Wednesday, August 6, 2014




     Jon and I have been searching for over 20 years for our dream place to "semi-retire". We continue to be drawn back to Mexico. Though we have not yet reached typical retirement ages, at 64 and 58 years old, we are definitely searching for the place where we want to retire. We have decided that we are ready to "semi-retire". Our version of this is to work in the U.S. during the summer months and escape to Mexico when the weather turns cold. There we are able to live a simpler life of relaxation, exercise, fun adventures, and socialization with our Mexican and expat friends for the six winter months.
    We have been traveling throughout Mexico, evaluating each place we stay for the things that we like best about each area. Eventually, we will refine our criteria for our favorite place or places to live in Mexico, and narrow our search to one or two towns to retire in. For now, we want to list the things we love about living and traveling in Mexico:  
         1. Less Stress: Life in most areas of Mexico moves at a slower pace and lifestyles are simpler, which leads to reduced stress.
     2. Less Expensive: retirement money will stretch a lot farther. Quality of life south of the border can be better with less money.
     3. Wonderful Weather: A great place to receive a healthy dose of sunshine during the winter months. The climate in select cities and towns in Mexico is ideal if you prefer to avoid the cold, snow, and rain north of the border from November to May. It has been shown that increased exposure to sunshine, in moderation, can improve mental health, 
     4. Healthy Exercise: In Mexico, there is an abundance of healthy exercise opportunities in or near most towns. There is a great variety of sports opportunities such as golf, tennis, volleyball, basketball, working out in fitness centers, soccer, hiking, yoga, and Zumba classes in many areas. Water sports in the coastal areas include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kite-boarding, Stand Up Paddle
boarding, sailing, boogie boarding (our favorite!) and surfing. 
     5. Beautiful Natural Scenery: Mexico has exceptionally beautiful natural scenery, including mountains with forests and lakes, long seashores with rocky cliffs and small bays with soft sand and gentle waves, green jungles with orchid farms, and deserts with cacti and wildflowers. There is a
great variety of landscapes and vegetation, depending on the region, something for just about everyone, depending on personal preferences.
     6. Friendly People: The Mexican National people are, in most areas, very friendly and courteous. They are family oriented, peaceful, giving, fun-loving people. Their culture is reminiscent of that in the U.S. during the 1950’s, including good manners, treating others with respect, protecting others' pride, being considerate, and "loving thy neighbor". 
     7. Delicious, Savory, and Healthy Food: The food in Mexico is great! Mexico has some of the most flavorful National dishes we have eaten anywhere in the world, prepared with healthy fresh ingredients. Fresh produce is
readily available, inexpensive, and delicious, with a more intense flavor since it is harvested when it is ripe and then sold to the consumer soon afterward. We especially enjoy the fresh fish and prawns that we can get on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and look forward to trying the many different recipes they prepare with seafood.

     8. Peaceful Living: Mexico strives to remain a peaceful country, with strict laws controlling ownership of guns and ammunition. The Mexican government has laws limiting and restricting the legal access to firearms by civilians. Gun possession and use in crimes is far less prevalent in Mexico than in the United States.
     9. Avoid the “Cough and Cold” Season North of the Border: Living in Mexico seems to be a good way to escape the winter cough and cold season north of the border! While I don't have documentation to back up this statement, I believe that when we live in Mexico during the winter, we have fewer episodes of the common cold and other seasonal infections.
         10. Escape The Drug Abuse Epidemic in the U.S: Many Americans have been misled to believe that Mexico is where the drug problem lies. In fact, drug usage and abuse, both of legal prescription drugs, and illegal narcotics,  has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). A survey by the World Health Organization shows the U.S.has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world. The United States is the largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world, making the problem of drug abuse and drug trafficking so huge, that I,
as a Pharmacist and a citizen of the U.S., am very concerned about the health of the people in my own country who are involved in it. I don't foresee the illicit drug abuse epidemic in the United States improving for many years. I see this monstrous problem, and all of the physical, mental, and social repercussions, and I feel uneasy living in the U.S.  I prefer to live in Mexico where drug abuse is less prevalent than in the United States.

     11. Enjoy and Appreciate the Old Colonial Architecture: The Colonial architecture in places like Concordia, Mazatlan, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and man other Mexican cities reflect their history during the Spanish invasion. We never tire of viewing these beautiful old buildings, loved by the Mexican Nationals as much as by the Gringos.
     12. Enjoy the Variety of Cultural Experiences: There are so many opportunities to enjoy the local Mexican culture, including Art, Music, Dance, Sports Events, and People Watching in Parks, in RV Parks and hotels, in town Plazas and along Malecóns (Boardwalks).
     13. Many Dog-Friendly Places: We love to walk Bella, our dachshund, on the beaches, in the city parks, along the Malecons, and we can usually take her into most restaurants in Mexico. Mexico is loose, as long as the people and the dog are courteous!
     14. A Great Place to Relax in the evening while watching the famous Mexican Sunsets: We look forward to sunset in Mexico, especially on the Pacific mainland coast. It is a special time of day when we take our chairs, our glass of wine, Bella, her ball and her treats, to the beach to relax, to throw the ball for Bella, and to watch the amazing show as the sun slowly dips toward the horizon and sky changes color and design. Each day the sky is like a new vivid painting.
     15: Bird Watching Opportunities: Wherever there is water, whether on the Pacific oceans, the lagoons of San Pancho or Mazatlan, or the shores Lake Chapala, there are many types of birds to view in Mexico. We love to sit and watch the birds, another of our daily relaxing activities. We even take a small, bubbling water feature and bird feeder with
us in the motorhome to draw birds into our yard in the RV Park. We enjoy the goldfinches and hummingbirds in Mexico as much as we do in Oregon, and imagine that they follow us as we migrate south. Bird Watching Tours and classes are available in many areas of Mexico.
    Read more about these "Reasons to Live, Travel, and Zumba in Mexico" in my upcoming book, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico: A Search for Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food, And a Simpler Life".
     For more information on Zumba and living in Mexico, see .

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Terry L Turrell
No part of this publication May be Reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or Transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, scanning, photocopying, recording, or Otherwise, without prior written permission .

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