Karolina Mazetyte

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I moved to Sweden in the end of July and during my first 3 months in Eskilstuna (a little town near Stockholm) I felt like a stranger, as if I was not belonging to that city. I was overwhelmed by silence and peacefulness of the city. Sounds strange, right? Some people are dreaming about such life, while I was dreaming about a life in a big city.

To give you a better insight about me and my life before moving to Sweden. I was living in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania and if you can imagine a ‚,social animal‘‘, a person who is networking and socializing 24/7, it was me. Every day I was in a different event with different people and I felt so alive until one day when I realized that I don‘t have any energy left to wake up in the morning, and not talking about work or motivation to do something.

So one day in July I found myself in Sweden where I knew only my partner, where time with myself became my major occupation. Probably for the first time in my life. Life in Eskilstuna was the opposite of my life in Vilnius. It felt unreal, as if it was happening not with me.

I started observing myself and the environment I am now living in. I also started learning everyday something new about Sweden, its people and culture. From eating canellbulle (cinamon rolls) for which Sweden even has a special day, celebrating midsummer day in a Swedish way, meaning eating a lot of good food or simply finding cultural similarities and differences between Sweden and Lithuania.

I found it fascinating that two countries are so close to each other and so different, and similar at the same time. These months became not only a discovery of Sweden, but even more of myself. Most importantly I learnt a very important lesson in the life: ‘‘Being alone is not equal feeling lonely‘‘. I didn‘t change my nature of being a social person, but I learnt how to be on my own and don‘t feel pitty for it, but enjoy.

I started doing everything for what I didn‘t have time before, but what I always wanted to do, - biking, going for long walks, reading books, cooking food at home rather than going out to a restaurant, taking my camera and remembering my passion for photography, meditating more and even going to the gym. Suddenly I had so much time that I had to think what next do I want to do. And the best part is that all this almost didn‘t cost me any money. Life in Eskilstuna reminded me about the joy of living a simple life, because the best things in life are for free.

Today I am returning to Sweden after 1 month of meditation in Thailand and I feel that I am coming back home. To be honest I was never feeling so much at home like I am feeling there. I am still learning Swedish and understanding the way of life of Swedes, but what I realized is that:

Your home is where you feel home, no matter how are your external conditions or what people say about it. Until you give back to the country and the society which is welcoming you, you can proudly say that you are a local there. Until we follow our heart and inner feeling, we will find happiness anywhere we go.



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