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6 months abroad...

Posted 01-05-2015 at 06:38 PM by bigsombrero

Today marks my 6th month anniversary of moving to Central America. Sometimes it feels like I've been here forever...and sometimes I feel fresh off the boat.

The daily challenges are everywhere. I enjoy them for the most part, and instead of getting frustrated or bored, I try to view every interaction as a learning experience. The language element is by far the most difficult. Even though I was fairly "fluent" in Spanish before moving down here, life is a lot different when you have to communicate in the language on the streets, on the phone, and every shop and store you visit. There is no escaping it and absolutely no other option but to communicate in Spanish 100% of the time when I am outside my house. This has led to some rather funny experiences. For example, I was riding a bus recently and needed to get off. There is no bell to ring when you want to exit, you just yell to the bus driver and he'll stop wherever you ask. I was trying to say "Please stop, I need to exit at this corner", however, what came out was "Please stop, I really need to get horny on this corner". Not surprisingly, I was immediately let off the bus.

The sobriety angle has been both more difficult and easier than expected. Public drinking here is common, people walking down the streets with beer in hand isn't unusual, especially on weekends. On the flip side, there are so many other aspects of life to enjoy that alcohol is easy to ignore. Would you like a drink? Or would you like to go climb this volcano? Or would you like to go swim in the Pacific ocean? Or would you prefer to explore the ruins of the ancient Mayan peoples? After all of those questions hit me, I usually completely have forgotten about the question of drink.

I haven't been lonely. I've met some cool friends, both ex-pats and locals. It's been easy to blend in and as a "city guy" I find this town easy to navigate. My job has been going well and so far, but I am starting to think bigger. I've been contemplating opening up a sort of "Adventure-B&B" type crossover joint that would cater to an athletic, non-drinking crowd. I'm only in the early stages but I have made some legitimate steps that have been very cheap. I've visited a few properties that are affordable and might work for me, and I've put in a little test marketing as well. But there's no rush, at least not yet.

First, I'd like to buy a truck or jeep. That's the next step here and it's a biggie. There are a lot of complications that come with owning a vehicle when you're on a tourist visa, as well as some risks on a more basic level. But it will really open up the country for me a bit more and I am eager to take that step. I'm hoping that by March 9, my birthday, I'll have the wheels in motion, literally. But these things usually happen faster than I think so I'm pretty sure that once I'm ready, it will not take long.

Anyway, thought this blog post would be worth putting out there. I've been steadfastly sober since treatment and I am now at 2.5 years away from that massive downfall that still haunts me. But from here, it seems further away, and my happiness seems closer.

Over and out.
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  1. Old Comment
    That's so cool, BigS!
    Posted 01-06-2015 at 05:52 AM by Gilmer Gilmer is offline
  2. Old Comment
    CodeJob's Avatar
    Posted 01-06-2015 at 12:09 PM by CodeJob CodeJob is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Cowgirlie's Avatar
    Great post! I'm an expat surrounding by strong local Spanish accents and find it a challenge. Good luck with your plans x
    Posted 01-09-2015 at 03:32 PM by Cowgirlie Cowgirlie is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Venecia's Avatar
    Great post, Big Sombrero!

    Your thoughts on a non-drinking B & B are interesting. While thinking about travel, I've done some cursory online searches and there's not much out there for non-drinkers and/or people in recovery. You might be on to something there!
    Posted 01-12-2015 at 06:37 PM by Venecia Venecia is offline
  5. Old Comment
    bigsombrero's Avatar
    Welp, I got the truck! So far I've driven it quite a bit - one big trip down to the Pacific and another up into the central highland volcano region. One step at a time.
    Posted 02-03-2015 at 11:01 AM by bigsombrero bigsombrero is offline

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