Thursday, January 15, 2015

A long hiatus

I hope you find that what I will link we be an enjoyable read.  I stumbled across it earlier today and this other blogger's post resonated so much with me that I felt I had to share it on my very own blog.  If you're truly interested in what it's like to live abroad - this is it.

17 Things that Change Forever When You Live Abroad

I find that all of them apply, but especially numbers 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 14 really hit home with me.  I would say most definitely that those capture parts of my experience living abroad in Sweden.  I've now lived here for 4 years and just over 2 months. Even thinking back to the beginning of my time here is beginning to feel like "a long time ago".

What happened since last April?  Recap.  I had one month of vacation in June, most of which I spent on a family vacation in Greece with my in-laws and the last 2 weeks at home in Ohio.  I came back to Sweden and worked for 1.5 months before beginning my studies at Handelshögskolan (The School of Business) at Göteborgs Universitet (University of Gothenburg, or Gothenburg University, I'm not sure how they translate it).  I'm studying Samhällsvetenskapligt Miljövetarprogram, aka Environmental Science with a focus in societal science.  Studying in Swedish is not nearly as intimidating or scary as I thought it might be (mainly because I thought writing papers would be super difficult, but I find that is not the case, happily).  Next week begins the second semester of the year.

Over Christmas break J and I decided to completely skip Christmas this year and take a week long sun vacation on Gran Canaria (the Canary Islands off the coast of western Africa).  It was much needed.  I find each winter gets more and more, yes I dare say it, depressing.  I have a self-diagnosed case of seasonal depression.  Somewhere in between late October and early November, the clouds roll in.  Not just individual clouds, but an entire blanket of clouds.  It's one giant gray mass that covers the sky 90% of the time in winter, I'd be willing to bet.  Apparently this year was even more extreme, as Gothenburg's amount of sunny hours during the month of November amounted to something like 20 hours.  According to a quick Google search, the average amount of sunny hours in November for Gothenburg should be 58.  Some people may think it's not such a big deal, but I find that my brain is especially dependent upon the sun!  J seems not to be affected, but maybe that's because he was raised in Sweden.  I look very much forward to springtime and the days getting longer and longer.  Currently it's light for about 6-7 hours a day, and as you can guess, it's usually a constant, dim grey light.  So, as stated, running away to the sun over Christmas was much needed indeed!

And that about sums it up as quickly as I could manage.  Had a wonderful summer, school started and I've met a lot of new people and have needed to adjust to becoming a student again (I admit I miss working and having a set routine and making $$$).  Christmas came and went in a blink, and here we are in cold, grey, wet snow/raining January.  Hope this post finds you well!