It was perfect. Our youngest had moved into a new stage of her life. She had just returned from a semester abroad after graduating high school and now she was off to start college away from home. Our eldest was already in her last year of college away from home and would be starting her career immediately with a job already secured.

We, like many parents, determined our living location on the school systems which meant we did not necessarily live where we wanted but where we thought was best for the kids. (More on the pros and cons of that decision another day.) We saw now as an opportunity to to take our time in deciding what we wanted to do next. We no longer were tied to our neighborhood or our city for that matter. It was a whole new set of rules we could establish for ourselves.

The Decision

We decided to take a step back from our commitments and our community. I would take fewer clients, my husband would leave his small firm and go back to consulting with a few remote clients. We would have a little freedom to take our time before deciding where our future would lie.

We started by consolidating our household into what we really wanted to keep and needed and donating the rest. This was a 2 month process. Looking back, I should have started earlier.

The “to keep” stuff all went into storage. We bought a Sprinter Van from a distress sale and we rented an apartment on the beach in Mexico just south of the U.S. border in Rosarito, Mexico.

Granted, the kids weren’t stoked on this decision because it meant they no longer had a San Diego crash pad to come see their friends whenever they wanted. If they came home for holidays, it was to spend time with the family. They were NOT thrilled.

We on the other hand, we were loving the freedom to decide on our activities on a whim. We could take a week to travel to Oregon through the redwoods, hang out in the desert, take 3 weeks to head to Philippines, or explore Tulum without the usual constraints. This empty-nest thing was not so bad.

We had a few items on our checklists that we needed to keep as standards for us to take this break but they weren’t unreasonable. We needed fast internet speeds, 2 bedrooms, beach front, and be within 45 minutes to the border. We landed on the beaches of Rosarito in a development that we really loved because the community was well-maintained, the people were friendly and it was conveniently located.

What Did We Learn After a Year in Mexico…

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