Feb 7, 2011, 10:17 AM
Post #16 of 58
My experience started out a lot like yours Tony. I am not one to usually pour my heart out on a forum, but your post rang to me because it sounds just like what happened to us so I thought I'd share. However, we are younger than a lot of the expats in our community (late 30's and early 40's), so our journey may be a bit different. We had a five year plan to move to Mexico. We owned a home in Mazatlan for 3 years prior to moving down. We loved Mazatlan and thought we wanted a simpler life. The weather, the ocean, the laid back lifestyle all seemed great every time we came down, which was always for one or two weeks at a time. So our five years hit last year and we decided to follow through and live out our dream. We planned on taking a bit of a sabbatical to give us time to learn the language, the culture and just enjoy our surroundings a bit before deciding on our next business venture in Mexico, as we are still in our prime working years. Our house sold fast at home and we had 3 months before we were making the move. And then the drug wars excalated in March and I will tell you I got very scared. We both did. The drive down made us nervous and I was afraid of the future. Then a lot of other doubts started entering our heads and we feared we had made the wrong decision. But it seemed too late. We sold our house, our furniture was all being sold off and we were in the process of closing down our business as well. However, I was always of the mindset that we had to allow ourselves a year. If after that we don't like it, we can always move back home. Life is all about the ride, and I personally feel that if you don't get out and enjoy the ride and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone then you never really know what it is that you're looking for.
So now it has been 8 months. We made the decision about a month ago that we were going to move back home to Canada at the end of our year. What I found started to happen to us personally was we were no longer able to focus only on the beauty of our surroundings. We look at the beautiful ocean every day from our condo, but then we look down at the street and can't help but see all the flaws. And they started sticking out everywhere as we walked around or drove around the city. The lack of beauty at the store fronts, the smells, the garbage, the rundown buildings everywhere, dirt instead of grass, the vehicles blowing black smoke, the difficulty in buying so many things here, and the lack of order we are used to in general. But no matter how hard we tried not to look at those things, we found they were starting to get to us. I always saw these things before, but looked at it in a different way. I would always say, that we are too picky NOB, we spend too much money on beautiful bus stops, government buildings, sidewalks, elaborate airports, etc. But I have learned now that I liked those things, those comfort creatures of home. I see my home town in Canada on the news or in a movie and it brings so much emotion to me that I realize now where I want to be. And we really miss our work. I find it difficult having too much time on our hands now, I have analyzed myself to death already! With the economy as it is down here, it doesn't seem a wise time to open a business for us, but on top of that we realized that we don't in fact want to run a business here anymore.
So I would say that the advice on not moving down lock stock and barrel all at once, may be good advice. However, I don't know that it will make your experience the same. Maybe just knowing that you can go home anytime won't force you to give it the full chance that you would otherwise if you just go for it. Hard to say.
All I can say is that at first when we moved here we were really excited. Not long after that we were sad, depressed and regretfull. Now we are enjoying our last few months and preparing for home - a place we now look at in a whole other light. As great as the weather is here, oddly we are finding ourselves spending alot of time inside our home. Probably just a habit from NOB. So we have learned that the weather was in fact not on the top of our list for life enjoyment. We do miss our friends and the comforts we know as home, as difficult as it will be to hear all the "I told you so" from friends and family. We no longer regret our original decision to move here, rather we are happy we gave it a try. The regret of not giving it a try would have haunted us forever.