From Kenya by way of the United Kingdom. From California via the East Coast. The life paths of Kate Barron and Gary DeRose were about as far apart as they could be…until they crossed in Merida, Mexico. In this weeks’ episode, they tell us what brought them to Mexico’s beautiful and historic Yucatan capital and how they’ve made themselves at home there in this edition of Finding Your Overseas Paradise.
Gary and Kate chose to settle in Merida in part because it is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico for expats, retired or otherwise, and there are many reasons why.
Merida is hot in the summer, which is the perfect to go to the nearby beach at Progreso or hop in the pool. But even during the summer evenings in Merida are delightful …and the rest of the year, both daytime and night time weather in Merida is ideal. The city is remarkably clean and well maintained, and although it’s only half an hour from the ocean, it’s far enough inland that strong winds and corrosive salt air aren’t a problem.
Merida also has an international airport with regular direct flights to Miami, Houston and Mexico City. It’s a relatively easy Latin American city to drive in, and taxis and buses cost from just a few cents to a few dollars and go almost anywhere you want…including to suburbs where you will find Home Depot, Office Max, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and several huge shopping malls. Or stay put in the historic district where traditional shops, ice cream parlors, and local restaurants are within easy walking distance.
A lower your cost of living in Merida
Like anyplace, you can spend as much as you like in Merida…there are terrific shopping, eating, and entertainment options. But when you factor in vastly lower taxes and health care costs, lower labor costs for household help, three- and four-dollar meals at local restaurants, and the virtually free entertainment of people watching at the plazas, dancing to live outdoor concerts almost every night of the week, or playing in the surf at the nearby beach town of Progreso, your monthly budget can be up to 50% less than it was in the States.
And best of all, Merida is unique, even among Mexican cities. Its culture is a historic combination of European, Caribbean and Maya Indian influences that guarantees that you’re always fascinated by some aspect of life here…not to mention being in the center of what is probably the largest concentration of magnificent Maya ruins to be found anywhere.
You can make day trips to Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun, and other major sites, and discover great little local restaurants for lunch in the bargain. Cuban influence is also high here, and that adds spice to the city’s music and nightlife.
If you’re thinking about living the expat life like Gary and Kate, Merida has just about everything you’re looking for.