Archive for the ‘moving back as an Expat’ Tag

Three Years, Three Suitcases   10 comments

I have some big news to report.   My husband and I are moving back to the United States.   In fact, our move is halfway there,  – I flew back in on September 7, and my other half – husband – arrives late tonight.

Photo by digitallatina, on morgue.com.   http://www.morguefile.com/archive/creative/digitallatina

Some of you dear readers are new to my blog, thanks to the wonderful and surprising press I got at the Daily Post here at WordPress.   I didn’t have the heart to tell anyone yet, and well heck, though it’s ironic to get the PR just as we were moving back, I sure wasn’t going to turn it down!

For those who did not see it yet – I’ll toot my horn since I never do – I’m about 3/4 down the page:

El Salvador from the Inside makes it on Daily News

Also, as my husband was ready to throw my laptop in the river (a bit too much time on the computer, eh?), I did not keep you up to date during the move.

I am still coming to grips with the return “home” – as my definition of home has changed so much.

It was standard move, as much as you can call a “move” via airplane.   One detail that kept ringing in my head was:     Three Years, Three Suitcases.

Before moving to El Salvador, I was fortunate to know  someone who transported cars and large belongings, and he moved 200 pounds of my stuff on one of his trips for only $2 a pound (he doesn’t do it anymore, bummer).    For  my return, I so smartly (not!) chose Spirit Airlines for the trip back.  Not only did I get to leave at the brisk hour of 1:00 am, but I was contained to 40 pounds per suitcase.  Maybe not the best move to save 150 bucks or so.   My husband chided me as I got on and off the scale, repeatedly, for a week and a half, agonizing about leaving a book behind to bring jewelry, or shoes instead.   I laughed while talking with my husband in these recent days, as he, too, had to make ‘executive decisions’ based on weight – we decided on United for his return flight, giving him 10 more pounds a bag.

How do you move three years of your life back with you in three suitcases?   Easy, most of it is memories!   Though the decisions about what to bring back were painful, what cannot fit into the suitcase is what I will miss the most.

The constant sunshine, pretty much every day.  El Salvador beats the the “Sunshine State” of Florida hands down.  The sound of the river down the hill, and roosters crowing at intervals throughout the day and night.   The never-ending supply of cool and colorful insects and plants.  Our family, so close by, and our neighbors and friends who became family to us.  Greetings given and received by people on the street whether they know you or not – including “Buen Provecho” when someone passes your table in a restaurant as they enter.    The warmth and smiles of vendors we saw daily.   The undying happiness and generosity that lives inside of Salvadorans who have so little, and share so much without a gripe.

Is the move back to the States Permanent?

We certainly hope not.   Our plan was always to return to the States within a few years, my husband especially, for better prospects in the construction industry.   Had we set up a business, we may have stayed longer, perhaps permanently.  Retiring in El Salvador is a dream of ours.  I kept telling my neighbors in Agua Caliente (Chalatenango) that I’m going to come back and buy a cattle ranch – and “Primero Dios” (God Willing, as they say there), it will happen.   Not a bad segue down the road between life in full time employment and complete do-nothing retirement in ones late 70’s.   Why not run a farm with employees happy to help and work for you, that gives you a small income and something to do?   You can grow it as large or small as you like.

What about El Salvador from the Inside?

Well, for starters, if I pull out and tackle my backlog of diary entries starting with the “early days” when we first lived with the outlaws (err, I mean in-laws) , I’d have a good 50 entries.  So don’t worry, I still have lot’s of material to share with you.

Secondly, life in El Salvador continues, and as our family and friends there share their experiences with us, which we will share with you.  Our visits (with hopefully some extended stays!) to El Salvador will continue.  I have to go back at least once a year to maintain and renew my residency (Definitiva).

I joked many times with my husband that he can stay in the U.S. while I go back to El Salvador, and  send me remesas (remittances)!   That’s a reverse on common reality – the Salvadoran sending remittances to the gring@ in El Salvador.

So stay tuned, for more, dear readers, we’re not shutting our doors.   El Salvador from the Inside will continue, and we will keep you up to date, and may even start a series on Salvadorans who live on the Outside here in Boston and elsewhere in the U.S.

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