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expat

Roaming the Streets in Malmö, Sweden

I’ve officially spent 3 weeks in Malmö. In some ways, it feels like I just got here. In other ways, it feels like I’ve been here forever. I’ve settled right in and I’m starting to feel like a local in this city. We’ve done so much in three weeks, including furnishing an entire apartment, a day trip to Copenhagen, spending time with friends and family, and the list goes on.

You’ve asked for a life update. So, here it is.

Here’s some of the things I’ve been up to during my first 3 weeks in Malmö.

Furnished Our Apartment

I have spent more time at Ikea in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life. With that being said, we officially have all the essentials. We still need to put some pictures on the walls, but the place is coming along. Here’s a few sneak peaks our our little hygge-infused Nordic oasis.

Spent a Day in Copenhagen

Last Saturday, we took the train over to Copenhagen to spend the day exploring the city. We walked 28,000 steps all around the city, checking out new neighbourhoods, have patio coffees/drinks, and indulging in some Nordic cuisine. It was 12 degrees Celsius and sunny, which made it the absolute perfect day to just roam. I can’t wait to spend more time here once the weather gets nicer and the days get longer. I am so obsessed with everything about this city.

In case you missed it, I wrote about ‘The Most Instagrammable Places in Copenhagen’ – you can read all about it here.

Explored my Own Backyard

I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with my new city, especially during the day while Sebastian is at work [in between hunting for jobs of course!]. I finally feel like I’m able to get around without relying exclusively on Google Maps. And I’m starting to find all my favourite restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. I’ve had fika dates with new friends, found a yoga community I truly love, and am feeling more and more like a local every single day.

Spent Time with Friends & Family

We’ve been spending lots of time with friends since I arrived, catching up with so many of Sebastian’s friends that I haven’t seen in over a year. Last night, we hosted a small house-warming get together with friends, enjoyed drinks, lots of laughs, and I introduced the group to the game Werewolf [if you don’t know about this game, you NEED to].

I’m so grateful for the friends and family who have welcomed me with open arms, accommodated my lack of Swedish-speaking skills, and made this transition as easy as possible.

Flowers in Malmö Sweden

That’s It for Now!

Stay tuned for more updates and blog posts coming soon. I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you!

xx,

Madeline

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Lilla torg, Malmö

Canadian Expat // Canadian Expat in Sweden // Life in Sweden as a Canadian Expat

Hey everyone! I’ve been getting a lot of requests for a week one update. How have I been settling in? What have I been up to? How is Screech (my cat) adjusting? I’m officially unpacked, caught up on sleep, and I’m dishing all the details with my week one update about life in Malmö, Sweden.

How’s Life in Sweden?

Simply put: GREAT. I’m finding my bearings in this new city and so far I’m really enjoying it. From a cultural perspective, life Canada and Sweden is similar.

Malmö
Exploring my new neighbourhood

Perhaps the biggest difference from home is that Malmö is a fairly densely populated city which means I can get virtually anywhere I need to go by foot within 20-30 minutes. It is also an extremely bike-friendly city and I’m planning to get my own bike soon so I can REALLY fit in with the locals. I absolutely love that driving is discouraged, and that between public transit and shared pathways, getting around this city is a breeze.

We’re also settling into our brand new apartment. Although we’ll be living in the midst of a construction zone for a bit as the new neighbourood develops, the apartment itself is beautifully modern and the location is central. Being brand new, the developers really thought of it all. And after living in a 100 year old (very charming) apartment, the small luxuries of a brand new space are so exciting. We’ve been to Ikea three times so far, as well as antique shops and local stores, and are having so much fun decorating the space. I can’t wait to share with you our little Scandinavian oasis in the next few weeks!

Day to day life has been great. I’m spending my unemployed days searching for work (leads, anyone?), writing, wandering, and unpacking/getting organized. As someone who has always had a job, I was admittedly a bit worried about unemployment but so far, I have kept very busy. I’ve even been going to classes at an international yoga studio right around the corner from my apartment called Yoga Roots.

Yoga Studio
Yoga Roots Yoga Studio

Finally, my cat Screech is doing great and has officially adjusted to her new life in Sweden. The overseas move went way better than I could have ever hoped for [I truly was prepared for the absolute worst]. I’m going to post more about this in a separate post, providing guidance on how to move a cat overseas. I realize that this doesn’t apply to many of my readers, but it is a resource that seemed to be lacking when I was doing my own research, so I want to share some of my tips with others.

What Have I Been Up To?

I’ve spent a lot of time exploring Malmö this past week. Here are a few highlights.

