Through the flat screen window on my left, a typical Scandinavian summer scene soars by.
A wide river helps us carve a path through the dense spruce and pine forests that seem to cover every hill and distant mountain. Where the trees have fallen, red and white cottages have sprung up in their place. In the distance, a rainbow gives hope to an otherwise menacing and overcast sky.
We just entered Sweden now. The forests don’t seem to care. Yet somehow, whether as a result of our deeply ingrained notions of nation states, or whether through some larger collective consciousness, my fellow passengers and I all somehow sense the change.
Not only does the view invoke tranquility highly conducive to writing but so does this exceedingly clean and comfortable train.
And so, in part due to this landscape, a landscape that surely inspired deep contemplation for my Viking ancestors, I have decided to drastically change the course of this summer.
For starters, the Mongol Rally is off.
I decided to withdraw a few weeks ago. I couldn’t afford it and realized that it wasn’t the right path at this point in my life.
Instead I will finish something I have been meaning to finish for the past 8 years.
With the help of this beautiful Swedish countryside,
I am finally going to write my book!
Not only that, but I am going try and get healthy. By this I mean cutting back on huge portions of bacon, alcohol and tobacco for breakfast.
I figure I will need all my mental facilities for this undertaking and this feels like the best way to achieve that.
I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of August.
Although I am going to spend most of my time writing this book, I am still going to try to post about traveling and living in Sweden on the cheap at least once a week.
So Why Sweden?
As many of you know, my father is Norwegian. And for those of you who know about Scandinavian rivalries, Norway and Sweden have a friendly rivalry but still a rivalry at that.
Here’s the real reason why I chose Sweden.
A few months ago in Leon, Nicaragua I told a random Swedish girl that I thought she looked like a movie star (Kristen Bell). From there we went out dancing and next thing I knew we were backpacking together.
She brought me to Pavones, Costa Rica, her favorite destination in the world.
Although I continued to Panama without her, she never left my mind.
And now we are sharing a great little apartment in Sweden together. It’s only 450$/month too, pretty cheap for Sweden.
On a totally different note, I just realized the ticket agent lady never checked my ticket. She checked every person around me but for some reason completely passed me by. It makes me wonder if I should have just jumped the train like the old days :)
I hope everyone is having an awesome summer so far. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one for everyone.