Joachim, 30, and Sara, 29, are tired of Sweden. Therefore, they have decided to settle in Spain with their two 3 and 6 year old children.
”Why should we do like all the other Swedes and regret our life when we are 50”, Joachim says.
Many readers who commented on the texts on the page ”Ett annat liv” (Another life) write that they would have fulfilled their dreams abroad with a more exciting life, if not for their house and children. For most of us it stays a dream.
But not for Joachim and Sara. The couple have two young children. A girl of 6 years and a boy of 3 years.
”Live your dream, don’t dream your life”, Joachim says.
It sounds so simple. Maybe it is.
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The family lives in a house in a small village on the Swedish countryside. A house, they are now planning to sell. The plan is to find a three or four bedroom apartment in Gran Canaria, Spain. They have had enough of Sweden.
”You know what happens on Monday, what kind of food it will be on Wednesday and it’s the same meetings every week. Nothing more happens. People are introverted and terrified of talking to strangers and making friends”, says Joachim.
The couple says that they don’t need a big house down there.
”We will not sit in our house anyway so we are fine with an apartment”, Joachim says.
Of course they sometimes dream of the perfect house.
”We talked about finding a house where we can grow fruits and vegetables. We gave 350,000 Swedish crowns (41 000 USD) for our house here in Sweden, nothing fancy, but down there you can get a house with a patio overlooking the mountains and vines for the same price”, Joachim says.
What do your children says about all this?
”They probably don’t fully understand that we are going to stay for a long, long time. When they talk about it they describe it as very fun, and like a vacation. They tell us that they can swim in the sea, eat ice cream and have sun almost every day, Joachim says.
The family will not move right away. Their daughter starts preschool in Sweden in August. Joachim is about to get a job down there and expect to go himself in advance to prepare for the rest of the family to join. Getting the job seems to be easy.
”In two weeks, I have had 4-5 job interviews. I started to get excited and think differently”, he says.
The decision to move to Spain is nothing that has come over night. It has emerged over time. The past two or three years the family has been on holiday in Gran Canaria, and their love, and draw to the place has only grown larger. When they were there last December, they made the decision.
”When I grow up my family traveled a lot. In countries such as Bulgaria, Greece and Spain. It is only now when I’m an adult I think of how the country actually is. Now I have taken a liking to Spain, and my wife thinks the same. People are completely different in Spain. They smile and greet you. If you do that in Sweden people will wonder what the hell you’re after. In Spain, they are more friendly. If we want to cross the street with the stroller the cars will stop and let you cross. In Sweden you should be happy if they do. Some drivers don’t care, Joachim says.
What about school for the children?
”You can find Swedish schools down there, that’s not going to be a problem. Though they recommend putting children in Spanish schools, for it serves the children later on in life. Then they will learn Spanish from the very beginning”, Joachim says.
He sees no problem at all. ”Positive eyes” drives the couple towards this large move. That’s probably what it takes.
The people who don’t have ”positive eyes” are those who stay at home and become stuck in the same old pattern.
”Some think I am an idiot when I tell them our plan. Some say we should take the opportunity when we still are young. Then there is the category of bitter people who say that it is very, very expensive and not the same standard. I don’t care what others think. But it still feels a bit sad that they can’t be happy for other people’s sake. It’s basically about jealousy. They know they must continue living here in Sweden. They lose a friend and a relative. They know how we will be walking around smiling in the sun.
It does not sound quite wrong at all. Another life. A life when a walk in the sun is a part of everyday.
By: Patrik Enlund
Proof read and corrected by: Beau Hayward and Roy Sargeant
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