Ten Things To Understand Before You Move To Sweden

All contents © 2008 Philip Semanchuk.

  1. Understand that a lot of people confuse Sweden with Switzerland. Ensure your travel agent is not among them.
  2. Understand that people don't think you realize that the Swedish winter is awful.
  3. Understand that you have only a vague notion of why you're going, otherwise what would be the point?
  4. Understand you will predictably miss your cat, Durham Bulls games, and sweating in the North Carolina summer even if it does feel like the Devil's armpit. Understand that you will also miss a lot of things that you didn't expect to miss.
  5. Understand that moving is a grand opportunity to throw away tons of accumulated crap. You won't miss it.
  6. Understand that a few people will not appreciate that you are really looking forward to this, and will offer criticism instead of congratulations. Understand that you need this like a hole in the head!
  7. Understand that many people will think you're going just based on Sweden's reputation for a population dense with female beauty, which will make you question your integrity. People will become bored when they learn that your motivation is personal growth and not scoring chicks.
  8. Understand that a small but terrifying number of people think that the USA is the only country in the world with flush toilets and microwaves and that Swedes do laundry by beating their clothes on rocks in the river, after they break through the ice.
  9. Understand you will not miss handguns, Jesse Helms, or grits.
  10. Understand that you won't understand until you get there.