Hola loyal reader. Please join Bruce and Mary as they reflect upon their three years in Yucatan. As usual, for those of you who prefer to read these posts from the original blogsite, please click here.
This Tuesday, February 15th marks the 3rd anniversary of our escape to Mexico. That day was the realization of a dream that had been conceived many years ago when we still lived in Alexandria, MN. The plan that we came up with then has evolved (with much serendipity) beyond all recognition into a life that we could have never predicted three years ago when we bought those one-way tickets to Merida. Just goes to show, I guess, that sometimes if you just go with the flow and don’t try to force your reality, good things happen.
Here I am on the deck of our Chicxulub condo overlooking the Gulf. Our plan was to do nothing but vacation the first month of our escape. My blood pressure literally went from about 145/85 to 106/65 in a week’s time. It was great fun.
What, Nestle Cheerios? On our first foray into Progreso for groceries we spotted this. Our son Joe who works in customer service for General Mills explained to us how GM, through its joint venture with Nestle, CPWÂ (Cereal Partners Worldwide) distributesÂ their cereal products in Mexico.
After our vacation was over we knew that we had to move to the big city of Merida for a lower cost of living while we figured out how to stick down here.
This is Mary and Fernando, our landlord in our flat on Calle 59, a main artery of Merida and just a few blocks from the heart of Centro. Fernando, an abogado, attorney by trade, is very possibly the nicest landlord in the world.
The Ramblin Rose, a B&B just outside of Chuburna Puerto, nearly became ours. Our original plan was to forge a living down here in the hospitality business. When our potential partners back home got cold feet we made an offer contingent upon financing and that offer was accepted. After a sleepless night reflecting upon our businesses that had failed in the past we came to terms with the reality that the last thing my blood pressure needed was to operate a leveraged business in a foreign country. And we suddenly became honest with our true motivation for owning a B&B. It was simply a means to host family and friends. Ironically, now we house-sit, for free, a small hotel of a house and we have hosted family and many friends.
So now what? We decided to network. This is our first NAFTA party, a monthly gringo mixer. On the left is Jose, the father of Philip who owned Pure Fitness Gym. I became a personal trainer there.
Due to a friendship with Terry, on the right, who we metÂ at a Nafta party, Mary and I were invited to a Merida Verde meeting. This non-profit environmental group is headed by Julie, the lady on the right. At that meeting, plied with much wine, I had suddenly discovered that I had volunteered to co-author a fund raising book titled, Living in Merida. Above is a Living in Merida book committee meeting.
After leaving our flat on Calle 59, this part of Santana, near beautiful Paseo Montejo became our neighborhood. Through our Merida English Library connections we met Sharon who needed a house-sitter for the summer. And she needed someone to take over her TESL teaching responsibilities at CIS. This is just what the doctor ordered for Mary as she had become TESL certified just prior to our escape to Mexico.
With the summer over and Sharon back from the states we needed another place to live. At this time the book project was demanding about 60-70Â hours per week. To keep my focus on this project the Merida Verde Pres., Julie, offered us her “other” house. The tiled roof shields the patio off our bedroom.
Finally the book was done and we launched Living in Merida in the exotic lobby of the elegant Casa San Angel. Here Mary is assisting me in book signing. I had to practice my sig for a week to come up with something half way legible.
With the book project completed we, again, needed new digs. At a Living in Merida appreciation party at Julie’s million dollar home we met Harley and Myrna, a San Francisco couple with a Merida home that needed house-sitting. This has been our home for the last two years.
With my gym closing and Mary quitting her TESL job (she does not enjoy teaching adults and now she volunteers teaching children) we had another crisis. But again, our network showed us the way. We heard of online moderation jobs offered by a Canadian firm from our good friends Chuck and Joanne and we were quickly offered positions. Now we work from our laptops wherever in the world we are and life is good once again. Above is a company party, Mary is whooping it up on the left. I think we moderators have our fair share of fun.
Now that we are settled into our Mexican routine, going to the beach in Progreso on nice Saturdays (would be nice to have one again, but I won’t go into a weather rant because I know I will get no sympathy from MN readers) is one of our favorite things.
And when we can, we take in a Yucatan Leones beisbol game.
And another of our favorite things is simply sharing happy hour with our Merida friends.
Mary and I were walking to the gym yesterday and the subject of this post came up. It is hard to believe it has been three years since we escaped conventional life back in MN. But it is almost harder to believe that we ever did live that way and it is getting increasingly difficult to even remember the daily details of of our former lives. We feel very fortunate to have found such a fulfilling life, down here in paradise, Merida, Mexico.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Bruce appreciates any and all commentary (maybe even a shout out from a General Mills reader?).Â Hasta pronto!