Where are you from?

Ah… the million dollar question. I’ve always found this one a bit hard to answer. As a kid, I dreaded it because it usually made me feel like an outsider. I’ve lived in Texas, Hawaii, Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota but I don’t know that I’d claim any one over the other. I spent the most time in the Twin Cities (MN) and that’s where I lived for the 11 years prior to moving abroad.

“Home” is wherever my art is up on the walls (currently Brussels, Belgium since July 2018).

What do you do?

Before I left the U.S., I’d ask “so, what do you do?” to find out how somebody paid the bills and usually within the first minute or so of meeting them. I thought it a terribly important question to ask and be asked. (I’ve since learned there are better questions to break the ice.)

Now when I’m asked “what do you do?” I’m likely to tell you how I enjoy spending my time:

  • Connecting with friends and family. It’s a bit harder to do from a distance, but I consciously work at maintaining bonds through mail and phone/video calls. And, I’m always trying to make new connections. (Can you tell I’m a people person?)

  • Hiking. Especially the part at the end where I get to have a snack, take my boots off and find out how many steps I logged on Google Fit.

  • Cooking. I’ve managed to get to the point where 9/10 meals I put on the table are tasty but I still can’t quite figure how to make a plate beautiful. It’s a work in progress.

  • Adventure! It’s a way of life in our household whether we’re venturing close to home or heading further afield.

So you don’t drink? Like ever?

Like ever. And sometimes that can kind of feel like a lonely thing — especially as an expat.

I’ve only recently been claiming “sober” as part of my public identity but it’s a title I’ve proudly claimed more quietly for a while. And while this isn’t a “recovery blog” per se, it’s worth noting that I truly believe that my life is what it is now because I had the guts to say “enough” (and had a hell of a lot of support from family, friends, and strangers who became friends). So, in that sense, my life is and always will be a recovery story.

If it helps even one other person, I’m happy to share my experience and more about what worked and works for me. Please feel free to reach out and know that I’ll hold any correspondence in the highest confidence.

Burning question not answered above? Leave a comment on any of my posts or drop me a line (hello@unexpectedexpat.com) and you may just find your answer in an upcoming post or even added here!