I said goodbye to my friends and family today. I think it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve always been an emotional person, but I’m having an especially hard time reconciling the joy I feel about moving to Sweden with the fear I’m feeling about the unknown and the sadness that’s setting in about leaving home.
Home for me is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the United States. I’ve lived my entire 28 years so far within five minutes of Harrisburg Hospital, where I was born.
I live within ten minutes of every member of my immediate family, and I always have.
Most of you who know me well know that Becky and I have been planning to move to Sweden since we first visited her relatives in Gothenburg and fell in love with the country in 2011. Without them, I don’t think it would be possible for us to live this dream now.
I’ve been surprised recently by how many people started telling us that it takes a lot of guts to do what we’re doing, moving across the world. I didn’t see it. We just went on vacation and liked it so much that we wanted to stay. I think it happens to everyone.
We put together a five year plan that would ultimately afford us the opportunity to move to Sweden, and I’m proud to say that we’ve accomplished that goal, arriving in Sweden almost exactly five years after our first visit.
Over the last month or so, I’ve begun to say goodbye to people I love. People I grew up with. People that raised me. It hurts. I’ve never done anything like this before. Now I see that it does take guts. More than I understood.
I don’t think fear is uncommon in a transitional period like this, but my biggest fear is that the people I love don’t understand why I’m leaving, or that they don’t know how hard this is for me.
I’m leaving because the world is a beautiful place and I need to see it. I’m leaving because traveling and collecting new experiences makes me feel alive. I’m leaving because every culture is worth learning about firsthand, and because Harrisburg, Pennsylvania isn’t big enough for me.
This is the first blog post I’ve ever posted, so it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this, we’re already close.
If you’re from my home, I already miss you. I wish I could take you with me, and your absence may be the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.
If you’re from my new home, you’re part of the reason I chose it. I hope we can spend time together and make memories that will strengthen us both.
If you’re someone who misses me as much as I miss you, tell me. Email me. Call me. Text me. Write me. Send me a postcard. Keep in touch. Visit, please. I don’t know where life will take me, but I’m eager to get there and I want to share it. I’m only a plane away.