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the alchymista

on october 1st my family is headed to sayulita, mexico for 2 1/2 months.  when i tell people this, the news is usually met with excitement, encouragement, and the questions "why?" and "how?".

i'll attempt "why" in this post.  "how" is to come.

WHY LEAVE?  (IT'S SO GOOD HERE.)

living in a foreign land grows me.  it forces me to wake up, to notice my surroundings, to ask questions, to make new friends, to learn new ways of communication, to be humble, to be uncomfortable, to stretch my perception of myself and the world around me.

i think it is important for koruna and mars to see me and ian this way - to discover that it's okay to not know everything, to recognize the value of flexibility, to watch us work through challenges, to see how we act when we don't understand or when we're not understood. i want them to see that we are all learning together.

i want to remember that our world is not the world.  i recall the culture shock i felt after returning to america from a year in prague.  life here is jaw-dropping if you leave for a good long while.  i want to return from mexico with an appreciation for what life here has to offer as well as a resolve to drop the parts of this life that aren't really working for our family.

WHY MEXICO?

we love it. we want our kids to learn spanish.  sayulita is close - if we need to come home, we can do it relatively easily and cheaply. we figure that this is a good way to dip our toes into foreign family travel.

WHY 2 1/2 MONTHS?

we want time to settle into a different place, a different pace. we want time to know the rhythms of a different life.

i moved to prague 11 years ago to see who i was without my friends, my family, my familiar. i discovered during my year there that living in a foreign land seemed to sort of burn me clean. it required me to strip away all of the old that was not serving me to make room for the new that would. i met ian in prague. our love was planted and took root in that distant land where we got to create new rules, new rituals, new friendships. ian and i decided long ago that we wanted to shape a life that made room for that kind of experience. this is our attempt at that life.

i expect this fall to be really fun, but i don't expect it to be easy. raising kids is a bold endeavor in itself. taking our children to a country where they have no friends and no language skills will inevitably have its challenges.

we'll learn a lot. i don't know exactly what we'll learn. i just feel ready to not know.