Celebrating 9 Years in Mexico & Why We Decided to Move to Mexico


As of tomorrow, I will have been living in Mexico for 9 years.  In honor of this anniversary, I thought I'd explain how and why we chose to move to Mexico.

To properly tell this story, we must go back to mid-October 1999.

Hubby and I lived in a one bedroom apartment with our 22 month old daughter, Hope.   I was due to give birth to our second child in 2 short weeks.  Our car, that Hubby purchased on our wedding day had died.  We were trying to save enough money to buy another car, but with a new baby on the way, it wasn't going to be happening very soon.  To get around town, we took the bus, walked or borrowed my grandparents' car. We weren't so poor that we needed public assistance, but money was tight.

It was during this time that my eldest brother-in-law Gerry and his wife, Rosita, went to visit us and Hubby's two siblings that were also living in California.

They stayed with us for a few days, getting to know Hope and me, visiting with Hubby, and talking about Mexico. They also observed how much we were struggling. 

On the last night of their stay, Gerry asked, "Why don't you move to Mexico?"  He then gave us a number of reasons why life would be easier in Mexico.  I don't recall all of his valid points, but the ones I remember are:
  • If we lived in Yahualica, we wouldn't need a car.  EVERYTHING is within walking distance.
  • We'd have more family close by to help us out when needed.  I only had my grandparents, who were 20 minutes away. 
  • Hope could play outside.  We lived in an apartment building that frowned on children playing outside. Plus, being so close to my due date, we weren't getting out much.
  • Hubby could start his own business.  Our money troubles would be much lighter.
  • And our stress level would all but disappear.  Life in Mexico is slower paced and much more laid back.
The picture that Gerry painted for us seemed almost Utopian, but there was no way that I was going to move to another country when I was about to deliver our second child!  So the thought left our minds almost as soon as it had entered.  The subject never came up again.

Fast forward to September 2000.  Hope was almost 3 and our baby, Nick, was almost 11 months old. Life was much easier.  We had bought another car shortly after Nick was born.  And my suegros (mom and dad-in-law) were visiting. 

They mentioned that Gerry still wanted us to live in Mexico.  I couldn't help but think "What? Why?"  Then all of a sudden, the little seed that had been planted a year ago, was sprouting a few leaves.  Hubby and I talked and talked and talked about whether or not to make the move.  One day we would agree that moving was out of the question, but the very next day, we were convinced that the move would be good for us.  We talked of nothing else for weeks.

Finally, on September 22, 2000, the day of my 26th birhtday, I gave Hubby an ultimatum.  "Make a decision.  If you want to move, we'll move.  If you want to stay, we'll stay.  But once you make the decision, there is NO turning back!"

Hubby decided that we would move to Mexico and I fully supported his decision.  We gave notice to the apartment managers, we sold/gave away most of our stuff, packed the rest of our belongings and said goodbye to our friends and family, who watched us in disbelief.

We arrived in Mexico on October 27, 2000.  What we thought would be a six month trial run has turned into 9 years of happiness!


30 comments:

  1. I am glad that it turned out so well for you and that you are happy. Without happiness there is not much in life that is worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, you know i just assumed all americans other than retirees lived in Mexico because they had no other choice if they wanted to stay with their spouse. Thank you for your post. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't it funny how the seed once planted just continues to grow? I have friends who are amazed that I picked Mexico over London and Greece as a place to live. Both would have been fine. But I have so much more to enjoy here -- in its own way.

    Thanks for sharing the story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And you and your family will be a more robust healthier family than in the US. This is not utopia, but a lot closer than North. Life is basic here, and there is something to be said for the basic value system.
    Congratulations!
    I am sure that you have never regretted the move.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I LOVED hearing your story -- had no idea! I, too, love the simplicity of life in Mexico. Don't you sometimes wonder how different your childrens' life experiences would be if they were raised in the US?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Isnt it interesting that now days we have a tendency to stay put. Your kids will be all the better for your decision to take a calculated risk. We started travelling with our kids early on. Both enjoy it. Our youngest travels the world and says she could live just about anywhere, but still calls Juneau her home. She is with us right now in Arizona. Who knows where she will be in a month.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing Leslie! It's interesting to hear how we all ended up in Mexico. Because we chose to is an awesome reason. Congratulations! Glad you are so happy. Our family is happy with our move to mexico too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I keep trying to come up with something apropriate to say but every time I come back here and stare at this post all I can think is "OH MY GAWWWWDD. She CHOSE to come here!! HOLY CRAP! Here all of us de-por-tees are sitting around complaining and you CHOSE to come here and you seem just fine and dandy and happy."

