“Melaque is a 100 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a vacation spot for Mexicans. And in the winter months, about November to February, there are about 300 Canadians who come to town,” says CJ Singer. “It’s a nice area. There are a bunch of hotels, restaurants…lots of seafood as you can imagine…it sits on a beautiful bay.”
CJ and his family—his wife, Andrea, his 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter—have been living in the small seaside town of Melaque on Mexico‘s Pacific Coast for the last seven months. But they’re never in one place for too long. The Singers enjoy a roving lifestyle, moving on whenever they get “itchy feet.”
Right now, they’re housesitting for an American couple who only spend a few months in town. They live in a house 100 feet from the beach rent free, although they do pay utilities—about $150 per month for electric and internet.
“It has plenty of space and a pool, which is really nice for the kids. I spend a lot of time out on the terrace with a view of the ocean. There’s a pretty good internet signal out there,” says CJ. “Sometimes I’ll work from a coffee shop in town.”
CJ works as a freelancer, overseeing building management software for a couple of companies in Washington, D.C. He also just started his own business, World Schooler Connect, which is a social network for families who have the same travel and live-abroad lifestyle.
“I have a regular daily schedule,” says CJ. “I get up early and do yoga and meditate. I write in a journal about three things I’m grateful for. Then I work until lunch. Then I go out and lay on the beach listening to a podcast.
“In July, which is school holidays for Mexican kids, the town can be very busy. Lots of buses from Guadalajara. But most days I look at the three miles of coastline on the bay and see three to four people.”
The kids are fans of futbol (soccer), playing on an indoor field, as well as on the beach often. They swim in the pool twice a day. “It’s really hot here,” explains CJ.
The Singers also enjoy exploring the surrounding countryside as a family.
“We take long walks on the beach. We hike around the base of the mountain. You have to time the tides, but there are beautiful beaches on the other side of the mountain…and they’re uninhabited,” says CJ.
As a tourist spot, there are many restaurants as well.
“We cook at home a lot,” says CJ. “But Mexico is so cheap we go out at least once a week. Our favorite place to eat is a taco joint open only during the Wednesday market. They cost 30 cents and are the best tacos in town. And we go out for ice cream two to three times a week. We’ve befriended some local people…they’re all friendly here.”
Recently, CJ’s son’s favorite rock band had a big concert in Mexico City and he was desperate to go. The whole family packed up the car and headed cross-country together. They toured the town by day and hit the show, in a sold-out, 17,000-seat stadium packed with screaming rock ‘n’ roll fans, by night.
On their way to Mexico City, the family took a bit of road trip. And why not? With CJ’s flexible online income, they have the freedom to travel whenever they want. Soon, the owners of their current home will come down to Mexico for their annual stay, so traveling through the countryside provided the perfect opportunity to search for their next home.
Their hearts are set on living in the colonial, highland town of San Miguel de Allende next, which is popular with expats for its vibrant arts and culture scene—think lots of art galleries, traditional celebrations, musical performances, and more. The cooler and drier weather in San Miguel will be a welcome relief from the heat and humidity at the beach, says CJ.
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