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Affirmations & Journaling, Everyday Lifestyle

Behind the Blog: Writing About Life

If you’re part of the blogging community; as a visitor/reader or writer/creator, you likely know how important it is to connect to the person behind the blog. It encourages us to relate to each other in a more personal, welcoming and supportive way.

This is why I was so delighted to be nominated by Simply Alex Jean to take part in the Behind the Blogger Tag. Originally created by Olivia Lucie Blake, this tag provides an opportunity to share four personal/interesting or unknown facts about yourself; and nominate some other bloggers who might like to join in.

I hope if I’ve tagged you at the end of this post you feel the love and appreciation I have for your site/creativity. There’s no expectation or pressure to take part, but if you do, I look forward to discovering some new and interesting personal facts!

Foreground text reads, ‘Behind the Blog: Writing About Life’; a blog post on Transatlantic Notes. Background photo is by Christin Hume via Unspalsh of a person wearing a yellow knitted sweater sitting at a small desk and working on their laptop.

Here are four facts about me you might not know …

Between Cityscapes and Countrysides

If you were to ask me a question about where I grew up, I get a little stuck about how to answer. I spent my pre-teen years living among the salty sea air of Cornwall (South West England) and then my teenage to early adulthood life in the bustle and hum of London. Both places have family connections and are equally part of who I am even though they are vastly different in almost every way. Their energies and rhythms of life each offer possibilities and purpose but they speak to very distinct parts of me.

The core memories I made in each place are essential to my sense of self; they nurtured me at critical stages and in essential ways that make defining where I grew up a little tricky. But that’s a problem I’m happy to have because if you wanted to know more about either area; I’ve got plenty of stories to share that will make you appreciate them just as much as I do.

I Took a DNA Test

I knew I was going to come back 100% White lady, but I hoped my DNA test results would answer one particular question I had about my heritage … Which geographical region is my natural red hair most likely connected to?

I’m aware of who in my family this ancestral trait is inherited from but I often wondered where it may have originated. As it turns out; pretty much every ethnic region I’m connected to is known to have populations of redheads. I’m guessing though that being 20% Scottish has something to do with it; less than 2% of the world’s population are natural redheads; most of which are found in Scotland.  

A screenshot of my Ancestry DNA results. Image and results owned by Molly from Transatlantic Notes.
My results from Ancestry DNA

Why I Started Blogging

Over the nearly thirteen years or so that I’ve been on this blogging journey, the purpose of what I write about has gone through many iterations. It all started in late 2009 with a site I created called The Move to America; a place where I shared the ups and downs and relevant information about the visa process I was undergoing to emigrate to the U.S. from Britain.

I assumed that friends and family would be the only ones interested in keeping up with all the family visa paperwork; and the evidence gathering I was doing to be able to join my American husband in Ohio. It turned out; however, that there’s a whole community of people going through similar experiences who greatly valued what I was sharing. I no longer blog about the immigration experience, but it was certainly a great start to life online!

I spent altogether just over four years; yes, you read that right; four incredibly interminable and desperate years navigating the U.S. immigration process. I didn’t see my husband at all during those years. We got married in August 2009 and I didn’t see him in person again until October 2013; which leads me nicely onto the next interesting fact about me …

Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship

My husband and I got married in the U.S. (somewhat spontaneously) during my summer holiday visit in 2009; at the time I was still a teacher, enjoying the glorious weeks of vacation. Flying home as a newlywed was filled with excited optimism that the visa application would only take about six to nine months to complete. Oh, how wrong we were …

What followed were four years of setbacks, mistakes, delays, lost paperwork and financial issues that slowed the entire process down to an agonizing crawl. We didn’t have the finances to pay for the multiple visa forms, medical exams, trips to the American Embassy, evidence/legal items and visit each other; something had to give. We ended up not seeing each other in person for 1498 days.

We survived it by becoming adept at spending time with each other over the phone; eating meals together; watching movies; playing board games; opening care packages; just chatting for hours at a time throughout the day. We’ve been through a lot since we reunited; life has not been easy, but if our LDR has taught us anything, it’s that love really does conquer all.  

I hope you enjoyed reading my interesting/unknown facts as part of this blog tag series. Take some time today to think about what you could share with those around you; even if you aren’t a blogger or haven’t been nominated below.

If you have any questions about what I wrote about, feel free to ask them in a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!


Further Info:

Here are my nominees:

Aisles of Life | Insecure Housewife | JoJo’s Cup of Mocha | Let’s Grow Mom | Nike’s Corner

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65 thoughts on “Behind the Blog: Writing About Life”

  1. What a great tag! It’s great getting to know the person behind the blog. Who we are, inspires what we write and want to share out with the world. I can’t believe how long it took for you and your husband to reunite. I am pretty shocked that the bureaucracy was such a mess, I am so sorry about that. I like how you made the most of it though and worked on remaining connected by enjoying activities together over the phone. Whether you realize it yet or not, that situation increased your strength and fortitude and will benefit your life moving forward.

    I am excited (and nervous) to be tagged in, and so honored. Thank you!

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    1. Being in an LDR that lasted so long was a real test but I 100% agree; we’re definitely stronger for it! I hope you get to join in with the tag but definitely don’t feel you have to. I’ve enjoyed your blog whenever I’ve visited so had to tag you!

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  2. As somebody currently in a long distance relationship that part about this was the bit that resonated the most. I know it’s going to be a long and sometimes difficult road to be together but hopefully, as you say, love conquers all 🙂 It is definitely an encouragement to read.

