On a rainy day in Sweden, I found an amazing burial site from the Vikings. (Okay, I didn't find it. I just enjoyed it. Anyways...) I'm standing on top of one of these majestic mounds. Each one of the stones viewed in the photo is bigger than me. Since I'm 6'5 and 220 pounds, you can just imagine that they are quite large and quite awesome to see. Why Sweden? Read on.
I was on a flight from home from traveling through Germany and Eastern Europe. I happened to be sitting next to two absolutely amazing people from Sweden. They were retired and on their way to NYC for the first time. We talked about a myriad of subjects and got along brilliantly. At the end of the flight, I decided (after taking months off to travel) to take the next day off from work as well to offer my services as an "off the beaten path" guide through THE city. When we were saying our goodbyes, they asked me to join them in their home in Sweden. I informed them that I'm a serious globe traveler and to not offer this courtesy unless they were serious. They told me they were. So the next summer, I went to Sweden to spend 11 days with them.
The thing that I find outrageous about all this is they're openness with absolutely no hesitation. In my hometown, when I was married, I owned a house in the suburbs. Since I lived in this house for years, I often saw my neighbors outside and attempted to develop some friendly rapport with them, often saying hello and offering anything I had to them. This was not reciprocated. It's completely sociologically disturbing to me and the prime reason why I enjoy traveling abroad. In the 4 years that I owned this home, my neighbors never waved to me nor did I even know the names of their kids. Yet, when I was on a plane for 5 hours with a beautiful couple, I was warmly invited into their home and lives to be given an amazing time.
Do you know your neighbors? Do you invite strangers into your lives? Is it really THAT unusual?
I have explored 76 countries, no hand holding, no tour guides just a drive to see, smell, taste, experience, and enjoy the earth. I have been on Reality Television and spend much of my time giving back to the community. From a unique perspective of sports, adventure and travel.