some places we've visited so far

  • maui, hawaii
    The day we got home, we started saving for our next trip. See my blog entry
  • antalya, turkey
    I miss hearing the call to prayer before sunrise every morning, the sunshine and the small winding roads in the old city. But I don't miss the olives for breakfast. See my blog entry
  • helsinki
    The cruise from Stockholm was the highlight. Breathtaking, really. We found Helsinki to be down-to-earth, friendly and a just-right size. See my blog entry
  • london
    Why on Earth did it take me so long to visit London?! Rivals Paris for best city in Europe. Avoid Oxford Street and Covent Garden, and head to Chelsea and Holborn. See my blog entry
  • paris
    It was my third trip to Paris, but our first while living in Sweden. And, more significantly, our first with a baby in tow. Metro ≠ baby friendly. Centre Pompidou = 10x more fun with a little one. See my blog entry.
  • bergen and oslo, norway
    Think Colorado. Flooded. Oslo is a refreshing little city and the fjords offered beautiful views in all directions. Not love, love. But definitely like, like. See my blog entry.
  • prague, czech republic
    Yes, it has beautiful architecture. But no soul. Skip it and go to Budapest instead.
  • berlin, germany
    We only spent a night here, but I could tell immediately that this was a city I could live in. Hope we can get back there sometime soon. Loved the new architecture, friendly people and the gigantic, wooded park.
  • tavira, portugal
    A great place to relax, see endless fields of daisies, drink sangria and be surrounded by the smell of orange blossoms. See my blog entry.
  • amsterdam and delft
    Amsterdam was one of our favorite European cities and Delft is a little gem you wish you could fit in your pocket and take home. Loved the individual style and easy-going nature of the people. See my blog entry.
  • budapest
    Hurry, it's already been discovered. Wonderful cheap food and an outdoorsy mentality. See my blog entry.
  • dalarna, sweden
    Reminds us of home. Really relaxing and laid back. See my blog entry.
  • hong kong and tai pei
    Super friendly people and so romantic. See my blog entry.
  • nice
    Loved Villefranche and the whole area east of Nice. See my blog entry.
  • barcelona
    Loved the tapas and eating paella on the beach. See my blog entry.

about me

  • In November 2005, my husband and I moved to Älmhult, Sweden, for my dream job. Five years later, our little family of three moved back. Except, back turned out to be a brand new place called Portland.

    email me

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September 19, 2010


It's a house that smiles! I love it! :)

Best wishes with packing and the move, and the adjustment. It is exciting to be a mom in the USA, so many things you can do. I have been here two years and am torn by my love of home and the beauty of Sweden in the same things you write about -the quiet, my cute home, the forest, the berries, and the hacked spinach ...and the love of my home. Please give some good honest reports of how you feel to be back in the USA, inquiring expats want to know. We who have lived overseas forever have two lives. You could not be transitioning to a better city though, Portland is great. If it helps, I have a high school friend that is a family practice doctor there, super sweet with a kid the same age, Katherine Glassberg, if you want a recommendation, and my college roommate lives there and runs courses on being creative And Portland has the most lovely hot spring ever, Bagby Hot Springs,, which is a place with natural hot tub in a magic forest. Not sure any of that helps, but, it is my way of wishing you well to pass on some things I love about the city of roses....Good luck in the USA!!

Ginny: When my husband was transfered from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, we had to sell our first home. A home where we two become a family of four. All the memories came flooding back when the movers left and we found our home empty. I cried all the way to Ohio. I even saved a piece of wood from the pear tree in the front. I still get a lump in my throat when I think of our little 3 bedroom home that we built with love. Yeah, it's just a house, but when you add love to the mix it's more.

Good luck with your move. I know you and your family will be happy in Portland. Much peace and love.

I bet it is bittersweet. Maybe frame a photo of your Swedish home to hang in your new place. My mom had sketches made of our houses when I was growing up so when we moved into the new one. We had a pencil sketch of the old one hanging. She also had notecards made.

So sweet! You will always have such sweet memories of houses where babies first come home. Many blessings in your new home!

Ginny, you're killing me.

what wonderful memories for all of us faithful blog readers as well! hope your move goes smoothly. We look forward to reading the next chapter.

Coming from someone already in Portland I am so happy for you. Even when I have had a bad day at work I drive home to downtown and see what a beautiful city it is and realize how lucky I am to get to live here.

I am sad to not read about anymore Swedish adventures...(your blog almost helped me move there!) but excited to read your journey ahead. Best of luck!

Brianna, you don't know how much I am clinging to your comment right now. Thank you.

Like some of your other readers, I too am sad, I really enjoyed following your Swedish adventures written from an Americans perspective. I don't know why it's taken my so long to write, I'm sure you would have appreciated knowing all this time your posts were inspiring more people out there.

I came across your blog because I had often dreamt of packing up everything, moving around the world to Sweden to following my dreams. After seriously considered working for IKEA in Sweden, but not knowing how to go about it, I ran across your blog just from a goggle search. I was instantly hooked because I love Ikea, art/design and Sweden. Anyway over time the more I thought about it, the reality of family and responsibilities set in and the idea of moving remained a distant dream I now just toy with in my head. Your blog is fun, honest and inspirational and for those of us who haven't made the leap of faith to leave everything behind, we got to live vicariously through your stories. Best wishes and luck on your next adventure and keep blogging!

Oh and one random question, there is the cutest green (Souris) hedgehog tote hanging in the background of one of the pictures in this post. I love the tote, where did you find it?

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