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Fantasy vs. Reality

When we first decided that we wanted to move somewhere warmer and simplify our lives, we had no idea what that actually entailed. This is true of most big decisions.

Your mind envisions something based on a limited series of facts and figures you've either, read in a book, seen on youtube, scrolled through on instagram etc. etc. And if you're like me, we tend to fantasize about things and how they might turn out or how we think it will really be. It rarely ever is in my experience. And based on that experience, I tried to be aware of the fantasy vs. reality issue that I knew I was going to face.

I tried to prepare myself for the 'reality' I was going to face and always tried to be aware of my thoughts and emotions throughout this year and a half leading up to today. However, that said, I am experiencing an enormity of realizations that I had not expected. Things are only real once you're in it. And now that I'm in it, this move is and will be harder than I ever imagined or anything I've ever done. But it is doable, if...

... If I get out of my own head, if I plan each day conscientiously, if i am detailed in my tasks, if I follow the wisdom of those who've already done it, if I prioritize what serves the goal, if I get up each day with a clear idea of what we need, then I think we can overcome anything that confronts us.

When I flew over Lisbon and saw the countryside, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. "I'm in a new country and this was a one way trip", I thought. I must confess something: I've spent most of my life coasting through it, never really being consciously interacting with it to a large degree. Some may not agree, but I know me. Something I regret. Laziness, perhaps arrogance, whatever it may have been, they have hindered any type of success I could've had simply because I did not grasp at every opportunity that presented itself to me. I relied on others to recognize what I had and never took hold of my own destiny. Without getting into too many specifics, I'd like to say that I have been aware of this reality for a while now. I'd say the last 10 years have taught me some valuable lessons and through Covid, those learned lessons were rooted in my consciousness. It's good to self-analyse and to move forward, even when it's hard. Moving to Portugal is a reality I must face and also the biggest opportunity of my life; to truly take hold of the reins of my life and make 'my' decisions mean something.

There was also the huge amount of things we needed to do before leaving. We accumulate so much stuff and we place so much value and sentimentality to it, some of it is warranted of course. We really had to think hard about what we really really need and what is worth bringing with us half way across the world. It is hard. Period.

On a lighter note, the pets are doing well and adjusting to life "on the outside"? LOL! They're doing okay. There's always a period of adjustment for creatures big and small. The weather has been typical of what you'd expect at the coast, sometimes cloudy, sometimes balmy, but certainly breezy and the people have been nice.

One thing I've noticed in particular though is that most people seem to have some fear, whether because of old wives tales or just misinformation, of dogs. Most people move away when Gevalia walks by them. Luckily there are those who dive right in and give her pats on the head and who are pleasantly surprised by her friendly nature and cuteness.

Then there's the dog poop... nobody picks up after their dog here. So I'm sure it's very strange to them when this foreigner bends down to put her dogs poop in a bag and walks away with it. :)


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