It’s just my life…


I feel like I’m running out of things to write about. When I began writing this blog the subject of making a decision to expatriate and to start a whole new life in another country was a very exciting, new and interesting thing to write about. Now that the flurry that was deciding, preparing and then actually making this move to Panama is done, I’m just living my life. It’s nearly ten months that we’ve been settling into this new life here. We’ve accomplished a lot in those ten months, for sure. After landing in Panama, making our way with our two cats to Boquete and then finding a place to live we had a very specific plan and so far we’ve been pretty successful in making our plan a reality. We wanted to create a life here and to build a home. Not just a physical ‘house’ but a ‘Home’. There are certain components to making a place a ‘home’. There is , of course the physical house where you live your day to day life but there’s also all the people that you connect with, and of course finding some sort meaning to your day to day life. For me, I’m still in that process , of finding out what that means for me….”Meaning” Hmmmmm. I’ve shared our process, the ups and the downs. And as of today, we seem to be just sort of ‘living’ our life.

The beginning of our relocation was filled with so many new and unknown things. I had a brief bout of ‘culture shock’ early on and we spent (and still spend) a lot of time and energy learning Spanish. We bought cars, Scott had hernia surgery, we got health insurance and it took a while to just re-establish ourselves with all the mundane things that we adults need to live our lives…things like a bank account, cell phone accounts, car insurance, blah blah blah. All those things that are a part of life. And we’re still trudging through the whole permanent visa process, which has taken much longer than we ever imagined it would take, I may add, not because of anyone but ourselves. All this to say, I feel like I’m beginning to have a hard time coming up with interesting things to write about. I mean, what’s so interesting about my day to day life? Not much, to be honest. I can write plenty of posts about the beauty of this place and the total glee that I feel when I look around. I can write about many, many of the things about living in Central America that are different than living in the U.S., that list is a long one to be sure! I hope I’m not boring you with my status reports on our little construction project. The challenges of employing 6 workers and all the work that goes into that each payday. Our progress with our Spanish language learning….that will never end! It seems to me, my life is just that… Is it really that much different, aside from taking place in a little town in the mountains of Panama?

I could continue to share about all the changes we’ve experienced in our priorities. That is certainly something that’s changed greatly for us. Given the fact that we’ve scaled down on our living expenses and our material possessions, how much money we made each week is thankfully, not on the forefront of our minds. Do we have enough money this month for the mortgage, and how will we ever save enough money for taxes during the holidays? Then, digging out of the debts from all that extra spending…Yikes! The stress and anxiety I used to feel because of the necessity to make enough money is gone…thankfully. We have greatly reduced our monthly expenses and gotten our life into a much less cluttered and money driven state. Our monthly expenses are not on the top of my mind every single day. I don’t’ wake up counting in my head how much money I will make that day. This alone has lightened my load and I still can’t believe how much happiness I have found in just removing that worry from my life. Of course we had to sell everything and remove ourselves from all that was familiar in order to find the peace of mind that we’ve found. Leaving all the people in my life has been the greatest sacrifice of all. Even though I’ve connected with so many truly wonderful new friends here, nothing can immediately replace the relationships with those people who I share a history with. It takes years to develop those connections with friends and there’s something really special about having that shared ‘history’ with people. I find myself going through little spurts of feeling like I ‘need’ to connect in some small way with my friends who really ‘know’ me. When those moments hit me I can spend an entire morning sending text messages or emails or just reading Facebook Posts. Most of the people I try to maintain a connection with text me back or send me an email responding to my desire to continue our connection.

As you can probably tell, from my lack of recent posts, I’m going through a bit of a ‘blogging shift’. Questioning myself about weather or not I’ve got anything very interesting to write about. My ‘new’ life doesn’t feel so ‘new’ to me as a matter of fact it’s beginning to feel just like any ‘ordinary’ life. Not that there isn’t anything interesting to share but when everything was new and felt totally different I was energized and excited to share all that. Oh….I’m just venting to myself. Nothing to worry about, I’m still enjoying writing and I’m just in a transitional period, once again. Finding myself feeling the shift from feeling so much excitement each and everyday with all the newness of my move to finding myself settling into a routine and a very peaceful life. I used to hurry to my iPad every time I had a new experience, ready to share it and write about it. And now that the days are taking on a familiar rhythm It’s not so easy to come up with subjects that seem share-worthy. πŸ™‚ Who really wants to hear about my routine or my rather uneventful days that seem to fly by. One thing I know is, when I first decided to start blogging I felt a new passion for writing . A passion that felt similar to my love of reading. I plan to continue writing and blogging but right now I’m having a bit of a lag in my ideas of what to write and share. I still really love to write, and I want to keep doing it. I think It’s just going to take a bit more of an effort to come up with things to write about.

Ha! Its funny…I just stopped to read back what I’ve written so far and for a gal whose writing about not having anything to write about, I sure have written a lot!! Ha! I crack myself up! This may well be just one more shift in my story. A shift from sharing about a new and exciting adventure to sharing about my life and just documenting , mostly for myself, things that strike me as noteworthy or interesting or simply things I feel like writing about. One things for certain, I’ve found a new passion in writing and I hope to continue to nurture it and see where it goes for me. I think that my chosen subject, Our New Adventure, which is the premise for this blog may be making me feel limited about what to write about. Who knows where I may decide to veer? But I think ‘Veering” is what I may just need to do! As I’m writing about this I’m realizing that I need to give myself permission to get creative and to just write whatever pops into my head and enjoy the process. Yea, that’s just what I need to do…. Okay, thinking cap is on, let’s see where this “Adventure” takes me….Cheers Mi Amigos!


