|The view I wish I had from my swivel chair at work.|
Coming back to the States for these few months makes us think, and consider our decision to live abroad.
|Typical cubicle / mariner trap|
As for everyday living, we most assuredly have met our budget. 18k per year is $1,500 dollars per month. We lived on less than that during those months when we had no large repair or outfitting bills. So as we calmly drifted from anchorage to anchorage we lived lean. Maybe next year we'll not have to buy another engine or some other big ticket item. Coming north in the summer to do some work is very helpful to our budget. Thank you, my employers; the work is much appreciated.
Coming north in the summer is also helpful to the psyche. By the time June rolls around it is just too darn hot to enjoy living on the boat in Mexico. I've told you how we became hot, cranky, and stupid from staying south too long. When we hit those cool nights in the mountains of Arizona and Utah our bodies relaxed and our minds started to function properly again. Connie started playing music again. I started smiling.
|Oregon hills as seen from my folding chair last month.|
I didn't realize that I was carrying around this tension while traveling in Mexico but I realize it now. Don't get me wrong, though. We are going back to Mexico and some year we will go further to Panama or the South Pacific. But when doing so, the guard will be up a smidgen more than when I'm in the states.
Another thing I've appreciated about the U.S. is how clean and tidy everything is. Private property is normally kept decent looking and the public spaces are spectacular when compared to most of Mexico. In Mexico the pride is inside the property. There is a wall around the property and everything inside is nice. But outside the wall it can be dusty, dirty, rock strewn, and ugly. Sidewalks can be treacherous and except for the town square, public places are pretty rough. You pay to pee and don't want to sit on the porcelain. In the states, the public bathrooms can be wonderfully clean and modern.
Heading south to cruise Mexico's coast is not all beautiful beaches and cheap fish tacos. I'm glad we had the experience and enjoyed it so much that we're going back in the fall. But I realize that the 1st world countries, while expensive, have a lot to offer too.
So, as in many things, moderation is the way to go. We'll spend six months in Mexico and six months in the states for the next couple of years until we head across the Pacific.... or some other place.
We'll get the best of both worlds.
My advice for those who are planning on heading south is to figure out what you'll be doing during the time when you are not in Mexico. Make sure you have a nice place to visit, a place where you can relax in your folding chair and breath in the cool, moist air. As we get better at this "snow bird" mentality Connie and I are looking for summertime options. A cabin in Colorado, an apartment in San Diego, a house in Tumwater, a yurt in New Mexico? You gotta have a place to go on vacation from your vacation!
Oh yeah, don't forget to budget in a new engine or two.