Stuff Again. Big Stuff!

IMG_2589I always have trepidation when I leave my comfy life to survive on my own in a strange culture, using a foreign language. Why do I leave my home, my husband, my family and friends?

It’s because of how I feel when I get there.

What gives me such peace when I settle into my new life once more? Is it where I go or what I leave that creates a truly different me; as if I have left my personality behind? I am no longer intense. I’m not driven.

I have come to a conclusion. It’s that damn stuff again!

Stuff can easily become a problem if we have too little or if we have too much. When I travel I have just enough.

Of course, it’s different to wash all of my dishes by hand. But I have only a few plates, a skillet and two pots. I have 5 forks and 4 knives and a small assortment of spoons.

It’s hard work to wash by clothing my hand, rinse it, wring it and hang it. But here I have less than 1% of the clothing from my home closet. If I’m cold at night I simply wear my one long-sleeved T-shirt over my pajama top. If I am dressing up I choose bigger earrings from my small stash of costume jewelry. If I’m out in the midday sun I wear my floppy hat instead of my cap.

Yes, I think it is time to take a hard look at my “stuff” at home. Even those things I love can become a burden.

More troublesome, however, is my bougainvillea/mango dream. I want toIMG_2583 wake in the morning surrounded by colorful flowers and eat mangoes from my own tree. Because I want to live part time in Mexico I bought lot in this village. I have put in a fence, a well, a septic and a garden shed. I have an approved building plan and permits for a small casita. And I pay a local family to maintain it and be a local presence all year long.


Isn’t that stuff?

I am happily prepared to relinquish this longtime dream.

I have owned the property and still rented a place to stay here for many years.

It works.

And if I built my house?  My cherished husband doesn’t want to live here. I have no desire to leave him indefinitely. So it would sit empty for 10-11 months of the year; a logistical maintenance nightmare in a climate that allows everything to disintegrate fairly quickly in the high heat, the high humidity, the rainy season and/or all of the above.

Also, it goes against my core values, to own a vacant home in a village in which it is common for a small dwelling to house eleven people. And if I offered it to my village friends to live in part of the year, it would still be mine. I would be responsible.

It doesn’t work.

And so I have identified some of the issues. I have altered my dream to fit my reality. Now I must execute; here and at home.

One thing for sure…I can live with the recurring trepidation caused by leaving home. It passes. I love being here.



  1. It sounds like paradise – where you are. And made even more beautiful by the simplicity of it all. Love how you reflect upon yourself and your ‘belongings’..and discover what works. Beautiful!


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