Some Moving Challenges



I moved to Minnesota last week. I was living in a hotel until my stuff arrived and two days ago I moved into my new apartment. It is both exciting and challenging. I spend my time wondering where things are and deciding where to put things. I open a box and usually I get distracted thinking about what is in the box and what I should do with it. So then I go and do something else in preparation for organizing what was in the box and then I forget about that box and move things around in closets or open a different box. There are no shortage of boxes. Then for a fleeting moment I think about the holidays and wonder if I should send out Christmas cards. That idea is quickly discarded in favor of New Year’s cards. Problem solved.


I got the trees up!


Soon after arriving I went to Ikea to buy a desk. I had been to Ikea many times in Virginia and so quickly became oriented to my surroundings. On exiting I confidently marched all my stuff to the elevators on the left of the cashiers. There were no elevators. There was an exit to a parking lot. My brother asked me if I had parked on the upper level. Of course I had not so he steered me in another direction to find the elevators. My car was nowhere to be found. It just wasn’t there. As was wandering around looking for my car looked through a glass door to another parking lot on the other side of the building. It was an ‘aha’ moment. My car was over there.

The next day I went to Target and also could not find my car. When I went in I took special notice as to where I parked so I would be sure to find my car. But it was not there. I wheeled my shopping cart up and down several aisles but it just wasn’t there. Then I looked at the building. There were two exits. I must have come out a different exit. When I oriented myself to the other exit, I quickly found my car. It was disorienting to have this happen not only once, but twice.

When I moved to the US from overseas everything was disorienting and unfamiliar. I was not used to shopping at large stores like Target or even large supermarkets. I would find myself overwhelmed with the amount of choices and at times I would shut down in the middle of a store and have to leave. This was different. These stores were familiar in a different place so I had a false sense of confidence about them. This made it even stranger because now the familiar became unfamiliar.

Note to self, check how many exits the building has when parking the car.











Robin at Bringing Home Europe kindly nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

The rules are

  • Thank the giver, link to the page, and add the award to your site
  • Tell 7 things about yourself
  • Give the award to 5 bloggers

Hey, Robin, Thanks!!

One — I don’t have a sister.  I never have had a sister. I mean not officially. I have a first cousin who is pretty close to being a sister. But the truth is all my girlfriends are sisters. I guess that is what they mean by the sisterhood.  All the cool blogging women who are becoming my virtual sisters.  What a great supportive place this is!!

Two — Robin says she can’t parallel park. When I was 19, I worked at an international research institute in Ibadan, Nigeria. I was working in the Visitor’s Center which meant I had to take people on tours of the compound from time to time. One day I was alone in the office when some French dignitaries showed up unexpectedly and wanted a tour. I got the car out and took them around the research labs and the different crops growing in the fields and eventually returned to the garage under the administration building. There was no place to park but a on the side where I had to parallel park. To my own amazement I slipped right in perfectly on the first try. Later when the dignitaries were meeting with the Director General, they commented on how impressed they were with my parking abilities!  Haha.  Today it is a different story, believe me.

Three — I dream of  going to Argentina and learning to Tango.

Four — I once spent 15 minutes speaking Spanish to somebody on a train in Spain before we realized we were both native English speakers.

Five — I can be forgetful sometimes

Six — I forget

Seven — Awards make people happy.  Some thoughts from the Dalai Lama on the subject:

  • Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
  • If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
  • If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
  • It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.

So be happy, Sisters!  I pass on the award to all of you…. and

I was an expat wife

Communicating Across Boundaries

Darlene Craviotto


Adventures in Expat Land