Its been a few months since we found out we were moving.
We’d been waiting so long it felt like it was never going to happen. The sun and moon set a million times too many, but finally the sun rose to her peak and we were given the news. It was between two places originally, but all our trails are leading us to the truest west the USA could offer. To the land where Calamity Jane has been seen flouncing around from bar to bar and riding from town to town. Where the railroad towns were built, and stand there still amidst the windy plains the little hells on wheels. The Cowboy State of America and where there isn’t an abundance of people to bother us.
All our trails are leading us to Laramie, Wyoming. The land of the wild mustang, buffalo (bison to you sticklers for accuracy) and the notorious grizzly bear, who isn’t too scary to an angry mother moose.
We all know i’m terrible at blogging. Not a secret and no point beating around the red-bush about it. It’s just not my kind of writing and thats why i keep trying. I never could keep a damn diary either, i always ended up doodling naked ladies, making notes for plays/stories and writing poetry. I did desperately want to though however, because pretty girls on telly kept diaries. Normal people kept diaries. That was never supposed to me. I was a short little thing with pigtails (before i cut them off), scraped knees, big front teeth and freckles all over my nose. I couldn’t keep a diary because i was too fucking busy fighting the royal navy on the beach, burying treasure, climbing trees to see how far away my house was and digging till i reached China. And for that reason and many others, i haven’t been writing things down as i meant too. Nevertheless i’m doing it now whether or not i ever reach that great wall of China.
I don’t know how i got through the last few weeks of New England, it might just be me but when i know i’m leaving i just want to get up and go. So staying at my job for as long as i did after i found out there was a light at the end of the tunnel — was an utter nightmare. The job was hard enough to go to everyday as it was haha, but when freedom came waving her skirts i could barely sit still. Im glad that job was over. Hot damn it was hell. IF you’ve ever been the most intelligent and normal human being at a job you know what i mean. Being surrounded by rich scientists who think they are somebody because they spend a sugar tone of money and name drop like popping pimples, the worst. And you’d think they had some form of common sense. But i digress.
The closer we came to leaving the more sleepless nights i had, so i’d wake up and watch the sunrise and pack the last few bits and bobs in the apartment, all the while dreaming and planning and thinking how different things will be. I really hoped that i would be re-inspired once i got to Wyoming and find a place that i felt i could stay in. New Hampshire was just hard. Jack was lucky enough to be surrounded by some great guys at work whereas for me, as per usual, i managed to find every crazy person from every rock that had something to say. And they were all my bosses and what a fucking joke. In truth i am a nice person i suppose, but i just don’t deal with bullshit well, in fact i choose not to deal with it and just disappear. Once i’m done with something — im absolutely done and we were done with New England a couple of years ago. I will say though, that the last few months of my job i spent 8 to 5 writing and writing and writing and writing. And i took the money like someone kind of sneaky whore with an STI.
Ask me if i have any regrets.
I would love to write for a living. How do i make that happen?
On August 14 we moved everything from our Uhaul to our ABF trailer that we rented for the trip. Originally we thought about just getting a Uhaul van with a trailer for the car, but we wanted to travel in luxury this time. When we moved from Texas to New Hampshire we had to blast right through every state faster than a scared dog. So this time, we did it differently. We loaded a Uhaul with all our belongings, drove them down to Massachusetts and loaded them onto the trailer, because the trailer couldn’t make it into our badly set up apartment parking. The trailer was then moved for us and arrived here in Wyoming a few days ago. Easy as taking a shit after a curry and only yesterday morning did they come and pick it up without a fuss. It was well worth it in my opinion. All we had to worry about was the car and ourselves on the way. So we could stop wherever and whenever we wanted to. And we did! That is another blog post entirely and that’ll be coming up in the next week or so.
All that loading though — kicked my ass. I’m glad i was actively working out every day and working weights or i never would’ve been able to move our things as we did. But now i need to get back on to that without the free gym at the apartment complex. Booooooo.
And someone we couldn’t have survived New England without. Someone we have everything to thank for. Basil, who i will no longer think i see at every corner of the apartment as the apartment now belongs to another. That is the cruelest part of the move for me. Feeling like i left Basil behind even though that dog would have gone anywhere with us in life or in spirit. But that is what i will miss. The comfort of knowing Basil lived here with us and that is something that is missing from the new house. The three Musketeers that are but two. But those of us who have been so lucky to have a dog — we know they never truly leave until we are ready to go with them. And Basil will forever be at my feet, on my lap and in every sundown and dream. Because that was Basil. Leaving New England is in part also a way to force me to move on and stop lingering for him to return.
I am a man of constant sorrow — it’s true.
