Friday, 8 April 2016

Today I Called Sweden

Do something everyday that scares you. Most days I do this. It's a recipe for growth. Today, I called Sweden.

"Calling Sweden. You will soon be connected to a random Swede."

Within seconds of hearing this recorded message, I was chatting with a lovely girl named Amanda, who lives in Roma, Sweden. We have never met before, but we had an enjoyable 15 minute conversation discussing weather, life, and food differences and similarities between Canada and Sweden.

You can do it too, just call 46-771-793-336. I learned about this fun tourism promotion through a New York Times Article, and decided to go ahead and call before I lost my nerve.

I told Amanda that I would be in the UK shortly and would love to find a way to visit Sweden as part of my adventure. She recommended that I enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside, the mountains, the beaches, and smaller communities. That I eat pancakes, both sweet and potato. She asked me if Canada had a lot of scary bears. Is this something that comes to mind when thinking of Canada? Terrifying animals? I actually am extremely frightened of bears, and have come in contact with them a few times when camping in the rocky mountains. I told Amanda that when camping, we would hang our food or anything with scent high up in a tree to keep the bears away from our tents, and I think she is even more scared of bears now. Amanda told me that she did not start school until age 6, which is a preschool type program, with formal school beginning at age 7! I decided it best not to share my misgivings with the Ontario/North American way of beginning structured full day education earlier and earlier. Why our western culture seems obsessed with shortening childhood I will never understand. Amanda learned English in school, and I was extremely impressed with her proficiency! Amanda will be visiting Ikea tomorrow with her mother (what are the chances)! She said that Yes, Swedes do love Ikea. I told her that I love Ikea as well. I did not tell her that I have a dream of running away to a Scandinavian country and living a simpler life among my people, the pale socialists.

Isn't it fascinating, to make a connection with a stranger on the other side of the world, with no ulterior motive, on a whim? Thank you Amanda, from Sweden, for picking up your phone and taking the time to talk to a tired Mama with a toothache in Canada. It brought a little unexpected magic into my day.

Call Sweden. I dare you!

Just check the time difference first.

Photo used with permission from the Image Bank of Sweden.


  1. You are brave! I agree, the Scandanavians have a better way of educating kids. Our system pushes them along much too quickly.

    1. We really do push our kids early. Ontario is especially bad for this.

  2. Pushing ourselves, but not pushing our kids. Kids are probably more likely to try something new! I am all about age 6 to start pre-school. I think sending them to pre-school at 3 is insane, but it is really simply a babysitting service to have someone else potty train your kid while you are at work all day. I have such respect for moms/dads that decide to live on one income to stay home with their babies and toddlers. That's the bonding time and imprinting time for kids with their parents. If you are reading this and thinking living on one income is impossible, it isn't. You adjust your life. You realign your priorities. It is so worth it!

    1. It is worth it. We have made it work for us! We definitely feel "out of the norm" for doing this.