Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The post I've dreaded and anticipated

I started this blog in 2004 as a way to journal my experiences as an American expat living in Norway. At the time I had already been here 2 years.

I'm looking back through my archives, and I see how much I have done in those 8 years of the blog, how much I have achieved, seen, done, observed, enjoyed,  laughed at, bemoaned and otherwise lived through. I am an extraordinarily lucky and blessed person. Somehow I have a lucky star over me that never fails me, that allows me to always land on my feet if something doesn't go as planned. I never take that for granted, I cherish it and am thankful for it every day.

My lucky star is with me now, too.

And so, having moved to Norway on August 24th, 2002 I announce that I am moving back to the US. Back to Texas. Back to Houston (not Austin, unfortunately, but close enough.)

I will go in early January. Rich will follow a few months later.

I've been hinting not so subtly about  this on Twitter and have announced to a few folks on Facebook. My company got bought out by another, bigger company, and while the likelihood is that they would have something for me here, I have been thinking about a move home for a year or more, and so, when I got offered a new exciting position in Houston with a division of the company I work for now, I accepted. The new job will be all-encompassing, very busy, with a huge learning curve and lots of opportunities for career development and pushing my own personal envelopes of what I can do. It comes with a good salary and an unheard-of 4 weeks of vacation. (Working for a European company has definite benefits.) So my travelling days are definitely not over, and I, in my 10 years here, have become a confirmed international traveler. I know the ropes! So while I may not be an expat anymore, I am still a traveler and a wanderer and that will NEVER change.

There is SO much to think about and do before the move. We live in a large old apartment, to say I have a large wardrobe is an understatement, and Rich has this collection of model airplanes, knick-knacks, boy toys and stuff that has to be seen to be believed. How we get all that home is something I really get overwhelmed even thinking about.

I have to find a place to live, a car, learn how to be an American again. I have to learn how to live in a hot climate again. (Not minding that, really, as the winter in Oslo is here and this year I am just NOT that into it, to be honest. If I never saw another icy sidewalk again that would be too soon.) I have to close a wel-lived life in Norway and reopen one in Texas.

I am both dreading and anticipating the move. I am desperately sad and so nervously excited that I can't eat. (Getting skinnier, nothing fits!) At times I am near catatonic with grief at what I am going to leave. I am leaving behind great friends, great experiences, a city I have come to love. I will regret the experiences I won't have here anymore, the people I don't get to know even better. I already miss that I won't get to ride my beloved bike in Frogner Park again. I won't get to see another 17 May. I won't be able to pop over to London or Amsterdam in 2 hours for a bit of a break. (But I can pop over in 12!)

If I had my druthers, of course I would be going back to Austin, but, as it is, moving to Houston will be fine. My brother is there, I have some good friends there, I hear Houston has gotten less scruffy and more cosmopolitan, and there are direct flights to everywhere from there. And I am 2 hours from Austin. (I also look forward to the wonderful grocery stores and the amazing choices consumers have in the US, as opposed to Norway's narrow and niggardly selection. Remember the butter crisis???? I am so over that shit.)

So, in two months, your Texpatriate will go back to being what she was born as, a Texan. I will continue this blog, which honestly will probably get a bit ranty as I negotiate the red tape of moving home.  I hope you will stick with me, and maybe my fellow expats who read this will learn about what it's like to move home. (I hear it's harder than the other direction.) I'm gonna need you guys!

Tales of a Texpatriate. 2004-2012.
Tales of a Texan. 2013-......


  1. Wow, how wonderful to have new adventures ahead of you! Wishing you a smooth transition. These are surely exciting times to be living in the US again!

    On another note: I'm heading to Oslo for two months in March and April, and although it'll be too late for us to cross paths, I may still hit you up for tips on some of your favorite Oslo haunts. :)

  2. I live in Bryan, halfway between Houston and Austin. It's a perfect place. I think you'll find Houston has changed. There some nice apt in downtown now!

    Love your ramblings and showing us a different part of the world but welcome back home.

  3. jaymo9:14 AM

    So very happy for you, and sad by turns. It's been such a pleasure to get to know you a bit, and you've been such a help to us both before our move and after. I'll miss you greatly, but look forward with keen interest to peeking over your shoulder as you reintegrate into that mess we call home. And tell that brain-dead Gov. Perry to suck it for me!

  4. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Well done on the amazing new opportunity and I, for one of many, feel very blessed to have met you.

    You'll be toasted out of Norway is high fashion and we'll get a few BareBums nights..and there will be tears!

    Karen. The Blogless and soon to be Karlaless Scot!

  5. Wow! Maybe you can't take the Texan out of Texas forever. You could keep this going afterward too, so we can witness the transition back home. Gratulerer!

  6. I'm so damn relieved this didn't end with "and so this blogging shit ends" ahhhh. I returned to school in my 40s (insane!) so I don't keep up w/ much reading, but I do your wit (and live vicariously through your travel pictures) and whether in Norway or in Texas I'm glad I get to continue enjoying your entries (and pictures). Good's going to take a lot of strength (and wine!LOL) but hang in there and I wish the best!

  7. Though I rarely comment, I have enjoyed living vicariously through your experiences. I wish you the best of luck in Texas, and look forward to reading about your new life in Texas. I am sure you'll have some interesting things to say about the differences between living in Europe and living in Texas- the state that gave us GWB. :)

  8. I'll miss your snarky remarks about Oslo, but I know how good it feels to return home after several years abroad. I don't envy you the actual moving and packing, though, so best of luck with that ;)

  9. Karla,

    Best of luck with the move back to the states! We are in process of doing the same (or trying to) in reverse. It'll sure be a busy time for you but I'm looking forward to reading all of your commentary about the process of packing up and going home. While I don't wish anything but the easiest transition, I'm guessing there will be bumps along the way. Reading your funny and sharp commentary is something I'm looking forward to and hopefully something that will be cathartic for you.
    Again, best of luck. You've been so lucky in your experiences and you are lucky that you know you are.

  10. I've only just seen this, I've been on a tweeting break! So sorry to hear you're going, before we had a chance to bitch about Oslo over a glass of wine... But what an opportunity and I can't wait to read about your "repatriation" experience. All the best K!

    1. David, I will be at the Dubliner on the 14th if you want to swing by and find me. A bunch of expats and I bet we can get our bitch on but good!

  11. Wow Karla!!! Big, big changes!!! Exciting. :-)


  12. Well, now, that explains the Twitter posts... Karla, welcome, welcome back to Texas! Its absolutely okay to mourn for a bit for your life in Oslo, just remember how much is waiting for you here! If you're in Austin, shoot out a tweet - we can all meet up at Threadgill's or something for a "welcome back" margarita-fest!

    Travel safe, dearie!


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