Is Your City's High Cost of Living Forcing You to Consider a Smaller Town?
Why Mexico Might Be For You
Cities are clearly cool places to live.
With so much to offer, American cities are growing rapidly. All but one of America’s 20 largest cities grew last year. For example, Denver, my anointed home base, picks up over 6,000 people a month and is the country’s fastest growing city.
Lucky me? Rather than the recommended 30% of income going to housing, residents in larger cities are more likely seeing 50% of their income allocated to rents, mortgages and associated costs. My rent in downtown Denver has almost doubled since 2009. All kinds of taxes and fees are way up. Cities have pretty ingenious, annoying ways to generate income.
Already I have a number of friends who live in San Diego, Denver and Washington D.C who don’t feel they can retire in those cities. Now in their fifties, their incomes have peaked (or even declined) but the cost of living has continued to increase dramatically.
One of the most exciting aspects of city living is the stimulation of meeting a wide range of people who have different life experiences, ideas and backgrounds. You can always go out and find something new and unfamiliar in a big city. It’s always there, which is a comfort even when you’re not seeking it out.
You probably see where I’m going with this.
When you live In another country, just like being in a big city, you can go out find something you’ve never seen, heard or tasted before any time you like. Living in Mexico has continued to satisfy that craving for the unexpected in the way I thought only a big city could.
What I feared about moving to a smaller town was knowing what was around every corner. Even the most peaceful night in Mexico often attracts a dose of the unfamiliar. Almost every day offers at least one surprise or learning opportunity that an American town cannot.
Beyond daily discoveries, conversations with Mexicans usually ignites in me the little spark of excitement that comes from trying to connect in another language. There’s something a little exotic even in a casual conversation about the neighborhood in Sonora where someone grew up or how their mother makes menudo (which you probably only want to hear once.)
The feeling is mutual. I doubt that any new acquaintance in the States would appreciate my American Wild West stories like my Mexican friends do*.
Mexico offers an paradoxical combination of less stress and more adventure, adventure that you don’t need to leave behind just because you want to retire.
Sorry so short - My book, "If Only I Had a Place Will be released in a few weeks! Subscribe to receive notification of the five day free promotion period.
Most recent: Mexico's beautiful cathedrals and what you are seeing when you look at one.
Kerry Baker is author of the Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online, a curation of the best free tools on the web, their links and lesson plans that will make every study session an unique experience. Learning a second language has been proven to be one of the best things you can do for your brain!