Wednesday, October 25, 2017

CULTURE SHOCK LESSONS #105: Moving to Mexico--Holiday Noise, Delays, Festivities

And So Many Holidays!


Dia de Muertos Brings Out the Catrinas
     Mexico celebrates many more holidays than the countries north of the border. Holidays are festive times, right? So, why is this something that can create culture shock? Let me try to explain with some examples.

Many Holidays are Unique to Mexican Culture
Dia de Muertos, a very festive time in Mexico, means literally Day of the Dead. A festival that revolves around death? I didn’t understand it for years. The celebrations last for several days, from October 31 through November 2. This is a time when families and friends celebrate, inviting the souls of those who have died to join them on earth. A large part of this celebration takes place in the cemetery at the loved one’s grave. Food, alcohol, candles, flowers, and other gifts are placed on the grave, offered to bring the soul to earth. The family members will have a picnic at the grave, eating a meal and drinking beer. The belief is that their departed love ones’ souls join them to share this meal. This was difficult for me to understand when we first started traveling to Mexico. In the United States, in non-Hispanic cultures, when we visit a grave-site, we feel sadness at the loss of our loved ones, certainly not a festive joy.
One of Many Altars for Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead

     After living in this beautiful country for some time now, I have come to see this festival as a celebration of life, a time to remember and honor the people who have passed from this earth. The town plazas become a place where many colorful alters are built with flowers, food offerings, candles, sand and rocks, personal articles, and photographs, each honoring a deceased person. Music and entertainment fill the downtown with people mingling and strolling through the path between alters, admiring the artwork of each memorial, then moving on to enjoy the festivities. Later in the night, a long line of quiet Mexicans can be seen walking from the plaza, through downtown and neighborhoods, to the cemetery, each carrying a lighted candle.
     When first experienced, it appears that Dia de Muertos revolves around death. Now I see that this celebration is a healthy way to remember the life of departed loved ones.
Parade for Dia del Niño (Day of the Child)

     Dia del Niño, Day of the Child, is also unique to Mexican culture, and a very big deal in the town we live in. The main street into downtown is closed for hours for a parade and it seems the whole town turns out to watch the children dressed in costumes, riding in floats that cruise the streets around the plaza. It is a lively, happy festival with the crowd filling the plaza and spilling into the streets. Two young children dressed as the King and Queen of the day ride in their own fancy float. They help throw treats including balls and hula hoops to children and adults alike.
     I am impressed with how much attention and love the children receive in this culture. To set aside an entire day to honor the children and to make them feel special is unlike anything I’ve seen in the United States. It is a joy to watch. It is also wise to plan your day so as to avoid driving through town, taking.... Read more by clicking this link: http://retirementbeforetheageof59.blogspot.com/2017/10/culture-shock-105-moving-to-mexico.html

"HEALTHY LIVING IN MEXICO #3" eBook Coming Soon!
Available on Amazon Soon!
     If you haven't read "Healthy Living in Mexico #1 and #2", here are the links on Amazon.com. Remember these are also available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.mx, and Amazon worldwide!

Healthy Living in Mexico eBook #1
Click to Find it On Amazon: Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2 Kindle Edition

Healthy Living in Mexico #2
To sign up for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Monthly Newsletter", click HERE

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AN RV TIRE BLOWOUT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DEADLY!

It Sounded Like a Gunshot!

The Front Flat Tire After It Zippered & Blew Out

     I had been driving for an hour and decided to stop at a Rest Area to fix lunch. Jon went out to check the tires and found the front driver's side tire almost flat. He got out his air compressor and began pumping it back up. 
     Suddenly, from inside the motorhome, I heard an extremely loud POP and knew immediately that the tire had blown. I threw open the RV door and ran around to the  driver's side to check on Jon.  To read more, click HERE.


To read more about our adventures, check out my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" eBooks available on Amazon.


Click HERE to View on Amazon

Click HERE to View on Amazon
To sign up for my monthly "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" newsletter, click HERE.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

99 ¢ KINDLE DEAL: "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico"

99 Cents for a Limited Time Only !


99 ¢ From August 9 through August 16, 2017
To view on Amazon.com, click HERE
Book Description
Do you dream of a restful vacation or maybe an adventure in an RV? Do you envision yourself on a warm beach somewhere, with a tropical drink in your hand, your feet in the sand, and the sound of gently lapping waves lulling you into a state of bliss?

Do you imagine living a healthier, more active life? Maybe you dream of Salsa dancing under the stars or the "sassy exercise" of Zumba® on the beach? Does "sassy exercise" for you mean rollerblading, bicycling, or jogging on the boardwalk? Do golf, tennis, surfing and snorkeling any time you want sound like your ideal plan for "Healthy Living in Mexico"?

