After living in San Vicente for about 2 years, we had come to realize that while routine medical care was more than adequate and quite inexpensive, life-saving emergency care was non-existent at the local hospital. Basic equipment was either missing or broken and while doctors may have had the training required to save a life, they did not have the resources necessary to perform some basic diagnoses and be successful.
While we loved our lives in San Vicente and did not want to leave our newly made friends or the wonderful fresh and inexpensive food available at the local open market or the government-regulated gasoline at $1.48 per gallon, it was time for another change!
After watching a friend die of a heart attack and attending another friend’s small child with a head injury, neither of whom could be assisted at the local hospital, Diane poked me really hard and reminded me that our health…okay my health as a heart patient, was more important than anything else. We began to look for another warm, coastal location for our next adventure.
We really like the Latin culture we had experienced in Ecuador and while traveling in Central America. We considered Costa Rica, Belize and a couple of islands in the Caribbean. We eventually decided on Mexico. Mexico offered significantly improved infrastructure over where we were in Ecuador and had three coastlines splashed by the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. We wanted to live on or near the coast in a city that offered great medical care, especially emergency care and would be much closer to the U.S. than was Ecuador. From where we lived in Ecuador, it was a two day trip to get back to Miami.
We found two great rental properties on Craig’s List before leaving Ecuador and rented them both. The first was a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in a truly Mexican neighborhood in the large city of Merida near the top of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was only 20 miles from the small city of Progreso on the Gulf Coast. We also rented a small condo in Cancun, directly on the Caribbean beach.
We bought a car shortly after we arrived which permitted us to travel the four hours between our two places. We wanted to live in both places for a while before deciding where we wanted to settle. Both Merida and Cancun had International airports and we could be back in Miami in a couple of hours, if necessary. Much better than a 2 day trip!
For the first few months, we travelled the four hours between our two places several times per month. Eventually, we found ourselves wanting to spend more time in Cancun than we did in Merida and we officially made Cancun our new home. We loved Merida and all the charm of an old, Mexican city but…it did not have the crystal clear, cobalt blue, warm waters of the Caribbean. Neither the Pacific nor the Gulf waters can compare to the Caribbean Sea. It’s that simple and for Diane who is a confirmed beach person, Cancun won…hands down!
In addition to the Caribbean Sea, Cancun also offers world-class amenities such as major shopping outlets, great and plentiful restaurants, and numerous entertainment attractions as simple as movie theaters or as wild as Coco Bongo, a nightclub experience like no other! There is also easy access to the world’s second largest reef system just offshore offering incredible snorkeling and fishing opportunities. Cancun, also situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, is home to numerous Mayan ruins as well as Cenotes (Say-No-Tays) which are crystal clear underground rivers accessed by sink holes. They are wonderful for swimming on a hot summer day! Oh, and the hospitals are as modern and well-equipped as any in the states.
On the minus side of the equation, Cancun is more expensive than was San Vicente or even Merida for that matter. One can live a very nice life here in Cancun for around $2500-$3000 per month.
Some folks have the need to sink deep roots when they live somewhere. Not us. Deep roots make it difficult to leave. Diane and I travel back to the States once or twice per year to see friends and family and to take care of any other necessary business. If the time comes when we feel a change is necessary or sounds interesting, we won’t hesitate. We have learned to not let fear be the thief that steals the life we could have. There is a lot of the planet left to see and, after all…we aren’t trees! We can move!
Click for additional information about Mexico.