I am going to Sweden next week.
The original plan or hope was that by this time Joel or I would have found a full-time job in Sweden and I would be moving there permanently. Sadly, our predicament does not have just one solution but many going literally in every direction around the world. Either solution would need a full-time job and that has yet to happen. So, next week will sadly not be the final move, but I will be spending a month with my boyfriend in Sweden. I might even experience my first white Christmas.
Being that I am from Texas, white Christmases are hard to come by. This also means that my experience with snow, in general, is very limited. It’s snowed here in Austin maybe five times in my lifetime and each time it melted away within a day. I have visited Colorado when I was a kid where I was taught the basics of skiing and snowboarding, but I have never spent a consistent amount of time in cold, freezing, snowing places like Sweden. Austin really only has two seasons summer and a chilly fall.
One of my concerns is that I will not adapt well to this somewhat drastic change. I am very comfortable in a warm climate. I can stand in over 90-degree heat with a fair amount of ease, but put me in the produce section at the grocery store and I need a jacket. Many people have tried to confit me by saying that there will simply be a learning curve. I will learn how to properly wear layers and other simple ways people all over the world have kept warm for centuries.
To show them that I am not convinced it will be so simple, I ask this: why you don’t use an umbrella when it snows? I am aware of how silly that sounds to people who have lived in a cold climate, but at one point it was a real question. If snow is essentially light, cold rain, why wouldn’t you carry an umbrella to keep it from melting on you and making you cold? The answer is, apparently, because it does not fall off your umbrella but rather accumulates and becomes heavy. Makes sense, but this gives others an idea of how far I have to go when it comes to my cold climate learning curve.
One of the reasons I know it will not be easy is because although Austin is not exactly a desert; if you are living here in the summer there are things you would need to know. Like how you can burn your feet really badly by walking outside without shoes. How you or any animal can’t be outside for too long or you might get heat stroke if you’re not careful. Even small things like how your lipstick will melt if you leave it in the car. There are so many, and I don’t think about them because they are second nature to me.
While I am in Sweden, these are things I am going to have to pick up on. I am very aware of how naive I am on the topic and I can only hope I don’t embarrass myself too much and keep warm as much as possible. To put simply, I need to learn how to cover my ass.