The absolute best part of my first month abroad was listening for the Universal Spirit on Tulum’s beach.
Having a home base with rent at $11 a day is a fantastic launch point for doing whatever I want to do with the rest of my budget, and more importantly, whatever I want to do with my time.
For now, my time is best spent chillaxing on the beach, talking to locals, listening for the Universal Spirit, reading, writing, learning Spanish, laughing, laughing, laughing — loving life. So instead of high San Diego rent, car payment and the rest of it, I opt for simplicity.
Nothing is forever (especially in Mexico!). But for now, the studio where I live is perfect. No neighbors right up against me, a large porch, cross breeze, fridge, private bath, and a bed that’s not as hard as a brick.
Have a look:
There were some things I had to get over:
- The propane tank was under the cook top. I asked the landlord to remove it. I wasn’t comfortable with it inside.
- Sometimes the neighbors’ dogs in back of the building bark a lot.
- There is a child who lives in this complex and he sometimes likes to scream.
- In general, rent in Tulum is more expensive than other Caribbean places in Mexico.
All things considered — so what? I got over all of that.
I enjoy cool mornings in the shade on the porch. I bike eight to 12 miles each day to the beach and back after my Spanish lesson. I clean up, relax, either have a simple dinner at home or go out. I enjoy evenings around Tulum, or I head up to Playa del Carmen now and then to visit some friends. I’m living out of one suitcase.
None of this possible if I am too filled with fear to try something new.
So what if it’s on a limited, modest budget? Stuff isn’t important. Experiences are.
Let me be clear – fear still taunts me with self-doubt and worry over the financial future. But then I up my effort to go with the flow. Plus now, with one month down, I have a little confidence to fall back on. I did it!
I see a few expenditures I didn’t really need this first month, and I’m still learning to live on less. I don’t have much, yet I managed to give to some needy causes here.
I see where supplementing savings and financial investments with future freelance work of some kind will be smart.
There is still much I don’t see, but I’m open to it all.
On the ocean’s edge, under the Mexican sun, I hear the Universal Spirit say, This is what matters — a simple, unselfish attitude. See how fantastic life is when all you really need is flip flops, a bike and book?
Damn, I answer. Why’d I wait so long?