Posted: 11/30/17 | November 30th, 2017

Back in 2006, during my very first trip around the world, I satisfied a Swedish girl. We traveled together for a bit as well as the complying with year I went to see her in Sweden. though that connection didn’t last, my like for Sweden did and, in subsequent years, I discovered some Swedish as well as even tried to move to Sweden.

I like whatever Swedish. as well as so does my good friend Lola. Lola as well as I satisfied back in 2008 when travel blogging was in its infancy. Unlike me, she’s had success in making a life in Sweden, where she now lives with her other half as well as children. She’s one of the preferred people in the market as well as I like the imagery in her composing as well as the beauty in her photography.

In her new book, Lagom, she discusses life in Sweden as well as Swedish culture. Today, I jealously interview her about life there.

Nomadic Matt: tell everybody a bit about yourself.
Lola: I’m a Nigerian-born, US-educated, Sweden-based writer as well as professional photographer focusing mainly on checking out culture with food, tradition, as well as lifestyles. My photography is represented by national geographic Creative, as well as I was just recently awarded the prestigious 2018 travel professional photographer of the Year expense Muster award from the society of American travel Writers (SATW).

I really took a nontraditional path to this new life, as I worked as a web programmer as well as GIS system designer for 12+ years before the full career shift into the travel media industry.

I’ve always been fascinated by the nuances of culture: what makes us different as well as what our similarities are. as well as so this curiosity as well as acknowledgment truly underpins quite much all my work as a travel writer as well as photographer.

How did you end up in Sweden?
I satisfied my other half in 2006 while living in the US. After logging thousands upon countless air miles, in addition to temporary stints in Stockholm, I officially moved over in 2009. It truly was an intercultural, interracial, as well as intercontinental union in many ways.

We now have two kids, so Sweden will be house for a while for many reasons, the prime one being that it’s quite darn perfect for families.

How do you discover life in Sweden? טוֹב? רַע?
Life in Sweden is what you make of it, as well as that’s why I likewise composed this book — as a handy cultural guide that can assist you integrate as well as deeply comprehend Swedish culture as well as its nuances.

Having resided in both Nigeria as well as the united states for prolonged periods of time, I appreciate living right here with a young family.

Overall, the high quality of life is amazing in terms of stress levels. There is sufficient time to devote to the family, in addition to generous benefits, which all of us contribute to with our taxes.

What’s your least preferred part about living in Sweden?
I commonly state Sweden is the most open society run by the most personal people, as well as I explain why in the book. Sweden does have its dark sides, as well as I always state the primary difference is this: I can be like Oprah Winfrey if I want to as a black lady in the US, in spite of all the racial tensions.

In Sweden, while you’ll be left in a little corner to online your happy life, trying to be a CEO or tycoon like Oprah is a gargantuan task. There are people who still don’t get required task interviews since of the names on their résumés. So overall, while I like living here, no society is perfect, as well as Sweden has a great deal of integration problems it needs to work out.

Why did you compose this book?
So, the Swedish word lagom has just recently emerged as the way of life pattern of 2017 as well as of course, publishers are jumping on it with different way of life books — from recipes to interior decor.

But I needed to put a book available that was beyond cinnamon bun recipes since lagom is not a word that is warmly embraced or even liked by many Swedes themselves for different reasons, including the truth the ethos has over time morphed to denote average, boring, as well as middle-of-the-road.

I detail all this in the book, in addition to explain why lagom itself is inherently a great suitable as opposed to jante, which is the unfavorable parasitic ethos that attaches itself to lagom as well as brings the negativity. however it is the key to comprehending the Swedish mindset.

I have been living in Sweden for eight years, as well as composing about the country as well as its culture for even longer. I am likewise married to a Swede as well as have a unique vantage point of observing the culture both objectively as well as subjectively.

So I explain lagom in a method that a foreigner completely gets it, in addition to holding up a mirror to Swedes so they see exactly how lagom is expressed in interactions with otherאֲנָשִׁים. It can be extremely difficult to compose about something that’s extremely intrinsic to you in a method that others can completely comprehend without coming off as patronizing as well as condescending.

