It’s happening again. We’re starting to feel at home in this place — in yet another incredible part of the world. We’re banking good times with good people, living into our neighborhood, recognizing our favorite places to be and things to do and slowly forming our tribe.
This time around, the process has been a little harder on us all. The girls are onto our nomadic ways and understandably hesitant to put down roots for fear of having them yanked up haphazardly again (one of the steepest prices we pay for this lifestyle). Their ages are coming into play in ways that weren’t really factors when we first headed south. This town’s vibe is a little less conducive to meeting folks, we spend more time in cars and their school is too far away to use as the default center of our circle.
Nevertheless, we knew it was just a matter of time before we stumbled upon like-minded folks, and that’s the bulk of what it takes for us to settle into a place. A close second would have to be walk and bikeability (which we have) followed by an abundance of natural beauty (goes without saying here) and access to products and services we feel good about supporting (and we’re finding those, too).
We now have:
- a reputable butcher
- a cheese maker
- access to local honey and cacao
- relationships with the trabajadores at our local bike, school supply and hardware stores
- friendships with a good many beach proprietors
- juice and tapas bars within walking distance
- special treatment at our favorite ceviche spot
- and plenty of alternatives to the big box grocers.
This weekend I even met a woman who makes soap! (A big deal considering how heavily perfumed all the store-bought products are here, and how difficult it is to find the supplies to make your own.) She’s got body soap, dish soap, even laundry soap. Perfect timing, considering that we just bought a washing machine.
- I need to ditch my car and ride my bike whenever possible. It’s a total game changer.
- There is no reason I have to write from home every day.
- It’s no one’s fault but my own if I don’t take advantage of things like $4 beach yoga and salsa lessons.
- There are plenty of opportunities here for me to deepen my understanding of poverty within the indigenous population, I just have to put it out there. (Done.)
- This place is going to be what we make it and “awesome” is totally possible.
The real gem of the week though, is that I finally weeded out the last of my resistance. Not that I’d been consumed by or especially angsty about it, but it’s always obvious that we’re not fully settled into a place when Hunter is watching earthship videos every night while I torture myself with futile google searches like, “most walkable small towns in the US,” and “off-grid permaculture developments” and “liberal Spanish speaking mountain towns under 100,000 people with live music, an active food movement and good public schools including universities.” Googling Utopia = self-torture for the idealist infected with wanderlust.
The catalysts for my acceptance?
A conversation with an Austin friend stuck in traffic with her kids as reminder of what I don’t miss (because oh, how we miss our Austin people), a bike ride to the beach for early-morning yoga…
…and a jungle BBQ littered with tell-tale signs that our people are here, too.
Feels good to be home.
“Deny not Heaven. It is yours today, but for the asking. Nor need you perceive how great the gift, how changed your mind will be before it comes to you. Ask to receive, and it is given you. Conviction lies within it. Till you welcome it as yours, uncertainty remains.” ~A Course in Miracles