Friday, September 5, 2014

What is it actually like to move to paradise, and leave your life behind?

I think it has been long enough here to have some thoughts on this topic. We have lived here pretty much since February. I think about this topic every day so it was time to put the thoughts on paper!

The best things about moving to an exotic place

1.) It feels SO GOOD to know that I can disconnect from cell phones/mail/an actual address and not freak out. I used to get so stressed even on vacations about what I was missing, what deadlines or bill pay dates I might be overlooking, what emails or calls were building up, etc. People say living somewhere is not like vacationing there--that is true!! It is better!! You are FORCED to give up a lot of connections to what seems important.
2.) It also feels GREAT to let go of stuff-this is an obvious answer but it is VERY true. I can now get around with just a few suitcases and I am really careful about buying anything that won't fit in 350 square feet. I admit I do have a small storage closet at home but I don't even know what I am missing in it. I got rid of my beloved car and house, I gave away many things that felt really important to me. I don't miss anything!! I do need my cell phone, computer, and my dog, and maybe some clothes. Everything else I can really live without.
 
3.) Not having that itch in the back of my head that I am wasting time or not doing something really cool with my time on the planet. Everyone's goals and comfort levels are different; this dream of mine is not the dream for everyone. There are many discomforts involved as well--but for me, I dreamed about living on a beach since I was a teenager and spent a lot of time daydreaming about palm trees and warm weather. I always got mad this time of year that I was preparing to hibernate for yet another depressing winter. I would think at every milestone date that I wasn't doing anything new or different, and my behaviors weren't matching what I really wanted for myself. That feeling has dissipated :)
4.) I already mentioned this, and I don't mean to be smug, but I HATE HATE HATE winter. This is the first time in my 37 years that I will not have impending doom this time of year that winter is coming and everything sucks. I used to get very upset when weather would ruin things because great days were few and far between. Now I don't bat an eyelash!
5.) I have also gotten a feeling of confidence in overcoming all the objections that make a person NOT follow their dreams. I DID give up a lot to come here and I was really scared and insecure at times, but I did it anyway because I trusted my gut. It has made me better able to set boundaries and limits and say no, and be more bold and confident.
6.) The international friends we have made down here, and the ability to walk down any night of the week to a beach bar and meet new people has been spectacular. I love people and new friends, and we have made some friendships already that make us feel at home. We had a barbecue before our last trip to Cleveland and nearly 20 people came, from all walks of life and all over the world, and I am able to think about and talk about things I didn't even know I was interested in!

7.) Some randoms--the sound and smell of the beach everyday, wearing beach clothes and never having to dress up, being tan, walking or biking everywhere, being around tourists in great moods, seeing my dog able to be outside all the time without shivering and also bringing him everywhere with me, seeing and hearing palm trees, and farmer's markets...among many others :)

8.)Really getting a chance to start over with new routines, rethinking what goals are really important, not getting caught up in the grind and boredom, (really a complete lack of boredom), seeing what I am really made of and pushing through challenges in a new way.

What I miss... 

1.) Air conditioning.
 
2.) Feeling clean all the time.
3.) Calling people when I feel like it and not thinking about the bad connection on my cell.
4.) Whole Foods.
5.) Of course, family and friends. This is the biggest. Especially after this last spectacular visit, the easy connections, history, old inside jokes, comfort level....we really, really, miss them.

6.) Cleveland has been on fire and is pretty much awesome in every way. It has shed its bad attitude about itself and new fun things are happening all the time. We missed the boat on our timing there.
7.) Target-the store. I love going to one place and knowing what I am going to see there. It is a crapshoot here and you can't count on finding freaking anything.

8.) That comfortable routine that I said I hated....I knew when it was time to work, when it was time to relax, there was a comfortable stability in that. If I have an off day here it is up to me and only me to pull it together-no external structure.
9.) Knowing that if there is an emergency, the US is where you want to be. It does sit in the back of your mind that the police and medical presence here is not what we come to expect in the US.
10.) Good roads :) and, good drivers with police to enforce them.
11.) Knowing that if I see a stray dog, I can call someone and get it taken care of. Here, you do occasionally see animals that are hurting and if you have a soft spot for them, it is like watching a Sarah Maclachlin (sp?) commercial that you can't turn off. Same of course with poverty...
12.) Not having to worry about getting passport stamps and other residency requirements that we take for granted as a citizen.
13.) For Dave's sake he would say--FAST FOOD!
14.) Indoor gyms.
These are not weighted in any way, some are a big deal and some are not. Overall....I am ecstatic at this choice. I would never have gotten rid of the itch to move away, and no matter what happens, this experience has been worth it 100%!!!!!


3 comments:

  1. I love this post! My husband and I have been long dreaming of moving from Ohio and Belize is one of the places we are considering. We too hate, hate, hate Ohio winters and all the gloomy days. Thank you for your personal thoughts on moving and for writing this wonderful blog! Donna

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  2. Thanks Donna!! Look us up when you come down :)

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  3. Great comments Laura!
    Thanks for sharing...
    Dave

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