Interview with Author & Expat – Barnabas
What made you decide to move to Sweden?
Actually, this question is still interesting to me after 12 years. Coming to Sweden wasn’t a predetermined choice of mine, the initial plan was to relocate to my uncle in Spain. But God had other plans for me, as a christian you learn to understand how He works. As human beings on earth we can only propose and God disposes. My journey was facilitated by the United Nations after almost 11 months of indulgence in Morocco. What happened was, my file being an underaged unacompanied refugee, got sent to the Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Luckily for me the first country that replies to my request was Sweden. So to answer the above question, i did not choose Sweden but rather it chose me.
How has living in Sweden changed you?
I wouldn’t use the noun change because sometimes it can be perceived as a negative word. I think living in sweden rather have developed my ways of life. Not to sound cliche, i remember vividly 6 years ago and i thought of traveling to Spain and visit my cousins. Impulsively, i bought my ticket, arrived in madrid within 24 hours without having the idea prior. Fast forward to present day, when i intend traveling, i make sure that i am well prepared. Note, not that being spontaneous is a bad thing, and that one can be fully prepared. No, but with preparation comes less surprises.. So i have developed to be patient, strategic and less spontaneous sometimes.
What do you wish you knew about Sweden before moving here?
This is simple! I wish i knew as an underanged, refugee in a country like Sweden, you are “entitled” to reunite with your family.
If you could change anything about Sweden, what would that be?
Change. In this context, be it positive or negative. Actually i wouldn’t do much. Why because, to me that is the definition of integration: accepting differences and becoming a part of something. Of course there are a lot of thing i dislike about this country: like the high tax rate, weather, and antisocial lifestyle. But this compatibility makes up the country’s culture, so i wouldn’t change much..
What is the biggest difference between Nigeria vs Sweden?
There are a lot that differs: The culture, tradition, language, structure and so much more. To summarize, i would emphasize on structure. The differences on social structure is massive.
If you would like to read another Blog post, then Klick Here and read the story of a local Swede & the reason why she found peace living in the north of Sweden