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Kurt, Lyn, Evan, Noah, make the move to Merida!

Kurt, Lyn, Evan, Noah, Raquel, Norman & George

It still seems almost sureal, the decision to move a young family of four to Merida in the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico. Our adventure began in the fall of 2010 in Calgary when after I was told at Fountain Tire we should have winter tires on our vehicle from October to May… Later that night at a friend’s birthday party I was telling that story to a couple we had just met and that if we ever won the lottery we would be moving very quickly. I told them I would love to buy a boat, home-school our boys and travel the world. If the boys were to study about Greece, we would set sail for Greece and learn all we could before we arrived on their shores. To my surprise they told me of friends that were doing that very thing and they had not won the lottery but they had made the decision to live their dreams. They are documenting their travels through their blog and you can follow them at www.ginger.com. Then the couple told me they were in the process of selling their Calgary home to move to a place in Mexico called Merida.

I called Lyn over and introduced her to Rob & Holly and their two children to listen to their story and our lives started to change almost immediately. They proceeded to tell us why they had chosen this place to relocate their young family to and our wheels started to turn. Rob & Holly had certainly done their research and had located a city in Mexico which seemed to be in a safe state, had fantastic opportunities, and was close to the Gulf of Mexico while not being in a tourist spot.

On the drive home that night I could tell Lyn was thinking hard about it, and after nearly seven years of asking to move away from Calgary, she turned to me and said “Let’s do it.” I was flabbergasted as even though I had bugged her on a monthly basis to move, I was not sure I was ready to move. This was not a simple move to Phoenix. But a move to a whole other culture and language. Lyn had decided that as a family we should simplify our lives and get back to the family basics to teach our children about other cultures and what may seem important now, may not really be that important.

Map of Mexico and Area

When we arrived home, I went on-line and ordered two books from Amazon to be shipped within 48 hours. One was on Moving to Mexico, the other was on Living in Mexico. They arrived and we read both of them in less than two days. They provided enough information that we were not scared of the move, but starting to get really excited. I ordered more books which again provided excellent information, one even breaking down the cost of living in different cities in Mexico.

We started taking pictures of everything in our house to start selling items on Kijiji as part of moving was to simplify. Items started selling and friends started noticing furniture missing from our home. I believe this more than our conviction showed the forward progress of a dream.

We told our parents and close friends about the impending move and that the move date was to be the beginning of July 2011. As expected our parents were not the biggest fans of our decision as our safety and the future of their grandchildren was of utmost importance. We did all the research we could from Canada, meeting everyone we could for advice, sending emails to people we had never met hoping to discover new things which would help make our move a success.

With much help from Adriana at Yucatan Expatriate Services (YES), a company dedicated to helping people relocate to the Yucatan, we had appointments set up at six different schools which we had chosen based on recommendations from Yucatan Living website. Yucatan Living is a must read and great place to start looking for help if you are truly serious about relocating to the Yucatan.

Detailed Map of the Yucatan

As a family we decided we must start to learn Spanish and even though I had several programs on learning the language, we discovered a new program which would teach us using the same techniques and principles engaged by babies when learning to speak their native language. Learnables. A program which concentrates on ‘good listening’ before worrying about speaking. We are currently comitted to at least 30 minutes per day, increasing our base vocabulary so that when we arrive in July, we will not be starting from scratch. Raquel, our nanny, has been crucial to the boys learning and ensuring that their lessons are completed every day.

We got together with Rob & Holly to learn as much as we could before we arrived in Merida. Holly made us a great Mexican dinner complete with chicken in a mole sauce from the crock pot. We managed to learn more about the city, about their property they had purchased in Chelem, and about expectations we should have about our first time travel to Merida.

Finally, it was the time to discover Merida first hand, Lyn booked our flights to Cancun. Lyn then booked our bed & breakfast at Cascadas de Merida, owned by Ellyne and Chucho. This decision to stay here for 12 days could be the best decision we have made so far. Ellyne and Chucho are a wealth of information and we cannot wait for them to meet our boys in July. Ellyne has already met them via ooVoo (a much better alternative to Skype) but they definitely want to meet the lady who is helping them move!

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