There are so many superb sites for nomads/flashpackers/wanderers/ramblingrrls like me it’s truly inspirational. There are other travellers (in the true sense of the word as opposed to tourists) out there breaking new trails and discovering new frontiers.Thus far, I don’t know…yet…anyone who is doing exactly what I am doing mas o menos by choice AND/or financial situation but perhaps one will surface at some point. Just like those Canadian enhanced drivers licences, I feel that I am an enhanced snowbird not only taking full advantage of the opportunity to extend my partial teacher’s pension but because I involved in the life and times of the neighbourhood and locale but I’m also a voluntario for special events like the SMA International Literary Festival or teaching English at the SMA School of english on Cale Recreo in Centro..Last winter I taught English at Jovenes Adelante.
There ate full time travellers like the Professional Hobo, condo/resort or time share owners who stay in gringo enclaves the whole winter in the same place year after year…yawn… and then there are those adventurous souls who just say, WTF, I m selling everything and moving to a foreign country with two suitcases as an expat. Betwixt and between both ends of the continuum here I am with a six month Mustang convertible in a garage for the winter and my worldly belongings ready to pack up and move to yet a new place or storage locker when I return in May!
I ve downsized three times and I m positive that I can get the ‘stuff’ down even more! Naturally, I say this as I ponder walking through yet another wonderful artisan market here in Centro San Miquel de Allende. The Professional Hobo woman is obviously not a shopper if she travels the world with only a carry on case! I m just not there but over my four winters as a snowbird I ve whittled things down to what I hope is a manageable amount of luggage come the end of April.
Whenever i start talking or writing about the all encompassing STUFF that chokes our places, basements and garages I always think of the late, great Georg Carlin and his roll on the ground laughing / rotgl? performance about stuff. No matter how many times I see it, I just laugh my proverbial head off/ lmao?
What I am currently exploring is a bi country retirement lifestyle as a viable alternative to staying somewhere in the winter where it is ccccccold and ssssnowy or gray, gloomy and rainy like either the interior of British Columbia in the Okanagan Valley where I lived for about 20 years or where I am now in Nanaimo on Vancouer Island. Why stay in the gray and gloom if you don’t have to? So many countries abroad are actively courting us babyboomers with jubilada/o descuentos. And there are the dental and medical savings that probably pay for your airplane ticket!
For example, tomorrow I’m getting my eyes checked and have picked out a kickass pair of Carolina Ferera frames for my ( ‘old lady’…not!} glasses. Well, NOB, I would never consider these high end designer frames but here they are about half the price including the eye examination. And then there’s the hair factor. On Canal Calle here there is a fantastic hairstylist at La Coiffeur who is THE best colourist around NOB or SOB! It’s getting time to get those gray roots foiled and Juan who was expertly trained in Mexico City is the best of the best!
This year I left on Noember 30th exactly ONE day ahead of the first snowfall. I stayed in Nanaimo to participate in NaNoWriMo and finally write my first…and I dare say last 50,000 word novel. It’s a whole lot harder than I had imagined and I discovered that I’m a much better blogger and documentary filmmaker than fictional novelist or fictional playright. There’s so many wonderful stories out there just waiting to be discovered and yes, EVERYONE, yes everyone has a fascinating backstory!
Statistically, Nanaimo has more rain than Victoria but less than Vancouver at 71 days on average. But this week i discovered that omg, Portland has about 164 days which is slightly more than Seattle at 149. No wonder it’s such a hotbed of arts and culture. It’s raining all the time!
Note to self: Check out the series Portlandia. It seems like a hotbed of arts, music and culture and alternative culture.