Brrrr! An Alberta Clipper just landed on New Mexico Sunday night! Winter visited, alright, with snow, wind and freezing temperatures. Luckily, it waited until the real purpose of my visit to this State was accomplished. I had come for an International Living Magazine Conference about “Expating to foreign countries on Social Security,” which was held at the very, very fancy Hilton Buffalo Thunder Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, between November 8-10. There were 500 of us gathered for an intense look at all the wonderful offshore possibilities for living cheaper, fulltime or part-time lives, overseas. All of this consultation confirmed my decision to move/expat to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico next month.
On my way there, I will fly to Central Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Lakeland. We haven’t seen each other for quite some time and I’m looking forward to being with the rest of my family, just as I had in Denver before the conference. But first, I decided to come closer to the actual town of Santa Fe for a nostalgic look-see. Some years ago, I housesat/petsat in this vicinity and wanted to remind myself of its Southwestern loveliness.
Naturally, after paying BIG bucks for staying in that fancy hotel for this Expating Bootcamp, I chose to stay the three nights in the dorm at the very funky and informal Santa Fe International Hostel, which is much more in tune with my worldwide travel tastes. This is one of the homiest, southwestern-themed, hostels I’ve ever stayed in and I wound up spending all of my time right here, inside because, all of a sudden, the night that I checked-in, the weather changed sooooo drastically! Freezing weather swooped over most of the Central United States from Canada! Hence, the “Alberta Clipper” designation! Folks here say this is very early for such extreme weather, which was down in the 20’s and 30’s with a biting wind. I only walked several blocks and came back to the hostel, abandoning my plans to poke around this cute little town. Instead of the cold outdoors, my pictures are of the interior of this little western hostel, where all the food is free because local grocery stores donate their outdated foods. We cook up all sorts of tasty meals in the restaurant-sized kitchen.
Tomorrow, I fly to warm and sunny Florida…. where my sister says it has now cooled from the 80’s to the 70’s. Yay! I’ll take it!
I’ve had a delightful Fall visit with my family in Golden, Colorado, and will fly to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Wednesday, November 7th. Fortunately for me. International Living Magazine is sponsoring a Conference on “How To Become An Expat anywhere in the world.” Since I’ll head for San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, after my Florida visits; the timing is perfect. I like big meetings where other travel-nuts like myself, gather to trade tips; so I jumped right in.
The word “Expat” surely comes from the word Expatriot, but we don’t turn our backs on our Western citizenship, at all. We merely choose to live overseas for a portion of the year. Many people buy property in attractive world locations and retire to warmer… and much less expensive… places of living. Frequently, they become active in tbose communities or, at least, the weekly lunch gatherings of fellow expats.
My first experience of this type of retired life came in Montevideo, Uruguay, a few years ago, and I will find it again in Mexico. In fact, several speakers at next week’s Bootcamp conference are now living in San Miguel. I have identified this categoty of Senior Citizen as world-minded as I am; even though they are far older than the hostelers, whom I usually hang out with during my frequent around-the-world jaunts
The big question for me will be: “Can I satisfy my wanderlust by becoming an expat somewhere?” And that remains to be seen. I still owe myself a good, long looksee at China, Siberia Russia, North and South Korea, Japan and many Pacific Islands; which I postponed this time by coming back to the States a year early. But, family and friends are important, too; and those countries will always be there.
Here’s the unchanging message that I always find myself sharing with others:
This world really is a wonderfully-welcoming and inviting place and its people are truly nice. If I can get myself around at this age and on a budget; then, so can you! The only thing to fear is fear, itself!