asheville travel

big big big news. i mean b. i. g.

10 Feb 2013

i don’t know how to begin this blog.

i’ve got news. BIG NEWS. HUGE NEWS.

my heart is fluttering in my chest as these words appear on my screen. my breath is shallow. my fingers are sweaty on the keyboard, causing me to hit delete over & over again.

should i just come right out and say it? or should i give the background information first? i’m stuck. i’m watching the cursor flash, waiting for me to write. there is a long pause between each sentence.

i knew that this would be a year for adventure. i felt it as the clock struck midnight on new year’s eve. the feeling and belief that all things are possible in 2013, that the time to make some dreams a reality had come once again. i didn’t know how any of it would look, as everything was a blank slate. 2013 was, and still is, a mystery to me. but, i could not let go on new years day that overwhelming sense of “this is it.” what “it” was, was (and is) not specifically clear. but i believed. and i believed big. and it wasn’t only dreams and big things for myself, but also for my love, who has been cryptically writing on her blog about a big project she has been working on.

lina and me celebrate

well, the mystery is over. we can “let the cat out of the bag” today, so to speak. it’s official now. and while there is big news that my love is sharing, it is actually something really big for both of us. it was, and is, a joint decision.

are you dyin’ yet? have i irritated you enough?

we’re moving to the states!

yep. it’s true. here’s the scoop:

it was a random wednesday last fall, sometime in september, i believe. and all of the sudden, out of the blue, we decided it was time for lina to follow her dream of studying in the states. i think all the stars just lined up right, because moving to the states is something we have talked about off & on constantly. but, that’s how our life is and will be, since we are a bi-national couple who both love both countries. but, that night in september something changed in the universe. all the signs were right for lina to give it a try.

she began searching around. new york city. san francisco. the possibilities were endless. and then, we found it. at the university in asheville, north carolina (the city where i – and lina too – lived), lina found the major she wanted to pursue… new media. think graphic design, web design, all things creative & technological. this is her thing. her time to shine. her time to follow a huge dream she has had for so many years. she has always wanted to study in the states, but it was never possible. it is not easy to get everything worked out in order to make that dream a reality for international people. well, i suppose it’s a dream for many americans too, considering the cost of universities & college.

you can read all about lina’s school, the process so far, & her thoughts here. she’s also releasing this big news on her blog today.

as for me, well, i have always been drawn to asheville. as i said above, lina & i have discussed moving back many times. it is such a unique city. funky. eclectic. diverse. artsy. and nestled in the beautiful north carolina mountains. it is a place that feeds my soul. you can check out a few earlier posts about my love affair with asheville here and here .

now, what does this move mean to me?

well, it means that i must leave an amazing job, first & foremost. the church where i work is filled with amazing, supportive, and wonderful people. i work with fun, talented, crazy teenagers; but i also do things with & for the entire congregation. i am still blown away that i have managed to learn swedish, find a job, and work here. and doing something i love. so, of course, it is tough for me to leave this “perfect” job and all the people behind. i can’t even express how it feels to leave lina’s amazing family behind… we won’t talk about that right now. and besides, there are 6 months left to soak up all things swedish.

but, there is something waiting for me in asheville. i have no idea what it is. but, i believe in it.

as i have been going through this process with lina, i have been having some kind of parallel process that i had no idea would happen. this fall, i had photos published in newspapers. my blog picked up readers. i wrote more & more. basically, somewhere inside of me i began to know that it was time… time for me to focus on my writing. time for me to live my passion, while lina lives hers. of course, i don’t know what that looks like for me, but my soul tells me it’s time to set another part of myself free.

yes, the stars seemed to have lined up for me as well. it’s time for me to pursue my writing & photography more seriously. and asheville is just the place to mix my passions for those to things with theology & social justice all together. this decision, this move, this new chapter in life is something that we are doing together. the timing is perfect. and it feels so right.

i will, of course, need to find a job in asheville. something stable and good. but, also something that allows me to pursue my passion. luckily, i have great contacts already in asheville, so i am not worried. things always work themselves out.

so, yes, it’s time once again in my life, to jump. to tke risks. to embark on a new journey. and to share that journey with my love.

more than anything, though, i am so proud of & excited for my love. and for me. and for our dreams, which we are chasing until they become reality.

it’s time to follow the open road. to take off for a life unknown. to live life to the fullest. to follow the road less traveled once again. and head west!

