Bringing My Cats to Mexico

(My F5 Savannah “Reever”)

 

As move day got closer I had more and more anxiety about how my two cats would adjust to life in Mexico.

The hated the road trip down. Savannah cats are known to be vocal and mine is quick to let me know when he’s not happy about something.  Every morning when we started off for the day, Reever would yowl. For hours. Non-stop. Finally after 3 or 4 hours of voicing his displeasure of being in the car, he would settle down and sleep.

I am happy to say they both adjusted to life in their new home quickly. I brought their favourite blankets,  beds and food dishes so they’d have some familiar smells. The place we rented is bigger than our home back in Canada – lots to explore, new smells and sounds to investigate. They are both indoor cats and love to sit by the screened patio doors watching the birds & dragon flies bath in our swimming pool.

For those people moving to Mexico and worrying about bringing your animals: stop wasting your time worrying if your animal will adjust. They will. Probably faster than you.

 

 

Retire to Mexico

Retire to Mexico

Moving to Mexico was key to retiring young and being able to live a high quality of life on a fraction of the income that my husband and I used to have when we were both working in Canada.

Our tiny town is made up primarily of Americans and Canadians with a few Australians, who came in search of the same thing we did — an awesome lifestyle on a budget.

Due to the low cost of living, people are able to retire earlier and the average age of new arrivals is mid-fifties.

There are younger people – some single, some raising families – but they are not retired. Many have started their own businesses and others work for local businesses.

 

Life in Mexico

Live The Dream

Living in Mexico, surrounded by mountains, palm trees and picture-perfect beaches sounds like a dream. Wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee and fresh fruit picked from the trees around your house, walk along the beach and maybe go for a swim to cool off from the sun’s warmth. This is paradise. This is a dream come true.

But this might not really be the dream life for everyone. Here are 9 reasons why you shouldn’t pick up and move to a tropical destination.

1. The heat can be unbearable. Of course, you realize that the temperatures in tropical countries stay high year-round. But have you accounted for the humidity? Your hair will be a constant disaster. Your sweat will sweat. There truly is no way to adequately prepare your body for the onslaught of late summer heat in Mexico or other tropical countries.

2. The bugs. Oh, the bugs! The bugs in Mexico are literally everywhere. You can kill millions of mosquitos, and you know what? There are still millions more. There are sand fleas, cockroaches, spiders, scorpions, and ants. Flies. They are everywhere.

3. Tourists. Tourists everywhere! They come in droves, they take over your tiny town and your favorite restaurants.

4. It can be isolating. You might feel trapped and separated from the rest of the world. You certainly won’t know what’s happening in the news because nobody watches it. You won’t have the latest gadgets everyone back home is talking about. You won’t see the newest films in theaters, nor catch the new TV series as it actually airs. You will be behind in everything. And you will look out into the never-ending sea and realize how small you truly are.

5. There are dogs and cats everywhere. Seems like everyone here has at least one dog. Dogs that bark at everything and everyone. And strays. Mexico has a serious problem with stray animals — there is no denying that. They will be in the road, they will beg for food at the restaurants and they will relieve themselves wherever the mood strikes.

6. The internet is not reliable. It is slower than slow. Watching the connection churn and churn is frustrating, especially when you are used to LTE.

7. Speaking of slow, mañana doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow, it just means not today. I’ve learned that Mexican society operates within its own time frame.

If you’ve read all these reasons and think that life in the tropics sounds horrible, you most certainly should not move to the Mexico or any other tropical country. Come for a week, take your sunset photos, and head on home.

If, however, you’ve read these reasons and found a positive aspect to each and every one of them, then you do truly belong here. After all…

1. Humidity is great for your skin and it sure beats sweating while shoveling snow.

2. Geckos eat bugs, and they also make for adorable little companions running around your patio and windows.

3. Tourists bring income into the local economy.

4. Isolation can be liberating. You have time and space to reconnect with yourself.

5. You could take in a stray animal and honor Bob Barker’s request to spay and neuter your pets.

6. Making things difficult to acquire means you question how much you really need them. And usually the answer is that you simply don’t.

7. “Mexico time” forces you to reflect and relax, an idea that could benefit many North Americans these days.

If you — like me — can see the positives hidden in challenges and difficulties, then you will absolutely love life in Mexico. If you can laugh at yourself and embrace change, you will find paradise. Just be honest with yourself before taking the leap.

