Book your trip to Sweden
According to the Washington Post and Trip Advisor, this is a great time for Americans to travel internationally. While Sweden’s exchange rate has been historically high against the U.S. dollar, its recent average rate has been in America’s favor. With the American economy showing real strength, the dollar has great buying power compared to overseas currencies, including Scandinavia, where the dollar is up 29 percent against the Swedish krona, 25 percent against the Norwegian krone and 21 percent against the Danish krone. Hotel prices are down, too. In fact, Sweden currently has the third biggest hotel price decline (behind Russia and Ukraine) — an average of 19 percent lower than last year. The economic slowdown in Europe has led to an overall decline in prices, making the dollar even stronger. And though Sweden doesn’t use the euro, many countries do; the dollar is worth 21 percent more against the euro than a year ago.

Another Swedish migration — of an entire city
An enormous, bold urban renewal project is happening in Kiruna, Sweden. For the first time in history an entire town is being moved two miles. Kiruna, in the far north of Sweden, is home to one of the world's largest underground iron ore mines — the city's main source of income and employment — that is causing the city above it to sink. So, rather than getting swallowed up by the mine, 23,196 people are moving their homes, their businesses, their everything, brick by brick. The radical move started in 2014 with the first phase of the 100-year plan, financed by the mining company and the municipality, and designed by Swedish company White Arkitekter, which won an international competition in 2013 for their masterplan and strategy. Their aim is to create an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable modern city — just a couple miles from its current site.

Striking pilots ground hundreds of flights
Flights were cancelled all over Scandinavia, around Europe and beyond as Swedish and Danish pilots joined their striking colleagues in Norway. The decision, affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers, pilots and staff, followed the failure of negotiations on a collective agreement at the end of February. "Despite repeated attempts by management to engage in constructive discussions to prevent a hardening of the strike, dialogue was not possible," a representative of Norwegian Air Norway said. Budget airline Norwegian is Scandinavia’s third-largest airline and has around 4,500 employees, including 150 Swedish pilots. Norwegian's pilots want to safeguard their jobs and standardize salary conditions for all pilots employed in the various Scandinavian subsidiaries. It is not yet clear when the strike will end.

Music that will send chills down your spine
You’ve heard of the Ice Hotel, but what about ice music? Swedes have done it again: They’ve proven how resourceful and innovative they are. This time they’re making — and playing — ice instruments. Near the Arctic Circle, ice is a common natural resource (at least until spring) that can be carved. And played. Beautifully. Tim Linhart, ice-instrument maker, has for more than a decade produced a series of ice music concerts throughout the winter in Luleå. There, in a concert hall made of snow, with instruments made of ice, the many nuances of ice music have been enjoyed by audiences bundled up in warm, winter clothing (the venue maintains a temperature around 23˚F). Most recently his usually classical music playing violins, viola, cellos and bass made way for a banjo in country and bluegrass numbers and six- and 12-string guitars for rock 'n' roll — and a February concert with Charlie Sexton, who for years has played onstage alongside U.S. music legend Bob Dylan. Sexton was joined on the Luleå stage by musicians from Sweden, Denmark and Austin, Texas, which has a unique partnership with Luleå.