Boomerang kid

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I was born in the late 1980’s which makes me part of the millennial generation. My generation is also known as “Generation me”. We are technologically advanced, we are narcissistic, we are expected to have 6-8 careers in our lifetime and we multi-task like nobody’s business.  There is something else about my generation that makes us unique. We are “boomerang kids”.

Our poor parents work hard raising us, want us to go to college, want us to be successful; so we go to university, most of us have jobs during school, we somehow make our four year degree program last 5 or 6 or 7 years. Then we graduate and our parents are proud of us, then we boomerang right back to them. Parents are becoming empty nesters so much later in life compared to previous generations. We are allowed to live at home and look for a mediocre job, earning minimum wage, barely able to make our monthly student loan payments. We don’t pay rent, we don’t buy groceries and because we are so focused on ourselves we rarely thank our parents for all they are doing.

In 2006 my family moved abroad. It was my senior year of high school and the plan was for me to return to the states to finish high school with my friends and my boyfriend. I was supposed to live in my parents’ house with my older brothers, but when I got home I was spending every second at my boyfriend’s house. So I officially moved in with my boyfriend, his parents and his little sister. This was pretty unusual and a lot of my friends thought it was really weird.

In December of 2013 I will be graduating from college. I have spent a long time in school (let’s just call it four years + a little bit) and once I graduate my husband and I have to decide what kind of careers we want, will our careers dictate where we live, if we want to rent or buy, really we have no plans. We know both of us need to work, I am considering going to school for sign language interpreting or grad school. Things are so up in the air, what are we supposed to do in the mean time?

We boomerang. That’s what we do. I told a co-worker that I was moving in with my in-laws after college and they squished up their face and said “oh no!”. I guess a lot of people would feel like that if they had to move in with their in-laws, but not me!

I truly LOVE my in-laws and I do not take our relationship for granted. I know that I am very lucky to not only have awesome in-laws but to feel completely comfortable around them. My husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old; I lived with them for an entire year. I consider them my family and they definitely had a part in making me who I am today.

My husband and I will have a GREAT set up at my in-laws house. We will pretty much have the entire basement to ourselves, which means we have a living room, bathroom, huge bedroom and game room which includes a pool/ping pong table. We can set up the basement as our home with our things and arrange it however we want. I am not going to take this amazing gesture for granted. I want to show them how much I appreciate their kindness. I am so lucky to have such loving people in my life.

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My mother in-law Judy and I at Enger Tower in Duluth.

 

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My husband and I with his parents at our wedding. 

 

Anyone have stories about how awesome their in-laws are? Please share!

 

 

World traveler

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My family loves to travel and we have had some amazing trips. Even with seven kids my parents always made an effort to plan family vacations. We have taken short road trips for hockey tournaments and other things. Trips to Duluth were frequent but we also drove to Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, North and South Dakota, and Colorado.

When I was in high school my parents took my three younger brothers and I to Canada to see Niagara falls and the hockey hall of fame, then we drove to New York for the baseball hall of fame, then to Cleveland for the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Our last stop was Chicago and then home. The next year we flew to Key West, Florida and had the best vacation of my life. Even though I say that is my favorite vacation, it is not the coolest place I’ve been. My parents again took my three younger brothers and I to two more places and these places changed my life. 

in 2006 my dad took a job in The Federated States of Micronesia. You are probably thinking “that can’t be a real place!”

IT IS! 

The Federated States of Micronesia is made up of four islands; Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap. As the Chief Litigator for all four states my dad worked on all the islands, but we lived on the island of Yap. Again, I am not making this up, it’s a real place, check out this map to get a better idea of where it is! 

We lived in the capital, Colonia, right next to the hospital (which turned out to be very convenient). We lived on a bay and right outside our door was the ocean.

Let me explain a little bit about the island of Yap. Yap is the most culturally traditional island of Micronesia. While some locals do wear shorts/skirts and t-shirts, some especially in the villages wear their native dress. Men in loin cloths called a “thoo” and the women in wrapped skirts called “lava lava’s” and nothing else. The women are topless.

Yap has many great sights and one of them that you see all over the island is stone money. Stone money can be anywhere from three feet tall to over six feet tall, and way several tons. Stone money is exactly that, a giant stone that was exchanged for services or products (mostly land). Because stone money is extremely big and heavy it does not get moved around when it is “spent”, it stays where it sits and the villages just remember who owns it at the time. 

Here are my brothers and I in front of a stone moneyImage

Here are my parents in front of a stone moneyImage

This is my family on Yap day, they have a festival and my brothers wore thoo’sImage

We spent a lot of time scuba diving. Yap is home to a manta ray cleaning station, where mantas come to a specific area and little fish clean them. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. 

Manta ray!Image

When you dive at that site you find a place in the sand or on the coral to sit and giant manta rays (6 feet across) swim over you. They look like they are flying and it is so beautiful!

Here is a video of the manta rays. My family did not take this video, but its super awesome! Click here!

When we weren’t working on our home schooling we would visit our private beach, walk to town, play with our pooch Tiki, go scuba diving or hang out with our Peace Corps and lawyer friends. 

Here’s me diving!Image

My brothers and I after a village partyImage

This is Tiki our puppy.ImageOur island life was nothing short of incredible, but living on an island is not a vacation. We still had to clean our rooms, do homework, my dad worked, we had to cook everything from scratch and so to take a little break from our “hectic” island life we went on a vacation, to Bali, Indonesia.

Here you can see the Federated States of Micronesia on the upper right and Indonesia in the middle. 

We traveled to Sanur, Ubud and Kuta. Sanur we found a hotel with two swimming pools, $6 massages and restaurants with cheeseburgers and milk shakes (there is only powdered milk in Yap). In Ubud we visited the monkey forest, temples, and saw a traditional dance. In Kuta we went to shopping malls and the beach where my brothers learned to surf. 

My brother Chris swimmingImage

Chris and I waiting for dinnerImage

Monkey Forest!Image

My dad, my brothers (Chuck, Tony and Chris) and me at the monkey forest. (My mom took the picture! She was there too!)Image

A traditional Indonesian dancerImage

Chuck and Tony learning to surfImage

While for most of my life I have lived in the same tiny house in a tiny town, for a little while I got to see the world. The time I spent abroad changed me for the better. I will never forget the adventures my family had and I owe all of it to my parents! Thanks mom and dad!!!!!!