Sweden vs Home: Preparing for the Next Journey
This Swedish traveler just finished about an 18 mile hike on the ice age trail, which runs from Taylors Falls, MN/St. Croix Falls WI to Michigan. The purpose of this hike was to test out all of my gear that I’m bringing to Sweden with me for camping, make sure I’m okay carrying 30+ pounds on my back over rough terrain for a long distance, and to try to settle my mind.
I picked up the trail at Highway 8 and 35 in Wisconsin, hiked 8 miles into a camp near Lions Park, and spent the night there. It turns out all my gear works wonderfully, and I have enough strength and stamina to handle excursions such as this. On the way back I took a detour on the Trail of Myths. This was a 2 mile up-and-down hike through some lovely old values with ferns, rivers, and lots and lots of up-and-down hill stretches.
One reason I wanted to post about this as well as posting pictures is the similarity of landscape between here and Sweden. As I’ve mentioned to many of you, there’s a reason why Swedish ancestors from Gotland settled here. I included couple pictures of my previous hike in Sweden, as well as my current hike here in St. Croix Falls. It’s lovely to feel so connected to both places at once and realize that the similarities if I get homesick, all I have to do is run out into the woods and pretend I am back in Minnesota.
Unless it’s snowing. Then I can just look at the snow and pretend I’m in Minnesota. I’m on the countdown and have 8 days until I fly out. It’s been hard to leave my massage clients and close my offices. I’ve started saying my final goodbyes to many of my friends and am facing the final goodbye to my family and those closest to me soon. However, I am confident this transition will go smooth. I’m excited to share with you everything that I’ve learned and am learning about as I explore culture differences in aspects including health, healing, and relationships. It’s become very clear to me that one of my specialties is to help people emotionally reengage in their personal, professional, and societal relationships.
I’ve started studying how we view touch as an American culture and am curious to remind myself and to get a deeper understanding of how touch is viewed in other countries. I know Swedish culture has similar touch ideas but are also more relaxed about their bodies and body image. There is not so much shame associated with physicality.
Healthy touch is important for physical, mental, and emotional growth. I am clear that I will have to do my own healing work around what happens when I am suddenly no longer able to receive the same level of touch that I am accustomed to (hugs from family, friends, massages, and so on). I know it’s a challenge for many people when they break up with significant others, have a death in the family, move away to college, and so on, but this will be my first real experience in many years dealing with a sudden shift in close relationships.
Until I am there, I can only guess at what I will experience, how the meaning and feel of home will shift for me, and how much I’m going to have to use my EFT (tapping) tool to help process. I’m also curious how someone who loves communication so much will fare speaking Swedish. It
makes me happy to share my experiences with you as I travel, and look forward to the continued journey together.
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