Why a blog about Scandinavians living and working in Spain?
This blog is about how to navigate as a family and business in a foreign country, in our case Spain, which has a completely different set of rules and values compared to what we have been used to – growing up with in Denmark.
To have as much fun possible I consider how we as Scandinavians – Danish in particular – can be beneficial and pro-active in the South of Europe (i.e. Spain) and how we can bring something new and useful to the table and create productive relationships in a different culture.
We live in the South of Spain in a small cosmopolitan village called Marbella which has over 110 nationalities registered at its town hall. After having spent 5 years here I should have learned what our Scandinavian values can bring and where our boundaries seem to be when managing challenges, such as cultural clashes which are part of daily life, political correctness and in-correctness, different social norms and business habits and also inclusion and exclusion of social groups.
I hope to give you observations and information useful to Scandinavians living both in Scandinavia or in Spain. I also hope that international people with an interest Scandinavian values and in living in Spain would find use of the blog. Finally Spanish people might learn something both about themselves and their diversified group of guests.
Politics and religion play a smaller role in the blog reflecting that Marbella culture is surprisingly free of those elements enabling everyone to meet in a friendly atmosphere which is beyond the issues of the world and more focused on living in the current moment talking about family matters and living outdoors.
I grew up in Denmark and spent my childhood in one the most beautiful green areas imaginable, a well-organised place with lakes, forests and local sports. My friends use to say about me that I was always happy when sailing on the lakes and I was so I did it that a lot. To me nature is bliss. The lakes where I grew up. Paradise on earth.
As a child I have been local paperboy for many years, hunted by the neighbour’s dogs. Later I took a masters degree in political science and management. For a short period after University I wrote songs that I had.
I have started businesses in and outside Denmark. Generally I try to become wiser when facing difficult moments that test your character. Some of those challenges I will write about in later blogs. I will also write about philosophies that could be useful to deploy in business and in life.
What makes people write blogs? A wish to be acknowledged for who you are and what you stand for? For sure but there are other good reasons. My main reason is that I always seek the truth through honesty and personal experience.
Living with my family with three small children (of which two were born outside my home country), working, being creative and productive in a company with employees of different nationalities; situated in a society which is rapidly changing, I think having a blog for reflections and exchange of ideas could be an efficient way to release my voice of ‘sense-making’. Therefore I will test it and see how it works. In any case, I always tried to get direct experience myself to have solid grounds behind my views.
Hopefully the blog could become useful and I am grateful for your comments. Our shared perspectives will be more useful as we are living in the same one world, although our belief systems and values can vary substantially between both cultures and individuals.
The blog topics will be related to navigation in cultural contexts, businesses, personal and family life with roots in Scandinavian values, useful philosophies including Buddhism and 10 years of practical experience as entrepreneur. This is the context where I take my decisions so that’s where I think I can add something.
The most used blogs seem quite specific in areas, such as fitness, health, diets, fine wine, gourmet, recipes, medicine, politics etc. as people often seek specific information on the internet which it is designed to provide. Instead I will try to balance simple view points and write about anything I like from family trips to thoughts on how to keep the right people around you, how to manage so-called ‘mistakes’ and learn from them (as things rarely go as planned). These are just examples. I will write as I want and it will be wide-ranging.
I hope that people may find some reflections of themselves or inspiration to new challenges, such as living in a different culture, starting a new business and creating a healthy family and life. I appreciate your interest and comments.