Are you held back by concerns? Do you find yourself asking, as many do, "Is it safe to drive in Mexico?" or "Is it safe to live in Mexico?" Come along with Jon and Terry on their tenth motorhome trip to Mexico, and find out how safe, happy and healthy they feel living in Mexico.

Jon and Terry have shared the dream of a better life in Mexico with hundreds of thousands of Americans, but they have brought their dream to life! Discover how you too can escape to A SIMPLER LIFE with SUNSHINE in the winter, SASSY EXERCISE in the great outdoors, and delicious SAVORY FOOD created with the freshest, tastiest ingredients, all year long!


Check out my August Edition of the monthly newsletter by clicking the link below:
August Newsletter--Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Puerto Vallarta Fun Day: Vallarta Botanical Gardens and Lunch at Hacienda de Oro

One of the Pleasures of Living in Mexico

Hacienda de Oro Restaurant and Coy Pond
     Visiting the Vallarta Botanical Gardens and having lunch at the restaurant in the Garden, Hacienda de Oro, has been on my Bucket List for years. I'm so glad we finally planned a day trip to go there!
Beautiful Orchids Under One of Two Shade Covers
     I wrote about our first, failed attempt to tour this botanical garden in my book, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico". We were driving our motorhome south along the coast of mainland Mexico, leaving the Puerto Vallarta area on Hwy 200. I was so excited to visit the Gardens that day! We had it programmed into our GPS and had planned our trip to arrive in time for lunch at the Hacienda de Oro. But when we slowed to turn into the gate, we could see there was no place to park our motorhome. We were forced to drive on by and keep the Vallarta Botanical Gardens on our Bucket List for another year.
     This time, I wanted to be sure there were no glitches in our plan to visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Checking their website, I could see the Gardens were open. I called them the morning of our trip to ask if the restaurant would be open that day. We didn't want to arrive hungry, only to find the restaurant closed. I had read an article years ago that said the dining experience is half the fun of going to the Gardens, so I was hopeful they would be open. Unfortunately, no one answered the phone, so we ate a light lunch at a beach restaurant in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone before walking to catch the bus that goes to the Gardens. That worked out for the best! The restaurant was open, but we weren't hungry when we arrived about 1:00, so we hiked five of the many trails, looked at endless exotic plants, and worked up a good appetite. By 4:00, we were ready for refreshments. The restaurant closes at 5:00, so we had plenty of time for a delicious Margarita and a Caesar Salad with Large Shrimp, all beautifully served, decorated with colorful, edible flowers. I was happy that we were able to dine at the lovely restaurant, half of the reason to visit the Gardens!
Jon and Terry Enjoying Lunch at Hacienda de Oro
     One trail led from the Hacienda de Oro through a delightful rock garden with colorful, exotic tropical plants that I had never seen before. Many were labeled with their botanical names.
     The Orchid Conservatory was my favorite area of the Gardens. Not only... to read more and view more photos of the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens, click HERE

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING AND TRAVELING IN MEXICO, the eBook is Available on Amazon!

Take A Look At These 5-Star Reviews!
A Search For Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food, and a Simpler Life

The eBook is Available on Amazon Worldwide!


Terry is my wonderful zumba instructor. I relate totally to her plan. 
There is so much more to life and giving back than working beyond 
your ability to live a healthy contented life. An excellent read and guide.





By Candace Rivero

GREAT tips with contact info for favorite locales in Mexico cities - some
with RV parks for RVers. This author discovered Zumba classes and 
shares her enthusiasm for the fun classes along their many travels. 
Reading this book took me on a virtual trip thru my favorite places in 
Mexico this weekend. Looking forward to the next book Terry wrote about retiring at 59. I am past that mark at this point but will soak up all her
advice so that I too can follow their path along the coast.


Book Description

Do you dream of a restful vacation or maybe an adventure in an RV? Do you envision yourself on a warm beach somewhere, with a tropical drink in your hand, your feet in the sand, and the sound of gently lapping waves lulling you into a state of bliss?

Do you imagine living a healthier, more active life? Maybe you dream of Salsa dancing under the stars or the "sassy exercise" of Zumba® on the beach? Does "sassy exercise" for you mean rollerblading, bicycling, or jogging on the boardwalk? Do golf, tennis, surfing and snorkeling any time you want sound like your ideal plan for "Healthy Living in Mexico"?

Are you held back by concerns? Do you find yourself asking, as many do, "Is it safe to drive in Mexico?" or "Is it safe to live in Mexico?" Come along with Jon and Terry on their tenth motorhome trip to Mexico, and find out how safe, happy and healthy they feel living in Mexico.

Jon and Terry have shared the dream of a better life in Mexico with hundreds of thousands of Americans, but they have brought their dream to life! Discover how you too can escape to A SIMPLER LIFE with SUNSHINE in the winter, SASSY EXERCISE in the great outdoors, and delicious SAVORY FOOD created with the freshest, tastiest ingredients, all year long!

