Ready for a Change?
Have you ever felt like you were just “Ready for a change of scenery or a change in your life”? Well if so, then Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya might just be the change you need.
For one couple it was when their child graduated high school. It was time for Jen Phillips and her boyfriend to consider a lifestyle change. “Now that the kids are gone, we don’t need to be here or be in the cold weather”. That’s when they started thinking about moving.
Before picking up their life in Pennsylvania, they made notes of what they wanted in a new destination. The cosmopolitan seaside town of Playa del Carmen with an international flair in the Riviera Maya checked all the boxes.
All the Boxes Checked Off
- Access to city conveniences
- No suburban lifestyle
- Didn’t want a car
- Maintain similar time zones as the United States
- Didn’t want to have to learn a new language before moving
- Warm tropical weather
- Easy to bring their cat
- Great healthcare
- Needed infrastructure to work remotely
Jen says they found short-term rentals for 6 months before deciding to move down here. “The hospitality of the people at the front desk was so nice. One of the best perks of living in a destination that is such a hot spot for tourism is that I have access to the Caribbean at my doorstep and I can float around the ocean in January.”
And, if you love the ocean breezes, who wouldn’t want to wake up to it? While your friends are scraping ice off car windshields and shoveling snow you can enjoy shopping, cenotes, Mayan ruins, and tasty food from all over the world…all at a lower cost of living.
Working a Remote Job
A survey conducted by Owl Labs shows that remote workers are happier and more productive. Whether you work for a company or you are a freelancer it’s possible to enjoy the benefits of working from paradise in the Riviera Maya.
Jen launched her freelance writing business in 2011. Most of her clients are in the United States and Europe. She only needs internet access and a computer to do her job. The infrastructure in Playa del Carmen makes it possible for her to connect via zoom with clients.
Jen’s boyfriend, Rick, is a video consultant. When he saw Starbucks and an Apple store… he was all in.
Most ex-pats are retired and living off social security or a pension. Many that are working are virtual assistants, Google programmers, and do data entry jobs. All of those jobs can be done online.
Meeting Up With Friends
Facebook offers many ex-pat groups that you can be a part of. Everything from book clubs to a foodies paradise to women’s resource groups. Jen even said, “One of my friends didn’t think she would have a social life and yet now she is booked out 3 weeks.”
With over 7 countries represented in Playa del Carmen, it truly is a melting pot of different cultures.
The Hardest Part of Moving Here
Sometimes we take the little things for granted. Drinking water is something you need to plan for.
Jen remembers a hilarious moment… “It’s hard to carry those big water jugs home when you don’t have a car. So when we were out at a restaurant we noticed someone delivering water. Rick got up, ran out, and about jumped in the car to talk to the water delivery person.” Now they have their own private water delivery service to their home.
Banking can also be a little tricky as Jen says. She recommends using a credit card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee and pays her rent through Zelle.
Jen doesn’t speak fluent Spanish but admits to continuously learning phrases through the years. One way she handles shopping is to order groceries online. For a couple of dollars, she can pay for delivery and relax while someone else does her shopping.
With medical care costs soaring in the United States, it’s comforting to know that you have Joint Commission accreditation hospitals in Cancun. Medical Tourism is prevalent in Mexico. People travel far and wide to receive holistic approaches to heart health, surgeries, and some of the best dental care.
Jen finds the medical care to be excellent. Her boyfriend received a pacemaker at one of the hospitals and felt comfortable communicating with the staff and physicians. Interpreters are available if needed. “We never felt rushed as we did in the States where after 7 minutes the doctor would disappear to their next patient. The doctor even gave us their WhatsApp phone number to connect if we have questions.” It’s a totally different way to receive medical care and with such a discount there isn’t a need to buy insurance.
When you first move to Playa del Carmen it does take a mindset change to go from, “We are on vacation, to now we live here.” It definitely is a lower cost of living with less stress. For an average of $2000-$2500 a month you can live in the Caribbean, enjoy the tropical weather year-round and you don’t have to shovel snow anymore.
So are you contemplating a move to the Riviera Maya? If so, reach out to SIMCA Real Estate and we will help you find your new condo.