Tag Archives: move to Mexico

Electronic Hell

15 Dec

I have a brother who has no email address. He has never Googled nor ordered anything from Amazon. He doesn’t know what a Kindle is. I booked his recent flight to our family reunion while he was on the phone feeding me credit card information. I can’t send him pictures from our vacation, and he’s never read my blog. He takes great pride in not participating in a much bigger world, preferring his life on simpler terms. No passwords, I get it.

I remember when I got my first cell phone. I didn’t like the idea of being tethered to anyone who had my number. Then like everyone else, I quickly couldn’t live with out it. I purchased an IPhone to keep up with my kids and feel like technology wasn’t passing me by. Without my laptop and internet, I couldn’t have spent hours researching “retiring to Mexico” from the comfort of my lap. It would have been old school library and books.

Since coming to Mexico, we have heard of many ways to stay plugged in. For the past few months we have used wifi (in Spanish weefee) to access the web and Skype to the States. I believe there is a data plan in Mexico that can be used with an IPhone which will allow people to reach us via Skype and can also serve as a Mexican phone, all in one. Probably when we get back from the States in February, we will look into it.

This week Lisa had a liquid explosion which dumbed coffee on her laptop and I lost my IPad, both on her birthday. The laptop was rescued but the IPad is gone. It took me about 12 hours to pull myself out of a pity party and get my head on straight. The IPad allows me to take the lovely sunrise pictures that I post to Facebook daily. Sometime during the sleepless night following our disaster, I had a vision of a Bush man of the Kalahari Dessert. He was wearing a loin cloth and carrying a spear used to provide food and water. No laptops, I-this and that, charging cables, internet woes, error messages, and above all no passwords. While I will likely get another IPad, the freedom from electronic hell does sound appealing. I’m just not sure about the loin cloth.

Easier Than You Think

Easier Than You Think

Revisiting Some Favorites

Revisiting Some Favorites


First Sunrise Living in Bacalar

First Sunrise Living in Bacalar


Goes to Mexico

21 Jul

All along as we prepared for our life changing move to Mexico, we’ve been dividing possessions into what goes to Mexico and what doesn’t. Books, winter clothing, furniture, photos, children’s report cards, yarn, yarn and more yarn, gone to Craig’s List, Goodwill, Half Price Books, shipped to adult children and sold at garage sales. At the same time, we’ve been wrapping, boxing, labeling, weighing and giving value to the rest of our possessions. Labels must be in English and Spanish and added to a spreadsheet for review by imigre as we cross the border.

So what ARE we taking? yarn (of course) camping equipment, tools, exercise equipment and CDs, casual clothing (I’m going to burn all my work clothes LOL) some furniture, rugs, quilts, art, kitchenware, Lisa’s new TV and my new sewing machine, two kayaks, water skis and assorted prized possessions. All must fit in our 6×10 cargo trailer and in the back of our truck and weigh less than 7K pounds. Once we are all locked and loaded we will take off for our 28 hour drive to San Antonio, Laredo, Monterrey, Puebla, Villahermosa and Bacalar. Photos will be taken and experiences blogged. At this time we have no estimated date of departure. It will be soon, VERY soon. Stay tuned and as always, comments are appreciated.

Packing containers

Packing containers

Goes to Mexico

Goes to Mexico

Cargo Trailer

Cargo Trailer

Route to Bacalar – http://goo.gl/maps/13Xoq

Living Fearlessly

26 May

If you want to be an honorary Torta, I suggest looking at your response to fear. Miedo is a funny thing. Our parents used it to control us when we were pequeños. It kept us from crossing a busy street or talking to a stranger when we were six years old. But for many people, long after our parents’ voices are gone, fear rules our lives. When I tell people that we are moving to Mexico, the inevitable first pregunta es, “aren’t you afraid?”. I find it difficult not to say something snarky about the fear of movie theaters in Colorado or shopping malls in Arizona.

