All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.
I find it rather ironic that on the day that I've planned to write about how Swedes, and Europeans in general, are much better at just plain taking time off for family and relaxing, I've done everything but that.
For fact checking this time around, I wanted a more varied Scandinavian perspective. I turned to to my blogging buddy, CA Heaven, for the Norwegian scoop. He confirmed what I remembered: The standard vacation time for the Norwegian work force is 5 weeks per year. Many people can spend their vacation when they want to, more or less. In addition to the vacation, we have the national holidays off, such as Christmas (3 days), New Years day, Easter (3 days), workers day, 1st of May, ascension of Christ, and constitution day (17 May). I think its pretty much the same in Sweden, but the Swedes have one day less in Easter, and their constitution day is in June, as you know, svenska flaggans dag.
What I remember from visiting Sweden so many summers of my childhood, is that life really slows down in the summer. Many Swedes take their vacations in July, and a lot of them to their summer cottage. (Quick quiz: if you were around in 2012 learning Swedish, name the word for cottage.) (Or search for it..no matter...there's a gold medal at stake people!)
I think we could take a lesson from Europe. Your life needs to take a time out. Relax. Take enough time that you really decompress. Your family needs you.
What are vacation norms in your country? Do you use all your vacation, or do they make you take it or lose it?
~Tina, who needs a vacation, but when your job is your family and free-lance writing, um how?