There is a lot that goes into making a big decision, like moving to a new country where you may or may not know the language. It's one thing to hit up an all-inclusive resort for a week or two but the decision for relocating is a big one to make.
Deciding to move to Colima City has been one of my best life choices to date.
Before I dive into all the reasons it was a great choice, it's important to understand how I chose and why. You're probably weighing a lot of the same factors as I did. So let's roll back the clock a hot minute and look at the pieces that led me to a beautiful and peaceful life in Colima, Colima, Mexico.
About eight years ago as I was facing my fortieth birthday I thought to myself, "Damn 40 came quick!" It occurred to me then that sixty-five would be catching up to me in no time. I had to begin making a plan for my retirement years and securing my future.
As it stood, the majority of my career had included self employment and freelance work which was relatively inconsistent. What that all boils down to is my pension and savings were not likely to be enough to sustain me. A plan needed to be made.
I researched a lot of options, I love to research. I have a curious mind and definitive answers make me happy and feel at ease. Of everything available, my best option boiled down to switching careers so I could begin to earn my living remotely. By becoming location independent, I could live somewhere the cost of living was less and dollars would go further.
In 2013 I lived and travelled through Nicaragua for six months to test this out. I had read in International Living Magazine that Nicaragua was very safe and the cost of living was much lower than Costa Rica. I loved the experience and saw much of the country but in 2018, there was a political situation that tanked the economy by reducing tourism when travel bans were established. I crossed it off my list of options.
We all know what happened in 2020 and may still feel its effects. This is when I made my decision to move. By this time I had completed a ton of schooling in online marketing and promotion to support my coaching business. In June I took a full time remote position with a North American company. Once I reached the three month mark of employment security, I asked my employer if there was any legal obligation for me to remain in my home country. Blessedly, "No." was the response. Though in the past I had looked to Central America as a potential new home, I believed it may be a bit too far while the world was in turmoil. Seeing what was happening or rather, not happening in those countries during the first year of the pandemic solidified my decision to stay within North America and look to Mexico as an option.
In my typical, responsible fashion I began to research the best options. What I want to focus on most was how I wanted my future to look, how I would live and most importantly, how I would not live. I am not interested in having a group of day drinking politico's as my peer group. I don't want to replace my MacBook every year or two because of humidity and salt damage from ocean air. Being concerned about burglaries, pick pockets and muggings has yet to make it to my To Do List.
My lifestyle falls to the plant-based organic, meditative, daily routine side of the scale. Even though I do like a good burger, loud music and a laugh with people of different opinion once in a while, I want this to be an option I can look for when I feel like it, not something I have to endure on the daily. It's for this reason my research took me inland, away from the beaches and other popular Mexican expat destinations.
During my research which included books, Google and Facebook expat groups in Mexico, I stumbled upon a group member who is a successful author, Russell Blake. He posted about his latest book that was to be released October 30, 2020, "Retirement Secrets of Mexico." I pre purchased the book and had finished reading the electronic version in two days after it launched. Russel provides great details and a rating system for several locations that are not the popular favorites we have all heard about or visited. I read through all of them and one clear choice stood out for me and my lifestyle. Colima. I have lived in huge cities, small cities, in the woods, in the jungle, on beaches and farms. By far I recognize that I love the ease and amenities of small to moderate sized cities. There is a liveliness without the rush. There are casual to fine dining options and access to organics. There are highways, Ubers, cabs, movies, coffee shops, hospitals (we are getting older) and loads of activities and events. Well, when there isn't a pandemic there is.
Throughout the month of November I sold off and donated most of what I own. Friends of mine were kind enough to store some basics including my winter clothes, bedroom furniture, kitchen staples and legal documents. When I left I considered returning to live summers at home. Keeping those basics gave me the comfort I needed at the time to know that I could set up a northern summer home if I chose to.
I booked a flight. I booked one night at a hotel. I booked one month at an AirBnB. And I packed as little as possible. Clothes in one bag. Linens and home decor in the second. Kitchen favorites in the third. Vacation basics in the fourth. And my electronics, tech and work set up in the fifth.
On November 26, 2020 I boarded an AeroMexico flight with five suitcases and by dinner time I was in Guadalajara. After a long day of travel, I spent the first night in a hotel near the airport. The hotel lobby has a restaurant where I ate dinner after checking in. Through WhatsApp, I confirmed my arrival and morning pickup with my AirBnB host who was kind enough to collect me and deliver me to my new home, for a fee equal to Uber.
That Friday morning drive from Guadalajara to Colima was peacefully exciting, once out of the busy city traffic. It was about two and a half hours. This post isn't about the drive however, it's about the decision to move.
As I write this, I have been living here for eight weeks. I found it very easy to settle in here though I should disclose I have been living and travelling solo for a decade and am quite comfortable with my own company, exploring new places and communicating with people who's language I do not understand.
For you that type of experience may be quite unsettling. For me, I love it. New situations help us grow and I'm all about personal development, finding our best paths and becoming our highest self. Now here in Colima, I know I am home. I have no need or desire to return north though I realize I may have a few things to attend to.
The people are kind. Truly, sweet and kind. The pace of life is rhythmic. Navigating around town is simple, the volcano points you north. I can walk to everything I need or want and have come to learn that each colony, we call them neighborhoods, has it's share of grocery stores, laundry service, doctors, dentists, parks, hardware stores, ice cream, banks and of course restaurants. Let's not forget those.
If you're think Colima might be the spot for you, keep reading about my experience here on the site. I've registered a Facebook Page and Facebook Group. This is my invitation to you to join, message me and connect. If you are reading this close to the beginning of my move, the content may be still light but know that I am adding more and more as the months roll by and my life here blossoms.
I will be writing about housing, cost of living, safety, grocery shopping, paying bills and setting up utilities, restaurant dining, medical doctors, dental offices and getting around. There are vacation spots throughout the state from sunny beaches to mountain ranges and cool river streams. I have already discovered some lovely boutique hotels and spas, as well as interesting tours.
As you have already learned, Colima has much to offer. Not just the city but the entire, tiny state. Maybe you'll come to visit or maybe you will decide to call it home. For now, keep reading, follow me on Facebook and learn what you need to so you can make the best decision for you.