Day 1…Writing 101….


I hope this doesn’t bore you too much…I have decided to participate in a writing exercise hosted by Word Press, the hosting site that I use to publish my blog. I Really love writing but I’m not a ‘Writer’, per-say… This post is my first attempt at participating in this four week long writing exercise. Word Press will be emailing a prompt daily for the next four weeks, so please be patient with me as I attempt this daily writing challange. Today is the first of these writing prompts and for the very first one I’m supposed to just write anything at all that comes to mind for twenty minutes! Yikes! So I thought it would be a good way to explain why I may be writing a bit more than I normally do. I’ll try my best to stay within the topic of my blog, but who knows what they may throw at me!

I’ve been publishing this blog for nearly three years. Not exactly sure how long, but I know I began to share my story about a year before we moved from California to Panama and now we’ve been living here in the Highlands of Panama for nearly two years! Wow! Can you believe that! Two years now! Sheesh! I wont be cliche and say “boy how time flies” cuz’ that is so obvious! hah! Well, Its been a really great two years and Scott and I are so looking forward to the future as well as just soaking up each moment of each day.

Why do I write? Well, I began to write in order to help all our friends and family better understand this wild plan to leave our life in California and move to Panama. And now that I’ve learned how much I love writing, I just cant stop! Its so very therapeutic for me. This move has been an incredible transition and writing about it really helps me to process all the changes that I’ve gone through. I’ve had so many different emotions to deal with as I have settled in to living in such a totally different place.

Every thing is so very different. Sights. Sounds. language. people . Friends. food. I could go on and on with a never ending list of how very different my life is now that I’m an expat living in a country other than my country of origin. I often think about what we have done, about the huge leap we have taken in making such a move. Scott (my husband) and I are just so pleased with our decision. But, that doesn’t stop me from missing my friends and my family who still live in California. There’s just no way to prepare for how you’ll feel after leaving all that you know.

A day does not pass that I don’t feel a tiny pang of sadness at missing people. I don’t think I really could ever have known before we moved just how hard it would be to realize that life goes on in Los Altos without me. And that even though my life has changed dramatically, everyone who is still back there is also changing and growing and having experiences that I no longer share with them. Its of course a natural progression to eventually begin to hear less and less from all the people who we left behind. Ugh…this aspect of moving to Panama has proven to be the one thing that tugs at my heart most. At first when we moved here,I was so excited and I just had so much I wanted to share with everyone… but then I sorta felt like I was sounding like I was just bragging about how happy and wonderful and exciting and new my life had become. I remember realizing at one point that when I talked to my friends in Ca. I needed to ask them more about themselves and try not to talk so much about my new Adventure here.

Its all such a process. Moving and creating a new life. But even thought I wanted to begin anew and that I’m loving all of it, I never wanted to lose the closeness to many of those who I once enjoyed talking to and spending time with. I’m slowly learning how to let go of my sadness and to accept that not only is my life here new, but my relationships with people from afar is also in need of a little bit of adjustment. I’m learning that for those who I love and feel connection with, there really is no need to talk or connect as we did when we lived near to each other. Good friendships can pick right up from where they left off….

If you don’t know me, you may be wondering why I am still , after two years of living abroad, processing my long distance relationships…well, thats because ,I’m 49 years old and have only ever lived in one place! yep! I’m one of the few people who didn’t move around a lot. And, We didn’t leave Ca because we were escaping a terrible life. We simply decided that we wanted a change. We wanted to retire early and begin anew and create a life of our own design in an entirely new and different place. We wanted an Adventure!

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. Awesome writing! I’m glad you’re enjoying yourselves in Panama. I look forward to seeing more of you writings. 🙂

  2. Enjoyed this post. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while but really should go to the beginning one of these days and read about your decision and the drivers of your move. There are so many people moving so many places and it’s so nice that the world can accommodate everyone’s ideas and different ways to reinvent their lives. What a great world!!

    • Thanks Suzi! I agree! It is so great that so many people decide to see this great big world there’s so much to learn to experience and it seems like such a sad thing to limit yourself to only experiencing one place. But, on the other hand, we all have such different perspectives in terms of what we enjoy in life, to each his own, ya know? Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy reading about my story….cuz’ I sure do love sharing it! Cheers!

  3. What are you talking about,Holly?? You ARE a writer, absolutely, with your own unique style that makes people feel what you are feeling. I look forward to reading what you come up with over the next month!!

  4. Holly, I agree with others here in that you are unique and already a writer. It is exciting for you to take on the Writing 101 challenge and we get to enjoy more posts. You have a wonderful story that you’ve been sharing here. I only lived in one place, too, a small little town and have lived within a 10 mile radius, haha. But we are ready to expand and live long term in the caribbean as I’m beginning to hate our cold weather 😦 We have gone to Jamaica and love Puerto Rico. I really want to check out Panama, too, and I’m living vicariously through others’ blogs of Panama.

    Many blessings to you and Scott!

  5. Hi Holly, thanks for your ramblings, I like the way you write … strong, and you shine through your words. I understand how you feel about leaving family, this happened to me leaving Michigan for Arizona a long time ago … an odd combination of missing them, lonliness and guilt for leaving, slipping away, losing touch … and the talking too much about your new life when you do reunite – as its natural to try to connect with them in terms of your new life – yet picking up that from their perspective they sense you are ‘bragging’ – when you are really just trying to share your new life – while they can not relate … as they are missing you and the way things were … with perhaps a twinge of jealously toward you for following that dream, and your sense of adventure. Thanks for the honesty …

  6. Hey Holly, don’t worry about writing too much, it is great to hear about all of it. We are still planning on coming to Panama ASAP. We have been getting the house ready to sell and getting rid of stuff. We will be listing it today! Have no idea how long it will take it to sell, I am torn. I want it to be right away but need time to wrap things up. Like you and Scott, Phil and I are looking for a new adventure. He is 70 and I am 66. With the way things are going here, we can’t afford to retire and still do all the things we want to do. In Panama, we can hike, bird, dive both oceans and be retired. Looking forward to sharing some wine with you guys, hopefully this year. Lin Hall

    • Hi Holly. I enjoy reading your blog and hearing about all your adventures. While I did not move from Los Altos, I also started a new adventure in retirement while keeping some friends and meeting new friends. BTW Meredith was married to Dan last year and they are expecting their first child this September. Keep writing and hope to see you next time you are back in California.

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