Starting to Relax
The 8th Natural Wonder of the World: Grand Canyon

March 2015

Amanda writes:

As we prepare for the next part of our journey we are able to reflect upon how we have spent the last five months.  Reflection is joyous and easy now as we say our farewells to our new friends and the place we called home.

For anyone that has read the previous few posts you know that there have been some challenges with some of our time spent here, but overall it has been wonderful. When we first arrived in San Carlos we made a concerted effort to immerse ourselves in the community and meet people.  It was far easier than I had envisioned. Within the first week we met our first friend Edith and made some great pickle ball connections.  We climbed the local Tetakawi mountain with the help of Edith and while we haven’t spent much more time with her because she works, she is still our first friend from San Carlos.   Dean and Lorena are also some other friends we met early.  Dean took us on a kayak tour around San Carlos and we just hit it off.  Since then we play cards regularly and laugh endlessly as their sense of humour is wonderful.

Recently I concluded my Spanish lessons while in Mexico.  Learning a second language is more difficult than I had anticipated.  I am so lucky to have the Spanish teacher that I did. Dolores Monterrubio has been a teacher for many years.  She is originally from Mexico City and I’m sure as she reads this she is cringing somewhat that I am writing about her.  She is fiercely private and I respect that.  She is also an incredibly thorough and structured teacher.  Her method has worked so well for me.  She has been patient with me and so encouraging.  With her support I have studied and practiced hard and she has provided me the confidence and tools to excel in the language.  At this point the rest is left to me to practice, practice, practice.  Her ability to encourage me and provide a platform for learning has given me confidence.  This combined with her wonderful sense of humour made learning Spanish fun.  I am sure I will speak fluently by 2016 and Dolores plays a big part in my success.

We have spoken a few times about the friendships gained while in Mexico with different activities.  Much like our life and activities in Canada we have different groups of friends. We have our kite surfing friends, our pickle ball friends, our baseball friends, our board game friends and then our friends we have simply met and enjoyed their company.  Near the end of our trip we were lucky enough to enjoy the company of people we met through our baseball team at a year end party.  We joined the San Carlos baseball league in October when we arrived and we’ve met so many wonderful people.  Most of them are from Canada and the USA and all are retired and some semi-retired.  It has become so easy and natural to be friends with people that are likely old enough in numbers to be our parents or grandparents.  For Andrew and I; age is just a number.  We have more in common with our friends here who are retired than many of our friends back in Canada.  Don’t get us wrong; our friends in Canada will always be our fiends and our home; but our friends at home have jobs, and kids, and different responsibilities.  Our friends here in San Carlos that we have are living the same life as us right now.  And we are learning so much from them!  I think about two of my nephews and once niece who recently started going to a new school mid-year and I’m so scared for them.  I recall how hard it was to make friends when you’re a kid and yet now; people are so friendly and approachable.  I don’t know if making friends has become easier as we mature but it is so enjoyable.

Recently we had a year end party for our baseball team and Andrew and I are always intrigued by others stories and adventures.  Listening to so many of them and how they got here is so inspiring.  Learning about many of their relationships and their love for one another is also so wonderful.  To retire with someone can be very stressful, because you don’t have the distraction of jobs and kids.  In retirement you spend all your time with your partner.  At our year party, we spoke with at least two couples who are so genuinely grateful for the love they have found.  One of our friends Roy talked about how he was single for 15 years and now met his wife and they are so in love; and so grateful for one another.  Hearing both of them talking about it and seeing their faces and hearing the authenticity almost brought tears to my eyes.  They really are in love and so grateful for each other.  Another friend of ours Larry (Lefty Larry – baseball nickname), his wife talked about how he chased her daily for a month (not in a creepy way) and she is so grateful to have been given the opportunity to have found happiness and love. Larry is 79 and I think could outrun me to first base.  Seriously Larry has raised the bar for me; if I live to be 79 like him I can only hope to be as happy and healthy as he is.  And hearing those stories made me realize that often we take for granted having loved ones around us.  If you can share your days and nights and actives with others; you are so lucky!  Sharing our lives with these people the last five months has reminded me how lucky we are.  Not only are Andrew and I lucky that we have each other but we are lucky that we know it.

Andrew and I have joked that when we take a break from cycling every couple of years that we will come back to San Carlos for that break instead of Canada.  It’s just so lovely here and we have so many great friends here now.  Why wouldn’t we?  We just need to convince our family to come with us!

So while we bid farewell to San Carlos for now, we plan to return.  Moving forward now we are super excited for the next part of our journey.  Stay tuned to see where we are headed next. Cuba could be on the radar!


San Carlos Photographs

Starting to Relax
The 8th Natural Wonder of the World: Grand Canyon