 

My Mexican Adventure

Adventure

Moving to another country is an adventure, to say the least. Experiencing new foods, people, and customs. You will undoubtedly feel every emotion from surreal happiness to pure confusion. However, despite what some travel bloggers lead you to believe; it’s not always fun and it’s certainly not always easy. Approach it with eyes wide open. With wonder and enthusiasm.

 

Ricks and Choices

Risks

Ultimately, moving to another country is a choice, and choice is all about sacrifice. When we make a choice, we consider this: what are we willing to lose in order to gain?

When you go on vacation, you’re willing to lose money to gain a week in the sun. When you move to another country, you’re willing to give up creature comforts in Canada in order to gain life experience

 

Moving To Another Country

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Things to remember when moving to another country.

1) Pack light. You don’t need two years’ worth of stuff. I have already realised I have brought way to many clothes, and that is after donating more than half of what I owned.

2) Know that learning the language WILL be hard. Make an effort to at least learn the basics immediately; people will be a lot friendlier if you show an interest in their native tongue, and it will help ease everyday interactions.

3) Perspective is key. Remember that good and bad things happen everywhere. No matter what you’re doing, and where you are, you’ll have your share of ups and downs — it’s not always directly related to living in another country.

4) People can suck anywhere. No matter what the country’s culture towards tourists/outsiders is, one thing will always be true: there are nice people in every country, and there are assholes in every country.

 

The Journey To Mexico

The Journey To Mexico

My husband retired early and I quit my job in order to fulfil a lifelong dream of escaping the cold Canadian winters and live in a warm climate.  We rented out our house and moved to Mexico for a year. After the year is up we may decide to stay in Mexico or travel on to another destination. I have decided to write about my journey and my new life adventure.

Moving to another country and starting over is one of the most terrifying yet exhilarating adventures ever. Life as I know it will change – and I’m not just talking addresses and laundry detergent. I’m well aware that everything won’t be a fairy tale. There will be challenges, but also rewards. It’s something that if I don’t do it, I will always regret it.

I gave most of my clothes to my local homeless shelter, sold or junked most of my possessions, except for a few totes of important things that I have put into storage, and sold 2 out of 3 vehicles.

My husband, myself and 2 cats drove from Alberta, Canada to Todos Santos, Mexico. And what a drive it was! It took five days, with the cats yowling constantly for hours.

Day 1 – October 26:  Morning temperature was 3°C. Left Fort McMurray, Alberta at 3:59 PM arrived in Edmonton at 8:15 PM. Will stay here 2 nights to visit with my husband’s sons and their families.

Day 2 – October 28: Morning temperature was 6°C. Left Edmonton, Alberta at 9:00 AM arrived in Helena, Montana at 6:00 PM.

USBorderCrossing

Day 3 – October 29: Morning temperature was12°C. Left Helena, Montana at 6:35 AM arrived in Cedar City, Utah at 6:30 PM.

Passing through the state of Utah. I expected prairies but there really was no flat land, all mountains. I can see why the USA is called America the Beautiful. The never ending landscape is breath taking.

Day 4 – October 30: Morning temp of 9°C. Left Cedar City, Utah at 7:35 AM arrived in Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:35 PM.

Crossing the border went much better then I expected. I had purchased my Mexican Tourist Visa online and printed it off. The border agaent did ask to see the receipt, very thankful I had printed it too. AFter stamping the visa we were on our way.

He never even asked about the cats which was a little disappointing after spending hundreds on vaccines and certified health certificates. Better safe than sorry though.

MexicanBorder

Day 5 – October 31: Morning temp of 23°C. Left Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:00 AM arrived in Loreto, Mexico at 8:00 PM.

This leg of the journey was arduous. There were many detours due to road damage from two hurricanes earlier in the fall. There were washouts and bridges completely destroyed. The detours were just dirt paths. Then there was the winding roads up and down mountains. We drove our Jeep and I cannot imagine driving that part of the journey in an RV.

bridge

RoadDamage

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Day 6 – November 1: We decided to stay here an extra night in Loreto, our bodies needed a break from sitting in the car, hour after hour, day after day. Spent the day exploring around Loreto. It’s a quaint little city of 13,000. I think the cats & humans alike are happy to just relax after a crazy day.s in the car.

CatsinMexico

Day 7 – November 2: 19°C Left Loreto, Mexico at 6:53 AM arrived in Todos Santos, Mexico at 12:35 PM. After driving over 5000 kms we finally arrived at our destination.

TodosSantos