Counting My Blessings
I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live overseas 20 or more years ago. Staying in touch with loved ones back home must have been very expensive and difficult. Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and other forms of social media have made communicating and keeping up with friends fairly easy. Meeting friends through expat sites and Meetup groups is also a terrific and easy way to connect.
When you’ve been around the block a few times, you become more discerning. Picking and choosing who I spend my time with and how I spend my time has been of greater importance since moving abroad. It’s easy to regress back to my old ways; I have to remind myself that “my truth” is ultimately all that matters. As your truth should be all that matters to you. I needed a constant reminder, so a few years ago I stopped into a tattoo shop in Soho (Manhattan) and asked for this:
Faro’s first Gay Pride, Saturday, May 19, 2018. Proud to be a part of it.
The decision to relocate abroad was an opportunity to take stock of how I was living my life; the food I am eating, the amount of alcohol I am drinking, and how I am spending my time. The mind, body and spirit; holistic approach to living, seems like a better way to live in the present and think about the future. A philosophy that would be difficult to argue; especially in my own mind. What role does social media play in my life?
I love social media. I enjoy keeping up with friends near and far, I enjoy the posted photos, I like how upbeat most of the postings are, and I even enjoy the occasional not-so-positive back and forth disagreements. That being said, I think some people take it a bit too far. I have learned rather than getting all pissy about it, I have several options:
- I can just quickly skim through postings and ignore the stuff that doesn’t speak to me.
- I can follow certain people on Facebook. This is different from unfriending, which I have also done on occasion. I have to admit that it is a very empowering exercise.
- I can stay away from social media for a few days and take a breather.
- I can counter with overwhelmingly positive posts and impart guilt on others.
- I can include my thoughts in my very subjective, highly personal blog.
That news I was waiting for finally came and it was unfavorable; no worries, not health related. One of the great benefits of getting older is the letting go part. When you’ve experienced many disappointments, it’s a lot easier to just accept outcomes. Moving on.
Eating and Drinking Out
I found a wonderful coffee shop in the Faro Mercado Municipal. Most of her coffees come from Brazil; in fact I believe the owner is Brazilian. I’m enjoying learning a little bit more about her and her shop each time I stop by. There is nothing better than doing a little fish and fresh vegetable shopping and then spending time at her counter sipping a cortado. I have been waiting for my bean grinder to be released from Customs and I’m pleased to say I was able to have my coffee beans from home, ground here. More on this place to come (click for Mercado info).
One of the things I have always loved about Europe is that you can visit a small town and find fantastic food prepared by creative chefs. Carla’s Curve (A Curva) in Mexihoeria Grande is just that kind of place. Carla came out of the kitchen to describe what she had purchased that day and how she intended to prepare it. I did not take pictures of the food because sometimes I feel that it’s better to just be in the moment and fully enjoy everything that comes your way. Carla’s clams were prepared in olive oil with white wine, garlic and parsley and they were so fresh the simple ingredients did not over power the clams; incredible. Then I had beef ribs in a delicious barbecue sauce. I have not been very impressed with the beef since I arrived here, so I was anxious to try Carla’s ribs . . . they were tender and flavorful. People all around me were expressing their satisfaction and raving about Carla; she’s a warm, animated individual. It was a truly wonderful local dining experience and I cannot wait to return. The restaurant is literally located on a huge curve as you meander down the hill. The next time I will take pictures of the food.
5 thoughts on “Living Abroad and My Truth”
Many of us, it seems, experience a similar process of discernment and finding truth about the quality and essence of our lives. It is so liberating! Thank you for articulating in such a heartfelt way. Looking forward to enjoying Carla’s Curve!
Thank you Fran. Hopefully by the time you go that painting will be off her wall and on mine!
Yes! It has a lot of symbolism and joy!
BAM… NAILED IT
Means a lot Chris. Thank you.