When I decided to move I told myself that I would travel every weekend, as much as I could. And on the weekends I was in London I would spend doing London Things. During my first couple of months in England my weekends were generally spent hiding in my room, not doing things, and not trying to do things. Eventually, I snapped out of it, started doing “London Things” whatever that means, and a couple of weeks ago I took my first trip abroad since moving my life across the Atlantic.
When I told people I was going to Sweden for my Easter break, they were either slightly confused or eagerly enthusiastic. The people who had never been to Sweden wanted to know why I would go to Sweden “what is there?” they cried, “why choose somewhere colder than here when it is so nice out right now?”. The people who had been to Sweden would instantly jump into tales of how fantastic the country is and how much they love it. My trip, however, was not influenced by the weather, or even by the attractions of the country if I’m being honest. My trip was for the sole purpose of spending some time with some people I had never met before.
I’ve written about my keyboard-pal Miriam before. She and I have been friends for almost six years. (Quite possibly more, we were never quite able to pin that down.) And since I was finally on the same continent, only a short flight away, I had no excuse not to get my butt over there and finally meet her.
I was a bit nervous; Miri and I had sent emails back and forth to each other for years, an in that time we had Skyped, and sent YouTube videos to each other, and added each other on Facebook, so I knew she was who she said she was, but there was this nagging worry of “what if we just aren’t the same in real life?”. The minute I got there, that worry was set aside. Miri met me at the airport with a huge hug and it was as if we had been real friends the whole time. As if we lived across the street from each other, it’s just that our street was 4,000 miles wide.
During my time in Sweden I was introduced to a new country, a new culture, new foods, new sights to see, new friends, and one Old Friend.