It’s official! Jessalyn and I are headed back to Mexico for 2-3 months starting on January 15th. We’ll be living in a little town near Manzanillo on the Pacific coast that we fell in love with last year. We can’t wait.
We haven’t decided whether we’ll be driving or flying yet. We would probably prefer to fly, although having a car when we get there is nice. Regardless, this time around we plan to stay in the same town for the whole trip, instead of exploring the country like we did on our sabbatical last year.
We already have a place rented for two months, right on the beach and in town. It’s about 500 yards from the surf break, so I’ll be able to see what’s happening just by stepping out on our balcony.
So, if last year was a sabbatical, what’s the excuse this time?
Yes, I know. We’ve been home for less than 4 months, and we’re already planning our next extended trip. What gives?
To be honest, we’ve always talked about living somewhere for a few months each winter. If you’ve ever spent a winter in the Pacific Northwest (where my wife and I both grew up), you might know why.
We’ve recently made a very deliberate decision to try to structure our lives in a way that allows us to travel for extended periods each year. This is a trial run of sorts.
This whole idea of location independence may have been in the back of our minds for a long time, but I never really thought it was possible unless you were rich or retired. On our sabbatical last year, we met plenty of people living unconventional, adventurous lives that totally changed the way we thought about work and life and how you can live if determined enough.
And so, we’re at the beginning of that journey. We aren’t completely supporting ourselves from a location independent income yet, but we’re working on it.
While I’m building various online businesses to support myself (like this one, Morning Spanish, Gatejumper and some others TBA), it actually makes as much sense for us to live in Mexico or somewhere else as it does here. At least for part of the year.
As long as I have a WiFi connection and can concentrate enough to get work done (the beach can be a bit of a challenge in that regard), we’re set. My wife is a painter and can do promotion, pre-work, sketches and generate ideas for paintings while we’re away. She’s currently working on a series inspired by our trip through Arizona last year.
Why Mexico again?
If we can could theoretically work from anywhere, why are we headed back to Mexico again? That’s a great question, and we’ve asked ourselves if we should be headed somewhere else as well.
For this winter, Mexico makes sense for a lot of reasons. First, it’s inexpensive, which is one of our primary requirements. I mentioned before that we can live comfortably in Mexico for a third to a half the cost of living in San Francisco. We found a reasonably priced place to stay this year, so it will cost us closer to a third of our normal monthly expenses.
Second, we want to continue learning Spanish, so that narrows it down to Spanish-speaking countries. Third, I want to get better at surfing, so that narrows it down to beach towns. Fourth, we will be bringing our dog with us, so the closer to home the easier it will be logistically.
Finally, we really love the town we’re headed back to again. We met a lot of really fun and amazing people who spend months there every year. It is like the small town we always wished we had lived in at some point in our lives. The kind of place where everyone knows your name. It’s also a great contrast to the pace of life we’re used to in the States. Everything is much slower and more relaxed. Really, we couldn’t ask for much more in a vacation destination.
What’s the plan when we get there?
Our itinerary looks something like this:
Visiting friends. Surfing. Swimming. Relaxing. Working. Learning Spanish. Hosting friends and family. Eating good food. Drinking tequila and cheap Mexican beers.
Need I say more?
photo by `David