“It was a long-distance relationship at first, then I came back,” she recalls. “It was 1992, we had a summer fling, and now we joke that we messed up and got married.”
After nearly two decades, she says she’s now stuck in a murky area between being a Swede and American, but still clings to her parents’ Hungarian and Philippino roots – thus the basis of her blog.
“I’m still trying to find my voice. It’s an analysis of life in Sweden from an outsider who is interested in cultural aspects,” Dacey-Fondelius explains. “But after living here for over 15 years, I’m seeing things through a somewhat insider’s perspective.”
Dacey-Fondelius says she doesn’t miss her homeland, as she regularly visits, but misses certain aspects of all the countries where she’s lived: Hungary, France, and the US.
She now works as a consultant; in her mediator-like position, she helps improve English skills, communication and understanding in an ever globalizing country. She also copy edits, reports, and has written travel guides.
“There’s integration and different things are changing,” she says. “Swedes are asking how things could be done in certain ways. You need to keep dialogue open, because the more people understand things the more likely they are to work things out.”
You can expect to read about such issues in her blog, which, according to Dacey-Fondelius, might make you ask some questions of yourself.
“I’m always interested in hearing other people’s input on it. A lot of my ‘Aha’ moments come from other people’s comments,” she says. “You need to question things, not bitch about it.”
In essence, her blog looks at Swedish culture and life, and Dacey-Fondelius is not shy to criticize aspects of living in Scandanavia. But look deeper and you might just find a silver lining – like she did.
“You think Swedes are sonsofbitches, because they have this hard exterior, but they are soft and smushy inside,” she says.
Still, she says despite her time here, she will never refer to herself as Swedish.
“For one, I don’t think the Swedes will take me as a Swede, and two, because I don’t have to change my identity,” she explains “There is no box that applies to me, and I’m never going to be a Swede. I’m still on this journey of figuring it out myself.”
Read Elizabeth’s blog.