It’s always great to have family across the world. What better way to explore a new country than to have family there? With free transportation, housing and food; let’s book now!
During Summer 2016, I decided it was time to visit my cousin Germaine in her home away from the states in Stockholm, Sweden. Let me just say, Sweden’s city reminded me of the concrete jungle, with a dramatic flair. Aside from the staring, awkward looks my way and occasional whispers at bars, Sweden was a pretty sweet trip.
Staying with family on a vacation can be a total luxury. You have your very own personal tour guide. A local who speaks the language. And someone who knows the party scene. On the other hand, having family in other places can be a bit much. They can be a bit over protective. Or even interested in showing you off way, more then you deserve to be.
I was pleased to know that my family in Sweden didn’t put a bummer on my trip. The view from my cousin’s apartment was just gorgeous. The place itself was small and quaint for two. There were big windows that reminded me as if we were 20 stories high. The quirky, unique colors and random items really showed my cousin’s fun, upbeat personality. Not to mention she has the softest, most comfortable couch in all of Sweden!
Who doesn’t love a good home cooked meal? I know I do. Swedish meals were to die for. Let’s talk about Toast Skagen, a wonderfully crafted Swedish delight, where fish met toast. It’s made with peeled prawns, mayonnaise, dill and lemon. It is topped with fish roe and served on crisp, sautéed bread. This is quite a dish. If you ever find yourself in Sweden, it is a must try.
Fun Fact: “Roe” means little baby fish eggs
My trip to Sweden showed me things that I would have never imagined. Who would’ve thought they were skyscrapers just as tall as NYC? I didn’t. The streets were paved in cobble stone. One minute I felt like I was in Soho and the next I’m sipping strong Swedish coffee at a mom and pop cafe on the corner of a darkened alleyway. The extraordinary architecture, beautiful seaports, bars and monstrous gates colored in deep blue with gold accents, left me amazed. The nightlife included live music. People from Sweden love to dance. Those that vowed to dance all night were definitely a memorable portion of my trip. I’ll tell you right now, my cousin was not bluffing when she told me Sweden’s know how to party. I know what you’re thinking. Sweden, really? Yes, they know how to get down.
What’s a trip without shopping? Europeans definitely have one up on us Americans. Their taste is by far more advanced than ours. We all know and love some good old H&M. But, here’s a plot twist; Sweden’s locations are a win because of their pricing and collections. The items on sale were things I’ve never seen before and lucky for me, the pieces I chose were not something I would find in NYC. So I did what any girl in my situation would do. I balled out, Swedish edition. Its like H&M is a drug to Sweden’s. There was one located on every other corner in their central city.
All in all, I can say I loved my trip to the sweet land of Sweden. The people were awkward and polite at the same time. The shopping was a bonus. Like the Bahamas, there were a few Europeans gods trolling the streets. I can’t forget about the strange, delightful cuisines I encountered. I was so appreciative of my cousin being the best host, which only maximized my trip experience.
To my readers, make sure, no matter where you decide to travel to, one of your trips includes a resident of the land your visiting. It’s a totally different experience overall. It will enhance your trip and the things you undergo. Until my next article, sweet travels!