To take a look at the eBook, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" on Amazon.com, click HERE

If you enjoyed reading the eBook, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico", I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to write a review on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or whatever Amazon you have access to in your part of the world. 

Take a look at the follow-up eBook, "Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2", a continuation of our journey to find our retirement home in Mexico, also available on Amazon. To take a look at the eBook "Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2" by clicking HERE
The eBook is Available Worldwide on Amazon!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bringing Your Pet into Mexico: New 2017 Laws are Being Enforced!

Avoid a 2-Hour Delay When Entering Mexico!

Bella is Ready to Get Out of Her Pet Carrier
     Flying into Mexico last week with Bella, our miniature dachshund, turned into a nightmare. We flew into the Puerto Vallarta International airport, as we have many times in the past 17 years, and proceeded, as always, to the Mexican Agricultural desk (zoo sanitary kiosk with the acronym SAGARPA) before entering Customs (Aduana). We presented the documents that have always been accepted, a current rabies vaccination certificate and a Health Certificate from a vet in the U.S. that had been prepared two days before travel. We have always successfully imported our dogs using these papers whether we flew or drove into Mexico, though they were rarely asked for when we drove across the border.
     Things aren’t that simple with dog and cat importation into Mexico anymore. We found out the hard way that there is a new, more stringent law regarding cats and dogs entering Mexico, effective January 1, 2017. Apparently, Mexico started enforcing the new requirements in February 2017 and neither our U.S. vet nor our Mexican vet in Sayulita knew about the changes because both of our current Health Certificates from these vets were unacceptable when we presented our documents to the SAGARPA agent at the Puerto Vallarta airport. It was going to be a long afternoon.
SAGARPA is the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture
     The Mexican Agriculture Department (SAGARPA) agent patiently explained the new requirements to us, then told us that we could not bring our dog into Mexico without obtaining a valid Health Certificate. In addition to the Rabies Vaccination certification, the vet must now certify (provide proof of) two additional health conditions: To read more, click this link: 
Retirement Before the Age of 59: Bringing Your Pet into Mexico: New 2017 Laws are B... 

     For more information on healthy living and traveling in Mexico, take a look at my two eBooks, available on Amazon:
"Look Inside" this eBook by Clicking HERE
"Look Inside" this eBook by Clicking HERE




Thursday, April 6, 2017

FIGHTING MOSQUITOES: Preventing the Spread of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika

Fighting the Aedes Mosquitoes
We Had Chikungunya in 2015

Now We're on a Mission to Fight Mosquitoes & Mosquito Bites!

     We've all heard about Zika. But what about Chikungunya and Dengue? All three of these viral infections are spread by mosquitoes in many parts of the world. The Aedes mosquitoes, when infected with Chikungunya or Dengue viruses can transmit these illnesses to people through mosquito bites. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), local transmissions of these viruses have been reported throughout the Americas, including Mexico. The CDC also reports that mosquitoes infected with Zika virus are in Mexico and spreading it to people. There are two ways to battle the spread of these viral illnesses. First, minimize the reproduction of mosquitoes. Secondly, prevent mosquito bites to minimize the transmission of the virus and spread of the infection.
Ready for our First Christmas, Our Exterior Wall was so Pretty!
     It happened the first week in December 2015, a week after we moved into our casita (little house) in Mexico. Jon spent an afternoon scrubbing the exterior of our garden wall so it would be nice and clean when he put up the Christmas lights. They looked so pretty and we were excited about spending our first Christmas in "paradise".
     The next morning Jon awoke stiff and sore, his joints aching, and he thought he had just overdone it with his wall-scrubbing the day before. The following day, he didn't get out of bed, the pain and fever were debilitating. I kept him supplied with ibuprofen, chicken broth, and purified drinking water. (We later learned that acetaminophen is the pain reliever of choice until Dengue fever can be ruled out, in order to avoid internal bleeding.) For the next week, he rarely got out of bed. From internet research, I determined that Jon probably had either Dengue Fever or Chikungunya, both transmitted by mosquitoes. Had he been bitten while working around the garden plants? He hadn't noticed any mosquitoes and didn't find any bites, but it was the logical conclusion that one of the tiny mosquitoes that carry Chikungunya had gotten him. Was our beautiful garden and the nearby jungle to blame for bringing mosquitoes to our new home?
Was Our Beautiful Garden to Blame?
     Getting up to go to the bathroom was a major ordeal because his ankles and the joints in his feet seemed to be affected the most. Standing up wasn't too bad, but walking was excruciatingly painful. We had learned that this is one common symptom of Chikungunya, so we self-diagnosed the illness. The inflammation and stiffness (arthritis) in the feet was so painful that he walked with a flat-footed shuffle, as though the ankles and feet couldn't flex. We named this duck-like way of walking the "Chikungunya Shuffle", and tried to laugh about it to lighten our moods.
     I wasn't laughing any longer when I developed the same symptoms a week later. The joint pain was right up there with the level of a childbirth contraction, except it didn't let up, even while taking 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours. The itchy rash on my torso was just an annoyance compared to the joint pain. Thank goodness, Jon had mostly recovered and could now take care of me.
Was the Jungle Next to Our Yard Bringing Mosquitoes?
     I was probably bitten by a mosquito that had first bitten Jon, thereby transferring the virus to me. The typical incubation period for Chikungunya is... To Read More, click on this link:
Retirement Before the Age of 59: FIGHTING MOSQUITOES: Preventing the Spread of Deng...:
     Read more about our adventures and retirement in Mexico in my eBook available at Amazon by clicking HERE
"Retirement Before the Age of 59" eBook

