Young and Wild and Free - Skillful Cook
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Young and Wild and Free

Young girl at the Children's Shelter of Cebu.

Yes, I've been baking peanut butter pies, yes, I've been going to bed early, and yes, I've been loving it. But there's actually a good reason I took this week “off” from Skillful Cook.

It's all in preparation for a change. An international change.

A change that involves Bjork and I moving to the Philippines for a year. The one in Southeast Asia that’s made up of 7,000 islands. The one that's 8,000 miles away. In 6 weeks. Moving. There.


It's seriously 100% true. We’ll be there for one year, and I would love to tell you that we’re just going to be soaking up the tropical sun, but that would be bad news for one white-skinned-spf-100-extreme-sunburn Scandinavian boy.

Instead, we’ll be working in the shade at an orphanage in Cebu City. It’s called the Children’s Shelter of Cebu and you might have seen it mentioned here before because my siblings Roselyn, Romeo, and Rodrigo lived at this shelter for several years before being adopted. Up until this point, we have donated all of our blog income to the shelter because we really love what they are doing for kids. And now... we're going there ourselves!


Here’s the official FAQ.

How did it happen? We were planning to visit Cebu this summer – Bjork has never been there, and we wanted to do some international travel, so it seemed like a fun way to spend three weeks in June. A few weeks ago, we got a call from the director of the organization asking us if we’d be willing to extend our stay from three weeks to one year. After some serious conversations, prayer, and extreme-stress-eating, we decided we were ready and willing.

What will you be doing? I’ll be teaching a small class of Level C (upper elementary) kids from the orphanage at the Children of Hope school. Bjork will work remotely part-time in his current job. He’ll also be volunteering at the shelter with technology-related projects and leading epic games of t-ball, because he does stuff like that.

Where will you live? In a furnished Cebuano apartment, which, from what I hear, comes with a few free baby lizards. Not cool.

How will you get around in Cebu? Hello Jeepney.

What will you do with your house? Rent it out!

What will you do with your cars? Sell them! If you’re in the market for a sweet SUV, comment below. I’ll even throw in a pan of brownies with the deal.

What will you do with your stuff? Pack it up and store it in Grandma’s basement. Thanks, Gma!

What will you do with your hair in that heat and humidity? I feel a 365-day pony tail nub coming on. And yes, I meant to say nub. I did not time that haircut well.

What do you think you’ll miss most? Family time, wide open spaces, appropriate temperatures, appropriate hair, and our bestie couples’ soon-to-be newborn baby boy.

What are you most excited for? Friends and family to come and visit, trying out a non-Western lifestyle, and a changed heart.

What will happen to Skillful Cook? The flavor (literally) might change, you might see less chocolate and more Filipino kids, and mangoes could take over indefinitely. But really, I plan to keep things going with posts about our new life in the Philippines as well as the same ol' yummy recipes. Hopefully you guys can handle the American-style Filipino flair.


So now you know why I needed a week to put my feet up and eat peanut butter pie. Emphasis on the peanut butter. And pie.

It's going to be a crazy year. But we are young and wild and free, or at least we're pretending.

Filed Under: Living Abroad

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have such respect for you both. It’s not always easy following the Lords nudging. May He use you mightily over this next year….and beyond! You are an inspiration!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thank you so much! We are inspired by many others who have done far more demanding things and we are thankful for their example!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, that will be quite the change. If I had the money, I would definitely think about purchasing your SUV and pan of brownies, although if I were to look at my funds too closely, it would probably end up just being the pan of brownies.

