pinch me. i’m an ex-pat.

29 Jan 2013

some days i’m just overwhelmed by the life that i lead. i had dreams, and i chased them, and i guess that’s how i ended up here. but, you know, it didn’t happen overnight. sometimes it takes a long time for dreams to come true, like in my case. but if it’s a dream filled with passion, then somehow, someway, as you claw your way through life, never giving up, that dream will come true. it did for me. not in exactly (or at all!) the way i thought or planned that it would, but in a much more amazing way. seriously, i believe that the universe knows how to work things out.

today, i just got overwhelmed by the realization that i have chased so many dreams, only to watch them come all true. after many years of wishing, thinking, and hoping that one day i’d be able to leave the states and move to another country, i was overcome with joy once again, on this regular day, that i made it happen.

somehow the timing was right about 6 years ago, and i felt it: i believed in my crazy 12 year old dream, and i decided to leave my job. i spent a year on my own, preparing to leave my job, sold/gave away most everything i owned, packed the rest, and took off to live in denmark without any plans. in denmark i ended up falling in love. Β then, i boarded a plane again, got married, spent the first 6 months of our marriage apart, took a road trip across the states one summer, boarded another plane, yet again, and moved to live in my love’s home country.

i made it. i was an official ex-pat. and so extremely happy. i didn’t know swedish at all, but that didn’t matter. i did’t have a job or any idea how i’d get one or what i’d do with my new life in sweden, but i knew it’d work out. i finally took a 4-5 month swedish class, got an internship with teenagers (where my love worked), and began to learn swedish even faster. after only 1 year, i got my own job. i actually began to talk & work in swedish. worked my way up from working only 10 hours a week to 30 hours a week. made friends. adapted to a new society. soaked up life in europe and discovered so much about myself. all in 2.5 years. it’s crazy.

today was just one of those days that i felt like i needed to pinch myself again. i needed to stop for a moment & realize where i am, what i do, and how i got here. i needed to soak it all in… all the amazing people who have come into my life. all of the amazing experiences i’ve had. all of the new opportunities for travel, writing, photography, and relationships i’ve had. today, i’m just having one of those ex-pat moments. thankful. grateful. amazed. overwhelmed. pinch me. i must be dreaming.

here are some pics from my regular ole day here in sweden. it’s been so normal and so extraordinary all at the same time.

a january sunrise outside my kitchen.

a january sunrise outside my kitchen.


walking to work. trying not to slip on the yucky, slushy, icy sidewalks & streets.


morning fika break at work.


i love my desk lamp.


work. work. work. and some hot tea.

may all your dreams come true. peace & love.

No Comments

  • Reply luggagelady 30 Jan 2013 at 00:07

    What an amazing story…Congratulations for having the courage to chase/realize your wonderful dreams, Dear Liz!! xo

    • Reply liz 30 Jan 2013 at 10:45

      Thank you!! I am so so blessed. Thank you for reading and being a blogging support. πŸ™‚

  • Reply CarlyBeth's Blog 30 Jan 2013 at 01:42

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for that story! So inspiring πŸ™‚

    • Reply liz 30 Jan 2013 at 10:46

      Oh, girl! There is soooo much more to come! I gotta give all the details that are in between the little things I mentioned. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Randy tingle 30 Jan 2013 at 02:37

    It’s a God thing! So happy for you!

    • Reply liz 30 Jan 2013 at 10:47

      Thanks, Randy! I’m always touched by your support. And God is still working… soooo many more adventures to come this year! Hope all is well with you!

  • Reply Victoria Oldham 30 Jan 2013 at 10:53

    I know exactly what you mean. It particularly hits me when we’re planning our holidays, and we come up with things like, Well, Spain is nice because we’re comfortable there, but maybe we should try Greece or Italy this year?
    Definitely not a conversation I thought I’d be having when I was a teenager scraping by on my own in the California desert.

    • Reply liz 31 Jan 2013 at 10:23

      it’s crazy, huh? i’d say we are pretty damn lucky. xo

  • Reply Tracy 30 Jan 2013 at 15:15

    It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you put your mind & gut feeling into it?

    And if you’re anything like me Liz, there are times when your past life feels like it was a whole & completely different lifetime? As if the full-on 6 or so past years is equal in “size” or weight as all of the previous years, a 2nd lifetime?

    Btw, this reminds me that you’ve stopped writing your “from death to peace” series? πŸ˜‰

    • Reply liz 31 Jan 2013 at 10:25

      it feels totally like that, tracy. toooootally. and, for the record, i have not stopped my series. but, i wrote nothing during the holidays & now i am finding it hard to find time for quality posts/writing, since i’m working more this year. :/ i really, really want to keep working on it. please try to be patient… i’m getting there! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply yogaleigh 30 Jan 2013 at 23:11

    You help me keep up the patience for my LOOONNNGGG journey! Thanks.

    • Reply liz 31 Jan 2013 at 10:26

      we all need each other as reminders to keep on journeying… there is so much more to come! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Laura4NYC 3 Feb 2013 at 18:12

    Are you fluent in Swedish now?

    • Reply liz 4 Feb 2013 at 08:12

      yep. pretty much.:) i do everything in swedish… work, be social, live life. the only time i do english is on my blog & at home with my wife. we just can’t seem to speak swedish to each other except in public when everyone else is speaking swedish.

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