San Miguel de Allende came to us like a wish come true. For a bit over a year, David and I had felt the swell of population, the pressurization of inflated prices, the unsettling political demise. My four year return to life in the United States confirmed a lot of things for me:
- The Bay Area had lost a bit of charm for me.
- Life didn’t have to be this hard.
- I thrive seeing the world from new places.
But, change is never easy. And, the string of unfortunate events that led us to a pretty big life shift were far from ideal. After months of dealing with a serial car vandal who made frightening threats, we heard the message loud and clear: “There’s never a perfect time for change. The time is now. Get the hell out of here already!”
How long does it take to pack up your home, give notice at work, and move to Mexico? Turns out, 4 weeks.
So, here we are…working remotely and living in a UNESCO Heritage town that sits between being a cobblestoned center of history and an aspiring cosmopolitan destination.
Yes, there are countless expats and American retirees that pepper the cafes and shops, enjoying the hot weather and kindness of locals who welcome with a smile. With English heard everywhere and so many activities that appeal to visiting gringos, it is a sort of Mexican Disneyland experience. But, so what?
In the month we’ve been here, our lives have taken on much needed wellness. Paying less than half the Bay Area rent, we have more room. The terraces and balconies of our airbnb allow for morning coffee overlooking a horizon that is specked with colorful homes and an occasional hot air balloon or two. Taking breaks from our online jobs, we can take a little “sun soak” as we call it, do some yoga, or walk into town for a meal. With no cars in tow, we don’t worry about parking (or getting our tires slashed) and are encouraged to walk to places, giving more attention to our environment.
As a novice of international travel, David is in a very good place. Sure, there are things that challenge us even in such an expat happy place. Language can be tricky and while his success in high school Spanish has proved beneficial many times, there are moments when communication fails. And, for someone who values that dearly, it can be tough. Regardless, the kindness of strangers, the pace of life, and the amazing door to the world that’s been opened, has been key in his emotional repair and in turn, physical health.
As an interior designer, I’m in heaven. I am soaking in inspiration via the handcrafted goods, the treasured colonial architecture, the secret spots of beauty that hide within the small streets, behind old doors. There are artists and designers and entrepreneurs that boldly share their work and are highly supported. For a while, I had difficulty sleeping, excited with possibility.
This is my healing.
In this time of uncertainty, as we piece together what’s next and look at a shaky world out there, there are some things we do know.
We know we are tough. We know we are supported. We know this is right for right now.
On New Year’s Eve of 2016, I suggested a small ritual of writing down what we wanted to let go of from the year and burning them up. With that space made, we then, wrote down our goals and wishes for the year to come.
I didn’t know the how or where or when. But, I truly feel this time in San Miguel de Allende is a wish come true.