How does one make a huge decision like moving to a new state or new country? What are the steps that need to be taken to assure a “good” decision, as much as it is possible? Well … let’s explore this together!
Wide Open Unknown Adventure
I’m taking the leap myself, and as a professional Counselor and Coach, I am using all the tools I know to make myself comfortable and stay excited about the adventure ahead instead of falling prey to the fear of the unknown. I’ll share as I go, ok?
My first thoughts were of what I want my life to be like; how I want it to be different than it currently is. What I mean by that is, that I have noticed as I mature, that constantly running in high gear to keep up, to be involved, to grow my business, to maintain a social life, to meet the demands of society as they constantly change, feels like more and more pressure. Can I just say I’m tired of the same old rat race? And more importantly I don’t see it slowing down or becoming easier over time. So … I began thinking about moving out of the country where life seems easier and less stressed – for me.
The internet is helpful to say the least. I found an ex-patriot organization that provides reports on cost of living, medical services, infrastructure and all sorts of things and joined that for their reports and updates. I checked into their forums and subscribed to their magazine and watched tons of videos on local rentals and lifestyles for expats. I google mapped towns of interest and took virtual trips with google earth tours. That was fun.
But as I became acclimated to these tools and interactions I became confused and worried. Leaving friends and family behind to go live with foreign speaking, unfamiliar lifestyles, on my own was daunting and quelled my spirited enthusiasm some. So I did my due diligence.
I meditated, prayed, queried myself deeply. It seemed obvious I had to understand in reality what I was willing to let go of and what I wasn’t, because even with that clearly answered, there would always be unknown issues in foreign lands that I could not know ahead of time. Having moved from California to Texas when I was young and pregnant with my first born, gave me some insight as to how it feels to be up against intolerable scenarios without familiar surroundings and influences. What I know now is, that it is good to know yourself better than I did at 21!
So, step 1 in a process like making a huge move to an unknown place is, PLAY WITH IT! Go shopping and pay close attention to your internal feelings and reactions to what you find in your research.
For instance, I love Greece. Fell in love with it’s exquisite beauty on a visit years ago and have always wanted to go back and spend some serious time lounging in that atmosphere. But, when I think about living there – waking up there every morning, going shopping there, building a long term, daily life there I found myself feeling foreign, out of place. I mean, feeling like an outsider visiting. I could not imagine being a resident long term and being comfortable. I couldn’t feel it being my home. Having grown up in California which is majorly Mexican in flavor, it was obvious to me that I feel very comfortable with the Latin culture, generally.
Follow that internal search for a while. It will help you sort out your personal values: what’s important to you and what isn’t; what you know you need and what you can live without. How much difference can you tolerate and how much similarity do you need, to make somewhere new your home? Be realistic. Think about the mundane of your life, not just the excitement of your grand new idea. Think about the things you never think about or take for granted.
One day, having been in deep, internal conversation with myself on the subject, for a while now, I noticed an invitation to join an Intentional Sustainable Community. Wow! That triggered an immediate, response that quickly turned into action. I called the number listed expecting to leave a message. But no. suddenly I was in a conversation with a man that spoke my language (literally and figuratively) and we were engrossed in a lengthy exploration of the situation.
This was really resonating with me even though geographically it held no previous appeal. The attention I had given my inner responses was informing me quickly that geography is not the major feature of what I’m looking for! I’m not running away from society. I’m looking for a gentle freedom. I’m not looking for a hide out away from the world. My nature is one of helping, influencing, learning, teaching, expanding and making a positive difference in the world … hence my profession, eh? I love people energy and I want simplicity and ease with enough freedom to enjoy each day. I want to LIVE… don’t you?
So, without throwing out my plan to move to South America, I have made an informed decision to do a big “practice move” first. This allows me to commit myself to major change in every way except language and without dealing with immigration and foreign residency issues.
I’m joining this Intentional Sustainable Community in the Colorado high desert where I will have to learn many new ways of being and doing, in an environment foreign to me, with people that are like me: committed to making a better life for themselves and others. A model if you will, of what we can do, right here in this country if we want to. It is centered around an Internet Advertising Company, a Destination Wedding and Corporate Retreat Center
This Community offers unlimited work, a small town that is newly dedicated to growing in a sustainable way with high standards, excellent ethics and common values. I’ll make new friends, be involved in new growth and fulfill my personal need to simplify my life and my work, by finding new ways to do what I do! We’re building restaurants, housing, hospitality services, hydroponic organic gardens and whatever YOU bring to the table too! Sounds like a perfect adventure with lots of room to practice huge change without giving up all aspects of life as I’ve known it.
If you’re thinking about changing your lifestyle, making a move to something better, or trying to find a place where your talents and skills will be appreciated and useful, I’m inviting you to check out this opportunity too. We’re looking for artists, creative businesses, writers, bloggers, designers and just about anything you can think of. There’s plenty of room for everyone!
And now, I’m into the next step: Figuring out what to keep and what to let go… and how to say good bye. That’s for next post!
(323) 207-0151 / www.StanleePanelleCoaching.com
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