Since moving to Mexico in 2015, I’ve only been back to the United States — which I jokingly refer to as the old country — a couple of times.
When we first moved to Mexico, the main reason we didn’t travel back often was to avoid the heavy penalties under Obamacare for not maintaining insurance in the States. According to the law, if we stayed out of the country for 330 days we were exempt from the requirements of the law; however, one day too many and we would be fined thousands of dollars at tax time.
To tell you the truth, it hasn’t been too difficult to stay away. We live in a beautiful gated community in the Riviera Maya and our quality of life is arguably much better than it was when we lived in the States. We lead a fulfilling, active lifestyle in a Caribbean paradise — what else could we ask for?
After almost a year away, we decided to return to the old country to spend the holidays with friends and family. Since many of them were concerned about our safety when we first told them years before that we were planning on moving to Mexico, I started calling it the Proof of Life Tour.
It was nice seeing family members, old friends and former coworkers — even if we didn’t have much to talk about. Thanks to social media, I already knew what the majority had been doing since I left.
I guess that’s another reason why I don’t feel the need to go back to the States very often. In some ways, I feel like I never left because it’s so easy to stay in touch with people remotely.
What Might Have Been
We spent a total of three weeks in Florida and although we divided our time between multiple cities and towns, I quickly grew bored. Everything had an almost overly familiar feel to it and I told Linda that if we had stayed in Florida once I retired, I would have ended up going back to work within a year just to have something to do.
Granted, Florida is a very popular tourist area with lots of expensive things to see and do. The operative word there is expensive. Our fixed retirement income wouldn’t go as far in that environment and we would have spent a lot more time just sitting around the house.
Stopping by my former place of employment only reinforced my belief that boredom would have driven me back into the work force. I ran into several of my former coworkers who had returned to the agency after only being retired for a year or so. I asked a few of them why they went back and most responded that they needed something to do.
I often find it difficult to articulate why life in Mexico is so different — but it is. There is something special about moving to a new country and culture that makes it all new and exciting. When you throw in an amazing community of people who like to live life to the fullest, boredom is never an issue.
Let’s Wrap This Up
We enjoyed our trip to the old country but we were both extremely excited to get home to Mexico. As soon as we got home, we swapped out the jeans and tennis shoes we were wearing for shorts and flip flops. We then headed down to our favorite beach bar to chat with friends and enjoy the sunset (shown in the main picture).
Life is good.