I stayed in 3 different cities in Sweden: the beautiful capital of Stockholm, the quaint and cozy small town of Jönköping, and the always exciting Gothenburg. In each city, I stayed with and meet up with various friends that showed me around the city and took me to all the great local places.
Sweden has so much beauty to offer: beautiful nature (so many parks, rocky islands, colors on the trees, even sightings of moose and deer...), beautiful cities (old architecture, eclectic shops, and the cutest cafes), and beautiful people. I mostly love that there is so much green everywhere in the cities! And fika (coffee and treat time with friends) and godis (bulk candy bought by the kilo) need to be more regular events in my life :) I feasted on traditional Swedish foods (meatballs, lingon berry, boiled potatoes, pancakes, salmon, shrimp salad, and even kebab pizza) and spent a lot of time catching up with old friends and making new ones.
During my stay, I learned a few Swedish words, but my favorite is the word lagom. It doesn't have a direct English translation, but it basically means: just enough, just right, in moderation, or in balance. This is a word that definitely describes the Swedish culture, and also defines my stay in Sweden. The Swedish people do everything in moderation and seem to have a real balance in life. Whether it's eating just the right amount of food, having just the right amount of coffee, spending just the right amount of time with friends, or having a balance between work and pleasure, the philosophy infiltrates the culture in so many different ways. And it describes my visit as well: it was just right. A pleasant stay that was balanced between fun and relaxation that left me feeling balanced, rested, and energized. I want to I have more lagom in my everyday life. And although it was "just right", maybe my stay in Sweden still feels just a little too short. I know I will return someday, but maybe next time it will be in the summer; I could go for a little warmer weather....but still... lagom!