48. From Pipe Dream to Reality - An American living in Portual with Mary Campbell
Mary Campbell had what she called a pipe dream of living in Europe. She recently turned that pipe dream into a reality and is now living as a permanent resident in Portugal. You'll hear how she did it and how she feels about it... (FREAKING AWESOME!) and with so much more.
Mary and I met in the public schools where I worked as a music teacher and Mary worked as a school psychologist.
Mary grew up in the Pacific Northwest, joined the USAF right out of high school, and served as a German cryptologic linguist (listened to East German Air Force radio transmissions & analyzed them for intelligence). After her enlistment, she got my grad & undergrad degrees at UC Davis in psychology/school psychology & worked in public schools in CA and ID for 30+ years. Most of that time was as a school psych, but she took a brief foray into administration and served as a building principal at the middle school level.
Mary has worked with children from preschool through high school. She retired in July 2020, a little earlier than she had originally planned (a Covid-inspired decision), and decided to move to Portugal in Spring 2021. She arrived in Lisbon in April 2022, after selling her home, and applying for a long-term residence visa. She has two grown sons (ages 40 and 34) who still live in the Boise area, as does their father, her former husband.
Here are the takeaways...
- Hearing limiting things like "I don't know about a single woman her age....(fill in the blank)" can feel limiting until you realize, you'll be a woman your age ANYWHERE. You might as well be where you want to be.
- Intentional connections can be made through meet-up groups like meetup.com, Facebook groups, and buy-nothing groups. Looking for shared interests. It can be an easy way to make friends.
- You don't have to know the language of a country as long as you are willing to learn the language.
- Recognizing the circumstances of international moves is really important. There is a difference between being an immigrant and a refugee.
- International moves are going to take time. Have patience, be polite, be persistent and recognize you might not understand everything. You'll need to ask questions and be patient.
- Decisions terminate panic.
- Living your best life empowers other people to live their best lives.
Mary doesn't do a lot on social media but I'll be sure to pass on anything to her. Just DM me on Instagram or email me.
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