Even though San Miguel is changing and growing, you can still see things like the scene in this photo. These are the things I love most about being here.
Things are going to change. Either they change, or they die. This applies to almost everything, but it especially applies to places. FaceBook certainly proved that this morning. Within 5 minutes I saw a post from a friend and neighbor in Nashville. The post was complete with sickening photo of a beautiful old home being scraped away by a bulldozer.
That teardown is going on very close to the house where Fred and I lived together for about 35 years. We renovated that house and we loved it. We had wonderful times there with wonderful friends. When we returned from a six month trip in Mexico in 2014-15, we realized how much Nashville was changing, and how fast. We got it why you would love the “New Nashville” if it suited you. We also realized that it didn’t suit us anymore, for a number of reasons.
We also knew that one really good thing about this kind of change was that we could sell our house (which had dramatically increased in value since Fred bought it, thanks to not only our work, but in large part to the booming real estate market in Nashville) and buy a new place in Mexico. Honestly, the main reason we left was because we wanted to have the experience of living in a different country. I had felt for years that living in Mexico was part of the grand plan for our lives. In retrospect, I believe that being in Mexico literally did save my life. I made a big commitment when I decided to stay here for some extremely important health care. That’s how sure I was about being in Mexico.
This change was huge. We sold our house, cars, and a ton of stuff, and headed South. The commitment was made, and we knew we wouldn’t turn back.
As things tend to go, we chose to move to a Mexican town that is also experiencing growing pains. (Being declared “the best city in Latin America” by Conde Nast does have an effect on things). The weekends are jammed with tourists, mostly from other places in Mexico, and the traffic is intense. More new people from the US and elsewhere are showing up, and some of them are staying. More and more upscale restaurants and shops are opening. And, it is getting really hard to get a cab. These are changes that I have seen since we started coming here in 2010. Some of the expats who have been here for years are not happy about these developments. The town has changed, and will likely change more. I love it here, and while I know our friends here sincerely love us, I sometimes get a little uncomfortable about all that “too many new people” stuff in general. Even though I know my personal friends don’t feel that way about us, it is unsettling to realize (based on FaceBook comments) that a few people really do resent new people coming in and somehow changing their town.
Look…I wish I had had a crystal ball. Believe me, if I had, we would have been here much, much sooner. One thing I have done a few times in my life is to wait too long to make needed changes, because sometimes it’s easier to complain than to change. Sometimes I need a change in my attitude, sometimes I need a change in my situation. I applaud anyone who figures out how to make a major move so that they can live where they will be happy. Many people are very unhappy with where they live. If you are at a place in life where you still need to earn an income, it’s even harder to figure out. So, to people who managed to make it work before they retired, right on. I would encourage anyone who feels like they want to do a new thing to do it. Life is short. Make yourself happy. Just know that other people are trying to be happy, too. And know that no matter where you decide to go, if it’s attractive, it’s definitely going to grow and change. I imagine that 15 years ago San Miguel was already growing and changing, just at a slower pace. And so was Nashville. For that matter, so was New York.
Nothing is really preventable about growth and change. It just doesn’t always suit us. We knew that the changes we were seeing in Nashville weren’t suiting us. We could stick around and bitch and get bitter, or try something different. We decided to try something different. We had to be pretty motivated to do this and we are happy that we did. As to people who are bitching…as far as I’m concerned…not my monkeys, not my zoo.
In the past year, so many things are happening in the USA that don’t suit me that I know even more and without a doubt that we made the right decision. I am very happy to be alive and well in Mexico. Since I left the US I have grown more and more detached and that has been very healthy for me. I could bitch all day and all night, but what I really did was say goodbye.