By Mia Austin, Digital Travel Editor
The Croft Magazine // Starting a new year at Bristol can be hard after a year of freedom in Uppsala, Sweden. Some advice: be a tourist in your own city.
Yes, I went on a year abroad to Sweden… and yes, it was all very exciting. Cringing as the words come out of my mouth, explaining to yet another person why I’m still in Bristol. Guiltily, I can’t help but confess a part of me loves to be asked about it, for a chance to tell a funny anecdote or even just to slide in a Swedish cultural reference. Undeniably I miss it. And while I love Bristol, it’s hard to find the positives walking home, soaked through, in the dark to your cold student house. At times like this, I can’t help but be nostalgic for my year abroad.
Guiltily, I can’t help but confess a part of me loves to be asked about it, for a chance to tell a funny anecdote or even just to slide in a Swedish cultural reference.
This time last year I was studying in Sweden on a weekend away in Stockholm. Walking along Strandvägen in the sunshine, under the autumnal trees, admiring the classic boats, feeling like something out of a film. When you’re away it feels as though there’s no end to what you could do. Whether it be a wander through the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan, taking in the history of the city. Or a visit to Södermalm, to check out some bars. Or taking the ferry to Djurgården to spend an afternoon getting your culture fix. Even small things felt like a novelty. What could be better than sitting in the autumn sunshine under a cosy blanket, having fika (coffee and cake with friends) and taking a break from life’s busyness.
Now I’m sitting with a soggy umbrella, stressed about university work, feeling less than ecstatic to be back in Bristol. It’s fair to say the Erasmus blues have hit. Maybe it’s missing the weather, or the friends you made, or the new culture. But there’s an itch to travel again. Coming back, it’s hard to escape the feeling like my world has shrunk a little, and I’ve taken steps backward and somewhat inadvertently reverted back to my second-year self. Without a doubt, Bristol is a pretty great place to live, it’s just hard to appreciate it sometimes. My advice: be a tourist in your own city. Visit one of Bristol’s many galleries or museums, or treat yourself to that coffee in the sunshine. Seek out new places, rather than settling back into old habits. After all, while Stockholm is stunning, there’s no denying the beauty of Ashton Court or a sunset walk to the Observatory.
Featured Image: Epigram / Mia Austin