Dipping a toe in the Sea of Cortez

Well it’s been one week since we arrived at our new home in Loreto, Mexico.  As you know, I grew conspicuously silent as our move date approached.  This was not due to an unwillingness to share, but rather a fundamental lack of hours in the day.  Turns out the planning, packing and logistics of moving out of the country are about triple the time and energy drain I had anticipated.

Luckily it was all worth it.

This morning I’m sitting at the kitchen bar of an oversized hacienda, drinking an unfamiliar brand of Mexican coffee as I try to describe the almost molecular transformation that I’ve undergone in the past seven days.

It really started a month ago as the Holiday frenzy collided with the need to get the hell out of Dodge.  This year, when the last Christmas ornament was taken down and packed, we just kept going.  Since neither Diana or I possess much in the way of logistical skills, we decided that the best way to get shit done was to start doing shit.

It was random and inefficient.  There must have been a better way.  Still, everything we owned eventually landed in a friend’s house, a storage shed, a donation bin or a dumpster.  What little that remained came with us, including the dog and cat.

It would be hard to overstate the cathartic effect of fitting all your worldly possessions in a 2004 Jeep Cherokee.  Soon, everything we needed–and nothing we didn’t–was making a run for the border.

The trip itself was beautiful and imperfect.  The cat whined.  Things flew off the roof rack.  A check engine light was ignored.  All our traveling money was inadvertently flung into the desert, never to be seen again.  Still, 2,200 miles later we arrived safe and sound and ready for bed.

As I said, it is a week later now, but already it feels like months.  Each day has been a full and complete experience worthy of its own blog post.  Technology like that which I’m currently typing on has made this entire process so much more seamless that it would have been just a few years ago.  But it is good old-fashioned dirt, sky and saltwater that I’m most interested in these days.  It almost feels like the day I saw my first Pong game, except in reverse.


Yesterday we went to a makeshift farmer’s market staged in a dry river bed at the edge of town.  A couple of kids with a bucket washed all five states off our car for 60 pesos as we bought bag after bag of non-genetically modified produce, seafood, chicken and cheeses.

My Dad, a non-drinker for his entire adult life, tried a shot of tequila and promptly bought a bottle to take home.  He’s too old to be grounded, so we had to endure the singing coming from his room last night.  Going forward, I may insist he keep his hearing aids in so he has to hear it too.

My brother flew here with my Dad and is staying for the first two months.  He offered the groundskeeper, Erilio, a cup of coffee the other day and already it’s become a ritual.  The first day he stood meekly outside the gate and waited for God knows how long to be invited in to work.  Now he sashays in with a hearty “Que pasa!” asks for his “cafe” and gets as much Spanish language conversation out of us as possible.

The other day a good friend back home in the snow sent me a text asking if life was as good down here as I had hoped.  I answered, “The showers could be hotter if that helps.”  He said it actually kinda did.

Now I don’t have the heart to tell him we figured out the water heater.


11 thoughts on “Dipping a toe in the Sea of Cortez

  1. Oh, we can’t wait for our 8 day transformation! If my passport would just get here I would be a lot more relaxed about our trip there! We’re moving forward with our plans like it will be here in time! Except for My Niners playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, our trip there is all we think about! We’re so excited and grateful for this opportunity!!! Hopefully we’ll be seeing you soon!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

      • My passport arrived yesterday!!!!! We’ll see you on the 17th!!!!! We’re so excited, drinking buddies are on the way!!!!!

  2. Thanks for the update. I am looking forward to your experiences over the next few months. Congrats on the new journey!

    • Thanks, Dan. If we do this right I can’t promise a whole lot twists and turns, but hopefully it’s worth reading along. Good luck on your own journey wherever it leads.

  3. Great job John!

    cant wait to hear more. we just got out of our 6 week deep freeze here in glenwood springs. it hit 30 last saturday and sunday…..but right now it 11 degrees. Mexico sounding very good.

    • I remember those crazy Colorado winters well. There was year in the early seventies when we were without power for two weeks. Luckily, the power poles had also snapped so there was extra wood to cut up!
      You were one of a handful of readers that really helped me stay on the path, Steve. Your support and occasional prodding was more helpful than you know over the past eight months. Di and I both really appreciate it.

  4. John, just stumbled onto your blog and am really excited to read about your adventures! I can so relate to the “i’m done” comment. Just waiting for the kids to graduate! Just curious about how your making a living down there?

  5. I just found your blog, first blog I have ever read also!!! What luck is that!!! I am going to need someone to lead me throygh all the technicalities and paperwork. I am looking at moving to Ecuador.

    • Janey,
      Ecuador is quite easy. There are a lot of expats in Ecuador, all willing to help. I loved it there, too bad the DW didn’t.

      Good luck in your travels.

      Ed & Tina

  6. John,
    Glad to hear all is well in Mexico. Looking forward to hearing of the “adventure”. You have to get rid of that job, though. It is cutting into your blogging time! Just got back from Panama. Tina did not go along, but it was a fruitful trip. Nice, cheap(not Ecuador cheap, but cheap), and VERY SAFE. Liked it a lot, except for the garbage in Panama City. Tina will be joining me for a trip back later this year, for a visit to Boquete, Bocas Del Toro, and Coronado to the south. First, we will visit Costa Rica, probably the central around Arenal, as well as the south beaches around Jaco. Good luck in Mexico, and let us all know what’s up!

    Ed & Tina

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