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Moving to Mexico: Brilliance or Blunder?

Moving to Mexico: Brilliance or Blunder?

moving to mexico - brilliance or blunder

Huatulco, Mexico, painted as a tropical paradise, was the destination I chose for a sabbatical of sorts, a place to heal and rediscover myself after years of the stress that come with life’s relentless push. After all, who wouldn’t want to rediscover themselves amidst a tropical paradise? Leaving behind the relentless pace of life and saying goodbye to my son on his own adventure was a whirlwind of emotions, but I was determined to find new peace and stability.

What a Universal 2×4 I was hit with!

Having traversed the logistical and emotional hurdles to reach Huatulco, the reality that this Mexican escape might not be the rejuvenating utopia I’d envisioned it to be sunk in – at the airport when I landed.

The journey to Huatulco wasn’t without its challenges. Arriving with four suitcases and a Starlink setup, I encountered a more thorough customs inspection than anticipated. So there I was, in Mexico, with 5 customs officers getting the shake down. While it took longer and involved some unexpected fees (BIG ones!), it wasn’t a major setback. 

Now, I could have dismissed this as an unfortunate incident, but I’m far too aware of Universal signs – and this was a big one just as I was starting this adventure.

There was an uncertainty; I was starting to question whether my gutsy move was brilliance or blunder.

Reaching my rented apartment, I embraced the rustic charm, though it was smaller than the photos conveyed. The driver helped me get the 4 heavy suitcases up three flights of stairs and into the apartment. Yes, I tipped him well!

As the tourist season has ended, I was excited to experience a more authentic side of Huatulco.

It was about 5:30pm. Stepping outside for groceries, I encountered the security measures – multiple locks on the door and the iron gates – a sign of the neighborhood’s character. While venturing out for supplies on foot, I stumbled upon a lively local gathering, complete with music and dancing. I was jarred from my initial joy at seeing the locals celebrating with their family and friends when an intoxicated man emerged from this gathering a little too enthusiastically, prompting me to pick up a little speed.

Following Google Maps I continued on, and found myself on a street with partially constructed buildings – and no other people, but I knew my destination was just ahead. Suddenly, two men emerged from one of the buildings, and their aggressive demeanor caused me to make a hasty retreat towards a nearby hotel. Needless to say, I checked in for the night, retrieved my belongings from the apartment the next day, and have found a comfortable haven at the hotel ever since.

I have explored a little, however only in the tourist center. After several scares I’m not venturing too far alone. Navigating unfamiliar areas as an older solo female traveler has it’s challenges.

 

While Huatulco boasts undeniable beauty, I’ve realized that my initial desire to fully immerse myself in the local life might require a bit more acclimation than I anticipated. It would definitely take some time to adjust to the economic realities here.

The presence of stray animals, many who are too skinny to even be alive, cuts me to the core. I went to the grocery store and bought pet food and milk and have been feeding them – but I know that’s only a short-term solution and only for the lucky ones. What I’d really like to do is scoop them all up, take them to the vet, get their clearance papers and take them home with me. All of them. 

This isn’t to say Huatulco isn’t a vibrant place. There’s undeniable charm to be found, and I’ve learned a lot during this initial exploration. However, my perspective has shifted a bit, and I no longer feel like I need to be away, isolated, or in another country to find peace – to rediscover myself.

“Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, how are you going to handle it? In other words, “Now what?”

― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

Good friends of mine are are arriving this Friday, staying for 10 days, and we’ll be exploring the area together. And then we’ll be leaving together. 

Yes, I’m going back to Victoria, BC – knowing that this was a brave, bold move. Knowing that there are more adventures awaiting me. Knowing what’s really important to me.

This isn’t goodbye to Huatulco, but rather a “see you again someday”, with a new perspective.

Huatulco’s beauty is undeniable, but sometimes the greatest adventures involve a change of plans. This solo trip has been a catalyst for growth, reminding me that peace can be found anywhere, not just in a faraway paradise. While I’ll be returning to Victoria with some unexpected lessons learned, I also carry the excitement of exploring Huatulco with friends this week and the knowledge that many more adventures await. This may not have been the exact renewal I envisioned, but it’s a new beginning nonetheless.

May you have the courage to take your own adventures, make your own path and follow your own destiny.

The Start of the Next Chapter: Mexico

The Start of the Next Chapter: Mexico

 Well this has certainly been a crazy few months!

After 23 years of raising my son as sole parent, he announced that he was ready to move out in Oct 2023. It was both exciting to know that he was ready to spread his wings and heartbreaking to realize that this chapter of our life was coming to a close. 

As he prepared for life on his own, so did I.

For many years I dreamed of purchasing a shuttle bus or small bus and converting it into a home on wheels so that I could spend a few years travelling when this day came. I began searching for the perfect home-on-wheels for me and realized quickly that the number of decisions I would need to make about the bus conversion was way too much for me at this juncture. From a location to complete the conversion to skilled hands to help, the decisions that needed to be made were endless. And my adrenals were burned out.

And so, time to pivot.

My nervous system was (and is) overloaded from years of stress and lack of self-care. I needed to go somewhere that I could rest, process and remember who I was.

I chose Huatulco, Mexico.

Now, in Oct 2023, when I made this decision, I had never even visited Mexico! I had a trip to Cabo planned for Dec 2023 with a number of friends, but this was really heading into the unknown.

Shortly after my decision to move, at least temporarily, to Mexico, a video came through my Youtube feed – an interview with a gal who has lived in Mexico for almost 30 years (originally from the USA).

I watched the entire video and decided that Huatulco was where I wanted to be.

I booked a consultation with her as I had some burning questions I was hoping to have answered. 

As I was anxiously awaiting our consult I began to purge my belongings, slowly going through the items I had gathered throughout my adult life. 

Until that point I had spent 6 years growing and preserving food, so I had a ton of canning, dehydrated foods, homemade tinctures and extracts, but I had also been a prepper, storing loads of cleaning supplies, toiletries and essentials. 

Many of them went to my son, Dante, so that he didn’t need to buy much, if anything, when he moved out. Some were donated, and others gifted to friends and family. I called a family member one day, during the purge, distraught over having to get rid of my canning jars and kitchen supplies that I so loved, and she graciously invited me to pack up some of those items and store them at her house. I didn’t expect to have that reaction to jars of all things, but after years of lovingly preserving the food I’d grown, I just couldn’t “get rid” of everything.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I would purge everything I owned, and that would be a valid question.

I knew that this next chapter of my life was going to be about experiences over stuff, and about peeling back the last of the emotional layers that kept me weighed down, impatient, and not really living.

Except for a few totes, some canning jars, and some clothes/shoes, I said goodbye to everything I’d worked so hard for. It was both exhilarating and sad. I’d worked so diligently to set up a ‘home’ in order to have stability, but in this process I realized that the stuff, the home, hadn’t created the stability and security I desired. I had created that home. Me. And wherever I was, I would be home.

After the consult, I booked my plane ticket to Huatulco. This angel of a lady was instrumental in helping me find an apartment down there, and answering all of my gringo questions.

At the end of February I said goodbye to my son, the biggest blessing in my life, as he began his own journey. I stayed at a family member’s house for the next 6 weeks, working and visiting those who I wouldn’t see for the half of the year. Dante and I went on a quick 2-day trip to Edmonton to see the other side of the family, and had a wonderful visit. The last 2 nights before I left I stayed with my sister. We had a birthday party for my nephew, I got to visit with my niece, and share those last days with the ones I love.

My last weekend in Canada, Dante and I took the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver, then had lunch with another family member on the other side. One of my longtime best friends came to have a drink with us, then Dante and I headed back to the Hilton for my last night.

There was so much we wanted to say, but we were eerily quiet. We talked a little about how we were both feeling, but honestly we didn’t need to say much. After 23 years together, just him and I, we didn’t have to talk. We both knew that today was going to be the hardest we’d had since our life together began in March 2001 when he came into this world.

We got up early, packed my 4 large suitcases and the Starlink in its astronaut-like carrying case into my SUV and started for the airport. 

It was a short drive, thick with feelings. He told me that he thought I’d last 2 months or less, and that if I came back early, he wouldn’t say “I told you so.” 😉

Together he and I navigated the luggage cart through the airport, hand in hand, finally reaching the Westjet counter to check in and check my luggage. 

Airports are interesting places – full of both immense sadness and incredible happiness. For us, today, it was the former.

We walked down to security and that was the end of the road – the place that we hugged and cried and said our goodbyes. 

I cried all the way through security and to the gate where I waited with anticipation and nervousness to board the plane – the aircraft that was going to transport me from my ‘home’ to the unknown. 

Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.

 

~ Peter McWilliams

The times in my life which brought about the most growth were the times that were hard, challenging. The struggles. The UNCOMFORTABILITY.

I know that I am a soul having an earthly experience in this body. I have soul contracts which I’ve navigated in this life, and I’m sure more that I’ll experience. I was not destined for a ‘normal’ life. I crave growth. I’m not satisfied with the mundane. I’m desperate to learn as much as possible in this lifetime. I’m curious about other humans, and other souls.

And this ‘adventure’ is just another piece of the puzzle.

Why Mexico? Why Huatulco? Why did I have to leave my son, my home, my family, my friends?

To explore, uncover, and find me again.

As much as I have lived a somewhat unconventional life, much of it was guided by what I thought was expected of me. What I expected of myself. What I wanted for my son. And it was satisfying. But my soul yearns for more. For what? I’m still unsure. But I’m about to find out. 

I’m almost 2 hours into the flight that is transporting me to my new home for the next six months. I don’t know why Huatulco. I don’t know why Mexico. I don’t know what is waiting for me there, but I have immense faith in the Universe, and in myself. 

All I know is that there will be a driver waiting to drive me to my apartment, the place I’ll call home for the next half a year, and that I’m committed to manifesting great things for this next chapter.

Until then…
Kim