It truly governs the Swedish psyche, as well as private bubbles of lagom are definitely altering as well as morphing with each passing generation.

I needed to compose a well-balanced cultural book that might still stand when the Scandi-trends wave washed over.

What does lagom mean as well as why is it important?
On the surface, lagom is commonly referred to as “not as well little, not as well much, just right,” however it’s a great deal more nuanced than that as well as lies better to “optimal.” It is the key to unlocking the Swedish psyche as well as governs almost all elements of life as well as culture in the country.

It likewise transforms its meaning in different contexts — from “less is more” in terms of décor as well as “moderation” in terms of food to “harmony as well as balance” in terms of society as well as “mindfulness” in terms of well-being.

If one were to boil down the true essence of lagom to its extremely core, it means striving for the ultimate balance in life that, when used to all elements of one’s existence, can assist guide you toward operating at your most natural, effortless state.

The specify as well as measurement of lagom mean different things to different folks. My satisfaction may vary from yours, however we can both be satisfied. Lagom represents the ultimate wonderful area or golden mean in your own life, as well as more importantly, it encourages you to completely operate within that wonderful area that’s just right for you.

For travelers to Sweden, exactly how can they find lagom at work or play?
Many people commonly explain Swedes (in Sweden, not outside of Sweden) as reserved, inaccessible, as well as perhaps even chilly as well as flippant, however it’s commonly just lagom’s mindfulness at play. Locals will provide you your area as well as ensure you’re not inconvenienced by their presence.

So, Swedes naturally keep their distance from a location of mindfulness, not since they don’t want to be around you. (Outside of Sweden, they are quick to ditch lagom in social settings.)

At work, lagom is always looking for the very best solution, so there’s a great deal of planning, great deals of meetings, great deals of consensus, great deals of teamwork, you get the gist… to make sure they show up at the optimal, lagom solution to all problems.

For example: many foreigners working or doing business in Sweden commonly lament the amount of time Swedes put into upfront planning as well as preparation. Agendas are triple-checked, as well as a number of meetings are called to plan every single product on stated agendas. plans can take months to put in location before moving to the next step of implementing each product on those plans.

For a culture that prides itself on efficiency, it might seem these inherent acts of zealous planning are counterproductive, as well as they can be seen as wasting time as well as resources.

However, since lagom craves balance by trimming excess around its edges, it needs adequate planning. “Adequate” is determined by whatever it takes to prune irrelevance, regardless of exactly how long it takes.

To be effective means to perform as well as function in the most ideal way possible with the least squander of time, resources, as well as energy. This extremely meaning of effectiveness mirrors the core of lagom.

So lagom states it is completely okay to spend as much time as needed to prepare ourselves as well as strongly establish our plans since that’s the only method we can assurance efficiency.

How can comprehending lagom assist develo connections with Swedes?
Swedes don’t naturally divulge info or overshare, so sometimes it can be difficult to even gauge or assess what’s going on in a relationship. as well as it’s not a culture that excessively gesticulates with hands or utilizes lovely words, so understanding if a Swede is thinking about you can be denoted by their unusually prolonged eye contact.

So, when out on a date, always have follow-up concerns to keep the conversation going as well as to prevent your date awkwardly ending at “yes or no” answers. since they will do so, in an effort not to overshare without being asked.

For somebody going on a date expecting to be lavishly wined as well as dined, Swedes are generally conditioned to split their bills, to always repay favors, as well as to not be duty-bound to anyone, particularly financially, by keeping that scale balanced. So this can come as a nasty surprise at the end of the night if you haven’t discussed it before the waiter brings out the menu.

And if you’re in a connection with a Swede as well as have problems or questions, just ask directly out since Swedes are extremely direct. as well as be gotten ready for those direct answers!

Why are people so fascinated witH שוודיה?
אני מאמין שחלק גדול מהקסם נובע מאיכות החיים הגבוהה, כמו גם בדיוק עד כמה החברה מתקדמת. זווית אחת יותר שטחית קשורה לגופניות – מאנשים כמו גם נופים ועד עיצוב פנים כמו גם אדריכלות.

