A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

April 17, 2005 — It was the sixties, 1966 to be exact. My boyfriend and I had been saving our money for months and I had dropped out of graduate school in Anthropology for the adventure we planned. Finally we left Berzerkeley behind us, crossed the US, took a Yugoslavian freighter to Spain, and settled down to live in Nerja, a lovely town of about 5,000 people in southern Spain, near Malaga.

We rented a large, furnished house for $50 US a month — the dollar ruled in Europe then! From our upstairs bedroom window, we could look out at the Mediterranean, which was a potato patch away. In the summer, the house got too expensive for us, so we roamed around France, then came back and lived in a diffent house in Nerja. This time we were in a very old house in the heart of the town, unfurnished other than the few bits of furniture we acquired.

What did we do? We unwound. Both from very high-achievement families, it was the first time in our young lives — we were in our early 20s — that we were completely free to do whatever we wanted to, as long as our money lasted — and we made it last and last. We both wrote. We took Spanish lessons. We spent a month in North Africa.

After 15 months, we returned to the US and some time later we went our separate ways. I went back to Berkeley, this time getting a Master’s in Library Science. Work, marrying Kelly, raising llamas, and all sorts of other things followed.

I’ve always remembered my time in Nerja with a special happiness. There was so much about that life that I loved… the people, the sense of community, walking everywhere except when we roamed around by bus or train, the music of the Spanish language, the delicious climate, the ocean, the joy of living in another culture. I can still smell the fresh bread that came out of the village bakeries around dawn, mixed with the smell of rosemary. I still remember Dolores, who cleaned our house once a week, listening to my boyfriend and me speaking English and asking us, “In your country, do even the children speak that way?”

Now it’s almost 40 years later and here I am, living in a small town of about 5,000 in another Spanish-speaking country. The standard of living here in this prosperous town in Mexico isn’t that different from how I remember Spain then. The house Kelly and I have rented is $108 a month, another bargain. We look out at a beautiful rock outcropping, hills, and distant mountains instead of the ocean. We make friends, we walk a lot, and I often think of Nerja.

How much certain experiences in our lives turn out to shape our later paths!

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