Sorry if it seems like we’ve dropped off the grid the last few weeks but, ahem, we’ve literally been off the grid the last few weeks. That’s right, we’re back in Xcalak. A lot of people are loath to return to a place that is filled with very special memories for them and we’re no different. We absolutely loved our first time living in Xcalak but so far in our house sitting adventure we’ve tried to avoid making repeat stops in places that we’ve already lived.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve really, really enjoyed our time at all of our house sits and it’s been unbelievable to be able to live in so many cool places, meet so many great people and of course, hang out with so many great dogs (and 1 cat). Without fail, all of our homeowners have been fantastic and they’ve all invited us back anytime. At this point, I think we could easily have a regular rotation of houses and just spend a few months every year in each of them. A few months in Patzcuaro, a few months in Merida, a few months on the beach etc. Sounds pretty fantastic right? Of course, it does because that WOULD be fantastic! But here’s the deal – we didn’t start house sitting just to pay the rent (although that’s certainly a nice bonus), we started house sitting as a way to explore new places. So when we got the offer to come back to Xcalak we were very torn.
On one hand we’d loved our time here and it’s one of my favorite places on earth. On the other hand, we were considering a house sitting offer in Caye Caulker, Belize and Xcalak tried to kill Deidre a couple of times the last time we were here. So we had to decide – do we take an offer on a sleepy and beautiful tropical isle that we’d never been to or do we return to a place where the fishing is fantastic but even pretty shells try and kill you? Well, after much soul searching we obviously chose the latter and here we are, back in Xcalak.
We had a lot of issues to try and sift through before we could figure out if a return to Xcalak was a good idea. Fishing was the main factor in my desire return, but Deidre doesn’t fish, would that be an issue? What would we do with ourselves since our friends we spent so much time (and fished) with have moved on? One of our dogs we cared for passed away recently, how hard would that be to deal with? Would we regret not going to Caye Caulker? Could Xcalak possibly live up to our memories and expectations? These were all factors that we mulled over at length.
But there were also some positive factors to weigh as well. We have a much smaller property to care for, we’re much closer to town, have neighbors, there’s a food truck nearly every day and a restaurant just a few minutes away. Having these relative conveniences and being here for a much shorter time frame (three months rather than the 7 months we stayed last time) in the end swung our decision.
And man oh man are we glad it did!
We had considered the fact that our closest friends in Xcalak wouldn’t be here but something we hadn’t considered? All of the other friends and acquaintances that we still had here. That’s right, after a year of living in places where we had no friends we have a social life again! Our fantastic neighbors greeted us with a welcome dinner (complete with key lime pie!) and almost every day since then we’ve had something going on. An invite to a BBQ or dinner, a friend dropping by for a beer at sunset, a day of fishing with the guys, or sometimes all of the above. I knew that we’d missed having a social circle a bit, but I guess I didn’t realize just how dearly until we had one again.
Seeing familiar faces has been great and we’ve also had the pleasure of adding to our friend group in the short time we’ve been here. So there you have it, we’ve been on the road so long that our largest social network (outside of Kansas City) is in a rural Mexican town of 300 that’s way closer to Belize than the closest grocery store! Well, that’s why we chose this life right? To see and experience new places and people. Xcalak may not be exactly new for us, but it was certainly a good idea for us to return!
**Thanks to Alex Beck of The Flats Fly-Fishing for the picture.