Our first 6 months here were great in almost every way.
I certainly had fun. We went to the beach regularly. Snorkeling, swimming, festivals, and exploring all parts of the island.
But something was missing.
Between settling into the house, getting cars, exploring our newfound world, finding another house, and moving again, we accumulated a deficiency in a key area.
Before moving here, we’d knew we’d need to meet people and make friends, but once we got here it seemed like we were always busy settling in or getting used to our new life.
There were only a couple of kids in our neighborhood, and we didn’t get involved in any activities where we’d get to know other people.
We had become long-term tourists, not residents.
Mara really missed our neighborhood and friends in Virginia and her attitude went south over time. Kirsten and I started to feel isolated and increasingly restless. And because working from home was new for me as well, it was kind of a double-whammy.
In mid-December, Kirsten and I had a long discussion and concluded that if we were going to stick around here permanently, we’d have to do a better job of involving ourselves socially. We decided to commit ourselves to more activities and becoming part of the community.
It seems like when we set our minds to something lately, it happens in a big way.
Fast-forward two months and I think we might have become too busy with new activities:
- Beckett is playing T-ball and doing roller hockey (we have a nice outdoor rink down by the beach)
- Mara joined Girl Scouts and is also playing T-ball
- Kirsten just joined an outrigger canoe paddling group, plus the 2 of us are doing sailing lessons together
- I’ve started to play adult pick-up games of roller hockey and will be riding with a cycling group soon
By switching from family outings to group sports and activities, everyone is feeling better. The kids have met new kids, including some just a couple blocks away, plus made stronger friendships with the classmates who are also on their team.
Kirsten and I have met people through our activities, plus gotten closer to parents of the other kids for T-ball, hockey, and Girl Scouts. Everyone has been really nice and it’s good to feel like a true part of the community.
It’s feeling more and more like home and less and less like we’d choose to live elsewhere. And that’s a great feeling!