Winter in the Tropics With a Portable Income

My husband, Jeff, and I get up early to cycle—in our flip-flops—to the local juice bar about 25 minutes away…along a bike trail next to the turquoise shores of the Caribbean. We stop to snorkel around the pier for an hour before getting back to connect with our patients online in the early afternoon and evening.

We’re in Cancún, Mexico. We need decent internet and a tourist hub like this has good infrastructure for us.

We found a sweet condo to rent on an Island called Pok-ta-Pok, a total Spanish-speaking enclave. Our one-bedroom suite faces the lagoon situated across from the more raucous hotel zone where the tequila pours liberally in the dance clubs until all hours. We’re usually both in bed by 10:30 p.m., falling asleep to the distant sound of the bass beat.

We love our lives here and count ourselves truly blessed to live in such a way for our physical and mental health—biking everywhere, snorkeling several times a week, unlimited vitamin D, and a healthy, more vegetable-based diet works for us.

When folks find out that I’ve tailored my life to live in Mexico and Central America while writing, editing books, and serving my patients online, they want to know how I got to be so lucky.

Back in the late 90s, I felt I was trying to keep my stress levels under control while working as a financial adviser and looking after my son, who has autism. Back then, January to May were brutal…often with a dedicated 12 to 14 hour-days.

Looking back, I’m not sure how I ever managed working in my corporate garb of heels and stockings, with feet still sopping wet from trudging through six-foot-high snow banks just to be sequestered for many hours…alone, plugging in Excel formulas in an 8 x 11-foot cubicle.

Thankfully, while off on maternity leave with my daughter, I did some major soul searching. I started to study alternative medicine and write about it. With those two small steps—studying and writing—my whole world changed.

I became a physician, based out of Canada, with a mostly international practice working by Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or by phone, three days a week. I’ve penned thirteen books and I write monthly for half a dozen publications related to my field.

My husband does the same work I do and he runs the publishing arm of our holistic clinic.

Now, we enjoy living and working in Mexico or Central America during the winter months. All I need is a really stellar upload speed in the same time zone as our North American clients.

Given the portable nature of my work, I can move south every winter to live in Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, or Mexico.

Next year, our goal is to become full-time international nomads joining the ranks of the few other suitcase entrepreneurs that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in our travels along the way.


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