Am I ever afraid? Of course, but it’s what I strive to DO in the face of uncertainty that allows me to move forward. First, I’ve made a choice NOT to be afraid, about anything. On Friday I rode my scooter to work not realizing we were supposed to get a storm that dumped two inches of rain on Austin streets. When I checked radar saying that it wasn’t a brief shower, I got off work early to beat the Friday afternoon, holiday traffic. I took my time riding home in a monsoon-like downpour. Las calles were flooding and I felt myself getting tense. But when I became aware of my body’s response, I took some breaths, relaxed my shoulders and said, “no fear, you’ll be fine”. Surprisingly I let go and enjoyed la lluvia bonita while choosing less traveled streets and arriving home safely.

Not being afraid is about confronting the lies I tell myself in my head. “You’re going to die.” Is it true? Yes, but not today if I can help it. I make different choices, take calculated risks, relax, have fun, and learn lessons.

When exploring moving to Mexico, I researched the risk of violence and found that Mexico is actually a very safe country. While the drug violence makes the news, it exists primarily in the border area and rarely involves gringos. Mexico is a large country, three times the size of Texas. It has a very diverse environment, big cities, mountains, high desert, and tropical jungles. There is a rich history of ancient civilizations and invasions from Spain, France, and the US. Today it has a public transportation infrastructure that allows easy access to all corners and travelers from Canada, Europe, Russia etc. flock to the beaches, pyramids, museums, mercados and night life.

My grip on Austin is lessening, yet I haven’t quite grabbed on to Mexico. I am somewhere in that middle place of uncertainty, not here and not yet there.

Sometimes taking flight takes letting go.
Letting go takes faith.
Faith takes letting go.
It all requires wings.
And so it goes. Patti Digh “Life Is A Verb”

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao-tsu

Laguna Bacalar

Enjoying a perfect day on Lake Bacalar.

Sun Setting


Starry Starry Nights

19 May

As a child, I spent many evenings gazing skyward, with my father pointing out constellations…the Big Dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia. I never could see Draco the dragon and finally said, “yes Daddy” to stop the pointing and the neck strain. In Mexico I visited the Mayan pyramids of Palenque, home to the ancient astronomers and was awed by the night sky. Moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas, I needed a science elective and choose Astronomy. I stood on the roof of the math-science building for my final exam in 1975…Taurus, Pleiades, Andromeda, you could see stars then. I’ve always loved the dark. I walk in my neighborhood before dawn and wish the neighbors would turn off their porch lights and the city, the street lights. I just want to see the night sky. The stars of Big Bend National Park had me laying out and feeling insignificant and pondering the universe. I managed to travel home from Big Bend by way of the McDonald Observatory, high in the Davis mountains. It was beautiful even though the sky wasn’t that clear and prompted our usual conversation, “Could we live here?”.

The sky that affected me the most was in Thailand. Lisa and I had taken a three-day trek into Northern Thailand at the foot of the Himalayas. We hiked into villages where people spoke indigenous languages. The second night we stayed in a hut perched on the side of a mountain. I got up for my usually visit to the bathroom and stepped onto a balcony under the stars like I had never seen before. I immediately woke Lisa and dragged her out to gaze skyward and point. She is a good sport and stood with me as I missed my dad and wished he could have seen a display of stars he didn’t know existed.

As I ticked off my list of requirements for where we were to retire, I needed the dark, a place to see stars. I was initially disappointed staying in Bacalar, where the sky wasn’t very clear and I could see light pollution coming across the lake from Chetumal. So much seemed perfect and I was afraid that I was going to have to choose between a beautiful lake or a starry starry night. A visit to Teresa, our soon-to-be neighbor changed all that. We sat on her porch making small talk, imagining our own porch on the adjacent property overlooking the lake. Saying our good-byes at the front door, I looked up and saw a sky that rivaled Thailand. That’s when I knew this was where I wanted to live the rest of my life, in the dark and under the stars.

Light Pollution

Light Pollution

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