A Grateful Expat Turns 50 and Looks Around

As I sit here in Mexico on the morning of my 50th year, I am filled with thoughts of many things. The thing which I am struck with most is gratitude. I got out of bed this morning and as usual my wife was in the living room working on her computer with hot fresh Chiapas coffee waiting for me in the kitchen. I am so grateful for this! We are here trying to forge a future together with time for ourselves, our friends and our families. Our lives here are not about fitting more in as efficiently as possible and squeezing some time out due to our hard work and diligence. Our lives here are about having time and the ability to do with it as we choose, again…grateful.

It seems like the sudden togetherness is a common problem for people who decide to make the big jump and try living outside of the United States for a while, or forever. Here in San Cristobal I know more than a few couples who are living here while one, or both of them is working on trying to make a living from the internet: Making websites, writing articles, working on travel videos and books, contract work from businesses back in the States or Europe, the list is long. They have internet at home and work as time permits without ever having to go to the office. As wonderful as this is, it can suddenly mean far more hours per day with your mate than ever before in your marriage. Kelly and I occasionally struggle with this, but what a great problem to have. I am truly grateful for this not really a problem, problem.

Living in Mexico

Kelly, Beth and the Berry girls.

Living out side of the United States is not for everyone. To do it well it means learning a new language and adapting to cultural differences that are not necessarily comfortable at first. We love it, but I am not happy that the only way to find time and live like human beings is to get out of the Unites States of America. Somewhere along the way the U.S.A.  has lost its soul and the human beings who are its citizens  have been almost completely transformed into little cogs in the gargantuan machine that is the American corporation. You are required to be producing or consuming, being is unproductive and not profitable, the being part of human is against American corporate policy. When Ronald Ray-Gun became president many of us believed we saw this coming, marking its reality today on my 50th is something I am not grateful for.

Back to looking around and gratitude. This afternoon I will take the scenic 10 minute stroll down to my favorite wine bar with Kelly, my dog Lucy and our friend Doug who has recently arrived from Canada. Doug is another one of us with that desire to explore the world and live in different ways. He, like us and many of our friends on the road,  is not wealthy and must develop ways to make an income that fit into our lives. He is writing a travel blog, Wanderism, and working on some other projects. All of my friends here are working on projects, Andrea and Eric will soon be Queen and King of Amber, Beth is going to be the new hip Erma Bombeck, Hunter will have have a solar seminar empire, we are all working on finding ways to finance our our freedom while maintaining it. I am so grateful for that!

OK – enough, time to have some lunch and see what the rest of the day I hit the half century mark brings. I’m also grateful if you made it this far in the post, now go have a pint for my birthday!

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