Tag Archives: denver

Earnest and Excited

It has been a long time since I have written, but travel is on our horizon again. Now I am happy to play the role of both characters in the post title above. At the stroke of midnight tonight the prospective buyers of our currently “under contract” Denver condo would lose their earnest money if they were to back out of the purchase. It looks like the deal is going to happen. Please, call me earnest.

The rest of the title? We sit in a Staybridge Suites in Suburban Denver, and the picture at the bottom of this post is the view out the window of our room. Yes it is late March and we are having a blizzard. The winds are reaching above 50 miles per hour and the snowfall is expected to reach 14 inches. But we have secured a rental in San Miguel de Allende, and will be returning to Mexico. We will leave here within the week and, with a stopover in Austin TX (last minute U.S shopping, health certificates for the cats, vehicle permit to drive the Blazer into Mexico) should arrive there as of April 9th. We have that house rented through the end of June. Once there we will look for another home to rent after that to extend the stay for a month or two longer.

I look forward to seeing old friends, hanging out at our favorite places, walking to them in shorts and sandles, and hearing the crow of the roosters and the music and festive voices that are always present in the Jardin. Please, call me excited.

Bien Viaje,

Randy

 

Staybridge Window

Finding Our Balance

It has been awhile since I have written. Time always brings change and the last two months have been no exception. As the dust settles it’s easier to have perspective.

We drove out of Mexico in late December and headed for our old home of Colorado. We had reserved a VRBO rental in downtown Denver, and have lived there since we arrived. We now own a condo in the Spire building — a highrise in the heart of the 16th Street Mall area. This will be the home base from which we will be “making tracks” in the future. We move into the condo in a week or two once the floors have been redone.

After having lived for two years with only the possessions that fit in our Chevy Blazer, the tasks of the next few weeks seem surreal. It seems foreign, but we have purchased a couch, bed frame, and mattress. We will be flying soon to visit the storage space in Chicago we filled in February of 2013 before leaving to spend most of the year in San Miguel de Allende. I fully expect it to feel like opening somebody else’s time capsule. What are all these items? What would anyone possibly need them for? What here could actually enrich someone’s life vs. what is clutter and distraction? That’s what I expect to be asking myself when the door rolls up.

We will be furnishing the condo to be able to rent out as a monthly corporate furnished apartment, but want to stay true to the minimalist principles we’ve come to enjoy. Of course a couple flat screen TVs, a compact stereo, and some kitchen items will make the trip back west with us. However, with the condo being a tad over 900 square feet, much from our previous lives will be (happily) left behind. I’m sure some of what does come with us will end up on EBay. Then we can settle in, spit and polish, and start the process of advertising for renters. The adventure of getting out and hitting the road again begins when we have paying tenants. We welcome the idea of the unpredictability of what lies ahead.

I do miss Mexico already. I miss the warmth and friendliness of the weather, and of the people. too. I miss the pace of each day and how it feels removed from the ticking of a clock, and how “manana” doesn’t mean tomorrow…..it just means not today. I miss that even the roosters crow on and off all day, when they want, and not just at dawn. I miss the joyousness of the culture and the day-to-day activity in and around the Centro and Jardin.

We will get back there. We will explore other places too……probably many more and more often, even if for shorter trips. The reality is that if we are going to spend significant time in the States each year this move makes a lot of sense. Months of furnished rentals in the States are expensive. Months of a rental in Mexico and many other destinations……not so much. This year will be about both adventure and stability — and finding the balance.

Christmas Approaches in San Miguel, and Maya Angelou Points to the Way Home

It’s Christmas time in San Miguel de Allende. The mornings and evenings are cool and crisp. The light in the afternoon seems brighter, more intense. Families prepare their presents for each other. The streets are filled with poinsettias, posada processions, and festive decorations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a two-year four-wheel walkabout (driveabout?) Traci and I have decided to give ourselves a gift. We’re going to give ourselves a home. We’ve road-tripped and crisscrossed the U.S. We have spent a winter on the ocean in the Baja Norte of Mexico. We have enjoyed two long stretches of time here in Mexico’s mountainous Central Highlands. Now we are going to “break camp” soon and head to Denver where we’ll search for a downtown condo in a neighborhood where we have lived before…..and loved it.

On the surface It might seem that, compared to the last two years, owning a property would be restrictive. We think it will be freeing. A home base will allow us to leave the cats at home under the care of a loving “pet nanny” and hop on an occasional plane to…..any number of places to which you cannot drive (The cats HATE flying and we hate flying with them). With a home base, the two of us can easily jump in the car and go to the mountains for a few days of hiking or off to see family. We will advertise our new condo on vacation rental sites for 30-day minimum rentals. If somebody wants it for a month (or three) we will pack up the Blazer, cats and all, and hit the road again. We will keep making tracks, but our adventures will depart from Denver.

Two years of bouncing among hotel rooms and rentals has been fun, but we miss having a home to return to. This should balance both. Maya Angelou said “the ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” As always, Maya was onto something.

Randy.

Worry and Waste

July is in the rearview mirror. It’s my first post in August, and last month is a reminder of how easy it is to become distracted and lose your ability to be present in the moment. The bump on my tongue that Traci named “Igor” ended up being removed in Seattle and biopsied as benign. Now it’s just a memory (and a small fading scar). Based on my  history the chances of it having been anything more serious were incredibly small. My regret is that reality didn’t stop me from the only thing that would allow Igor the power to derail me from being present and experiencing each day with consciousness. I worried. I worried steadily.

Mark Twain famously said “I have been through some terrible things in my life. Some of which actually happened”.  It’s important to be responsible, and it’s important to take control of that which we can. Being aware and proactive is essential to your well being. Worry isn’t….and serves no purpose. The lesson of July is to save the worry for what is, and not what might be. If the worry is taking the front seat you only experience the latter while the former slips by, and there’s no regaining it.

It’s good to be present again. The traveling menagerie is in Denver now and soon we will push across the plains to visit family in Illinois and Wisconsin. Four or five fall/winter months back in San Miguel de Allende are marked on the calendar and the gentle rhythm of the days (not to mention the joyous ring of mariachi music from the jardin) are starting to whisper in my ear.

Randy.