Time, Creativity, L ❤ ve...and other reasons we moved to Puerto Rico
Sep 24, 2019
A lot of people have repeatedly asked me questions like, “Why did you move to Puerto Rico? Aren’t you afraid of hurricanes? Do you speak Spanish? Isn't Puerto Rico dangerous?” So today, I want to let you know why we made the move and how it relates to you.
Yep, you’re partly the reason I moved to PR. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to share my many-years journey with someone…someone who cares how I got here and why it matters so deeply to me to be able to talk about it…someone who wants to know how my intensely frustrating struggles led to spiritual, emotional, and physical health and freedom. I hope to translate the best of the all of it for others who, maybe like you, are out of answers (or desperately want to find them). In short, the coming years of my life are devoted to this task: assembling together the inspiring keys I have collected for the benefit of people like you who are ready and willing to witness personal transformation!
There is a story here. Many of you know about my nine-year trajectory of graduating from nursing school at age 49, and then working in a hospital setting for the past 4 years (culminating in ER nursing for the last two years). It was a difficult and fearful, yet expansive path, one that I’m so glad I embarked upon despite all the epic challenges! I am a completely different person than I was nine years ago. I am so much more confident and in awe of the seeds that were inside of me that I never would have known about or “germinated” had I not pushed myself through so much fear and disbelief (in myself and what I’m capable of, as well as trusting God not to let me completely fall flat on my face).
During this time of scrambling up what seemed like endless rugged (exhausting) mountains professionally, my husband and I experienced major stressors on the home front as well. This included grieving my mother’s death, several major moves, and taking on many responsibilities related to family such as providing full time in-home care for my husband’s father with advanced dementia until his death two years ago.
Many studies over time have demonstrated
that a major causes of disease including cancer and heart disease is chronic stress. Our bodies were not made to be in constant “fight or flight” mode, which is what happens when we live in constant stress (fast paced, not enough sleep, anxiety, high energy needs, etc.). There are probably not many professions more chronically and intensely stressing the mind and body than nursing (maybe air traffic controller😂?)!
Coupled with this knowledge, and the fact that I have basically shut down my beloved creative (writing) life for the past decade to expand my knowledge and opportunities to interface with humanity in a more practical way, I made a firm decision last September. I told my husband that I was going to work in the hospital setting one more year, and then I was going to do something completely different that integrated my passions for holistic wellness, women’s empowerment, and of course, WRITING! After working in a hospital for so long, I was more than ready for something more meaningful—something more impactful for an engaged and willing audience.
Let it be known that I had an incredible experience these past four years. It pushed my limits in every way...it was physically exhausting, mentally intimidating, and emotionally fear-inducing, but it was also beautiful and inspiring. For starters, I had thee best coworkers in the world, the best doctors, the best managers, the best support staff, and the best patients (most of the time). I saw the face of God in all of them, every day, and I loved them all so much. I did my best to let them know. And in case you don’t realize it, nurses are truly unsung heroes in our world. They put up with so much in order to care for people—inhumanely long hours with only one short break, very toilsome, fast paced, unhealthy stress and sometimes toxic conditions, dangerous psychotic patients, being forced to bow to a profit system of practices that they don’t believe in, and many other problems. The burnout rate is through the roof!
This is where the story gets weirdly unexpected. I tried my best to be patient with the process, not fully understanding why God strongly beckoned me down the path of nursing at such a time in life, and not wanting to rush the outcome. But last September, it was as if I was inwardly being given permission to start planning my escape. It was nearing time! I felt the shift inside me, and it was as if a portal of opportunity opened. Four months later, my husband and I were staying in Puerto Rico for a few weeks during winter, when we can only say that a very special property found us, chose us. It’s an unlikely, nearly unbelievable story! About the same time, I started having visions of this website to empower women over their health and lives, and was given some unexpected tools to get the ball rolling. Many open doors over the last year have led to where I’m at this moment: sitting in my new mountain home in PR, writing this blog (as of two weeks ago).
To answer your questions…
Why Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is beautiful, relatively inexpensive (compared to other tropical locations like Hawaii or Costa Rica), is still considered part of the U.S. so you don’t need a passport, uses the U.S. dollar, and offers tax incentives for businesses like ours that bring money into the economy from outside. The people are friendly, and it has all of the main shopping conveniences we are used to on the mainland. Plus, they have almost 300 unique beaches and they produce delicious coffee! We can grow just about everything here in the mountains, and will grow most of our own food. It’s also a convenient location for traveling to other islands of the Caribbean, South America, Central America, and Europe—all places we would love to explore. The people here are very generous, kind, and family-oriented. The ones we have met have gone out of their way to help us get established and be neighborly. The real question is…why wouldn’t we move to Puerto Rico!?
Aren’t you afraid of hurricanes?
No. Living anywhere comes with risks, but that’s no reason to buy into fear. In addition, PR has had a surprisingly low number of hurricanes make landfall
in history. Regardless, we will be living in the mountains in a house that weathered hurricane Maria quite well, and we have everything we need to survive including natural spring water and tons of food sources.
Do you speak Spanish? Sí! Actually, I am not fluent in Spanish, but will be working on it. The coastal areas have a majority of English speakers, but in the mountains (where we live) they are sparse. We have wonderful neighbors that invite us down like every other day to share meals or hang out. They don't speak a stitch of English and we speak very little Spanish, but we sit around and use Google Translate like nobody’s business! We’re finding key people in our community that can help us make our way, and otherwise, Google Translate it is for now.
Is Puerto Rico safe? Most of PR is reasonably safe. There is petty crime concentrated in the cities (theft) and does occasionally impact smaller communities. However, we are in a very difficult area to access, and the nearby community is known for being safer and even “tranquil,” according to locals. We have great neighbors who watch out for us, and we don’t anticipate any problems. Bottom line: you are always safe; you live in a safe universe.
Have you ever visited PR? Where did you go? Did you find any special gems we should know about? I would love your ideas and feedback!
From now on, I expect to blog weekly. I won't be putting out videos every week, but occasionally, so I have more time for developing some exciting new content ideas for you!
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