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Week 2022#47: bubbles and snow ❄️
Changing your environment changes your mind
What I’ve learned
If something feels right, it probably is
Gut feeling is hard to replace! All my doubts about the house disappeared after inspecting it in person.
Yes, it needs work.
But actually having visited the house, walked around the rooms, and visualized the possibilities, it just felt “right”.
This feeling means I’m more willing to put up with the coming difficulties, and ultimately that will play a large part in whether this project will be a success or not.
Getting out of the city helps with thinking
Eventually, the house will turn into a retreat/coliving space, for people with ideas and projects. Spending two days in Kramfors and Nyland has shown me that the concept works.
I experienced a completely different rhythm of life; slower but without losing the comforts of modern civilization.
This in turn allowed me to get more in touch with my gut feeling, and properly think through things.
There are interesting people in unexpected places
One person in tiny Nyland has actually worked abroad in different countries and industries before deciding to settle in Nyland.
It is summer when it should be summer, winter when it should be winter, there is no stress here and I have everything I need.
These words resonated with me: “no stress and having everything necessary” because you live in a small town is nice to have when you have broad life experience to draw upon.
That broad life experience is what insulates you against a gradually shrinking world, keeps your mind sharp and open, and makes you realize when you need to seek out new experiences.
Expectation vs Reality
Since playing this game of predicting the future last week was fun, I wanted to give it another shot this week.
This week was a winner :tada:
Everything I expected actually happened!
I’ll go to Sweden on the weekend: a pleasant trip landing in Arlanda, taking two very comfortable trains to Kramfors via Sundsvall, and arriving “in the middle of nowhere” before the sun sets.
I’ll buy the house for 30,000 EUR: not quite the right price, it ended up being SEK 340000 which at the time of writing these words is worth around 31,300 EUR. The house was in much better shape than I anticipated and looking at the huge empty plot next to it I couldn’t help but imagine this becoming an amazing place to spend time with friends at.
The second sauna evening will be a success: it totally was! On Wednesday almost 10 people, who don’t know each other, got together, shared their stories, connected, and just had a good time.
Winter in Tallinn is truly amazing this year ❄️
By the end of the week, I will have an assistant: on Thursday I interviewed the only candidate for the position, a referral from a friend, and today I got the message that it was a match for both of us!
No idea yet how having an assistant will turn out, but my goal is to create a work environment that makes it hard to complain about anything!
Would you prefer to see next week’s expectations here already or do you like to get surprised at the end of the week?
Received a formal offer from Bolt on Monday, and decided to take it,
Handed in my notice at Edgio the same day,
Another consultation with my mentor at the Creative Incubator: I’m going to run the first “proto-workshop” on how to talk to strangers at an event at the Incubator,
The owner of the house accepted my offer on Tuesday, I immediately booked the trip to Sweden,
After some back and forth the start date for my position at Bolt has been settled: 19th of December,
The sauna evening on Wednesday was a great success: people had an excellent time and there was an interest in having more of these.
On Friday I signed the buying contract for the house. Still need to transfer the money before the purchase is considered “done”.
Saturday was about exploring the surroundings of the Kramfors and Nyland,
Sunday was spent mainly on trains to get back to Arlanda Airport on time.
Bubbles and Snow
Spending two days in rural Sweden actually felt more like a week-long vacation.
The First Hotell Kramm turned out to be a really nice surprise: it had an excellent gym (just a bunch of free weights, plus a simple cable tower), a good breakfast buffet, and free sauna!
At this time, the hotel was pretty empty but that had its charm as well: the staff was friendly and had time to talk to you, and the dining hall was situated just right so that you could enjoy a view of the small stream next to the hotel, winding its way to the sea.
For some strange reason, everything felt familiar and effortless in Kramfors.
Getting to Nyland was easy on Friday because the real estate agent took care of that with his car. The other option would have been the bus, from the train station.
Getting to Nyland on Saturday turned into a little adventure: after taking the train to the regional airport the 5km walk to town was very picturesque, but walking next to a (granted, not very busy) road for an hour is not ideal.
The center of Nyland, where the house is located, was surprisingly lively: the supermarket was bustling with people and after having figured out that there is literally no way to get back to Kramfors, talking to strangers in broken Swedish with a mix of English became a necessity.
Ultimately a costly ride provided the means to get back to Kramfors, but a least one person was willing to help and drive to Kramfors.
Unfortunately, this became clear only after the taxi was already on its way.
Hiking through the snow for a good part of the daylight hours and exploring this tiny town a little further was an awesome experience.
It was way easier to practice Swedish in these small towns than it was to do so in Stockholm because in Nyland you are actually forced to speak Swedish.
Leaving Kramfors on Sunday was difficult.
It felt like living in an alternate reality, in some sort of bubble.
Everything is familiar and strange at the same time.
And there is more space, both physically and on my schedule. Being in a physically remote environment, I don’t have any impromptu meetings with friends, coffee runs, and “let’s just chill at Roberto’s fireplace” kind of events.
The nature here is truly stunning, even (or especially?) in winter, and at the same time, the infrastructure is well-developed so that you feel like you are well-connected.
It feels like the perfect place to return to for a retreat, to focus on your projects and reorient yourself.
Tallinn feels like a big, bustling, and hectic city now.
I’m looking forward to being back, both in Tallinn and in Nyland/Kramfors.