Dancing Chef Chris is a Canadian who spent over 30 years in the retail business. Three years ago she decided to move to Mazatlán, sight unseen. She brought with her 4 suitcases, her golf clubs and her dog Cooter….all the important things in life!
Three years ago when my job in the Middle East abruptly ended, I decided to follow my dream and move to Mexico. Over the past 20 years, I had travelled extensively throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America and always said I wanted to retire in Mexico.
When I returned to Canada and announced to my family that I was just passing through on my way to Mexico to live they were aghast. Everyone asked “Why Mexico?” My initial motivation for moving was the weather. I was simply tired of cold Canadian winters. Years of skiing had left my knees in bad shape and I could no longer enjoy a day on the slopes. The lure of sunny days, a warm ocean and cold “cervesas” was too much to pass up!
Another thing that was enticing was the cost of living. The Canadian dollar has remained strong against the peso and the American dollar even more so. I live quite comfortably on about 1/3 of what I would need to live in Canada. This includes rent, utilities, groceries, miscellaneous expenses and dining out a couple of days a week. I choose not to have a car but get around on my bike or on public transit. I live in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood in Centro Historico, the old historic area of Mazatlán. My neighbors have been warm and welcoming and are tolerant of my ‘baby Spanish’. Mazatlán is the only colonial city on the water in Mexico and the architecture reminds me of some old European cities. We are fortunate to have a beautifully restored theatre and get world class entertainment for a fraction of what tickets would cost in Canada or the US.
I have developed a great respect for the Mexicans and their family values. It’s not unusual for 3 or 4 generations of a family to be living under one roof and old people are revered. Sunday is family day and you see large family outings at the beach, in the park or at a restaurant.
In the three years I have been here I have begun to explore the rich culture and history of Mexico. There is so much more to Mexico than beaches. Mayan civilization dates back to 11,000BC. Mexico City is fascinating, the ruins at Chichin Itza, truly magical. I have travelled inland and visited the colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo and Guadalajara. There are so many more places I want to see!
I have found myself slowing down and adapting to the Mexican way of doing things. It is not unusual for people to be late for an appointment or dinner engagement. Manana doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow, it just means not today!
Too many people come to Mexico, expect it to be just like home and are disappointed when it’s not. I say come and visit, be open to the differences and embrace the way of life.
Time to close, the dog needs a walk and I think I’ll stop for a cold Pacifico and watch the sunset…….