Now Let’s Get to the Good Parts of Life

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First You Go Through Hell

I’m not going to lie, the past few months were pretty tough. All I could think of was hoping I could magically beam myself to the future and NOT donate/sell/trash almost everything we owned, how not say good byes to friends, New York, and our life in the US and how just directly walk in to our brand new life in Sweden.

I wanted to come here, but I hated the transition. It was very emotional, and I totally get it why people don’t want to move. Where is Marty and the DeLorean when you need it the most? I could have entirely jumped over the past two months, however much I like living in the moment. (Reminding myself that we still have to do the Back to the Future marathon, kids deserve it.)

I want to thank all my friends for being there for me, and listening me complain, and bang my head on the wall.

I had mornings I didn’t want to get up from bed, I had days I cried as soon as I got back home from dropping off kids at school.

It was very emotional to go through everything, even though it was just stuff, it was memories, it was fear of unknown, it was packing and saying good bye to our life as it was. I was mad at my husband for leaving me to do the majority of the move on my own, even though it was me who encouraged and supported him to go, and who insisted on spending family time when he was still home saying I’d take care of packing and moving stuff once he had already left. And then I was jealous he was already in Sweden, and we were still cleaning the New York apartment.

I want to thank my husband for trusting me more than I trusted myself for making it all happen.

I want to thank my amazing children, we did kids, we did it together!!

I want to thank all of the bottles of wine, the numerous cups of latte, and Leo’s Pizza for getting me through the moving hell.

And can I just thank my friends again? I don’t know what I would have done without Tuulevi, Cheryl, Kristine and Yancey and my friend Anna who flew in from Ohio! And so many more. Thank you friends for being there.

Enter Phase “Good Life”

Now things are definitely getting better, and not just better, but B E T T E R.

Our 24 hour visit in Iceland was amazing, spent a fun snow-filled weekend visiting my family in Finland, we adore our new hometown Linköping and found a place to live. We missed on a few amazing houses, but we found a very nice and spacious home right by the river, and we can’t wait to move in in April!!

Until then..? We live in a tiny hotel suite with one bedroom, pull-out-couch and a kitchenette. It’s been three weeks of this joy already. Does it get old? Heck yeah, but we love (almost) every minute of it. It doesn’t matter that there isn’t much space, or that it’s impossible to cook a complicated meal, or that the washer and dryer in the hallway are tiny and it takes us 4 hours to do laundry once a week. It’s OK that we still haven’t been able to get a cell phone contract, or that kids are still not approved to the international school, or that life is somewhat a mess. It will all come in time, and in meanwhile we adventure, learn about life and world, and it’s all good.

No, Really, The Good Stuff

It may sound like living out of suitcases isn’t really the dream come true yet, but in a way it is.

I just feel good. I feel I’m where I’m supposed to be, life is beautiful, I feel skimbaco. I had no idea how much I had missed Europe, and how I had pushed down so many dreams, ideas, and who I really am. I feel like I can breathe better. Maybe we are just crazy nomads who flourish when living out of suitcase. Our entire family is like we’ve found the inner peace. Most importantly, our family is back together, we are all healthy, happy, and it’s just all rainbows and unicorns here.

Now.. if the rainbows and shit is little too much for you, and you are not buying the inner peace and hugs and kisses, then let’s talk about shopping and traveling (you cold materialistic person, you – and thanks for asking, because I can’t wait to share)! Because yes, on the end of the rainbow we did find the pot of gold my friend, and the pot of gold came in the form of a brand new Mercedes-Benz to drive (I told you those relocation packages can be nice), a trip to Italy and Southern France, pick anything you want from IKEA catalog and did I mention we are going to Monte Carlo too?

Last summer my girls and I watched the movie Monte Carlo, and I remember driving home from the movie theater almost teary eyed and missing Europe so bad that I swore that there has to be a way to get us to experience Monte Carlo and Paris summer 2012. We are flying to Milan in TWO WEEKS and we are spending TWO WEEKS driving around the coast of Italy and France, and will visit Nice, Portofino, Genoa… I’m even thinking of leaving my laptop in Sweden, and just enjoying la dolce vita, and maybe taking a thousand or so photos. No, we will not go to Paris, but it is in our plans for this year. Mark my words, when there is a will, there is a way.

And yes… my dear IKEA. Since one thing we didn’t have in the relocation package was SHIPPING our stuff, we do have something else: rental furniture for the entire time we live here. We were given a styling, interior design and furniture rental contact from Norway, and we get to send them a list and pictures of the furniture we want. So last weekend we walked through IKEA and other furniture stores in town taking photos of everything we like. I don’t know how it will really work, and I’m skeptical this really works like this… I mean, really?? But yes, it’s happening.

Oh, and remember – we didn’t come here for this… All of this traveling, cars and new furniture wasn’t luring us, we came here for the better lifestyle, experiencing life and we came here for the family time and shorter work days for my husband. We came here knowing we had to give up everything, without even knowing for sure what all we would have here. I think sometimes when you are not greedy, but you follow your heart, well, other things start coming to your way too.

All I can say my friends, make yourself available for amazing things, be open for change, and go through the bad days even when it’s not easy to fight for the dreams you have. The good stuff, whether it’s hugs and kisses or Mercedes-Benz and a trip to Italy, it will come. YOU just have to work for it and make it happen.

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert with a mission to inspire people to live life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. Read Katja's full bio and connect with Katja on Twitter as @skimbaco or @katjapresnal. Katja is currently living her happily-ever-after in Sweden with her husband, and three children (whom were all born in different countries within three years). When not working she is cooking big family dinners, planning her next trip or skiing.

Comments

  1. I can just invision you telling this story to a room full of us girls and it makes me miss you so much more than I already did yet at the same time I’m so thrilled that you’re getting to enjoy the good stuff finally and that your kids get to experience this adventure!

  2. love it and so happy for you all!!

  3. You are living life your way Katja, to the fullest! Love watching your journey keep posting. Miss you Dawn

  4. Glad you are taking everything in stride, it must be hard with such a long move with kiddos, but it sounds like the overall outcome is making it completely worth it. Here’s to your goal of moving in your house and from the pictures the hotel looks fun, so glad you’re enjoying it “most days”. xoox Miss you!!!

  5. Oh, Katja! I do wish you the best on this next leg of your journey!! :)

    Steph

  6. You guys are so happy! I love it!

  7. Great update! Glad to hear that you guys are doing well!

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