Becoming Bi-Continental, Part 1
Back in 1999, I came up with the idea/dream/vision of leading what I called my Bi-continental Life. I was living in Turku, Finland at the time teaching English at the University there. I had been hired on a temporary contract for a year although I ended up staying there for 2 and a half in total. About halfway through, my friend Kat came to visit me from the US. It was in conversations with her that the Bi-Continental idea was born. There were people in the US that we knew talked about bi-coastal–having a home on both sides of the US. So why not think bigger?
I enjoyed aspects of living in Europe, but I liked being back in the US too. So I decided, why limit myself? I could have it all. I could have a home in Europe and a home in the US. Now let me assure you this was a pretty new way of thinking for me. And if I thought ‘practically’, there was really no reason to believe this was a do-able option. Especially at the salary I was making at the time. But I knew even then that life is FULL of options and that having a clear vision was the place to start. I knew there were plenty of people living their dreams, so why couldn’t that be true for me as well?
And in the next 10 years, it did become true although maybe not in the exact way I had thought. I ended up making a life for myself in Sweden. I got a good job, I eventually bought an apartment in downtown Stockholm (this was the first time I owned property so this was BIG!). And every 6 months I went back to California and stayed for 3 – 5 weeks. Now, I didn’t have one home there. But I had places where I stayed that felt like home every time I went.
I did that for a total of 9 years. And at the end of that time, I started feeling like I wanted to spend more time in California. So I did a test. I took a leave of absence for a year, rented out my apartment and came to live in California. And during those months, I realized that the idea of the Bi-Continental that I had (two homes in two countries) was not at all what I really wanted….
To be continued in the next post…