I hinted in my last post that some changes were coming, and now I am sure enough to share them.
I've lived in Mexico for over eleven years now, and for eleven years I thought that I would live here for the rest of my life. Then one day I realized that the thrill is gone and it's time to move on. Friends have asked me why, but I find it hard to explain the reasons. There are really many...
Reason number one is definitely my children. One lives in Portland, Oregon, and the other two live near Boise, Idaho. I've only seen them for about a week every two years for a long time. That's not enough.
I lived just outside of Portland before I moved to Mexico and I've always said that if I went back, that's where I would go. I've always loved Portland... all the libraries, the great public transportation, so many things to do, the rivers, the nearness of the coast, the mountains, the greenness, and even the rain. My time there before was a temporary stop and wasn't nearly long enough, so I'm going back.
I'm tired of the hassles of being a home owner. Tired of the maintenance and upkeep. Tired of fighting bugs and weeds and squirrels and possums in my garden. I'm looking forward to renting a small apartment - one bedroom, or maybe just a studio - and furnishing it simply and living simply. If there is a problem, I'll call the landlord to handle it!
Suddenly, I find that the crazy uneven cobbled roads and broken sidewalks and constant dust in the air are not as quaint as they seemed for the past eleven years. I'm a barefoot person, but I'm tired of mopping my floors daily and still having filthy feet a few hours later.
A huge reason is that I had to pay my first bribe and it was totally unfair and I hate it. I bought a small property (next door to my house) almost ten years ago. The "nice" little old lady who sold it to me and her daughter double crossed me and tried to take the property back. I didn't even realize there was a problem until I had already put more into fixing it up than I paid for it. I paid a lawyer 20% of the property's initial cost to fight it in court for five years. I won, but the lawyer forgot to ask the judge to put the title in my name. And then she refused to help me any more. I had to hire another lawyer and go back to court. We pretty much started all over. After four and half additional years, the second lawyer finally told me that they were ready to hand down the decision, but it had been suggested to him that it might not go my way unless I came up with a bribe for the court clerk. I hated it but I did it and the court finally decided that the property is mine, but I still have to wait for the judge to get back from vacation to declare that the title be changed to my name. I am very uncomfortable about the fact the I am right back to where I was almost five years ago. I've had possession of the property all this time and I've been paying the taxes all these years. I just don't have the title in my name.
I think that was the straw that finally broke the camel's back!
Anyway, it's not all that easy to undo a life that I've spent so many years putting together, and it will take a while to get everything done. I've got a house at the coast to sell, and I've just begun figuring out what I have to do to get my Chapala house ready to put on the market. There's no big rush, though. My goal is to move at the beginning of 2017 - when I'm old enough for Medicare.
Making a big move like this is definitely part of early retirement, so it seems that I do have a lot more to say in this blog. Stick around and I'll share the challenges and the excitement of starting over once again.