Hey-O! After several months of writing steadily I enjoyed a little break-ee-poo. But things are still movin’ and shakin’, so let’s get back out on the dance floor.

This post (and probably the next few) will contain segments that are all part of my larger story but not necessarily connected to each other. Expect direct follow-ups to what I call the blog’s ‘central story arc’ (all previous posts), fun new announcements, and progress updates on my move to Spain.

Let’s jump in it!


The Fortuitous Veer 

My last handful of posts (from To The Healing Side to Welcome To The Party, Breaux), were exclusively centered around my success doing somatic experiencing therapy. If you read each post in order, you were witnessing- almost in real time, my methodical shedding of childhood trauma, and the a written unveiling of the Gary I was supposed to be all along.  

It is a minor aside at this point, but I want to say that my initial vision for the blog was to simply share with everyone how I arrived at my decision to move from the US to Salamanca, Spain. Veering off into jarring family stories of suicide and heartbreak wasn’t part of the original plan at all. It just worked out that way….just as it needed to for me to internally heal from the trauma I’d been carrying inside all my life. Somatic therapy was the innovative and ingenious technique I used to heal myself, but it was also the opening up of my mind- as facilitated by the blog -that gave space and opportunity for my body-self to do what it needed to do. When writing about the circumstances of my childhood, I dove far deeper into my psyche than I ever had before. And made revelatory new connections between past and present. It was my mind and body working together that brought me home.

In the end, the blog will forever stand as a body of personal reclamation and universal redemption. I am thrilled to have been able to share it with you (and the world). I am also enormously pleased that at least a couple folks that follow my blog are firmly on their own path of healing from childhood trauma, too. 

Maybe I AM Jesus!

Who Is This Gary

I am proud of myself. I did something. I barely have a sense in words of what “pride” means, but I know I have felt it more than a few times in recent weeks. It’s a feeling of accomplishment, I suppose. Appreciation and admiration resulting in satisfaction. How does that work for ya?

Proud of what? This blog. This healing. This Gary.

Pride is not the only “new emotion” I have felt recently. Since therapy breakthroughs moved me from blocked to open in terms of my emotional access, I have also felt genuine anger for the first time in….well, forever. Sadness, too. My overall ability to empathize is much greater, as well. Little more than a week ago I was in the presence of a friend who was hardcore venting his way through some harsh emotions- it was a manic episode, in truth. As I sat and listened, my body began to shake and quiver until I started to cry along with my friend. Pretty incredible, right?! No, I am not the Gary you thought you knew.

Even laughing feels different. With the same friend I cried with, (on a different day) I had a laugh so deep I felt it in both flanks of my torso. 

Born At Zero

After giving my therapist (Gabe) plenty of thanks, praise and thousands of dollars (over the course of six months), I have now moved forward on my own with all the tools I need to continue doing somatic experiencing at home. My plan is to set aside some time (almost) every morning to keep it going.

It’s been great so far. And the more I do it, the better I get at it and the more I learn.

The concepts of being blocked or open to emotions are something I’ve learned quite a bit about (and now written about extensively). Not surprising to anyone that knows me, but I’ve also “quantified” what it is to be blocked on an imaginary scale of my own invention. [Reminder: Blocked is when someone cannot fully access their emotions, or is unable to regulate them in a healthy, normal way.] Check out this fancy graphic:

Open 0 ——————————————— 100 Blocked

Simple enough, right? Here’s how it works. We are born our pure selves at zero, “Open” in my terminology. This is the mind-self and body-self being synchronized so that all natural human emotions can be accessed and experienced. But as abuse, neglect, disconnection and general dysfunction in childhood accumulates, our blocked score goes up. Narcissists (like Trump, for example) have shitty, abusive childhoods and grow into adults blocked from their emotions somewhere in the 95 – 100 point range. (Psychopaths are right up there with them.) Knowing everything I know now, I would give myself a blocked score in the 65 – 70 point range. My ex-girlfriend and many of my friends [your vibe attracts your tribe] are all blocked by roughly the same amount. (No, not all. I do have good friends with blocked scores very much on the lower end of my made-up scale.) 

By the time I said good-byes to Gabe, I estimate that my somatic breakthroughs had reduced my blocked score down to around 35, about half of where I started. This left me comfortable and experienced enough to continue this type of therapy pretty much anywhere, anytime. Further work at home has dropped my score down even further- probably to the 10 – 15 point range. That’s REALLY LOW, folks!!!! Good on me! 

