- ----- Original Message -----
From: Wende M.
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 11:08 AM
Buenos Dias from paradise....
Yesterday morning, my husband and I took a walk along the malecon in Ajijic, on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico. It was one of those days when the temperature was so perfect that you couldn't feel the air on your skin. I held my husband's hand and told him how blessed I felt to live here and just how much I owed to Ernie Zelinski. I wondered how many people actually told you just how you impacted their lives.
In 2006, while reading the Sunday edition of the Edmonton Journal ( Reader section) I stumbled across a review of How To Retire Happy Wild and Free. My husband had groused for years about his belief that retirement was not likely to be an option for us after health issues and financial setbacks had taken their toll on our net worth. I decided your book was a tool to help ease the strain of our future lives, and went to the library the next day and took it out. We lived pretty frugally and there were only a few small ideas that I felt we could incorporate into our lifestyle but.....something did catch my attention. You wrote about a friend of yours who worked seasonally in Edmonton, then hopped a bus for San Miguel de Allende every winter. I googled San Miguel. It was interesting but the climate seemed a bit cold for my health issues. However, along with the info on San Miguel, there popped up a link to other places in Mexico to retire. Ajijic sounded too good to be true.
2006 happened to be our 25th anniversary year and I convinced my husband that even if we had to borrow the money, a holiday was the perfect way to celebrate. I broached the subject of Mexico ( we had never been) and of course, Ajijic, but he said he didn't want to go to the mountains, that he wanted to go to the beach. We compromised with a week in Puerto Vallarta, a week in Ajijic, and a week in Manzanillo. Well - PV was a bust - too hot, too humid, too many people trying to sell you things. We arrived in Ajijic on a Tuesday and on Thursday morning, my husband asked me to cancel the week in Manzanillo . He told me Ajijic felt more like home than any place he'd ever been in his life. Finally - we were in complete agreement about something.
We had to figure out a way to get down here. He wasn't ready to retire - only mid-50's - so he had to find a way to work from here. He was clever enough to convince his company that he could work from home - and in 2007, we came down here for 3 months. That's all it took ! We went back to Edmonton, moved our youngest son into an apt close to GMAC where he was going to school, sold our house with everything in it ! I mean....we left the bedding on the beds, dishes in the cupboards and housecoats on the back of the bedroom door, put what we were taking in the back of our van, and drove away !
We have a vonage phone with an Edmonton number and as long as we have reliable internet, we can live anywhere. We actually took a year from Oct 2009 to Nov 2010 - and travelled all over south and central America, staying for a couple of months at a time in different countries, and his clients and business associates never knew where we were unless they asked or we offered the information. Our kids have us on speed dial on their cel phones and it's not long distance. The cost of living, health care, climate, activities, and people here have combined to give us a quality of life we never dreamed possible .
Thankyou for being the catalyst for a life that we are truly LIVING .
Rob and Wende M.
- "If my [retirement] dreams could all come true paradise/retirement would be - in a little bungalow - somewhere by the sea.
"He makes his home where the [retirement] living is best."
- Latin proverb
"No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction."
- Samuel Johnson