Well. We’re in Costa Rica.
Let me tell you how it happened.
We wanted to love Mexico. We really did.
And since we cannot/should not generalize and judge an entire country based on
our experience in one city, I’ll specifically talk about OUR experience and the city
of Merida, Mexico.
Yes, it’s very safe (in comparison to other Mexican cities).
Yes the culture is really great.
Yes the street are colourful, the people are kind, and the music is lovely.
But we just couldn’t force ourselves to love it.
In the same way we can’t force ourselves to love someone, it just wasn’t happening.
I might be risking it all by sharing this, I know.
I’m probably risking sounding like a pathetic tourist who shouldn’t leave the
comforts of her own home in Canada. But bear with me, and please keep in mind
that the safety, health and comfort of our two children is top priority for us now.
The reality is, after 10 days in Merida, we were completely miserable.
The water wasn’t potable (I learned the hard way, with a bad case of TD). I had
known this before we arrived, but it was really bad in some areas. People have
gotten used to drinking from plastic water bottles or disinfecting their water by
I wasn’t interested in replacing bad water with hormone disrupting BPA, and
other chemicals found in plastic. This wasn’t going to happen for our family.
There was also the issue of soot…each time we arrived back to the apartment, we
were covered in black soot. I wonder, for those who have been to (or those who live
in) Mexico City, is it the same?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting dirty out in nature. I love watching our children
play in the mud, grass, (and now sand and coconut shells :)) but this was not like
The dirt came from cars with out-dated exhausts. Or no exhaust/muffler at all. Some
of the cars on the road in Merida, Mexico wouldn’t have passed inspection 20 years
ago in Canada. Or even here in Costa Rica. Yet there they were, on the roads,
spewing toxic fumes into the lungs of unsuspecting (and suspecting) pedestrians and
And it wasn’t only outside. It got into in our homes too!
The exhaust found its way into everyone’s home; through windows, cracks under the
door, etc. We were constantly cleaning black soot off the floors, furniture and our
bodies daily. This can’t be healthy.
To top it all off, our apartment had a sewer issue. And not just any sewer issue. I
mean, they had to come in and expose all the pipes. That’s the type of smell that
stays with you forever.
All I could think of doing was running around like a crazy person spraying
whatever essential oils I brought with me all over the house. I was lost. I didn’t
know what to do.
I couldn’t help looking at my two beautiful babies and thinking “I’m so, so sorry my
angels. We dragged you here, now look. Look at this mess.”
Now that we’re well rested and settled after the move, I can see how I could have
taken my time to assess the situation and act from there. But I was exhausted,
getting over a very bad sickness due to some dirty water…or food washed with
dirty water, that I couldn’t think straight.
My Intention isn’t to sound like a ‘negative nancy’, and I hope this blog post
doesn’t come off this way. But this is MY experience and I want to share it.
Good, bad and the ugly.
I wish I had read something like this to read before making our decision and booked
And I suppose we are all individuals with different likes and dislikes…so, I typically
don’t put a lot of faith in online reviews because they are personal. Anecdotal.
But of all the great comments on Merida I read, not ONE of them mentioned any of
It might have helped make our decision.
The reasons we left Canada are many (simpler, healthier, happier, cheaper life). An
important reason why we left was because we wanted our children to experience the
world. We want them knowing other cultures, people and languages.
But definitely not at the expense of their health.
I needed to get out, it just wasn’t for our family.
Perhaps, unlike us, those other young families who rave about Merida online gave it a
fair chance and completed a year…
And I suppose we could have stayed longer to explore other areas of the country -who
knows, we might have fallen in love – but the reality is we couldn’t (didn’t want to) drag
our children around the country after a long, LONG journey and exhausting week.
Josh’s perspective might be slightly different. But he’ll write his own with time.
Today, I’m actually happy we had the experience. We are able to compare it to where and
how we live now, here in CostaRica.
They say there’s no light with out dark; no pleasure without pain and that we couldn’t
feel happiness without sadness. Perhaps there’s truth to that.
I can’t help thinking that we *might* have liked Mexico if we had a more pleasant flight
(read more on that here), or if we decided to start our journey in another town (beach
But after an unfortunate series of events, we found ourselves unhappy, homesick and
just ready to get out of there.
So get outta there we did! We booked flights to Costa Rica the same day we decided we
had had enough.
We arrived in San Jose after a really pleasant flight (first sign that we were on the right
path). Things were looking up.
And there were no words to describe the feeling upon arriving.
Costa Rica felt like home. It was heaven on earth.
And if you’re into healthy plant-based living, the markets are unreal.
And the monkeys….
…and other things
How can we leave this?
I look forward to sharing our journey in paradise with you…
***we want to go back one day to explore other areas of Mexico: Tulum, Holbox, Puebla, etc.
How about your family? Any similar experiences? Please share yours, good, bad or other
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