Last August, I wrote a post called “The Traffic Years,” telling you that my life had changed. We no longer had any toddlers in the house and I felt, for the first time in years, that I had some breathing room. In other words, I could justify returning to blogging.
As promised, I did return to writing once we moved to Reggio Emilia, Italy, but my comeback was short-lived. I wrote two blog posts in November and then published nothing. Until now.
I can’t really explain what happened, except to say life got in the way. And life always beats out blogging.
On the Move
Moving our family to Italy was crazy. Returning to Finland and then relocating to the United States at the end of 2021 was even crazier.
The move was unplanned, but it was something we needed to do (for reasons beyond the scope of this blog). For years, my wife and I had discussed the idea of moving back to the United States. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
Relocating across the pond was never going to be perfect. And it certainly wasn’t ideal when we relocated in December 2021. The whole thing felt like Mission Impossible.
My wife Johanna and I had about one week to do three things:
- pack up our stuff and clean out our rental in Italy
- drive back to Finland with our three children (and dog) in our stuffed mini van
- and then fly over to the U.S. (after a wild weekend of figuring out what to bring with us)
My stress level had never been higher.
It was a smooth trip, with the exception of one big mistake. I confused the departure time of our ferry, the one that would get us from Travemünde, Germany to Helsinki, Finland.
I read that our boat would leave at 2:45, so I assumed that it would depart in the afternoon. Well, I realized my error around 5:30 am. I checked the schedule on my iPhone and, sure enough, I had mixed it up. We missed our ferry and it cost us about 500 bucks.
In the end, it all worked out. On the next ferry to Helsinki the following day, they had one cabin available for our dog and the five of us. At 2:45 am.
Life in the U.S.
Thankfully, we survived the craziness of that week and the United States has been our home now for 9 months. Honestly, I still can’t believe it. Once a week or so, I’ll turn to my wife and say something like, “What are we doing here?”
That might sound like complaining, but it’s not. We lived in Europe for 8.5 years and then, unexpectedly, we moved to the States in the span of a week. So, lots to process in a short period of time.
The good news is that, instead of making another transcontinental move in 2022, we’ve decided to stay put. The U.S. will be our home for at least the 2022-2023 school year, and we’re at peace with that.
You might be wondering if I’m teaching in the States this school year. I hold a master’s degree in elementary education and I spent six years teaching in Finland. Why wouldn’t I return to an American school, right?
In the next blog post, I’ll tell you what I’m doing here and why.
Tim Walker is an American teacher, writer, and speaker living in Connecticut. He is the author of Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms and he created two online courses: The Finnish Education Insider and The Joyful Reader.