Back in the UK i had always known Sweden was a land full of the most amazing nature, be it forests, mountains, lakes or its fantastic coastline. So when in 2012 I had the opportunity to move to Sweden, i jumped at the chance. Before arriving i did a lot of research on various forums and spoke to other Brits who had also made the move.
A notable piece of advice i heard, was ‘if you are going to move to somewhere new, embrace what it does best – with Sweden that is its most amazing nature. Ski its mountains, hike its forests, swim its lakes and paddle its seas’.
I packed up my mini with everything i owned and set off to start my new life in Sweden.
At first i didn’t appreciate this advice, i moved to Stockholm and tried to live my life as i always had back the the UK. I quickly found that not only was my old lifestyle prohibitively expensive in Sweden but also, the UK catered for that kind of lifestyle better than Sweden did. So why was i here? At this point, was it better to move back to the UK and carry on as i was or give the more Swedish active lifestyle a try.
Of course having had moved everything you own, it is a sure incentive not to give up on your new home. So i fitted my car with a roof rack and kayak holder then visited my local kayak dealer and bought a sea kayak.
It was a fine but chilly September day when i first took my new kayak out to paddle around the Stockholm archipelago. Having got over the initial shock of having scratched my brand new kayak trying to get it off the roof, i set off for what i now think of as my day of revelation.
I was sat bobbing about in my kayak, sheltered between two small islands and could see some fish swimming below me, with the sun warming my face, i opened my flask, had a sip of coffee, breathed in the clean salty air, closed my eyes and just sat there smiling – thinking how glad i was that i had discovered a new pleasure in life which i didn’t know before existed.
So 5 years later i now live in Gothenburg, i still own my first sea kayak along with the horrible scratch to remind me of my first day kayaking and spend much of my time paddling the West coast and many of the lakes around the local area.
I now run a sea kayaking tour company www.kayakbohuslan.com. with the aim to spread the word of the fantastic kayaking opportunities along Bohuslän Coast, Sweden.
Having trawled back through the old forums i used to visit, i still can’t find who gave me the fantastic piece of advise but i would love to thank him as although he was not solely responsible for my love of kayaking he certainly planted the seed which got me out there.