Hatfield also writes about being filled with self-doubt. The singer, who also has a new CD out called "How to Walk Away," is an avid traveler who got the bug to get up and go at a young age. "I've always been interested in other cultures and languages," Hatfield says. "When I was 16, I went to Bolivia for a summer to live as an exchange student. There's a whole world out there and getting to see other countries is one of the great joys of my life."
WHY SWEDEN?: I think my first interest in Sweden sprang from all the Swedish movies I saw. I wanted to go to all the places in Ingmar Bergman's films and see the island where he lived. I always get a really good feeling when I'm there. The quality of life is really nice -- and sensible. And people don't seem as stressed out and angry as they are in the States. You get the feeling they're not struggling and pushing hard all the time. They're living their lives and there's an appreciation of things rather than a constant striving to see how far you can get. At this stage in my life, I'm just sort of into living.
OBSERVATION: (Laughs.) Everyone is beautiful. Even the ugly ones are beautiful! I think because they're laidback and not uptight. They just look so healthy. It's actually sort of calming.
BIGGEST PACKING MISTAKE: I used to be an over packer! It took me a while to be smart about what I brought with me. I used to tour with a huge bag full of clothes and another one full of shoes because I wanted to have choices. And I ended up wearing the same pair of shoes all the time!
PACKING TIP YOU LEARNED FROM YEARS OF TOURING: You really don't need a lot of clothes. I went on tour as (former Lemonheads' singer) Evan Dando's bass player a couple years ago and he decided he was going to wear the same outfit every day on tour. He wore the same shirt and jeans without washing them for about a month and he never changed clothes. I had to admire him because he got it down to the essence. But it was still pretty disgusting! He's kind of a kook!
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: I'm pretty good with languages. I know a bit of French and actually want to live in France some day so that I can get fluent. I think it'd be tragic to go through life only knowing one language.
SOUVENIRS: I don't buy a lot when I travel but when I do, I like to send gifts from wherever I am. It's fun to find the local post office. I enjoy exploring the city and I enjoy lightening my load, too. It's a win-win situation.
PLACES TO GO TO: I want to see Greece and Sardinia. I've never been to Ireland. I really want to go to Morocco and Northern Africa.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SWEDEN:
POPULATION: 9 million.
CURRENCY: Swedish krona (SEK). $1 USD equals 6.5 SEK.
TIME DIFFERENCE: If it's noon in Chicago, it's 7 p.m. in Stockholm.
TO TIP OR NOT TO TIP: Service charges are automatically included in your hotel bill. Tipping cab drivers is always good. And a service charge is included at restaurants, but a small tip on top of that is customary at dinner.
FAMOUS SWEDES: Actresses Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Lena Olin and Ann-Margret; director Ingmar Bergman; Tennis greats Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg; IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and the Swedish pop group ABBA.
To learn more about Sweden, go to www.visitsweden.com. To read more about Juliana Hatfield, visit www.julianahatfield.com.
Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her Website at www.jaehakim.com. She welcomes your questions and comments.