make you home feel
I just moved to Sweden and I keep getting honked at by all the cars on the street.
Hey friend, it’s been a while.
And I notice that that phrase ‘It’s been a while’ is usually follow by a reason why you haven’t heard from me. I always feel I need to excuse my absence, but you know what?
That’s just the way it is.
I’m a seasonal person and my last season has been mighty busy so there you go, plain and simple:
I was too busy to keep up a newsletter.
And I’m not going to apologize for it, because real life commitments will always come before self-imposed online appearance commitments for me.
And with that out of the way, let me get to the point of this mail/podcast:
I just moved to Sweden and all sorts of surprises keep creeping up on me that I didn’t expect.
Like that honking phenomenon in the title of this post. Every time I get an hour to myself I set out to explore my new surroundings in Malmö – And I do that by bike, because we gave up our car in the pursuit to live a more sustainable life.
So picture this:
I mount my bike, I choose a point on google maps I want to see and get rolling. And by the second intersection – the latest – someone honks at me. And my go-to reaction is naturally:
“Wait what? What am I doing wrong?”
And I in my mind I go through the checklist:
Until it hits me:
They honk because I’m riding my bike on the car lane… but I’m in Sweden now. There are cycle lanes everywhere. They honk to remind me that I don’t have to be here in the first place.
So I wave and change lanes. And I have to laugh and want to face palm myself, because: life (as a cyclist) is easy here. But I’m still in struggle mode. Ease is not at all normal for me. I’m used to fight for my space on the street. BUT Here I don’t have to, cyclists are actually welcome and encouraged to use their bikes. Pew!!!
So every time that happens, every time I get honked at, I take it as a good sign that moving here was the right decision. I was used to fighting but now I can relax – at least in that area of life.
For the last 3 weeks this has been almost a daily routine:
Choose a destination, mount my bike, get honked at, for a split second panic about what the heck I’m doing wrong, then realize my mistake and finally mental face-palming myself and laughing because I take this as a really good omen about our decision to move to Sweden.
But today a new thought add to this chain – that being:
How conditioned am I really to always expect that I will have to fight? To expect that there is no place for me – at least not planned for – and that I have to create for my self… and how deep is it engrained into me to approach this creation process with mix of
This last thought kind of clouds the happy honking reminder. Expat life is full of ‘ fight-for-your-right-to take-up-space’ – moments and that means I chose a life between feeling I need to forcefully insist and humbly apologize for my being here.
Yes, sure. It taught me a lot too, but I can also feel that I’m tired of living like this.
Anyways, I choose to see this as a really good thing:
So here go friend: surprise surprise – an international move comes with a whole lot of mixed feelings, even if its your 7th country and ….I don’t know… I think my 28th move in total. I will keep my promise to you and tell you all about this move (which will hopefully be my last country) and I would looove to tell you it’s back to a regular schedule, but the internet and school situation is difficult right now – and might be until the summer – so hey! Let’s take it day by day yeah?!
You’ll hear from me… but in the meantime:
What’s been cooking in your part of the world friend?
Gimme the news!
I might not be able to send smoke signals as much as I’d like but I can receive them. So let me know what’s up with you.
Talk to you soon,
Nic is an Interior Designer in a multi-cultural marriage and raising 2 third-culture-kids and was a TCK herself.
She has lived in 6 different countries, on three different continents, and speaks 6 languages.
The ideas that we can A) create spaces that heal their humans and B) design our expat experience to live a life full of joie de vivre, is at the heart of her business A Home Worth Having.