Thursday, February 2, 2023

10 Years Ago: Relocation 2013, Part 1: Mexico!


Spoiler alert: I didn't relocate to Mexico. 

First there was the military occupation sent to Morelia, my first-choice city. 

Then there was this teaser

And here was the climax. And part of it had to do with deciding to do something scary. Scarier than jumping out of a plane. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Relocation 2013, Part 1: Mexico!

Virgin of Ocotlan Basilica, Ocotlan, Tlaxcala, Mexico

Damn, is it that time already?

Back here, I drilled down my decision to either Mexico or New Mexico for 2012/2013.

This go-round, after toying with other possibilities, I've settled on Mexico.

Last year, these were my criteria:
  • Reasonable access to family/friends; 
  • Proximity to mountains; 
  • Locations with mild(er) climate; 
  • Cultural and language diversity; 
  • Low cost of living; and 
  • Income opportunities

For 2013/2014, my criteria are ...  huh .... identical, if one defines "income opportunities" to mean access to reliable and high-speed internet access, as my plan is to continue teaching English online.

So now that I know the country ... time to figure out the city.

My wish list for the city are (in addition to the above):
  • Population less than 500,000 and more than 50,000
  • Sense of place
  • Socio-economic, age, and ethnic diversity
  • Trees, pretty scenery; a lake or river would be nice
  • In a location that's a good base for exploring the entire country
  • Not in a criminal-gang hotspot.
  • Elevation lower than 7000 feet
  • Reliable and fast internet connection (this one is a deal breaker)
  • Within 3 hours of an international airport (preferably two)

But before I go to Mexico, I'll leave New Mexico (boo hoo) at the end of September, and spend October in Missouri.

Of course .... if I learned only one thing in Georgia, it was this: Be flexible. So, quien sabe? Maybe my plans will change.



Wednesday, February 1, 2023

2023 Word of the Year: FEAR: Fuck Everything And Run


Do not feed gators, Leroy Percy State Park, Mississippi. December 2011. Credit: Mzuriana.
Do not feed gators, Leroy Percy State Park, Mississippi. December 2011. Credit: Mzuriana.

In the 12-step universe, one of the multiple translations of FEAR is Fuck Everything And Run

This always makes me laugh for how graphic - and nakedly truthful - it is. 

Geographic cures

And also in the 12-step universe, there is the idea of "geographic cures,"which come with two phrasal verbs: 

  • To pull a geographic
  • To do a geographic

Pulling or doing a geographic = physically relocating oneself to a new location to escape an undesirable reality instead of acknowledging or responding to that reality in a healthy or responsible way

It's that last clause that is key, of course, because sometimes the healthiest response to an undesirable reality is to physically remove oneself from same. 

Living rootless - a function of fear? 

It would be cowardly of me to avoid shining a light on what drove (or contributed to) my chosen rootlessness. A decade-long geographic cure? 

There's no question that certain life-altering events presented me with a divergence of paths. All required a change in direction, as the Status Quo Trail ended right there.

A divergence of paths. Castlewood State Park, Missouri. April 2018. Credit: Mzuriana.
A divergence of paths. Castlewood State Park, Missouri. April 2018. Credit: Mzuriana.

In this moment, as I contemplate how to end this post, I sit in a tall, red office chair, swiveling left and then right and then left and then right, and I think about my long-ago decision to sell my house, divest myself of most of my belongings, and set out onto my slomadic path ...

How much of it was a function of fuck-everything-and-run and how much of it was a catalyst for facing fears? 

And this makes me laugh a little because truth be told: The spark that ignited my rootlessness was simultaneously a run from pain and a fuck-you to that pain. 

And this tall, red, swiveling office chair that I sit in at just this moment? It's at a friend's house in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I currently visit, who I met back when I lived in El Paso. 

I have tendrils of delicate roots in many places now. 

So sometimes fear takes us to good places, yes?