I currently live in Brooklyn with my three little boys and husband. What can I say, I’m the unofficial -but official - Queen in my house. I love weird combinations of food (more on that later), going out (MOMS CAN DANCE TOO), and seeing the "A-HA" look on a founder's face when they unleash the story that has been buried in them and their business for way too long.
How was your Thanksgiving? (if you celebrate that is)
Turns out Lisbon gives No f*cks! (I mean DUH). But I have to say my nostalgia for all things red, white, blue and large balloon inflatables were at an all time high last Thursday.
It was a really random day
But it was also a beautiful day and if this move has forced me to do anything….it has forced me to savor EVERY happy moment.
These moments being in such contrast to how I’ve recently felt so many times since moving here.
Before I get to the main story of this email allow me to lay out the day:
First, spending it with a man I had never met.
A WhatsApp text from Olly’s cousin who lives in Sweden sent us this. And since we had no traditions to stick to…we were like “let’s do it.”
What I didn’t know before he knocked on my door was that he WAS AN AMERICAN who happened to be a head writer on “Family Guy” and was just the dose of hilarious American I needed to kick off my day.
A half hour coffee with a stranger -turned-friend became a 3 hour lunch exploring our hood and aperol spritzes. Sign me up for this turkey tradition please and thanks.
Second “random Thanksgiving experience of the day” was a hang with 25+ expats of mostly Americans from San Francisco.
A table of strangers bound by being American, married to an American and an expat in Lisbon.
My kids were the youngest by a chunk of years and I was struck by how many teens were at this party and most had only been in Lisbon for a few years…meaning most had moved countries as teens.
Isn’t that the worst time to move a kid I thought to myself?
So I decided to ask the dad of two of the teens. This is what he said to me:
“Time was running out. It’s always running out. We decided we needed to do it NOW.”
He explained that they had “always talked” about doing something adventurous as a family…
But it was never the right time.
Cozy life in San Fran.
Everyone “fine.” Happy.
But yet always a nagging feeling whenever more time would pass and “that adventure always moved toward some distant unreachable place in the future.”
But then one day his life flashed and he thought, “Only a few more years as a core unit of 4 until the final emptying of the nest.”
The dad said that stark reality hit him in the face. And he and his wife moved on a San Fran —> Lisbon move immediately.
It eventually beats us all.
We always think we have more of it.
It’s not infinite.
We know that…yet we usually don’t act like we know that.
Oh and how were the kids doing?
Was this move hard at first? Yes
Did they “hate their parents” at first? A little. OK A lot.
Would any of them return to the life they were living and the school? All said no.
The experiences they were given were not lost on these teens.
It made me think how these young minds are forever rewired.
To go after $hit in life, even if it means uprooting “perfectly fine”.
Because “perfectly fine” isn’t great.
And I do believe we are all capable of being great in whatever we WANT to be great in (international moves are not on everyone’s “great” bucket list.)
➡️Wherever you are this season, know that you can transform.
➡️You are the author of your own life story…
…But whatever you do want to reimagine or even rebuild in some cases… do it now.
It’s probably not going to be easy.
But I bet it will be worth it.