She was gone. I still couldn't believe it. It had all happened so fast. It ended with me reading the last line of a 3 page printed document. “I love you but I want a divorce.” I breathed rapidly, sitting on the sofa, trying to catch my breath as my world shifted under me. The past was gone. All a lie.
Six months later, with the house sold and most of my meager belongings in storage, I strode out for adventure and hoping to find a purpose in my life. My first stop was Barra de Navidad just north of Manzanillo. Always in love with the ocean, I thought that this place might be my ideal location. I loved it but it was a little expensive and being that I was there in October, extremely hot and humid. Could I live in a place like this all year around?
My next stop was to Ajijic and honestly I didn't like it. What's to like I thought? At first glance, it seemed like such a dusty, dirty and busy little town located in nowhere. And where was the ocean that I loved so much?
I carried on to Guatemala, Nicaragua and then back to Mexico to the Baja Peninsula before finally returning to Canada to regroup and work for the summer.
Something about Ajijic kept calling to me though. “What was the attraction for so many expats?” I wondered. I figured I would give it one last try and I would stay for 5 months this time in order to really see what it was all about.
Still lost and in despair I took yoga classes and continued with my meditation that I had started with after my divorce. I encountered lovely people here in Ajijic. Helpful, sympathetic and kind people from all over the world with interesting and exciting stories. I joined as many groups as I had time for. Yoga, Pilates, tennis, volleyball, pool volleyball and going to the gym, were my major activities along with lots of walking, running and going out to concerts and dances. I started to meet lots of young people in their 30's and 40's. Ajijic became an exciting and interesting place to live.
It was very soon after that I met Michaela as my Pilates teacher and asked her to go hiking with me. As they say, the rest was history, but there is lots more to Ajijic then Micheala. Sure, Ajijic is not for everyone, but it is a town so unique and with so much to offer that you need to at least do yourself the favor of trying it on for size and see if it's a fit for you. There is a tremendous amount of activities and events available for you to do in a very small area. All the modern conveniences are here, yet there is still the ways and livelihood of Mexico. Like two atoms circling each other, entwined together, inseparable, and yet regularly intermixing like adding the color of red to a can of white paint but only slightly stirred. Together yet apart.
Five years later, I still love Ajijic (and Michaela). Our lives are inseparable. It's a joy to live here. The weather is almost always perfect, the people are lovable and fantastic. I am continually amazed at the diversity of the people who come to live here from all over the world, and yet just as amazed at the number of people coming down here from where I grew up. A melting pot in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
And you know, there is nothing that I do not miss from Canada. The ocean is only 3 hours away and we visit regularly. The city, if you want it, is only 1 hour away. And if I want or need to go further, the Guadalajara International Airport is only ½ hour away. I have the best of all worlds. I have all the things that I am used to from Canada and yet am surrounded with Mexican culture. How cool is that? And all at a cost of living that is about 1/3 of what I would spend in Canada.
If you have not yet visited and tried Lake Chapala on for size, then do yourself a favor and see if it's for you. I would be very happy to give you a free tour of the area and show you around. This place is just too great to keep all to myself and it brings me joy to share it and to see others enjoy all the things that make living in Lake Chapala great. Thanks for reading!