כלומר, העיר שטוקהולם עצמה מדהימה לחלוטין, כמו גם היא מתפשטת על פני 14 איים, שתוכלו לראות מכמה נקודות תצפית נחמדות בעיר. שוודיה מדרגת בעקביות בעשרת המדינות המאושרות ביותר, כך שיש בבירור שדברים שוודיה נכונה.

מה הדבר היחיד שאתה רוצה שאנשים ייקחו מהספר שלך?
Lagom הוא הלך רוח שנלחם באופן בסיסי במתח. לאחר גם הרבה או גם ביט מפעזת לחץ, ולכן לגום מנסה לגלות את האיזון שלו בין שניהם עם הפיתרון האידיאלי על ידי הפחתת עודף. לא שלמות, עם זאת הפיתרון הטוב ביותר.

חשוב על זה כסולם שתמיד צריך להיות מאוזן. כמו כן, הרבה או גם טיפים לסולם בחדות לצד אחד או לצד השני, כך שלגום מאזן את עצמו (“בדיוק נכון”) על ידי זמירה עודפת כמו גם להיפטר מכל מקורות הלחץ בתוך הניהול שלנו – מדברים חומריים לחיבורים שמנקז אותנו.

LOLA A. ÅKERSTROOM היא סופרת עטורת פרסים, נואמת, כמו גם צלם מקצועי עם נשיונל ג’יאוגרפיק קריאייטיב. היא על בסיס קבוע תורמת לפרסומים בעלי פרופיל גבוה כמו AFAR, ה- BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, כמו גם Traveller National Geographic. לולה היא גם העורכת של Travel Travelsholm האטי, מגזין באינטרנט המוקדש לבדיקת עיר המימון של שוודיה לעומק.

אתה יכול להרים עותק של ספרה באמזון. (זה באמת מרתק כמו שאני מאוד מציע את זה!)

הזמן את הטיול שלך לשוודיה: טיפים לוגיסטיים כמו גם טריקים
הזמן את הטיסה שלך
השתמש ב- SkyScanner או ב- Momondo כדי לגלות טיסה משתלמת. הם שני מנועי הדפדוף המועדפים עלי מכיוון שהם גולשים באתרים כמו גם בחברות תעופה ברחבי העולם, כך שתמיד לא תבין שום אבן לא פונה. התחל עם SkyScanner ראשונה מאוד, למרות שיש להם את טווח ההגעה הגדול ביותר!

הזמן את הלינה שלך
אתה יכול להזמין את ההוסטל שלך עם OstelWorld מכיוון שיש להם את המניה הגדולה ביותר כמו גם עסקאות משובחות. אם אתה רוצה להישאר במקום אחר מלבד אכסניה, השתמש ב- מכיוון שהם מחזירים בעקביות את המחירים הזולים ביותר לבתי הארחה כמו גם מלונות סבירים.

אל תזכרו את ביטוח הנסיעות
כיסוי ביטוח נסיעות יגן עליך מפני מחלה, פציעה, גניבה, כמו גם ביטולים. זו ביטחון מקיף במצב כל דבר משתבש. אני אף פעם לא יוצא לטיול בלעדיו כיוון שהייתי צריך לנצל אותו פעמים רבות בעבר. העסק המועדף עלי שמציע את השירות הטוב ביותר כמו גם הערך הוא:

אגף בטיחות (לכולם מתחת 70)

להבטיח את הטיול שלי (לאלה מעל גיל 70)

Medjet (לכיסוי חוזר נוסף)

מחפש את העסק הטוב ביותר לחסוך איתו כסף?
עיין בדף המשאבים שלי לקבלת העסק הטוב ביותר לשימוש כשאתה נוסע. אני מפרט את כל אלה שאני משתמש בהם כדי לחסוך כסף כשאני בדרך. הם יחסוך לך כסף כשתטייל גם כן.

רוצה מידע נוסף על שוודיה?
הקפד לראות את מדריך היעד החזק שלנו בשבדיה לקבלת טיפים לתכנון עוד יותר!

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