Readers of the blog often ask me if I miss anything from the United States now that my wife and I live full time in Mexico.
I usually respond with a safe, socially-acceptable answer like “my friends and family” or something humorous like “the high cost of health care” – but today I decided to put more time into thinking of a better answer.
I settled into a comfortable chair at a restaurant overlooking the turquoise waters of Akumal Bay and I thought long and hard about what I missed. Do you want to know what I came up with? The answer is nothing at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the United States. In fact, we would visit it more often if we could – but we can’t. Uncle Sam gave us a big financial incentive to stay away in the form of hefty Obamacare fines.
In case you are wondering what I’m talking about, check out What Every American Living Abroad Should Know About Obamacare Fines. In a nutshell, if we spend more than 35 days a year in the United States, my wallet will get lighter to the tune of a couple thousand dollars.
I started asking other American expats what they missed from the United States and most responded by naming a certain food item or restaurant back home. Apparently, I hang around a bunch of “foodies”.
I couldn’t think of anything in this category either because the food has been amazing here in Mexico.
Friends and Family
Several readers have said that they would love to move to Mexico; however, they are afraid that they will miss their friends and family too much.
I used to think the same thing before moving here but this has not been an issue.
Since moving to Mexico, we have had a steady stream of visitors from the old country. We have had so many that we had to start a calendar just to make sure there is no overlap in visits. If anything, we are spending a lot more quality time with them.
As for those that haven’t made it down yet, we have modern technology to help take the sting out of being apart. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter we receive continual updates about the actions, accomplishments, disappointments, political views and emotional state of most of our friends and family members
If I want to personally communicate with someone, I can use text, voice, or even video chat. In most cases, the person answers immediately because everyone carries their cellphone around with them. I texted three friends back home while I was writing this post.
So, that means that the only thing that I cannot do is touch or smell the other person. The latter is probably a blessing. As far as touching goes, except for a hug or handshake when you are saying hello or good bye, how much more touching is really warranted?
Let’s Wrap This Up
Linda and I took a calculated risk when we sold everything and moved to Mexico. We gave up our possessions and over 67% of our former household annual income. We weren’t sure at the time if we would be able to make it work out but we knew that we would regret it later in life if we didn’t try.
The decision turned out to be a great one. We now enjoy a laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle while easily living within our means. We find ways to save money without sacrificing our quality of life and happiness.
We both know that this lifestyle would never have been attainable if we had stayed in the United States. I guess that’s why I don’t really miss anything.
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