I have never been a beach person. Although I think it’s stunning, and I can enjoy it for an hour or two, laying in the hot sun and reading for days on end has never been something that sounds even remotely enjoyable to me. If I go somewhere I want to explore; I’ve never seen the point of leaving home just to relax… Until I came to Skeppsgården, and the Baltic Sea.
When I decided to go to Sweden with Liz and Lina, I knew that a week at camp was part of the package, but I had seen pictures on their blogs and I knew it was going to be beautiful. I didn’t know that I was going to let go of stress and truly relax for an entire week. This camp is a tradition that has been in Lina’s family for about 40 years. Her family and a few members of their church get together, eat, play games and spend time together. I’ll have a lot more to say about the actual camp later this week, but today I’m going to focus on the beautiful Baltic Sea.
My first full day there, I was a bit leery of laying beside the water all day; I didn’t want to relax and “waste” my time there. So, Lina and I took the canoe out and it was so much fun! We went around a little island.
Photo by Lina
The same night, Lina took Liz and me out in the row boat. It was insane because she hauled us all around by herself; it was seriously impressive! On our way back, I attempted to do the row boat… Let’s just say, I’m not as impressive. I had a tendency to make us go around in a circle… while using two paddles. I think my left arm is stronger than my right! Ha!
This area of the Baltic looks like a lake. The water is insanely calm, and it’s absolutely beautiful! Every night after the campfire it was great to see the reflection of the sunset on the water. Truly stunning.
Over the next six days, I found myself enjoying the ocean just as much. I laid by the ocean every single day. I usually hate doing this, but I found myself loving the relaxation- plus, there was no sand. I think I let 24 years of non-relaxation out in this week, and it felt amazing!
I never pictured myself jumping into the Baltic because it’s so cold, but Liz was reading The Geography of Bliss while we were there and she read a quote about truly experiencing travel, not just documenting it, and I decided to not just write about being at the ocean in Sweden, but to experience it! So, I took the leap and I swam in the Baltic Sea every day, and I’m so glad that I did!
Photo by Liz
This week in the Archipelago was great for me: I relaxed. I swam. I rowed a boat.
Although, I enjoyed my time of relaxation, I think that I was only able to relax this much because I knew I had three more weeks in Sweden. However, it was good to realize that the beach can be fun, that it’s good to take time to relax, and that it’s about experiencing life!
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