    WOW! Well heck gal - Congrats to You! (Sincerely) That's pretty neat if I think about it for a bit (which I have) and I hope it's been everything you were hoping for. Maybe the rest of us need to open our eyes a little wider :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the post, its nice to hear positive thoughts about living in Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm jealous! I fell in love with Mexico when I went down there as a teenager - way back in 1977. Then lived there one summer with a mission (Galeana, Nuevo Leon) then went back and lived there (Guadalajara) during college studying on my own for a semester. Fell in love with the people, the laid back lifestyle, the beauty. I have always wanted to end up living there and my husband and I talk about Mexico for retirement living.

    I'm curious - what type of company did your husband start?

    ReplyDelete
  11. ahh the joys of such decisions! I cant even get hubby on an ultimatum to decide how redecorate our home lol he doesnt like decisions lol

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats on your successful move! Sounds so ideal! Wow - I have to go read more! Happy SITS day!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow what a very cool story! I admire your courage and strength with the move, very inspiring! Stopping by and following your journey now from SITS!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amazing story. Now I want to retire in Mexico. Have you had any problems getting good health care? That's my main concern, as an aging boomer.
    Your family is gorgeous and your story amazing.
    Good for all of you!
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. moving is not easy whether it's to another state or country, but you called it and paid off big time!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! That is a beautiful story. I've never been to Mexico, but it's on my list of places to visit before I die! I'm so happy your decision to move was so successful. And it must be wonderful to have all your family within walking distance - the support system is unbelievable!
    Happy SITS day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a gutsy move - I'm glad it's worked out for you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sometimes moving to another country is the best thing to do. I know, I did it too. Haven't regretted it for even a moment.

    Happy SITS Day! Enjoy the comment love today.
    Hanneke

    ReplyDelete
  19. That is such a wonderful story, Leslie. It is a pleasure to meet you through the SITS group. I'll be sure to subscribe.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's a wonderful story and it's beautiful how it's worked out for you and your family!!

    Happy SITS day!

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is so interesting. We hear so many stories of everyone wanting to get out of Mexico, that I am really interested in hearing the stories of people who love it there.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, how cool! Thanks for sharing your story with us! I think it's great that you decided to move and live an adventure. :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. The speed of your move after your decision to go sounds very much like how it was for me. I came with my family to see Belize at the end of May 2003 and had moved by August. I thought I'd stay a year and then go home. It's now 7 years later and I am still here.

    Happy SITS Day!

    Cheers :-)
    - Rainforest Mommy

    ReplyDelete
  24. I wish I could have you over for coffee right now, so that you could give me a pep talk! :) My husband and I are struggling so much, and my in-laws have convinced him that we should move to Morelia, Michoacan, where they are from. I am half-convinced. I LOVE Mexico, especially Morelia. But the news of violence has my family and I scared and I'm not sure if now is the right time to go. I'm so torn. Maybe I'll read on in your blog and you'll convince me without the coffee visit. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. So glad everything is going well for you! i would love to live in mexico part-time, during the summers. All of this drug cartel stuff makes me nervous though since he doesn't live that far from border. i dunno, we'll see............ although, i do applaud you on being so brave and giving you children a great experience!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Leslie, you are making me want to move to Mexico. I love a story with a happy ending.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Tracy / Latinaish.comOctober 27, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Felicidades! Cool to hear the story of how it happened. This is very similar to what happened to us a few years ago when we struggled to decide whether to move to El Salvador or not -- So I know what you're talking about - how one day you think, absolutely not, and the very next day it feels like a possibility again. We had endless conversations but ultimately our older son got into an academic program which will pay his college tuition when the time comes. That was kind of the tipping point. We felt like that wasn't an opportunity we were willing to take from him by leaving - so here we are.

    I'm happy the decision you made was the right one for your family. Saludos!

    ReplyDelete
  28. the update looks great Leslie! i am so envious and applaud your courage to jump in and make the move. wish i had it, i'd be there in a minute. some of the people and govt may not be so great, but look around - that is everywhere. the fear most of us have is of the unknown, its so much easier to stay with what you know. you went out on a limb and took a chance and it paid off for you and your family. most of the time the majority of us are to scared to make the jump. may you have many more years of joy and happiness - felicidades!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Leslie...My name is Carolina, but I go by Carol and my story is similar to yours. My hubby and I made the decision to move out here to Mexico back in 2007 and have been living here in a small town in Puebla since then. Even though my husband has since had to go back to the states (due to his immigration status), the kids and I go back and fourth and so does he. We love it here and as you stated it is so much more peaceful than living in CA. I lived in the San Fernando Valley since I was 2 (when my parents migrated from Chile) and have known no other life but that. Where in Mexico do you live??

    ReplyDelete