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Your New Life in Yucatan

We strive to offer you some perspective and “helpful hints” as you make the beautiful state of Yucatan your new home.  Why would you consider a new life here?  Good question.  We offer our take on the wonders of the region below.  Take a few minutes to get oriented with your new home by reading on or click here for a complete list of articles in a series we call, “Your New Life in Yucatan.” 

Frescoes in the Great Hall of Merida's City Hall

A Tale of Two Yucatans

For many people not familiar with southeastern Mexico they think of Cancun when they think of the Yucatan Peninsula.  This is not surprising as the area around Cancun, called the Rivera Maya, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  According to estimates, as many as 5.9 million visitors flew in and out of Cancun’s international airport destined for the various resorts, hotels and tourist activities that promise tropical fun along the Caribbean coastline.

The state of Yucatan has beautiful beaches, like this one in San Bruno, that are far less crowded than those of Cancun or Playa del Carmen

Some visitors choose to spend their time hugging the shoreline while others take day trips to see all that the region has to offer including cenotes (freshwater sink holes), ancient Mayan ruins, and small villages with unique architecture and culture.  If you have only a week to enjoy the area it is wise to stay close to your hotel.  If you have more time to explore the region you might take an adventure and head due-west to the state the peninsula was named for- Yucatan.

Here you will find another world that will deepen your understanding of the region beyond the “touristy” places you left behind.  This is not to say that the region is unprepared for visitors.  On the contrary, the state is filled with friendly people ready to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as you would experience in any world-class vacation destination.  The difference you will feel relates to the connections you make and the intimacy you feel with your new hosts.   It is also sincerity in the experience.  You won’t find nearly as many tourist “traps” built to look like an authentic experience.

Here you will find more “real” places- restaurants that have been serving local specialties for generations, artisans who have been crafting beautifully functional items using century-old techniques and buildings constructed with the rubble of ancient cities that have seen conquistadores and the riches of the henequen boom come and go.

Watch Out: The Bug Will Get You!

For many, the Yucatan is a magical place.  You may end up getting the bug that many others get when they travel here.  Not a sickness!  The bug we are talking about is the desire to come back.  Sometimes that bug is so strong that your desire to return turns into a desire to stay.  You would not be the first person this happens to and certainly not the last.

LA68 Theater and Art Center in Merida is one of many cultural attractions that offer thoughtful entertainment for the whole family

In fact, Kiplinger recently named Merida, Yucatan, the capital, as one of the top ten places in the world to retire.  You can read the entire Kiplinger retirement piece here.  The article highlights many of the benefits of the region that expats in the region have been enjoying for years- warm climate, top healthcare options, cost of living and safety.  We might add to that list access to high quality goods and services, culture and good old fashioned hospitality.

You don’t have to be retiring to consider this corner of the earth as your new home.  An increasing number of twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty-somethings have made their way down here and have established successful businesses in this vibrant economy.  Opportunities abound here and those with the right attitude and patience find themselves living a life that might not be possible anywhere else.

So what if you find yourself in the throes of a “Yucatan bug” and want to move down to start a new life?  To be honest the process can be daunting.  We don’t say this to discourage you.  You just have to realize that things are quite different here.  What will you face?  Likely you will experience policies and procedures you don’t understand that can sometimes be quite frustrating.  If you don’t have a strong grasp of the language you will likely be even more confused.  The one thing we can say about moving here is that it is well worth it.  Think of your move here like a move anywhere back home but with a few more interesting twists.

The Focus of the Series

Our series called, “Your New Life in Yucatan” is designed to offer you tips to prevent frustration as you settle into your new home.  From dealings with utility companies to immigration policies, we hope to share our insight so that you get what you came here for as soon as possible- a good quality of life that you can enjoy on a daily basis.

The series is also designed to identify local events, people and places that make living here so rewarding.  Stop by and find information you need or spend some time perusing through our articles.  We are happy to have you either way!

We would love for you to participate in the discussion!  We can only offer insight from our own perspective.  You might have tips and information that we don’t.  Please share what you can to help others transition smoothly into their new life.  Also- offer us feedback so that we can ensure our articles are as accurate as possible.

In the meantime… consider this article a “bunt cake” of sorts to welcome you to the neighborhood!

It is nice to meet you… Es un placer conocerte… Hach ki’imak in wo’ol in kaholtikech…

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