Monday, April 1, 2013

A ~ Adventures in America





Adventures in America” is my theme for this year's challenge. I'm an immigrant. Our family moved to the United States in 1974 when I was almost nine. It was a HUGE change culturally from my native Sweden, and the neighborhood we moved to couldn't have been more different than where we had been living.

I had to make a lot of changes in my thinking, expectations, actions, speech!, and in my over-all perception of who I was. I became a new person.

It was a very interesting first year, and not just because I spent four months of it in a body cast...

I think this series piggy-backs nicely on my theme from last year, which was “Postcards From Sweden.” In those posts I taught a Swedish word or two, included an appropriate picture, and a childhood memory.

This series will be similar, except you won't have to learn Swedish words! I know some of you enjoyed the childhood story part far more than the lesson...but I might throw them in to show you how imprecise English is, because I'm obnoxious that way. 

I hope you come back and read all my stories, and I'm not above a bribe. Last year I put all the comments from all the posts in order and had random number generator pick a winner. Andrea, who is now one of my Terrific Team of assistants won the $25 IKEA gift card. So visit daily! Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like if you had move across the ocean to another country in the middle of your perfect childhood?  It's an adventure...

Interested in the prelude?  How did we end up living in two countries?  The Swede, my Dad, wrote a three part series last week telling that story.  Check these out if you have time.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


 P.S Today is Arlee Bird's birthday!  Founder of the A-Z Challenge, amazing leader and friend, here's a big shout out to THE ONE who is making all this fun happen.  Thanks, Arlee!  Now go visit him at Tossing It Out and leave him a greeting.  We hope to flood his blog, his inbox, his world with greetings from every A-Z participant!  If you're one of them - please don't forget to add something in your post about him today!








78 comments:

Ida Chiavaro said...

"thinking, expectations, actions, speech" - I moved to Denmark from Australia when i was 38 and had to change the same things. I have especially enjoyed how learning a new language has changed the way I see the world and made me appreciate my own native tongue even more.

michelle said...

Very interesting Tina!
I've stayed in one city for all of my life. I think it's easier to relocate when you are younger, and haven't formed too many attachments...?
And yes, English is an imprecise language...
I need to pop over to wish Lee for his birthday. Thanks for the reminder...

Rob Z Tobor said...

Passing through reading a few blogs, good luck getting to Z.

See you at B

Barbara White Daille said...

Very interesting post, Tina. I'll look forward to more during the month, and I don't think I'll even mind the lessons. ;) English *is* a very imprecise language. But a fun one.

I want to know about the body cast, too....

Best,
Barbara

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Tina! Interesting post. I just went back to Arlee's blog to leave birthday wishes. Thanks for mentioning his birthday in your blog post.

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER
From the Market to the Plate

Sidonie Helena said...

Ahh fellow Swede. I look forward to reading your posts!!

good luck!

Sally said...

I look forward to reading more.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Four months in a body cast? That doesn't sound like fun at all.

Sheila Siler said...

I love adventure! And I look forward to seeing America through the eyes of your experience.

Gregg Metcalf said...

This sounds like a great theme. I have never been to Sweden. Closest I ever came was a seeing a few scenes of the "Embass" in the Bourne movie. HA Ha. Looking forward to this.

Commonweeder said...

I'm so glad I found your post in the A to Z. I am second generation Swede and wish I had more stories about Sweden. I will get there someday.

Brian Miller said...

ha enjoyed your build up to this journey and i think that it will be a fun journey seeing life in america fresh through the lens of your first year...

Elliot B said...

I was born and raised in Hawaii and then went to Oregon fro college. While still part of the US, Hawaii is much different culturally than anything I've come across in the continental US so I can kind of relate. I'm looking forward to your posts as I'm a lover of adventure.
Ellliot
We Are Adventure

Donna L Martin said...

Good luck with the challenge! I can't wait to read about your adventures. I participated last year and had a blast!

Donna L Martin
www.donasdays.blogspot.com

Sue McPeak said...

