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My Swedish adventure - Danielle Annandale

Heij heij

My name is Danielle Annandale and I am from South Africa; I have been an Au Pair for about 10 years. I am currently located in Falsterbo Sweden (since June 2022), looking after 2 boys and a dog. I truly think being an Au Pair is one of the best experiences you can possibly have. In the few months of being in Sweden, I have seen so many amazing places.

I have experienced a real Swedish cabin in the woods in Härardbäck where I went for a midnight swim in the lake and experienced wild blueberry picking. We went to Mölle, a harbour town with an incredibly rich history - this was the first place where men and women could go to the beach together. Stockholm is truly a sight to be seen, words cannot quite describe the magnificence, every day at 12 o'clock they march down the street on horseback banging their drums and blowing their trumpets. Falsterbo/Skanör has prepossessing beaches that you can approach from any direction, and walk for miles in unspoilt Mother Nature. Malmö the industrial town (the closest big city to where I live) is a heavenly mix of modern and old-fashioned.

Most people speak English but they appreciate the effort when you try to speak Swedish.

Here are some things I have learned so far; hopefully they will prepare you for your next adventure abroad! First things first: PACKING. Pack for all seasons in one day. I know this sounds strange but it will be sunny one moment and rain the next. I recommend packing a rain jacket and sun hat where ever you go. Swimming clothes are a must. Swedish people love to swim. Sandals are compulsory and so are house shoes (a shoe you wear only inside the house).

Then there are the inevitable culture shocks: The list of cultural shocks is long so here we go. 1) The sun doesn't set till 12 at night! And it comes up again at 3 AM (in summer) 2) Nobody takes anything that does not belong to them, if you drop something people just leave it there and it doesn't get taken. 3) NO CASH! Cash doesn't get used a lot in Sweden you can only basically use it in ICA (supermarket). 4) Cell phones are used to pay for almost all things (download Swish as soon as you get there). 5) Swedish people love swimming naked it's totally normal for them. 6) People don't care about your size or colour here, you are just one of them. 7) Getting a bank account takes about 2 months for an Au Pair. 8) They recycle everything!

9) They are very social; they love having people over. 10) Kids are very independent and go most places alone. 11) The language has a lot of similarities to Afrikaans. 12) No masks

Life is meant for spectacular adventures. Let your feet wander, your eyes marvel and your soul ignite! My Voyage in Sweden is not over yet and I will soon be sharing my Winter Wonderland experience!


Author: Danielle Annandale


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