By Vivian Molick from the July 2011 Edition
Why did we (my husband and I) decide to move to Mexico? There are many reasons, some of which are; we love the people, we could no longer afford the cost of health insurance in the US, and the winters in Minnesota are horribly cold with lots of snow. We had finally had enough and made the decision to move to Mexico — Manzanillo in particular.
I will have to say, for me, Mexico was not love at first site. The very first time we visited Mexico our pastor led a group from church to Acapulco, and in his known ‘cheapness’, he reserved us hotel rooms in an area where the average ‘out of the country’ tourist would not stay. It was a huge culture shock for me (guess I led quite a sheltered life) and it took all the strength I had to not burst into tears… I kept thinking, “Oh my God, I’m stuck here for a whole week”. Everything looked dirty and I didn’t even want to touch the bed in our room. My hubby was such a dear and tried his best to find a better hotel, but to no avail.
What was I to do? One day, while sitting in our room having a ‘pity-party’ for me, myself and I, the maid came in to clean. As I observed the way in which she cleaned, I saw that the room wasn’t dirty at all; it just looked that way because of age and use. I found this true for the entire hotel. Finally, I gave in to the fact that I was there for the week and I might as well try to enjoy it. By the end of that week, we not only enjoyed it, but could hardly wait to return. After visiting Mexico quite a few more times we were introduced to Manzanillo. The only way I can describe how we found out about Manzanillo, and eventually deciding to live here, was Devine orchestration; it was under very strange circumstances.
One hot summer day as I was driving home in rush-hour traffic with my AC on, my car started to overheat. I got out of the main traffic and on to a side road as soon as possible. As soon as I stopped, a woman came out of a house and asked if she should call 911 (emergency telephone number in the US). By this time there was a huge amount of steam rolling from under the hood of my car and I was afraid it was going to explode. A man stopped and told me to let it cool off and I decided that 911 would probably not be of use, but asked the woman if I could use her phone to call my husband and a tow truck.
While waiting, the woman started talking to me. I had on a t-shirt from Acapulco and she asked me about visiting different places in Mexico. I was rather rattled at this point so was not paying much attention to what she was saying. It took a while for my husband and the tow truck to arrive so I had time to calm down… enough to comprehend what she was saying. She was telling me they had a B & B in Manzanillo and might I be interested in visiting sometime. Why was she living in Minnesota if she had a B & B in Manzanillo? It happened to be that she was originally from Minnesota and was visiting her daughter for the summer; so it wasn’t even her house, it was her daughter’s. She gave me her telephone number and, after all the commotion with car was taken care of, my husband and I talked and decided to take a chance on visiting their B & B… we were hooked on
Manzanillo from the ‘get go’. There was something different here from any of the other Mexico cities we had visited; was it the people? the weather? the general atmosphere of the whole town?… it was (and still is) hard to explain.
After staying at the B & B a few years we became very good friends with the owners and they introduced us to the general manager of a land developing company that was building a new gated community. It was so NOT like us, but we bought a lot in the development; we were planning to buy the land, then, as we got closer to retirement age, we would build a house. Well, the very next year we decided to go ahead and build even though we could only use it for vacations at first. It didn’t take long before circumstances in our lives convinced us to retire early; even though we needed to learn how to live on less money, we wanted to be able to enjoy life while we still had relatively good health and could enjoy our home in Manzanillo. Our house was built in the years 1999-2000 and we have been actively living in it (for the majority of the year) for the past five years.
We love the Mexican people and all the great friends we have made; and also, some new gringo friends. Of course, when living in Manzanillo, I miss my family and friends back in Minnesota and when in Minnesota I miss all my friends in Manzanillo. Thank goodness for things like email, Skype, Magic Jack, etc which makes it much easier to keep in touch with everyone.
Even now, every time we drive past the Miramar beach area (especially if we take the by- pass road – up, over and around the lagoon) I think to myself as the car faces the ocean, “I can’t believe that I am so blessed to get to live here”!
*Note: We have never had any mechanical problems with that car before OR after that incident; we believe this was ‘meant to be’!