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! :)

11 responses »

  1. Hi Holly,

    Just write. I have been following your blog since your move to Panama. You have a gift for writing and I would miss your musings on life if you were to stop.

    On a personal note, I would find more information on your trials and tribulations of building a house in Panama interesting, also lots of photos of the project would also be useful to me. I anticipate moving to Panama one day and I would like to build my own home. So I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for any tidbits of information.

    Please keep up the good work,

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Kevin, thank you so much for your encouragement! I really needed it and I gotta say, after I wrote that post a bunch of ideas of things to write about just come tumbling into my head!! And I’ll keep you in mind in terms of my construction posts and take lot’s of photos for you! It’s a big adventure, for sure, building a house here. Scott is on a very big learning curve and having to do a lot of research online. There have been a few materials that he has not been able to find, like something called Pex? Its some kind of flexible tubing for plumbing? He finally caved in and just ordered some from the States! We’re trying our best to use what is available here but they mostly use PVC pipe for plumbing and he was not willing to do that! So, I’ll write a post about things like that soon! Cheers!

      • I just wonder why you did not rent for a while. Just give yourself time to make the adjustment.
        Learn Spanish, and make sure you wanted to build. I read one Blog where a guy ordered,
        shock for his motorcycle, and it cost him $200 to ship to Panama. Getting building supplies
        from the states, could really cost a lot. Building a home is a big project. Hope it all goes good
        for you. Any time frame on completing this project? Because of my age I would not build, but
        rent. You and Scott are younger and will have the time to see this through. I like reading
        your blog, keep up the good work.


      • Hola Mike! Thanks for the comment. Well, we had been researching this move for about 7 years and had visited the area several times as well as traveling to many other places before making the move. We also have a lot of experience building houses, my husband is a contractor. We knew that Boquete was where we would settle so there was no question we would want to build instead of simply going the much easier rout of buying an already built home. If we bought a house already built we would remodel it so , we figured why bother. We may as well build exactly what we want and be happy. Not to mention the fact that we actually enjoy the process and the final outcome of doing this ourselves. We get great joy from creating something with our own two hands. As far as the cost of materials, we are trying to mostly purchase materials that we can readily find here in Panama. There may end up being a few minor things that we may decide to get from the States but not much. Your right, it can get very costly to ship things from the States and we want to avoid that as much as possible. For most people I would say that your plan of renting for awhile before investing in property is the way to go, but the way we have done it has felt right for us. There’s not ever one way to do a move and relocation like this that is right for everyone. We have spoken to so many other folks who would never ever want to buy, they much prefer to rent and not be responsible for owning a home. And I think that’s great! We all have our priorities and I suspect the fact that we have chosen to do this at such a relatively young age probably makes us much more inclined to diving into such a big project head first! πŸ™‚ As far as a time frame for completion….ha! I’ve got no idea! Scott just loves to say, “It’s done when it’s done” Humph!! The Humph is my response to that!!! LOL!! That’s for letting me know that you enjoy following my blog, sometimes I wonder if anyone is paying attention….Cheers! Holly

  2. Oh Holly, you are so funny. What I like about your posts the most is that you write what is happening in your head at the time you are writing. That’s a gift. Your honesty is refreshing, your posts are fantastic, and most of all you are generously sharing your thoughts with us…the good, the bad, and the ugly! I’ve been writing my blog for 3 years, now and I often have writer’s block. Here’s my little secret for ideas for posts. When I find something interesting on the internet that pertains to Nicaragua, I save the article in Evernote. Then, I add a new post with the title, and the links to the article. Then, I save it in my draft folder for when I run out of ideas. I have about 25 saved drafts. So, I can always go back when I have writer’s block and write a post in my draft folder. It helps me a lot, but I feel that you won’t ever have to do that. Keep writing, keep laughing. πŸ™‚

  3. Holly, your blog my seem mundane to you at times, however you have a talent for writing and that is your new calling for now. Having the time to sit and just write about what is going on there in Panama getting all the thing you need to have such as your permanent visa is what is so important.

    Others thinking about doing what you and Scott have done really need to know these things. Building a house there and all you have to do to accomplish that is going to help a lot of others.

    I am so proud of you and Scott I love knowing what you do daily makes me feel like I am there with you.

    Keep on writing my Sunshine girl. Love You Mom xxxxooo

  4. I know just how you feel! When I was blogging about life in Panama, I even said those same words to family back in the States who wanted to know why I was slowing down my posts — It’s nothing exciting, I said, it’s just my life! But, YOUR twist on things is always fresh and unique and honest, and I hope you continue to write about whatever pops into your head!

  5. That is funny, an essay about having nothing to say πŸ˜€ Seriously, I think it happens to all of us. I go through spells where I have nothing to say, and then the next thing I know I have too much and I have to get caught up again. Maybe we all need a little break now and then, and then we get recharged again.

  6. So glad you found something to write about πŸ™‚ I concur with all of the other comments here – even if you think you’re falling into a bit of a routine down there in Boquete, it’s still so fascinating to see how your story is evolving and how you’re making your new home. Especially for those of us following in your footsteps!! And you really do have a knack for expressing yourself; it pulls the reader right in. Keep it up, GF!

  7. Holly, remember that blogging exercise where you had to project yourself into future and imagine your life then? What you wrote then sounded more to me like the life of a person who had finished assimilating. You are definitely not there yet! Over time your life will evolve more in that direction, but your day-to-day travails today still tell us all so much about how utterly immersive and fresh your Panama experience remains. It ain’t over till it’s over, girl! And when you finally decide it is… why not start a new blog on a different topic?

    • Hola Kim! Ha! your right! and you know what…as soon as I published that post about running out of things to write about a huge list of ideas popped into my little head! That’s so funny! Love ya!!

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