Low Hanging Fruit

Low Hanging Fruit

Marvy is laying in the hammock on our back porch while I sit in the shade and look out at the jungle-like foliage which surrounds the back our house; a banana tree at the bottom of our hill, a mango tree next door and star fruit trees dotting the hillside. Extending over and into our back patio is a huge avocado tree. In the autumn, the long limbs of the tree are ladened with large choquette avocados weighing about three pounds each. Their rich buttery texture and flavor is very different from the well know Hass avocados we eat in the States. We eat them diced up on top of soups, in salads and tacos and spread on crackers.

One thing that can be said about where we live in Mexico is there is always an abundance of produce. The costs are lower than anywhere I have ever lived before and often times it is free (right off from the tree). You can even just walk down a path between neighborhoods and see someone’s garden of fresh nopal cactus. A favorite in Mexican cuisine, it is easy to prepare and full of anti-oxidants. It can be stewed with diced tomatoes and onions, cured with salt, candied, or even just grilled. Just be sure to remove the needles first!

One our favorites is the coconut truck. Oh by the way, people are often afraid to come to Mexico and swim at the beach for fear of a shark attack. Did you know that every year 15 times more people die from a coconut falling on the head than from a shark attack? OK, with that said, we love to have one of these guys cut open a coconut and fill a plastic bag with the water from the coconut and put a straw in it to drink. Then take out the white meat of the coconut and put it in another bag and sprinkle chili power on it as a snack. The price for all of that is between $0.75 cents – to $2.00 depending of the location and the guy. Now if you think that is expensive, walk into a Whole Foods store and ask them how much a pint of real coconut water costs!
Life in Paradise.

Life in Paradise.

I believe it was in December 2012 that the idea of selling most everything we had and move to Mexico first came to us. Even though I had been good enough at corporate sales to earn six-figure income, buy two new homes, new cars, and take those family vacations, I had never seemed very happy with the job and all the stress. With our son now on his own, both Marvy and I thought it would be fun to try a major change. We took a 10 day vacation in Feb. 2013 and visited Marvy’s relatives in Cancun.

The trip was fun and the culture seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, so we came back with a plan to move within the next seven months. Our rental lease was up on our apartment in Pennsylvania and we were just renting month to month. All we had to do was sell the cars and belongings, quit our jobs and leave.  After a bout with cancer and down-grading my jobs over the last few years to much more banal sales positions, we had ended up living paycheck to paycheck.  I knew I would need a way to earn a living as a digital nomad if we were going to travel since we could not rely on a savings or pension.  After doing about a month of research I decided to be an online English teach via Skype. It took about four months to get all my certifications and try some online classes with students to decide that I was ready and that our income, though somewhat meager, would be sustainable.

Since that time (4 ½ years ago), we have lived in Cancun,  Leon, and now currently in Puerto Vallarta. These early blogs will reflect on our experiences in a somewhat non-linear way. Cancun provided us with the great experience of living in the Caribbean. With its aquamarine clear tropical waters, Yucatan landscapes, and Mayan cultures there was so much to learn and experience our first year. We got to visit wonderful cities like Merida, experience a beautiful Mexican wedding with a reception at an old hacienda, and even explore very remote cenotes that very few “gringos” ever see.

But a rolling stone gathers no moss, so we rented a truck and loaded up our recently acquired furniture and moved to the central region of Mexico to the city of Leon in the state of Guanajuato just a few hours north of Mexico City. A large city of about two million, there is a very small English speaking population. But the weather was much like San Diego and the regional areas were amazing. Towns like Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are not to be missed!

Marvy in downtown Guanajuato – 2015

Once again though, after another year, we wanted a change and someplace near the ocean. So, we threw a dark at a map and came up with Puerto Vallarta. PV (As we call it) or simply Vallarta is a great town. While Cancun was built about 50 years ago based on specifically building a Tourist vacation destination, PV is a much older colonial town. Puerto Vallarta does have a “Gringo” presence. (As much as 10% of its population at times.) But the local population and surrounding areas are enchanting. Located on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico, it doesn’t have that “tropical” Caribbean feel of the Cancun beaches, however, it has its own magical appeal with the jungle mountains spilling right into the coastal waters.!

At the end of our 5th year in Mexico (September 2019) we will leave this beautiful country and its people and move back to the US to experience an entirely different lifestyle full of new adventures! Stay tuned!