What will I be like if I make it all the way to zero? Should I start shopping now for tie-dye shirts and headbands? My answer to this is, NO. I don’t say no flippantly. I plan to remain quite firmly grounded outside and in. This is what I foresee as being my niche within conversations that depart from the material world into one that’s harder to detect with our traditional senses. I will make sense of the non-material “dimension” by anchoring it firmly to the everyday world we see all around.


In Other News….

I have a new adventure I am super-excited about– a podcast. Yes, I know….there are already (quite literally) a million podcasts out there…. but I’m telling you, none like this one. The name of the podcast is Marty & The Bro. Don’t look for it yet because we haven’t even recorded the first episode. Preparations are definitely underway, however, and I am feeling pretty rosy about it. 

So, if I am The Bro (per how my last name is pronounced, though not spelled), who the hell is Marty? Readers that have been with me since the beginning were (somewhat) introduced to Marty already. The fourth post I did was called, Smoke ‘em If You Want To Live. Go back and read it if you didn’t already. It’s a great post and still ranked as the #1 most read post of this entire blog. One of the stories I share within that post is about a friend I refer to only as M. The story involves the day he planned to take his own life. M is Marty.  Marty LIVES! Marty is my partner on the podcast.

Marty’s given name is Marcellus Wright, Jr. In his old neighborhood a lot of people called him Marty and that’s how he introduces himself in certain situations. I won’t say much more about Marty now or how he and I got to know each other. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out. He’s a remarkable guy and I am excited for others to get to know him as I do. Our plan is to launch the podcast the first week of January 2021.


Don’t Forget Spain

My visa application to Spain is a work in progress. There is quite a lot to it– an FBI background check, medical certificate of health, financial records, health insurance, translations, etc -but I feel like I am still on track to start my new life in Spain on or about February 1st of 2021. 

In case you were wondering… last week I received the FBI Background check. And they found nothing! So there! HA!!!

Search For The Pearl

My puzzle of a thousand pieces is nearly completed. I speak of both the analogous one and the one lying flat here on my table. Only the blue and white sky remains unfinished (for now). Based on the image, do you know what city is depicted? I will be moving there in 2021. 


The world is my oyster. It’s such a strange and opaque phrase. I am appropriately embarrassed to be using it here but it sure seems fitting as I plan my future. The term has its origins in Shakespeare so it could have five additional meanings, but I’m going with: All possibilities are available, including the chance of finding a pearl. This is pier on which I stand, looking far beyond the shores of America. The world is my oyster. I now search for the pearl.

What an indulgent thought experiment it was. After my decision was made to live abroad, a world of possibilities unfolded before me. Once I had mentally escaped the gravitational pull of my home country, I was suddenly free to float about the spaceship. I could then gaze down upon planet earth from my window and choose where I would like to land. It was exhilarating, liberating. So many grand and exciting places to choose from: Rome, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney, Moscow, Shanghai…. Where in the world shall I live? 

I could have taped a map to the wall, put on a blindfold, and thrown a dart towards my future, but that’s not my style. I’ve come too far to not think it through– to interlock more pieces of my puzzle until the right answer emerged. Just as I had arrived at so many other life-altering conclusions in this crazy year of 2020, I would have fun working this where-in-the-world conundrum, too. In a way, I was going home-shopping, but not for a roof and four walls (that comes later); I was shopping the world for a place to call home.

No Sweat

One of the best things about living in Boulder as I do now is the climate. Having lived in Texas my whole life up until two years ago, this climate is new to me. And frankly…what’s not to like? The lower humidity is awesome and, even at the peak of summer, the day’s heat is swept away by the cool night air leaving every morning fresh and chill. More of this, please. So, as my search for a city began, climate was the first consideration. From there I wrote down on a piece of paper all of my critical must-haves. After all, I want what I want, right?! Besides a cooler climate, here’s what else topped my list. 

Clean air. I work in solar. I own an all-electric car. It pains me to drive around Denver for work and see that murky dome of pollution hovering over it. Such a downer. Yes, clean air is super-important to me.

English or Spanish. Pretty early-on I decided to limit my search to countries where either English or Spanish is the dominant language. in moving abroad, I’ll have enough going on already to add a language barrier to the mix. Also, though my Spanish is “functional” now, I’ve always wanted it to be better. The thought of making a new life for myself in a Spanish-speaking country is something I find quite appealing.

Small-to-mid-size. In a much earlier blog post (2017 Reboot) I talked about living half-a-year with my friends in Modesto, California. One thing I really liked about Modesto was its size. Not too small, not too big. Size-wise, it was just right. With this in mind, I would focus my search on cities of comparable size- 150,000 to 300,000.  

