How adaptable are you?

by Ana Scherer
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Dynamic and fast paced Hong Kong

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Unhurried and luminous Lisbon

I was musing the other day about my many moves and what was like to live in all those different places.  How adaptable was I?  What were the traits that I acquired in each one of these places?  What made me feel at ease?  And what brought me discomfort?

Adaptability is a necessary trait for evolution and for an easier life.  The more resistance to what is; the more frustration, stress, tunnel vision, etc.  Many studies have proven that the successful survival of species is due to their capacity to quickly adapt to new situations.  Those who can quickly develop new traits in order to catch up with the times will survive and evolve.  Those who remain stuck in the past will perish.

Back to my musings now.  What made me feel at home in my new country?  How much did I have to change in order to adapt?  Did I like the change?

When I look at my latest moving experience from Hong Kong to Lisbon, I realize a lot of interesting facts.  When we moved to Hong Kong, my husband and I were looking for a more dynamic life.  Previously to this move, we were based in Miami, right on the beach, working remotely and enjoying life as semi-retirees.  We were in our 30’s at the time.  One gorgeous sunny day, as we were in the pool at 3 pm on a Tuesday together with Mrs. Cohen and Mrs. Schwartz having a cocktail, the message hit us like a runaway train.  All of it was wonderful but we both felt we were just not at that stage just yet.  Something was missing in our lives; ACTION!  Right then and there we decided to move to Hong Kong.  We would be closer to the factories that produced our goods, we would be living in a fantastic hub to travel around Asia, and we would try something new.  Once we arrived there, I decided to level up my coaching business, get involved and volunteer in the Jewish community, make new friends and travel a whole bunch.  It was absolutely what we needed and wanted at the time.  We adapted very quickly to the fast paced city and soared.  Life in Hong Kong was wonderful.  We made amazing friends for life, learned a great deal, developed our businesses and I felt very fulfilled with both my coaching business  and my volunteer work. 

Hong Kong is a place I absolutely love.  It will remain forever in my heart.  In spite of all the love for the city, I  began to realise that our time there was up.  I got sick.  The city was becoming more and more polluted.  We were getting restless.  Yes, it was time to leave.  We were very clear about what we want; a place with clean air, fresh local produce, amazing food, a more relaxed pace of life.  Becoming healthier was my most important priority. 

We decided to move to Europe and Portugal became our choice.  We spent two weeks visiting the country and loved it.  It had everything we wanted and we took the plunge.  In Portugal we found amazing food, clean air, a slower and more relaxed life, gorgeous weather, plenty of physical activities, and much more.  Portugal is a very convenient hub to explore Europe, and it also fairly fast to get to Brazil and Hong Kong when we need to go and visit family and spend some time at our businesses.

What both moves had in common was the fact that I knew my WHY when I moved.  I was clear about what I wanted to find in those places and what my priorities were.  This made ALL the difference.  There was a learning curve to go through for sure and the adaptation actually does take a while to happen.  However, because I was clear about my reasons for the move, I was able to relax in the present moment and actually call that new place HOME.  This is a game changer.  Calling the place where we live home is a declaration that the present moment is all that is; that there is no other place you’d rather be, and that you are fully invested in making your life in this new city the best that it can be for you.

Moving changes us.  It adds to our personality and it give us experiences that are very enriching.  I observed that, as I adapted to each new place, different aspects of my personality came out and developed.  Some aspects stayed with me and some faded as I moved.  Whilst living in Hong Kong my pace was faster and more dynamic, and my social life was non-stop.  In Portugal, where time seems to stand still, I became much more relaxed, patient and adopted a slower pace in many aspects.  The rhythm is much different and it allows for me to focus on my health and well being which was the original reason for my moving here.

The present moment is perfect and gives us just what we need.  By immersing  ourselves fully into the new reality and committing to what is, we are able to cash in the totality and beauty of what each place has to offer to us.



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