Does this remind you of anyone you know?

For some reason, some time ago… you started to consider a move to Mexico. But you have no idea why. You can’t find the words to explain it to yourself, let alone to other people. For a long while you don’t even try. It’s your fantasy world.

But after getting used to the idea, you start taking baby steps into your dream world. You watch Home Hunters International episodes until you’ve memorised the dialogue. You hit on Mexico real estate websites until the listings’ lingo seems familiar… fixer-upper in trendy area… move-in-today condition… recently renovated colonial… close-to-the-beach… right in Centro… You read about others’ experiences living in Mexico by following a blog or two. Next you join a Facebook group, and then another, and another. You buy a couple of books and watch movies about “Mexican life”. It feels so intriguing, exciting, invigorating …

But it gets scary when you read reports about narco violence, police corruption, real estate rip-offs, political wrong-doing, poor customer service, poor internet connections, endless bureaucracy, serious tummy trouble, and more.

But in all fairness, you contrast this information with the smiling images you see posted online. You start making allowances for the negative stuff that happens south of the border, and remind yourself that unsavory characters lurk in the shadows of your home town too. As for political wrongdoing… those who live in glass houses…

Nonetheless, you have never lived in a place where you don’t understand the language, the laws, the day-to-day customs. If anything terrifying actually happened, you doubt your coping skills would be up to the task. But your fascination doesn’t go away. There is so much beauty in Mexico. The country is seducing you… and sometimes you cry because you want to be there. You can’t dismiss your obsession, so you take the next BIG step… you share your hopes and dreams with few close family members and friends. Before long you’ve also mentioned this to the barista at your local café, the waiter at the Mexican restaurant you’ve started going to, people sitting next to you in line at the doctor’s office…

Maybe one of them will be able to help you sort through your conflicting feelings?

Reactions are mixed. Really mixed… But generally speaking, the younger bunch tend to see moving to Mexico as an adventure, and they tell you to be sure to rent or buy a house with a pool, because they’ll visit you. The people about your age and older, caution you. They warn that this would be a foolhardy move. “You read the papers and watch News TV. You’ll be setting yourself up for major danger, not to mention financial setbacks when you have to come back.”

Whose advice do you follow?

Bottom line: You so-o-o-o need a new “kick at the can”. You are positive that you don’t want to spend the rest of your life as a boring old dude or dudette. You want to wake up to warmer weather every morning. You want to see rich colourful scenery, not beige landscapes. You want music around you and to hear children’s voices. You want to spice up your food. And your life.

So you go for it. You register at the Mexican consulate. You sell your house, disperse the belongings you can stand parting with, you give up your car, and arrange to ship or carry whatever you feel must accompany you.

This is your journey of the heart, a leap of faith, a step into the unknown, this is really happening…  YOU ARE MOVING TO MEXICO.

You feel your fate is sealed. There’s no turning back. Yea Gods… what have you done?

You settle down and wait out the final days. You don’t share your worries with anyone. You glibly talk about all that is to come as though you’ve got a handle on it. Absolutely.

D-Day arrives (Departure Day, not the other D-Day… although you could draw some parallels, couldn’t you?)  You board the plane, or pull your jam-packed vehicle into the south-bound lanes of the freeway… and you’re off.

What happens next? You take a deep breath… You know that’s up to you.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

10 thoughts on “Does this remind you of anyone you know?

  1. Your story about a dream to move to Mexico so resonates with me. It was fun, thought-provoking, parts of it very true for my then-husband and me ( House Hunters International) . And in fact, the very first house we saw with the realtor turned out to have been on that TV show.
    Thanks for a revisit of that whole process,Joanna! I miss Mexico and its people very much.


    1. Yes I received both of your comments today, Margaret but iuntil now I have not had time to reply. I do NOT know what I do all day but the lockdown does not suit me at all… I drift from one thing to another without really making much headway. I know you miss Mexico… we have always shared a love for almost everything about this place… But with all the issues you have right now, I think you need to be in the USA… But hopefully you will beat it all and be able to come back to the place you love and that loves you back… Big hugs!


