Who are you?
My name is Marie Daake.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
In the summer of 2019, I moved to Höganäs, in the Skåne province of Sweden, from the US, so that I could live with my fiancé.
What challenges did you face during the move?
The primary challenge was the cost of moving, as the plane ticket itself was over US$1,000. I had to pare down my belongings into a few boxes and what little I could take with me on the plane. I brought no furniture and only my external hard drive from my computer.
How did you find somewhere to live?
I moved in with my fiancé.
Are there many other expats in your area?
I only know of one other expat in the area that I live in. There are others in the province that I have contacted, but the next closest one is two hours away.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
I do not really know anyone here aside from my fiancé’s family, but everyone I meet is very kind.
What do you like about life where you are?
I like that everything is close enough to walk to. If, for some reason, I need something that is not available in Höganäs, I can take the bus to the next major city, Helsingborg. Dogs are allowed almost anywhere here. Lastly, there are no beggars here that I have seen – neither in Höganäs nor Helsingborg – unlike in the US.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
There are a few things that I was used to having in the US that don’t exist here, primarily types of food.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
People don’t talk to each other, which means that making friends is hard. There are unisex bathrooms that are multi-stalled.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Keep an open mind. Just because something is one way where you are from, that doesn’t mean it is right or common elsewhere.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to learn Swedish and go to school, so that I can teach English. I also plan to apply for Swedish citizenship.