Having lost her husband and most of her friends, 96-year-old Eva Bergdahl from Karlskrona in southern Sweden has decided to pack up and move to Thailand to join her 68-year-old son.
Eva Bergdahl came to her decision three months ago, gave notice to her landlord and started to plan her new life on the other side of the world.
“I live here alone in a large apartment,” Bergdahl told The Local. “It’s starting to feel so lonely. So I thought I’d go down there and see.”
In Thailand she will meet up with her 68-year-old son, Ingolf, who lives there with his wife in the city of Cha Am. She has been promised she can stay in one of the rooms in his spacious house.
“But I don’t want to be a bother to him,” she explained. “It will only be until I find my own apartment to rent,” she explained.
Bergdahl is packed and all set to leave with one of her grandchildren from Karlskrona on Wednesday. He will accompany her on the long trip to the far east, but once there Eva Bergdahl will strike out on her own.
In the meantime there is much to be done at home in Karlskrona with the apartment due for a clean before handing back the keys.
“Floors and windows need swabbing,” she said. “But that I can do alone.”
The apartment is bare, with all of her furniture and belongings already given away to be sold at flea markets.
“I don’t have a chair to sit on. I don’t have anything,” she explained. “But I bought one of those air mattresses to sleep on, but the air ran out of it so I slept on the floor. No no, this is crazy. What have I started.”
In spite of the mishap, Eva Bergdahl doesn’t utter a word of complaint. She is instead thankful that her good health allows her to start over. Even the doctor was impressed, she said.
Travelling is nothing new to the adventurous nonagenarian, as she has seen much of Europe by train.
“But I’ve never gone as far as Thailand,” she said.
She is aware this isn’t something that would normally be expected of the average 96-year-old, but she is unperturbed by the long flight.
“If I die on the plane then so be it,” she said with conviction. “But as long as I have my health it will be just fine. I just don’t want to walk around here and stare at the walls. Maybe I can shake things up a bit in my last days.”