Junkyard Dreams', this what reminded me of home back in the States.
Erik and I took a walk this weekend through our new 'backyard'. During our walk, we came across what I referred to as 'Junkyard Dreams'. It felt like we were intruding into someone's past that laid bare like a shameless morning-after partier. But I felt oddly at home with this site. It's common to see disarray and grit in the States unlike the mostly picturesque vistas of Sweden. It was also a chance to enjoy Erik's anecdotes of his first car. His eyes lit up. This was the same look he had the day I stepped off the plane when I arrived in Sweden this time two years ago.
My dear Erik, I'm grateful to have you in my life. I learned a lot during my time here. The journey is just beginning ❤
For those who've never lived in another country (or region of the same country), there are many challenges - one being culture adjustment. I lived in Hawai'i before moving to Sweden. Before then, I built a life on the East Coast and traveled for work 3-6 months out of the year. The pandemic was like sand in my eyes as I navigated through the storm of work life, relationship, culture shock, and long dark months. Coming from a family and culture filled with warmth and aloha is challenging when Sweden's culture is on the opposite end of the spectrum.
For those who are far away from their family and friends, know that you aren't alone. It isn't easy and it shouldn't be downplayed as a passing phase. If you feel alone, reach out to someone you can trust and talk it out. To those who've been by side, thank you. I'm celebrating my love for you this Valentine's Day and every day.
Erik Wallgren pointing out the rally scars on the Saab
Midnattssolsrallyt (Midnight Sun Rally) decal from 1963, the year Erik was born