Every day from now until Spring, I will play a song from each year from 1940-2020. I’ll also write a little bit about the song and why I chose it to represent that year.

abbaWhen compared to their accomplishments outside of the United States, Abba’s American chart success seems quite tame. Only 4 Top 10 hits and only a solitary Number One single (“Dancing Queen”) doesn’t even place them in the Top 100 acts of all time. But to me they were fantastic. They represented another world outside of my own borders. A world I never very little about at the time. I sure that is a large part why I took to geography at such n early age. The walls of my childhood bedroom were covered with maps of Australia, The UK, and Asia. By my teenage years, I could identify every country of the world on a map and even many of the capital cities.

I grew up in a very Americentric world, but I never really bought into it. Sure, the U.S. does a lot of things well, but so do other countries. To me, Abba seemed like the outside, even dare I say exotic. Even though I’m certain most Swedes would never consider themselves as such. When I was a child I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to go overseas. And visit the places I spent years staring at on the maps of my bedroom wall.

As an adult, I am grateful for the places I have been blessed to visit. I try very hard not to compare it to those who travel more and more often. Because one of the major things travel should teach you is gratitude. The walls of my bedroom expanded to encompass the entire world.  How can I not appreciate that?

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