I notice, as you may have as well , that I often refer to our future life abroad with various adjectives such as ‘Exciting’, ‘New’ and let’s not forget,’Adventure’! Let me assure you, I suffer no illusions of grandeur about the realities of everyday life living in a new place. I tend to focus on the positive and some may say, optimistic aspects especially while writing about our new life. Naturally! But, I also realize that after we get through this long stage of planning, preparing and strategizing, ‘actual’ life will begin in earnest. Reality will set in and it will not always be great or exciting , even the ‘new’ will begin to fade. Just like life in general, there’s no good without a bit of bad.
After Scott and I find a home to rent and buy a car and get our home set up there will most likely be quite a lot of adjusting to face. Adjusting to many aspects and cultural differences that I’m sure will be hard at first. We will have to adjust to what food is available in the markets and where to find essentials. Some items that we assume are ,’essentials’, will possibly become a long lost memory of another life. (“Goodbye, Alterna hair products!”.) We will not find all the exact same household goods that we have here in the states. And it will be a process to figure out alternatives that work for us. We will likely change many things that we haven’t even thought of yet. Although, in David, which is the city about 30 minutes away, there is a Price Mart, which we are told is actually Costco. So we may be pleasantly surprised by what we find available to these two Gringos !
One really big adjustment I’m already anticipating is not having a job to go to every single day. This makes me very nervous indeed! What will I do to fill my time? Will I find people to socialize with or endeavors that give me a sense of purpose ? Maybe nobody will like me!! 😥. These thoughts cross my mind. Silly, maybe, but true. I’ve only ever lived right here, I’m around people who have known me for a very long time, some my whole life. It will just take time, I realize this, but these thoughts do go through my mind in spite of what I ‘know’.
And developing a new set of friends and acquaintances will happen naturally, in time. There’s bound to be ONE person in Boquete that likes me! Right? Hah!
After awhile I bet when the newness wears off and we settle in to the reality of our new life , there will be things that we struggle with. I suspect , for me anyways, language will be my biggest challenge . Although my plan is to enroll in Spanish school as soon as possible , living in a place where the majority of the locals don’t speak my language will become tiring. Hopefully this only motivates me to learn ! I’m not sure what Scott’s big challenge will be, I’ll let you know when he discovers it for himself. And I’m sure he’ll discover ‘something’ in his ‘new & exciting’ new life that challenges his ever so patient and calm demeanor ! Stay tuned!
All this to say, ” I know our new life won’t always be,”New” “Exciting” or Adventurous” !”. Our new life will challenge us and push us out of our box. It will force us to experience things we can’t plan for and we may get frustrated or angry at times. There may be moments when we wish we were back home around familiar people, places, food, language and culture. But we are aware of these very realistic feelings that will very likely crop up. And we are as prepared as we can be to face the good, the bad and the ugly! This move may not be something that you can EVER imagine yourself doing. Or maybe your watching us while, out of the corner of your mind you think ‘maybe’ I might do it someday. All I know is, for Scott and me it’s the most exciting, most difficult , exhilarating life decision we have made as a couple and we just can’t wait to get started! Well, I guess we have ‘started’, but we are so excited to be there , getting settled in and exploring exactly what we’ve gotten ourselves into this time!