João’s tips for those moving to a new country

1. There are always others who have moved there recently, so you’re not alone. If you're open, meeting new people is never a problem.

2. It’s always good to be able to speak the local language, but don’t worry about not being able to speak it too well. You just need to keep on practising once you’re there.

3. Respect the rules and customs, regardless of where you come from. They can be very different from one country to another, take an interest and be attentive to them, and most things work out.

João left the stress of Brazil’s biggest city for Duved

Mountains, nature and snowboarding. That’s what João Sampaio got when he switched São Paulo, a Brazilian city of 21 million people, for a life close to nature in Duved, just west of Åre. In Duved, daily life is close at hand, light years from São Paulo, where he’d spend hours every day sitting in traffic.

“Right now, I could be working in an office in Brazil, in the midst of cars and pollution. Instead I’m surrounded by nature and the mountains,” says João.

Moved from Stockholm

João moved from Brazil to Malta six years ago, then he moved again, this time to Stockholm where he had a new job. He enjoyed it there, but when the corona pandemic really hit hard in spring 2020, João realised that when everything he really appreciated about Stockholm – all the bars, concerts and nightlife – was no longer available, the city wasn’t as attractive. “Was it really worth paying rent for an apartment in the “happening” Stockholm, when nothing happened anymore?” João asked himself.

When one of his friends moved to Tegefjäll near Åre, he started to play with the thought of moving north. He put himself on the list for housing in Åre, and a few months later he got an apartment in Duved. It was an easy decision, he left Stockholm.

Joao snowboarding down a slope

Fell in love with snowboarding

From his balcony in central Duved, he savours seeing the shifts in the seasons, the sun shining in through the windows and the proximity to the ski slopes. João’s snowboarding skills have quickly progressed after more than 100 days on the board. His passion for snowboarding was ignited during a weekend in the Italian Alps, when he and some friends took some lessons. He immediately fell in love with it, while his friends soon switched to skiing.

Porträttbild på joao
“I started snowboarding when I was 35, and there’s a special feeling about being a beginner as an adult. I usually board for an hour at lunch time, it’s perfect to get out for a ride in the middle of the working day,” he says.

More social contact in Duved

Having nature right on his doorstep is one of the reasons João so enjoys living in Duved, proximity to everything is another factor. He works from home, the nearest grocery store is 50 metres away and the slopes are just a five-minute walk. He spends the time he saves just taking it easy and being outdoors. According to João, the people in Stockholm and Duved are very different to each other, in Jämtland they are more social and take the time to chat.

“Even though I live alone, I speak to plenty of people every day, at the grocery store, in the slopes or on the bus. When I was trying to learn to jump last winter and other boarders saw me falling, they’d come over and give me tips. You can meet new people anywhere, just as long as you’re open for it,” says João happily.

João works as an app developer, which has been a perfect job for remote working. All he needs is his computer and a reliable internet connection.

Daring is winning

João works as an app developer, which has been a perfect job for remote working. All he needs is his computer and a reliable internet connection. Sometimes he sits on his balcony with his computer and takes in the view of Mullfjället mountain above the village while he works.

“Until a few years ago I’d never seen snow, but now I live next to a ski slope. Sometimes you just have to dare to try something new.”

Further reading

On João´s personal blog you can read more about his decision to relocate to Duved and his discoveries on his way into the world of snowboarding.