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The perfect Christmas holidays…

…some “thank you’s” (yes, it’s getting a bit kitschy) and the art of enjoying things till the last moment.  

Something – in my opinion – I’ve always been good at is to appreciate the small things in life. This Christmas holiday I was very pleased that there were so many small but also big occasions that I could enjoy! 

My holiday started at the central station in Gothenburg, waiting for an hour in the cold. The rumours about the delays of Swedish trains doesn’t come from just anywhere (still l have to say that they work hard for customer satisfaction, I got more than ¾ of the originally paid ticket price back because of (only) an hour delay!). I was on my way to Lövstabruk, a small village north of Stockholm to celebrate Christmas with my host family. But why get stressed about something you can’t change? After a long, long run my urge to move was already satisfied and I actually appreciated staying on the platform, listening to music and analysing the trying-not-to-freeze-to-death-dances of the other passengers. 

My expectations of a cosy Christmas with my host family in an amazing place in the middle of nowhere was more than fulfilled: endless talks, great training sessions followed by a huge amount of delicious food and a feeling of never having been away – I enjoyed every minute. Thanks Thomas, Barbro, Elin and Sara for having me!  

Another highlight was the last day of 2018. Is there a better way to end a year than tired but satisfied? Well, I agree that tired could be discussed. But this is exactly how I ended my year. The reason why was taking part in a 10k run in the city centre. It was quite fun to run all those streets I’ve walked so often and even if Iit was really hard, I enjoyed it. After this, I was more than ready for a great New-Years dinner with friends, games and watching fireworks. Thank you, Lisa, for motivating me to finish my year with a running competition! 

When I once talked to my parents, they asked whether I’m doing my exchange in Norway or in Sweden – I seem to be more often there than in Gothenburg. I had to admit that I was there quite a few times, mostly for training in WOC 2019 relevant terrain in Sarpsborg but also for skiing and sightseeing in Bergen. At the beginning of January I was there for the last time before going back to Switzerland. Again, I could profit from nice courses and learn from great company and, I would like to thank all of you who were part of one of the camps or put effort to succeed at them as well. A special thank you to Kjell for all the organisation and to Miri, my loyal training companion who always stayed until the end. 

Being in Sarpsborg already meant being half way from Gothenburg to Sjusjøen, a pretty good cross-country spot in Norway. So why not travel a bit more north and spend some days on skis? That’s exactly what I thought. Having a welcoming friend with a cottage (maybe training centre is a better description) and a complete ski equipment to borrow there made it quite smooth to turn the plan into reality even though I had my skis back in Switzerland. In return, Lisa, Jonas (two friends from Switzerland who also joined) and I turned the kitchen into a mess while cooking Spätzli – for me the mandatory food on ski holidays – and setting a new record serving the food too late (yes, it always takes longer than you think..!). I hope it was worth waiting for and I would also thank you for having us, Håvard and Ragnhild! 

Meanwhile, the last week of my stay in Gothenburg has nearly arrived. While training and struggling with some university issues, I try to find the secret behind the art of enjoying things to the last moment and not always thinking «This is the last time that…». I’m managing quite well and in the weak moments, I just think about all the people and things I’m looking forward to in Switzerland. ;) And to finish this, I’ll be even more cheesy: Thank you Gothenburg for having me! 

📷: Erik Engstrand


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