Congrats on a great start for the 2013 Edition of AtoZ Blogging Challenge. I left a comment on Part 3...enjoyed reading those links very much.

Thanks for hosting...I'm very happy to be on your contact list and look forward to the remaining 25 Letters of the Imprecise Alphabet...LOL!!!

Sue
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee
collectintexasgal.blogspot.com

Nana Prah said...

I can relate to being an immigrant in the US. I went there when I was I was 4 and stayed there for 27 years. Your theme sounds great.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Bribing for comments is clever!

Melanie Schulz said...

I love that your gift card speaks of your heritage as well.

Jaimie said...

Four months in a body cast? Good heavens!

I've lived in the Midwest most of my life but had the opportunity to live in Indonesia for five months. It was such a great opportunity to expand my view of the world!

Jaimie
Living in the Light

Susan Scott said...

I've lived in South Africa for most of my life - in my earlier years outside the borders in Zimbabwe (called Rhodesia before independence). And a lot of moving from one place to the next in this amazing contradictory country of ours.
I look forward to redaing more of your posts and how kind about the Ikea voucer!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

Wow... just wow!

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

ayjay said...

Tina I am so excited to read your posts this month! :D

AJ Lauer
#atozchallenge helper minion (on Tina's Team!)
Twitter: @ayjaylauer

Tim Riley said...

I love your theme. I moved a couple times when I was a kid, to different towns in the US, and that was tough. I can only imagine how hard it was to move to a new country.

Grover said...

I've never lived outside of the UK, but would love the chance to do so, even if just for a few years.

Great blog post - I'm looking forward to reading more!

(Grover at Inane Ramblings)

Dana said...

Very interesting! I'm looking forward to your posts. I've only moved around the U.S.—I've never even been to another country. Can't wait to read about your experiences. ☺

lostinsidethecovers said...

I have moved around quite a bit, to different cities, and then across the country. I am looking forward to your A-Z adventures very much!

Banker Chick said...

My grandson will be in a Serbian pre-school this month while his dad is a visiting professor at Belgrade University. He does speak Serbian so it won't be too much of a shock. I am really excited for him.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

elizabethwatgibson said...

A body cast! OMG! Fun post and look forward to learn more about your journey.

Jolie du Pre said...

Well . . . my hubby is part Swedish!

Charlie Warren said...

Interesting choice for your theme and I definitely look forward to reading the posts. Other than my 8 years in the Army I have lived in Oklahoma all of my life but I also put aside the religion of my family and converted to another over 2 years ago. Maybe there is some overlap in the experience?

Charlie @ The Semi-Retired Gamer

Elaine Smith said...

I hope you had many adventures. I'm looking forward to reading some of them.
Back in the day, my Dad was offered a position in China when the a Chinese delegation were visiting the container) trailer firm where he worked. Despite being offered regular flights to visit him if he took the job, or family accommodation, he turned the chance down. I was probably the only family member who was disappointed when he decided not to accept the challenge.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

My family moved immigrated when I was about the same age from Scotland to South Africa and its a HUGE adjustment, which I can relate to.

I love your theme! My theme also has to do with my place of birth...

Come over and visit.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

My family moved immigrated when I was about the same age from Scotland to South Africa and its a HUGE adjustment, which I can relate to.

I love your theme! My theme also has to do with my place of birth...

Come over and visit.

Dani Jax said...

What a wonderful theme! Life experiences are awesome!

Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

M. J. Joachim said...

This is going to be so much fun! Can't wait to read about all of your adventures! :)

DL Hammons said...

And when are we going hear the "body cast" story?? :)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I totally read your dad's guest blog posts and loved them. My sister and I had a similar-though-not-the-same-sort-of-ending experience with Russians -- I personally think discovering the real people who live behind the curtain of cultures different from our own makes the world a smaller and more wondrous place.

Happy Day 1 od A to Z!

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina,
This great adventure!!
Thanks for sharing,
Waiting for the series in line
Keep cracking!
Keep Inform
And Ha, Thanks for the reminder about
Arlee the wonderful personality
Best
Phil

Silvia Villalobos said...

