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Guest Writer: Mathilda Hveem - Moving to a new city during the pandemic


My name is Mathilda Hveem, I am 23 years old and I live in Stockholm. Things that bring me joy and inspiration are: my friends, a good hike, and traveling to new places. My topic for this guest writing is “moving to a new city during the pandemic”. Here we go!

As I mentioned, my name is Mathilda Hveem and I’m currently living in Stockholm where I’m studying for my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. The reason why I chose to study in Stockholm was that I wanted to live in a big city again after living in both Los Angeles and New York. I believe that once you have lived in a big city and enjoyed it, it is quite hard to go back to something else.


But let’s take it from the beginning. I have always been a big dreamer. One dream that has been in the center of it all, for as long as I can remember, is living in the U.S. After visiting my sister when she was an au pair, I got inspired to do the same. About a year after I graduated from high school, I moved to Los Angeles to be an au pair, and I had the best time. I actually ended up staying for 1 year and 9 months because I enjoyed it so much. Coming back after this, I felt like I wasn’t done with the U.S. Since I had lived on the West Coast for the entire time, I was very curious about life on the East Coast. This resulted in me moving to New York in September 2019, where I studied English and business. My time in New York ended up being cut short due to COVID-19 but I still had an amazing time. I made so many great memories and met a lot of wonderful people.

After living on and off in the U.S. for almost 2.5 years I felt pretty ready to settle down in Sweden, but I knew it wasn’t going to be in my hometown. Stockholm is another city I have always been curious about and been wanting to explore more, so I thought why not move there and study?


Moving to a new city where you basically don’t know anyone or the city itself, can be terrifying and very stressful. Trust me, I know this after doing it three times. But I also know the outcome of it, and it makes it worth it every time. I don’t think there’s anything that has made me grow more as a person. At the end of the day, fulfilling your dreams will always benefit you, in one way or another.


It is not a secret that we are all living in an ongoing pandemic at the moment, and this has obviously affected my studies as well. As for now, everything is online. I must say that there are both pros and cons when it comes to this. I have been able to live a very flexible life this fall, combining both my studies and a part-time job. But at the same time, I am missing out on other things that would probably be considered as typical “studying-at-university things”, like actually having lectures on campus or doing group projects at the library. I must say I have been lucky in all of this though. For the first month or two, we were still able to meet up together as a class and go out to bars, etc. This also made it possible for me to connect with people in my class and make new friends, which has made this whole situation so much more enjoyable despite the pandemic.


As you all know by now, I have only lived in Stockholm for about 3 months and it has been during a pandemic. Due to this fact, I haven’t been able to explore as much as I’ve wanted to.


Therefore, my Mini-Stockholm-guide is compiled off of recommendations from some of my close friends that have lived here much longer than me. The first place I want to recommend is called Kaferang, which is a super cozy and nice café. A great thing about it is that you can treat yourself to a glass of wine or a beer after studying. The other one is called Café Saturnus. They are mostly known for their giant cinnamon buns, but you will also be surrounded by other people that are studying which makes the vibe more enjoyable for an occasion like that. A perfect spot to watch the sunset, especially during the summer, is at the so-called Kristinebergsklipporna. Lastly, another place you should definitely visit during the summer in Stockholm is the Urban Delis rooftop. It has a really nice vibe, and the view isn’t bad either.

Living in Los Angeles and New York and moving back to Sweden and now Stockholm has definitely been a big adjustment for me. It has been a mixture of both good and bad days. There are days when all I wish is to be back in Los Angeles and live my life there again. At the end of the day, my life as an au pair in Los Angeles was extremely different from the one I had back home before moving and I do miss it a lot. Other days I am super grateful to be back in Sweden and living my “new” life here. I think one of the hardest things about moving back home has been to not have my “new” friends live close to me, but at the same time, I now live closer to all my Swedish friends. I guess the saying that “you can’t have everything in life” fits me pretty accurately in this sense ;) Except for living far away from many of my friends, I am loving it here in Stockholm. I am lucky to once again call another city my home and I am super excited to see what the future holds for me.

Last but not least, I would like to end with one of my favorite quotes, which is: Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big"


If you want to find out more about me, you can find me on Instagram at @mathildahveem or you can also get in touch with me through email: mathilda.hveem@outlook.com. I hope you enjoyed my little story and I wish you all a great Holiday season!


All the best!

Mathilda

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