The Swedish Number

Ever wanted to talk to a random Swedish person? If you answered yes, you’re in luck. (If you answered no, you should probably give it a try anyway. It’s like chatroulette for mature people.) The Swedish Tourist Association has launched a new initiative known as The Swedish Number, allowing anyone to call this number, +46 771 793 336, and be connected with a random Swedish person.

We tried it, and here’s what happened:

I put the number into Skype, excited with anticipation. A pre-recorded message played “Calling Sweden, you will soon be connected to a random Swede.” A man answered, “Hello?” I replied, and then he hung up!

Let down.

Undeterred, I tried again, and this time reached a friendly person who I had a great conversation with. Her name was Ulrika, and she works for the Swedish Coast Guard. We talked about her job, U.S. and Swedish politics, her vacations to Hawaii, and more. I already knew that Sweden has a generous welfare state, but I was surprised to learn she gets a full 7 weeks of vacation a year! It’s like Bernie Sander’s dreams, fulfilled. After talking for about 15 minutes, we parted, but not before I told her about the site. Ulrika, if you’re reading this, thank you for taking my call!

The Swedish Number

By now, you’re probably thinking, “This is awesome, but why are they doing this?”

Well, according to their website,┬áin 1766, Sweden was the first country to “introduce a constitutional law to abolish censorship.” In honor of the 250th anniversary of that law, foreigners are encouraged to call Sweden and talk about anything. All, in all, the Swedish Number is pretty cool.

At Take Risks Be Happy, we are all about embracing creativity, finding adventure, and discovering new things about the world and ourselves. Travel is one of the best ways to do this, but if a vacation to Sweden isn’t yet in the cards, calling a random Swedish person is the next best option.

Have you called Sweden yet? Once you do, be sure to tell us your story in the comments!

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