Monthly archives: August 2012

Out Where the Cows (and Bird Watchers) Run Wild

I’m back after a much-needed hiatus for ten more posts here at the Expat Blog. After the next ten, you’ll get the great treat of experiencing Sweden through a different expat’s eyes. I am going to do my best to make these next ten posts great, but if there are any lingering questions or issues out there for expats in Sweden, just let me know in the comments and I’ll try to address them.

So what have I been up to during this hiatus? Lots. But one of the first things we did this August (right after panicking about the imminent end of summer) was head out to Simon’s family’s summer cottage on Öland, an island where the cows (and the bird watchers) run wild.

Cows. Everywhere. Photo: Kate Reuterswärd

In movies and in the self-help sections of women’s magazines, you sometimes hear people talking about “going to their happy place.” I was never really sure what that was supposed to be. A vacation destination? An imaginary enchanted forest grove? A spa?

Now that I’ve been to Öland, though, I know what the phrase is supposed to mean. For Simon’s family, their rustic countryside retreat has been the setting for a million happy childhood memories over the last 50 years — and thanks to Simon’s little nephew, the house is seeing a fourth generation of running, climbing, and playing.

Playtime is pants optional for certain members of the family. Photo: Kate Reuterswärd

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