If you have worked in Sweden or with Swedes for some reasons, from time to time you might have received an automatic response similar to this one:
“Hej! I will be on holiday from the 20th of June to the 29th of August. During this time I will not be able to check my email regularly …but if it’s important, you can tweet me using #YOUAREINTERRUPTINGMYVACATION” (or some other comments considered to be funny).
Usually it happens when you have just sent a very important email that took you an average of an hour and a half to be very well written, balancing the right amount of politeness and a strong touch and featuring a subject written in BIG, BOLD characters, marked as “important” and “starred” (if you are anxious enough).
So let’s analyze together the reactions this email will arise in you:
Hej! – evergreen start (no particular reaction);
I will be on holiday from the 20th of June to the 29th of August (why not writing directly “from Midsommar to the end of the world”?!)
During this time I will not be able to check my email regularly (…I mean, you can really imagine the expression on this person’s face while writing this);
…but if it’s important, you can tweet me using #YOUAREINTERRUPTINGMYVACATION (you may think that you’re the coolest guy in town, but I’m actually wondering how to kill you in a super un-cool way).
I’m not complaining: in Italy we wouldn’t even set the automatic reply. We simply run away from the office as fast and as far as we can!
This example was provided just to start a conversation on a very important and perhaps underestimated issue: HOLIDAYS. Or Semester. Or “the only theme we are definitely not interested in making compromises with anybody, especially you”.
But with all this time at their disposal… where do they go?
As people all around the world, Swedes love to travel. From the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean sea to the most exotic destinations… the most important thing is to tan properly!
But the most traditional ways to spend your holidays are camping or staying in a “summer house”. You know, when Ryaniar wasn’t yet invented and airplanes were just toys for a bunch of super-rich psycho people, you had to look for closer places to go on holiday.
Spending your holidays camping in a national park it’s a great choice: this country is so green and thanks to allemansratten you are free to roam in the woods and basically camp everywhere you like.
A long stay in a country house is the most Swedish way to find relax and taking a break from the “busy busy” capital city. Call it dacha, cottage or langhuis, it is one of the best ways to enjoy countryside and nature in general.
Just remember that your summer house must be located near a wood and face a lake. It comes mainly in those three colors… and don’t you dare painting it blue!
It must have a barbecue and possibly a porch, a little garden and everything else that might make your stay more comfortable: vintage bikes, a hammock, an outdoor shower room and the likes.
And you might also have some little, “Wes Anderson style” telephone box library…
So while I’ll be relaxing on a cold, windy beach or taking a walk around the lake, I will try not to forget to read your emails.
See you soon!