From Sweden

Number of winters living abroad: 15


Elizabeth’s Story: Lenart's friend once invited us to travel to Spain with him in his camper. We accepted the offer. When we returned to Sweden the weather was terrible – it was snowy, rainy, and windy. Living on the west coast of Sweden, the weather is normally poor. It was not, therefore, a difficult decision to change our lifestyle. We bought a camper and went to Spain again, for three months this time. Since then, we have been spending six to seven winter months a year abroad and return home only for the summer months.

We sold our house in Sweden twelve years ago. We have also sold my husband’s logistics company and its three trucks. The only thing we left is our large garage where we have set up a cozy living space.

Spanish weather is excellent - there’s lots of sunshine. We are constantly laughing and talking to others - it is such a joy! Every morning we wake up, have breakfast, watch Swedish TV, read the news and chat. Afterwards, my husband goes walking or cycling. In the evenings we go to parties. We can ride bikes, go out to restaurants or cafes with friends, or just sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine. Sweden is an expensive country, and people are not very communicative.

In our country, the roads are icy, and cycling dangerous in winter. Therefore, you have to spend a lot of time at home and you don’t have many opportunities to talk to anyone. At this age, it is much more fun to be around like-minded people.


Both of us receive our pensions, but it's not a lot of money, so it would be difficult to live a high quality life in Sweden. We just don’t waste money here, we are of that age where we cannot live just for today – we have to plan for tomorrow.

I remember our parents well - they didn't live to the same age as we are now. Of course, our health is not what it used to be. But when I try to complain that I am seventy-five, other campers tell me, “Oh, you still young, we're eighty!” But if ever I feel tired in the morning, I can just go and sleep for another hour or think about life.

Half a year ago I was in a difficult state. Lenart told me if I wouldn’t stop the emotional outbursts, he would get into the car and drive back to Sweden alone. “You can stay here, I leave you all of our belongings,” he said. I was shocked, did he really want to leave me after thirty one years of marriage? However, we then went for a long silent walk, looked around at other people, anger subsided, and everything went back to the good old ways.

Sometimes, we quarrel, but we get over it quickly – I just go out and do something. When you are at this age, you do not fight. We have little time, so we must be very kind to each other.