Swedish Coffee

Everyone has told me that Sweden has an incredible coffee culture. And while most days I’ve tried to make coffee at home to save money, I have definitely had my fair share of fika time. Verdict: the coffee definitely lives up to the hype.

Noir Coffee, Malmö
Noir Coffee, Malmö

Food Culture

I’ve also spent some time getting to know the food culture in Malmö. Aside from ordering sushi (twice), we’ve ventured out to explore a few different restaurants and bars. My favourite experience was at Malmö Saluhall, an indoor marketplace with food vendors and restaurants. We picked up a few take-home goodies [including a traditional Sweden dessert called Semla] and ate ramen at Pink Head Noodle Bar – it was fantastic.

Pink Head Noodle Bar Malmö Saluhall
Pink Head Noodle Bar, Malmö Saluhall

Stay tuned for more on the food culture, I’m going to have so much more to share soon including some highlights from Copenhagen this upcoming weekend!

Shopping

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to shop. I’ve been lusting over Scandinavian-inspired clothes at so many local shops, but I’m resisting the urge to buy until I have a job. So window shopping it is!

Another thing I’m obsessing over: Scandi-inspired interior design. I fell in love with a local store called AB Småland this past weekend. I honestly wanted to buy everything in the store for our apartment, so thankfully I had Sebastian with me to be the practical voice of reason. We settled on a couple rugs for the bedroom, and I can’t wait to go back and buy lots of little plants once we have some shelving in place.

AB Småland, Malmö
AB Småland, Malmö

That’s it for my one week update on life in Sweden!

We’re spending this Saturday in Copenhagen, and have a couple upcoming trips planned that I can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, in case you missed it, check out some of my other city guides here.

xx,

Madeline

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Gothenburg Sweden

Yes, you heard that right – Sweden. I have been planning this move for awhile now, and I am so excited to finally be able to share the news with everyone! I’ve created this blog as a way to share my stories and experiences with everyone back home, and I think it’ll be the perfect creative outlet for me as I move into this exciting phase of my life.

So, why Sweden? What are my plans for work? Where will I be living? I’ve gotten so many questions about my move & I’m spilling all the tea. 


Why Sweden? 

Gothenburg, Sweden. December 2017.

Since we first met over a year and a half ago, we have visited eight countries together and managed to spend roughly three months together throughout 2018 despite living on opposite sides of the world.

When we began to talk our plans to end this LDR in 2019, the solution seemed clear. I was feeling a bit stuck in my  9-5 job, and always regretted not living internationally before I entered the corporate world when I was only 21 years old. Living in Europe for awhile, with significantly more vacation time and many travel destinations only a short/affordable flight way, seemed like the perfect opportunity to check a few items off my bucket list.

And so, I began planning my move to Sweden…


Mölle, Sweden. December 2017.

Where will I be living?

Malmö, Sweden. December 2017.

I’m moving to Malmö, which is Sweden’s third largest city. This vibrant city has so much to offer, with benefits that go far beyond it being a border city to Copenhagen [although, with Copenhagen being one of my favourite cities ever, this is a huge bonus]. I’m so excited to explore the city by bike, find my new favourite coffee shops for fika [a Swedish verb meaning “coffee break”], and attempt to learn a little bit of Swedish.

If you’re interested in learning more about Malmö and southern Sweden, I plan on writing a detailed city guide after I get settled, and I can’t wait to share it with you!


Will I be Working in Sweden?

That’s the plan! I have acquired a one-year work visa, which makes me eligible to accept employment opportunities once I arrive in Malmö. However, I’m moving there jobless which is a very scary feeling as a person who has always been very career-focused.

Many people have asked me about the visa process, and all I have to say is that I am very thankful that I am Canadian. As a Canadian under 30, it was very easy to obtain a one-year working visa. Sweden offers this program to citizens of a few different countries. If you’re interested in learning more, shoot me a message and I can send you some information.


And the Most Common Question: When am I Leaving?

My official date of departure is February 2nd. Soon, I know! I’m spending the rest of the month packing up a few boxes that I plan to ship overseas and moving my other belongings into storage – I cannot believe how much stuff I have accumulated over the past five years. After binge watching ‘Tidying Up’ on Netflix, I’m channeling my inner Marie Kondo and let me tell you – it feels so great to purge!

This month is extremely bittersweet as I say some difficult goodbyes to my incredibly supportive friends & family, wrap things up at a job that has provided me countless opportunties over the past six years, and prepare my cat Screech for a transatlantic flight [you didn’t think I would leave her behind, did you?].

With that being said, I am so incredibly excited for this adventure and can’t wait to share it with you. And remember, visitors are always welcome! 

xx,

Madeline

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