Sweden 2015A concert tour, a mountain, and a family reunion three generations in the making
On the heels of my sudden and unexpected fame due to Allt för Sverige, I embarked upon a two-month adventure to explore the country (on my own terms, this time). It would be a chance to see some of the places I didn’t get to see on my previous visits, to spend more time with my newfound relatives, and fulfill some lifelong dreams.
It began with a concert tour of Skåne in Southern Sweden, singing in places that were important to my family including the historic Lund Cathedral. Had a big reunion where my American family met my Swedish relatives for the first time in three generations, and we spent many beautiful days exploring the countryside and celebrating the Midsommar holidays together. We stopped in Småland to visit friends on the way to Stockholm. And finally we made the long, beautiful drive from Stockholm through the High Coast and to Northern Sweden.
My heart finds a refreshing contentment in Lapland. Something about the landscape and the perpetual daylight (in summer) or night (in winter) is especially captivating to me. So it was a landmark of a day when my father, cousin, and I summited the highest mountain in the country, Kebnekaise — in the land of the midnight sun.
Read posts from the blog below for all the photos and stories about the journey.
From the blog: Sweden 2015
This is my own narrative of my journey to the summit of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden. This is a follow-up to the press story about it that I posted yesterday. Here you'll find more background on why and how I did it. Where it all started... an...read more
Defied disease - climbed Kebnekaise "Allt för Sverige" - Katie trained for six months in order to fulfill her dream. Aftonbladet, July 31, 2015. By Linn Elmervik. Translated from the original Swedish. The chronic disease could not stop her. A week ago the "Everything...read more
Solitary walks in the woods are where everything makes sense. This week I was at a conference for work in Skamania county - a rural part of Washington State, on the Columbia River that is the border between Washington and Oregon. It's a place where two important...read more
There once was a young Swedish woman named Elna Persdottir, who grew up on a farm outside the tiny town of Eslöv in Skåne, in the south of Sweden. Elna was the oldest of five children, the daughter of a tailor, and from her father she learned the skills to become a...read more
After the midsommars eve festivities, I got up early on midsommars day to travel to Eslöv, where I was invited to be the guest singer for the midsommar themed service at a small but historic church called Västra Sallerups Kyrka. This church has a long history - it was...read more
My first Midsommar holiday was spent at Skansen in Stockholm with Courtney, John, and George on a day off from filming Allt för Sverige. It was a great first exposure to some of the major Midsommar traditions - making crowns from birch branches, eating strawberries,...read more
I love the rain -- family and friends from my youth will attest that I always have. The sound of rain on the roof is comforting; the freshness of the air is cleansing. To me it is a reminder of home and books and slow-cooked food and cozy fires... so there is nothing...read more
Above: A 12-hour layover in Paris is a delicious way to manage jet lag. If you're going to be sleepy, do it in a city where you can eat and drink as you stumble across town. Loosely create your route based on where there are trees to nap under. On June 16, 2015, I...read more
On June 25, 2014, I left Sweden after the rollercoaster that was my "Great Swedish Adventure" -- the Swedish TV show Allt för Sverige. I left with a feeling that I had learned a great deal about myself, about Sweden, and about my family's heritage. But it also left...read more
During the summer of 2015 I took an extensive trip through Sweden, on the heels of my first two visits filming the television show Allt för Sverige. I performed a concert tour in churches in southern Sweden, and my American family joined me for a reunion with our...read more
Katie Malik, runner-up from season four of Allt för Sverige, returns in June to meet family… and to sing in Sweden. Katie Malik may have fallen in the final competition of Allt för Sverige, but her experiences in Sweden did not end there. An audience favorite from...read more
Skånska Dagbladet April 9, 2015. By Yvonne Erlandsson. Translated from the original Swedish. Do you remember Katie Malik, the opera singer and accountant from Gig Harbour Washington who was in SVT Allt för Sverige last winter? This summer, the 34-year-old with Skåne...read more
Press and Media
During my travels I did several interviews with national and local media, especially about the concerts and the summit of Kebnekaise. Links to a few press articles are below (links will open in new tab or window):
April 9, 2015: Skanskan.se: “From Allt för Sverige to Concerts in Skåne”
July 31, 2015: Aftonbladet: Defied disease, climbed Kebnekaise
August 4, 2015: Skanska Dagbladet: Katies dröm gick i uppfyllelse
The Skanska Dagbladet newspaper also featured regular “diary” articles about my journey. I would talk to their reporter every few days about what I was up to, and she would write up stories that were were published as first-person articles. It was always entertaining to discover what I’d written in my diary when I read it in the next day’s paper. (No, my Swedish is not that good – “Jag talar bara lite svenska.“) Here are the links to the Swedish versions (you’ll have to use Google Translate)
June 18, 2015: Skanska Dagbladet: “Det känns som att komma hem“
June 19, 2015: Skanska Dagbladet: “Jag är helt överväldigad”