the only constant is change

30 November 2012

in amsterdam,boston,expat,mind + body,moving,something new,the big picture,the netherlands

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

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

NoPermanentAddy November 30, 2012

So happy you had the expat experience in such a great city! You’re ALWAYS welcome back in Europe (read: Italy)- and you have a place to stay! I’ll shoot you an e-mail today. All the best.

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elz November 30, 2012

ah you’re the best! and it’s I who owe YOU an email, my bad! between a week in france, leaving my job, moving out of the apartment, shipping things home, and saying goodbyes…i haven’t had a chance to write you, but i promise i will soon! xo

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Alex @ ifs ands & Butts November 30, 2012

Where will you be in the US?? Sad timing as I fly to Amsterdam on Friday. I’m sure you will be happy with your decision and Amsterdam and Europe will always have a very special place in your heart!

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elz November 30, 2012

my thoughts exactly! ill be in boston :)

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wishful nals November 30, 2012

So we’ll said. xoxoxo

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elz November 30, 2012

thanks for your continued support ma’am, it means the world to me!

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Betsy Transantically November 30, 2012

Hey lady, I don’t think I’ve commented here before but I just had to at this post – I lived in London for three of the past four years, and just moved back to DC permanently (well, ish) at the end of May. Become a repatriate is a huge adventure in and of itself, but you never lose that part of you that was an expat. Sometimes that makes it harder to adjust, but it does mean that you’ll have those memories and experiences forever! Good luck :)

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elz November 30, 2012

hey betsy, thanks for the sweet comment! i discovered your blog through liz’ – reading about your adjustment back into the US has really provided me with some perspective, so thank you for that. :)

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Megan November 30, 2012

well said :) and i think it is an exciting chapter about to begin. living in europe has undoubtedly taught you so much about yourself and i know you’ll be able to incorporate all of those pieces into finding your places back in america.

best of luck to you and europe will always be waiting for you to visit ;) especially someone in oslo, norway ;)

and im jealous you get mexican food soon. just thought id throw that out there ;)

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elz November 30, 2012

um YES and i didn’t even mention mexican food in the post so im thinking about editing it in right this very moment. and i am so totally coming to visit, count on it lady!

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amy November 30, 2012

Wow! Best of luck with your return to American life! I was totally going to mention Mexican food, too. ;)

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Ashley November 30, 2012

Good luck with this new journey. Hope I get to see you in Boston!

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elz December 3, 2012

ME TOO :)

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Kristin November 30, 2012

Can’t wait to have you home again! Looking forward to seeing you at Christmas.

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elz December 3, 2012

Ah, I am so freakin excited – to give you your baby gift, yes!!

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Lily @ Lilywanderlust.com December 1, 2012

As long as I’m in Amsterdam you’ll always have a couch to crash on! Now, where can I sign up for my personal ELZ guide to Boston?? xoxo

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elz December 3, 2012

lilywanderlust! one of my very best friends in amsterdam, i am going to miss you so so so much. but you can bet ill be taking you up on your offer…and hopefully sooner than later ; )

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roastypeps December 2, 2012

As one of your ardent followers I would like to thank you with all my heart for the joy of reading your blog so many early mornings during these past many months, ELZ. Your beautiful photos and snappy dialogue impressed, amused and informed me of what you were up to. Reading it eased the difficulty of having you far away.

I know you put in a LOT of time creating this blog. Please assure me that you have archived all of the posts somewhere safe. They will make a priceless gift to your children some day.

Welcome home! New adventures await!

xxoo

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Melissa December 2, 2012

I was just thinking about you and wondering why so quiet, now I know. I wish you all the best and I look forward to reading your new blog! I have a feeling you’ve got something cookin’ and it isn’t a food blog :) Perhaps we’ll meet up in Boston at a Blogger thingie (I’m pretty sure that’s what all the kids are calling them).
xM

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elz December 3, 2012

YES that would be fantastic Melissa! looking forward to it already.

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San December 3, 2012

Wow, I can’t believe you’re coming home…. but I am so happy for your expat experience. It’s truly something nobody can ever take away from you again! :)
I am looking forward to your new life and blog :)

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elz December 3, 2012

San, thanks so much for the support – you’re the best. i am going to email you!

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StarSM December 3, 2012

your positive attitude, good looks, giant brain and irresistible charm will continue to deliver an adventurous and awesome life. rock on ez! See you back in america ;)

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elz December 3, 2012

ah, the one and only StarSM. Can’t WAIT to see you…only days away

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Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl December 6, 2012

going to miss you so much girl. it was so great getting to know you, meeting you, travelling with you, sharing many beers and great convos together. okay, now im getting sappy so will take this offline… you always have a friend in Holland xoxox

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LeeLee July 14, 2013

I loved living abroad, too. It’s such an amazing experience. Good luck on your next chapter! :)

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