First phase of the volunteer experience: the honeymoon

I have been living in Växjö for three weeks and I’m still in the honeymoon phase (check the 4 phases of the volunteer experience abroad). I was supposed to arrive in April, but two weeks before my departure to Sweden, the lockdown started in Spain due to the Covid situation. At that point, I had already left my journalist job and my flat in Barcelona, so I had to live in my parent’s house for a while. Not what I was expecting when I decided to move abroad, that’s for sure! 

I lived for two months in England when I was 21, and since then I dreamed about living abroad for a year. However, it never seemed to be a good moment. When I turned 30, I decided to just leave everything and do it. When I finally made it to Sweden, I was so happy to be here! The honeymoon phase started right away! 

I’m living in a beautiful villa near to the lake with three volunteers (Lina from France, Ida from Germany, Julian from Austria) and one student (Patrick from Sweden). We arrived in Växjö the same weekend and we all get along well. One thing that I like the most is that we do activities together: walking or biking around the amazing lake, having dinners, enjoying a movie night, swimming in the lake, visiting the city center… 

We are five, but there is just one bathroom, so we need a schedule in the mornings! Ha, ha. We also have a schedule for cleaning the house and we might need one for doing the laundry. We will see! 

I love going by bike to Globala Kronoberg, where I’m working as a volunteer, helping with communication and organizing activities. In Barcelona it took me soooo much time to go to work by bus or metro! I love it here! 

The lake near the villa is beautiful. It’s just amazing being surrounded by nature all the time! 

I’m looking forward to starting my Swedish lessons and learning more about the Swedish culture and recipes. 

I’m still in the honeymoon phase, but I’m slowly transitioning to the reality phase. Let’s see how everything will turn out!”

Irene