“Freedom lies in being bold.” ― Robert Frost

peace & love.

No Comments

  • Reply Holly 10 Feb 2013 at 10:04

    Liz, wow! I knew it would be that right from the title… And i only know of asheville from your blogs!! Wow! Congrats and good luck!

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 14:10

      Thank you, Holly!!! it is really exciting!

  • Reply Lovisa 10 Feb 2013 at 10:44

    O M G. Jag kommer sakna er. :””( ♥♥♥ Men det kommer säkert bli jättebra. 🙂

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 14:11

      Åååå… snälla du. Men du kommer att hälsa på någon gång, eller hur?!! 😉 KRAM!

  • Reply Alarna Rose Gray 10 Feb 2013 at 12:08

    Oh my! Never a dull moment in your world! That’s fantastic news for both of you 🙂

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 14:12

      Hehe! Thanks!! xo

  • Reply Tracy 10 Feb 2013 at 13:31

    Dear Liz & Lina,

    I wish you all the best in this new facet of your lives. Isn’t it wonderful when things align (or, we like to think they do) in a space & time which suits us? I’m happy that it’s near your family, Liz- as you will both have the close support of friends & family. NC isn’t Sweden (with regards to same-sex anything, as we all regrettably know)- so it’s especially important & relevant that you have them there.

    I’m of the mind that it’s our various life experiences that “make” our lives- hoping more for the uplifting variety but understanding the opposite can still impart lessons & knowledge.

    So? What’s the time-line?


    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 14:17

      Hey Tracy!

      So true about the States… but at least will be in a city which is extremely diverse and accepting. The laws don’t work in our favor, but the atmosphere and culture of Asheville certainly does. So that’s good. And yes, my family & our friends will be close by.

      Absolutely… all the different experiences only enrich our lives.

      The timeline is that we will move in the end of July. So we’ve got some good time ahead of us here in Sweden. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your comment! We both appreciate your thoughts & support!

  • Reply Anonymous 10 Feb 2013 at 13:50

    Tråkigt att ni flyttar!

  • Reply elisabethstromberg 10 Feb 2013 at 13:54

    Tråkigt att ni flyttar!

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 14:18

      Ja, det känns båda och för oss. Spännande och sorgligt. Men vi har några månader till! 🙂

  • Reply Barb 10 Feb 2013 at 14:21

    Wishing you both all the best as you prepare for the big move! Maybe we will get to meet in person, finally!

    • Reply liz 14 Feb 2013 at 07:46

      Thanks, Barb! How fantastic it would be to meet in person, after all this time! I’d love that.

  • Reply luggagelady 10 Feb 2013 at 14:40

    How very exciting. As you eloquently stated in an earlier post, (and I will most likely hack in trying to paraphrase 🙂 ) home is wherever you and your love carry your hearts. May you and Lina savor every magic step along your present journey — and always…xoxo

    • Reply liz 14 Feb 2013 at 07:47

      Thank you so much for your sweet blessing. I accept it & soak it in, and let it be with us on this next part of our journey. xo

  • Reply Carissa 10 Feb 2013 at 16:30

    Congrats! I’m so glad for both of you!

    • Reply liz 14 Feb 2013 at 07:47

      Yay!!! Thanks a bunch!!

  • Reply puzzlepieces67 10 Feb 2013 at 19:26

    I am SOOOOOOO happy!

  • Reply puzzlepieces67 10 Feb 2013 at 19:28

    (and incidentally, if you’re so inclined, there just MAY be a position opening next year that I already know that you’re good at.)

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 19:37

      it’ll be great to be back in asheville!

      hell yeah, i am totally inclined! 😉 TCR was the best teaching job i’d ever had. i’d love to come back! i actually chatted with else a few hours ago, and she mentioned that she’d mention me to paul cupp (new dept. chair?!).
      so, go ahead and talk me up!


      • Reply puzzlepieces67 10 Feb 2013 at 19:47

        I’ll TOTALLY talk you up to Paul and Amy Rhoney. There’s a woman in our department retiring after this year (i’ll keep all editorial comments to myself.) It would be AWESOME to have someone there who knows what they’re doing, and even more wonderful to have you near again!

        I’m facing the last of your paperwork, incidentally. Just did a 3 year on a darling and got misty seeing your name on the old paperwork!

