In February I wrote this, as I thought about leaving Santa Barbara...

"Many who live here consider the weather to be the best part about this beautiful place. And I might leave it for somewhere, as described by it's locals, that is truly amazing except for one bad thing: the weather.

I'm reveling in the 50 and 60 something degree (F) days, sometimes 70+, that we call winter. But I'm also trying to convince myself that these are not non-negotiables for a content life. I'm trying to make myself believe that I wouldn't miss them desperately if they were gone. Because weather isn't everything... right?"

When I was much younger I would even wonder how one could live as happily as I had if they'd grown up in a place with cold bitter winters. I couldn't shake the feeling that those who hadn't grown up where I had were missing out.

Since I've been planning to come to Sweden, when people mention the winter, I've just gravely shook my head and said that I honestly didn't know how I'd make it through. I saw it as something to be survived. As I've been here, during the fall, I've heard many comments from Swedes such as "Oh you think October can be cold? Just wait. You think those shoes will get you past December? They won't!"

Yes. I know. Believe me. I've mentally prepared myself for it to be Antarctica here. I need no warnings.

But the past several weeks since winter really started have been transformational for me. It's been the coldest December in Sweden in 100 years. Still, I'm absolutely charmed.

Sometimes my toes are so cold I think they might fall off. After biking home the other night, my thickly gloved hands were so freezing I had tears in my eyes. But I am, overall, loving winter. I have a nice coat and I'm doing fine. Whenever I walk downtown or to school, I usually pass an elementary school playground. I've been seeing kids outside slipping and sliding and sledding and making snowmen. When I'm out at night with friends, spontaneous snowball fights break out. The snow is so bright, soft, and quiet.

And I've realized that while I was growing up where I did, I was missing out too.


  1. Glad to hear you are having such a fun adventure over there! BTW, I love that photo at the top of your blog (swinging in the sunset). Beautiful.
    xoxo Jos


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