It is remarkable. This year marks my 22 wedding anniversary.
Peter and I have been married for 22 years in July.
I cannot believe how fast time flies. For real!!
Way back in 1993!
But, I came to the US for the very first time in March 1990.
I met Peter in the fall of 1990. Almost 25 years ago!
It feels like a whole other world.
I was an au-pair in Rosslyn in Arlington, Virginia.
I liked it here in the DC-area from the get go. But, little did I know THEN that I would END up in the states. I had NO idea that I would call Northern Virginia HOME!
The plan was to stay for a year, and then return to Stockholm again.
Well, then Mr B entered the scene. And, yes, the rest is--as they--say history.
But 25 years ago it was like this:
THEN: A box of beautiful stationary, stickers, pens, stamps. My gateway to family and friends in Sweden, and to my beloved grandma in Finland. I wrote letters almost every day. Long letters. I received letters, too. Long letters with lots of anecdotes from all the loved ones.
Sure, I loved it. SO MUCH!!
NOW: E-mails! As soon as we got connected to the net in 1998 I started e-mailing instead of hand write letters. And, yes, I loved it. From the beginning.
It felt SO fantastic to write a letter that would get to the recipient in seconds. No, in less than seconds. I would not have to wait two weeks for the reply, I would get it RIGHT away!
Amazing! Actually, I still think it is remarkable!
THEN: A phone call home to Sweden every two weeks. It was SO expensive! ESPECIALLY during my year as an au-pair. I had to pay for ALL phone calls myself. I had to keep track of the minutes. Sometimes I'd call friends in the middle of MY night (their morning), just to save a buck. It was a lot cheaper to call in the middle of the night.
Peter worked at MCI back then (a telephone/tele-communications company). He could call internationally for free, for a certain amount of minutes, every month. I took advantage of that. But, it was a race against time. Always.
NOW: Nemas problemas. My goodness what a difference it is today. We can call for free, or almost for free. We have Skype, FaceTime, Veeber and other ways to keep in touch.
It is not a race against time anymore. You can talk until your heart is content.
I use FaceTime more than anything else when talking to family and friends. FaceTime is a favorite among apps.
THEN: Maybe a quick, quick call if you had something that you wanted to say IN BETWEEN the longer phone calls. Or maybe a post card, IN BETWEEN the long letters.
NOW: SMS, MMS, iMessage and WhatsApp.
A whole new world. iMessage is free between Apple users. Fantastic!! WhatsApp is also a free venue. And, many, many more!!
It is SO easy to keep in touch with people in Sweden (in my case) today. Everything is right there. In the palm of my hand. Instant. Thankful! SO thankful.
THEN: Send a bunch of pictures in the mail, and pay a lot more for the postage.
NOW: Instagram!! Just share a pic, and your whole “crowd” will see it! Right away, no matter where they are in this big, wide world.
THEN: Look for Swedes in the DC-area wherever I could find them. I received a newsletter every month from my coordinator thru EF (the organization I came to the US with). In that newsletter you’d find names and addresses to new au-pairs in the DC area, and in the US as whole.
NOW: BLOGS! Twitter! Facebook!
OH, if I have had a blog when I got here 25 years ago! What a thrill it would have been. And, how easy it would have been to meet people! Oh, I would have been such a good au-pair blogger :-)
And, If there were blogs when I was a new mom in 1996! What a wonderful venue that would have been.
THEN: A cassette tape in the mail from Stockholm. A good friend would have taped a favorite radio program of mine on Radio Stockholm. I would have listened, and I would have been SO happy to hear Swedish, Swedish music and the “beat of Stockholm”.
NOW: WOW, today!! Apps galore!! Every radio station under the sun have their own apps! I can pick and choose among "everything Swedish radio" thru my phone apps. AND I do!! EVERY DAY! I love it!!
THEN: A newspaper, or a magazine in the mail every now and then.
NOW: ALL online!!! ALL!!
Lovely! However, still lovely and fantastic to get a hold of a Swedish paper magazine. JUST so you ALL know.
THEN: Swedish Televison?
Fugget it! Nothing, nothing, nothing. No point for them (the Swedes at home) to even send a VHS-tape. They had a different VHS-system here, a different zone. You just had to forget about Swedish TV until you got home.
NOW: HAHA, all and everything!! I can watch whatever I want on all Swedish TV-channels. SO very thankful for that. And, with a VPN-connection nothing is restricted. I don’t watch that much anyway, but I watch a few shows every week.
See, see how different it all was only 25 years ago!! Night and day.
The question is, how will it all be 25 years from now?
Have a wonderful Tuesday!!