We left New England on the 16th of August and arrived on the 21st tired, with a million adventures under our belts already and a positive first impression. I could write about everyday on the road if i wanted, but i’m not that kind of person. If i wouldn’t read it myself i wont write it. Just as i wont post every single picture i took of us just driving, because how dull. What i can tell you is that having someone, who changes everything, to drive two thousands miles with should be on everyones bucket list. We made like Jack Kerouac and made the road our life. We drove through every storm and swore at every traffic jam. I was surprised at the prices of each fucking toll — money grabbers! And we watched every sunset from all the Holiday Inns from Wyoming to New York.
I can’t fully explain in words yet, what it felt like to finally be back in Old West country. When the mass of buildings started to dwindle and cars were replaced by cows and bison. When there were more horses than people. And when a horizon kissed our foreheads for what seemed the first time in 4 years as we drove to our new adventure. Country accents laced with hospitality you just don’t find anywhere else. Attentive service at the local eateries and free beer for a cock up. That’ll take me a month or two to comprehend — to find that this was real.
These aren’t the only pictures i took but as i said, I wont show you everything because some of it is just mine. Maybe in another post later on when the dust has settled. I think this is the furthest i’ve ever been from little Jylland in Denmark. The furtherest from my family i’ll probably ever be and of course this will most likely be where i stay. Thats not a reflection on my family, but for some reason this was just where my heart stopped weeping. A place i didn’t feel my spirit was sore.
We travelled from New Hampshire, Massachesetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and finally found our Wyo. Everything went as planned it.
Some of our things were a little scratched up and worse for wear when the trailer arrived but that was our fault, i can’t fault the service at all. We probably wont do it again though because we wont be doing another cross country move.
I’m sure someone in your life has told you, that everything is a learning curve? You wont get it a hundred percent straight off the bat and if you do, i have to wonder whose paying and whose doing the work for you.
And so, here i am. Back in my boots and hat and plaid and new wrangler jeans, and god damn proud of it. Sitting in our backyard no less. Our trip here was a trip of a lifetime, a trip people fly to America to do. We crossed out 4 to 5 things from our bucket-list if not more along the way. The strangest thing for me is that some of these bucket list dreams i dreamt about when America was just a mythical place beyond the water that i never truly wanted to visit, because i didn’t want to fall in love and end up never moving back to Denmark. Life knew better, didn’t he?
Well, thats it from me for today. I have a mountain of unpacking to do and some breakfast to make. Soon i’ll have the vlog ready that accompanies this particular post and i’ll probably be working on that today and the rest of this week.
Hello lovely readers !
Let me catch you up a little on whats going on.
A few days ago i received an email asking if i was interested in contributing to an online expat magazine on expat.com.
I was so surprised and super excited, so of course i said yes. What an interesting opportunity.
I only recently happened across this website for expats a week or two ago from happening to glance at a few other expat blogs, so this all happened really quickly. Hence my surprise. Its a really great platform for people to learn about moving abroad and getting information from real people who have experienced that kind of life. So its genuine advice, thoughts and discussions. So if theres anyone out there reading this that wants to move abroad and wants a little help, this might be a nice place for you. (This is not an advert by the by — this is just my own opinion and i’m not paid to have said opinion).
Anyway, they sent me a list of questions to answer about my blog and my general expat experiences. I know i don’t write like other people so i was a little unsure that my writing was right for something like this as its very “novel-esque,” but thats just the ever present self doubt we all suffer from once in a while making an appearance.
Tomorrow this little extract on me goes live on the online magazine, and i didn’t realise it that it means i am “the blogger of the month” August 2018 ! How exciting is that after only having been a member for a very short time?
Thats my little bit of news for this gloomy Monday night.
I hope you all have a lovely on going week, and that its not as humid where you are as it is here.
You can read the “interview” here!
“I’ve been homesick for countries I’ve never been, and longed to be where I couldn’t be.” —John Cheever
When i first started out my blog i wanted to talk about integrating into another culture, being an expat and living away from your home country; the struggles and the joys.
This will be my first official post about being an expat.
So here are ten frequently asked questions i get daily.
1. What are you doing here?
This is the biggest question i get asked, and quite frankly the rudest.
I always immediately lock up and become utterly defensive — wanting to respond with something witty and probably seeded with expletives.
But regardless of that — the simple answer to that question is that i’m living.
2. What made you want to come to America?
When you’re foreigner or expat, unfortunately it automatically makes your life a public spectacle. People become nosey, and want to know everything about you. This can be incredible frustrating and i’m still finding my feet on how to handle questions that i don’t entirely want to answer. As i’ve said i’m a private person and my business is my business. In short i never wanted to come to America – i didn’t plan on it. I didn’t even want to go to America on holiday. I wanted to move back to Denmark and die there, but my plans clearly changed. I met a man i couldn’t even have dreamed of and i moved to be with him. Yes, long distance relationships are hard, but not impossible if they’re worth it and mine absolutely was. People are always quick to cast something aside when it gets tough, but thats not what life is about. Its about taking that bull by the horns and riding him out.
