Jack came home from his part-time job and announced that he was going to retire in June. He’s seventy-eight-years-old, so I knew this would be coming sometime soon. But what he said next floored me. “I don’t want to feel like I’m done with adventure. How about taking a year to live in another country, someplace warm, but someplace interesting, like Mexico?”
Move to Mexico? You’ve got to be kidding! I lived and worked in the Costa Maya twenty years ago. It’s taken nearly the last twenty to recover. I’ve just finished writing about the experience in my soon-to-be-published book, As Far As the I Can See. So much has changed over these twenty years. I’m now 75 years old and retired. Why would I want to uproot our very settled lives, near to my sons and their families, and live in Mexico again?
Jack started to campaign for taking the adventure. But he knows me well enough to have dropped it and left me alone for the idea to ferment in my brain.There was so much I loved about Mexico. What had caused me pain was particular to the hotel where I worked and I lived, uncovering truths about my friends who owned it and about myself, my lack of preparation for the experience. When I was honest with myself, I didn’t feel finished with Mexico.
"How about San Miguel de Allende?" I asked. That beautiful city in the hills in central Mexico is a cultural haven for ex-pats, writers and artists. It hosts the San Miguel Writers’ Conference every year, which attracts authors, writers and readers from the US, Canada and Mexico to magical San Miguel de Allende and has been designated as a World Heritage City by Unesco. Living there with Jack and our thirteen- year- old 72 pound Goldendoodle, Kanga,would be a completely different experience than the one I’d survived twenty years ago where I had to fend for myself in a remote and hostile environment. Before long I found myself thinking more about SMA, a perfect place to spend a year. The thought had me by the neck and wouldn’t let me go.