If you have lived your whole life in one place, you probably feel as if you settled. You have your family around and life long friends. But if you ever moved from one place to another, you know the feeling of being alone, maybe even home sick. It takes some time to figure out where you belong and finding your “tribe” or your framily (friends who become family).
I grew up in NW Indiana and spent most of my life as a Hoosier living in the “Region”. I had only a couple of close friends in high school due to the fact that I had low self esteem and I always felt a little awkward and shy which probably made it difficult for others to get to know me. I married my high school sweetheart and we had children right away so after graduating high school my life revolved around my husband and children and I rarely ever went out with friends.
After my divorce, I went back to school to receive my degree in Computer Science and then landed my dream job in Chicago. Completing these steps built my confidence level up quite a bit and I became much more social, attending events after work in the city, weekends with friends when the kids were with their dad, and online dating. I made many wonderful friends in Chicago and locally in NW Indiana.
After a few years I got bored with the online dating and realized I most likely wouldn’t meet my dream guy online so I gave up and just decided to have fun with friendsand not worry about a romantic life. During Christmas break 2007, I went to a club with my brother and saw this guy that looked like a lot of fun and was cute so I bought him a drink. He came over and when we started talking he told me that he lived in Florida which was a disappointment at the time but after many hours of conversations over the phone, traveling back and forth for visits he convinced me to take a chance and make a bold move. I needed a change in my life and decided to try a real relationship with someone again. It was about 9 years after my divorce and I had never lived with anyone else after my ex-husband. I decided to leave my dream job in the big, beautiful and fun city and give love a chance once more.
The boys were already gone doing their own things and after many attempts my 14 year old daughter made to make me change my mind, we made the move. She was so mad at me at first but after being in Florida for about 6 months she actually told me that she was happy we moved away from Indiana because she was seeing all of her old friends doing things that were not safe or good and she knew she probably would have been right there with them getting into trouble.
Even though the relationship I moved there for didn’t work out, we both felt so much better with my decision to move to another state. I never realized how depressed I was living in Indiana until I felt the sunshine on my face daily and felt the salty beach breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. I made so many new friends who also made the “Big” move to Florida from a northern state. We all became each others family. We had holiday dinners together, celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and weddings together. The love for my framily in Florida is strong.
Moving to Florida also opened another door for me. Just as my daughter (and youngest child) was graduating High School, I met Allan, the man of my dreams and married him. My daughter went on to college and is now living her own adult life. I told Allan that before I met him I was thinking about moving to the Keys and living a simplier life. Allan is a man who has traveled all over the world and understood my desire to travel more and live a less stressed life. He had a very stressful corporate job and he too wanted a stress-free life so when his company finally laid his department off we decided to make another big move….this time out of the country.
This was not something we took lightly. It took us about a year to actually investigate it, sell things, get all the paper work needed and to finally do it and its been a great adventure so far. Learning a new language, culture, life style….and making new friends. Its been tough finding my expat tribe here but we have been meeting so many wonderful people who have made this same big move with their spouses and they understand what its like to be where we are now. We all had the same conversations with our spouses, our families, and our friends. I’m so thankful for my past life which brought me to my current life and so thankful for so many wonderful friends…old and new! Thank you for being our Tribe and allowing us to be a part of your Framily!!!