We all have a unique story, each and every one of us. You, me, and everyone we meet along the way. When we ask questions, talk to strangers, dig a little deeper, that is when we are gifted with tidbits of wonderful stories and reminded that the world has so much to offer, if we just take time to look.
Get out of your comfort zone, adventure to places you’ve never been, meet strangers who become friends. This, right here, has been my life for the past month or so and I am so thankful for the experiences I have had and the people I have met along the way.
How did I get here? Where are you from? What do you do? How long are you staying in Mexico? Are you married? Do you have children? Where’s your boyfriend? All of these questions are questions I have been asked, more times than I can remember. Some of the questions are easy to answer, and some of the answers people don’t understand. (All taxi drivers in Mexico ask me if I am married/where’s my boyfriend/do I have children…Every.Single.One!!) My answers vary, depending on my mood. However, the no husband/boyfriend/children answer is often met with confusion and more questions. I don’t mind, curiosity is part of being human. Although sometimes (most of the time) my answers are met with furrowed brows and a slight smile, as they try to figure me out.
So, back to the original question of how exactly did I get here? My very first blog post was titled, “Why Spain?” written in June 2020. It explained how I quit my well-paying secure job of 17 years, sold my townhouse and most of my belongings (minus the few boxes in my mother’s garage…thanks mom!) and accepted a job 5,000 miles away in a country I had never visited before. “Why Spain?” explains a lot and as I reread it, I can’t help but think how much I have grown and endured over these past five years (thanks Covid). Now, five years later, I find myself in another transitional period in my life and the constant thought of ‘What should I do now?’ playing like a record in my mind. When I think back, I knew that a change was coming, it was a feeling. I didn’t know exactly what that change would be, but I knew it was time to make some decisions. I had started talking with friends about what the next school year may look like, where I would be, what I would be doing. Yet I never made any concrete plans. I started to research visas in other countries (Portugal and Mexico being at the top of the easiest visa lists), researching different ways to make money, and starting the initial stages of networking. Then, in about June, the decision was essentially made for me. While in the states on holiday for the month of June, I read a post that basically said I would not be getting a renewal for my teaching position, due to changes in policy program. I realized at that moment, my time in Spain as an Auxiliar teacher was over.
It was time to make a move. Without a visa, I had 90 days to decide where to go, pack up and sell my 5-years worth of belongings, and try something different. Having researched visas in Mexico, I made my decision. Viva la Mexico!
The last few months have been a whirlwind. I have learned how to network and make connections with people who live in varying parts of Mexico. I have learned how to live virtually debt free, taking care of houses, pets, and plants in exchange for accommodations. I have learned that it is ok to focus on self-love, self-improvement, and figure out how to do things as they come. This school year I plan to slow travel throughout Mexico, take care of animals, get back into yoga, look for an online job (potentially), make travel plans with friends and family, and maybe find that one place that speaks to me and encourages me to stay for a while. For now, I am enjoying the process of where life takes me and thus far networking and connecting with people will take me to San Miguel de Allende, San Cristóbal de las Casas, and Manzanillo throughout the next eight months or so.
In reality, it is the people I’ve met during this journey that have made all the difference.
This morning I was woken up at 5 o’clock in the morning by a puppy wanting to play, tapping my head, overtaking my pillow, and then in a final show of determination, sitting on my head. I had a lot of time to think before finally getting out of bed. I was thinking about the amazing people I’ve met in just a brief amount of time. Without using names (if you are reading this, you will know who you are), I’ve met a vivacious, generous and outgoing lady who lives on and off in San Miguel because she fell in love with the town 30 years ago. I’ve met a stand-up comedian who is quite funny and was lucky enough to see her perform here in San Miguel, and she just happens to be dating an astronaut (like a real astronaut who goes up into space!). I’ve met a lovely college professor who runs six miles a day. I’ve met a fabulous woman who is strong, independent and lives life just the way she wants. I’ve connected virtually with a yogi who invited me to Switzerland sometime in the future. I’ve exchanged numbers and texts with a delightful local who is so very kind. I’ve talked with two people who own a beach house and have invited me to stay for an extended period of time and requested my house sitting services already in 2024. So many beautiful, talented, amazing, strong and independent people, all in the time span of a month. If this is one month, think of what a year will look like!
So for now, I will leave you with this. I recently came across this quote that really spoke to me. It talked about accepting the messy life and that happiness doesn’t, if ever, look perfect. My life is quite messy right now and I’d venture to say that perfect is boring. So here’s to taking time to figure things out, meeting new people, having long conversations with animals and plants, wandering the streets without a plan or destination in mind, making travel plans with friends and family, and ultimately embracing the mess that we call life.