Dalarna County – The Big Heart

When I have some free time, I take to pen and paper and jot down some thoughts and some words, hence there is a blog I come to with relevant travel information that might help someone in the future. A few days ago, it came to me to write a tribute to Dalarna County. I have just started my final year as a Tourism Student, so now is the right time to start thinking about what happens after this. I think it is always good to have a plan, though you can never know how it will go, at least you can have an idea. For now, I can relentlessly use my time to ‘Upplever mer av Dalarna’ and send a shout out for my time here.
This blog is mainly about Dalarna and might just feature some other parts of Sweden which when I have the time, I will definitely write something about. So here we go, the lovely, Dalarna County. It was about 2 years ago I left South Africa in search of what, I wasn’t sure but now, I am semi-there. Part of the answer is freedom. Studying in Sweden has opened my eyes to all kinds of worlds that I never imagined previously. It is a precious gift to be able to study further and also to get the opportunity to meet an array of people from all over the world. Some of whom I might get to visit someday, who knows, the future is long.
If I knew then what I know now, if only.
The outdoors
I’ve never been an outdoor person, but Sweden with its vast array of outdoor activity does force you to explore the outdoors. I have finally gotten the opportunity to explore the forest and the various hiking trails. I’ve gone camping, berry picking (I made some muffins from that batch), and swimming in countless lakes. It’s interesting that the soul only knows what it wants, once it gets it. Usually, it is just some fresh air.

Photo Credit: Yasir

Everybody who knows me knows that I love to fika. This is very important! For those that don’t know, fika is a very important part of everyday life in Sweden. It is a moment in the day to enjoy and appreciate the good things in life. I have always been a coffee and cake lover but till I got here, I had no idea that a country had already successfully developed a name for the best part of the day. How extremely special!
Well, I’ve always been a travel fanatic, and it’s always been an essential part of me to explore and find hidden gems but previously would I do it alone? Absolutely NOT! But thanks to the easy and accessible transport system, I have had the privilege of going to multiple places within Sweden. I recently spoke to new students about traveling in Sweden and while plotting what to say, I found out that I had explored 11 of the 15 Dalarna County municipalities, it is quite incredible to know that in such a short time it’s easy to get around as long as you plan & budget correctly.
Outside the box
Though I grew up very South African with strict rules enf0rced by my parents (my mother mainly), I always tended to wander a little outside the box. One of my favourite quotes till date is by Dr. Seuss which says something along the lines of, ‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’. I think this quote comes handy when thinking outside the box. To add to this already cultivated curiosity was my time here in Sweden. It has taught me that no matter the idea, when explored, the only answer it could possibly furnish is no, not this time. Perhaps think harder. Now I play outside the box and enjoy my time there too!
This would of course not be my piece of writing if I didn’t mention the countless trips to and from IKEA. The worlds greatest place! In Borlänge this is only a stone throw away from the University campus so, there have been many lunches and many fikas there. I have also had the opportunity to visit the IKEA museum.
So what can I say about Dalarna (Sweden) that hasn’t already been said… Quite a bit more. It is an incredible place if you want to find yourself! The winters force you into action but the summer days make it all worth it. There is the freedom to wander, freedom to be and freedom to seek! For me, these 2 years have been noteworthy, I’ve also always said, Dalarna chooses you and not the other way around.
For now, what else can I say? OH YES, tack Dalarna och jag älskar dig!
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