I always thought maybe I was born in the wrong era. Possibly I was just born in the wrong location.  I love it here!  My heart is so full of joy, and peace, I don’t know how to absorb it all; the colors, sounds, breezes, waves, fresh foods, kind people.

our little yard
I love having a hammock outside under the trees and stars. I love hanging clothes on the line, in the soft, warm breeze.  I love walking to the market and coming back with my backpack full of fresh milk, bread, fruit.  I love being able to walk everywhere I need.  I love that all the houses collect rain water, down gutters and rain pipes, into tanks, and store the warm rain to use for bathing or laundry.  I love that everyone here genuinely smiles- maybe because they are barefoot, or they have no enemies, or maybe because many of them smoke a little, or they just get the deeper meaning of life.

A handful of weeks ago, I was a single mom on food stamps, with a part time job, who just discovered unemployment ended several months early.  I had mortgage, a car, and an ex who had bailed earlier in the year, after taking money out of the account and leaving us hanging the day before mortgage was due.  

We were relieved he was gone, but not sure how to make it work.  My spouse had been getting meaner and more abusive for months.   The first time ever, I confided in my parents about what was going on, and asked for a safe place for us to stay.  I have not stayed there in about 20 years, I do not ask for help.  But since their grandson was in danger, I asked for help.  They asked if it was important.  I said “We are scared.”  They couldn’t be bothered.  I confided in two other people as well, one didn’t believe me, the other betrayed me.

What do you do?

My son and I decided to rent out our house, store the things that were important or irreplaceable to us, and sell the rest, to downsize.  We were laying on the carpet together, crying, grasping for a plan.  We cried about losing our home of almost ten years, the only home with me he remembers.  I felt like a failure.  How do you box up a decade of memories and tell each other it’s going to be ok?

He had a great idea, one I would have never considered.  He asked if we could go on vacation, so packing would seem more… fun… somehow.  An adventure.  He said it with such young earnestness. I wanted to believe it would work.  An adventure.  Yes, that seemed better than laying on the floor crying without a plan and nowhere to go.  I told him we would have to sell more stuff, to afford that kind of trip.  He said it’s just stuff.  

little gecko in laundry room (actual size)
Before I realized what was happening, my son had already asked our friend to go with us to keep us safe, on an adventure.  The same friend who was a hero to us because just a week prior, protected both of us from violent spouse, who had come back to harrass me. Our friend told him, “If you EVER touch her again, I will kill you.”  And that’s the last I ever saw of him.  
So an adventure seemed good.  What do we have to lose, right?

But– two weeks to pack, sell stuff, store stuff, and get ready for a trip was NOT enough time.  I don’t recommend that.  Ever.  I don’t have regrets about going and the adventures I’ve had with my son, but this is a bad idea, planning something this big when you are an emotional wreck.  

Day two of the adventure, we met a lady who was moving out of a 2 bedroom appt right on the beach- $500 a month.  Compared to the price of hotel… hmm.  That meant our money would go a little further…  hmmm.

Looking back, there isn’t much “stuff” that I miss.  I haven’t driven a car in weeks.  Or used a microwave, vacuum, bathroom scale, full length mirror, dvd player, clothes dryer, tv, or iron either. I haven’t eaten any fast food.  I don’t wear makeup (ok, I didn’t really do that in the US either)  

mango trees
I listen to live music every day.  All the windows are open, all the time.  I have a choice of three hammocks to swing in, right here at the house.  I go to the beach almost every day. I am fortunate, and have prospects for a job too, which is very rare here.  Someone smiles at me and looks me in the eye every day.  
I am starting to feel alive, really alive.  I am beginning to be filled with love; love for this peaceful place, love for the people here, love for humanity.  I am starting to feel less broken and more whole.  This is good.