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10 years ago today I arrived in Sweden.

Anders had gone ahead of me, arriving on New Year's Day since he had to start work, and I was still at my parent's house helping my mom deal with the aftermath of my dad's death 2 weeks earlier. We went straight from the airport to the hospital to greet the arrival of his sister's newborn baby, who celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday.

10 years! I didn't know it would be that long. I have lived abroad for 16 years of my life now.

3 years ago I wrote a post that listed all the major accomplishments I had achieved since I came to Sweden. I can add a couple of things to that list:
  • survived company closing and job loss
  • got the 2nd AND the 3rd jobs that I applied for in Sweden
  • sang at Globen in Stockholm
  • had tea with the Queen of Sweden*
  • held a position for 2 years as an section editor for a great online magazine
  • badly sprained a foot and had to learn to walk on crutches for the first time ever
  • fulfilled a lifelong dream with a trip to Scotland
  • stayed married for 10 years (and counting)! Yay, us!
  • learned how to let go of the reins and when to take them back up again
  • dared to post a music clip of myself singing on the internet
10 years in Sweden. I'm still not a Swedish citizen, though, even though I qualified years ago. I need to remedy that. Maybe this year. I like it here. I think I'll stay.

However, if it doesn't stop raining soon, I will pack up the house and the family and move us all to the Mediterranean. I hear Nice is nice.

*She was in the same room. It counts!
mood: grateful
music: Jethro Tull—Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of a New Day)


Wow, 10 years, congrats!

I remember someone (Angie?) mentioning once that after five years, moving home again is like moving to a foreign country. I couldn't understand how that could possibly be until we were away for about that long, and then I realized how true it was. Most of our friends had changed or moved away, or I felt we'd changed, or whatever. And although I'll always be American, living overseas for a few years makes you see things from different angles, and sometimes things don't look quite the same when viewed from an angle. I knew that when we finally did go back, we'd have to start all over again with jobs, cars, furniture, and to some extent, friends and culture. Somewhere around 6 or 7 years, I really really didn't want to go back to the USA. It not only felt foreign, it felt strange. And although I felt no less American, I felt so much more comfortable living outside of America than inside it.

Well, we've been home now about 9 months after living overseas for 8 years. I just wanted to tell you, or maybe tell myself, that moving home isn't nearly as horrific as I thought it might be :-) You really can go home again, and it's amazing how quickly you readjust -- much much faster than we adjusted to life in Sweden and Australia. I often find myself saying, "Wow, it's so nice to be able to do that so easily again -- what a country, this America place is!" Anyway, you may never want to move back again, or maybe you're not concerned about it if you do. But I thought I'd let you know that it's easier than I thought it would be, and just like when you change jobs, you don't have to give up everything you've become ;-)

(no, your mother did not pay me to write this)


She did, too! :P

I have read (and heard) that as well, about the 5 years expat rule, but we also found that when we moved back to the States the first time that we adjusted very quickly and I assume it would be the same now if we ever did move back. Some things would be weird and some would be extremely easy to slip back into. :)


I did not!!!! Although it would be worth it if it worked! Love, Lizardmom

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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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