prefer using public transport instead of owning a vehicle. Students also can avail student discounts while using public transport making it more affordable.
Lagom in Swedish means not too much, not too little, just the right amount. This philosophy applies to every aspect and area of life. There is a type of everyday organisation here that makes things run smoothly. In a work environment plans are made far in advance, time management is given importance and meetings are kept where it is important. Fika breaks are also quite common in between work to avoid overdoing. A similar philosophy works at home and other areas of life.
People love Coffee
If you the kind of person who drinks and bleeds coffee, then you will blend in well. Most people run on coffee, so you will get a wide variety of the best coffee in Sweden, even in local stores.