As I write this, I’m sitting in a beautiful beachfront house on the Pacific coast of Mexico. My wife and I are staying in a quiet little town called Barra de Navidad, about an hour north of Manzanillo.
We’ve been here for two months. Life is really, really great here. We are relaxing, learning Spanish, surfing, hosting friends, meeting interesting new people and taking stock of our life goals and priorities. In April, when the weather warms up here, we plan to head inland to the colonial city of Guanajuato, where we’ll be for a few more months.
Just how did we end up on such a trip? At the end of 2008, with the global economy going nowhere fast, it seemed like we wouldn’t be missing much if we ducked out of the country for six months or so. I had just left the company I founded and built for three years. My wife was able to put her career engagements on hold. We had saved enough money to live without working for a while, especially somewhere like Mexico, which is much cheaper than where we normally live in San Francisco.
We had always romanticized the idea of temporarily moving to Mexico, for a lot of reasons. It’s the closest non-English-speaking neighbor to the U.S. As Americans, we tend to know shamefully little about it. Mexico has incredibly diverse cultures and landscape. People are warm, friendly and fun. The beaches in Mexico are fantastic. It’s really cheap (especially now with the exchange rate as of early 2009). Also, you can easily drive to Mexico from the U.S.
The only thing holding us back was making the decision and planning the trip. Making the decision required having the courage to unplug from regular life for a while, and confidence that things would be there for us when we returned. It felt very similar to the decision I made to leave my comfortable consulting job to start a company. The trick is to not let fear and uncertainty get in the way of a solid plan.
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