Outside of the cities, Sweden is mostly very green and untouched terrain: mountainous regions and wide valleys and colorful savannahs cover most of Sweden. The scenery is, to put it plainly, spectacular, with breathtaking landscapes almost everywhere.
The fact that most of Sweden is made of rocks and mountains also turn Sweden into one of the least populated countries in Europe. Only Iceland and Norway have less people per square mile than Norway. This means that you don’t have to go very far outside the cities before you’re out of the populated areas. In most places, less than an hour of walking out of the city centre will get you into semi-wilderness.
This chance is at the premium for ones like me who lived in very populous cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Taking the bike and riding 30 mins are the only things to do if you really want to escape from people and city life in Sweden. When I have tried to do this, I noticed that Swedes do live in the strangest of places, often quite far away from city centres as well. You’ll be surprised at the kind of places it is possible to build a house. It is, say the least of it, a treasure for me.
There is a motto among Istanbulers about the city: “They call it chaos, we call it home.” It is very commonly used and very descriptive words for Istanbul. However, is it always good to live in a chaos aka. home?
Well… – I don’t think so.
Before coming to Sweden, Uppsala, I have spent my years in Istanbul. Obviously, it is one of the cultural hubs of the world with tremendous amount of options for your every second. Istanbul is more than a city for the ones who know how to live. Besides all of these thrilling characteristics, the chaos itself in the motto is a fact for Istanbulers. Traffic, people in a mad rush and more than 15 millions people can put some setbacks for you. Sometimes, you need a break from all of these. On the other hand, Sweden, with its spectacular nature and colorful autumn, is a perfect destination for living in the peace. The country, itself, has cleared my mind and has given me a new life style that I did not have before: Spending time with Mother Nature.
Many Swedes have getaway cabins in more remote areas, and head there during vacations and national holidays. These are often very simple accommodations, with bunk beds, no running water and outdoor toilets. These cabins are also available for students and internationals if you book them quite a while before you go.
I have also adapted to this life style very quickly. I prefer going to a cabin with friends and mates to spend time together. It has to be remembered that cabin life in rural consists of social interaction with family, friends and significant other. If nothing else, as a part-Swede, I can take long and demanding hikes. At the end of the day, you will have fantastic memories and stories to tell. It is not important that stories contains friends or not. 🙂
For the ones who plan to do what I do: Preparation is always a key word. Becoming an experienced hiker takes time. Make sure you know where you are going, and remember that you are responsible for your own safety. Do not take extra risks – and familiarise yourself with the nature, flowers, berries; be aware of poisonous ones.