Expat Insights #5

Eleanor Jordan moved to Stockholm 5 years ago with her husband, Will. Eleanor firmly believes that, “apart from having our two gorgeous children, moving [to Sweden] was the best thing we have done for our family. We LOVE Sweden so much! Sure, there are negatives, but that is the same with every country.”

Eleanor Jordan is a mummy to an 8 yr old daughter and a 6 yr old son. She is wife to Will and they are both from England. They also have two cute Spaniel puppies. Will, Eleanor’s husband, is a computer programmer and Eleanor has recently set up a new baby and toddler equipment hire business, Jordenson Pram Hire. They moved to Stockholm 5 years ago for her husband’s job. Eleanor firmly believes that, “apart from having our two gorgeous children, moving [to Sweden] was the best thing we have done for our family. We LOVE Sweden so much! Sure, there are negatives, but that is the same with every country.”

After spending 4 years in Stockholm with Eleanor and her husband working full time, and the kids in dagis, they decided to make a change. Eleanor gave up her job, bought a puppy from a village in Småland and lived in their summer house…..

Since then, her husband has started his own company as well, they’ve left city-life behind and moved to a life in the country. Småland country-life, to be exact. Eleanor finishes by telling me, “We have been the happiest we have ever been living [in Småland]. We now both work for ourselves and have since added Sophie’s little sister, Mollie, to our family unit (English cocker spaniel).”

 

What do you love about living in Stockholm/Sweden?

As a family, we love that it is such a gender equal country. This is a really important thing for me. I want my daughter to grow up thinking that she has as many rights as her brother, which would not have been the case in England. Also, because of the heavily subsidised cost of childcare, this means that I am able to work here. England has crazy prices for child care. I was loosing my mind in England as we couldn’t afford to put the children into child care which meant that I couldn’t work. I was desperate to work and felt trapped. Here, I was freed! I LOVE my children with all my heart, but I also want to be ’me’.
Lastle, Sweden is such a clean country and teaches children to respect their surroundings. We love the fact that there is so much open space that you can explore, which we love to do.

 

Apart from friends and family, what is it that you miss most about your home country, and why?

Apart from friends and family, there really isn’t anything I miss at all. Sweden has all and more than we need.

 

What has been the most challenging thing about moving and settling in Stockholm/Sweden?

Moving to Sweden was relatively easy. The most challenging thing about moving to Stockholm was finding an apartment.

 

Have there been any aspects of your move to Stockholm/Sweden that have been surprisingly easy?

For me, personally, finding a job was really easy. I didn’t speak Swedish at the time. I got a job within 6 months of being the country which I was ecstatic about. Another aspect was that the children were fluent within about 5 months after starting dagis. This made them feel more comfortable which intern made us as parents more comfortable.
Another surprisingly easy aspect was when we made the move to the country from Stockholm. We moved to a village in Småland. It has pretty much been plain sailing from the start.

 

What is your favourite thing to do as a family in Stockholm/Sweden?

Our favourite thing to do as a family is to be outside in nature. We love to take walks and also cook on the stormkök (camping stove) in the forest. In the summer, we love to just go to the different local lakes, sunbathe, swim and play on the beaches and meet up with friends. In the winter, we love to go ice skating at all the different local ice rinks (for free), sledging, playing in the snow and building snow people.

 

Where is your favourite place to go as a family in Stockholm/Sweden?

For commercial visits, I have to say Skansen was amazing for the family. We had year passes, which also gave us free trips on the cable car instead of queuing up at the main entrance. We would pack up a picnic and spend the day there or eat in the terrace restaurant. The food was good, basic Swedish food. Yummy!!
We also loved going to Flattenbadet in the summer and also beautiful Nynäshamn.

The parks in and around Stockholm are great. They have little huts where you can buy cheap fika while the children play.

 

What place in Stockholm (or Sweden) are you really looking forward to explore with your family?

We are really looking forward to go north. We are hoping to go next summer, and also in the winter, for skiing. And, possibly catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

 

What do you wish Sweden had more of?

Apple stores. (Mac)

 

If there was one thing you and your family could bring from your home country what would it be?

If I was allowed any item, it would probably be the biggest jar of marmite or if there weren’t any restrictions lots of jars of marmite. (although rare, you can buy it in some shops)

 

If you had the option right now would you go back to your home country or continue to live in Stockholm/Sweden and raise your family here?

Absolutely no contest. You couldn’t pay me to move back to England. I love it here!

 

If you had one piece of advice for a family moving to Stockholm/Sweden what would it be?

Make the most of ALL the open pre-schools. They are a great place to meet and make new friends. They’re so warm and welcoming. The first one I went to and ended up helping at was called Högalid Hedgehogs, an English speaking group. I met some great friends there.

 

Any other pearls of wisdom about life in Stockholm with kids?

Skansen Season pass…. We loved going there and it works out so much cheaper to have the year pass than paying each time you go. And, don’t be afraid to try out your Swedish, Swedes are really patient.

 



More of the good stuff