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Closer To The Heart And 5,000 Miles Away

A week ago today, I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, to cover a pair of poker runs. When I leave Monday morning, I’ll return with two Swedish poker runs under my belt and—I hope—a couple of great stories to tell. Save for the long flight, going back to Northern California will be easy. California is my home and I miss it.


The farther you are from home, the better your chance to make lifelong friends.

But leaving here? That will be hard.

Because when you’re on the road and far away from home, you make more than memories. You make friends. Different languages and customs and foods aren’t barriers. They bring you closer.

Last Friday night, for example, on the eve of the Dalarna Poker Run on Lake Runn just outside the city of Falun, I tried Swedish caviar. I’d never seen caviar, much less brownish-gray caviar, dispensed from a thick plastic tube and served on half of a gelatinous semi-hard-boiled egg.

But my new best friends and world-class hosts Vuokko Lahnalampi and Ulrica Persson—both from the tiny town of Smedjebacken, the site of this weekend’s poker run—insisted I try it. So I did.

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