Every morning my furry alarm clock, the Mexican street dog I adopted, licks my hand at six a.m. to start the day.
The pink and purple sunrise welcomes us as we walk one of the forest-lined trails at the base of the Tezal mountains.
Most mornings our neighbor joins us with her dogs, and I have a chance to practice my Spanish as we watch our pets frolic through the grasses and around the cacti.
On the weekends, when there is time, we take a longer trail or maybe even head up to the Cerro de las Antennas. From Cerro I take in unobscured views of the mountains to the west, the Sea of Cortez to the east, and the famous Lands End to the south.
I don't have to climb all the way up to Cerro to see Lands End. It is waiting for me after our morning walk right outside of my second-floor balcony.
We were fortunate to have found our three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath duplex in the El Tezal neighborhood of Cabo San Lucas.
For less than $200,000 in 2017, we purchased a fully furnished home in a gated community. Our neighbors are a wonderful mix of local business owners and professionals from Mexico, the U.S., Canada, and even Holland and Austria.
After breakfast, I head down to my home office to work a remote position in the U.S. I only work 20 or so hours a week to maintain the lifestyle we had enjoyed in the States.
My clients who I talk to via voice-over-internet phone or video calls have no idea of my location, unless I tell them.
I, on the other hand, get to enjoy the views of bougainvillea and desert roses in my little Zen garden.
The internet is not quite as strong and stable as I was used to up north, but it has rarely disrupted my workday and it is hard to complain when we only pay $30 a month for internet and North American landline phone service.
Tuesday mornings I head down to the Xplora market where Alberto has my organic chicken order, and I can pick up coffee beans from Veracruz. Other vendors offer fresh produce, honey, and incredible gluten-free and gluten-filled pastries and breads. A newer offering is fresh juices including passion fruit which is a fiesta for the tongue.
One vendor has beautifully embroidered shirts, beaded items, and handcrafted shoes. After complimenting her authentic Mexican braids, she was sweet enough to take a moment to put my hair up as well.
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After a light workday, my dog and I stroll our neighborhood and watch the cruise ships pull into the harbor. Fridays we drive downtown to meet my husband at the marina for fresh sushi at the local expat hangout.
Other evenings, we enjoy dinner at home where we can watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from our own home. Every other day, either my husband or I say, "I can't believe we live in Mexico."
Our first trip to Cabo San Lucas was in 2010. A friend had bought a weekend home in Cabo and invited us to visit. Little did we know that five years later, we would be living in that same house.
After our initial visit to Cabo, we visited this Mexican paradise once or twice a year. We loved being so close to the ocean, desert, and mountains. The laidback culture was a relief from our stressful jobs. The people, the natural beauty, and, of course, the food kept us coming back to visit.
My husband and I dreamed of retiring in Cabo San Lucas, but really didn't want to wait a decade or two to make that happen. In 2014, our friend suggested that we become caretakers of his house and boat. We jumped at the opportunity and thought it was, at worse, a one-year vacation.
We quit our jobs, sold most of our possessions, and rented out our house in the States. Loading up my little two-door car and a tiny trailer, we drove down the Baja Peninsula thinking if things did not work out, we could move back.
After three months in Cabo, we decided that even if things didn't work out, we were not going back to the U.S.
Thankfully things have worked out well for us. After two years, we moved out of our friend's house and into our own home. We are learning the language, the idiosyncrasies of the culture, and a new, slower pace of life.
We are so happy we can now call Cabo San Lucas home.