It’s always tricky to simplify and tell a story in a short and concise way. In some ways, I don’t believe people’s life story is something that should ever be short. Every person we meet have a unique story about how they got where they are today.
It’s essentially all about the journey and the many milestones, some of them very sad and difficult ones, that shapes a person. Some of the best stories I’ve heard about people (and what made them who they are now) have been told around campfires, over the phone, on long drives and every single one of those stories deserves space and time.
Getting to know someone means relating to part of their story, so in this week’s blog post and the below video I wanted to share a bit about me and my background.
Edit: the below was written and filmed before the pandemic impacted Australia and the rest of the world. It goes to show that we never know what will happen and that a simple life helps us be grateful for what we have and make the best of very challenging times.
My brief timeline:
- 1982: I was born in the south of Sweden and grew up on a small family farm. In 1984 and 1988 I also became a very proud older sister to my 2 awesome brothers.
- 1998: My first overseas trip without my parents. Went to England with a friend for a summer class to learn English. That same year mum and I moved from our tiny village to the nearest big city for me to start high school.
- 2001: One of those truly life changing milestones. I graduated from high school and left Sweden for the U.S. where I spent a year outside San Francisco working as an au pair. Awesome experience overall and some of the best road trips I’ve ever had. Confronting in many ways to be so far away from home, especially when 9/11 happened. Finished the year with an epic month long bus trip down the west coast, across all the southern states and up the east coast to fly home from New York.
- 2003: Started university to study political science on the Swedish west coast. Loved student life and most of the things we learned. Statistics never made it to my list of favourite topics though.
- 2005: Awesome summer backpacking trip for 2 months with 3 of my best friends through big parts of Asia. We basically travelled from Helsinki to Singapore by train and bus (via Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia). Some hard moments for sure, but an amazing adventure. And yes, we flew home from Singapore!
- 2007: Graduated university with a Master’s Degree in political science and communication. That same year I moved to England (Manchester) for both love and work.
- 2010: Left the rain in England for sunny Australia. Started out briefly in Western Australia and then working in Sydney for a few months, before making Melbourne my home in December that year. Had a few fantastic months of traveling too!
- 2013: Studied coaching and started my part time coaching business whilst working full time in corporate. Learned a lot about human behaviour and running a business. Difficult, but incredibly rewarding experience. I also ran a full marathon that year. A very full on year looking back at it now!
- 2018: Met my partner Paul in May. So incredibly grateful that our paths crossed.
- 2019: Paul and I made a big decision to take a career break together and spent 3,5 months traveling around Europe. Beautiful moments reconnecting and spending time with many of my friends and family as well as seeing a bunch of new places together.
- 2020: Let’s see what happens, shall we?!
Looking at that list you can probably tell that I’ve moved, explored and in some ways simplified life consistently over the past 20 years. And a few things have remained very consistent. I tend to value experiences and relationships much higher than physical things. I have never borrowed money to go on a trip or adventure, I have always had a budget and saved up the money first. I try to always consider the environmental impact of my decisions, which is not always a straight forward thing. having lived overseas for a long time, I have still gone back home to Sweden for a holiday most years, given my family and many of my friends still live there.
More than anything, I feel like my urge to travel have taught me a lot about people, languages and culture. It’s easy to see how there is always a connection between places and the simpler we live, the less clutter and noise we have to cut through to see those connections. To live simply is never about taking the ‘easy way’. When we focus on the simple things by making hard decisions, life opens up with lots more opportunities than we were able to see in the first place.