Finally Back Home in Mexico!

When Linda and I flew to Florida back in early March to assist a family member in need, we had no idea that it would be almost two months before we would be returning to our home in the Riviera Maya.

That’s back when the world was somewhat normal. You remember those times. People could eat at restaurants, get their hair done by professionals and wearing a mask in a bank was a no-no.

Anyway, our original plan was stay in Florida for about a month. We figured that would be enough a time to address the family situation at hand and be back before our 60-day exit/return permit expired.

I guess I should back up and explain that 60-day exit/return permit thing a little more.

Linda and I are in the process of transitioning from temporary residents to permanent residents in Mexico. During this time, we are only allowed to leave the country if we obtain special permission from immigration, and even then only for a maximum of 60 days.

Here’s the kicker. We had been waiting for our permanent resident cards for over seven months when we flew out. Six days after arriving in the States, we received notification that they were ready.

Isn’t that how it always seems to go?!

Time’s Almost Up!

Our first scheduled return flight to Mexico was supposed to be direct but was later changed to include a layover in Atlanta. Since we still had 30 days remaining on the permit, we decided to cancel that flight and see how things progressed over the next few weeks.

In the beginning of May, JetBlue resumed their direct flights from Orlando to Cancun. With our permits about to expire, we decided it was time to head back home.

A Very Surreal Travel Experience

It wasn’t difficult to maintain social distancing while at the Orlando airport. There was hardly anyone there. It’s hard to believe that this is the 10th busiest airport in the United States.

The plane wasn’t much different. There were only three passengers, including us.

In the comments section on our Facebook page, some of our followers were asking if we had to show some type of proof of residency in Mexico — we did not.

Back in Cancun!

As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were handed a health questionnaire to fill out. There was a also a small health station set up near immigration to check the temperature of arriving passengers.

The only other passenger that we saw the entire time we were at the airport was the one that arrived on our flight.

Let’s Wrap This Up

It’s great to be home! Our plan is to spend the next 14 days in self-isolation and enjoying each other’s company until we can once again interact with other human beings. Thank goodness we still like each other after all these years!

Take care and stay healthy.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

48 Comments on "Finally Back Home in Mexico!"

  1. Paula Bidle-Stear | May 3, 2020 at 5:58 pm |

    How did you get from Cancun airport to Akumal?

    • Qroo Paul | May 3, 2020 at 6:02 pm |

      Canada Transfers. Everyone wore masks and we sat all the way in the back.

  2. john small | May 3, 2020 at 5:58 pm |

    Welcome home!!!!! Now stay put….lol

  3. thomas dean hamilton | May 3, 2020 at 5:59 pm |

    Welcome home is the ado bus still running, canada transfers etc still operating

  4. Buddy Tripp | May 3, 2020 at 6:00 pm |

    Can you still get in on tourist Visa, Paul?

    • Qroo Paul | May 3, 2020 at 6:01 pm |

      Yes, you can. But there really isn’t anything to do. Everything is locked down.

  5. Joan Florence Allison | May 3, 2020 at 6:02 pm |

    It was the same for us arriving in PVR from Santa Ana. I am only hearing the jet noise from one or two flights daily from PVR. The day will come when we also have to return to California. But for now we are enjoying the weather and sunsets.

  6. Forrest Veit | May 3, 2020 at 6:03 pm |

    Glad that you both were able to spend some quality family time here and still make it back to Mexico from MCO direct within the 60 days. Sorry that you had to endure the crowded plane. 🙂

  7. Valerie Link | May 3, 2020 at 6:05 pm |

    What an amazing experience, well done you 2. I just want to be back at Chapala, sometime next year I hope. Awesome, enjoy being home.

  8. TONY CHARLES | May 3, 2020 at 6:08 pm |

    ENJOY YOUR POST, I STILL LEARN THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW AND I’
    VE BEEN LIVING IN KINO BAY FOR 15 YEARS. HOW’S THE VIRUS IN YOUR AREA IT’S NOTHING HERE IN KINO. WELCOME BACK HASTA-TONY

  9. Always love your articles and your exploits. Well done working around those impromptu restrictions. Adventure!!!

  10. Mark H Sahs | May 3, 2020 at 6:10 pm |

    Glad you are back safely. I got my RP last August. Started it and did not leave until I got the card. Took exactly 30 days. We left in early May ( last direct flight to Seattle) and are heading back down to the boat in Nuevo Vallarta in July. Take care and thanks for the update.

