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London versus Stockholm

(12 Posts)
lamii Tue 26-Jul-16 14:52:00

Hello parents,

I am not a parent (but planning on becoming one). My partner and I relocated in Stockholm after spending 8 years in London.
Here in Stockholm we have: fresh air, beautiful flats, cute parks, 1.5 year parental leave, free nursery and schools.
I am not Swedish and I felt more integrated in London. We miss our network and friends, work opportunities (we are both self-employed working in cultural fields), art, chatty people.

For a small one bedroom in central Stockholm we could have a 2-3 bedrooms house in London, zone 3-4.

I often come to mumsnet to look at properties location tips. I Came to the conclusion that Bromley and Sutton are the best corners. I like Brockley for a smaller flat.

I feel a bit lost as Stockholm looks like a tender little nest but it's actually very boring and people lack social skills.

All comments are welcome. Thanks grin)

Zaurak Thu 28-Jul-16 04:03:13

I've found it very hard to settle here. I've lived in several different countries and travelled widely so that's really surprised me. Swedes are very closed - even to me as a very introverted person.
I've never lived in London so I can't comment on that but I don't think this is an easy Country to live in - at least not at first.
However.., I'm getting there. Trying much harder with the language, which really is key, I've had a baby, which opens up anew world. The quality of the pregnancy and birth care here is fantastic. I'm quasi medical (research scientist/clinical trial stuff) and I'm convinced that the most critical of the complications I had during pregnancy would not have been picked up in the U.K.

Why did you move? For work? What are the key barriers for you in terms of integration/staying here? Do you think it's just adjustment or steal want to go home?

It's difficult moving to a whole new country and culture. flowers

lamii Tue 02-Aug-16 13:42:38

@Zaurak Hello!
Thanks! I didn't see your post before!
I know that pregnancy/child experience in Sweden is great but I can not base my life on this either...
Like you I have lived in several countries before and I find it hard to settle in Sweden. Everything is too predictable, too safe, people aren't fun. Knowing the language helps but it doesn't lead to exciting conversations either...I miss cultural interactions and places to head when I want to be inspired.
In London, chatty is essential and people are in search of more than the expected.
UK isn't the best place to have babies, but they have a good medical level. I am not British so going back to London wouldn't mean going back home. My fiance is Swedish so England is great for us as we can both speak the language, we both have friends and are interested in culture.
Swedes as closed as you said and this isn't helping me to want to get to know them more. I get bored....

Fomalhaut Wed 03-Aug-16 22:15:00

I'm getting there, slowly. Today for example we've been out to see friends of my husband in Stockholm. They were really nice and we had good conversations. It was a nice day. I'm sloooowly making friends.
It's difficult- is there anything stopping you going back to London?

Zaurak Wed 03-Aug-16 22:16:57

I'm very gradually getting used to it here. I think it is a brilliant place to have kids. Don't underestimate how much your life changes after you have kids - what's important to you now may take a back seat for a while if you have a baby.
Could you go back? Life's too short to be unhappy

Bved Wed 03-Aug-16 22:27:46

I've lived 22 years in Stockholm and 22 years in England (out of which 12 in London). I'm a native Swede and it is exactly because of the reasons you stated that I've never felt 100% comfortable in Sweden. There are many good qualities also but saying that I'm happier in London is an understatement! I have children and live in the area you just mentioned in SE. All I can say it's fantastic here, both with or without kids.

LifeIsNeverFair Fri 05-Aug-16 02:35:59

I'm a native Swede from Stockholm, with an international upbringing, that lives in London (15 years and counting). I have a family here.

I love Sweden but there's no way I'd live there instead of London. London wins every way.

Job opportunities are better, the people I meet are way more interesting (so many backgrounds from all over the world), the cultural life is exceptional etc. I gave birth on the NHS and have DC in a state school - comparing with my friends in Stockholm I'm definitely not worse off (I think my experience is better tbh). And not to mention the food...

I'd have a great life with amazing friends in Stockholm if I'd move back with my family but it'd be boring.

Oh, and living in zone 3 provides a more exciting life than central Stockholm without any doubt.

I'd just go for it! Good Luck.

LifeIsNeverFair Fri 05-Aug-16 02:42:54

Oh, and I feel that by living in London DC will get a much better exposure to people of all religions and nationalities as part of every day life. That's priceless as MasterCard would say (IMO).

lamii Wed 17-Aug-16 17:16:03

@LifeIsNeverFair @Bved
Thanks for your opinion! It's great to hear this from native Swedes. I sometimes feel guilty to judge Sweden. It's a beautiful place, it's a pity that the population makes it boring. My sambo and I are decided to move back to London after we had a great weekend there. Socially speaking it was such a big change. People were chatting with us even on the overground.
Also, @LifeIsNeverFair do you find food better in London? I was happy with food when I arrived in Stockholm and now I struggle with cooking variate meals. Fruits and veg are so expensive.
It's great to hear that you had a good experience giving birth with NHS. Hopefully NHS will survive the brexit. I have odd experiences with doctors in Sweden. They always have been very short and cold to me, sometimes even lecturing me. It's hard to imagine having a Swedish doula....

INXS Tue 22-Nov-16 22:28:02

Bump! Anyone around to add to these thoughts? Iamii did you move back to the UK - what's it like?
Anyone chosen to live in Stockholm over London?

lamii Sat 03-Dec-16 23:56:37

Hi there INXS,
I saw your post regarding your potential move to Stockholm. I am still in Sweden simply because when you come here you get stuck. I am stuck in comfort and fear of novelty now! Seriously I'm bored whenever I am not working. I don't have kids so it makes a huge difference, I have more time. Honestly I wonder everyday if there is a place where I could be myself again. It's just too well behaved here, too plain, too numb. To be fair, it's safe and that's great if you have children. I feel a bit bitter and my partner is tired of hearing me complain. We are quite lonely and don't seem to be able to bond with people here...
If you come here and you know that you will leave end 2018 (cf INXS post) I think it can be an experience. You might be a lot on your own (hard to make friends) but if you have a family it matters less I guess...

Surferbabe Sun 04-Dec-16 00:09:35

oh interesting, bump.

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