They say your life is composed into chapters.

Things begin & things end.

Change happens.

For the past year & a half, I’ve been living in Amsterdam, traveling throughout Europe, developing amazing new friendships, working for global multinationals, drinking Belgian beers, and cycling everywhere.

Next weekend, I’ll be flying back over the Atlantic, heading home.

Readjusting to life in the US, reuniting with friends & family, and soaking up all things American that I’ve been missing like crazy over here.

And you know what?  I’m excited.

But of course, I’d be lying if I wasn’t torn with the idea of moving home.  If I wasn’t second guessing my decision to leave Amsterdam.  {Has it been long enough?  Did I travel everywhere I wanted to?  Am I ready to give up the bike lanes?  And the koffie verkeerds?}

Maybe not, I don’t know.

But one thing I do know, is that if this decision wasn’t difficult, then it would simply mean that this past year and a half wasn’t important to me.  All tough decisions are tough because they matter.   If I wasn’t nervous or anxious about my decision, that would be weird.  It’s like leaving a job you hate – that’s easy.  Turning in your stuff on the last day and saying good riddance.  A feeling of relief & and a smile on your face, no regrets.

This time I’ve spent in Europe is just the opposite.  I’ve had an amazing time being an expat, I’ve grown & learned & tried & pushed myself, in ways that have forever changed my perspective on the world, cultures, living, life.  So I’ll accept the fact that I can’t make a clean break, with no wondering what-if’s, because this ISN’T like a job I didn’t care about.  I shouldn’t be able to leave without a second glance, because if I could – then what would it all be worth?

I’ve gained so much from this experience, things I will carry with me {in physical form & in my mind}, for the rest of my life.  I’ll gladly exchange a bit of anxiety about my future today for all of these wonderful memories & experiences.

So, right now – loyal followers & readers & commenters – I want to thank you for sharing in my adventure abroad!

As this chapter of my life shifts into anew, this very blog is going to do the same.

I’m going to launch a brand-new site with a brand-new concept.  I do hope you’ll check back here to see the changes.

Until then, all my best.

Xo, elz

PS A few of you have reached out to me, if you’d like to connect, please do drop me a line at ellen {at} companyofclever.com

{ 27 comments }

bloggers taking photographs, or apple picking.

Thumbnail image for bloggers taking photographs, or apple picking. 29 October 2012

On Sunday we headed outside of Amsterdam & participated in the last day of zelfpluk at this orchard. Armed with warm coats, bags for our new fruit treasures, and of course our cameras…we wandered up & down the aisles laughing and picking apples here or there. I ended up taking home 7. But that’s enough […]

7 comments Click here to continue reading.

happy friday. plus a song.

19 October 2012

I, for one, am thankful for the weekend.  It’s mid-afternoon here, and I can almost reach out & touch 17.00.   Here are some pictures I collected during a recent weekend afternoon spent at the beach. And here’s a song if you’d care to listen as you peruse: Home by Phillip Phillips on Grooveshark   […]

5 comments Click here to continue reading.

a tandem bicycle & a tuscan villa

Thumbnail image for a tandem bicycle & a tuscan villa 16 October 2012

We rented a tandem bicycle one day to explore Lucca from a different point of view.  We cruised around for a couple hours, PAB leading the way & me freaking out in the back. Basically, we were a spectacle to be seen. And we rented a fabulous villa from AirBNB.  It was so gorgeous, spacious, […]

3 comments Click here to continue reading.

the opposite of sunny

Thumbnail image for the opposite of sunny 15 October 2012

It’s been raining here for days. Like, for more days in a row than I can remember. But that’s ok, because we’re used to the rain around here now. And really, it just makes you appreciate being warm & cozy inside all the more. Although we still did catch ourselves looking longingly out the windows, […]

5 comments Click here to continue reading.

Lucca, Italia

Thumbnail image for Lucca, Italia 12 October 2012

Alright, let’s skip back over to our Italy trip in early September.  After we spent the whole day exploring Cinque Terre, we drove our Fiat500 rental car south bound towards Tuscany.  And let me tell you – Lucca exceeded all expectations. The city of Lucca is completely protected by high city walls.  And man, is […]

5 comments Click here to continue reading.

a thought on living in europe.

Thumbnail image for a thought on living in europe. 11 October 2012

Living abroad can be a challenge.  But then again, that is life…a constant challenge – no?  Today, I’ve been thinking that Paris is, indeed, always a good idea.  So it’s a pretty good thing I am only a train ride away!

4 comments Click here to continue reading.

a new blog!

10 October 2012

So if you have been checking in on my blog every once in a while over the past few months, or if you’re like my mother who reads every single word, you may have noticed that I change around the design every once in a while.  A new font here, more pictures there…I’ve slowly been […]

3 comments Click here to continue reading.