Let me back up. At some point, early in our marriage, we started started talking about wanting to live abroad for a while. For the life of me, I can't figure out why we didn't just pack up and go then. I guess we thought that being responsible adults was the right thing to do. In fact, we were looking into passports and visas and teaching English and such, and then along came Mia and going back to school and then getting a job and buying a house and having 2 more kids and here we are. Or rather, there we were on the beach on the Olympic Peninsula, 30-something parents of 3, with a mortgage, a mini-van, and a Costco membership up for renewal, and everything was just peachy. There was another family playing on the beach and somehow we got to talking with them. It turns out they were living the exact life we had always envisioned for ourselves, or at least a very close version of it. They moved to a different country every few years, working on projects for the US government. We mentioned that we had always wanted to live abroad. Do it, they said without hesitating. Even with kids? Absolutely.
This is where the epiphany comes in. As we drove home, we talked more about it, and decided we were tired of just talking about it. Why not just say we're going to do it, and then make it happen? It was time for less talking, and more doing. I think we heard someone say that in a movie once, and it worked for them. And since movies always mimic real life, it seemed perfectly logical and sane to think it would also work for us. Not crazy at all right?
So we came home and threw ourselves into this crazy dream during the 15 minutes or so since then that real life hasn't gotten in the way.
There's just been a few teeny snags.
1. We don't exactly have international opportunities jumping in our laps. It would be nice if we had degrees in International Finance, or Living Abroad, or something. But we don't; we have extremely practical degrees in Information Science and, um, Performing Arts. And the chance that Mark's company will move him to one of their international offices is pretty slim. We looked on the government's job listing site, and tried to apply to a few positions, but got caught up in the evil vortex otherwise known as the US government's web-application process, which apparently has a motto of "We want YOU to apply for Government jobs, (but not actually be able to get one because our website is so messed up)." The really frustrating, I mean, amusing thing is, Mark designs websites. Specifically, he designs websites for optimal user experience. So if anyone from the government is reading this blog as part of the Patriot Act, you could really use my husband to redesign the US Government job site, and it would be nice if you could move our family to, say, Barcelona, to do that. Not that we don't love the good ol' USA. Go freedom!
2. We met with our Mortgage lady and got bad news. BAD NEWS. Darn housing slump.
So, enter the Mexico Plan: wherein we find a cheap, safe place to live and just move there, live off Savings for a while and hope we find some means of supporting ourselves, and pray like mad that the housing market picks up just when we want to sell our house. Just the sort of thing that any other perfectly sane, responsible couple with 3 kids to take care of would do right? Years ago, Mark took a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula (think Cancun), and remembered being really impressed with a city there called Merida, which is the capitol of the state of Yucatan. So we turned to our dear friend, The Internets, and started looking into it. Turns out, it's very safe, cheap, and there are already lots of ex-pats living there, who may or may not be mentally ill. Yay!
Remember the less talking, more doing thing? Well, it took some convincing of yours truly, but that is essentially the reason that we bought plane tickets, dropped the kids off at my parent's, and ended up on a plane to Mexico, headed to Merida.
Really. We got back just under 2 weeks ago. At this point you are thinking, she wasn't kidding about being insane. Well, maybe it's from being a little over obsessed with The Amazing Race, or from too much nitrous oxide last time I went to the Dentist. Or maybe it's just Holy Crap, we're in our 30's and always did what we thought we were supposed to do, instead of living out our dreams, and now our dreams are being suffocated by American suburbia. Or something like that. But there you have it; this is what we're trying to do. It's a little weird admitting your completely unreachable dream to everyone you know and all of cyberspace. I'm imagining conversations 10 years from now: "Remember when you went to this random city in Mexico because you thought you were going to move there? Yeah, that's a little embarrassing huh?"
Regardless, consider this our Message to the Universe.
We really, really, really want to move. Outside of the United States. Preferably somewhere that doesn't have bird-eating tarantulas. Is that too much to ask? Thanks, Uni, you're the best. Really.
Next up, Part 2: Wherein we go to Mexico.