Changing one’s life in their 69thyear and moving to another country definitely takes fortitude, commitment and trusting in the unknown. Not having children nor living parents makes it somewhat easier to pick up and go, but at nearly 70? Hey, lots of elders have been ex-patriating for years, and maybe more so now with the uncertain political and economic climate in the U.S. For my husband, Alex, and me the journey south was a bit like trial by fire, demanding flexibility, adaptability and figuring things out as we went
Our desire to retire somewhere outside the U.S. began years ago. Our concentrated search began in June, 2018 where we took a month exploring three towns in Mexico: Ajijic, Oaxaca, and Guanajuato. We fell in love with the gringo town on Lake Chapala—Mexico’s largest freshwater lake south of Guadalajara—and decided to move to Ajijic (Ah-hee-heek) on May 1, 2019.
On March 1, 2019, I closed my 30-year acupuncture practice in Tucson, and Alex handed over his mantle as president of the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, though he will continue to contribute remotely to the norteamericano world of Chinese Medicine. We sold our townhouse of 18 years and most of our furnishings and headed south mid May, delayed by two weeks.
I drove the beautiful and hair-raising 1,100 miles from Nogales with a Spanish-speaking friend, a packed Subaru Outback and two traumatized cats. Alex flew down on the inexpensive and direct flight from Tijuana to Guadalajara, after recovering with my family in Chula Vista, CA, from some unexpected health challenges that are now behind him.
The most difficult part of the journey was preparing for the trip—taking care of our affairs and health, getting all our required documentation for Mexico and sorting/discarding/packing our belongings. Covering the details of moving to another country as well as dealing with some unexpected setbacks created much anxiety. Nevertheless, we kept moving forward. Actually, our decision to leave our home country kept prodding us onward. We were committed to a new adventure in our twilight years on the other side of “the wall”!
So, we made it to Ajijic, Mexico, to our six month furnished rental! This seems so astounding now when looking back at the many sleepless nights in Tucson that had me questioning how we could ever pull it off. And we did! We’re here, and we’re astonished, but still needing to rest from so much change. Viva Mexico and let the new life begin!