For those of you who know they are coming to Stockholm, you will be preparing your bags, sorting your accommodation and gearing up for possibly the most beautiful adventure of your life.
As you can see from my colleagues – Stockholm is beautiful and this opportunity will most certainly change your life. I know this might be weird to read and of course hard to believe, and of course I was one of the skeptics sitting in your shoes this time last year. However, now it is time for the fairy dust to be sprinkled, my heels to be tapped and the closure of my year here to begin. (sadly, actually fairly heartbreakingly).
So I thought I would share yet another attribute of Stockholm with you (so that you can prepare).
Stockholm is a very outdoor city, people like the outdoors, of course (more so) in the warmer spring, summer and autumn months. The population is very comfortable walking every where (more so than most cities) (*** Bring supportive, good quality walking shoes! – my preferred mode of transport). Therefore, due to the love of the outdoors, people not only walk and cycle where ever and when ever it is possible but they also run/jog.
If you are a runner/jogger or have any aspirations to become one – Stockholm is the right city to try that out in. I previously lived in Cape Town, and in Cape Town there is certainly the same outdoor mentality, people run/jog and exercise, there is public space allocated for exercise, there are free yoga sessions there are public gyms (in certain parts of town). I loved that – and this public space and culture of active open exercise is probably a large part of why I have fallen so in love with Stockholm, and why it feels like home (in a surprisingly short period of time). On any given day you can walk out and see joggers, walkers, bikers, ‘runners’ too.. people maximize the public space provided in parks, and in many of the suburbs there are ‘public gyms’. These public gyms are a rustic set of very basic ‘weight’ training tools. They are often made of wooden poles and logs adding to the rustic, wholesome, outdoor feeling that a lot of Stockholm has going for it.
So basically the long and short of it is: BRING YOUR JOGGING/RUNNING/EXERCISE gear! You will regret it if you dont.
This all came back to me today when on my way home from exercising (ironically) I encountered the Stockholm Marathon. (Yes, I have seen the signs up for weeks about it) but I simply didnt engage brain to consider it.
As any big marathon – the Stockholm marathon was well supported by a cheering public – children were leering out of windows, bands were playing and the runners were running. It was quite lovely (unless of course you were caught on the wrong side of the street with shopping bags, a huge to DO list and no way to get across).
So here is a challenge for all new students coming to Stockholm, both those who are aspirant runners/joggers, and those who actually do jog/run.
CHALLENGE: NEXT YEAR AS YOUR YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE, YOU CELEBRATE THE CONCLUSION OF THIS MAGNIFICENT CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE – BY RUNNING THE STOCKHOLM MARATHON!
– would be SO WORTH YOUR TIME – check out the course !! (an amazing amazing way to see the city!!)… goes through my favorite place !
(write to me and tell me about it too!)