  11. Mark Black | May 3, 2020 at 6:12 pm |

    I’m glad you guys are home. I love reading your blogs. I can live vicariously through your adventures and hopeful to follow in your footsteps.

  12. Patricia L Armstrong | May 3, 2020 at 6:19 pm |

    Welcome Home u two! Bet it feels great, Enjoy

  13. PattyJo Ryan-Johnson | May 3, 2020 at 6:20 pm |

    Love your blog!

  14. Linda Southwick | May 3, 2020 at 6:25 pm |

    So happy you back safe and sound.

  15. David Myles | May 3, 2020 at 6:27 pm |

    Would you have any thoughts or knowledge on when folks from the north might be allowed to vacation in Mexico. Dave from Vancouver

    • Korbey Hunt | May 4, 2020 at 6:07 am |

      I live on a 52 ft motoryacht near Loreto on the Baja. No virus here yet.

  16. Kristi Snider | May 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm |

    Welcome back…bet it was nice to be home and sleep in your own bed. When you get to go out and about, let us all know whats going on in Mexico!

  17. FredinMotul | May 3, 2020 at 6:33 pm |

    We were in Charleston, SC for our son’s Wedding starting March 3 and returning March 13. No one has been inside our normally busy house since we returned! Wonderful trip, great Wedding, but we were nervous about the return even then. It really was the day before all the crap hit the fan in the Airports, so we were lucky all around. Glad you are home safe!

  18. John Schothuis | May 3, 2020 at 6:41 pm |

    Glad to see you two got home safely. Susan and I had to cut our vacation in Puerto Vallarta short by a month. that was our 29th stay in Mexico.We live just north of Toronto Canada and today is our 51st anniverary. Mexican takeout for dinner! Enjoy reading you’re blog.

  19. emilys72016 | May 3, 2020 at 6:42 pm |

    You were fortunate to be able to get back to your home. Some expats who live in the Yucatan are not being allowed to return to their homes (even with permanent residency and owning their own casa) after having been in the US for family funerals/emergencies. They are required to quarantine elsewhere in Mexico (like in Merida) for fourteen days before returning to their home on the Yucatan gulf coast. I know of at least two cases where this has happened. I know in at least one case they tried to get COVID-19 tests in Mexico so they could return home but were denied them because they didn’t have symptoms. That’s just ridiculous under the circumstances! Glad you two had better circumstances.

  20. Canada Transfers are the best. I use them every time I come to Cancun.

  21. Phyllis Snyder | May 3, 2020 at 7:01 pm |

    Glad you two got home safely- question about the health questionnaire was it in Spanish or English available? And is the quarantine mandatory and do the officials tell you where to and how to accomplish it? Thanks and welcome home.

  22. Fran Clark | May 3, 2020 at 7:07 pm |

    Paul and Linda, so glad you made it back safely! Thanks for sharing the pictures of the airports. I cannot believe it. I have never seen an empty airport. Relax and enjoy your self-quarantine; 14 days will pass quickly. Fran

  23. jUST Wondering if the cartel activities have lessened. From what I have heard it has been very frightening.

  24. Gaye Miller | May 3, 2020 at 7:18 pm |

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of your private plane and private airport. It looked eerie. Happy to hear you are both home safe. Take care

  25. So happy you’re both home safe and sound. You have been an inspiration to us to be brave and fearless, but most importantly, to be informed about living n Mexico. Your advice has helped us greatly in planning/building our retirement home and we look forward to spending time there soon. Take care and Stay safe.

  26. Susan Reed | May 3, 2020 at 8:18 pm |

    Curious: Are you self-quarantining because it is required? If so, how is that followed up by authorities?

    • Qroo Paul | May 4, 2020 at 5:32 am |

      The health requirements vary by state. Self-quarantining after travel is not listed in the latest guidelines from the government of Quintana Roo; however, we are doing it because it’s a CDC guideline.

  27. Rufina Thorson | May 3, 2020 at 8:24 pm |

    Glad that you made it back to MX. We, in the meantime, are staying put here in Chapala and will try to go back to Canada next month hopefully, before our 180 days is up. We arrived here on January 8th. Take 6.

  28. Glad you made it back. I applied for one of those exit/entry permits last year but I ended up getting my renewal finalized before I was able to use it. In 3 weeks I go to the US for one week and I just hope I’m able to make it back Mexico. I have a round-trip ticket and hope it’s not cancelled or anything. Fingers crossed. Booking dot com and other websites have completely blocked the ability for anyone to book any accommodations in Mexico. But, Airbnb is still available.

  29. Happy you made it home. I need to get my Temporary residency renewed soon do you know if they are open or they will be open? Cheryl

  30. Welcome back! Our town of Loreto in Baja still has no known covid cases, but local restrictions are pretty severe. Many of our American and Canadian neighbors have left in the past couple months making our community feel like a ghost town. So my wife and I decided last week that it was time to head back to the states. After closing down our casa, we made the usual 4 day drive in 3 long days. We were glad to have the option of returning to the states but it felt like we, and our neighbors who left earlier than usual, kind of deserted all the restaurants, shops and service people that rely on our patronage to get through the year. Fortunately, a local, well respected environmental organization here called Eco Alianza created a fund that gave us a way to contribute to this cause. The response to their appeal was overwhelming. We’ve all had to make adjustments because of coronavirus …some more than others.

  31. Welcome back home!

  32. The only times I’ve seen empty airports were when I was going home after my night shift working at LAX with Aeromexico, many years ago. Empty airports are cool that way, not like today. And I love two things you wrote on this post: 1- “Thank goodness we still like each other after all these years!” (yes, you are blessed) and 2: “It’s great to be home!”…wow! that says it all. Thank you for appreciating my native country so much. Stay safe you two.

  33. Timmi Moore | May 4, 2020 at 7:18 am |

    Very glad to hear you are safely back at home in MX. Love your blog posts!

  34. Lorne McDougall | May 4, 2020 at 7:44 am |

    It was great to read your post and know you are home safe and sound. The airports and plane photos were surreal. I’m surprised flights weren’t cancelled because of low passenger numbers.

  35. Paul Bennett | May 4, 2020 at 7:47 am |

    I heard that INM have recently decided to relax the 60 day limit for those of us with exit permits,currently outside of the Yucatan.Anyone else heard this? Mine expires May 12th , and I don’t think I should travel.

    • Qroo Paul | May 4, 2020 at 7:49 am |

      They did suspend dates associated with immigration renewals etc but I couldn’t get an answer if this applied to the 60-day permit. Hopefully, it does. We just didn’t want to risk it.

  36. Kyle Sandstrom | May 4, 2020 at 8:13 am |

    Wow surreal, thanks for sharing.

  37. Rosa Parra | May 4, 2020 at 10:53 am |

    Welcome home! In your wildest dreams, I don’t think you ever envisioned traveling on your own “private plane!”
    Ah, the life of the retirees in Mexico… Living like the top 1% – great experience! Enjoy your quarantine! Soon you will be back to “normal.”

  38. Lisa Duncan | May 4, 2020 at 10:54 am |

    Wow. What an adventure. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Some of us are hoping to get back to or destinations in Mexico.

  39. Marien Kaifesh | May 5, 2020 at 8:36 am |

    We were at our condo in Cancun from Feb. 18 to March 14. We debated staying longer in Cancun since there were no cases, but felt that if someone back home in Ohio got sick, we might be needed there, so we left Cancun. Before we left Cancun, I had a feeling this might get ugly, so I left money with my manager to take care of our cleaning help, etc. We were to return to Cancun on May 26, but the flight was cancelled. We’ll try again mid-June and see if flights are running. If some of the hotels are opening June 1, I would think airlines will follow. Funny how much you miss your ‘home away from home’ when you’re not allowed to go there. Fingers crossed that we can travel soon.

  40. Paul Beddows | May 5, 2020 at 5:47 pm |

    OK, why was it taking 7 months to transition from temp to perm, was that to do with covid 19? Right now I am concerned with getting back to mexico to do my 1 year temp renewal for 3 more years. I am 71 and feel safer in Canada right now

Comments are closed.