  2. -My sister-in-law and I actually rented a house in Merida that appeared on House Hunters International, but that episode didn’t air in Canada until after we were back home.. Great fun to see a house we had lived in for two weeks. Like any big change, you need to do your homework and know what you are getting into. The unexpected always happens. As a visitor, the most difficult was probably getting off the plane at Leon airport expecting the car sent by the house rental company to be outside. An hour later, no car, almost no one in airport, dark, staff only spoke Spanish. I asked the only man in a suit for help, he was wonderful, and together we arranged a taxi. Taxi driver called his wife, and we were off.
    Only other incident could have been dangerous, but wasn’t. GPS got us onto the wrong road in Chiapas – me, my daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and a large Boxer dog in a bright yellow Xterra. Road looked fine to begin with. Two incidents, first was two young girls holding a string across the road hoping to stop us and the second was navigating through a sea of mud where the road should have been. S-in-L is retired military who worked in Africa for the UN, including conducting supply convoys from Rwanda into the Congo. So unphased, all in a day’s work, but with no mortar shells flying overhead.
    Mexico requires common sense, but the people are wonderful, the sun shines, and it doesn’t rain too much (except for this year).



    1. As always… so lovely to hear from you Auntie Alice. Yes we’ve had many adventures together in Mexico (and Canada too!) I once read that “Mexico is a state of mind”… I would change that a bit and say, “Mexico is a state of the heart.” Most people who come here find their’s is forever opened wider because of time spent in the country. I am glad that so many in our family have come to love Mexico… This place has made our family richer, hasn’t it? We’ll talk soon…


  3. Did you get my reply to your wonderful Mexico post? Wow, you captured that experience so well!

    On Mon, Nov 30, 2020, 6:35 AM CHANGES IN OUR LIVES wrote:

    > Changes in our Lives posted: ” For some reason, some time ago… you started > to consider a move to Mexico. But you have no idea why. You can’t find the > words to explain it to yourself, let alone to other people. For a long > while you don’t even try. It’s your fantasy world. To read more,” >


    1. Thanks for both your comments today. We have shared good times here, haven’t we? I hope your mobility will get better and better and that we will do so again. I hope to go to San Miguel this summer… remember what a good time we had! Where would we be without memories…


  4. I am not certain I could write an essay similar to yours. Not because I have a grudge against Mexico, but because I cannot remember anything about the process I used to decide to retire here. I can be thankful I have my published essays to review.

    That loss of memory is partly a process of old age, but it is also due to cultural acclimation. I will never be culturally Mexican; my head is American hard-wired. But on my five trips north since July, I noticed that I have lost my automatic American culture response. Service was annoyingly fast at restaurants. Grocery clerks had no interest in talking about the new street paving. Drivers stopped to let me enter busy roads. (I thought that one was a trick.) I breath a breath of relief each time my flights set down in Manzanillo.

    I cannot tell you how it happened. But at some point, who I am was modified. In one sense, I feel remote from the country of my birth — as if I am examining it from a space station. The comedic escapades of the Democrats and Republicans (the very thing that once ran my life) now cause laughter instead of personal involvement. And I am the better for it.

    We need to sit down and talk about this experience one of these days. Or you just may have induced me to write another essay. Maybe both.


    1. Hi Steve… yes we need to have a long chat … preferably in person. I tell you, I can’t wait for this lockdown to be done, done, done. I wrote today’s post because I have heard lately from quite a number of new foreign residents in Yucatan., and it struck me how their reasons for coming to live here are so different than mine were when I decided to live here. Your insights into how the changes in my life… changed me in the process is the stuff of much musing. I am still the same core person. I believe the imprint of our childhood never leaves us… but living in Mexico has “enhanced” me. I don’t feel any less Canadian for having lived in Mexio for almost 45 years. But my view of the world and my place in it, is a quantum leap from the ideas of the girl who came here in 1976. So when you get the henkering to make a short trip… come for a visit. It would be so great to see you. (maybe we’ll write a joint post? ) Good luck on your next west coast visit with your mom.


  5. Wow, what a huge smile this brings to my face, Joanna. It does remind me of people I know, and love. And some of me. I fell in love with Mexico from those many visits, from real experience—the good and the bad,—and once I accepted the gift of the Mexican-state-of-mind, all the rest of life’s sh*t became, well, comical. AND it was YOUR OUTSTANDING BOOK that gave me (and it keeps giving me) the guidance, the map, to bring my dreams and goals home. While a person can make dreams come true from just about anywhere, it sure is more fun and rewarding to make magic from down here! (Sending you waves of gratitude again.)
    P.S. Great photo! Is it you?


    1. I was so happy to receive this comment and the other I just answered. I am glad that you still enjoy my book… I am working (in fits and starts) on an updated edition. Time will tell if I get it finished. I sometimes see your comments on Silvia Saltwater (Isn’t Alex a fun writer!) and I wondered why I had not heard from you. Anyway my friend… great to be back in touch.


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