Our home in Ecuador.
Wholesome food + 8+ hours of sleep a night + no TV or Internet + lots of fresh air + free time to enjoy it + daily exercise = life on the farm. While this is definitely an amazing and wonderfully healthy life, what Chris and I didn’t realize was that first we would need to go through basically a detox period.
For the first week here, I had a constant feeling of stress in the back of my mind and in the pit of my stomach. At first I couldn’t figure out what was causing it and just chalked it up to being in a new place. However, one night as I was lying in bed and my mind was racing, I realized that this was the first time in an incredibly long time if ever, where I wasn’t going to bed with a huge list of todo’s on my mind. My whole job in life at that moment was to sleep and holy crap was it a weird feeling.
In California, even if we were relaxing or on vacation, we always knew there was something we should be doing instead. It made it really difficult to truly relax. Added onto that is the fact that you are constantly connected. Chris and I spent the majority of our “extra” time cruising the internet and I was definitely addicted to my smart phone. (Seriously used to have dreams where my phone would buzz and then I would wake up and immediately check my email.)
As a result, at least I am guessing it is, Chris and I spent a good portion of our first week and half on the farm sleeping. I literally slept for almost 10 hours a night and would take a nap mid-day as well. It often felt like my mind and body were getting rid of toxins and it made me realize how unhealthy part of our life in California was. Just how stressful Americans seem to make their lives. Now getting past the feeling that I should be doing something or checking in with someone or something is incredibly hard. I often have to physically force myself to sit still or not run for the iPod or book to occupy my mind. But the more we take the time to sit and watch the sun go down, without worrying about what is coming tomorrow, the more we both realize how much we want this in our lives. Chris and I have been spending a ton more time talking to one another, something we sometimes forgot to do in our busy, technology based lives, and we are definitely growing closer in our relationship. Families and communities here are so close, including couples, and I do think part of it is that they spend a good portion of their evenings, if not their days, talking and laughing together.
The view from down the street of Volcano Imbarra. Taking time to actually enjoy our surroundings has been amazing. Of course it helps to be looking at beautiful jungle covered mountains instead of concrete and cars.
While a bit of stress is good and I still love the internet, there needs to be a balance and I think Chris and I have both decided to make this a priority when we get home. Whether or not we will be able to, especially in a culture where if you ask someone how they are, their immediate response is “Oh I am so busy” as they keep their eyes peeled on their cellphone, will be interesting. Especially if I get an iPhone this time…