3. Don’t you miss you family?
Yes. Everyday. I think about them everyday. I wonder what they’re doing and if they’re happy. If they ever think of me and what i’m doing. I wonder what i’m missing out on. I picture what life could have been like if i’d moved to Denmark and been there with them 24 -7. And thats when i realise it never could have been me. Realistically i was born to discover and wander. And my family let me go like a free bird looking for warmer suns. I miss out on so many wonderful gatherings, and when i hear others around me talking about not wanting to visit grandma, how their mother was being a pain or their father wont buy them a car … i think to myself. How lucky you are to have your family down the road. Never forget how lucky you are, because there are days when it is torture and a very lonely way to live if you are 4000 miles away from them.
4. What was immigration like?
Well, first off it cost more than a liver, set of kidneys and a prosthetic leg on the black market. But i will say, considering the cost, we had a relatively painless experience regarding immigration. The worst part was probably having to go to do medical things, which i hated but it wasn’t as terrible as i’d thought it was going to be. I thought i was going to have to drop my clothes and get man handled. I do not appreciate being at all trifled with so this was my worst nightmare. It was not as bad as all that. I just had my measurements, bio metrics and some injections done. Pretty painless, but i’d actually looked up a list of the medical things i needed before i left home and got my own doctor to give me most of the jabs i needed.
5. Do you get to go home very often?
Sadly not as often as i would wish. Its expensive and a very long trip. Its a night and a day. Its really enjoyable when theres two of us but thats even more expensive especially with an animal the needs constant attention at home. So no. Sometimes i’ll go alone for a few weeks which is nice but its hard to be away from one life to go to another. Theres also people who want to see you but don’t understand that you just don’t have time to see everyone inside of a short holiday — this can cause a lot of agro so i pretty much stick to just seeing family.
But i always miss Jack terribly. We’re two peas in a pod. And i don’t like being alone in a pod.
6. Weren’t you scared?
Nope. I wasn’t. I honestly never thought it was as big a deal as everyone made out to me. I was excited, but i wasn’t ever scared or in any doubt. I’d made my mind up to go and so i did. I looked back but only to see how far i’d come. Never in regret. I knew there would be things i would lose and be giving up, but life comes at you — you get up and you go.
7. What was it like to move such a long way?
It wasn’t until i’d been gone a year or so that i started to realise how hard the move was getting to be on me. My life ended up having to stop while i waited for immigration to be done. I couldn’t legally work, i couldn’t drive and it was Texas… there was nowhere to go that was in walking distance. Even if there had been — the heat would have killed me 20 steps in.
However, having been home all that time gave me months of working on interests and projects. I learned to knit, crochet, practice my photography, created art, learned to sew, exercised and practiced Shakespeare. I read as many books as physically possible and taught myself to cook. You have to make the best of the situations that suck. And it really wasn’t plain sailing. It was hard work. Nothing, and i mean nothing worth having is ever easy. Why would it be? You’d never appreciate it if it was. I suffered pretty severely from cabin fever but i got through it. Its a huge struggle that honestly cant truly be expressed in all its horrific-ness. You’ll know when you hit that wall, but remember. Just pursue the interests you’ve never had time for. Get excited about new bird species, sunrises and hailstones the size of your fists. Life is not all about 9 to 5 and paychecks.
8. Was it hard to start working in another country?
It was nerve wracking, and sometimes it still is. Even after a few years i don’t entirely understand the American culture or the way people act with each other here. And obviously, with me it goes slower because i am a notorious recluse. I don’t understand the rules, paperwork or the taxes. I’ve been lucky that i’ve had Jack to help me every step of the way, if i was alone it would have been a very arduous up hill battle. Working in another country never phased me till i tried it in the USA, the language is ever so slightly similar to English but don’t be fooled. Thats where the similarities end.
At least i’m still funny, witty and entertaining in every language. So i can always bring the laughs.
9. Does the magic of being an expat ever wear off?
Only if you let it. I don’t. I enjoy every car ride, every walk and every rain fall. Its another case of making the best of the opportunity you’ve been given. Yes, i just made myself sound like a Labrador but truly, if any animal treasures every day — its a dog. So there are worse things.
I will say that not every day is a bed of roses and full of unicorns, sometimes those unicorns leave giant turds and those roses have thorns. But you cannot expect everyday to be a holiday. Visiting a place for a holiday is VERY different to moving there and creating an entirely new life. You still have to wake up to yourself every morning. This is something i CANNOT stress enough. I was lucky enough to know this from a very young age so i knew this when i moved to the USA. But those of you who don’t — think about it. I’ve met a few people who say things such as “I want to move to London, i had the best vacation for like a week,” or “I love Sweden is looks like so much fun in the snow!”
