This Sure Beats California…

Margit Gantt wanted to find a more fulfilling lifestyle than the one she had in California. She was looking for great weather every day…somewhere she could get more for her money.

She and her husband Patrick knew where they wanted to be. They often vacationed in the seaside community of Ensenada, Mexico. “The feeling here is like California years ago,” said Margit. “It’s different and familiar at the same time. That’s what we love about it.”

Ensenada is on the Pacific coast of the Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Even though the population is approaching 400,000, it still maintains small-town charm.

In 1989, the Gantts took the plunge and decided they were staying. They never regretted it.

“It’s a thousand ti mes better,” said Margit. “California is so overcrowded now, a bit of a circus, and people aren’t a community. It’s different here. Even strangers still greet each other on the street.”

The Gantts tried out several locations before settling on their current home—a three-bedroom hillside villa with panoramic views of Ensenada Bay, the city, and the mountains.

See it for yourself…here’s Margit pictured at home:

The couple enjoys a nice lifestyle with just their Social Security income. But Margit, an energetic “people person,” wanted to do more than simply exist. With two partners in tow, she has a business that involves selling imported and locally-made art, antiques, jewelry, furniture, textiles and treasures from all around the world, in the middle of downtown Ensenada.

“80% of our clientele are Mexican locals,” said Margit. “The rest are tourists or Mexicans from other parts of Baja.”

Margit travels throughout Mexico, Central and South America searching for unique bargains to sell to Ensenada locals and to tourists. “Not only do I bring back beautiful things to sell,” she smiled, “but it also serves as a vacation you can make money from.” The shop also sells merchandise from Egypt, India, and Japan.

” One of the things I love about being an expat in Ensenada is that you can be as involved in the community as you want to be,” said Margit. She volunteers at the abused women’s center, which teaches nutrition, self-esteem, and marketable skills.

Margit and Patrick love the affordable lifestyle they found in Ensenada. “Today I went to the farmer’s market in El Sauzal and bought a 2.5 lb. bag of tomatoes, a 2.5 lb. bag of cucumbers and a 3 lb. bag of oranges for 10 pesos or $0.76 each.” Margit said. “They were organically grown and picked fresh yesterday,” she exclaimed. “What more can one ask for?”

When asked what the key to living a happy life abroad is, Margit says, “Find something you love to do…then do it.”

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