Falling in love while travelling in Mexico was the easy part, maybe a little cliche right? However, then I then decided to do that thing that people may think about doing but perhaps think is just too crazy to actually go ahead with. That is, to move abroad for love to Mexico.
“You are moving to Mexico? Do you even know this man? But what will you do there? How do you know he doesn’t want your visa? But Mexico is so “dangerous,” how do you know he is not part of the drug cartel?”
Yes. These were just some of the questions that were asked before making the decision to go to leave the life that I knew and move to Mexico for a man I had met while travelling.
But how do you know it is not crazy? How do you know it is worth it?
I like to live around the notion of taking chances in my life and listening to my intuition. Which is why moving abroad was the best decision I made.
Falling in love while travelling Mexico
Was it the language of salsa dancing or the love of Aussie music that sparked our interest in one another? I think it was both. I remember we shared our love of music as we sat on the beach in Progreso, near Merida.
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Music is the universal language of all mankind.” Yes, I think he was onto something there.
Music and dance still connects us today. Although, it was travel that really brought us together.
I had just finished travelling around Mexico with a dear friend of mine. I fell in love with the country, the people, food, colour, culture, the beauty of it and the list goes on. And then in Tulum.. came Carlos, already working in tourism. He took us to the beach and after a conversation about salsa he took us to a salsa lesson. I don’t want to bore you with the details but it went from beach, dancing the night away to salsa. Cenotes, dinner, talks….
I had fallen in love while travelling.
I am sure we have all heard about the travel goggles, like the “beer goggles” as we all know it. When you travel, we fall in love with the place, the people, the food. The sun is shining, the world is beaming with not a care in the world. We meet new people, everyone is our friend. It is the beauty of travel. I was all quite aware of all of this after travelling for 10 years or so. I am sure you are thinking it was just this notion as I was happy and on holidays when I met Carlos.
There is also that concept of returning back to reality. I was becoming better at dealing with the post-vacation blues. Perhaps it was easier to leave the relationship as that: A travel love. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve but I naturally had a wall built up. Especially when it comes to meeting men from another country. But was it fair to let my past dictate what was going to happen in my present and future?
Getting Back to “Reality” after travelling
After arriving back to Sydney, I was trying to get back into “reality” because that is what society tells you to do, right?
I told Carlos I needed space and time to see if this was the real deal or not. I was not ready to waste my time and his.
“How would this work?” “We have to be realistic” (that word again). These were some of the comments I made to him.
I was being calculative, ignoring what my gut might want to say to me and listening to my mind about what the “right thing to do” was.
But what was my reality anyway? At this point in my life at thirty-one, I was really happy. Enjoying my life. Dancing and training in Brazilian samba in a wonderful team. I had great friends and a supportive family. Can’t say I was loving my choice of career in teaching but it allowed me to have a great quality of life, in that I could travel and have “luxurious things” and eat in “nice places.” A foodie one might say.
So I guess time really IS everything, isn’t it? That cliche, of when it’s the right time it will happen or when you least expect it, the right person does come along. Hmmmm. I was always cynical about this but it has proven me to be wrong.
Trusting My Intuition
So perhaps this man across the world who I knew for five minutes was actually worth the change. I had to find out. This is where my instinct came into play. My first real step into taking action and not doubting my thoughts and decisions.
But we didn’t play games. We talked daily from the get-go about everything. And he definitely made that effort without a doubt no matter the distance and time differences. A discussion that is vital for all of us women.
The talk about moving to Mexico
We had one of those “talks” about “where is this going?” “What do you want in life?” About family and children. We had to make sure we were on the same page about life. These were the topics that I didn’t dream of bringing up until later on in a relationship because us women are told we don’t want to come across as too “strong” or “needy” right?
Everything I said was being reciprocated and appreciated. I was being appreciated for who I was. My conversation would have gone something like this…. “This is what I want and need..” Straight to the point.
Carlos agreed and respected everything I laid out to him. Of course, he did the same with me. I realised how easy it was supposed to be when you do meet the one. And this is why it all seemed so natural “meeting the one” in my thirties. I knew exactly who I was, what I was looking for in someone and what I deserve in life and in a relationship. I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. I was well aware of the signs to look for to know he was worth it.
Was it just travel love?
So what had seemed crazy to those that did not know me, we agreed to see each other again in Mexico, to see if it was the real deal or not. Deep down, my intuition told me, it was the real deal. Without out too much thought, I booked my trip after two months and I was back travelling in Mexico for three weeks. It was the most expensive and best well spent the second date.
We spent a wonderful few weeks together in Mexico City, the coast of Oaxaca (one of my favourite places in Mexico) and then again in Tulum, Mexico.
We ate some amazing food, danced salsa and were tourists together in his country (little did I know at this point, I could be making this place my new home), and stayed in a little wooden cabin in the jungle. I always enjoy visiting a country with a local, it makes the experience of travel far more real, meaningful and authentic and I love seeing all the little hidden gems and their favourite spots.
We basically skipped all of the dates you have in the first phase, the “games” of not knowing what will happen and had to be completely honest and open about everything from the get go.
Yes, we were still holidaying and hadn’t lived the challenges of everyday living (not to mention the challenges of starting from scratch in a new country) but we were basically spending 24/7 with one another, meeting family and friends and beginning to see each other’s habits.
When I left, it was heart-wrenching. It didn’t seem this difficult the first time but this was when we knew it was the real deal. We knew it could have gone two ways, a really awkward three weeks or a wonderful time that would set the tone for perhaps our future. Lucky it was the latter because that was a lot of money invested. Of course, it was half half. We made a negotiation. I pay the flights, he pays the rest. Pretty good deal don’t you think?
Making a Long Distance (or any) Relationship Work
After arriving back in Sydney, Australia we effortlessly made time to talk to one another daily despite the 14 hour time difference. It was like having a schedule. Finding those spare minutes at the end of my working day and the end of his night was crucial to showing our commitment to one another.
It was only in a matter of two weeks when we knew one of us had to make the decision to move overseas to be together. We weighed up the possibilities and in the end, after a comforting conversation with my mum and her blessing, I put my hand up first.
This brought me to write my article about signs to look for that show he is NOT worth it. I hope you find them entertaining or somewhat useful also.
People who did not know me very well made comments that I was “being crazy” and some even thought, “there goes Jessica again.” However, the people who really knew me were extremely happy and proud of me for taking a chance and following my heart (and that gut feeling).
Did I know what I was going to do there? No.
Did I know if this was going to be the relationship of my life? No but I hoped so.
Did I know where I was going to live? No.
Did I know how I was going to make money and survive? No.
Did I know if this was the best decision? No.
Was I going to not take a chance and not find out? Hell no.
Moving to Mexico for my “travel love”
My intuition said “yes,” my heart said “yes” and my mum said, “yes” (just thought I would throw that in, because let’s face it, life is always a little easier when you have the approval of your life from your mother).
So there I went, in a country, I barely knew, a language I never practised or learnt and with a man I had only known for 3 months. I booked my ticket to change my life and live in Mexico in a matter of two months. I had to end my career, pack up my whole life in two (maybe it was three) suitcases, leave all my belongings at my parents (as you do) and say my goodbyes to loved ones. I was ready to start my life with my love, open my heart, grab my balls and dive in headfirst and move to Mexico. And say let’s do this!
I had followed my heart and moved abroad (to Mexico) for my travel love.