All my life mt beloved Swedish Grandma Maja told me hundreds of stories about life in Sweden. Sweden became a kind of mystical enchanting place of beauty and wonder. I yearned to see it for myself but all I had was word stories.
I did not have story or picture books to use to discover my roots, only my imagination to carry me across the water. How adventuresome it might be I thought to travel on a huge steamship.
My Grandmother Maja died in 1969 on my 21st birthday. The event of her funeral became a kind of rite of passage. If I was further to expand my knowledge of Sweden and my Swedish roots I would have to explore further on my own. My mother, Delores also promised to accompany me. However she died in 2004.
All the while, I maintained active relationships with Swedish relatives in Stockholm. In 2004, I decided to travel and spend time connecting with my dreams and the people and land of Sweden. My Aunt Linnea, daughter of Maja and sister of my mom asked if she could accompany me. Linnea had been to Sweden as a two year old and also wished to explore her roots. Off we went. The trip was all we hoped for and more. Various aspects of the journey shall be the subject of future blog sharing.
My host in Sweden was my mother’s cousin, Margit. All my life Margit and my mom exchanged correspondence and both visited back and forth making the trip across the Atlantic. Margit escorted me to Skansen in Stockholm, a fabulous open air museum complete with real Swedes immersing the visitor in all aspects of Swedish life. Buildings, art, music, farming, animals, crafts, occupations…..culture and tradition. I was in heaven.
For you my blog visitor friend, I hope you can visit Sweden one day. I might heartily suggest you check out visuals of Skansen available on You tube and other media.
I am so happy that a lifetime anticipation and wonder was fulfilled by me having the gumption to pursue exploring my roots.
Everything that Grandma and mom had described over many years was fulfilled in sights and sounds and wonderful experiences. Of course, the best part of it all were tearful embracing of loved ones united in the flesh, at long last.
May I suggest a very brief film hosted by the ever famous travel guide: Rick Steves who will take you with him to Skansen so you can become immersed in all that is beloved Sverige, land of the Vikings.
Visit via YouTube ? Var so gud.