    I also love the last comment you made on the posting “….we’re young and wild and free…” Isn’t that just what life is all about? Throwing caution and doubt into the wind, dropping everything and just going for that big change? Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    What an amazing opportunity and I have so much admiration for you both to rise to this challenge. I’m sure you two are going to have an amazing year and you’re going to bring such joy to the children you will be teaching.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, what an incredible, thrilling, and daunting decision! I suspect this will be one of the most life-giving and life-deepening years of your life. What an amazing blessing that you and Bjork can do this together. You will have the strength of so many prayers and thoughts behind you. So, so, so happy for both of you.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, that is a huge lifestyle change and an amazing opportunity. Good for you for taking this chance and seizing the moment! It will be an adventure that you will never forget and I look forward to the pictures of kids and mangos!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was wondering where you were this week! I have such respect for you and what a blessing those children and school have that you and Bjork are going out there. I’m really excited to continue reading your blog and seeing what you’re doing out there. Seriously, you’re amazing!!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! What a wonderful inspiration you are! If only more of us were willing to take such a drastic move to help others. I know you will never regret doing this! I am sooo glad you aren’t taking a Skillful Cook break though. I would be very sad and your recipes would be very missed by everyone in my family 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Lindsay! I really don’t think we will regret it either. Right now I regret not keeping my closet more organized… but other than that… 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow this is so exciting! I didn’t realize you were planning a move. I’m envious of the big change and all the experiences you will have over there. Looking forward to your posts about Filipino kids and mangos! 😉

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    That is incredibly amazing. I’m inspired by your (and Bjork’s) dedication to this cause that’s so important to you–and I know that it’ll be an eye-opening, enriching, overwhelming, unforgettable year. I hope you’ll tell us all about it!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, GOOD FOR YOU! What an awesome adventure and incredible way to give back to the world. I look forward to keeping up with your new life in the Phillipines via Skillful Cook, since your blog is truly one of my favs. And, don’t worry about those baby lizards. I’ve lived in places where they made themselves at home inside the house. They don’t eat much. 🙂 Truthfully, before long you’ll think they’re cute. All the best to you and Bjork on your Young & Wild & Free adventure!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Holy…cow. What an amazing opportunity for you guys and how cool that you could both make it work to do it. Can’t wait to follow along on your journey over there. Good luck with all the stuff that needs to get done before you leave, I’m sure that’s a bit of a stressful process!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This is so awesome. What an amazing opportunity for the both of you and I’m so jealous of your ability to say, “YES. Let’s do this!” I really wish I had done something this … BIG … before the kiddos came along. You’re definitely an inspiration for after they all run off to college and leave me home alone. I’d love to do something like this and I can’t wait to read about your journey!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good luck with what your are doing…i am also involved in a similar project in india..have a look at our website..

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I figured your blogging break may have had to do with a little freelance project or something. Had no idea that “project” involved coordinating a move to Southeast Asia for year. WOW!! Congrats and this kind of post inspires me. Way to go to follow your dreams!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow Lindsay! This is amazing! I’m so thrilled that we get to follow along on your blog and vicariously live through your adventures. It sounds like a year in which God is going to work powerfully . . .

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow what an awesome adventure and great opportunity! I look foward to reading about your daily life and also the food Philippines.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG, that’s soooo great! What a great cause to help. It’s so nice that your husband can work from there too, I bet that makes things easier.

    What a great adventure to get into! Good luck! I’m looking forward to the new recipes with Asian influence!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Ana! We are so happy that he will be able to work remotely and keep his job. And hopefully the Asian influence will be delicious and not disastrous. Time will tell. 🙂

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    We’ll miss you here at school! I am so glad to hear that you’ll continue blogging, though! 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Wow, that’s incredible. I actually may have someone interested in your Bravada. Can you let me know the specs? Thanks!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    So exciting!!!! I can’t imagine having 6 weeks to turn my life upside down completely, but I know that the experience will be life changing (in good ways!) for you. Can’t wait to see pictures and hear stories about what you’re doing there!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just started following your blog. I love the great mix of healthy and not-so-healthy but always yummy looking recipes! I think it’s wonderful that you and your husband get to have this adventure together. What a difference you will get to make in those children’s lives. Best of luck and I’ll keep you both in my prayers!