Stop. Right. There.
London can be a rough area — like any/every capital city. A week with a friend is fun and all, but a lifetime and you could be letting yourself in to some serious problems not to mention dangerous situations if you think its all Mary Poppins and Bridget Jones’ high waisted underpants. Mr.Darcy isn’t that good looking or charming in real life.
Swedish winters are beautiful but you could also turn into an icicle if you don’t know the ropes or you could go insane due to the 6 months of constant sunlight/darkness.
I’m not saying don’t go, but i am saying be smart and remember that life is life — it will have downs just like it has ups. Can you survive Monday to Friday living where-ever you want to go? You be completely starting over and it can be very lonesome.
10. Its easy to integrate if you want to, isn it?
Sure it is for some, but others not. I think a lot of that depends on culture and the country someone is moving to/from.
I don’t know that i’ve ever integrated anywhere, or ever wanted to. In England i was always the funny foreign kid but i still had a pretty great childhood, but i wouldn’t say i “integrated”. I’ve never changed, i’ve been the same person for a good while — i’m worldly, and though antisocial, i do mix pretty well with a lot of cultures and people. For the most part I believe in respecting a country for what it is and not asking it to fit YOU. Its you who must assimilate. The country does not owe you a damn thing. Remember that.
However, I quite enjoy being an outsider looking in. You experience more and get a better understanding of differences.
Your mind broadens.
That is a huge gift.
Do you have anything you want to ask or want to know about being an expat?
You can write a comment on this post, and i’ll try to answer as many as i can !
Where a cowboy is king and its kinda ok to be stubborn as a mule.
I fit in alright.
Never was i the kind of girl who thought Texans rode to school on the back of a mustang, but i’d be deceiving you if i said i hadn’t hoped that there would some swinging saloon doors in my life.
I’m yet to find those doors swinging, but i found something else.
A place that is better than it ever could be in a book or on the tongue of a storyteller.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the South these days, but i find that you haven’t lived till you’ve made like Davy Crockett and gone to Texas.
Theres never been a home for me that made me realise “this is it. This is where i will die one day.”
When the sun peeks from behind the desert and winks at the piney woods in South East Texas, why theres nothing quite like it. Its burns like hell but you’ll never feel the sun on your face the you feel it there.
When i was younger a lot of the people around me were desperate to run off to America to be the next big film star, or some kind of uppity up in New York. I’d never heard anything so dull. What a typical dream – its been dreamt for hundreds of years, where is their imagination? If you have the power to dream beyond your means why dream of something magic. Having said that a dream is a dream to he who bares it. Then again, if i had had a dream it would be for something far greater far more than monetary success. I’d dream of the land — so deep the moon could swim in it and horses could run boundless for years. I’d dream of a place where the sunset was always singing through the window. There is so much more to life than what instagram or twitter, even facebook tells you.
You don’t need to lose those 10 pounds to be beautiful. If you aren’t beautiful now you wont be then. It isn’t the pound its the mind.
You don’t need those long shifts to get to where you’re going.
You don’t need to suffer to live.
You just need to live.
One deep breath at time.
So when i dreamed i dreamed beyond the stage of the weeping clown that i am.
I dreamed beyond that horizon that swung behind heavy waves as our sails flurried, where two pirates sat eating biscuits under the stars.
I dreamed i would never lose myself to society.
Something i do every day is remind myself what i am and who i feel i’m mean’t to be.
I will feel every footstep under me even when it sucks ass to be alive.
All this brings me to telling you — i never even wanted to visit America. It didn’t interest me whatsoever. I’d closed that off because it was something everyone wanted, and all i wanted was to be left to be exactly as i always had been.
Would that bring me money?
I’d find a way and strangely enough…
And it meant moving to the United States to become a shit kicker.
Something i’d been sure wasn’t for me (the usa … not the shit kicking, who doesn’t love kicking shit?) — was exactly where i was supposed to go.
To experience life on a scale that stretches from here to Uranus.
Be careful what doors you try to close.
We’ll be travelling back to some old haunts in Texas this week, and i can’t wait.
To look at it all again with a fresh mind and a new perspective. Have margaritas with friends, family days on crystal beach and so forth.Hopefully i’ll also get some kind of a kick in the ass to get inspired and work harder on my novels.
But who knows what the future will bring. As long as it eventually brings me back to a place that belongs in my heart — i wont ask for more than that.
I can’t wait to be around familiar places and people.
Call me crazy — but i can’t wait for the heat either.
Yes i will complain about it when i’m there but i love to complain.
Galveston is one of my favourite places in the world.
The colours of the sea side town we know and love.
See you in Texas!