Euphoria and the return to Båstad

What did you do five years ago? What did your life look like?

What were your dreams, or at least your plans?

Me, I was 25 and was finishing a tourism and service management degree at a school in the picturesque sea side village of Båstad, in the south of Sweden. Even though I had just come back from backpacking in Australia, the next two years in Båstad became an even greater journey.

It’s impossible for me to express everything I experienced during those two intense years.

From living in one of Sweden’s most beautiful places, having a 400 year old garden with sea view as school yard…

…experiencing everything from guide school in sunny Crete…

to freezing but absolutely fantastic ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi…

…throwing wicked home parties in our rented houses, laughing and joking, but also going through some of the toughest times; breaking up with my boyfriend after almost five years, hooking up with a class mate, supporting a room mate that was having eating disorders and sharing the chocking message that another class mate had committed suicide just before our graduation.

Båstad is a small town and my class mates were my world at the time.

At least 15 of them I keep regular contact with and consider my best friends. Three of them I have actually lived with in other places, Charlotte being one of them here in Oslo.

I wish more of them could have come to our reunion in Båstad last weekend, but I know many are living abroad or have families now.

To me, it was important to come back, and although we were laughing and drinking rosé on the road trip down from Gothenburg, it was with heartfelt nostalgia we rolled into Båstad.

Everything was exactly the same; the posh people, the sports cars, the little art and designer’s shops, a rich man’s village and a place where people from all over the world, including royalty, come to play.

Me, I was never interested in that game. I loved the smell of the sea, the landscape, the light of spring and the dampness of the fall when it was quiet and smelled of garden apples. The loft apartment where me and Lina lived.

But now, when we returned in was the end of May and summer season was just starting.

So we stayed at the beautiful bright Skansen hotel, had fancy dinners, talked and joked about everything that had happened, watched the sun set in the sea, took loads of pictures, hung out at the beach and partied all night at Pepes Bodega.

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Although I’m not a Eurovision Song Contest fan, Sweden couldn’t have picked a better night to win than when we were all gathered in front of the big screen at Pepes.

Euphoooria, Loreen sang and that became the theme of the weekend.

I was so happy and didn’t want to leave on Sunday, but I knew time would always stand still for me in that place. And the truth is, I have moved on.

My dreams are the same as they were then, but my plans have changed.

Maybe that is the greatest lesson I’ve learnt in the last five years.