Affordable. Since I was aiming for a lifestyle where working would be optional, I had to focus on cities that scored low on the cost-of-living index. 

Quality Healthcare. C’mon! Need I say more? 

Low crime. Once I started looking at websites that ranked cities based on all sorts of criteria, I found crime rate indices, too. Ah, good go know. Instantly, low rates of crime became something I would be looking at. 

Key criteria in hand, I still didn’t know how to go about conducting a world-wide city-search. “To the Internet!” was naturally my rallying cry. But the internet is a big place. Where would I begin?

Ask A Librarian

I have a longtime family-friend who happens to be a librarian. I called Becky Rose and asked for help. While my question didn’t land directly in her research wheelhouse, she was still able to direct me on to a couple of websites that ended up being quite useful. As an example, here is one of them:

I never found any site that did exactly what I wanted, which would have been to neatly present me with a list of all of the highest-rated cities filtered according to my must-haves. The tedious reality was that I had to hunt, peck and compare cities around the world until I spotted a few places that merited a closer look. 

I should also mention that my own chops as a fairly accomplished world traveler ( gave me a good deal of personal experience to draw upon. Cities like Quito, Ecuador; Santiago, Chile; London, England; and Vitoria, Spain, were all thoroughly considered at one point or another in my search. I have personally spent time in each of these fine cities and think very highly of all of them. However, determining whether or not they became finalists depended solely on how well they matched up against my search criteria.

Conversations with friends who have done their fair share of traveling were also hugely influential. One particular city in Spain called Salamanca was put on my radar after a lifelong friend (David King) told me about the wondrous time he’d spent exploring this small city in western Spain many years ago. I had never heard of this city before, but it ended up becoming one of my finalists.


One city that ranked very high in my search criteria was Montevideo, Uruguay. It has the climate I want, a low cost of living, clean air, a competent healthcare system, and all the rest. Even when I took a deeper research-dive into Montevideo, it remained a great candidate. I read expat blogs, joined a Uruguay Facebook Group for expats, and even had an hour-long Skype conversation with an Austrian retiree who’d been living in Montevideo for the past 5 years. 

What I learned is that folks who choose to move to Uruguay sure seem like they’ve got it figured out. It’s a nice life. And so far away from the world’s problems. What ultimately steered me away from Uruguay was that…while it’s a great place to retire, it would be a hard place for someone like me to earn money. As I explained in the previous post, my personal financial resources should provide me with the basic I want what I want lifestyle without having to work. But I just can’t embrace the mind-set of “retiring.” I want to continue working in the solar/renewables industry… assuming they’ll have me. 

One other thing that kind of turned me off about Uruguay. From what I gathered, Uruguayans are not very “driven.” They live a super chilled-out lifestyle and that’s the way they like it. No one’s in a hurry. No one (of course I am hugely generalizing) is clamoring to do first-rate work and get ahead in life. Coming from America I thought this might be a little too much culture-shock. Granted, I should expect to make some attitudinal adjustments wherever I’m going, but bounds of reason, right?

The Puzzle of A Thousand Pieces Comes Together

To the six faithful readers of this blog- the ones who have been there from the beginning and read every post with genuine interest. And to all the rest who have caught a glimpse of my musings here and there…. I feel joyous in telling you:

I am moving to Spain. I am moving to Salamanca, Spain. 

What a moment this is! I am taking a deep breath now. Getting myself to this point has been such an awesome intellectual, psychological, and literary journey! Of course, my story is far from over (since I am both not dead and haven’t physically gone anywhere yet); I’m just saying the journey from the Puzzle of a Thousand Pieces post to this one has already been epic.

Yes, I will continue to blog as I move forward with my plans. In terms of the central story-arc of the 1 More World blog, however, just a few more posts remain. 

Before leaving you today, please grant me a few extra words to tell you about my new city of Salamanca (population est. 150,000), and to thank my friend David King for bringing this spot of earth to my attention. Salamanca is a beautiful ancient-world city located less than 2 hours west-northwest of Madrid by train. Despite Salamanca’s 2000 year old history, it stays relevant today by being a “university town,” home to the University of Salamanca fighting salamanders. [Okay, I made that last part up. I don’t actually know what their school mascot is.] The University of Salamanca is notable for being the third-oldest continuously operating university in the entire world– founded in 1134!!!

I have been to Spain on two different occasions but never to Salamanca. I’m so looking forward to it.

The next four posts of the 1 More World blog are SUPER-interesting. Keep reading!