Tuesday, October 17, 2006


My vocation and much of my personal life center around the concept of "community." Communities of students, communities of friends/family and other groups of people that make life so much richer and deeper. One of the initial drawbacks to picking up and leaving to move halfway across the world is the loss of community (though I often remind myself that in time a "community" is also gained). So, through emails, Skype (user name: sean.whiting-please join), IM chats, this blog and a host of other internet link-ups, I am able to stay remotely connected to my previous communities of people. This, oftentimes, is what carries me through, especially when that beautiful Swedish summer begins to become autumn with winter looming not far behind. With that introduction....

When the "home" community comes to visit, Linköpinglivin goes from pretty good to outstanding! This blog entry is dedicated to my visitors, both in the past and to inspire future visitors. This afternoon I dropped off at the airport a longtime college friend, Jason Sunukjian, and his wife, Heather. They are in the midst of a European extravaganza focused on Switzerland, Germany and Italy, but took a much appreciated excursion north for just a day-and-a-half to come check out life in Linköping. Though short, their visit was a thing of beauty, highlighted by a European marathon meal reserved for only the best of friends. A big thanks to Jason and Heather for including Sweden in their travel plans.

Earlier this summer, three former students-one of whom was an RA for me in McCarty last year-were my first official visitors to Linköping. Steve Margitan, Geoff Morgan and Won Steinbach were on a meandering journey through Europe eventually leading them to the UW Honors Rome Program and decided to make a stop in "Sverige" to visit me for a few days and check out Stockholm. Their stay was memorable (and more than just because they are all under 21 and consumed "adult beverages" with their former Resident Director) and I hear their time in Stockholm was one of the highlights of their entire summer. Thanks for the visit, Steve, Geoff and Won. See you next summer!

Finally, the very first familiar face in Sweden was Jason Chan, a former RA of mine in Lander Hall my second year at the UW. He was coming through Stockholm when I was there this summer and we took in an evening together wondering how we both ended up in Stockholm at the same time.

Which brings me to YOU! If you choose to visit me, you will simply never regret it. You will be housed free-of-charge, wined and dined as only the Europeans know how, given the Displaced-American-in-Sweden tour of Linköping, become a part of "Gästbok" lore and your visit will be prominently highlighted in the blogosphere never to be forgotten for all time. Most of all, you may even find yourself in Stockholm, which besides the irreplaceable company, might be the best part of your entire European swing.

Make your plans. Airfare, you ask? Winter's cheapest, summer's expensive, but the trip will be priceless no matter when it is. Fly into Stockholm or Copenhagen from the States, Nyköping-Skatsva on RyanAir (www.ryanair.com) from most of Europe.

"Vi ses snart i Sverige!"
See you soon in Sweden.

**Writer's note: Blogger picked a horribly disappointing time to deny any and all pictures. In future entries, I commit to squeezing in photos of Jason Chan, Steve, Geoff and Won and Jason and Heather Sunukjian. Blogger's just hurtin' me right now....

1 comment:

Todd said...

Sean - Can't wait to visit. I'm so excited, that I've prepared a tentative itinerary based on your previous blogs.

1. The free fall roller coaster in Stockholm. In your next blog, please detail the appropriate Swedish term to scream as I’m free fallin’.

2. Please make sure I have a bicycle at my disposal. And if you could send along all the verses to the Pippi Longstocking song, I'll start practicing.

3. Crayfish. Hopefully by then you will have learned how to row a boat, and will have bought a life vest that fits. Oh, and maybe learned how to catch at least one crayfish. I know...a lot to ask.

4. I can't wait to see all the Swedish flags that you claim to see all over the place. I'll be the one dressed from head to toe in stars and stripes.

5. I look forward to seeing these "roundabouts" you speak so highly of...

6. What I look forward to most about going to a foreign country where I can sample local delicacies is McDonalds. What's wrong with you?

7. Perhaps one night we can sneak out late at night and you can show me in person what happens to Swedish trash. Can't wait!

8. And of course, Fika. I know I'm supposed to have coffee and a roll, but can you find the equivalent of Diet Coke and a Winchell’s Cinnamon Crumb donut. Breakfast of Champions!!

I'm sure my list will grow, but these are a few things I would like to do when I get there.

I hope your "work” won't get in the way. When do you start again?