Being a Swede outside Sweden

Ever since I was a little girl traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life. My parents also loved to travel and when I grew up they took me and my brother to faraway places. I think my biggest learning in life came from travels. I seen the rich and poor, played with kids that spoke languages that I could not understand a word of, created memories from Manhattan to Bangkok before they became places that “everyone” been to, I learned that life is not like a straight highway – you have to adapt and sometimes take sideways. Travels has thought me a lot. When I was 15 I went for my first trip without my parents. To Malta and an english course for three weeks. I felt really grown up when I got there and even older when I got back.

Pernilla Bredolt

Moving abroad

I always felt like a world citizen and the world was there to be discovered. I dreamed about living abroad (and still do) and after highschool I made it come true and for the first time in my life I settled down outside my birthplace Västerås in Sweden. At the age of 19 I moved by myself to Boca Raton in Florida, US for a year. In Florida I enjoyed the beautiful beaches, country clubs, training in the sunny weather and I studied a course about the american society. A few weeks after I returned to Sweden I moved to Jönköping and started my way to my Master degree in Business administration at Jönköping International Business School. With my international mindset I did course picked an all English international program. After two years we got the opportunity to go for one or two exchange semester and after hard work I got my both top choices.

I still remember the day when I was standing in the looker room at the gym in Jönköping just about to instruct a boxing class when I got to know that I was admitted to Singapore Management University. I was going to move to Singapore for half a year. One of my favorite countries worldwide. Then I would have three months on break (travels) before doing my second exchange semester in Seoul, South Korea at one of the most privileged private universities in the country. I was beyond excited! This was 2007/2008 and was one of the best years in my life.


I came back to Sweden, spent half a year in Jönköping before moving to Gothenburg to finish my studies. Applied for jobs and got one at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. I always had a dream about working in the aviation industry and all of a sudden I was there. So I moved to Hamburg for half a year of training. Starting the real working life in a German company. I had my prejudices but the real life was different. After six months I moved to Norway to be  an onsite Customer Service Manager for a key customer in Norway so for 1,5 year I lived the expat life in Norway. That time included a lot of ups and downs in my life. I stayed in the company for 2 years and one day when I was at the very bottom of my down I got a job at Scandinavian airlines in Stockholm and since the 1st of September 2011 I been living in Sweden again. It was not the same Sweden I returned to. I was different and I had a lot of new knowledge and experiences with me. I now have lived in my home country five years I have not adapted back to the super Swedish style, having tacos’s at Fridays, watching the Eurovision song contest, celebrating midsummer and so on. I think it is a really, really good life experience to live abroad for some time although it is difficult and you feel that the world is against you many times it is worth it.

Honestly I cannot say that I want to live in Sweden for the rest of my life. As long as I can travel as much as I want I am fine living here but if I get the opportunity to live the expat life again I will take it.

This was the short version story about my life abroad and an introduction to a serial story about expat life in US, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Norway here in my blog. Do’s and don’ts, tips & trix and so on.

Questions on that?

/ Pernilla the not so Swedish Swede


  1. Det låter som en spännande livsresa du är på och att döma av ditt Instagram-konto spenderar du inte många av dina lediga dagar inom Sveriges gränser heller. 🙂 Spännande att se var du kommer hamna härnäst!

    Jag känner som du, att jag är mer världsmedborgare än svensk. Varje söndagmorgon när jag loggar in på Facebook får jag snarare ångest av att läsa alla mellouppdateringar. Då längtar jag hem som allra minst. 🙂

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