Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is This All There Is?

 Why would we want to leave the comforts of a land we know and a family we love to go to a land we love and people we don’t know?
Being a typical American couple, we have worked our way up the American dream ladder. We have spent our lives raising our three children, working, sacrificing, saving, and always reaching for the next rung. A better education for our children, a newer car, a larger home, a better neighborhood, nicer furnishings and great vacations. We eventually found ourselves living the American Dream.
We had great family gatherings, swimming in the pool in summer, billiard tournaments in winter, great family feasts and wonderful holiday celebrations. Life was good.
Through hard work we attained more than we really had ever thought possible. However, always in the back of our minds was the nagging question “Is this all there is?”
Achieving the American Dream was one thing; however, maintaining our lifestyle had lost its luster.
So, on a trip to Yucatan we became convinced we should move to Mexico!
Truth is we’ve always loved Mexico. We grew up along the Texas border of Mexico making our way across the Rio Grande whenever we could. We visited the border towns of Cuidad Acuna, Juarez, Piedras Negras, Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo; we loved the music, the sights, the sounds, the people and never seemed to want to go home.  In the eighties, we toyed with the idea of moving to the colonial heartland. We vacationed along the Mayan Riviera at all-inclusive resorts. Wanting a more authentic experience we began to venture further into the Yucatan Peninsula. Always talking about how much we loved Mexico. We seemed to feel at home when our feet were on Mexican soil. Alas, we would return to Texas and stay status quo, grasping each rung and reaching for the next one.

Isla Holbox
    On the secluded beaches of Isla Holbox, a then almost undiscovered island where the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean waters mingle, nestled in a Mayan style thatch roof bungalow there was no doubt in our hearts and minds we should take the plunge.
Four years of dreaming, research, hours spent on the internet reading every blog and website we could find, research trips and a couple more vacations and we felt we were ready.  Sell our home, scale down our belongings, and head south of the border.
 When we were lounging under that thatch roofed palapa, our toes dusted with white sugary sand, watching pelicans dive into the turquoise water, dreaming of living in this tropical paradise, we were not thinking of details. We quickly found out the details are many; one detail would unearth three more details. I often felt overwhelmed and mentally exhausted but we never second guessed our decision. As with any dream or goal, you must keep your eye on the prize,not on the details or the hurdles. The hardest part of the move would be being away from our family.
Merida scored highest on our checklist. We love the colonial heartland, but we wanted to be in close proximity to the ocean, Merida is thirty minutes to the Gulf of Mexico and 3 1/2 hours to the Caribbean. We wanted colonial architecture; Merida is second only to Mexico City in that department. We needed an International Airport; a 1 1/2 hour flight to Houston ain’t bad!  We are only going to get older so good medical care was a must; Merida has some of the best in Mexico. Merida passed the test on having a thriving expat community while retaining true authenticity.
What exactly are we hoping to find?
Of course we dream of hammock siestas, fresh seafood, walking cobblestone streets, gawking at colonial architecture, standing in awe of Mayan ruins, cold beer, salty margaritas and our toes in the sand…….
Truth is, we expect cold showers, spotty communications, a language barrier, driving mania, power outages, culture shock, trash and homesickness.
Our greatest hope is to embrace a country and culture with respect and genuine curiosity.
Join us on our journey.............

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