Given an opportunity would you live in a country side than city life?
I quit a lovely, permanent, academic position in Nottingham, a city of 300.000 inhabitants I actually quite liked, and moved to a village of 700 in Sweden’s northern wilderness, half an hour by car from a university town where I secured a perfectly good position that isn’t very academic, but still very inspiring.
We moved into a cheap little house we had been using as a holiday home for years, and which we had bought outright for the price of a used Volkswagen, without mortgage.
Now it feels like we are permanently on holiday, and even though I don’t earn more, we spend so much less, due to not having accommodation costs to pay for, that our lifestyle has gone up noticeably.
We now run three cars, two of them for fun, have a large garden of 1.600 square metres with our own berries and apple trees, and a lake to swim in.
In Nottingham, we lived in a rented one-bedroom flat, had no car, and no garden. For fun, we did city things, which all cost money – going out, shopping, travelling.
Here, we don’t feel like doing any of these things anymore. Life is fulfilling as it is now, cycling, sailing, barbecuing with friends, playing with our cats, and gardening or cooking.
Not planning to ever go back to city life.
Of course you’d have to like the climate.
We are on latitude 63, which is comparable to Canada’s Northwest Territories.
We have the Gulf Stream though, so it doesn’t get as cold as there.
Snow will fall, and stay, as of mid November most years.
And the lakes stay frozen, with rests of snow on the ground, till mid May.
That’s when the ice cover on the lakes tends to vanish.
Here, this photo is from April 30th:
From March onward though, the sun gets so strong that people can sit outside, even though snow is on the ground.
That season is called “vår vinter”, spring winter. It’s our spring.
Winter temperatures are minus ten to minus forty all the way through the winter half of the year, but they make an abrupt jump up in June, when we will see a sudden and powerful onset of summer.
So, not much of a spring, just… from winter to summer. And then, it’s warm and lovely June, July, and August.
September sees a proper Indian Summer, with fantastic foliage, all the way through to the start of November.
And then, winter is back.
I think it’s a great climate.
And the homes are so well-built that staying inside for half a year or more is actually lovely.