Just passing, but for how long….

I think many expats go through thoughts like these every once in a while. How permanent is the situation of living abroad? How permanent is the current location? Should I return home or not, if yes, when? I know I have posted something similar to this before, but it seems to pop up every now and then in my thoughts.

I have a small existential crisis – again, so I have been pondering and chewing on these questions quite a bit in my own head.  There never was a plan laid out for the future after moving abroad. I did not seem to need it back then. You know, I was moving into the center of Europe, with the best traveling possibilities imaginable. To live with a Waffle so close to perfection I could cry. Not much consideration or deep thoughts were involved in this process.

So far, it has been fabulous. We are traveling around Europe as I always was dreaming of doing. And there is still plenty to explore. But there are other life goals too, some of which require settling down, to somewhere, for some time. So it would be kind of nice to have a vision of where we would like to settle down to.

Belgium has some pros and cons. The ease of travel being one of the best points, as well as high living standard and delicious beer! But for a person who loves nature and mountains, peace and quiet, it is not exactly a heaven. Flanders is the most densely populated area in Europe which makes nature, peace or quietness pretty difficult things to find. Belgium has never been seen as the forever home for us.

But for now, we are building our lives in here. We both have a stable job, a nice circle of mostly lunatic friends and so forth. Despite these things I find myself hesitant to get committed into anything that would force us to stay put for a long time in this country. One of the main things bugging me is studying. Although I have a comfortable position in working life now, I don’t see myself having it as my life career. I want to jump onto another field of profession completely. But that would mean jumping out of a paid job – and sticking to this country for 5 – 6 years, cutting quite q big junk out of the travel budget, not to mention a putting a huge strain on Waffle. Then again, Belgium does have some of the top ranking Uni’s and I am not getting any younger…

This desire of studying would of course hinder some other dreams from coming true. I have been planning to buy a horse now for a while. But owning a horse, going to school and traveling every month to somewhere might be a difficult combo to pull off.

Seems like I have a dilemma here.

And then there is the whole Finland question. I think both me and Waffle want to go live there at some point. That wonderful, evasive point of time called “some”. Now that we have a piece of property there that point became less urgent, I have he possibility to get to my roots even if my parents needed to let go of the farm. It does make hunting down the right “some point” more difficult though. At least we have some traveling to do before going to Finland more permanently.

If there needs to be a conclusion to all this, I think it is that we are  going to live just like we have done so far; in the moment. I am not big on making lists or going through a problem logically, figuring out all the pros and cons of each alternative. I prefer just jumping after any interesting enough opportunity that presents itself. Not really too mature way of looking at life, I know, but it seems to be working, as long as there are not many too strict goals in sight.

I just hope I don’t have to do any job interviews where I need to answer the threaded question: “Where do you see yourself within 5 years?” Because I have absolutely no clue, could be in Belgium or Mars as a nurse or a circus director, who knows? I just have to learn to love this randomness of our life a bit better.

Baltic sea, archipelago, sunset

 

 

 

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Wrapping up the year 2016

It is December again, the end of the year, time of celebrations, traditions and the beginning of winter. It is a good moment to count your fortunes, check if you have offended the Karma, and how much more, or less, kilos there are on the waistline. After that we can all consider whether the year was a good or a bad one, and what to do in 2017 to make it better, or worse, in case someone happens to be a masochist.

Well, I started this year with my Waffle in Barcelona. Making wishes as people around us swallowed grapes on every beat of the clock. Since then there has been some new pins appearing to our map. Somehow we orientated a lot to the Eastern Europe this year. Some great mountains and wild nature there. I think both of us fell in love with Montenegro in its endless greenery. Not that Romania is left too far behind.

I think we have gotten a bit used to this traveling. It felt like a quiet year until we lay our eyes on the photo album. We have been to places with quite a hectic pace.

Beside the traveling we do, there is the normal, everyday life we are having. Our relationship is only getting stronger I think. And forming sometimes even a little spooky, symbiotic features. But I love my Waffle and he loves me back, so I don’t really mind even if we transform into one of those disgusting couples who do everything together and the same way.

We have also gained some amazing friends this year. They make me realize the fact, that you should surround yourself with people you feel good to be around and that support you and offer a healthy amount of critique at times, when you are going wild on a stupid idea. Thank you, my new people. And thank you my old people, who are still there and haven’t forgotten me, no matter the distance in between!