Saturday, March 4, 2017

7 Reason I'm Charged About Buying and Using My New Fitbit 'Charge 2' in Mexico

I LOST MY FITBIT 'ONE' WHILE LIVING IN MEXICO!

Fitbit® 'Charge 2' Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband

My 4-Year-Old Fitbit 'One', Battered & Dusty, Still Worked!
     Losing an item like my Fitbit 'One' while living in Mexico can be a very upsetting experience. Some may smirk at this remark, especially if they live in a country where they can simply log in to Amazon and order anything they need, finding it delivered to their doorstep in two days. But, replacing my Fitbit was not going to be that easy while living in Mexico. I had to find a way to purchase a new one! I rely on by Fitbit to get me moving in the morning and keep me moving until, hopefully, I reach my 10,000 steps for the day. After retirement, with no job to get me going, it has become important to have another motivator that keeps me from becoming too sedentary.
In 2016 My Weekly Stat Reports Kept Me Motivated
     My Fitbit ‘One’ has been my motivator for over four years and I depend on it! It motivates me to teach my Zumba class with energy and enthusiasm, dancing and exercising the best I can for a 60-year-old woman, and then announces after class that I have reached at least 5500 steps, giving me a great sense of accomplishment. It encourages me to go for a walk on the beach with Bella and my husband, Jon, stretching our walk from the south end to the north end of the Sayulita Beach if we feel up to it, giving us at least 4000 steps. When we walk to town for dinner, cruise around the plaza in downtown Sayulita to see what festivities are going on, and then stroll back home, my Fitbit gives me a figurative pat on the back for a healthy, active day by reporting that I exceeded 10,000 step for the day.
     Recently, the well-used clasp on my Fitbit ‘One’ gave out and I had to begin wearing it in my pocket or tied tightly to my shoelaces. One morning, as I prepared to teach Zumba class, I couldn’t find it! I searched every pair of jeans, my Zumba bag, my nightstand, the recharging plug on my desk… it had disappeared. What was I going to do? I had to teach Zumba without a Fitbit, and it was very disappointing to be without feedback about how energetic I had been during class.
No Fitbit Feedback During Zumba was Disappointing
     I needed a new motivator. So I started to research how I could purchase a Fitbit while living in Mexico. I became excited with what I found out. Here are 7 Reasons I am Charged About my Buying my New Fitbit ‘Charge 2’ in Mexico:
          1.     I am charged to find that Fitbit has a newer version of their wristband device called Charge 2’ and it not only tracks steps and miles walked, as well as flights of stairs climbed, it also tracks heart rate continuously. The heart rate monitor is what sold me on buying a “Charge 2”. I especially like seeing what my maximum pulse is when I have been working out aerobically for an hour, how long I am in “Fat Burn” mode as my pulse slows, and how long it takes for my heart rate to return to normal. When I am sitting at my desk writing, it gives me my current heart rate and my Resting Heart Rate.
'Charge 2' Bands Can be Changed to Black,Teal & More
a          2.     I am charged that I could buy a Fitbit ‘Charge 2’ while living in Mexico! I discovered from the www.Fitbit.com website that I could order a Fitbit from Best Buy Mexico and have it delivered to the nearest FedEx office. I got on http://www.bestbuy.com.mx/ , found that they offered the “Charge 2” in my size and the color I wanted, purple! It was even on sale for $162.72 U.S. (3299 pesos) and that included shipping! I input my order information, selected the FedEx office in Puerto Vallarta closest to the RV park where we would be staying the next week and paid for it through PayPal. The Best Buy website informed me that my item would be delivered in 5 to 7 business days. I printed my receipt and held my breath that it would really arrive as promised.
          To read more, click HERE
The eBook 'Retirement Before the Age of 59'

     To read about our other adventures in early retirement and moving to Mexico, I encourage you take a look at my eBook, "RETIREMENT BEFORE THE AGE OF 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2" on Amazon by clicking this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCMWMJL