5 Reasons I Love Living in Mexico.
Those internet gods who know me better than I know myself served up a recent piece of content that seemed well-suited: a CNBC story on a retiree who loves Mexico because everything is so cheap.
In the story, here are all the things you can buy for $5: a pound of wild-caught shrimp, a delicious lunch at a street taco stand including a cerveza (and another $5 buys you a 236-milliliter bottle of Pepto-Bismol), a dozen red roses, an hour of house-cleaning service, the monthly water bill for a two-bedroom apartment, and 16 rides on Mexico City's amazing subway system.
As one of my friends who's recently decided to become an ex-pat said, "We're lucky to be living longer than our ancestors, but we're unlucky in the U.S. because it's hard to finance a 30-year retirement with a 40-year career." This is why more and more people are moving south of the border.
My relationship with Mexico is less transactional. Dare I say it's been more transformational. Yes, I appreciate that for most things—what's especially notable is the excellent, affordable health care—it's far less expensive here than it was in San Francisco. But here's why I've fallen in love with this place, and none of these come with a price tag:
1. People. Mexico consistently scores higher than the U.S. when comparing Gross National Happiness scores. The Mexican people are content and grateful for what they have. This is a hospitable culture where respectful foreigners are deeply appreciated and welcomed. There's a reverence for tradition and culture and quite a bit of diversity amongst the country's various regions. Mexican culture is far from monolithic.
2. Aesthetic. The Pixar film "Coco" captures this country's colorful, festive beauty. It is an artisan culture but also forward-thinking concerning architecture and design. Wherever I go in Mexico, I always experience a feast for the eyes.
3. Landscape. Within a five-minute walk from MEA's campus, one can marvel at a tropical forest, verdant farmland, the stillness of the desert, the roar of the ocean, and, within a fifteen-minute drive, the foothills of the 7,000-foot-tall Sierra de la Laguna. This isn't unusual as the Mexican landscape is as diverse as the people. You love beaches? Baja has as much coastline as California and Florida combined. And, Baja’s beaches represent about ⅓ of the total coastline of Mexico.
4. Climate. You know what I'm talking about, right? Enuf said.
5. Beginner's Mind. Living in a foreign country and learning the language and customs is a liminal experience, well-suited for someone curious and open to new experiences. It humbles and humanizes you while also offering a fountain of youth that comes with being a beginner again.