I’m about to admit something here that I haven’t told anyone. It’s pretty embarrassing. Some of you are going to be really disappointed in me and think I’m giving up too easily. Others are going to be proud that I can admit this while also saying ‘I told you so.’ But I just have to get this off my chest. So here goes.

People, I brought too many shoes to Mexico. And clothes. And a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t for the life of me figure out what I was thinking when I just HAD to find a spot for it in the car.

We’ve been living in Mexico for close to three months now, and in that time we’ve learned a lot about what we do and don’t need and what we can and can’t find. And if we could repack the car all over again knowing what we know now it would go a whole lot differently. Like I know Jason would leave all of his long pants behind. And I would leave all of my ‘work’ clothes. And my sweaters. Yes I really did bring some sweaters. To southern Mexico.

But here’s the thing, when you’ve spent 30+ years accumulating stuff, stuff that you worked really hard to pay for, it’s hard to give almost all of that up. You’re so used to being surrounded by things you need (or think you need), that as we were planning for our move to Playa del Carmen, there was a lot of ‘well of course’ I’ll need that there. Turns out, we really don’t.

Like what you ask?  Well we like to cook a lot so bringing a couple high quality pans and our knife set was a good call as we haven’t seen anything close to the caliber we brought around here. In fact I’m not convinced that the pieces that came with our furnished place wouldn’t give us lead poisoning. But this? While one of our favorite wedding presents we haven’t found a lot of practical uses for it here.

Weve used this since weve been here. Once.
We’ve used this since we’ve been here. Once.

This precious space might have been better served with more bug spray, suntan lotion or a fan. Or a dehumidifier. Or some other electronics. All pretty expensive items down here and sometimes hard to find. (Luckily we have great friends who don’t mind ‘muling’ some necessities as well as fulfilling a few cravings when they come to visit).

Good friends come to visit. Great friends risk a customs check on their way into the country.
Good friends come to visit. Great friends risk a customs check on their way into the country.

We also should have brought measuring spoons and cups. Cannot find them anywhere. We’ve tried the local eyeballing measurement method which has resulted in some ‘creative’ tasting dishes. And bringing our towels and high thread count sheets were a good call, but I’m pretty sure we could have done without the comforter. I’m so glad we brought some pictures of friends and family and a few mementos but I do wish we’d brought a few more to make it feel a bit more like home.

Another thing. I love, love, love my  bike. And bikes are our primary mode of transportation around town. But where we live now? The Trek is overkill. I mean I will admit I was pretty proud when I walked out of the grocery store the other day and a local kid was taking pictures of my bike and started exclaiming to me “Tour de France! Tour de France!” but there really aren’t a lot of Tour de Mexico’s going on around here for me to join (because of course I would qualify if there were). And it was a humongous pain to haul that thing all the way down here. I could have sold the bike in the States and with that money could have bought six bikes down here like this jaunty one Jason ended up with. Sure he’s already had to get the tire fixed and the brakes don’t really work and there’s a bolt missing from the seat, but it gets from point A to point B (usually) and that’s all we really need.

Already making repairs to the bike. But at least hes stylin,
Already making repairs to the bike. But at least he’s stylin,

Also, Jason brought an enormous backpack full of camping gear. We haven’t been camping. And we’re not planning any camping trips. Honestly, I’m not even sure what all is in there, but I think the only thing we’ve used from it has been duct tape. And that we can find plenty of here.

I have to give us a bit of credit though for as much silly stuff that we brought with us it’s miniscule compared to what we sold and gave up in Kansas City before making the move. Maybe we had to do this purge of material goods as a progression so that we didn’t feel like everything of comfort had been stripped from us at once.

So am I cured of my shoe obsession? Not at all. Will I be buying more shoes and clothes when I go back to the States? You better believe it (I’d buy some shoes here, but the only ones that come in my size are men’s) . But knowing now what our lifestyle is like they’ll be more practical choices like shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. You know, my work clothes.