NOTE: This post is brought to you by Deb, not Norm (the usual author of these things). Deb is an active contributor on every post, but this week we've switched places. We're bringing you her words directly, with Norm in the supporting role. Also Norm thinks he gets paid by the word so he just keeps typing and typing, while Deb gets right to the point. We hope you enjoy this twist.
When we were first talking about making this big change, this big retirement move, we knew we should do some research (and not just about money Norm!). We learned that one of the most common reasons for things not working out, and retirees returning home, was missing family. One example was aging parents who need help, which thankfully isn't an issue for us at this time. Others had grandchildren they couldn't stand to miss out on, and they also missed their (adult) kids. We didn't have grandkids, and still don't, so that's another issue we don't have.
As for our boys, I read somewhere that you should never move to be close to your adult kids because it's such a mobile society now. I guess we flipped that over and moved away from them instead! But looking back at our lives, neither of us had our parents nearby when we were a young couple, even when we had our own kids. We were in touch with them though by phone and email, and we visited in all directions (Colorado/Kansas/Florida). So even if or when we have grandkids we don't see that pushing us back to Colorado.
In 2017, we left Colorado expecting several return trips to see the family. Well, we haven't made it back to see family as much as we thought we would. It's a little bit harder to see them all now, as they are spread out all over the U.S. We also have other travel we want to do and only so much travel budget. We're only 35 miles to St. Thomas, and 50 miles to Jost Van Dyke. Even St. Martin is only 150 miles away, and though getting there usually requires going the wrong way first, over to San Juan, we feel obligated to go see some of these places! Like everyone, we only get one life and we try to do our best to balance our travels (for family and leisure).
We know we are far from traditional in our lifestyle and how we want to live. Traditional people don't sell a big house and everything in it, and move into a little house on a little island in a little neighborhood where most people don't speak English! Of course everyone that's moved here has done something like that, so I guess we're just different like everyone else here. Maybe we're all here, cuz we ain't all there. We also don't believe our families would want us to give up all of our dreams just to live closer.
We've also had people ask about leaving our friends behind. And most of those people were friends we were leaving behind! To be clear, they weren't complaining about being "left behind" - they live in a beautiful place (Colorado) and plan to stay there. In other words, they're happy with or without us, but they were curious about us losing out on having friends close. We said that we would make new friends and keep in touch with the old ones. And we have kept in touch, but I wouldn't say we've kept in touch with friends any better than we have with family. The blog helps them to at least keep up with us. As for making new friends, we've done that too, even though sometimes we have to push ourselves to get "out there" and meet new people.
We also use other technology besides just blogging, like Facetime, which didn't even exist 10 years ago. But we have it now and it's made a big difference for us. It has been really great with the friends and family members that use it. We have spent quiet afternoons & evenings just chatting as if we were in the same room. I do this with my girlfriends every Friday morning. We are all able to show our spaces, pets, and projects we are working on, although they seem to hear our wild roosters (and even coqui frogs) better than we do. So that's been a lot of fun for sure.
There's always been the option of having our friends and family visit us, but we haven't made travel to and from the States easy on anyone. That's because we keep choosing islands that you can only get to from another island. Well, we've done it twice anyway, with Utila, Honduras and Vieques, Puerto Rico. That makes it more expensive and a longer day (or overnight) to get here. Sorry!
We do miss our friends and family at times, but are very happy with our choices and all the fun that our adventures have given us. We are gaining experiences we would have never had, and met new friends we'd never have met, if we hadn't moved along. And when you're living the life of your dreams with your best friend it's hard to be lonely!
TODAY'S SPECIAL: "Free & Easy Down the Road I Go", by Dirks Bentley. "Ain't no tellin' where the wind might blow, so free and easy down the road I go."
Have any kneedeepers out there moved away from your friends and family? What are your stories? We'd love to hear in the comments below!