26 responses

  1. marilee
    October 7, 2013

    mexico has relieved a lot of pressure for me, too. i don’t plan as much. i don’t expect myself to accomplish more than one or two tasks a day. i practice spanish. and practice making my friends laugh at my made up words. i have more spontaneous moments… with old and new friends. i don’t have time restraints like before. i can follow my nose and savor moments when and where ever they occur. i hope you continue to have ‘imperfect’ moments of loveliness.

    Reply

    • paradise
      October 7, 2013

      Thanks, Marilee!! It really is a special place…

      Reply

    • kimberly barsketis
      December 5, 2013

      I’m living in San Miguel as well and would love to meet you for lunch sometime. You can contact me at lucyinthesky1962@hotmail.com

      Reply

  2. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    October 8, 2013

    I love this, Val, and it echoes my own transformation in a lot of ways. I have definitely learned to not just make do with myself, but realize how important I am to other people and to myself. IT helps having a tight-knit group of friends and a partner who is willing to just shake his head and say, ‘qué chica eres.’ Here’s to growing and learning, no matter at what age!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted…Seville Snapshots: Summer Nights at Plaza del SalvadorMy Profile

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  3. Elle
    October 8, 2013

    Great article! For me it was age that made me embrace my imperfections. When I turned 40 I finally realised that you don’t need to have perfect hair, that perfect dress, those perfect shoes. I guess moving to Spain had a massive impact too – I no longer have to wear the formal office attire… and usually work in jeans, sweatpants… and very occasionally a bikini.

    What a load of pressure now gone! Part of me wishes I’d realised it all 20 years earlier, but that’s just part of growth.

    Elle xx
    Elle recently posted…Flying Teeth!My Profile

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    • paradise
      October 8, 2013

      Yes, I am almost 40 and am feeling the same things. I had a professional job that I just left back in the US, and it’s great that I don’t have to “put myself together” everyday. I am feeling free to leave the house without makeup and just be “me”. xx
      paradise recently posted…Where To Stay And The 3 Best Things To Do In BangkokMy Profile

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  4. Bethaney – Flashpacker Family
    October 8, 2013

    Perfection is over-rated!! Those “perfect” people are always the ones that are unhappy on the inside.
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted…Capture the Colour 2013My Profile

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  5. Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries
    October 8, 2013

    Speaking of made up spanish words, a few years back in DF I didn’t want cinnamon on my coffee so I told the waitress in “spanish” .. “sin sin-a-mon” (seen senn-ah-mohn) needless to say my friends were dying from laughter and still give me shit about it to this day, especially since I said it with so much conviction, like this is DEFINITELY the right word haha.

    For those that don’t know the spanish word for cinnamon is “canela” (kah-nel-ah).
    Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries recently posted…Comment on Traveling Without Assumptions by T.W. AndersonMy Profile

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    • paradise
      October 8, 2013

      That is hilarious!! Great story and thanks for sharing….

      Reply

  6. Brenda Dawson
    October 8, 2013

    The best dinner parties I ever have given included just family or close friends; they know you are not perfect but love you anyway. Love to have special fancy party times but even at those it is usually fancy paper plates. Keeping it simple yet special and realizing it is the people that truly make it special. Guess that is why I always enjoyed being a homemaker and mom, just making home special for others, one of the greatest jobs that really was not a job rather a passion of love for the people in your life. Thanks for being so transparent and sharing! I truly love that!

    Reply

    • paradise
      October 8, 2013

      Thanks, Mom!! You were always good at teaching us to keep it simple and didn’t even get mad when we had waterfights in the house!! I appreciate that….

      Reply

  7. TheBarefootNomad
    October 8, 2013

    Love this, Val! I’ve never been even remotely close to a perfectionist (except when I make coffee, which I’m a bit well.. obsessed with…), but I can definitely relate to the need to let go of expectations. It’s all very Buddhist, this letting go of our attachments to ideals…
    TheBarefootNomad recently posted…Photo Friday: The Pier at Magnetic IslandMy Profile

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    • paradise
      October 8, 2013

      Micki, I will never let go of my perfectionism with coffee either!! I use a hand cranked burr grinder and the AeroPress for making mine, and sigh with pleasure everyday!

      Reply

  8. wanderingeducators
    October 8, 2013

    love this. i have many chipped mugs and plates, i can’t bear to part with them because they hold so many memories! i’d be falling down all the time on that street.
    wanderingeducators recently posted…Trekking Onto Moving IceMy Profile

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  9. Terry at Overnight New York
    October 9, 2013

    Serious travel and perfection don’t mix — and isn’t that great? Perfection is definitely over-rated! Nice post.
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted…Yotel New York: On Your BikesMy Profile

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  10. Lillie – @WorldLillie
    October 10, 2013

    Beautifully written and reasoned!
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted…Kayaking: A Great Way to Tour a River City Like Boston!My Profile

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  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    October 10, 2013

    I found myself celebrating with you as I read this article! I think you are sharing an all too common experience and one to which I can’t help but relate and as a result, feel myself breaking free as I read your words describing the same in your own life. I am absolutely thrilled that you are sharing your new life through these posts!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted…ECO NEWS: Car Wars- The 2014 Electric Vehicles Race Heats UpMy Profile

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  12. Marina K. Villatoro
    October 11, 2013

    I spent 3 months in Mexico and honestly it’s where I learned all of my spanish and that was cause I hitchhiked the huge country and each ride was really long and the men driving were really happy to chat with a blonde gringa even if it was broken spanish.
    Marina K. Villatoro recently posted…Don’t Know What to do in Guatemala – How about Going to a Race Track?My Profile

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  13. Jennifer
    October 13, 2013

    Great post, Val! I have the same trouble learning Italian. I understand the language but it is still so hard to speak more than just a few words. And that is mostly because I am afraid of sounding stupid or making a mistake. I also totally get you on the cobble stones! I don’t know how they do it.
    Jennifer recently posted…Car Lover’s Guide to GermanyMy Profile

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  14. Larissa
    October 15, 2013

    Very self-aware, Val! A great reminder that so often we create this “perfect” image of what our lives should be like, and then make ourselves miserable trying to achieve it. All the while, we’re missing the fun stuff.

    (That said, I’m still trying to develop the “perfect brownie recipe”. . . I’m not there yet, but I’m having a delicious time trying 🙂 )
    Larissa recently posted…Ghost town: The Minidoka Japanese internment camp in IdahoMy Profile

    Reply

    • Val-This Way To Paradise
      October 15, 2013

      Ok, when you find that recipe, will you send it to me? Yum!!
      Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted…Buy Me A New Pair Of Flip-FlopsMy Profile

      Reply

  15. Cacinda Maloney
    October 16, 2013

    I can totally relate to this post about “perfection” Been there, done that! In fact, I don’t want to do it anymore. I have had so many dinner parties just like you described. The “perfect” one! Well, no more! Enjoyed this post!
    Cacinda Maloney recently posted…Genoa, Italy and the BW City HotelMy Profile

    Reply

    • paradise
      October 17, 2013

      Thank you, Cacinda!! It’s nice to find people who are on the same page!!

      Reply

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