04 August, 2010

Okay, actually a year now.

Kind of hard to believe it's been a year!

We moved here for Stu to attend graduate school at the Stockholm School of Economics. I hadn't even gotten accepted to my program yet at Stockholm University. I didn't have a job, just a lead on a babysitting gig making a measly 100kr an hour. And the U.S. dollar to Swedish krone exchange rate was crap. We didn't know anyone. We didn't have our "permanent" apartment yet, so we were in a teeny, tiny, temporary studio the first month. We lived out of suitcases for more than 6 weeks between shipping our stuff in July from DC and it arriving in Stockholm in September. We spoke less Swedish than your average Swedish 3-year-old.

A year later, today, we've both completed the first year of master's programs, with the rest seeming an easy downhill coast from here (it probably won't be the case, but it *feels* that way now.)  I don't nanny for the kiddos regularly anymore, but I am having a playdate with them tomorrow! Still making 100kr an hour. And the U.S. dollar is still crap. But Stu has had several short-term jobs while juggling school. We have made some great friends. We have a lovely apartment, and we didn't have to move half a dozen times during the year like most students in this city. Embarrassingly, we have more clothes than I care to admit, and I have probably not worn a third of my wardrobe we shipped in the last year. Even more embarrassing is that I have probably only progressed to understanding Swedish on the level of a 5-year-old, and I'm still a 3-year-old when it comes to constructing a sentence.

And we have gotten to travel! In the past year, we've made it to Oslo, Venice, Milan, London, Berlin, Riga, Amsterdam & Utrecht, Edinburgh and various towns in southern Germany. I have a Paris trip planned for the end of August, and we just booked a trip to Egypt for December. On the travel wish-list for the next year is Prague, Salzburg/Vienna, Ghent & Brussels, more London, maybe some various Poland, and hopefully a Spain and/or Portugal trip?

Even though I have days when I can't wait to head home to the U.S. (okay, sometimes it's hour-to-hour that I change my mind as to whether to stay in Stockholm) we feel so lucky to have gotten this time here. Two years living and traveling in Europe and a few extra master's degrees? Not bad at all.

Fingers crossed that Year Two is a great as Year One has been...

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