An expat’s journal: Ideal days
Andrea Aguilar, a recent arrival in Merida, is sharing her experiences as a new member of the community. Here is her second installment for TYT readers:
There is a mental exercise where you write in detail, about your ‘ideal day’ to help clarify, and visualize what you really want in your professional and personal life. While traveling for a year with my husband, I enjoyed watching how people spent their days in different cities. Now that I am living in Mérida, I am learning how to create my own ‘ideal day’ as a non-retired, currently non-working ex-pat, while cultivating new friendships.
We have had more social engagements in our first seven months of living in Mérida than during our two decades in the Bay Area. Here, the vibrant social community continues to help me discover new things.
I typically jot down the week’s social activities and appointments, making sure it leaves plenty of room for chores, creative pursuits, and spontaneity. The days pleasantly fill up and I am regularly astonished at how this happens here.
For instance, one Sunday after the English-speaking service at Calvary Centro, I messaged my friend Katalina, and within fifteen minutes I was walking over to her house for some overdue ‘catching up’. The next time I glance at my watch, two hours had flown by. So we decided to walk over and check out a ‘Bazaar Sale’ happening in Santiago. We saw many tables covered with paintings, pastries, vintage clothes, artisan jewelry, soaps, natural juices, organic coffee, food, small plants in decorative pots, and more. I love these kind of artsy-vintage-healthy-inspiring events in Mérida.
Another time, I was invited over by my friend Jackie who arranged an impromptu lunch at her house so she could introduce me to another friend of hers. There we were on a Tuesday afternoon, enjoying a small luncheon of gazpacho, French bread, and white wine. We all remarked how this simple and lovely occasion would probably never happen back in the states. With work taking up most of the hours in the day, and our responsibilities diminishing the energy needed to make social efforts, how could it?
Most days start with an early morning routine, and then a small project like I was cutting liner for drawers when Maria called with a better offer. “Of course I’d rather go run errands with you and chat,” I responded. Or my friend Mario drops by on his motorcycle to take me for a ride and then we stop at a café somewhere and talk about life.
This new community of friends has been, and continues to be, a big part of what I am enjoying about living in Mérida. I am grateful to have met so many sincere, interesting, fun people. In regular conversation, I learn more about these new friends, and in turn I learn a little more about who I want to be, and how I want to spend my days.
By Andrea Aguilar for TYT
Click on this link to read Andrea’s first column for TYT.
Andrea Aguilar is an American expat. She spent a year traveling the world with her husband while they searched for a new community to call home after having lived in San Francisco for 20 years. Her interests typically include yoga, writing, reading, and once she leaves the house, discovering a new adventure. Follow more of Andrea’s adventures on her blog andrea*poem, or Instagram (andreapoem).