The Swedest Time
We are back on the road again after 9 days in the Nordics; a quick 2 nights in Oslo and then a full week in Sweden. Meghan has family friends in Sweden that took us in and spoiled us for a wonderful week of relaxation.
With the exception of the last 2 days which we spent in Stockholm, we stayed the week in Falkoping, a small farm town in the southern part of the country. Our days were spent at the gym, boxing and doing yoga, and watching movies by candle light while drinking hot chocolate and eating ginger bread cookies. It was very sweet. Our host, Linnea, could not be any more of a doll and she made sure we were enjoying ourselves. Her entire family took time to make us feel welcome and proudly show us around their towns. I'm always amazed at the generosity of others and so grateful that I have these opportunities.
If you kept up with my blog while I was in Asia then you know I love me some relaxation time! I think that's been the hardest adjustment while traveling in Europe. It is constantly go go go and with only a few days in each city we are always on some sort of agenda...even if that means wandering aimlessly for hours which is usually what we do. I miss my multiple hour spa treatments and days spent laying around on the beach in south east Asia. Maybe hopping on a scooter and finding a waterfall to jump in or spending a day bathing elephants. I fell in love with traveling for many reasons but the main one was that it caused me to slow down, to stop planning. Coming from the northeastern part of America I naturally live a very fast paced life. Always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to see. During my 7 months in Asia, I adopted a different mentality. One where I didn't make plans more than one day in advance and even that felt constricting. Because prices are so cheap and they don't change, there was never a need to book onward travel in advance. I could take my time enjoying my surroundings and when I felt ready to move on, I would book a ticket to the next destination. Europe is different. Tickets have to be booked in advance for risk of the price inevitably increasing. Which means we have limited time in each place and I feel guilty if I ever waste a day lying around and doing nothing. It's an adjustment for sure but I am still having a ball- Meg makes me cry laughing on a daily basis, she's on a roll with the jokes. And 5 days in Sweden where I didn't feel the pressure to be sightseeing and crossing things off a list was exactly what I needed.
But then we got to Stockholm and immediately I felt upset that I didn't have more time to explore. Only 36 hours in the city and I completely fell in love with it. Despite the temperature being too low, I really didn't want to leave. But as I keep telling myself, you can't see everything. The most important thing to me is that I can wander around and just get a feel for a city. Of course certain places have some attractions that are a must see/do but for the most part I am done with playing tourist. It's not who I am and I don't enjoy it. And yes there is a major difference between and traveler and a tourist.
So another morning waking up before sunrise to get to the airport and now we are in Prague. We are both exhausted from traveling and lack of sleep so we didn't bother checking out any of the city today. However we have encountered some not so friendly locals and learned that beer is cheaper than water. We'll see what the next few days have in store for us!