I have been thinking about how I could end up in an intercultural relationship. When I was young I had no idea this is where I would be today, of course, who can know such things? What I mean is that there was not many clues to suggest this outcome when I was young, but that the signs started to show as I grew up.
My whole family is 100% Swedish and in the extended family there’s only one cousin that has married interculturally, we are not really close though. I grew up in a small town where there was mostly Swedish people living, we had a few kids with other backgrounds in my class at school but in the society as a whole the non-Swedes were not many. So as a child I didn’t really get to experience a lot of other cultures, except on shorter travels. There were very few things at that time to suggest I would have an intercultural relationship in the future.
I’ve always had a fascination for nature, animals and also other cultures, though it started out mostly with an interest in ancient and historical cultures. I dreamed a lot about travelling to every corner of the world to see all the beautiful nature, cool animals and visit the interesting cultures that was shown on the tv-programmes. On a sidenote I kept having this dream of travelling and eventually did end up travelling quite a lot for my age.
Perhaps it was the growing interest to get to know people from other cultures that was the reason for me to start chatting on the internet, or perhaps just the general interest in this new amazing machine (computer). Either way I quickly found my way out to international chat forums and penpal-sites where I found friends from many different parts of the world, even exchanged irl-letters with a few people.
Of course, as a young girl chatting on the internet there were a lot of guys who wanted to chat, some nice ones and some indecent ones. But as you other girls out there might be able to agree with, you quickly start to be able to identify this kind of people with the type of behavior that you don’t appreciate or want. The problem is that the contacts you don’t want outnumber the one’s you would appreciate and like to be friends with.
As I’ve grown up I still enjoy meeting friends from other cultures and countries, and still like to do it the online-way. I have only become more picky about the people I choose to get to know now a days. Good thing I continued doing this since, if you have read our story, this is how B and I met. Anyway, back to the topic!
After I finished my gymnasium (year 10-12 in school life, high school?) I went out into the world and had adventures. I visited different countries, mostly in south east Asia, and did some of the things I had been dreaming about. For example diving with sharks, manta rays and whaleshark, seeing dolphins and whales, and doing things on land like elephant riding or go trekking for days and sleeping in the djungle. One time I was even chased around the jungle by an aggressive orangutang. I really liked to experience new things and I felt like a second home in Asia.
Even if I didn’t get that deep insights about those cultures since I only visited for a couple of months in each country and didn’t I’ve there, I still felt very much at home. Perhaps liking adventures and always being prepared to change plans is a good starting point for being able to develop a successful intercultural relationship. Or maybe an intercultural relationship can be seen as a lifelong never ending adventure; there’s always new things to discover and learn about.
There’s also some more personal stuff that has led me to where I am today, but I’m not going to share that publicly here and it’s not really relevant to this story any way. The point I want to make is that however unlikely it seemed from the beginning that this is where I would be today, all the experiences I’ve had during my lifetime so far have brought be to this point. Therefore I would never even want to start to regret anything I have done that I perhaps at first thought wasn’t happy that I had been through or done.
To me it feels like all those experiences before was so that I would end up just here, at the right time and place, to meet B so we could start our life together.