Moving to Sweden
Hello 2017 and hello Sweden!
We made it! We survived the very long flight (30 hours in total) with a 2, 4 and 6-year-old that went on for 416 days according to Miss 6.
We’d left Sydney on New Years Eve and with the help of my family, arrived at the airport 4 hours before departure. (Concerned by NYE traffic into the city, we left plenty of wiggle room. Plenty.)
Five suitcases with 130 kg’s of luggage, 3 car seats, 6 carry-ons, a double pram, a teddy bear, a unicorn and ‘Pigga’. Everyone at the airport was super friendly and efficient and we were done and dusted through security at 3 hours before departure. We arrived at the AMEX lounge at 2.59 minutes before departure.
Well it is a quite a logistical feat to move a family of 5 across the globe and many hands are needed. Hands are needed to keep the 3 piglets fed and watered, hands are needed to pack up boxes, hands are needed to put on sunscreen and hands are needed to call Sweden to prepare everything for our arrival. We had so much love and support from family and friends in the weeks prior to departure that it would never of worked without our village right behind us. Blessed!
On our last day, my sister-in-law didn’t even bat an eyelid when I dumped all our remaining crap at her house. By then, everything had been shipped and we couldn’t carry anything more on the plane with us, yet somehow the car was still full of ‘stuff’. ‘If you don’t want any of it um… just get rid of it somehow… bye for now’. Her Christmas dreams had come true. Of course she had been dying for some plastic Alladin kids plates, a spare Optus wifi modem, dead random electrical things and a free picnic blanket that I’d picked up at my last job.
We arrived at lunch time to gentle nordic sunlight and the arms of loving and happy grandparents. Hugs and balloons and overtired kids running around the arrivals hall. When I hugged my parent-in-laws I had the overwhelming feeling that everything would be o.k.
Two cars were needed to transport us out of there. After being inside a plane for so long, the crisp fresh air was a relief. A mild 8ºC, it was a good transition from summer to winter.
We drove straight to our new townhouse, direct from the airport. STAT. We had been bursting to see it after buying it in early December, without ever setting foot in it. And we still couldn’t set foot in it as we didn’t have the keys, but we could certainly peek in the windows.
It was love at first sight! Down a little laneway dusted in snow, past rows of the cutest houses with Christmas lights still twinkling, we arrived at #86. Could this really be ours? Is this where we would build our home? It was so peaceful and quite. It was like a fairytale. It was magic. High on hill, in the middle of city, surrounded by trees and birdsong. We’d finally found our home.
And before we were picked up by the police for trespassing, we jumped back in the car and traveled further south to the townhouse we would be renting for the next 3 months. And a big bed.
The grandparents had prepared everything so perfectly! We arrived at our temporary townhouse to find that it was completely set up for us, with a fridge full of food and everything that would make our arrival smooth. My mother-in-law had even brought down extra Christmas food, how lovely was that! With the snow outside and twinkling lights, the festive season continued.
Jet lag city, we woke at 4am and gathered around the kitchen table for breakfast. The girls were fascinated by the snow, and I was fascinated by the fact that it was -16ºC outside yet we were walking around in t-shirts. I love a well-insultated house with triple glazed windows.
By 8am we were ready for another nap. While gazing out into the darkness Miss 2 asked me, ‘Is it the middle of the night?’ to which I replied, ‘No darling, it’s the middle of the morning in the middle of winter. Welcome to Sweden.’