Why did you move to Mexico?


By Lynda & Lawrie

Whenever I first meet a new visitor their questions are frequently the same, starting with; why did you move to Mexico? The answer to that question is simple, Lawrie and I loved the Mexican culture; plus living on a tropical island, just minutes away from big-city amenities was a bonus. We built our home in 2007 and fell in love with turquoise water, the pleasant oceanfront temperatures of between 20 degrees C (70F) and 33 degrees C (95F), the food, and the people.  

Looking back towards Cancun from Isla

The community of Isla Mujeres is close to the City of Cancun, only 20 minutes via water taxi (passengers only ferry), or about 45 minutes via a car ferry to the mainland. The island has an active group of retired, semi-retired, or still working foreigners from the US, Canada, and Europe. There is always someone available anytime you need company, or a few laughs, or a good meal. With the explosion of new high-end eateries, you and your friends can sample their menus and not repeat your choices for months.

Chedraui grocery store.

Isla Mujeres also has a variety of small stores that specialize in fresh chickens, pork, vegetables, fruit or general groceries.  In 2011 a Chedraui Super Store opened giving the islanders a larger range of food, wine, and baked goods. Cancun with a population of approximately 900,000 has the obligatory shopping centers, big chains such as Costco, Mega Commercial, Soriana’s, Home Depot, Sam’s Club and Walmart. You can find pretty much anything you want, but maybe not every time. The stock changes with the seasons of the year, as well as during gringo-season when the northern homeowners return to their tropical homes.

More of my wacky, wonderful American friends

Turkey, cranberry sauce and canned pumpkin typically start appearing again in late October in time for the American Thanksgiving celebrations and Christmas. Not many store owners have figured out that Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October. It’s today, actually, and our feast features pretty much the same foods. The original immigrants to both Canada and the USA came from the same ethnic backgrounds. Back in the 1700s and 1800’s my immigrant ancestors settled in what became Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in Canada, plus the future American states of Maine, Indiana, and Louisiana. I suppose I could celebrate both Thanksgivings, but that would be too much of a good thing.

Dr. Greta Shorey – housecall

On Isla, there several English-speaking doctors and dentists. The doctors in Mexico still make house calls, and their services won’t break the bank. If you have a serious medical issue Cancun has several excellent and affordable hospitals staffed with American-trained doctors. There are also numerous well-trained dental surgeons who specialize in dental tourism such as Dentaris in Cancun. You can get your dental work done, in between tanning and quaffing margaritas. Their driver shuttles the patients from their hotels, the airport, or at any of the passenger ferry docks to their clinic on Bonampak Avenue in Cancun. And when you want to visit family, friends, or another foreign country, Cancun has easy air access to and from major airports, worldwide.

The nightmare!

However, it’s not always margaritas and sunshine. Sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. The local water and sewerage company spent the entire summer digging up the road on both sides of the island to install new water connections to the many large homes being built in the Punta Sur area. Then the second part of the contract was to connect those new homes to the sewer system. The new trench was dug right through the water and the electrical connections, cutting off all services to many homes and blocking their driveways. 

It’s a nightmare for the homeowners.

Sparky enjoying a swim in October.

If you plan to retire here, come with an open heart and a sense of humor, otherwise, the administrative silliness will make you crazy. 

I know there are some people who just can’t live in Mexico. There are couples that break up because one of them can embrace the culture, but the other one can’t and returns back north.  

It’s Mexico! Stuff happens! Cheers from paradise.

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