Stockholm is my first (overnight) stop on this trip and I already feel like it may be my best. This is entirely due to the amazing hospitality of the Swedish cousins, who opened their homes to me and showed me their incredible city.
Stockholm life seems too good to be true. The city is carved into the canals, lakes and the sea. Since I arrived at the tail end of the summer, everything was green, the days were still long, and the sky was cloudless almost every single day. At 3 pm on a weekday, I was navigating a mall packed with locals who had money to burn and no further job obligations. A gross simplification of Swedish life would be that no one works, and everyone has a sailboat and a vacation home. (Of course that isn't actually the case, but the relaxed and recreational atmosphere of the capitol strongly give off that vibe.)
Nonetheless, life in Sweden seems idyllic, and I'm kicking myself a little bit for choosing London for graduate school instead of considering a university in Stockholm. That's okay, though. Perhaps the magic of Sweden wears off after you spend a bit of time here? For me, Stockholm will remain a mythical place where groups of bros on 480 days of parental leave casually push strollers through parks bigger than some towns in Montana.