Casa Carter Continues To Evolve…


Rainbows in Boquete never stop amazing me!

Rainbows in Boquete never stop amazing me!

Four weeks from now we will be living up there in our new house. Four weeks! Wont be long now! Yesterday was Easter and we had some friends up for a wonderful Brunch. We took a stroll up to the house to show them our progress and I was telling them how nice it will be to finally be settled into our home. Thinking about finally settling into our new house makes me think about just how transient this last few years have felt for us, well, by ‘US’, I actually mean “Me”! I don’t think Scott’s really been phased by all this moving around, I’m much more of a ’nester’ than him. But, I was thinking about how our journey began way before we even set foot in Panama.

That entire last year when we were living in Los Altos it felt as if we had already uprooted our lives. As we began to prepare not only our life but also all our friends and family for our departure, our comfy little home was upside-down. We started the process of choosing a real estate agent, and interviewing real estate stagers. And Scott went full throttle working on the completion of all that needed to be finished to turn our house into a show place. I had my business of thirty years I needed to sell, my clients needed to be transitioned to a new stylist. That stylist, Elisabeth, who most of my cherished clients were going to be switching to needed my support in terms of sharing with her all the color formulations, as well as all the little quirks and secrets to making them all happy as they moved from my chair to hers. That last year was full of more preparation than anyone really realized was going on. Each night when I got home I would spend the evenings pulling things out of all the nooks and cranny’s in the house and sorting through what would need to be donated, sold and given away to friends. I began making piles all over the place. I spent endless time on the computer scanning photo albums so that I didn’t need to take so many with us to our new home. I had the huge task, well, I should say “We” had the huge task… of taking all my Halloween decorations down from the attic, sorting through it all and subsequently selling most of it. We had to make decisions about exactly what possessions we would be taking with us and what we needed to get rid of.
Everything began to feel disorganized and scattered… our home was slowly becoming not so much ‘our’ home anymore. But, that was just the beginning….

an enchanting sunset seen from the terrace of the house..

an enchanting sunset seen from the terrace of the house..

During that last year before our move we were so caught up in the excitement of the moment that I didn’t realize just how much our life as we knew it had already changed permanently. We may not have moved to Panama quiet yet, but our adventure had already started and I think that moving into our new house here in Jaramillo is about to mark a huge milestone for us. As May approaches and we near our three year anniversary of living in Panama, its actually been more like four years since we’ve been able to feel like we could really ’settle’ in. By the time we move into our new house we will have moved about seven times since leaving our house in Los Altos. This counts the apartment we lived in while our house was on the market, then the hotel we lived in for the last week or so before packing up our rental car and driving ourselves to the airport. Our journey to get to our new house which we will soon be living in has been a massive undertaking. I’m really looking forward to finally being able to unpack all our belongings that have been in storage for so long and to settling in to our new house. This is it! We planned this and dreamed about it and we’ve worked so hard and in a few short weeks we’ll finally be there.
Scott & I enjoying our Easter Brunch with friends..

Scott & I enjoying our Easter Brunch with friends..

Even though we’ll be moving into our new house before its totally finished the excitement of finally living there is beyond exciting. It seems like not long ago we were macheteing our way up the hill to even get to the property. I remember our first attempt at driving my car up the dirt path covered in plants that were taller than the car. As we mowed through the brush with the car and gingerly drove over big rocks while carefully navigating unseeable potholes I remember being torn between feeling so excited that we had finally found our own piece of dirt to build a home and feeling full of trepidation about just how wild it seemed to me. I must admit to putting a ton of trust in Scott and in his confidence that we were making the right decision buying such an undeveloped piece of property to build on. I vividly recall the day we held the title to this land in our hands, we had no way of knowing for sure just what challenges awaited us. Back then it felt as though it might be ages before we’d be able to even get our car up here, and we certainly had zero idea what it would take to get water, electricity and all the modern amenities that make life for us feel civilized. All we knew for sure was that one day we would call this wild place our home. 🙂

As I write about our impending move to our new house and reminisce about what we’ve gone through this far, I must admit I’m pretty darn proud of us. I’m so proud of being a couple who dreams together and who actually makes those dreams a reality. I hope I’m not sounding like a big fat bragger but I can’t help feeling so friggin’ grateful to have set our sights on something so exciting and new and that we’ve been willing to sacrifice and work hard together in order to achieve a goal that makes us so happy. There have been many people from our former life who have told us how ‘lucky’ we are, but in reality I gotta say… ‘luck’ has very little to do with where we are today. I firmly believe we make our life what it is by the choices we’ve made. Some of those choices , for us, have been extremely hard ones, and the results of our crazy choices have culminated in a ton of extremely hard work. But because of all of this hard work we’re realizing our dreams and making them happen together.

We’ve set out on this wild adventure to create a lifestyle that’s uniquely ours and we certainly don’t expect that everyone who’s watched us from afar would be up for this particular adventure themselves. Which is why its so awesome that life has endless possibilities and each one of us gets to choose which ride to take. But one really cool thing for us about living as Expats here in Boquete is that we find ourselves surrounded by others who are of the same mindset as us. We’re not so unique here in Boquete! As I love to repeat again and again…a good friend here tells me ..”We’re all Here because we’re not all There”! Hahaha! Life is good…he says that too! But those words are more true to me today than ever before…Life is truly good!


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! :)

8 responses »

  1. Holly these two sentences say it all:

    “There have been many people from our former life who have told us how ‘lucky’ we are, but in reality I gotta say… ‘luck’ has very little to do with where we are today. I firmly believe we make our life what it is by the choices we’ve made.”

    Life is about choices, regardless of circumstance.

    You could make the choice to be happy with what you have, instead of wishing for something you don’t. You could make the choice to complain every time something goes wrong or learn from it. You could make a choice to sit and wish for something to change, instead of taking steps toward the change.

    If that is “luck” then I say; “Phooey!” That is a choice. The “luck” is that you realized that you had a choice, and you made it.

  2. I so agree with Indacampo’s comment! Life is about making choices and making your dreams happen. You are blessed in that knowledge and have a wonderful outlook on life. I’ve been following you for some time now and can see from afar how lovely you both are. 😉

  3. What an adventure you two! It sounds like a roadmap of how to completely and utterly change your life. Congrats on your (almost) finished house, can’t wait to see it.

  4. HI Holly!

    Love your post! I read all of them and love keeping up with what you guys are doing. T and I bought a house and we feel like we are building a new house from the inside out. Renovations in every room. We are living on the Lanai.

    I will write more soon!



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