    • Reply liz 10 Feb 2013 at 20:05

      OMG! is it someone who i/we worked with before?! that would be crazy!
      thanks for lobbying for me!

      • Reply puzzlepieces67 10 Feb 2013 at 20:39

        No. thank god. i’d not have survived this long. *laugh*

  • Reply Victoria Oldham 10 Feb 2013 at 22:49

    Very cool. Congrats! I assume it’s a student visa she’ll be on? Maybe things will change while you’re there and they’ll recognize same sex marriage so you can stay on, if you want to.
    All the best!

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:01

      Thanks! Oh yes, it’s a student visa. The only way it’ll work. 😉 I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will change, yes. It actually could be possible…. maybe… 🙂

  • Reply Laura4NYC 11 Feb 2013 at 00:08

    I sort of expected this post sooner or later. 🙂

    So it seems that after 3 years of living in Sweden (this summer) you will move back to the States! That’s exciting! I hope all works well with Lina and her school. Is she getting her Bachelor’s?

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:02

      Hehe! Yeah, you knew it was coming. Lina will be getting a second Bachelor’s degree, as she has one in Social Work from Sweden. But, she will be studying something completely different. 🙂

      • Reply Laura4NYC 12 Feb 2013 at 15:11

        It’s great. Time to follow your dreams!! And really, it feels good to start a new life! I’d recommend it to anyone.

  • Reply momentsofmezz 11 Feb 2013 at 04:38

    So excited for you two!!! I cannot wait to hear about this journey! 😀 Congrats Liz and Lina!

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:03

      Thanks, Heather!! We are over the top excited!

  • Reply kate1975 11 Feb 2013 at 07:35

    I am so happy for you all. So excited too. 🙂 Good and healing thoughts to you both.


    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:04

      Thank you, Kate. It will be such a wonderful, exciting journey. 🙂 All my peace to you.

  • Reply yogaleigh 11 Feb 2013 at 07:54

    I’ll miss your pics from Europe but Asheville is such a great place–how wonderful for you both!

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:06

      Luckily, I’ll be “forced” to visit Europe on a regular basis, since Lina’s family is here. 😉 So, there will be plenty more photos to come! Just not everyday. But, I look forward to seeing Asheville with new eyes as well. Thank you!!

      • Reply yogaleigh 12 Feb 2013 at 08:17

        Do ;you read Georganne Spruce’s blog, Awakening to the Dance ( )? She lives in or near Asheville and teaches spiritual classes, etc.

  • Reply finola 11 Feb 2013 at 22:57

    Adventures up ahead! – as always 🙂 Enjoy it all. x

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:06

      Woo hoo!!! Yay!

  • Reply bornbyariver 12 Feb 2013 at 04:43

    congrats on this upcoming adventure.. wonderful!

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 08:06

      Thank you so much! We are totally looking forward to it!

  • Reply Dace 12 Feb 2013 at 22:56

    geezez, that is going to be a huge change for you two. However, dreams are dreams and you have to follow them. At least you will be closer to us then in Sweden.

    I was talking to my sweetie about visiting you in Sweden as we will be going to Latvia this summer and potentially flying trough Stockholm.

    However, we can visit you in the States as well…

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2013 at 23:00

      it will be really different, but the states is where both of us feel we belong at this point in our life… so bring it on! 🙂 we’d LOVE to have y’all visit us! in whichever place! we are here in sweden until the end of july. so, just let me know! you’re more than welcome. xo

  • Reply lanie belluz 13 Feb 2013 at 18:12

    Great to hear! We will definitely have to meet up!

    • Reply liz 14 Feb 2013 at 07:45

      oh yeah!! it’ll be so easy! 🙂

  • Reply SWBVR 14 Feb 2013 at 11:42

    Hey – the book I’m reading at the moment mentioned Asheville and it made me think of you! Congratulations to both of you for this wonderful decision and all it will bring! Looking forward to reading all about the plans and implementation!! 🙂

    • Reply liz 18 Feb 2013 at 08:25

      awww.. cool!!! it really is a great place! not that i’m totally biased or anything. 😉 thanks for the well wishes, we are so extremely excited! i’m glad to hear that you’re still excited about hearing about our process, our move, and our new life! sounds like your life is in some planning/dreaming stages too. good luck with everything! 🙂

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