'We'd like to live here as long as we can'

'We'd like to live here as long as we can'

'We'd like to live here as long as we can'

Getting out of your comfort zone and making the new place feel like home is always a challenge. When Anders Svensson was asked to move to India, he too knew that there's so much to learn and unlearn. But  being the optimistic person that he is, he  looked forward to this new phase of life as an adventure.  

Anders moved from Halmstad, Sweden to Bengaluru  in 2015 with wife Sara Olandersson Sjogren and two-year-old son Seth Sjogren. He is the  director of 'Kalmar', a company that provides cargo handling  solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centres and heavy industry.

When they initially moved to the city, they knew that they had to get used to  the lifestyle here. Anders says, "India is just the opposite of Sweden. Our population is very less compared to India and the people there actually drive on the roads. Having said that, we have had a very welcoming start and we are grateful for that. The vibrant colours and the helpful nature of people have helped us a lot."    

Unlike many other expats, Anders and family didn't face any problems when it came to food. It was mostly other practical aspects that they had trouble with. He explains, "We had to get our phone connections, create bank accounts and other digital needs which took us a while to set up. We realised that not everything here is internet friendly, so we had to wait patiently till the concerned department came to help us out."  

The family  stay at Palm Meadows in Whitefield and have made friends there to hang out with. "Sara has become friends  with the people in our colony and that helps her stay busy. She's part of various charity events and also practices yoga with her friends. Seth keeps her busy too," he adds.  

Travelling is a big part of the family's fun activities. They have visited Kerala, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Jaipur, Udaipur, Agra, Delhi and Mysuru so far. "We're yet to visit Coorg, Ooty and other nearby hill stations. We hope to make that happen very soon," says Anders.  

However, they find it a challenge to travel by road. "It takes a long time to go somewhere by road. That's why we opt for places that have flight options. Having said that, I love that you can choose what kind of traveller you want to be. The options here are amazing. You can either pick the most luxurious hotel  at your destination or do a  very cheap trip. The experiences for both are also completely different which makes it so much cooler to travel here," he explains. One of their favourite trips has been to the Taj Mahal. He says, "We loved everything about it. I think it's the most beautiful building I have ever seen. I  also love how they have maintained it so well, especially in terms of its cleanliness. But it's best to not go there during long weekends."  

The Svensson family may have adjusted quite well to the city, but there are certain things from  home that they miss. Anders says, "The lakes in  Halmstad are just fantastic. I loved going there for a bath or just to chill. I also miss the greenery; there are a lot of forests there."  

"Food is also something that we miss but we love Indian cuisine. We always have Indian dishes for breakfast and lunch. Since we are vegetarians, we like that there are a number of options for us to indulge in," he says.

The couple has accustomed to the lifestyle in the city that they feel everyone can survive here if they have the right contacts. Anders explains, "Everything here is possible and impossible at the same time. I've realised that if you have the right  connections and someone to help you out, you can live a happy life.  I am thankful to not have faced any such problems here."  

As he came here to set up the company, he isn't sure when they will have to relocate again. "We're very happy here. We live in a good area, have nice neighbours and my son goes to a good school. We  would like to live here as long as we can,"  says Anders.