Contrasting the bustling lifestyle of London, Sweden appeared to be a land in limbo. Despite being a major city, Stockholm was calm, it was simple, and it was clean. Every story you've heard about Sweden is true as it seemingly jumps out of a picturesque storybook. I became instantly transfixed by the beauty and culture Sweden had to offer. I am desperately trying to learn the language so that one day I may move to this fairy tale. I fell so desperately in love with this city, one might even call it a Swedish love affair.
Nestled in the Swedish hills nearing the edge of Stockholm lies Skavsta, an airport that was seemingly forgotten. Upon landing it became apparent that this city was one straight from a storybook. Pine trees rose to the sky in seemingly endless forests, creating a distinct parting between heaven and earth. Cottages of crimson, dark amber, and honey stood proudly against their cool surroundings like a lit match against the dark. Unlike barns, the American eyesore, the warm hues of the Swedish homes were comforting as if to welcome the owner home from the cold landscape.
Contrasting the beige/white color palates of American homes and European apartments, Swedish homes and commercial buildings alike donned stunning shades of yellow and red. Winters in Minnesota and London punish its inhabitants with brutal cold and drab weather unlike Stockholm despite being mid-winter. It wasn't that just this that made the city so enticing, the people and culture stood unique. While exploring the city, the quality and care put into public spaces became visible to visitors. Parks were taken care of and full of Swedes gathered together. Instead of hanging out in someone's home, Swedish people tend to go outdoors or meet in common places.
Unlike many other cultures, Swedes focus on creating a happy lifestyle rather than filling their lives with senseless products. Stores feature products that are more expensive but are handcrafted of recyclable or reusable materials, rather than cheap single-use trinkets. This is a lifestyle which can and should be adopted into other cultures around the world. Having a reinvented consumer culture would have great impacts on cities and the environment as a whole.