Another Year Done, A Fresh New Beginning Ahead!



It’s nearing New Years Eve and I find myself thinking about the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. It seems so easy to reminisce about all the endings and lasts but it’s much preferable to think about all the good, positive happenings of 2012! 2012 has been filled with many wonderful memories and monumental achievements , accomplishments and milestones. 2012 was a very peaceful year for me. I feel peaceful when those I’m closest to are happy and healthy. 2012 has been a year of learning and experiencing new things. It’s also been a year of life changing decisions for us. It’s been the year we finalized our decision to change everything in our life, including our address, and begin a new chapter in our life.

Mariah has been pursuing her own path and what a pleasure it is to witness her ability to support herself and provide herself with a lifestyle she can be proud of ! It makes me take a big sigh of relief! Ahhhhh! She’s gonna be ok! I don’t like to say I’m ‘proud’ of her because all the ‘pride’ belongs , rightly , to her! Everything she is today , she owns because she ‘decided’ to choose a healthy, productive path and abandon the self destructive one she was on. I will never cease to be deeply, indescribably happy for every success she achieves, big or small. She’s strong, ambitious, courageous , confident, driven , honest, kind, generous, I could go on and on and on and on, but you get the idea! She has become a beautiful person and she continues to learn from her life experiences, facing challenges with grace , kindness and integrity . For as we all know , life never stops providing bumps in the road as opportunities to learn and grow! This has been a great year for me as a mom, I feel like that kid is officially cooked! She’s well done! I feel free to get back to focusing on taking care of me , my own life awaits!

Another memory from 2012 that makes me smile is Pat living with us. ( yea, I know, I’ve said this before but it’s true!) I think it was 15 months that we all three lived together. I’m grateful to have had those 15 months together. It was so good for us all to live under the same roof . Sharing meals, cooking together, cleaning together, gardening together, shopping together, watching TV together, creating memories I hold close to my heart. Most people never get the opportunity (or even wish for the opportunity!) to live with their mother in law but I feel blessed to have had a very positive experience. The only regret that I have is that it had to end. Endings are never easy, especially this one!

This year Scott and I finally made our final decision about what country we would move to . After six or seven years of intense research and many exploratory trips all over South and central America we decided to make Boquete Panama the destination of our new home. Having made this decision really snapped us into action and we began in earnest to prepare our exit strategy . It seems like we went from research mode to preparing to move mode overnight ! But in reality it’s been a slow and gradual work in progress for many years. 2012 has been a year of exciting transition for us while our friends and family have adjusted to the idea of our imminent departure. This kind of life change is not easy , obviously , there are still many decisions to be made and countless things yet to do. As I’ve said before, it’s the journey that is the destination soooo wow!! It’s quite a destination indeed!

This year I started writing my blog! Many unexpected , blessings have resulted from blogging! First I’ve discovered how much I love writing! I’ve gotten an incredible amount of encouragement and support from countess friends about my writing. All the people who care about me the most are genuinely enjoying my ramblings and they all care enough to tell me how much they enjoy it! It’s very touching and rewarding beyond description. The other unexpected blessing my blog has provided are the connections to other bloggers who have already made the exciting leap into the world of living as an expat. The support, encouragement , and invaluable advice so generously given to me through other bloggers has been a surprise I never expected! I have met , through my blog , expats in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama. I’ve discovered a community of people ( bloggers) who enjoy sharing their adventures and offering never ending support for our impending adventure! I look forward to meeting all these beautiful people who’s words and photography touch my heart everyday. Bloggers Rock!!!๐Ÿ˜„. 2012 will always be the year I made this discovery.

We have been talking about moving away to another country someday for a very long time. Im not sure if all the people in our life thought we were serious about actually making it a reality. If they had stopped to remember other seemingly crazy ideas we hatched like, when we began talking about tearing down our house and having Scott ( at that time a finance guy with no formal construction experience whatsoever !) design and build it on his own,( really, on his own, meaning no contractors !) . We made that a reality! A reality that has dragged on, and on and on…. But a reality nonetheless ! Or when we decided to learn how to sail so we could charter a boat in Greece with our friends and sail around the islands on our own ( there was a ‘near-death experience involved in this plan , but, hey! our friends are still our friends and we obviously survived so we consider this adventure a success!) . Most , normal people would just charter a boat with an experienced captain but why be like everybody else?, We have a history of coming up with uncommon ideas that few would actually follow through with, and actually making it happen. Alas! Panama, here we come!!! 2012 has been the year we will remember as the year our plan and long term dream actually began to take shape .

Let’s not forget that 2012 is the year I FINALLY got cabinets in my house! Many friends and family have felt desperately sad for me all these years because I had no drawers in my bathroom no cabinet doors in my kitchen, no baseboards and no frames around any interior doors( the shims hanging out around the door in my bathroom made a great robe hook!) . And now that the house is finally nearing it’s completion and looking so beautiful we are preparing to sell it! Yes, we will say,”Goodbye!”, to this house and ,”Hello!” to a new home in Boquete ! In 1994 I bought a little 1,200 sq. ft. house and in 2013, I’m selling a 3,000 sq. ft. house which is allowing us to begin a new and exciting adventure in Panama. My Dad is smiling in heaven because he was the one who helped me buy this property all those years ago before he passed away. He would be pleased to know that his investment afforded us such an exciting new beginning. It will be hard to leave a house that holds so many special, significant memories. But as we close a door we open a new one and enter into a new and exciting adventure!

Seeing Mariah blossom into a beautiful capable young women, enjoying meaningful time with Pat, nearing the fulfillment of a long term goal of becoming expats, seeing the completion of our house, and discovering blogging and the welcoming community of blogging expats, are but a few of the things I am grateful for as this year comes to an end. I have high hopes for 2013! We have a lot of exciting adventures ahead of us ! I have much to be grateful for and even more to look forward to in the year to come. Sooooo Let’s Get This Adventure Going!!! I Wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR๐ŸŽ‰

About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

4 responses »

  1. I surely remember those years when Mariah had you, theoretically at least, tearing your hair out! It is so good to know that she has turned the corner and is now on a good path.

  2. Happy New Year and a wonderful 2013, Panama is lucky to have such a wonderful couple coming to live. I know you will make firm friends there and I know you will make a great life. How could it be that Mariah would not be all those wonderful things with a Role Model like you. They say the first 6 years make the adult, bumps as a teenager happen sometimes.

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