I've never felt like I've had much of a reason to write, or, should I say, blog. But I guess moving across the world and starting a new life in Northern Sweden is one deserving of it's own chapter.
So here I go.
I met Thomas 2 years, 2 months, and three days ago, in Sweden, after I'd been injured and unable to race a World Cup in France. I was hurt, pissed off, lonely, and generally just over it. (Little did I know but that injury would end up being the end of my World Cup racing career, and the beginning of the biggest adventure of my life). A friend of mine knew of my injury and invited me to Sweden to spend a few weeks with her, while I healed up for the World Championships in Norway. To make a long story short, I flew to Sweden, got introduced to Thomas, was instantly smitten in a matter of 3 days, raced World Champs, and hitchhiked back to Stockholm where I spent the next 10 days with my new Swedish infatuation. Then we fell in love, flew back and forth to see each other for 2 years, and now, here I am. Visa accepted, bags packed, and moving my life to Sweden. Love is a crazy thing!
Since I already travel a lot, it's been hard for me to emotionally and mentally register the impact of what getting on that plane today really means. As of right now, it just feels like I'm going on another trip. When I was packing I had to keep reminding myself that I might not be back home until next spring, and to not worry about over-packing. In the end I fit my whole life as I know it into the following:
3 big suitcases
1 set of skis
1 boot bag
And a whole lot of weird feelings.
Not too bad considering I jammed every available space in every bag full of anything I thought I'd need, miss, want, or would cost a stupid amount in Sweden (which is everything, by the way). The packing process itself was a bit of a blur; interrupted by surprise visits from friends and family, and one panicked drive downtown to deliver a painting (you gotta hustle to make the money!). Mom and Dad both drove me to the airport, and we enjoyed a very rare meal where it was just the three of us. It's funny and beautiful how life-changes can bring people together, no matter what the occasion.
It's been a bittersweet goodbye for the last few days. Half of me feels like a chunk of me is being ripped out and left behind, while the other half bounds giddily towards my potential forever. The hardest is seeing my friends and family cry. Yet, in a selfish and twisted way, I like it, because it means they really care about my existence, which always feels nice.
I board the first plane out of three: Vancouver to Calgary. Seems a bit anti-climatic, saying these big goodbyes, all the tears just to take a 2 hour flight next door to Alberta. Thankfully my 3 cart-worthy entourage of inanimate objects are being checked straight through to Stockholm, so I don't have to go through the circus of transporting everything solo more than once. Phew!
After that, it's Calgary to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to Stockholm!