You Can’t Go Home Again

Well, not home exactly.  33 years ago I went to Karlstad Sweden as an exchange student through Rotary International.  I’m traveling across southern Sweden now with my wife.  I still remember some of the language, but I’m spotty with it.  I can say “please” and “thanks,” order some food, and say that my Swedish is bad, but I’m not going to hold even a simple conversation.

Whenever I travel, things go to hell.  My phone is supposed to work here – it doesn’t.  I’m shooting photos and my Chromebook is supposed to be powerful enough to edit them – it isn’t.  I have my health, the weather is pretty okay (it’s rained quite a bit, but it’s not stopping us from doing things), and I’m getting to see people I haven’t since I was here last.

If I have one, then this is my point: Don’t wait.  Life is what happens while you’re planning to live it.  Yes, keep your nose to the grindstone, but only while you’re working.  I should have come over 20 year ago.  Take the time to travel, to fish, to go to the theatre.  Whatever.  Your philosophy should be “Work to live, don’t live to work.”  Like learning, however, you have to pull the trigger, take action.  Don’t just read about places to go – scrape together some cash and do it.  Take a busman’s holiday if you must – travel somewhere and work to pay your way.

Don’t do what I did and wait half your life to travel back to someplace you enjoy.

That said, Sweden of 2015 is not the Sweden of 1982.  Technology isn’t the only thing that’s changed.  The political landscape is different.  Hell, a lot more people speak English now too.  It’s a beautiful county, with wonderful people.  Come to Stockholm, or Karlstad, or Gothenberg – or go to Greece, Italy, England, Paraguay.  Wherever your little heart desires.  But do it soon!

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