    Personally I’ve never been interested in my ancestors and history. I know that I am massively in the minority in this!!! My view is that I am here now and I am me. That’s all that matters to me. Where my ancestors come from isn’t a concern to me. Anyway… I am probably part alien haha

    You’re from London! I live in London now. Who knows, maybe we passed each other in the street one day. It’s a small world with so many connections… 🙂

    Interesting read. Take care 🙂

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    1. I’m wishing you well with your LDR; it’s definitely a uniquely challenging situation to be in but one that can be overcome.
      I totally see how some people are not interested in their ancestry, I think it all comes down to what your interests are. I’m a huge history geek so genealogy is just an extension of that. Part alien sounds good though, haha!
      London is an amazing place, I miss it so much. I don’t know how recently you’ve moved there but I haven’t lived there for many, many years (probably 20 years or so) but it’s still a place I connect deeply to.
      Thanks so much for reading!

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  3. Wow, these are all so interesting! I can’t believe you didn’t see your husband for so long. I’ve done long distance before, which didn’t work out but I don’t think the reason was distance! I’m also part Scottish! I’ve never done a DNA test but I really want to now!

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    1. Definitely think about doing a DNA test, it was fascinating to trace all the influences your ancestry carries. I had no idea, beyond the English connection, that there was any of the other regions in my particular mix. Do it! I’d love to read about what you find out!

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  4. I feel like I know you a bit more from this post Molly! How hard it must have been to be separated from your husband for that long. It speaks to your relationship that it was able to survive this while still relatively new. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wow! This was such a lovely read from you, sharing personal stuff there too. You are amazing! I can’t believe you started in Cornwall, we love it there so much and have had some wonderful family holidays there. We’re off to Devon this year x

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  6. This was such an interesting read! I had no idea about the roots of your blogging journey – I can’t believe you and your husband had to do long distance for so long! :O I’m glad you guys got through to the other side though x

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  7. Wow! I had no idea that the Visa process could take so long! It is amazing how you and your husband managed to keep the relationship alive without being able to meet in person. It does prove that love can beat anything. You do hold an interesting background thus you are an interesting person yourself 🙂
    All these facts about your life which I was not aware of made me like you even more. I can understand why your blog is of my favourite reads every week!

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    1. Normally the U.S. visa process is much shorter but we encountered so many delays and problems (some of our own making); it was a shock it took that long though! I am so glad you enjoyed reading a bit more about me; I was a bit nervous to share things outside of my normal topics but I really appreciate all the support and kindness from the blogging community. Thanks for reading!

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  8. Wow, so amazing! I really enjoyed this post Molly. I can’t believe you guys didn’t see each other in person for soooo long. Love that this tag offers so much opportunity for storytelling.

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  9. Wow! Thank you so much for nominating me, Molly!! I loved getting to know more about you and your blogging journey through this post. I admire you and your husband so much for making it. I can’t even imagine what would happen if I were in a long distance relationship for that long whilst me and my partner couldn’t visit each other.

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  10. This was so so interesting! 13 years of blogging. And to your background heritage immigration and relationship. That’s quite challenging and great thing you pulled it out all well. Nice knowing about you. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

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  11. Personally I’ve never been interested in my ancestors and history, but I love when others are finding out theirs.
    Great tag by the way as It’s great getting to know the person behind the blog and your inspiration.

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    1. Being connected to our ancestors is definitely not for everyone; so I can understand that for some it’s not the most interesting thing — I love that you’re encouraging of those that are, that is a really lovely quality to have (I wish more of the world were like that in general, tbh). Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Four years of a long-distance relationship?! Wow, you’re such an inspiration. Paperwork and immigration processes can be slow but that’s something else! Mind-blowing.

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  13. I love blogging tag posts because they let you get to know bloggers in such a unique way. This was fun to read and to learn more about you. What a crazy start to your marriage! That’s amazing how you two found a way to make it work and spend special time together. I love that 🙂

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  14. I love these tag posts because we get to know a little more about the person behind the blog, and I am a curious person by nature so you know I am a little noisy one! I was so into your marriage story, I need to know more!

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    1. I love this tag too; such a great way to find out more about the people behind the blogging community. I like to know things about people too, haha, so maybe I’ll share a bit more about my marriage story in the future. It was fun sharing this!

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  15. Wow! 4 years of being apart when you thought it was going to take <1 year? I'm so glad those days are past you; that must have taken an incredible amount of mental strength on your part, navigating the unknown. Lovely getting to know you!

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  16. Love to learn more about you, Molly! Such a great idea to get to know your heritage and take a DNA test! I am so so in awe that you managed to live apart for so long, but so glad that it all worked out and you managed to find ways to make it work x

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  17. I absolutely love the fact that you did a DNA test, I did one too… it answered a lot of questions but also created a lot of questions. I knew I had a lot of Pacific Islander in me, mainly Hawaiian, but I did not know how much! Also I didn’t know there was a huge part of me that had a lot of South American (hence more questions than answers). I love cultures and I love my own but I didn’t know I had sooo many. it is a fun adventure to learn about yourself and necessary too.

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    1. That is an amazing amount of information you got from your DNA test; it’s so lovely to find connections, especially ones we were maybe not expecting. I have a few questions regarding mine about what didn’t show up (there is a family story I wanted to check out about an Italian relative) so it can definitely raise more questions! Thank you for sharing your story here.

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  18. First of all – we’ll done managing the long distance relationship- love does indeed conquer all!

    Second – ancestry interesting to note how rare natural red heads are. Growing up in England you would see them all the time, so never appreciated how special they are until I went to other country’s and they made a big deal out of it!

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    1. We’re definitely very rare so it’s even nicer to know (well, a good educated guess based on my results) where most of my red hair genes came from. It’s a lovely connection to be able to make! Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

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