Tim Foolery

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Stockholm: Initial Impressions

Fifty hours in Stockholm is not enough. Admittedly, I didn’t do a whole hell of a lot of planning before I arrived.  I made a list of the major things I wanted to see/do/eat, but that was it.  Stockholm is small. It is walkable. It is clean. Everyone I have encountered has spoken at least SOME English… and most speak better English than I do.

I love the transit here. From the high (ish) speed train from the airport to the Central Station, to the tram, to the Subway (haven’t taken a bus yet).

I’ve been happy with all of my choices on this trip so far, including my Hotel, the list of Must-Dos, my spur of the moment food decisions and my decision to actually take this trip. No regrets at all.

As I’ve said before, but this is my first vacation alone. I’ve traveled solo hundreds of times for work, but never for pleasure and have never traveled abroad alone.

I won’t lie. I had to FORCE myself up and out of that surprisingly comfortable Sheraton bed this morning.  I knew it would be a struggle for me each morning…. and it was. It is nice to be off the grid and recharge….but I didn’t come here to lay in bed.

I have several friends who really dig the solo travel thing.  They hit it hard each day and really thrive. Not me.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it, I just really like experiencing things like travel/food/booze (well, life in general), with others.

If I didn’t have a full list of things I need to do I would have totally spent more time sleeping/watching TV in the hotel…and then upon my return home, been utterly disappointed in myself.

I managed to knock off all the things on my must do list.  I write this post as I sit in the Ardbeg, a fun little bar in the Old Town area. They have a huge whisky selection and great beers on tap (I am enjoying God Lager by Nils Oscar).  I plan on having some beers, eating some Swedish food and just relaxing….away from the hotel.

Stockholm reminds me of Mexico City. You probably think I am nuts. It isn’t the architecture, the people or the weather.  It is how I feel about the City. I like both Cities. I have enjoyed my time in both Cities. Unlike Cities like Toronto, Ho Chi Minh City, Frankfurt and Lisbon, I definitely want to return to Stockholm….sometime, not necessarily anytime soon though.  If I never revisit HCMC, Toronto, Frankfurt or Lisbon, I would be OK.  Mexico City and Stockholm are places that are on my revisit list….but now they are at the bottom. These Cities aren’t like London, Paris, Phnom Penh, or Cape Town where I actively want to visit again.

Have you been to Stockholm? What is your favorite thing to do/see here? Do you love to travel solo? When traveling solo do you do more planning than if you traveled with friends?

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