Last summer we wrote about the rewards of international living and travel. No doubt, those of us who live part of the year in one country and part on Mexico’s Bay of Banderas/Riviera Nayarit, can thrive on our lifestyle. However, our twice-yearly transitions also can be challenging to our personal organizing skills and abilities to adjust.
Several transition components follow: Preparations. This can involve decisions about a car, property oversight and travel plans; what to acquire and bring back to the destination; finishing touches; setting things in motion; and making our farewells.
The trip. This can be as simple as a relatively short flight if all goes smoothly as planned; or as complicated as multi-leg flight arrangements that go awry or a road trip from hell between Canada or the U.S. and Mexico. Most of us either have had such a bad experience and/or know someone who has.
Adjustments. For most of us, transitioning to more comfortable weather (mainly avoidance of extremes of temperature and humidity) after our arrival is welcome. It can be a bit draining to adjust to different paces and activity components. Also, we quickly learn what is new or no longer available among needed or desired resources.
We may need to re-familiarize ourselves with certain electronic devices and where we have stored what. Worst of all are the seemingly inevitable home and/or auto maintenance and landscaping surprises that may need immediate tending.
On a positive note, we rediscover old favorites that are not available in our other location, for example, certain restaurants, food and beverage delights, entertainment venues, cultural events, markets, day trips and amenities at our home.
As we settle back in, we plan reunions with special people. We handle mail, financial matters, domestic chores and maintenance issues. We also might schedule health care appointments. Now that we are here (or there), we might look into get-away or major travel ventures, resume personal and domestic projects, reconnect with community groups and do some meaningful volunteering.
Surprises, whether welcome or unwelcome, await us. Living in two places not only requires planning and adjustment, but it also can cause us to re-examine our values, aspirations and bevy of contacts and activities. What will be the same or different in our next season and the indefinite succession of times in familiar yet changing places, internal as well as external?