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How A Year in Mexico Changed My Perspective

How A Year in Mexico Changed My Perspective

The view from our kitchen window allowed me to see the world pass by in the small town of San Pancho, Nayarit—a kaleidoscope of sensory stimulus throughout our first year in mainland Mexico.

We lived one lot back from the main street, Avenida Tercer Mundo. The overgrown green would bring the pueblo’s burros and horses—always willing to help out with weed control—right to the front of our kitchen window.

The town soccer field on the other side of the street provided its own myriad of entertainment, ranging from weekend soccer games—especially interesting on Sundays—and the daily activity of kids on their bikes, dogs, and families passing through.

On the terra-cotta colored planter edge closest to our side of the street, there was a consistent gathering of what I came to understand to be regulars, but once thought to be wanderers– “suspicious ones”.

And perhaps they were just that–wanderers–but it was here, on this makeshift bench, that they found their resting spot for the day, to sit on all day long…to look around, sit some more, talk, not talk, watch the world go by themselves, stand up, turn around, go out into the middle of the street, turn around again, only to come back and sit back down on the very ledge of the planter box that called to them early in the morning.

Back in the States, most people—or at least those conditioned to life in the overcrowded, chaotic, heavily-sanctioned and regulated city—would have deemed this “suspicious behavior” and likely called the police—or at least locked the doors, closed the blinds and peeked out from behind the perceived safety of their four walls until such “suspicious people” with their “suspicious activity” left the area.

Our first year in Mexico came to show me–allowed and encouraged me to see–similar to the post I wrote titled Vecinos–that sitting and engaging in conversation and taking the day as it unrolls and reveals itself is just part of the natural rhythm and ebb and flow of life in a small town with community, life and her nuances all braided together.

In the States, in Southern California, our lives are so different, much more agendized, time more accounted for with “productive”, “purposeful” and “meaningful” activity—with outward and tangible signs of accomplishment and success…with little down time and minimal contact with Mother Nature; of working, working, working to support ourselves in a unsustainable system.

Here, in our first mainland Mexico home, we learned to slow down, to breathe, to observe and to take it all in. We learned by example and by practice to stop for conversation—eye-to-eye, present conversation–where there is an exchange of speaking and listening, of giving and receiving…of unabridged communication.

At the one-year mark of living full time in Mexico, the valuable life lessons were plain to see: we learned to slow down, to enjoy the moment, to feel and to listen, to redefine what is truly important.

I am happy to report that individuals once seen as “suspicious ones” contributed to a radical shift in my life perspective.

They were not only a fundamental part of the dynamic backdrop that made up daily life in a magical little pueblo like San Pancho, but their presence and lessons greatly improved and broadened my life quality and evolution. These “suspicious wanderers” became my acquaintances, my neighbors, my friends, an integral part of the collection of life teachers on this ever-winding path of discovery.

Gracias, mi querido México, como te quiero. ❤️



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About the author: Together with my Retired Firefighter Husband and our now 19-year-old twins who were just 8 when we immigrated to Mexico in 2012, we have created a joyful life of design and freedom South of The Border. Welcome to Los O’Gradys in Mexico! Saludos, Katie 🇲🇽 ☘️

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