Since Lauren and I met in January 2014, we have tried all sorts of lifestyles in many different places. We tried living a suburban life outside of Stockholm, slow, safe and conveniently close to the city. Chill but also a bit boring with the “boxed in” suburban neighbourhoods. Another type of living was when we had our studio apartment in the heart of the coolest part of the coolest area of Stockholm (SoFo on Sodermalm), which was voted one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world by Vogue. We loved our city chic life with infinity options for cocktails, envelope pushing restaurants, local organic food stores and trendy gay friendly hang outs. One of our absolute favourites is the very diverse sunrise to midnight bistro Urban Deli. (Link!). While I was enjoying the central hip way of living, Lauren started longing for nature and silence. It didn’t take me a whole lot longer to also realize I was missing the same. After a long, cold and dark winter in Sweden, we also came to miss Southern California and the ever lasting sunshine and outdoorsy lifestyle.
Our next move was subsequently to explore living together in a surfy, laid back, So Cal style. We got ourselves our first own office space. The new space is a thousand square feet loft two blocks from the beach in Carlsbad, California. Carlsbad is Lauren’s hometown and we love spending time with her family. We came to love the loft which we painted all white, even the floors. It looks like a cross between minimalistic Scandinavian design and California beach life with beach towels on the shelves for whenever you get the urge so lay in the sun for a bit. It’s all very charming and intimate. Our Yoga studio is right below us and there are plenty of organic restaurants around our block. Ten minutes away there is a horse ranch where both Lauren and I volunteer several times per week. All together, the lifestyle is sunny, active and local. But why do we keep feeling that something’s missing…?
After conversations about all aspects of life we’re starting to think that California isn’t the perfect place for us. We have a few big factors here that just can’t be denied at this point.
First out, the U.S just voted one of the worst men in the world to rule this country. His new administration is already effecting our life in a negative way and it’s hard to see ourselves raising children in a country that supports this man.
Secondly, living a healthy and safe life in the California is expensive! We pay around 300 dollars each month for health insurance – and that’s very inexpensive for being here. Imagine the increase when our income increases and then add to that two or three children. That’s a lot. As a parent in America, you have to save for your kids’ college education, the paid maternity leave is ridiculous etc, etc. Simply put, the benefits of living in the U.S are minimal compared to a life in Sweden.
Third. We miss the seasons! I know we complained about the long, cold winter. But this winter in California we missed snow. We missed crackling fire places and dark mornings. We love the idea that life goes in cycles and to live with the cycles of the earth.
Fourth. Real estate prices and old houses. Our dream is to buy our own farm. We want an old house with history and soul, and at least 3-4 acres. We need this amount of space to create a our dreamy creative compound. Read more about Beatnik Farm here. In the gorgeous Swedish countryside we can get all of this for the same amount as a little 2 bedroom apartment by the coast in Southern California. See? Crazy, I know.
So right now, there are many reasons pulling us towards dating a new lifestyle; the Swedish countryside farm living. And in addition to these, there are many more which we will talk about in an upcoming vlog.
For now, I want to create some space not just for us, but also for you, to feel that uncertainty and changing your mind is ok. In fact, it’s not just ok – It’s necessary! Look at all the life experience you get, and how much you’re able to learn about what you really want. Changing your mind, going back, moving away, restarting does not mean failure or flakiness. It means that you as a person are developing and you’re doing yourself this beautiful favour of listening to these new developments and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly. Because there’s a point in our life where we will feel called to one thing, and then that thing can change and that is normal and good and fresh. At least, that’s how we choose to see it. Dating a whole bunch of different lifestyles is slowly making us come closer to our dream. We’re hoping the same for you. remember; if you never try, you never know!
Love you guys.