Stockholm: The Land of the Lagom Lifestyle

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Stockholm is what I’d consider to be my Scandinavian home.

Happy be back, wearing my Teva Ember Mocs.

My second trip to Sweden brought me to the capital of Lagom. The brewers of Fika. The manufacturers of style. The architects of art and design. The heart of all things Scandinavian. 

What follows here should be considered a mere introduction the Lagom lifestyle — as a week long stay is not enough to even substantially extract how Swedes lead their everyday lives. However, what I did take away from it is a permeating, lasting sense of hospitality and compassion that makes the Swedish lifestyle so enticing, so captivating. Ready to #StrapIntoFreedom with me and enjoy a leisurely stroll across Stockholm with me? 

The gorgeous Skeppsholmen Hotel, where a luxury boutique hotel meets a traditional bed and breakfast ambience.
Address: Gröna gången 1, 111 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 407 23 00

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The Scene 

Let’s get one thing out of the way — Stockholm is a beautiful city. And that’s a fact. It is impeccably manicured and preserved — one of the more important hallmarks of what makes this city so special for me. They love preserving and enhancing existing architectural landmarks, as opposed to demolishing them for profit and commercial gain. Stockholm’s unrivaled commitment to preservation often makes headlines. Aside from its natural and architectural beauty, it is a city that is simultaneously modern and proud of its Nordic origins. One quick stroll and glance in the sea harbor neighborhood of Skeppsholmen, and you’ll see instantly why it is so easy to fall in love with Stockholm.

 Traditional, sweet and scrumptious kardemumma bulle spotted on the counter of Il Cafe in Södermalm. Il Cafe Södermalm  Address: Södermannagatan 23, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 462 95 00

Traditional, sweet and scrumptious kardemumma bulle spotted on the counter of Il Cafe in Södermalm.
Il Cafe Södermalm
Address: Södermannagatan 23, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 462 95 00

 Strolling through to smell the flowers right by the Kungsträdgården in my   Teva Ember Lace boots  .

Strolling through to smell the flowers right by the Kungsträdgården in my Teva Ember Lace boots.

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The Eats

Stockholm, like most of its Scandinavian counterparts, takes its cuisine very seriously. I had the opportunity to dine at many fine establishments during my time there, but one that really stood out is Oaxen Krog right by the waters of Djurgårdsvägen. The carefully prepared halibut, garnished with a potato foam and a gently-mashed potato puree is a celebration of this versatile starchy vegetable. In fact, there is such a buzzy tradition about the first potatoes of the season — affectionately known as Färskpotatis — that each batch could yield up to 80,000 kr (roughly $9,000). What Swedes excel in doing is taking advantage of its seasonality and local ingredients. So local that they grow it in communal gardens on the city streets of Stockholm. Yes, that is some fine Tuscan Kale you see coming out of that beautiful bush of floral and fauna. A true testament to how committed the Swedes are to sourcing from the ground to the table. Even if it’s directly from the street. 

 The phenomenal halibut meets potato mash and foam dish at Oaxen Krog. Address: Beckholmsbron 26, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 551 531 05

The phenomenal halibut meets potato mash and foam dish at Oaxen Krog.
Address: Beckholmsbron 26, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 551 531 05

 What you see here is tuscan kale growing right from the streets of Stockholm. Talk about a commitment to locally-sourced ingredients!

What you see here is tuscan kale growing right from the streets of Stockholm. Talk about a commitment to locally-sourced ingredients!

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The Climate

Yes, the ten-thousand-dollar question that always gets asked. As someone who prefers cooler climates, I love Stockholm for its milder temperatures even through the summer season. Usually the best times to visit are during the Spring and Summer months, when the weather conditions are more favorable and less intense to deal with. But no matter the season, I am always prepared for an unexpected downpour in my Teva Ember Mocs and Ember Lace Up boots. The are the perfect companions when traveling to destinations that typically have more outdoor environments, such as Scandinavia. And they were — literally — my solemates on this particular trip when tackling the slipper pavements due to the occasional rain. 

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The People & Society 

Swedes are synonymous for being hospitable and moderate when it comes to temperaments. Always willing to lend a helping hand and to make sure your stay with them is cozy and relaxed, they epitomize the Lagom way of living. They are all about balance. Here’s a real definition, as defined by the Swedish furniture juggernaut IKEA:

Lagomer is: 'A person who is working towards living a more lagom lifestyle – making small changes to their everyday life to minimize environmental impact, being thrifty with resources and enjoying a fun, happy and balanced life.'

And this truly describes Swedes to the tee. I have a personal anecdote, too, from my friend Sanna who works as a designer at GANT. She has access to universal healthcare, takes her Fika (coffee) breaks very seriously at 3pm everyday, and even goes to the gym in between work hours. It’s no wonder that Swedes are naturally taller, slimmer and healthier, due to more balanced habits that won’t cause extreme stress and anxiety. Now that’s something we could all get with in a jiffy! 

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Fin.


Alright guys, thank you for reading this through. I hope this was a warm and Lagom-like introduction into the picturesque world of Stockholm — a city I hope to personally revisit again and again for years to come. Thanks for taking the first step with me, in my Tevas, as I embark on carrying on the Lagom lifestyle wherever I go. Because if anything, we all deserve balance and harmony in our lives to thrive, to flourish happily and productively. 

Outfit Photography by Azusa Takano