Embrace change:
The reason human beings exist is because of their ability to evolve and adapt to change. Change is not comfortable. Change is not convenient. Change is not always affordable, nor is it always in our best interest. It is just what it is…inevitable. Embrace change.

Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different

Like the changes of the seasons, the tides, and the weather, we are all continuously exposed to change to one degree or another. Some choose to temper these changes with a more static life style, while others fully engage a much more dynamic one. To be clear, I do not insinuate that one is better than the other.

Different strokes for different folks:

When I use the terms static and dynamic, I am speaking more of a mind set and the actions associated with it.  Some people who own homes in small towns may live quite dynamic lives: Emergency Room doctors, police, or weekend adventurers.  Likewise, someone who might be thought of as “adventurous” or living a “dynamic” life may be just living in the desert in a van out of necessity and rarely ventures beyond their established campsite. Also, some people will only eat at a Denny’s or McDonald’s while traveling, while others are always searching for new culinary experiences.  All of these traits are hardwired into out psyche.   One thing is for certain, change effects everyone differently.

Two peas in a pod:

Luckily, Marvy and I come from similar backgrounds of being fiercely independent and with the love of new adventures. Even though we were settled for about 12 years while raising our son, we also owned two different homes, lived in four states, traveled all around the Country, and were always meeting new friends along the way. Five years ago, we sold almost everything we owned.  I quit my work in Sales and we moved to Mexico.  I created a new career teaching English via Skype to students all over the world.  And though I only earn about 1/10 of what I made in the States, we have learned to live simply while living and traveling throughout Mexico.

The travel bug bites again:

We live in “Paradise.”  Puerto Vallarta is nestled between the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains and the coastal waters of Banderas Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  The problem for us is that after living in “Paradise” day after day, month after month, year after year, it stops becoming paradise. When you are addicted to change, “Paradise” takes on an entirely different meaning.   So once again, we are about to sell everything we own and fly back to the USA and buy a van to live in.   We do not know anyone where we are going, we will not have a place to stay, we will have absolutely nothing but an extremely modest savings (From me working seven days a week for the last 8 months) along with our sense of adventure and our desire for change. Marvy and I have re-invented ourselves and our life style several times during our 20 years together.  There are certainly positive and negative impacts on such lifestyle changes. 

The Positives and the Negatives


The Negatives:

Financial-emotional loss.  Nobody really talks about this, but when you make a major change, it means getting rid of a lot of materialistic things.  We usually end up taking a loss on the stuff we sell. We also lose all the work and love that goes into it.  In Texas, I had about $8,000 worth of landscaping and years of hard labor put into the back yard.  None of which is a factor when your house is put onto the market. Most of all things you have accumulated over the years must be sold or stored.  And if you have no place to store them, then must be sold despite their emotional value.

The Unknown. It is natural for people to fear what they do not know,  but I look at this only one way: Risk-Payoff.   In other words, when you make a major lifestyle change what are you afraid of?  Are your fears realistic?  What is the probability of your fears becoming a reality?  And finally, so what? Are you going to die a slow torturous death?  Will you be locked into a slave labor force in some Third World County?   I would wager that 99.999% of the time your fears are really not this bad.  So the question is are they worth the rewards of all the great things that can happen with change? Risk-Payoff.  It is also amazing how a little bit of research eliminates 90% of your fears….that is…if you want your fears to be eliminated.  If not, see “Static Lifestyle.”

The American Dream. White picket fences, new car loans, two-week vacations only go so far until the next crash, housing market fiasco, or a multitude of other things out of your control will happen to you.  Also,  The Greatest Fallacy In America Is Job Security!   Let me repeat:

The Greatest Fallacy In America Is Job Security!”  

I cannot tell you how many friends I have known who have passed up amazing life changing adventures because they didn’t want to lose their job, only to be fired or laid-off shortly there-after.  So, a big negative is that you may have to quit your job.


The Positives:

You can be whoever you want!  Think of it, no dress code, no pressure to act or behave in a certain way. Sleep in, wake up, go to bed whenever you want.  If you have a nosey, loud, or drunk neighbor, you can just start your vehicle and drive away. It’s not like you own a home and have to deal with the jerk in the house next to you for 20 years.     Learn guitar, painting, mushroom hunting, or just sit and watch the sunset every night on the prairie.  Once you experience the benefits of change, you learn the freedom of defining yourself and not through others.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!  Lifestyle changes are not easy.  But this is part of the appeal.  Fall asleep in your RV or Van in the middle of an all-night thunder and wind storm. Get lost and spend hours trying to get back to where you know you are going. Find yourself in very uncomfortable situations, then in a short time realize that things have a way of working themselves out. The biggest challenges you will face with change will simply be your own fears.

