Back from the Emerald Isle

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (Source: Q-Roo Paul)

We’re back from vacation, or perhaps I should refer to it as holidays since we spent the last two weeks in Ireland. We had an amazing time, but we’re looking forward to warming up on the beautiful white sand beaches of the Riviera Maya and visiting our favorite restaurants. I think we’ve missed the food in Mexico as much as the beaches.

Several of our friends asked us why we would leave our perpetual vacation in paradise to visit the much colder climate of Ireland. The answer is simple — it’s something different. We had never been to Ireland and Linda mentioned they had a lot of good beer there. I’m sure there was more to her sales pitch but I really don’t remember much more because she had me at beer.

Besides, a little time away from Mexico makes us appreciate it more and we’re reminded how lucky we are to be able to live here all year.

Sticker Shock

In Mexico, we absolutely love going out to eat and spending time with friends at local beach bars. We enjoy it so much that we go out for food and/or drinks an average of 5-7 days a week – sometimes twice in the same day. We were definitely looking forward to doing the same thing in Ireland!

A quick aside….

Anytime I mention in an article that we eat out frequently, several readers will write me to ask how we can afford to do that and still stay on budget. Since we’re already way behind on answering emails that came in while we were on vacation, I’ll go ahead and answer that right now.

It all comes down to the low cost of living here in Mexico. Our monthly expenses are lower across the board, which means that we have more disposable income to spend on things like eating out. The lower cost of living affects restaurant prices as well and we simply get more bang for our buck. As if that’s not enough, most establishments give us discounts of up to 20% just for living locally. To tell you the truth, it’s often less expensive to eat out than to buy all the ingredients and prepare the meal ourselves.

Now back to our article…

Prior to taking our trip, we knew that the restaurant/pub prices would be significantly higher in Ireland and we planned accordingly. Even still, I couldn’t help but cringe a little every time I paid a tab that was more than double what I was used to paying in Mexico.

The one that really got to me was when we ordered a hand-tossed, brick oven pizza from a small Italian Pizzeria in Dublin. It came to $15.95 euro, which is about $319 pesos. In Tulum, the same pizza would cost us $120 pesos, or $6 euro. By the way, Linda said she preferred the one in Mexico.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Even though we exceeded our budget for two weeks, it was 100% worth it. Ireland is a wonderful country and we had a great time. The locals were friendly, helpful, funny and several were eager to share a pint of Guinness with us.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul

Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He moved to Mexico with his wife six days later to enjoy a laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle on a tight budget.

In 2016, Paul started a blog to share information with other people who may be thinking of making the move to Mexico. The blog, Two Expats Living in Mexico (, has been viewed over a million times and Paul’s articles appear in periodicals across Mexico.

25 Comments on "Back from the Emerald Isle"

  1. Welcome back!!

  2. Happy you had a great time. We really missed your blog.

  3. Thanks for the update and so glad you enjoyed Ireland….

  4. Charles Wilson | June 14, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Reply

    GLAD YOUR BACK !!!!!

  5. You’re back. Cool!

  6. Welcome back. We missed you guys

  7. Patricia Armstrong | June 14, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    Home sweet home! Welcome back <3

  8. Robert Samborski | June 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Reply

    Ireland is pretty cool, albeit wet. If you think Ireland was expensive, you’d be amazed with Norway and other Nordic countries. Unreal compared with Mexico as well as US prices! Try a USD $30 cheeseburger, $15 pint. Definitely makes you appreciate the way things are in Mexico!

  9. Ethel aka Fran | June 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful trip to Ireland! Glad you both enjoyed the trip, but I can appreciate that you were happy to return to warmer weather. Enjoy!!

  10. Larry Mandel | June 14, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Reply

    Nice write up! Can you pin point exactly what city you live in and do you mind sharing a little about your residence, distance from ocean, and the residence costs? I’m a windsurfer and kitesurfer and really want to move to YP permanently. I need regular winds too.

    • Hi Larry. we’re in Akumal. It’s not uncommon to see windsurfers along the beaches from just north of here all the way south to Tulum. Send me an email at and I’ll send you details about where we live.

  11. Rosana Montenegro | June 15, 2017 at 1:02 am | Reply

    Nice to have you back!
    I want to write my story like yours, I will keep dreaming on it. !

  12. Welcome back!! So glad you enjoyed Europe and your vacation from paradise.
    I agree with the sticker shock in the UK. The worst was London…. the absolute most expensive place we’ve ever visited. I say that as a NYer who is very used to paying Manhattan prices for food and drink. We went to one bar and paid $60 US for 2 basic cocktails. It was painful. You really have t plan for it. We were glad we went, did, saw, would never go back.
    I highly rate Portugal as a great European destination. Lisbon is amazing and it’s actually extremely reasonable. I enjoyed Lisbon more than Paris. Every bit of European charm on a budget! Also loved Greece.

    We’ll be back to the Riveria Maya Oct 27th – Nov 3rd. Hopefully we can grab one of those awesome Mexican meals!!

  13. Europe has a lot of charm! But it comes with a price tag and the weather can be dizzy..
    I prefer Mexico 🙂

  14. H we just returned to the US for the summer and sticker shock hitting us also. I was figuring out how much meals and stuff cost (‘Did we just spend $2000 pesos for this fast food??’) but sometimes better to forget the math. Either way will appreciate it more once we get back!

  15. Welcome back to warm QRoo! We sure missed you!!

  16. Hey, Paul. I got two questions for you.
    1: Are there flights out of Cancún to Ireland?.
    2: How accessible and expensive is solar power where you guys are?.

    • Hi! We flew to Ireland with a stop in Charlotte and flew back Dublin to London and then London to Cancun. 2) Solar is affordable and there are several companies that install it.

  17. I always wonder what I should do with my winter clothes when I move to MX. This made me think of it again.
    Glad it was a great trip!

  18. Did you travel on your own or a tour? Ireland is on my bucket list ☺

    • We booked multiple tours. Most of them lasted 8 hours. I need a vacation from that vacation…lol.

  19. If you wanted cool, wet weather and lots of green scenery, should’ve come here to B.C. And lots cheaper too!
    In a future post I’d like to hear about your experience booking outbound travel from Mexico: websites, costs, tips & tricks.
    Welcome back

    • Thanks for the tip on BC. As far as visiting the rest of Mexico, that’s where we’ll be going next! I plan on keeping the trips limited to “domestic”.

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