How the Cinnamons decided to move to Sweden
We have gotten a lot of new subscribers here and a few questions about how it came to be that we moved to Stockholm. I thought I would share some of the backstory…
Mrs. CB and I first started talking about living overseas when we were first married (14 years ago on June 30th!). During our Pre- Cana weekend (=couples counseling before marriage in the Catholic church), we wrote out some long term goals. One of which was to live overseas. Mrs. CB grew up moving around the world as her father was in the military. As an officer on various bases he took his family to diverse places such as Ethiopia, Japan, Germany, Korea, and Denmark. Mrs. CB has a particular fondness for Denmark, since she spent four years there from age 3-7. I had also enjoyed working abroad in Europe and Asia, and both of us love to travel, so I was totally down with the idea of living abroad also.
Kids Cramped our Style a Bit
Several years after we were married we had our first child. And then, we quickly decided to have our second child since the first one was so much fun! Now, there are many couples out there who thrive with young children and continue taking life by storm. It turns out we are not one of those couples. Or maybe more to the point, I am not one of those fathers. Having busy careers and two young children was about all that I could handle. Some days, it was much more than I could handle. But the Cinnamon Sticks were (and are!) super cute:
Eventually they grow up. And a couple years ago, it became apparent that they were approaching an age where they would appreciate a good adventure.
Where Should We Go?
Once we started to contemplate a move, we started to look for opportune ideas. Mrs. Cinnamon Bun had some long-shot opportunities through work in places like China and Singapore. Although China would offer some amazing adventures, I ruled it out due to the pollution. We did entertain Singapore, but the right opportunity never presented itself. Plus, we missed family. Both of our families live on the east coast (Georgia, Florida and Maryland) and it seemed like we spent half of our time and flying east for visits. While we were living in San Jose our nearest relatives were in Whittier outside of LA. And we took advantage of visiting them often. In fact, we used their place as our vacation spot during Covid:
We knew proximity to family was particularly important for us. Coincidentally, one of Mrs. CBs former colleagues worked for a Swedish company was looking to hire people in Stockholm. Mrs. CB broached the topic with me and my first reactions was, “We can’t move to Sweden.” But after some reflection, we thought it would be a really good option. It was close to my older brother and his wife, so we would get some good family time (and lots of help! Thanks Cinnamon family!). Stockholm is a gorgeous city which we had visited and we knew we would like. And it is close to wonderful European destinations we want to explore. Winter notwithstanding, it seemed a bit like a no brainer. (If it seems like we are worried about the winter, we are. But I’m sure you’ll hear all about it eventually)
The rest is history
It is entirely due to the diligence of my lovely and capable wife that our living abroad dreams came true. Who would have thought that during Covid, she would be able to find a company not only interested in hiring her, but actually moving our family overseas in the middle of a pandemic. It is a credit to her talent and experience that she was quickly interviewing with three separate tech companies based in Stockholm. After many early morning calls, she accepted a job at a late stage financial technology company called Klarna. She literally made our dream come true, and I can’t express enough gratitude for what she has done.
I’m not sure I would recommend that anyone blow up their life and move overseas. It has been a good experience for us so far, but we are only three weeks in! The whole process has really made us think deeply about what we wanted as a family and what was important to us, so that alone makes it valuable. You will undoubtedly see us post mostly happy pictures of all the fun and adventures we are having. It has also been difficult and challenging. I would recommend thinking very deeply before you decide to sell 2/3 of your possessions, and your house, and move across the globe - during a pandemic no less! But for us, it has certainly been an exciting period of challenge and growth.
To be continued…