BIG News…

River

One of the many rivers in one of the many valleys.

So, I have been sitting on this news for quite a while. I dropped the bomb on my personal Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. I even tried it on by telling people about at this weekend’s show.  Now it is time that I share it with you all…

Studio Luma is MOVING.

Valley-view

The view looking down towards the canyon.

To PANAMA!! (Specifically, a lovely mountain town called Boquete, 45 min drive north of the city of David. It sits at about 1200-1800m above sea level so the temperature is PERFECT! It is among a cloud forest so the landscape is lush and gorgeous. The biodiversity isn’t too shabby either!). Remember that trip Señor Luma and I took at the end of August? It was an exploratory and information gathering mission after having been researching and planning this move since last winter!

Flights are booked for January 15. No home to rent yet, but that will fall in to place – I’m confident!

I know, this might seem like it is coming out of left field, but trust me, it has been a long time coming! You see, almost 12 years ago, Señor Luma left Venezuela and came up here to Canada where we got married to keep him in the country (I joke that it is a marriage of convenience that, conveniently, has worked out!). He is now a citizen of this fine country. He has lots of friends and all of my family (with whom he is very close). He has held a variety of jobs. He has even gone to college and received a diploma. But still, it doesn’t feel right, like home.

Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama.

Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama.

I TOTALLY understand that! We have long talked about heading off and living somewhere in Central or South America, for an extended period of time. And now that I am not in my soul-sucking job and I have my own business, it feels like the best time to make this dream a reality. The whole joy of having your own business is that it can be whatever you want it to be!! And I this point, I don’t know entirely what it is going to be.

I know that it is going to be SOMETHING! I have worked so hard this past year, gaining momentum for my biz and I certainly don’t want to lose that. Once we find some living accommodations and get our feet on the ground, I’ll have a better idea of what how Luma will continue.

The question we get asked most is “But what are you going to DO there?”. And we answer truthfully “Live!”. Lumita is already registered for school (their school year starts mid-February so she gets 2 first days of grade 1!! Guess I’ll finally get that “first day of grade 1” picture, which I missed this year…). Lumito is too young for school, but we know that we will meet other families with young children. I am going to learn Spanish (as are the Lumitos, of course!). Señor Luma is going to go bird watching. A lot! (Prior to moving to Canada, he was an ecotourism bird guide and took serious birders (aka Twitchers) all over Venezuela so that they could tick birds of their Life Lists). Of course, we both intend to work on our businesses down there, but because the cost of living there is less than here, there is less pressure.

Here's Señor Luma enjoying lunch at our favourite restaurant "Los Jardines de Boquete". In the 5 days we were there, became regulars... And for $2.50US for that lunch, how couldn't we?!?! (And it tasted AMAZING!)

Here’s Señor Luma enjoying lunch at our favourite restaurant “Los Jardines de Boquete”. In the 5 days we were there, we became regulars… And for $2.50US per plate, how couldn’t we?!?! (And it tasted AMAZING! We often wish we could just pop down to that restaurant from here, some days!)

Naturally, there is a lot to do to get ready… We are looking to find a short-term rental (and once settled there, we will be looking for a longer-term rental), working with a Canadian ex-pat to buy a reliable car, figuring out the legal stuff of living abroad. And of course, we are getting our house ready to rent out. There is A LOT of purging of “stuff” going on over here. Cleaning. Painting. And so on…

So, we’re doing it. As I always say, it is great to be blissfully ignorant!! I intend to chronicle our life and adventures living abroad with a young family, while also running a creative business. If this sounds like something you would like to keep tabs on, feel free to sign up to receive these blog posts in your inbox (the sign up is down on the left at the VERY bottom of this post). And while you’re at it, sign up for my Luma e-Newsletter (I can’t figure out how to create a link to an email address so just email me – annie AT studioluma DOT com – and I’ll put you on; I’ve got connections!)! And like Luma on Facebook and Instagram! (Sorry, Twitter, as much as I try to use you, you drive me crazy and you aren’t intuitive to me, so I neglect you!).

sd

Here we go!

We’ve got one go in this world (unless I’m wrong!) and so we have decided the make the most out of it. The following quote by poet Mary Oliver plays often in my head when I am thinking about all the changes we have recently made (and are making!) to our lives:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?