In August of 2013, my husband Michael and I decided to close our business, sell off everything we own, and move out of the US. We made that decision one evening sitting on our front porch during what we refer to as “our rocking chair moment”. A couple of weeks later, after some on-line research, we decided on Uruguay as our new home. We held garage sales every weekend, and by March of 2014, we had sold everything we wanted to sell, loaded the rest in our container, and moved out of our home.
Beginning on April 23rd, my ten year anniversary of being cancer free, we took a detour through Spain before making the move here. We wanted to walk the Camino Santiago after seeing the movie “The Way”, and realized there may not be another chance in our life where we would have the “time” to make such an ambitious journey, so we jumped on the opportunity to make it happen. It was an incredible seven weeks that I think helped us considerably in our transition here in UY, and we are grateful to have had the chance to explore ourselves on such a meaningful level before making our life changing move here in July.
After our Camino, we went back to the US for a few weeks, and that’s when things fell into place quickly. We found an adorable cottage in La Barra on Craigslist, if you can image, and the young man that advertised it, Eduardo Correa, recommended the services of Gonzalo Gomez from Punta Consulting for our immigration needs. Between these two amazing souls everything just worked out for us smoothly. Eduardo became a treasured friend that assists us in purchases, utilities, customs, and more. Gonzalo made sure we were prepared with everything we needed before we left the US, and within a week after we arrived in La Barra we had our UY ID, and Temporary Residency. Since then we have also obtained our Driver’s Licenses, gun permits, and started a business, which allowed me to obtain health care that I was not eligible for due to a pre-existing conditions. (Cancer is a pre-existing condition in UY, even if you have been cancer free for 10 years.)
Gonzalo recommend Mary Ann Thompson from Language Solutions to assist us in learning Spanish. Mary Ann is now a friend that I can
confide in. Not only does she help us to better understand the language, and the customs, she promotes every aspect of our success here.
We cannot say enough good things about the people from Uruguay!
With the arrival of our container in February, (a long story in itself), and thanks to our new friends Karen & Neal from the US, who helped us find our new home, we moved into a larger cottage that accommodates our things. It is amazing how good it feels to sleep in your own bed after almost a year! It was better than Christmas to unpack the comforts of home, and while so many things were a joy to have back in our lives, as we unpacked, we often found ourselves asking “why in the world did we bring this?” It’s hard to know what you’ll need or want until you get here, but some of the advice we had gotten online really paid off. For example; it came highly recommended to us by other ex-pats, who have lived here for several years, to bring our bed, bedding, and kitchenware. That proved to be great advice. We even brought our own hammock.
Today, as we settle into our new home, establishing a means to
sustain it is of our highest priority. Since we are far to young to retire, we have to create a new way to provide for ourselves. Our way of thinking is put all of our talents out there, and trust that one, or several of them will provide us with the income we need to live here. It’s a different market here in Uruguay, and we have been told it can prove challenging.
Michael’s new business is called Botchie Multiple Services. We were General Contractors back in the States performing building maintenance for all the FedEx and FedEx Ground Facilities in the State of Oregon. Because we valued our customers, and cared about
the quality of service we provided, we maintained an A+ Rating on the BBB for over 14 years.
Michael is an electrician, welder/fabricator, certified HVAC technician, carpenter, plumber, and more. He spent several years in school, and obviously many years on the job to obtain such a
diverse list of skills. After listening to many ex-pat horror stories regarding the “unexpected” when they purchased homes here, Michael has added Home Inspections to his list of services.
If you are buying property using a septic system, there are a lot of options Michael can help you consider as well.
I am a photographer, writer, and business administrator by trade. I provide custom bottle creations including vases, chandlers and gifts, and custom buttons. As a photographer I can offer photo CD’s, photo restoration, portraits, events, DVD slide shows, photographic art, limited printing, and more. If there is interest in scrap booking or arts & crafts I have that covered as well, including the supplies. Over the next few months I’ll offer several afternoon workshops on making dream collages so let me know if you’d like to be on my mailing list.
Being here in Uruguay for us is about connection. People from all over the world are coming here and greeting each other with an honesty, and openness that we haven’t seen in a very long time. We credit much of our accomplishments and success to the amazing people here who provide fair services, or just want to help out of kindness. Making new friends is a huge highlight to our new life!
When people ask us why we moved to Uruguay? Our favorite reply is “we wanted a longer shelf life, and to move in a different direction.”
Peace to everyone, I hope your journeys take you to amazing places.