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Jun 26 2013

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Retire for Less Went to Mexico!


We’re back and we had a GREAT time! It was, without a doubt, the best vacation of our lives. We walked and walked, seeing all the sights up close, then we walked some more. We talked with Mexicans in the parks, on the street, in restaurants, and at the indigenous markets. We shopped, bargained, and came home with lots of treasures. Gloria and I had previously been to Mexico together for 16 days in December 2003 for our honeymoon. This trip was a second honeymoon of sorts.

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You could divide our recent trip to Mexico into four parts:

  • The International Living Ultimate Conference in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya (May 21-25), where we did a well-received presentation on “Living the Good Life in Costa Rica” and talked to a lot of nice people about our favorite topic.
  • Mexico City & Coyoacán (May 20 & May 26-29)
  • Oaxaca, Oaxaca (May 29-June 2)
  • Cholula, Puebla (June 2-5)

Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, we though we’d start by giving you the equivalent of 75,000 words in a short video.

I (Paul) lived in Mexico for almost three years, back in the 70’s. This was after returning from Vietnam. Eventually, I graduated from the University of the Americas, Puebla in 1977. This trip, we were able to spend some time with my old college friend, Michelle, who lives just outside of Oaxaca.

Paul & College Friend Michelle

Each time I go to Mexico, it looks better and better to me. It’s cleaner and more prosperous. As a country, Mexico is really on the move. It’s now the 13th largest economy in the world. Despite the on-going drug war, the economy is exploding. Last year, it grew at 4% which, during tough economic times, is pretty good.

Could we ever live there? We don’t know. For now, we have no plans to leave Costa Rica, but Mexico’s a great place to vacation. We felt perfectly safe there. There were lots of people enjoying the parks and zocolos (parque centrales) in the historic districts, the vast majority of them locals. We don’t plan to spend any time in the near future anywhere near the borders, where most of the drug violence seems to be occurring.

We’ll be writing more in upcoming newsletters about other aspects of our trip:

  • Does it cost less than Costa Rica?
  • Gloria’s cooking class in Oaxaca
  • The Frida Kahlo museum
  • My university UDLAP
  • The largest pyramid in the world & lots of boom, boom, boom!
  • Mexicans are proud of their pre-Columbian past & the culture
  • La D.F. (Mexico City) – the neighborhoods
  • The Zocolos & Centros Historicos
  • Grinding poverty – 110 million – burgeoning middle class
  • The indigenous & the Indian markets
  • The culture
  • The weather
  • And, of course, the food (including móles)!

Our cats did great while we were gone and we couldn’t have had better house and cat sitters, thanks to Julie and Jamie, the owners of our house! We missed Tori and Laura, but we were worry-free. And they didn’t “shun” us when we got home as cats can do at times.

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