And personal growth? Someone told me it is sometimes important to consider that as well, sometimes. Pfft, says I, but lets give it a try. I have always been, and still am, very bad at self reflection. I go with a flow, see where I end up and embrace the opportunities that rise along the way, out of coincidences and accidents. Sometimes it is liberating, at times it is stressful but it works for me. And Waffle seems to be able to tag along nicely, so I am happy.

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Somehow this passed year did force me to look a bit deeper too. Taking a jump off of work was something I had to consider a bit. I wasn’t sure if I was giving up too soon and whether it was fair towards Waffle. But since quitting I have gained a new language (somewhat) and a new job! So no new lessons learned about being spontaneous and reckless.

What about the coming 2017? It is getting closer and closer and somehow we all need to survive it. I usually do not make any resolutions. Now I am making an exception, since I think I came up with a good one that might make me a better person. Or a more irritating one, who knows.

You know, there are those moments when you end up saying “We definitely should do that!” I think most people have that habit. But what happens after saying those words? Sometimes something, often absolutely nothing. Now, I promise that after I blurt out a thing like that, something will happen.

My dear friends. I love you, please don’t make me regret this…

What about you, people out there; How was your 2016 and what is the survival plan for 2017? In any case, Happy New Year!

Couple, Sailing, DFDS

On actual normal picture of the two of us together. Nobody making faces!

Fears, Nightmares and Heatwave

We are having a heatwave here in Belgium. The mercury is climbing up to 33 degrees during the days. That is making my brain melt and I am starting to look like a piece of butter someone forgot on the sofa for a day; I droop. Good thing the computer is still functioning and keeps me entertained with all sorts of stupidity.

Having my hand plastered has also given me time to get my melting brain working, as much as it can in these temperatures. So here you have it, a very useless blog post:

I have the habit of seeming fearless. You know, all that stuff of moving abroad, getting into new things and going alone into places, climbing mountains and what ever not. To be honest, I am often scared to bits, as I think every normal person is. The thing is, that the will to learn and curiosity are often so much stronger that I end up doing and going. It is not so much about not feeling the fears, it is about what you do with them.

One thing is the moving abroad part. I was scared. Oh so very scared. I was only moving to Belgium, not really a completely strange culture or environment. Could have been Saudi Arabia, you know, but still. I was afraid, irrationally, to stay in Finland, but at the same time I was scared of moving. So I ran through things. I think I thought that our relationship was either going to work out or fail, it didn’t matter if I moved sooner, or later. So, the heck with it, I chose sooner, didn’t want to waste time. Plus, there was less time to be petrified that way. All ended well, so risk worth taking. Now I am just scared of Belgian roads and traffic, the sissy that I am.

One of the other things is the buggy sport that we do. Almost every time I am a little nervous, if not scared, to climb in and drive. But often the sessions that make me poop my pants also give out the most. Those are the days I learn from. I think that is quite often the case when you hop on and do something even though you are afraid of doing it, no? You also may end up breaking an arm, but never mind that.

Sardinia, Hiking girl, Top

On top of the world, well, close enough.

Oumph, nightmares then. I don’t really sleep well in the smoldering heat, our house is one of those old ones, that turn into baking ovens at some point of summer, and so, nightmares come!

I am floating a little at the moment, when it comes to future. The only certain thing is that I need a new job. Some of you might remember how I was determined to go and study myself a psychology degree. Well, to do that, I need money, turns out, it is not completely cheap to study. Then there is the massive uncertainty, of where we are going to be within the next few years. Oh dear, living here, in Finland, somewhere in Europe or in the back bush of Australia, who knows. So, it is rather difficult for me to make the decision of where to start the studying. Time to start learning some long term planning, maybe… Waffle is being so great, being his loving self and standing by my side through all this, as I have not really been the best of girlfriends lately.

Related to future views, there was this occasion of me writing my CV and application letter in Finnish for the first time in maybe 3 years. That is a long time to live without using your mother tongue in an official context. So, I got my good old friend of a nightmare visiting me again. I think it stems mainly for my living abroad, outside of my native language. The nightmare drops me off to a situation where I am fast to realize I can’t speak any English anymore, nor Finnish. I am basically mute. It is an absolutely horrible feeling to wake up to, especially if it pares up with those days when your head jams and you are literally unable to produce a complete sentence in any language.

While writing this I had to pop into the shower twice, to cool down my feet. I destroyed the remnants of an ice cream bucket (oh, blobbery life, I am coming!) and shoveled down some very nice home made iced mint tea, mmm! So, how do you guys tolerate heat? Does you brain go for a holiday on the beach, or does it jump onto over drive of useless pondering?

I’ll continue melting and marathoning through Six feet under.