Not only is Sweden's countryside largely green and "unkept", but Stockholm also takes the title of "greenest city in the world"! No matter where you are, in whichever season, you can view big blue skies, nature's wonders, and breathe in the crisp, fresh air.
Take a minute to imagine this experience with me. The first time I went to Sweden, I transferred through China. In Beijing, the sky was dark grey and the recycled airport air felt ominous-- rough. There was dust or fog or smog- something in the air outside, I could tell, because I could barely see the parked planes in the lot. After spending 1 and a half hours going through excruciating security checks, I finally sit down in an empty waiting area with 5 hours to kill. The airport is busy, but quiet. There aren't any announcements every 5 seconds like in the US, and I feel a bit anxious by the possibility of missing my flight. Right in front of me is a one-man karaoke machine that looks like a telephone booth. It only takes Chinese cards and payment methods though so that wasn't going to be an outlet of time-wasting for me that day. So instead, I stare. I stare out the huge windows... at the grey. I look out at the nothing, backdropping the busy and lively Chinese airport.
Fast forward some hours in an uncomfortable plane full of unfamiliar faces and obnoxious smells and movements, I walked out into the terminal keeping a brisk pace to keep up with all the tall blonde middle schoolers scurrying in front of me, and we end up in a hall with windows. I stop. The sky is blue and gorgeous and at the end of the runway is forest. Tall and thick foresty-shrubbery for as far as I could see.
Eventually, too many mini-giant middle schoolers passed me and I scurried into a quaint building. I know I should describe it as an airport, as it was an airport, but it didn't feel like one. It was humble, and wooden. It wasn't white and large, with big windows and cold AC- it was wooden, with fans. I felt air swell in my chest and a tingle in the side of my neck. It was so home-y, in an airport! I immediately began to get excited. I joined the line of people queueing to be questioned by the immigration officer, though you probably couldn't see me on account of all the tall middle schoolers.
"What is your business in Sweden?"
"I'm visiting friends"
"How long are you staying?"
"Welcome to Sweden ma'am"
Catch up with me @teresas_tea
Some vlogs from Sweden: