Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, Colombia, Colombian life, Entreprenuer, freedom, happiness, hotel, Uncategorized

The Life I Have Made in Colombia. End of 2017 Reflections

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/proclivity/

In order to be free we have to be willing to think for ourselves, learn for ourselves, and to live our lives as our real true selves. Being free is when you are able to get past others opinions, when you are able to make decisions on what is best for you based on what is happening in your personal life, and not worry about what others may think, say or do. Being free is making choices that might not conform to a standard expected by a majority of people, but following your instincts and persevering no matter how many obstacles you may encounter. This is why some people are successful and others are not. I have found that quitting is not an option for me. The strength I have obtained because of stumbling blocks in my journey is invaluable. I thought the one thing I lost when I moved to Colombia was independence, but in actuality I have gained it. As I progress on this journey, I learn more about myself and what I am capable of. I am able to do what I need to do to secure a life filled with my passion for nature and animals.

Recently I had this lovely couple visit Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

Elaine and Marshall
My friend of many years and her husband at La Ruiza, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

The gorgeous woman you see has been my friend for almost 40 years. She came to visit Villa Migelita a couple of years ago with our other sidekick from the 1980’s Janet. She wanted her husband to see what I have done after such tremendous loss(the death of my daughter) in my life. Their visit has been another turning point for me. Before they arrived I had a lot of upheaval here in Colombia. I have handled it well, but it hasn’t been easy.

Elaine’s husband Marshall was very impressed that I had started a hotel, could speak Spanish and was accomplishing so much while still learning a new language and culture. He is the kind of person who offers sound advice and has a very kind way of saying things that I found comforting, even when it was constructive criticism. I don’t often speak about the things that have gone wrong while living in a new country, because so much has been right I don’t want to dwell  on the times I have struggled. However, I haven’t really had many people say to me ‘”hey you’re doing a great job!” In fact, hardly anyone says much as I move forward each day with my growing business. I have a proclivity to self talk negatively to myself since my daughter died. I try not to, but to be honest I do. So when someone I didn’t know said he couldn’t believe what I had done here with my life and my business,  I was delighted to have someone validate the strenuous undertaking of creating a hotel in another country. He also said the entire time I should have Netflix come and do a documentary on my life.  I have been featured in Yahoo Finance and International Living, all because I reached out to them. So maybe I will start reaching out to other venues to see if they are interested.

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In Cali, Colombia 2017 at the Festival of Lights in December
Michele 6years ago
6 years ago when I first bought Villa Migelita Ecolodge

 

Colombia has agreed with me. I know many still judge why I left the United States after my daughter was murdered. If you are really interested go back to the beginning of my blogs and read. It was a dreadful time in my life and I just couldn’t make any progress, I felt my personal growth was gone. I made some difficult choices. That is all we can do in troublesome situations. We should be the first priority for our well-being. If we are not, then we can’t show a good example to our children, family or friends.

I keep plugging away with my business. I have had a couple of people work with me, but I have been the one driving the business forward with my social media sites that publicize how Colombia really is. Me alone. I have done this, and I am not really that great with these things, but somehow I have figured out how to do more than I thought I could. I have created a following of people who never knew how wonderful and beautiful Colombia is. The days of old are gone, and Colombia is thriving. The government is really focusing on the tourism industry. So all the hard work I have done over the years I have been living here is starting to pay off. People from all over the world are discovering what a bio-diverse and gorgeous country Colombia is.

So with the lovely words of my friends husband inside my head still, I am feeling pretty good about my life in general. I have learned to deal with unpleasant situations without allowing them to affect my daily life. I know I can handle anything anyone wants to throw at me, I will catch it and throw it back. I will no longer allow others problems to change my way of thinking, I will continue to be the person I am. Yes, I am kind, I am compassionate, and I am strong. Perhaps, the only thing that has happened from my struggles here is that I am less trusting. I am losing that vital part of myself. I have found it is not in my best interest to be trusting, as I have been taken advantage of. Lessons learned and filed away for now.

So I will continue on with my love of Colombia being shown to all. If Colombia has changed it’s image from a turbulent past, so can I. I can become the best person I can be while living a life in Paradise. You see I know Misha is with me in every endeavor I undertake even the ones that are really difficult. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do make goals for myself that I try to follow, this year is to let go of fear. Ever since Misha died I have that fear thing inside of me. I am always waiting for another horrible situation to arise. I have to stop that. I have not allowed her death to stop me from creating what I have. I have to stop the negative talk and start the positive talk inside my head. I need to be proud of what I have accomplished and continue to achieve.

So with that I am going to do my  best to make Colombia a great tourist destination known around the world for nature lovers like myself. I am going to continue my journey of living in the now. I am going to be the free spirit I have always been, but I lost for a little while after my daughter’s death. I am going to try to say I am happy, because I really don’t say that much. I do say I love my life, but I have had trouble with that happiness thing. It seems elusive still, but I am working on it.Michele 2017 in water at Chipichape

 

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Posted in Colombia, Colombian life, Color and Colombia, expat life, nature, Nature Symbolism, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Sunsets at Villa Migelita

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/delta/

I have my daily routine of studying Spanish when the sun is setting at Villa Migelita. I sit on my third floor in my sun room and I watch the every changing sky. It is magnificent. I have never enjoyed sunsets as much as I do here in Colombia at my own house. I have a clear view of Cali, Colombia which is an hour away and the Valle del Cauca.  I watch the sky change while the lights of the city of Palmira and Cali slowly burst into my skyline. It is breathtaking. I also watch the 6 little bats that live in my basement come out and eat insects with the beauty of the sun going down. So enjoy some of my favorite photos of my sunsets over the years of living in the beauty of Colombia.

Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, animal rights, Colombia, Colombian life, Color and Colombia, expat life, minimalism, nature, Nature Symbolism, Perfection and Peace, Uncategorized

An Avid Photographer of Nature

Out and about at VM 003
Chacalaca bird in bamboo tree
Out and about at VM 005
A river on my hikes
Out and about at VM 013
One simple butterfly
Out and about at VM 018
a cow
Out and about at VM 019
who is very comfortable with me
Out and about at VM 021
One lone piece of bamboo

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/avid/

I am always hiking near my Villa . I can’t give an exact amount of days per week. It depends on my hair. Yes it does. I am after all still a woman who likes my hair and nails to be  perfect, even if I live in the Rainforest. Yes, I am revealing something about myself. I usually walk on days I have to wash my hair. OH, so you think why do we need to know this? Because you do. I live in the forest. I am not always interacting with others. I like being alone. I like reading, I love writing and I love my space. I really love being alone. I worked for years as a flight attendant. I don’t care if I hear a bunch of people complaining ever again!

“Worry less about what you want to be, and more about what you want to do.” – President Barack Obama in Chicago today. I love this quote because it describes me and my life to perfection. I want to be successful in my small business. But if I am not I can accept that. I want to be immersed in nature as an avid  photographer. I love getting up early and going out on my own with one of my dogs to walk and photograph the beauty that surrounds me. Photography is part of me. I am part of the photos I take on my hikes. I see people and talk to them. There is no such thing as a Colombian who ignores someone they pass, whether in an office, or on the street. Even if they dislike you they acknowledge you. I find that a wonderful way to live. What is the use of hurting others? With that I share some photos of my life around and about as an avid photographer and the life I lead as an expat.

Posted in Uncategorized

A New Bar at Villa Migelita

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/oops/”>Oops!</a&gt;

Everyone who follows my blog knows I live in Colombia, South America and own a Bed and Breakfast called Villa Migelita. I opened it last year and we are doing pretty good without a lot of advertising besides my Facebook page , Twitter, and Instagram account. I never post oops pictures because of my business, all has to look great of course!

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Before anything was done at Villa Migelita
Villa Migelita photos 002
Villa Migelita in 2015

Villa Migelita is adding a bar next week. I have a partner who is a designer. He has made my farm into a beautiful place. We were recently featured in International Livings Incomes Abroad 2015 ( scroll to page 8), and it was an honor! So now business is picking up and it is time to not just be a house but a real hotel! We are quaint and cozy. Guests wander the grounds and our house freely. I have even woken up at 5 AM to smell coffee being made in the kitchen by a guest. I love it! They feel “mi casa es su casa” and it is true, my house is their house. We offer very personal service to our guests. The way Villa Migelita looked when I first bought her was a place with potential. It has been four years of constant work and updates.

Yesterday we went looking for wood for the new bar. It has to be in keeping with the plan and design of my house which is  minimalist. The bar will be simple but functional. I took some pictures yesterday at the place I had bought furniture before, but they weren’t ‘post worthy’ …LOL. I stayed in the truck because it saves me money. If I am seen, gringa that I am, the price can go up significantly. I took some photos from my vantage point and they were not great, but I am going to show them.

As you can see it is not pretty nor can you tell how beautiful the furniture will be.

Therefor, I share a photo from my house of what this old wood turns into. I must add because I am a nature person and do not believe in cutting trees down for no reason this furniture is very old, thousands of years old to be correct. They dig into the ground for old tree trunks that have died and fallen by themselves. Perhaps through mudslides, or rotting but not just taken down for no reason. I see this often on my hikes here in Colombia. These last photos are a preview of the furniture and how it looks when I have a good picture.

So next up is the bar, which I will share at some later date. Just for grins I will show you the empty spot where the bar will be. It is another photo just for me, but since you want oops here it is. Empty space for new bar

No photo shop, just the beauty that surrounds me. I am very excited to see it all put together. Maybe this is the start of another venture. Not just a bed and breakfast but a place for Colombians to spend a bit of time and dance a little salsa.

Posted in Uncategorized

Colombia: I have never been happier than being one with nature.

Magical day in the mountains of Cali 097
Just checking out the cattle, and enjoying my view

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.” This photo captures all about Colombia and how nature lives with man so peacefully. This is an American Bald Eagle who for some reason has made its way down to Colombia. I will never forget stopping quickly and getting these photos of nature interacting.

My real love in life is animals in the wild. I love to see the birds that fly outside my panoramic view windows that surround my suite every morning. The sounds of their calls carry with me all day. My happy place is Villa Migelita. I worked my entire life to have this beauty that surrounds me. It is always there, I don’t worry it will leave me like it has in the USA. Colombia is still fresh with nature and rainforests. If they start building like I see in the United States, it won’t be for a long time. So, I leave you with a photo of my home. Come visit us here. We offer peace, nature, tranquility, luxury rooms, and wonderful food at amazing prices. I am on Instagram now too. Please follow me there for photos of my life as I enjoy my days. Life is amazing, I have found nirvana. You can too. Just give Colombia the chance it deserves. I have lived here for almost five years now without problem. Come see the Magical Realism of a country that is undiscovered by most travelers. You will not be disappointed.

Ricardo job, lake, luci and tarantula 021
Villa Migelita

My final thoughts on this little eagle, he left the USA because all of his natural areas are being taken from him. Let us appreciate our wildlife; let us save the environment.

Posted in Uncategorized

Choices, Chances, Changes. I Did It. You Can Too.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take a Chance on Me.”

The 3 C’s of life: choices, chances and changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. Unknown~

xploring 011
This is me on a hike in La Buitrera, Colombia on my 57th birthday. The mountains were my solace when I first arrived in Colombia. The views were my happiness. I felt a peace I had not known in a long time.

The first time I read this quote I remember thinking that I was a living example of these words. I had made a choice, to take a chance and move to a new country, and change what was wrong with my life situation. It was a very sudden choice that I didn’t really contemplate like you would think I should, and it has worked out well for me. I really didn’t think a lot about what it would entail. I am sure most people think I was crazy to move to a foreign country without knowing the language, nor the culture, but I did it. I am loving life here in Colombia 4 1/2 years later. It is a life many strive to achieve but never actually do what they need to do to get there. I think desperation drove me to a place that made taking chances not so alarming as they normally would be. I was sad, hurt, and misunderstood by many people.  Gossip and innuendo followed me and there came a point that I just wanted to escape the hell I was living in. So I picked up and moved after I visited beautiful Colombia.

It has been a journey. I have had incredibly wonderful moments, frustrating moments, and learning curves. I am a firm believer in living in the now. I am still struggling with Spanish. It is not so easy to learn a new language. I can comprehend most conversations now, I can watch a movie in Spanish and understand, but I still struggle daily with my verbal communication. Some days I can talk away like it is my second language, other days I struggle. I have always been a confident person, but speaking Spanish has made me timid. I realize it is a real feat to speak more than one language and I appreciate all who do. I also have learned to live simply. I am a minimalist. I do not have anything in my life I do not need. What a nice change that has become for me. I no longer shop unless I need something. My Villa is not cluttered. I no longer want a lot of clothes, jewelry, nor items to decorate that have no purpose. I just want simplicity in my life. I look to nature and my animals to find the love I used to seek while collecting a closet full of clothes, a jewelry box full of jewels, and a house full of the latest trends.  Nothing is trendy about my house. It is classic. I think of myself as classic too. I seek no-ones approval.

So now I continue on this incredible journey that happened so quickly with the opening of my Bed and Breakfast. It is a new exploration in entrepreneurship for me. I was always the employee and I am now the owner. I enjoy this odyssey I am on. I believe it will work out. However, I know life is one day at a time, there is never a guarantee. I struggle with that. I WANT a guarantee, but after I lost my daughter to tragedy I realize that this is just not possible. So I will keep on writing about my journey and hopefully when the reality of old age overtakes me I will have established a legacy that will show my commitment to an exploration of new beginnings.

Posted in Uncategorized

An Emotional Triumph

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Four Stars.”

This book is the start of a journey. Part cliché; An Emotional Triumph’s main character revolves around a middle-aged woman who gets a divorce and goes out on her own genre. But then it gets interesting. The daughter dies during said divorce and the characters show flaws that are not cliché but reality to many people who live with tragedy in their lives. She lives life with gusto that cannot be matched by many. She promises her deceased daughter that she the mother will live her life for all the moments the daughter will never have. She sells everything and moves with a younger man to a foreign country. She learns a new language, a new culture, restores a house and opens a bed and breakfast. She has setbacks after the death of her daughter, but she does not allow them to diminish her goals. She goes from being a one woman train wreck to the master of her own destiny. She is living in a peaceful environment with the beauty of Colombia as her backdrop. She has learned to forgive and move on. She has sadness in her soul but beauty in her heart. She has found her way in a life that was not what she envisioned. She continues living as a free spirit in a new environment; the love of animals and nature keep her centered. She prevails with a gentle heart that looks for the best in life.Taz , farm where wedding 077 This is a worthwhile read for those who seek change. This book shows that is possible for anyone to pick up and start over. This is the happy ending we all seek at some point in our lives, but cannot get the gumption to try something different, something new. This will make you think twice about how you view life and your surroundings.

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http://www.villamigelita.com