I know exactely what you mean by having to become another person when moving to the U.S. A new country (more like a new world for an immigrant) requires a complete change in thinking, attitude, and speech.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post.
Silvia @ Silvia Writes

Arlee Bird said...

You put me into near uncontrollable laughter. It is not my birthday! I wonder who started this--it must be an April Fool's joke, but I don't guess I care that much because I've been getting some of the nicest things said today. Thank you all.

Love the topic. I can't imagine totally moving to another country. My wife came from Ecuador as did her entire family at different times. She loves the U.S. and doesn't even care that much if she ever goes back to her native country. She's a flag waving citizen and proud of it.

You will have a great series for A to Z.

Thanks for all the work you've been putting into this Challenge. You are a key factor in its success.

Lee
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I think this is a great idea. I think even those of us who've always lived here see it better through fresh eyes, and you have the advantage of seeing it that way!

Cynthia said...

New follower saying hello from A to Z. I love learning new words in different languages, so if you change your mind and decide to post Swedish words this month, that would be awesome!

Donna said...

I hope B is going to be for body cast, because I want to know more about the whys and hows of that! Enjoyed your posts last year, and will check in again this year!

Pat said...

This should be a very interesting read. Looking forward to it. :)

Laeli said...

YAY, Sweden!
My great grandmother came to Canada from Sweden as a young woman. She is a huge role model for me because, she taught herself English by reading the newspapers, listening to the radio and getting herself out there, speaking with everyone she could. I often think of how scared she must have been-excited too!-and admire her grit and determination. She met my grandfather-also from Sweden-and my mother's side of the family in Canada was born.

I am so looking forward to your posts!

mooderino said...

Sounds like you've had an interesting life. Look forward to finding out.

mood
Moody Writing

Kathy said...

Good luck with the A-Z! I enjoyed reading your story and look forward to more!

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

The four-month body cast is a grabber! Interesting theme, and looking forward to hearing more of your memoir. Was your life anything like "My Life As A Dog"? I loved that movie, and it would be one of my top 10 picks.

JoJo said...

I hope you are doing 'B' for 'body cast' because I am wondering why you were in one for 9 months! It must've been really strange to be uprooted at that age and deposited in a strange land. You and I are the same age; I turned 10 in Nov. 1974.

Donna Shields said...

Boy, and I freaked a little about moving to a different state. I couldn't imagine moving to a whole new country. Nice to meet you.

Jo said...

Hubby and I are immigrants too. We came from England to live in Canada. Spent 12 years in North Carolina and then back to Canada. Been on this continent one year less that you have. 1975 we came.

Made it to Norway and Denmark, never got to Sweden, not sure why.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

エイプリル said...

Yeah...you had me at "body cast" also. lol.
Sounds like a good theme; looking forward to reading more!^^

Adriana Dascalu said...

I always enjoy reading your entries, Tina!

HeatherL said...

Cool theme. I really liked your theme last year too. Looking forward to more adventures!!

Cheers!

Robin said...

We made a pretty big move when I was ten years old (changing states), but I cannot imagine changing countries. I look forward to reading about this major transition. I bet you have some very interesting tales to tell:D

loverofwords said...

What a perfect theme! And a nice touch to include your dad. Will be following your adventures.

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,

Of course I will visit daily and check up on your American theme. I'm good like that.

And I keep seeing my starstruck fan, Arlee's name all over the place. I'm waiting for you guys, in the spirit of sharing and caring, to come and visit my alternative postings. I mean, I have promoted you in the spirit of a sharing, caring community.

Happy birthday Arlee. And seriously, ignore me, Tina. I do wish you much positivity and fulfilment from this.

Your friend,

Gary :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

I quite enjoyed your dad's story, and I look forward to hearing more about your first year(s) here. I've always been interested in a transplant in any which direction, and how it works. Maybe because I was almost a transplant to England twice as a kid, and because it is always a possibility due to hubby's job. It's always sort of up in the air, and part of me craves that change, while the other part wants to stay here in Colorado forever.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Christine Rains said...

