New beginnings – We marked one month of living in Mexico this week. It still feels like one big vacation. We’re incredibly grateful to have a beautiful home to live in while waiting for our house to sell in Texas and eventually build our home here. Days begin with taking photos of the latest amazing sunrise, yoga, and meditation. Lisa has been working diligently on learning Spanish. She listens to a CD for thirty minutes and has conversations with anyone she comes into contact with. Local folks seemed pleased with her effort and are more than willing to enunciate and use simple language. I am all too familiar with the sensation of one’s head exploding in the effort to learn a second language. It is a necessary part of the process.
We made a new friend, Kathe who lives in Chetumal, about a half hour drive from us. Several years ago, Kathe and her partner traveled from Canada to Panama and back in an RV. She kept a blog which I include here. On her blog she shared a story, “Loose Chickens” by Nancy Vineski. The story was included in Chicken Soup for the RVer’s Soul and made me laugh and think about the choices we have made to live in Bacalar, MX. I include it here. As always, comments and suggestions for future blogs are appreciated. What do you do to rattle your cage? Please share.
Sep 8, 2007
By Nancy Vineski
It all started with a few loose chickens. . . .
I was a real estate agent and had gone to check out one of our listed
properties. It was an egg-laying operation, a commercial facility involving
thousands of caged chickens. The warehouse-like building held hundreds and
hundreds of small cages, each containing two hens. The cages were so small
that the chickens were unable to turn around. In front of the chickens, one
conveyor belt brought feed and behind them was another belt that carried
their eggs away. While the plant manager was briefing us, I noticed a dozen
loose chickens and an employee following them and scattering grain.
“Do you need help catching them?” I asked.
“I’m not trying to catch these birds” he replied. “Oh no, we let these
wander around. If the caged ones can’t see a few chickens living a free
life, they’ll lose hope and stop laying their eggs. Without these loose
chickens, the rest will just give up and die.”
Instantly, it struck me how similar our lifestyle was to these caged birds.
How many of us live our lives in cages, looking out and seeing others having
the adventures, living their dreams, being free? I realized that there are
two kinds of chickens: those who live in cages and those who roam freely. I
wanted to be one of those loose chickens!
Within a couple of months, we wangled a year’s unpaid leave of absence from
my husband Tom’s university employers, closed my small business, found
someone to house sit our home, took $10000 out of our retirement savings,
bought an old VW camper-van and set off to explore Mexico and Central
That year stretched into two and we decided not to return to our old jobs.
It’s been nine years now of full-time RVing full-time, exploring full-time
living. The house-sitter became a tenant who became the guy who bought our
house. The camper-van turned into a twenty-five-foot trailer, which turned
into a thirty-seven-foot motor home. And a few years ago our son Bill also
became a full-time RVer – a family of loose chickens roaming free.
Reprinted by permission of Nancy Vineski (c) 2000 from Chicken Soup for the
Traveler’s Soul by Jack Canfield Mark Victor Hansen and Steve Zikman.