Still breathing

Not to state the obvious, but I had to take a little break from writing blog entries for a while.  Part of it was rebounding from the trip to Ecuador, but mostly I was concentrating on some less important, but more lucrative, writing projects to help pay the bills.

Still, we have made some decisions worth sharing.  To begin with, we’ve decided to spend some time looking a little closer to home, for all the reasons described in my last post.  My dad’s ability–and let’s face it, willingness–to go with us is a major consideration in all this.  So we’re going to start by moving one country away.

A good friend of mine once said “Inch-by-inch, life’s a cinch.  Yard-by-yard life is hard.”  I’m not saying she wrote it herself or anything, but through the years I’ve been grateful for it nonetheless.
Most of the stress and dissatisfaction I’ve experienced in my life has been rooted in a desire for too much, too soon.  I won’t bother to cite examples of this; I’ve spilled my guts enough over the past four months.

The bottom line is we’re taking a look at Baja, Mexico, for now.  We leave October 5th with the goal of finding our leaping off point.  Where–or when–we go from there is anyone’s guess. But for now, the idea of sitting on the banks of the Sea of Cortez is enough. Far enough to get away from the snow and House Republicans.  Close enough to respond when kids, grandkids, and clients flip out.

It’s our first inch.

16 thoughts on “Still breathing

  1. Good for you John. Once you make that first step, i’m sure the rest of the journey will become clearer and clearer. I think you’re smart to stay closer initially. You have a special reason and it just makes sense. Ben reading through the Four Hour Workweek book. Lots of info and tools! It definitely has my brain cells spinning! Thanks for the suggestion.
    Your Oct 5 date will come quickly. You ready for launch?!

  2. Totally understand. That’s why it is always good to take a recon trip first. I grew up in Jamaica but I know it would not suit us in our situation now. We’ve made the decision that if the affordable healthcare act is still in place, as well as medicare and social security, when we retire in the next 10 years, we will move to Tucson instead of overseas. All big ifs, of course, but it is a less daunting move for us. We are simple people with simple needs. Leaving behind hurricanes, sink holes and exorbitant insurance rates in the state of Florida will allow us that little extra money we need for that simple life. If, on the other hand that does not work out, we will look at south of the border too. Looking forward to the next chapter in your book!

  3. John, just don’t give up – I’m sure you’ll find the right place to be!
    I traveled from Quito to Cotacachi today. Panamerican is being widened and the whole country along it looks like one giant construction zone. Houses are build like layer cakes – first floor done, no roof as such – waiting for the second floor “when the kids grow up” or a relative working in US or Spain will send more money; big, ornate empty houses waiting for the said relatives to come back; more of the great majestic volcanos, huge greenhouses with roses – #2 Ecuadorean export; very dignified, good looking, polite and mature beyond their years indigenous children helping their parents; huge market in Otavalo with local handicrafts (I’m going to go back and buy as many wonderful tapestries as I can fit in my luggage) and more. Let’s face it – many things look shabby, dusty and unfinished, it’s a poor country, and I was very happy to have a really hot shower today. But – the people are just stealing your heart. After the shower I bumped into an American couple who live in the area. We went together for diner and they told me that moving to this little place in Ecuador from US was “the best thing they did in their life”. They will show me around next week. By the way, they agree with you that “Ecuador needs everything” and there are endless opportunities for business; they are developing a few, but “it’s not work, it’s fun”.
    More to come – I hope I’m not boring you and everyone else to death!

    • Not at all, keep it coming! Nice job of meeting people and get the story behind the story. We also saw many (most) houses waiting to be finished, with naked re-bar waiting for cement. I’m thinking of grabbing your reports and consolidating them into a large guest post or two or three, if that’s cool? I’m not sure how many of my readers check the comments and I know they’d like to hear it. Have fun!

      • Uncle John—I think throwing these comments into a guest post would be a great idea. It is always interesting reading someone else’s comments–especially someone in the same area as you were in. I think people who read your blog will find his comments beneficial as well.

      • John, it would be totally cool!
        I’m seeing a real estate agent tomorrow, one recommended by Domenick Buenamici, who writes quite bit about Ecuador, as “decent”. I’m very curious what I’ll find out.
        About food: it’s mostly bland and not bad, but unremarkable; with the great fresh “raw materials” available, someone should open a cooking school. Oh, I’m also going to check a coffee shop with REAL coffee tomorrow. Will report soon!

  4. How sweet that you are taking grandpa into mind. What a great son you are. To be a little selfish, I love the idea of you exploring yet another place so we can travel through your eyes once again!!

  5. Hi John,
    I’m still in the mountains, in Cotacachi. I’ve seen two houses in new developments – similar price, space, finishes, walking distance to the “town centre”, similar dirt roads; met a herd of cows going home at the first house, and a bunch of cute piglets playing on the road near the second. More to see tomorrow. It’s not Switzerland, yet the place, with its warts and all, starts to grow on me. Also, no chance for a house for 55K in Switzerland…
    Yesterday I went to Otavalo, to the famous indigenous market, bought very pretty wool tapestries, and had a nice lunch at a mexican (?) restaurant. Figs with cheese for dessert – really good! I went by bus for the grand sum of $ 0.25. A local lady sitting next to me told me a lot about herself, and asked me questions that my close friends don’t ask – and yet, somehow it wasn’t irritating…
    There is a drought, so we have water cut-offs for a few hours for the next few days. It’s dry and dusty, especially with construction going on everywhere – almost like in Toronto.
    The “real” coffee shop is making a killing – you can get a cafe latte and read American Vogue!

  6. I have spent some time in baja, love it! i enjoy the Mulegi and the Bahia Concepcion area, also La Paz is nice. Lots of good stories from baja, only 1 downfall of the Sea of Cortez…no waves to surf.
    keep us informed. i will drive down and see you, if i can get past the bad border stuff.

    • Thanks, Steve will check those out on the map the first chance I get. Currently inundated with writing projects, so have been crunched for time. And yes, we’ll need visitors. I’ve heard from several people that driving the full length of Baha is considerably less dangerous than Mainland Mexico. Apparently my brother’s fireman buddies do it on motorcycles.

  7. I’d suggest checking out the LaPaz area as well. There are a lot of comfortable little areas near there (like El Centenario) where you can live a comfortable life style without the touristy mess of Cabo. Also, just enough expats around to provide companionship. I love the “inch by inch” advice. We’re retiring in November and heading to Cabarete, DR for five months then spending the summer in the Lake Chapala area. We think that Lake Chapala will be a nice easy transition to the expat lifestyle. After that….who knows. Love your blog, your sense of adventure and your ability to keep your plans fluid!

    • Thanks so much, we will take a look at that on the map. It’s amazing how many little out of the way towns people have suggested since I first typed the word Baja. Can’t imagine one of them isn’t just right for us. Good luck with your own plans. Please stay in touch!

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