That's a great theme! I'm an immigrant, but from Canada. Yet some Americans still behave if I'm from an alien planet! *LOL*

C. Lee McKenzie said...

The immigrant story is always fascinating. Looking forward to reading yours.

Al Diaz said...

I often imagined how would it be like to live overseas. Probably I would enjoy it as much as I would regret it because I would miss a lot of things from Mexico. :D

darcnina said...

I have an ex-sister-in-law who migrated from Holland to marry my brother. It was a huge culture shock for her as well. Looking forward to reading about your experiences! thank you for sharing them.

LuAnn Braley said...

Wow...my family moved from Maryland to Utah in 1972. I was nine years old.

Since then I've become multicultural in my own way. My mother was born in Switzerland, my father in West Virginia. I spent 6 months as an au pair in Switzerland, where I had to take German. Some of my best experiences included going to movies in French and Italian with a Norwegian friend. Oh, and I took Russian while I was there.

Looking forward to more of your adventures!

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

I'm a military brat, so lived abroad in two different places (Germany, Japan). I am very much looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

I'm a military brat, so lived abroad in two different places (Germany, Japan). I am very much looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Rachel said...

I would love to learn another language. However, I feel like I can barely speak English half of the time, and that is my native language. It amazes me when somebody can learn two completely different languages in full.

Andrea said...

Oh my gosh! So curious now, and waiting to see if b is for body cast...yikes!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Tina, what an amazing experience. Except for the cast of course
-Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins

Maggie Winter said...

My little boy was 4 when we moved to Brazil, he feels Brazilian after 6 years. I'm doing the A2Z too so will come back and read some more another day.thx

Deborah Blair said...

I'm definitely intrigued enough to sort of hope B is for body cast. I look forward to reading your story!

Good luck with A to Z. I'm trying it myself at http://www.deborahdera.com if you'd like to stop by!

candacegauger said...

So far, I'm enjoying the A to Z challenge. Have been reading several good posts. I can't wait to see what yours will bring. :)

Personally, I've lived in America all my life, but I've moved a lot over the years. I went from Pennsylvania Dutch country down to Oklahoma which is a culture shock in its own right. The over to Arkansas, North Carolina and now back in Oklahoma where I lived my youth. It has been a long and wild ride for this old Yankee.

Ashley Mott said...

I look forward to reading your posts and will be following your twitter feed for updates. I have read a lot of books about emigrants and immigrants and the triumphs and struggles of life in a new place. It will be interesting to do this with the added intimacy a blog brings.

michaeljcahill said...

Tina,
Fun insight and a good, solid theme. I like it. Looking forward to reading more. Being a brand spanking new blogger (starting today), I've got a lot to learn. So I'll be checking your blog again several times. Best, Michael

Adam Jones said...

There's nothing better than good stories. I look forward to hearing them.

Trisha F said...

I've had plenty of adventures in America too, though I have never lived there :) Nice theme!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. didn't realise that request re Arlee - or the fact it was his birthday ... at least it's not at the end of the A-Z .. he'll be hardly moving!! And yes - he deserves all mentions ...

I'm so looking forward to reading your adventures in America - the body cast .. was that just for some art work project????????

It's a culture shock isn't it changing countries ... anyway glad you're in the USof A .. your parents made a good decision .. knowing we'd meet up some years later!!

Cheers from one of your minions .. Hilary

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Very interesting post, Tina. I enjoyed it so much. I'll be sure to come back to read more of your adventures. We have close friends from the UK who are moving back there. I can't imagine moving to another country. Just moving to a different state is a huge trauma! Yikes.
Thanks for sharing your blog and best wishes for continued success.

Chrystal McCoy said...

Very nice to meet you! I am a little behind on reading, but hope to catch up on all your posts soon. My great grandparents came to America from Sweden. They came through Ellis Island. They were indentured servants until they worked their way out of that and eventually bought their own farm in rural Western Illinois.