§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD.
Making a Big Move
Have you ever felt really nervous about a big move?
After nearly 7 years of living in house in a town in the Colombian Andes, I will be moving with my family to an apartment in Bogota, a bustling, traffic ridden capital city of over 8 million people.
I have wanted this for so long and yet I’m really nervous about it… kind of scared actually.
I haven’t lived in a big city like that in many years.
I haven’t lived in an apartment in 20 years (although this will be a swanky 2 story penthouse, so I’m not really complaining).
Even though it’s only 2 hours away (with traffic on most days; only an hour on Sundays when there’s no traffic), it feels like a REALLY HUGE move.
In some ways, I can’t believe it’s finally happening! We moved to Chia, our town from urban Massachusetts nearly 7 years ago for a year. At the time, it seemed fairly idyllic – green pastures, farms, lots of cows and gorgeous mountain views all around. Our “Year in Provence” except with lots of salsa.
I loved getting to know real Colombian culture, going for walks to the 400-year old town square and shopping in the local stores where everyone knew “the gringa”.
And yet, I always longed for big city pleasures – great restaurants, theater, and just the hustle and bustle of city life.
But there was always a reason to stay in Chia – the schools, the horseback riding, the lack of traffic.
Every time we went to the fancy parts of Bogota, I wistfully looked at the coffee shops and fancy stores full of gourmet food from around the world and wondered what it would be like to live there. Kind of like in urban Massachusetts, I imagined. I was both drawn to and repelled from the familiar.
Over the past 7 years, Chia has changed a lot. It has basically become a suburb of Bogota. Construction has boomed without the building of any extra roads, leading to traffic jams. And we get pretty excited now days if we actually see any cows or green pastures.
Our family’s needs have changed as well with schools, horseback riding, work and the girls’ social lives all happening in Bogota. It’s time to move to the big, bad city!
I am excited and also sad and nostalgic. It feels like an end of an era. The end of my cultural immersion in the “real Colombia” as we move to a cosmopolitan, highly international neighborhood.
It would be easy to just say to myself, “It’s going to be great! You will be able to do so much and walk just about everywhere. It’s a new adventure!”
And yet, I want to honor the past 7 years and this transition by allowing myself to feel the melancholy and by saying goodbye to dear friends.
I want to honor all of the good times we had here, the place where my children grew up in many ways, the place where I was often frustrated and dumbfounded by a culture I didn’t always understand (or agree with) and ultimately grew to love. The culture I learned so much from – how to enjoy life in spite of the hardship, how to not take myself or anyone else so seriously, how to enjoy the everyday small things and not sweat the small stuff, how to go with the flow.
Thank you, Chia, for all you have taught me and allowed us to experience. Thank you for taking in this foreign family and allowing us to feel at home. I will miss you and you will forever be in my heart.
So what about you? What do you need to honor as you let it go?
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Love this! Thank you Natalie! I’m about to leave my job of seven years, and even though I’m excited about the road ahead, it still seems like the earth is shaking.
Yay Emily! So excited for you and I know it’s scary also! I have been there and I believe that a mixture of following your heart with a pragmatic plan in place gets you where you are meant to be. xoxo, Natalie