Why We Moved, Part 1: Wanderlust…..My husband’s “other woman”

Before I can answer the question as to why we moved to Costa Rica, I have to explain a little about myself and the man I married.  One of the reasons we moved is because my husband, Chris, is a nomad at heart.  He proclaims that he has never felt the need to settle down in one place.  I always thought I was going to die in the state of Texas, within a 5 hour drive of the town where I was born.

In the beginning……

I first met Chris when I was a college sophomore and he was a 2nd year graduate student. I was puzzled by the fact he was getting a Masters in Biology but had not plans to go to professional school.  I thought the only reason to major in Biology was to eventually get into dental (like my BFF and one of my sisters), medical (like myself and half my close friends in college), or veterinary (I didn’t know anyone smart enough to get in) schools .  I remember when I asked him what he wanted to do with a graduate degree in Biology, and he said he wanted to move to Africa  and do international fieldwork.   I am sure I stared blankly at him and attempted to comprehend why anyone would do that. The whole thing sounded too unpredictable and chaotic.  I was the girl who color coded her organic chemistry notes and had a study schedule for each day of the week in her DayRunner.  Remember those?  I needed something with a little more security.  Like medical school.

Moving to Africa goes on the back burner……

Well, soon after that conversation we went out on our first date and now 18 years later we have two children and a solid marriage.  So Chris’ plans to go to live in Africa changed to accommodate my own dreams of becoming a physician.  He went on to obtain a PhD in Marine Biology from TX A&M Galveston campus while I attended medical school at UTMB.  He also sharpened his skills as an amateur wildlife photographer and eventually took it to a professional level when he was offered an opportunity to lead photo safaris in Tanzania and Galapagos during his summer breaks as a teacher.

We have been blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the world during the years.

Tanzania 2009

Tanzania 2009

Tanzania 2009

Tanzania 2009

Tanzania 2009

Tanzania 2009

Jamaica 2011

Jamaica 2011

Choke Canyon State Park 2011

Choke Canyon State Park 2011

Magic Kingdom, Dinseyworld, 2012

Magic Kingdom, Dinseyworld, 2012

I loved traveling.  When the kids were born, our travel budget and time was drastically reduced. Motherhood changed me too.  As much as I still loved to travel, I did not like being gone for more than a few days at a time. Things got better once the children were older and we could bring them along, but with the pressures at work, I found it very difficult to truly get away.

A little spark re-ignites….

Eventually, the photo safaris ended because of the dwindling economy.  However, throughout out these years, Chris’ wanderlust has never faded.  He still loves to travel. While I love to travel to eat at fancy restaurants or chill out on a beach with a good book, Chris likes to experience the cultures and nature of wherever he goes.  And his dream of moving to a foreign country remained alive.

For the last 7 years, he has been reading about families who have done “nomadic years” or have moved abroad to a single location.  He talked to me about it many times and about 2 years ago, I finally said this would be something “interesting to look into”.  Well apparently that was all my husband needed to hear.  He started saving money.  He sold the elephant tusks his father left him when he died.  And he started reading more books about specific countries that were safe to move to with children.  While I thought the idea of moving abroad was “interesting”, I very much decided the nomadic year was not for me.  I am too much of a bossy control freak.

It’s now or never…..

Chris began asking me to pinpoint a time frame for when we would move abroad as a family.  We did not know where or when, but the man wanted to do this.  I kept coming up with excuses. 

“I don’t like to be away from my parents and sisters.”

The kids love their school so much.”

“We finally live in our dream house and I did not want to lose it.”  

But when it boiled down to it, the main reason I did not want to leave was because I was so immersed in my career. I did not want to do anything to jeopardize the upward trajectory I was on.

But then things changed in the Spring of 2012…………

About Noemi Gamel

Noemi Gamel is a physician who prefers writing diverse children's fantasy stories instead of medical charts. She is a geeky nomad, too.
This entry was posted in Becoming an Expat, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why We Moved, Part 1: Wanderlust…..My husband’s “other woman”

  1. Amy says:

    I am in love with this story!!! Jacob and daydream of this so often!! I’m going to live vicariously through you until God provides the opportunity 🙂 and I’m going to try to take notes and learn through you!!

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