International Living in Puerto Peñasco, What if?

May 12, 2012 by Anita Kaltenbaugh

What if …you woke up every morning, leisurely … stretched gently….smelled coffee brewing, grabbed your favorite oversized mug, filled it up to the brim with hot aromatic coffee and as you rubbed your eyes and stepped outside on your balcony, a gentle breeze blows thru your hair. All you can see in front of you is a vast body of cobalt water and baby blue sky. It consumes your field of vision. Far as the eye can see, blue… deep sapphire blue with sparkles. Mesmerizing. Quietness. No traffic rush hour white noise or blaring horns beeping. Just the smell of the sea and the warmth of the sun, a perfectly clear blue sky and indigo sea.

If you like, you can check your Facebook or emails on your laptop or latest tablet device, (there is Wi-Fi here) or you can forget the mad fast paced world of modern technology and social media and take a stroll on the soft caramel colored beach. Here is where you feel totally secluded, and you may find yourself asking, “What happened to all the people? Did a national disaster happen while you were sleeping and you were miraculously spared?” Because, even though you can see at least 15 beautiful resorts, condominiums and villas along the sandy shore, towering across the skyline behind you, the pace of life is graciously slower and not very crowded. Wait, you see a fishing panga skirting across the water and in the enormously far distance on the horizon, if you squint, you recognize a tall shrimp boat reminding you of a pirate ship. OK, the world is still alive. Yes, here comes a jogger… and others are slowly waking up ready for their steaming mug of joe.

Some mornings it feels like it’s a forgotten paradise. You can walk a mile down the honeyed beach, take a deep satisfying gulp of clean air and tally the number of folks you see on both hands.

Sounds great to me…sounds like my paradise. I like it slower, simpler.

Paradise does exist. You just have to find it.

My scene above, takes place on Sandy Beach in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Everyone has their own version. Of course, paradise versions can change from time to time and new paradise variations can be reinvented.

But, What if… your paradise existed and it was easier than you imagined.

I subscribe to a magazine called, International Living (IL). Perhaps you’ve heard of it or are a subscriber or perhaps you glanced through a friend’s issue. It is only available through a subscription, not available at a corner newsstand, on the iPad, kindle or nook, (or let me add the infamous tag line …not yet), although you can find their website on line atwww.internationalliving.com. (Of course everything will be available in electronic form in the not so distant future, we will become a paperless society unsure what to read when our batteries die out.)

Anyway, International Living motto or tag line on the website reads “Helping people live and retire overseas since 1978”. Their other common line you see often is “Retire in paradise for $30 a day.” Or “Retire at age 35” or “living the dream”. The magazine is screaming of international real estate deals, places to retire, how to stop working early, how to make money overseas in case you do choose to retire early and don’t want to stop working. It is heavy on detailing which countries to look at for relocating, and how to accomplish this.

In the September 2011, International Living special issue (just out) Mexico has been rated as the #2 World’s Best Retirement Haven. International Living conducts this report annually, where they rank 37 critical data points for each of their top 23 retirement havens. According toInternational Living 2011 retirement index report, “Mexico is rich in romance, as the one million-plus US and Canadian expats will tell you. But expats don’t live by romance alone. ..Mexico provides solid modern day comforts and conveniences.” So, it’s not just the beaches and romance that attracts people to retire in Mexico, or the cost, which IL states is “at least 40% less than what you’d pay in the U.S for a similar lifestyle.” Its many things, including cheaper healthcare, modern highways and road systems and of course the slower pace of life and (the occasional strumming of a guitar on the beach).

If you check out International Living website you will see the Editors and contributing writers marketing a variety of workshops, conferences and books to help you achieve your dream of living abroad. This is their business, teaching others how to become expats (big buzzword for IL). Expats, short for expatriate “is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing or legal residence” as defined by Wikipedia.

Typically, the editors or writers are speakers at these conferences and IL postcards will come to you regularly through email promoting relocation, residency, travel or some type of educational seminar to get you on your way to internationally living somewhere else. You would be amazed at the availability of books, seminars and memberships out there to investigate or read on becoming an expat.

Why? Well, its big business, and startling statistics are printed everyday regarding the cost of living in the United States and Canada and the cost of living increases expected in the years to come. Heard the statistics on the baby boomers lately?.. A report released in 2009 by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows there are 78 million members of baby boomer generation living in the United States.( born post War World II 1946- 1964) Wow! The same report states a Baby Boomer turns 50 every 8.5 seconds. So, where will they all go when they retire? My money is on somewhere affordable and near the ocean.

Internationally Living magazine has not yet focused on the quaint quiet little beach town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Perhaps, we need to create our own expat conference “How to become an expat in Puerto Peñasco for cheap” Do they know you can buy a furnished one bedroom, even two bedroom beachfront condo for under $100k? Have they been to Super Ley grocery store to witness a week of groceries for $30, electric bills under $20 a month and depending on where you live in town, low monthly rental rates for under $300 a month. Do they know the convenience of location of Puerto Peñasco? Location, location, location. What if you need to go back to the United States? Well, it’s only a 3.5 hour drive to one of the top 10 largest cities in the USA. Yes, that sold me. Additionally, if you need to get proper documentation and immigration papers, there are several companies in town who will do this all for you. It has never been easier to establish residency or open a bank account. And in the meantime, if you are like me and not a baby boomer (yes, I’m proudly a generation x’er, I like to say this as my husband is a baby boomer) Puerto Peñasco is a great weekend getaway town to get everything set up and established until one day when you do retire or simply decide you’d rather be at the beach.

Reading about soft sandy beaches, gorgeous blue seas and living a different way of life is so contagious. It borders on escaping to your own little You Tube video, playing in your mind over and over again of life in a faraway exotic location sometime in the not so distant future. A favorite motto of mine, that I borrow from the beautiful island of St Lucia where it was printed on a tank top for sale on the beach that I bought from a local woman reads, “Live slow, work less”, the mantra instantly lets your mind wander… What if ……What if… I looked into a second home south of the border. What if… I decided to find my own little charming beach, my slice of sandy heaven. What if… I slowed down a little and decided to move to the picturesque fishing/beach town of Puerto Peñasco? What if?

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