It is important to ignore the naysayers who tell you all their reasons why your idea won’t work, especially if your voice is among them! We’ve all heard this many times but when planning an overseas move or any other big decision, those filled with fear on your behalf seem to come out of the woodwork! If your own “self talk” sounds a lot like those folks who want to warn you about everything that could possibly go wrong, you need to change the way you talk to yourself! There will be plenty who will tell you why you shouldn’t do what you are planning on doing. Ignore all of them; especially your own doubting voice. Haven’t you always moved forward after a setback…found your way, recovered after a stumble? Of course you have.
You should tell yourself that you don’t have to have all the answers before you go and you are smart enough to figure it out once you get there…wherever “there” is. Diane and I have heard our share of criticism, believe me! Those who criticize others for a personal life choice are out of bounds. There are an endless number of ways that one can experience this existence and only you (and your partner if appropriate) get to decide what choices you will make for your life.
When we left the U.S. for Ecuador, we pushed through our own doubts and ignored the naysayers, relying instead on our own abilities, a bit of courage and our own research to guide us. It turned out great! Ecuador may have been the best possible launching pad for us.
When the time came for us to leave Ecuador in search of an improved lifestyle that would permit closer proximity to the states as well as top-quality emergency medical care, our choice of Mexico delivered another crop of doubters. Now, we simply chuckle at their negative comments. Many of them have yet to make an International move (and may never) and those who have are firmly committed to their choice of location as if it were the only place on the planet where folks should live.
Today will end day number five in Mexico. We just arrived and yet, we feel remarkably at home. We can communicate and have found our way around a bit. We spent the first few days at one of our temporary residences on the beach in Cancun, mostly doing the vacation thing. We will use that place to explore the Caribbean coast north and south of Cancun to see if there is a place we can settle more permanently.
We arrived at our second temporary place in Merida yesterday afternoon. It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Cancun on a perfect multi-lane freeway-type road with very little traffic. Merida sits near the top of the Yucatan Peninsula and is a great city with tons of infrastructure and wonderful hospitals. Our house is quite nice. We will use the Merida location to explore Merida and the coastal areas just north of us about 15 minutes.
I have been often asked how to plan a look-around visit to a new country. I like the idea of doing as much research as possible to nail down 2-3 likely locations before you ever leave your home and then spending as much time as possible in those locations. I am not a fan of whirlwind tours. I think you need to settle in a place for a while in order to get the feel of it.
So…we found both of our temporary places by searching the Internet. They were both located in the two major areas we wanted to explore. Our Cancun landlord is a Mexican National. We exchanged several emails, did a couple of Skype calls, exchanged documents and I eventually sent a deposit. We finalized a lease upon our arrival.
Our Merida landlord is a U.S. citizen living in the Washington D.C. area. He has owned this home in Merida for a number of years. I answered a Craig’s list ad and went through virtually the same process with him as the Cancun landlord except I just transferred the money into his account and we did contracts via email. I’ve become rather comfortable conducting normal business internationally. Having a scanner/printer is essential, however.
Both units are furnished, the Merida house wonderfully furnished and completely outfitted. The Cancun condo is more sparse but certainly livable.
Just as there are many Ecuadors, there are many Mexicos. The Cancun area is clearly a stunning area but is hustling with a buzz of tourists all the time. Not a bad place to play. I doubt that either Diane or I would feel comfortable there full time but we may try to keep the Cancun condo for playing if we can find a way to fit it into our budget long term.
The Merida house is a very nice 3/2 in a nice, quiet neighborhood, sitting on a cul-de-sac. Major shopping is 6 minutes away with a nice park just a couple of blocks from us.
We have some appointments the first of the week and I have a car rented beginning May 1st so we can scoot around a bit.
We haven’t established a rhythm to our lives yet. It’s only been a few days but we will. So far, we love our experience although we are missing the structure and friends of our Ecuador life a bit.
When the time comes for you to finally toss in the towel, say goodbye to the work-a-day world and relax, consider the entire planet. There are many, many choices. Ecuador is a great choice but it is not the only choice. We truly loved our two years there.
Perhaps a buffet of rotating choices would suit you. It takes more courage than dollars to choose the life of an expat living abroad. For us, it is a daily adventure and this move to Mexico was SO much easier than our first to Ecuador.
For those who may have missed my post regarding our need to move from Ecuador, here is a link to the piece I wrote back in February: