Living the dream isn't always dreamy

It has always been a dream of mine to have my children become bilingual (while they are young and their minds are like little sponges.) Last winter, as many of you know, my family and I were blessed with the opportunity to spend six months in Mazatlan, Mexico.

We loved the experience so much that we decided to come back and have the kids attend school here for at least a year, and see just how much Spanish they can learn being fully immersed in the culture and community here in Mazatlan. 

We applied for, and were approved for temporary residency visas, which allow us to stay for longer than 6 months (and up to 4 years) at a time. I flew down last month and got the kids registered at a great private school, and Monday we all arrived here in Mazatlan to start this new adventure.

I feel so lucky to be living out the dream I've had for so long... but like the title of this post reads, "living the dream isn't always dreamy." 

The last couple of days have been hard… Like, really hard. I've been to the immigration office three separate times. I also had to find and purchase uniforms for the children to start school yesterday. Add into the mix that we discovered Jenica had a cavity shortly before leaving the United States, so I also had to find a dentist and make her an appointment to have that taken care of.  All of this is in Spanish, mind you, and my Spanish is not that great yet (although we were able to find an amazing dentist that speaks good English, and she was able to take care of the cavity for less than $30 US. If you are in Mazatlan and need a referral for a great children's dentist, click here to visit Jennifer's facebook page.) 

Praise God for small miracles! Seriously though, the extremely affordable cost of health care here in Mexico is probably one of the biggest reasons that our family decided to return. Even before Obamacare, health insurance for our family was never "affordable" unless we worked for a company that footed the bill for most of it (i.e."good benefits"). 

Right now, since I'm self-employed and my husband is currently a contract based software engineer with no benefits, health insurance for our family of 5 would cost upwards of $2,000 per month.

(Just for fun, I went online and tried to get some quotes - click here to see what I found... I wasn't too far off, but another trend I noticed might surprise you.)

Anyway, the low cost of health care, as well as rent (we pay less than $700 per month for a nice 3 bedroom house in a gated community with access to a pool and 24 hour security) and food being so much more affordable all contributed to our decision to come back. 

We both have careers that allow us to work remotely and still earn money in US dollars, so with the exchange rate being high, our money goes farther here.

We can afford to go out to eat more often, go to the movies, or spend the day at the beach relaxing while vendors come by with fresh fruit, fresh seafood, sweets and baked goods, toys for the kids, clothing, ect.

Bottom line. Our quality of life here in Mexico is better than what our part of the United States can offer us right now. So here we are... living out our dreams in the Pearl of the Pacific - Mazatlan, Mexico. And even though day to day life might not always seem dreamy, it's totally worth it!

If you have any questions we can answer for you about our decision to move abroad, especially as it relates to health insurance, taxes, and finances, drop us a comment here. I love to hear from you!

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