I got a message from one of my local friends last night (he is one of my best friends here, except when he is my trainer at the gym). He said: “do you like being here or not, I can’t figure it out from your (last) post?”
I apologize for any ambiguity. I love it here. I have since I first landed in the summer of 2009. It was, love at first sight, and that has not changed.
There is something magical in the air, that makes you yearn for it when you are away and fills you with joy when you step foot on the tarmac and walk back into the airport across the airfield.
I am glad that it is not Canada or Switzerland, the places where I grew up. Yes, there are things that still frustrate me: the rather aggressive drivers; the billboards everywhere (even though I use them in my work now too); the lack of protection for animals; the challenges facing special needs people or people of diversity; the lack of recycling… all things that are evidence of a land in transition.
Yes, there are things that I miss from Vancouver or Zurich. Friends obviously; diversity in dining options; all the conveniences of a modern city. I miss trivial things like being able to phone for home delivery of almost any type of international food you can imagine. But then you think of the cost of living in Vancouver or Lugano and compare it to how much further your Euro goes here, and you forget all those cravings!
So Milos, to answer your question: I love this place; the friends I have made; their welcoming nature; the incredible Wild Beauty from seaside to mountain ranges that I never get used to; the amazing summers at the beach or on the water; the simple, yet wholesome real food and my favorite locales; the simple, slower, life. The incredibly tall people (thanks for reminding me Zaga). It is less stressful here, but we work very hard – building, marketing and selling new communities in this emerging market that is still remote, with its storied past, is no easy endeavor. That challenge is an invigorating and exciting one!
I hope this post has cleared things up!