Last year I felt like someone took my life – a pretty steady, routine life of the past seven years – and turned it upside down; basically the equivalent of flipping over a box of Smarties and giving it a few shakes to make sure every last piece came out.
I could see it coming, this big change on the horizon (my separation) and I was terrified of it. But once everything was all shook up, I found myself feeling this amazing lightness I hadn’t experienced in a long time; a feeling I’d all but given up on ever reclaiming again. That feeling was freedom…sigh*.
I basically ended up leaving my life behind to spend the year divvied up between Costa Rica and Australia. It was the best year of my life and I found two new places that I could call home; two places that had so much of what I felt I was missing in my North American life. The problem that came up (and this is what they like to call a ‘first world problem’. I don’t know if I hate this term yet? But it works…) is that at the end of the year I felt really torn. I was free. I had this amazing second chance at life, that I never knew I would get and I could choose anything I wanted…so what do I choose?
The world is so global now. It’s so easy to jet off somewhere tomorrow if you want and stay connected to everything and everyone back home (Facetime is my saviour). If you’re not happy with where you are, nowadays you can change that. It’s kind of a miracle really. If you’ve never felt like you fit in back home i.e. you’re an introvert in an extroverted society or an inner-rasta in a suit-and-tie culture, you can pack your bags and find your place. It can really be that simple, all you have to do is try.
So after spending the most amazing year split between Costa Rica and Australia, I’m starting the new year in Panama, with plans to explore Brazil. I’ve got my second-year visa ready to go back to Oz if that’s what I decide to do before the year ends. I’m torn right now between the idea of a very-different Latin life and a best-of-both-world’s Australian life. I’m not sure yet if I’m someone who needs to retain some of the comforts of home (with the additions of the sun, heat and surf) or if I’m really up to navigating life in a non-English speaking country, that will test me in ways I’ve never been tested before. I’m leaving in three days and I’m really excited to find out…one thing is for sure, it’s going to be the ride of my life 🙂