Four times in my life I have relegated all my belongings to two suitcases. If anything will make you unattached to material objects, it’s that. The first time was when, at age sixteen, I left home to move to New York, Milan, Paris, and finally London to model for Elite Modeling Agency. With each move, I kept everything in two suitcases. The second time was when I returned to the US at age 26 to start over in life. Modeling was brutal, and I needed a fresh start and about ten pounds.
Fast forward fifteen years and I left Singapore where I lived with my then spouse and two little girls. The girls and I piled into a taxi and returned to the US where we started over near my family in Washington State, sans husband. Two suitcases, plus one each for the girls.
What do the Kids Think?
As I write this blog, my daughters are now ages twenty-one and nineteen respectively, in college, and going their own way. From the get-go, I explained to them that my passion was travel and international life. I think they assumed I was just blabbing away and wouldn’t ever leave Boulder, Colorado where we lived. Having said that, most kids think that about their parents, just like I did until I hit about thirty when I realized that my parents were smarter than they looked.
I love travel. I love being tossed into diverse cultures and people, and having to figure out how to communicate and get around. It’s the pants on fire approach to living! Many of you reading this will think I’m crazy, and the other half of you will want to join me. Which leads me to the question, why Ecuador?
My favorite country in the world is, hands down, France. For those of you who believe in past lives, I think I spent the majority of them in France. It just felt like home. Weirdly, it’s the only place in the world that felt like home to me up to that point. In considering where to move to, France was at the top of my list, and Latin America was number two because of two reasons: I’d never been there, but my Astro-Cartography indicated it was a fabulous place for me to live. Plus, the distance from the US alone was a bit daunting. As an aside, if you take an interest in astrology, I highly recommend my astrologer of fifteen years, Robert Sabella.
With that in mind, I decided on Cuenca, Ecuador for the easy visa process, low cost of living, large expatriate population, and I knew two people who already lived there. Then of course there is the fact that location wise (Astro-Cartography), it’s the bee’s-knees for me. Living abroad is the main reason I started my e-commerce business, YouTube channel, and coaching. Apart from the reality that the US is in a slow boil of craziness, I felt my life-blood being drained out from me. The continual knocking on the back of my head said this wasn’t it, that there was more for me to do elsewhere.
The consequences of my decision to leave are (hopefully temporarily) angry daughters, and two suitcases. I keep looking around for that track-suit I loved, the expensive flatiron, and the perfect lipstick that I think I threw out in my attempt to be frugal. I have no idea where any of it went. But then, if the cost of freedom is material objects, angry kids, and pants-on-fire, then I guess I’m down for it.
Lisa Carman says
Holy moly Suzanne, you did it! Congratulations! What a cool adventure for you. I can’t wait to hear more!
Thanks, Carmen! It’s a pants of fire sort of thing!
Cheryl Macedo says
Reading this gave me a whole new appreciation for life. (Mostly your life). Lol. But still. You are brave, maybe a little crazy, and it’s obvious you LOVE life and are not afraid to put it out there. I look forward to reading your stories as the develop and following along on your journey. Your daughters will get it over it and hopefully admire you for living your life. It’s your life and you are a shining example of being a strong, beautiful, independent woman. That’s admirable in my book lady !!! Maybe now you’ll embrace your natural hair color ??? No pressure. Lol. Best to you Suzanne
Thanks for your message, Cheryl! I appreciate your encouragement and I am seriously considering the real hair color thing. I found a hairdresser here in Cuenca who used to teach at Vidal Sassoon, so we are going to work on my hair. Anyway, big hug to you!
Wow. Looking at that market and the scenery….. I just want to run to Ecuador!! I’m so happy for you. It’s definitely you and you wear it well! My dad left the US in his late fifties for Belize and never came back except to visit family on occasion. I am in admiration. Thank you for leading the way in making your dreams come true. I know that my current spot is likely a pass-through to my ultimate destination. Here’s hoping that astral cartography puts me in a sunny spot, near the water, easy cost of living, bountiful, filled with a community of people who have my back and plenty of room for my paddleboard and kayak. Sending you all the love in the world! Keep us posted!
Thanks so much T! Lovely to hear from you and you are always welcome here:)
Suzanne E Granstrom says
It’s never to late for another wonderful adventure! I wish you freedom, lots of fun and new experiences. Your daughters will get over being angry and realize you are so much more than their mother. You are an inspiration!
You have certainly inspired me as I move in new directions.
Thanks Suzanne! It feels so good to step out like this and also equally terrifying, but it’s he right choice for me. Live your dreams!
Lynn Page says
Hang in there with your daughters. I know it isn’t easy. With my teen daughter, we never knew if we were going to talk to Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. After college and being on her own, she grew up and hormones evened out. Now we a great friends.
Thanks for your comment, Lynn. I’m confident we will start talking again, it’s just challenging to have radio silence as I’m sure you understand! In the end, we all figure out our parents.