I met Darlene on Gabriola Island when she was visiting her daughter, just before she and her husband moved from Canada to Spain. I'll let Darlene tell you about her new lifestyle in her own words. Her travels inspire the children's books she writes. See how happy they look in Spain. She just might convince you to follow your own dreams.
“I've got to follow that dream wherever that dream may lead.” Elvis Presley
“Why Spain?” was the question asked of me often when I made the decision to move to another country. “Why not?” was often my answer.
I could have said, because of the warm, sunny weather, the fabulous Mediterranean food, the medieval markets, the rich history, the castles, the fiestas, the warm and friendly locals, the laid back life style etc. The truth is, I wasn´t really sure. I just knew I wanted to try living in another country, preferably a warm country.
To live in another country had been on my list of goals for some time. At a staff meeting in Calgary, we were asked to list short term, midterm and long term goals. My list was short and specific; in three months my goal was to vacation in a nice warm climate, within two years my goal was to be living in a warmer climate and I planned to retire to a warm country in about twenty-five years. I can be quite focused at times.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney
As it happened, in three months I received a healthy bonus cheque and took my husband to the British Virgin Islands where we basked in the sun for ten glorious days. Within two years, we had moved to Vancouver, and although it rained a lot, it was considerably warmer than the minus thirty temps of Alberta in the winter.
Twenty-five years later, hubby and I sold our house, car and furniture and moved to sunny Spain. We both desired one more great adventure and what better setting to relax in and write to my heart´s content.
Living in another country can be challenging and definitely puts you outside your comfort zone. It´s not just the language, in fact most people in this part of Spain speak some English; it is the unfamiliar way things are done.
Coming from a consumer-driven society where everyone works at 150 miles an hour, I have had to slow down my expectations. In Spain, family and religious holidays come first. Time is not important. I have learned not to expect things to get done quickly or at the first try.
There are no drive-through coffee shops. It would be unheard of to run in and pick up your grande latte while the car is running, so you can drink it while you are on your way to yet another meeting. You are expected to sit down and relax over a drink or a meal, chat with the waiters or the coffee shop owner and get to know them, and strike up a conversation with the people at the table beside you.
I am beginning to enjoy this way of life, where the biggest decisions of the day are where to buy groceries and which scenic route to take home.
I followed my dream of living in a warm place, and found not only warm weather but warm people as well. I still have a lot to learn but I have plenty of time. The Spanish people are very patient.
I came to the end of my comfort zone and my new life has begun!
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
C. S. Lewis
Dreamer of Dreams, Teller of Tales
Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She has also had a desire to write since she was twelve. Her short stories have won a number of awards.
She is the author of the exciting adventure series featuring spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Her books include: Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England – The Missing Novel and Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone.
Readers from seven to seventy enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene and her husband live in Orihuela Costa, Spain. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true.