#4: You’ve been living abroad for 4 years. How has that experience been?
I was lucky to be given the opportunity to work in the U.S. during my employment with Unity Technologies, and while it was easy for me to accept the challenge when looking at it from a career perspective, it took a bit more consideration when factoring the family, including a dog, into the equation. Would the family thrive in a new country? Would the boys adapt to the U.S. school system? Would they make friends easily? What would we do if one of us wasn’t thriving? What would we do if something happened in Denmark while we were far away? In the end, my husband and I agreed that we would try it out, and it has been such an amazing adventure for the four of us (plus the dog). I ended up working 2 years in our Seattle office, followed by 2 years in the San Francisco office. I experienced firsthand how different the work cultures are – even between Seattle and San Francisco. I’ve met the most talented and humble people in the world, but also some of the biggest egos ever. The work places are cool, diverse, you can practically live and sleep there, and the tech is awesome. It is fun, high speed and challenging. Everyone is trying to become the next Zuckerberg and the level of politics and sugar coating is a bit much for a Dane.
We have travelled and explored a lot of sights primarily in the pacific northwest, and we fell in love with the spectacular nature and the greatness of it. Think mountains, lakes, salmon, eagles, whales, hummingbirds and raccoons. Very exotic. Oh, and the food. It’s not just unhealthy junk food, but also the most amazing food, fresh produce and lovely wine, and yes the food portions are big, and yes, I gained a lot of weight, and unfortunately it’s still there… We have all had to step out of our comfort zones and tried to adapt to a new culture. It was challenging for the kids, who hardly spoke English when we first arrived, and on top of that the school systems are very different from what they knew from Denmark. And they missed their best friends. However, children adapt and learn at such a high speed and 3 months later they were fluent in English, which is now their first language. There were tough days and many challenges, but we got through it as a family. Huge credits to my husband, who was a stay at home dad and took care of all of us. The great days definitely outweighed the not so great days. We have made the best friends from all over the world, and our lives are so much richer that way. There were people and things we missed in Denmark when we lived in the US, and now living in Denmark there are people and things we miss in the US! Seattle is our home away from home now, and we all have to go back on a regular basis. Would I do it again? YES, absolutely.