Posts filed under Sweden

Where it all started


Flashback Friday

Sommarstugan aldrig någon ro

    One of my favorite places in the whole world is the summer house in Sweden. It's located in the north of Sweden, right by the Baltic Sea, and I have done countless walks in the forest there. Alone for many parts of it. It is something special about going out into the forest and trust your senses, feeling the nature. I knew I wouldn't get lost, because because I had the ocean behind my back and I could always follow the sound. There is a huge esker that you eventually will reach, kind of conforming you into an area that is almost, yeah almost impossible to get lost within. I don't have any digital pictures of the esker, or the forest behind the house, but I do have some other ones, of the water, this endless supply of water.


An old Legend

    There is an old legend that talks about a hidden treasure, that was buried somewhere in that area way back in the day, when the vikings came. It was a way to save all the treasures that the village had, and someday they would get it back. Although that never happened. The legend says that they buried it at a certain location where you could see the ocean and also the old village.



     Once there was a boy who ventured out in the forest to find the treasure. He reached the spot and started to dig, and found the treasure. But when he looked up he discovered that his whole village was on fire, so he dropped the treasure and ran back home to help, through the forest as fast as he could, only to discover that everything was normal back at the village, and no fire had ever happened. He never found that treasure again. That is the legend.



    We searched and searched for that treasure too, everyday was a treasure hunt in the forest. This was before everyone got addicted to screens. Screens and screens everywhere. We were allowed to watch the children's show early in the morning during the summer holiday, and watch a movie or family tv show in the evening. But that was it. This was back in the day when people hung out more with each other, children ran around in the forest and played with cones and sticks. Before we knew what a cellphone was and that we someday would become so detached to society as we are now. 



    We fish a lot up there. Dad and I have gone countless times out on the ocean to lay out fishing nets in the evening, and fetch them early the next day before the birds get to the fish. All of these pictures are between 7-11 years old. I have not been to the summer house since 2009, which is very very sad. I really want to go there sometime soon, and bring W and show him all the great places up there. Take him out fishing, go sauna and all other wonderful things you can do up there. 


Where it all started

    The summer house is also where it all started. This endless supply of raw nature, the forest and oceans. It's quite remarkable how affected you can get by nature. This is where i made up my mind, without knowing it, way back in time, that the environment is what I am going to care about, what I am going to study. That summerhouse is the reason I am where I am today, the reason why I went to Alaska, the reason why I study what I do. The summer house is the reason to why I will try to save the world from people like this country's current president.


    Do you have a place like that, that shaped your future?

Who Dealt these Cards?


Flashback Friday


    Way back when, well not that long time ago but still 10 years ago, I had the privilege to take a field class in northern Sweden, about how climate change affect the arctic and the subarctic environment. I guess that was the beginning of the journey I am currently on (I guess I can argue that it started way before then too, but I'll go with this for now). It does make me wonder, who dealt these cards? Did it just randomly happen that I took that class or was it because I was intrigued by it and wanted to learn more, or was it because I had never been to Abisko, or what? Did I choose my own path back then or did I accidentally stumble upon it. Either way I think that class is what brought me to where I am now. 


Under the midnight sun

    During that class two other students and I ventured out on a night hike to get to the next destination for our class, of course we talked with the professors before and they all agreed that we could to that if we wanted to. So we did. We ventured out under the midnight sun right after dinner that evening. Up and over the mountains to get to the research station. Across fields of snow and gorgeous midnight sun that casted its rays upon the beautiful country of northern Sweden. Right then and there I must have decided that I love this place. The mountains and that midnight sun. We were also lucky enough to spot a Wolverine from afar, which is the first but not the last one that I have seen. It was to far away to get a photo of it though.


My path?

    Very often I do wonder where I would have been had I not started my PhD in Alaska. Would I have done a PhD in Sweden? Actually I did apply for a PhD in Sweden, but didn't even get a reply from that application, which (in my opinion) is ridiculous. So I broaden my search and stumbled upon a PhD position in Alaska. I don't think I quite realized what I was getting myself into. I mean I realized the PhD part, but I don't think I realized what a gem Alaska really is. I don't think I had dreamt about Alaska or anything like that. Although my mom claims she used to make up bedtime stories about me exploring parts of the world, including Alaska. Since then I have wandered the mountains of Alaska, well a few, very very few of them...but still.



    I've worked remotely in parts of Alaska as part of my research, but also helping other people with their research and fieldwork. But I love it. And I miss it. But there are more mountains to be discovered and I have the privilege to do that, which I am very grateful of. As you all probably know, not everyone are able to do that. One thing though, all of this doesn't come for free. And I have given up and sacrificed large parts of my life too, to be able to do what I am doing. We are given our deck of cards at the beginning of our life, and how we play them is up to us, and as with any card game you play, sometimes you loose and sometimes you win. Nothing in life comes for free, remember that. 


    Who dealt your cards? Or did you just stumble upon your present life?