Wherever You Go, There You Are – 3 Months In Mexico
Today marks 3 months since we arrived in Mexico. It’s gone by fast, and although we’re enjoying our life here it seems like we’ve hardly done anything we planned to do yet. Time is flying.
We came here to bond as a family, to be near the ocean and to immerse ourselves in another culture. Although I expect some changes along the way I don’t want to forget these goals so it’s time to re-evaluate.
We found a great house that’s only 3 blocks from the ocean. It makes a huge difference to have a good home base, a safe pleasing place to retreat to when overwhelmed or just tired. We’ve stayed in a few places where we dreaded coming back at the end of the day, and it puts a lot of stress on everyone.
At the same time having a satisfying house makes us go out less because we are happy where we are-I feel very lazy saying that. We realized that we don’t walk around much anymore, especially since we have the car and school limits family free time. Jason and I have talked about how we miss this and resolved to walk around exploring our neighborhood more. There is just no substitute for being on foot to see the details of a place.
Our Spanish speaking progress has been slow, and we’ve been spoiled with lots of English speakers. It’s scary to use a new language knowing you are probably doing it wrong and sound like an idiot, but we are trying. We are considering classes to help us along as a family. The girls are picking up some Spanish at school but could use help as well. Half of their day is in Spanish, half in English, and when I ask about the Spanish half they say they have no idea what’s going on most of the time because of the language barrier. I tell them not to worry too much, just use what they can and it will get better, but this seems weak. I’m trying to be patient but my instant gratification center is kicking hard for attention.
There are a lot of things I really love about Mexican culture; no one tells anyone how to keep their house here, how tall their grass should be, no one complains about noise and children are welcome to be children. People are quick to help and to smile. Taking home Sangria to go is an amazing thing.
We have been snorkeling regularly, although we went more when it was super hot in the summer before we had a pool. I imagined us spending every day in the water, swimming, marveling at the sea life, exploring the tide pools, Jason and I expanding our scuba skills, but it’s more work than you would think. When you go to the ocean you get sandy and salty, so then you need a shower, and snorkeling is hard work so you need to eat, and it becomes a much bigger thing than just running down to the water for a quick dip. Some days there just isn’t time.
I’m sad to say that Jason and I haven’t gone diving yet-I know, I know, we’re in one of the best dive spots in the world and we haven’t gone? The difference is that we LIVE here, we’re not on vacation. When you visit you can spend all day at the ocean and sip margaritas by the sea, but living here we have to manage grocery shopping, laundry, school, all that normal life stuff. Free time is limited and precious, especially with Jason still working normal hours.
It’s also important to us to ease back into diving and be safe. Jason hasn’t gone diving in two years, and I haven’t gone since my last trip to Mexico last year. We are rusty, and in scuba rusty divers can be dangerous. Getting back into the water is high on the priority list and we’ve met a few new divemasters that we can go with, but finding the time is the hardest part.
When I pictured us in Mexico I saw myself spending a lot of time with my little girls, exploring the world and connecting with them on a daily basis. It was one of the things I looked forward to and a big part of the worldschooling/homeschooling plan, and I have to admit I was disappointed when they wanted to go to school. They are gone for most of the day, and Jason is working, and I’m left to my own devices.
For a lot of moms this might seem great, I can do whatever I want, free-range Mom! But I’m often doing it alone, and that’s not what I wanted at all. I’m not going to pull the kids out of school if they want to be there, and Jason needs to work so we have income, but being alone here has been the biggest adjustment for me. It’s hard to stay connected when we are all off doing our own thing. Some days I meet up with friends and there are errands to run, but I came here to be with my family and that’s a struggle right now. I’m hoping this will change as we go, that Jason’s work won’t be quite as demanding as it has these last few weeks, that the kids may decide school is overrated (and some part of me laughs at the irony that I’m actually hoping my kids will quit school,) but it may not, and I may have to find peace doing things by myself here.
The biggest surprise is how the same old issues follow us; time is hard to manage, family bonding gets pushed aside in the rush to get things done, and all the while the clock is ticking. Our American lifestyle didn’t stay behind in America and we have to make an effort to live differently every day. It is all fleeting, one day this part of our lives will be over so I’m doing my best to enjoy it however I find it.
3 MONTHS IN
Jason and I ask each other now and then “Are you still glad we did this?” We still are, but we’ll keep asking and evaluating what we’re doing. Three months into living a digital nomad life, we’re doing alright.
This weekend we’ll take our first trip out on a boat to snorkel some new places and learn about the reef. Next week the girls and I will be spending the week in Tulum on a retreat with Enlightened Globetrekker, then I’ll be flying to Florida for a few days to visit TBEX. When November gets back to normal though there may be some changes in our routine, just to make sure we don’t forget what we came here for.
What do you travel for?