Hej hej! As you’ve probably noticed, I’m in Sweden!
I arrived last week and have been fighting both a nasty cold and horrendous jetlag, so I have not had much of a chance to blog. The trip over, for those of you wondering, was fine. I was really anxious about flying with Winston, but other than a minor issue at customs in Stockholm (they couldn’t locate Winnie’s microchip, despite using about 4 different chip readers! When the man told me that he technically shouldn’t allow me to enter Sweden with Winston, I nearly had a meltdown but luckily another kind TSA agent was nearby and, after being enchanted by Winston because he is just SO CUTE, she told him – in Swedish – to just ‘let her in, for God’s sake!’. Thank you, anonymous TSA lady. I LOVE YOU), he was fine.
Once we got out, I was hit with a triple whammy of an ear-infection, a terrible cold, and, as mentioned, some really debilitating jetlag. Going from Europe to the US is usually no problem, as you tend to go to bed early and wake up early, but the other way around is just awful. And it probably didn’t hep that for the two weeks before leaving I was staying up until 1 or 2 am every night, messing me up even further.
Still, I made it! And I can’t tell you what a wonderful feeling it was to wake up the next day (at one in the afternoon, but who’s counting?) and realize, ‘I LIVE IN SWEDEN AGAIN!’.
For those of you not as familiar with my weird background, I actually lived in Sweden from ages 15 to 21. I moved to Gothenburg in 2004 with my family, and ended up going to college in Malmo before heading to Colorado for grad school in 2010. During that time I learned Swedish and, thanks to my dad’s French nationality, was able to apply for Swedish citizenship in 2013.
Conrad and I have been talking about moving to Sweden for years, but the timing was never right. I was in school, then he was in school, then our nephew was born, then we were engaged and getting married, etc., etc.
After No. 45’s election, however, we started to get more serious about moving. I started applying for jobs sporadically, whenever I saw something interesting on LinkedIn or Monster, half hoping I’d get something and half hoping I wouldn’t. I’ve been a nomad of sorts my whole life, never living anywhere for longer than seven years. Although I was definitely getting antsy in Fort Collins, the idea of packing up our life and going somewhere else was both scary and exhausting. We had great friends, good jobs, a wonderful community, family nearby, and instant access to Colorado’s incredible nature. On the other hand, we’re quite young, and neither of us saw ourselves living in Colorado forever.
I finally got a bite from a large global company I had applied to one year before, and after a whirlwind two weeks, I was hired and booking a one-way flight to Stockholm. Yikes!
Of course, it was not all as easy as that. Many tears, discussions, doubts, worries, and emotions were a part of our decision, and once we decided to take the opportunity, we had even more items to add to our to-do list. However, thanks to our incredibly supportive friends and family, I made it here with Winston without any issues, and Conrad will join us as soon as he is done with his teaching job in CO and graduate research in Kenya.
We’re definitely in an odd transition period, but somehow everything just feels right. I don’t have everything figured out (more the opposite, actually), but so far everything has worked out and I am choosing to believe that its because this is what we were meant to do. I’m living with my dad in Stockholm, and my commute is not bad at all (about an hour door to door, but I only take two trains and they’re both fast and quiet). Winston is settling in and loving our walks in the gigantic forest right outside our apartment. He LOVES my family dog, Poppy, though she is still warming up to him. My new job is great so far, and I feel at home surrounded by fellow web analytics nerds 🙂
The hardest thing right now is being away from Conrad. We talk every day, but I miss him so much. It doesn’t help that CO is eight hours ahead of Sweden, so it’s difficult to catch each other at a good time to talk. That said, it’s only temporary, and I know everything will be fine. I feel bad that I have Winston, because it really helps to have a fur-person to cuddle when you get lonely. But it’s only a few months! My parents have been doing long-distance for years, and I am in awe of how they’ve managed so far. If they can do it, we can do it.
That’s about it for now! I’m hoping to get into a blogging groove soon but right now things are still all over the place. Thanks for putting up with me these last few months! You guys are the best.