And we’re off!

IKEA cake

One of my favorite song lyrics is John Lennon’s “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“, a concept which comes in handy when I find myself dwelling excessively on possible alternative futures. Of all the things I imagined doing this winter, moving to a small town in Sweden wasn’t even on the radar. With Scott in the final year of his Industrial Design degree and me busy with work and music, there were no clues that a major change was looming.

So when we got the call in November that Scott had been selected for a design internship with IKEA of Sweden, we were stunned to see our vision of the future transform in an instant. There wasn’t much time to get used to the idea; eight weeks of packing, sixty-four boxes and a garage-sized storage locker later, we’re on our way to Älmhult, Sweden.

Moving away from the home city is an emotional experience, which we learned six years ago when we left Calgary for Vancouver. The most difficult thing, then as now, is the prospect of being far away from dear friends. No matter what exciting adventures lie ahead, it’s hard to leave behind the quiet joy of tea on rainy afternoons, laughter over wine, leisurely walks by the ocean and sun-soaked weekends in the Okanogan.

It’s a touching paradox that the same friends who make leaving Vancouver so hard also came together to make the departure easier. Whether by dropping in to help with the packing, carting giant boxes around in the rain, hosting a lavish going away party, or putting us up in the last days of the move, our friends have been instrumental in giving this venture its start.

And so it’s for friends and family everywhere that I decided to blog about this next five months in Sweden. I want to share with all of you the beauty, flavors and idiosyncrasies of the new places and cultures to be discovered. There will no doubt be lots to tell about life in a small town in Småland and about travels in Sweden and farther afield. In this way, I keep all of you with me wherever I go, so whether I’m wandering the wind-swept shores of Gotland or staring down a plate of rotten herring, I’ll take comfort in knowing that we’re in this together.

Vi ses snart! (See you soon…)

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