We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow


Do you ever get tired of your style? Your clothes? Your hair? Whatever?

I suppose quite a few people do, when I think about how popular “makeovers” are, with women particularly.

I think I’ve gotten tired of my style. Especially in the cooler (and colder) months here in Colorado. Each progressive winter here has felt colder and more oppressive. Linda has mentioned feeling similarly. So, for me at least, I think that getting tired of my style is partly a matter of becoming tired of the physical conditions that necessitate it.

A couple of years ago, when we first started thinking about moving overseas, the places we were considering were warmer. We knew we couldn’t handle the intense heat and humidity of equatorial locales, although that didn’t stop us from considering them for a while, due to the incredibly low cost of living in some of them. But some of the warmer areas in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, even Mexico, appealed to us.

When thinking about moving overseas turned into planning to move overseas, I started rethinking my style. Years ago, when I was still involved in my previous life, I wore a suit multiple times every week, for the religious meetings and the door-to-door chore.

When I wasn’t involved in one of those activities, my style was what I called “comfortable.” Blue jeans and a casual shirt, usually a pullover cotton/poly knit. Back then, I was the kind of philistine who tucked my casual shirt into my jeans. (I never wore socks with sandals, though. Even then, I had my limits!)

When I abandoned that strict religious background, my style changed somewhat. The “comfortable” part didn’t really change. I had already discarded the tucked casual shirt look, which added to the comfort factor. But now, I discarded the suit, as well. Not entirely. I still wear a suit for weddings and funerals, and I wore one on an important date weekend early on with Linda.

Kelly and Linda

But aside from that, my style now is pretty much comfortable all the time. And it’s not that I want to give up being comfortable. Because as I think about my style now, comfortable is about how something feels, not so much how it looks. Comfort can take on a lot of different looks.

So when we started looking at those warmer destinations, I began to think about changing my style. In warmer climates, lightweight cotton and linen took on a greater appeal to me. I started purchasing loose linen pants and shirts, sandals with good walking soles for exploring those new environs, wide-brimmed hats to protect my Scandinavian/British isle white skin from the sun.

An added benefit is that these kind of clothes compress a lot more than my current style and will take up very little room in the backpack. When we go over there for more extended periods (like later this month), that will be an important factor.

As I write this in early March, dressed in my blue jeans and my thermal-knit shirt, with a sweater, I look out the window at the grey sky that’s trying to snow again. So far, it’s only succeeding in being wet and cold, but the forecast is calling for more snow today and tomorrow. While I’m not looking forward to another summer here (that’s another story altogether), a more laid-back lifestyle in a more temperate climate is really calling to me today.

I can feel those warm breezes blowing in off the southern coast of Portugal, rustling the palm trees, and my linen sleeves. But then I realize that the furnace just came on, and I’m feeling the warm air blowing through the vents.

On a day like this, that’s nice, too.