Meet new people and develop new friends!  Traveling certainly gives you an immense opportunity to meet new people. Again, there are a lot of crazy whacked-out people in the world, but you certainly can weed through them to find the good ones, and traveling gives you the best opportunities to do so.  We are social creatures.  As I get older I have a tendency to enjoy more time alone, yet the idea of sitting around a campfire with a bunch of strangers in the desert just getting to know each other seems like a much better way to spend an evening that sitting in my living room watching Netflix. Another thing about change and specifically being on the road, is that you honestly get to see the good in people.  Yes, there will always be the thieves, rude property owners, and the same judgmental strangers anyone can run into in their daily lives, but you also will see the people who stop and help you if you are broken down on the side of the road, will stop and just want to strike up a conversation.  Not to mention you will discover more of the same goodness within yourself.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day 2019

Today is a pretty uneventful day.   We stayed home last night and listened to the celebratory craziness of our Mexican community. Fireworks, dancing, loud music, and Mexican karaoke until 5am.  I really do love to see so many people having so much fun! But alas, as it rolled into the mid-morning I could only imagine a large majority of these folks popping aspirin and eating hot bowls of menudo: a traditional Mexican soup, made with cow’s stomach (tripe) in a red chili pepper broth with hominy, lime, onions, & oregano. (The soup best known in Mexico for a hangovers.)

So, what is so special about January 1st, 2019? It means we only have 235 days to go.  235 days until we are in Nevada and starting a new chapter in our lives. 235 days left to sell everything we have and save enough money to make this whole move possible.  So far the fishing equipment, guitars, car have all been sold. This money plus the cash from what else we sell will go towards our remaining monthly rent and expenses.  This leaves just my income to be saved to fly to Nevada, buy a van, and essentially kick-start our new life.  We’ll talk more about this in future blogs as things develop.  

In 1984 I traveled all over the USA living in a mid 1960’s Dodge van.

Budgeting for this move goes beyond just the actual physical move.  We are also spending money on dental, vision, and medical before we go.  Everything is so much cheaper in Mexico. We are trying to get all the “body maintenance” stuff taken care of before we enter back into the States.  After almost five years we are going to have to re-learn how to work within the bureaucracy of the US Insurance and Government medical system in the midst of all the current US political chaos.

We are also busy building our YouTube channel.  Investing in some moderately priced camera and video editing software is another thing we had to factor into our budgeting.  (Money, money, money… always talking about money…yeah, I know, but like in everyone’s life, nothing is free and we need to make smart choices.)   Filming and editing takes forethought, planning, and diligence.  We have opted for the SX720 Powershot because of its size and portability and 40x optical zoom.  Our Vlogging camera is the new GoPro 7.  It stabilizes the image so well, there is not need for a gimbal.  See our “Equipment Page” to learn more.

For every three hours you film you might end up using only 20 minutes for your video. Everything at this point is a learning experience.  Glad you took the time to come along!

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!

Adventurers 2

Adventurers 2

This is my second post about adventurers. As I prepare to walk across the United States, I have read most of the current books by people who have traversed the US for one reason or another. Some had support vehicles, some relied on friends and other people to put them up in their homes, while others payed for hotels and ate in restaurants during their walk. And almost all relied on Social Media or the internet to assist them in some way. I have also read some of the classic books like “Walk Across America” by Peter Jenkins and “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac. However, probably the most impressive and inspiring stories I have read and researched was that of 37-year-old Helga Estby and her teenage daughter Clara. This is an amazing story of two women who walked from Spokane to New York City in 1896.


It is a story of an offer from someone in New York who was willing to pay her and her teenage daughter Clara $10,000 to walk across America on foot, unescorted, and in seven months. Helga, an immigrant, mother of eight children, and extremely poor accepted the challenge and set out on May 5, 1896, with Clara, five dollars, a revolver, red-pepper spray and a curling iron leaving her husband with the children.  She was scorned before, during, and after the journey.  All her journals were destroyed by her family, and the people who had offered her the $10,000 never paid her.  Two books about this subject are worth a read: “Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across America,”  by Linda Lawrence Hunt and the novel: “The Daughter’s Walk” by Jane Kirkpatrick.


Sometimes it is really helpful to put things in perspective.   Today’s dangers are real: walking in heavy traffic along busy highways and becoming a target of theft or violence.  However, these two adventurers (If I can take the liberty to use that term) faced hardships that make their story unique and inspiring. Whether you are following this blog because you are a friend, family, arm-chair adventurer, or actually planning an adventure yourself, I certainly would recommend any of these books!


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