Why We Chose Lakeside
By Chuck Bolotin
After eight months of traveling through Mexico, I can now tell you, from personal experience, that Mexico is a big, a varied, and in many places, a very beautiful country.
A little over two years ago, my wife and I sold our home in Arizona, gave away, sold, or put into storage anything that wouldn’t fit into a big, white van, and with our two dogs, crossed the border from the United States into Mexico. Our loosely defined mission: as almost complete newbies, with very little knowledge of Spanish and even less knowledge of what Mexico was really like, make a road trip through Mexico from one end to the other, stopping for six weeks or so at most of the better-known expat locations. When it was over, perhaps we would settle in one of the places we visited or perhaps we would return to live back in the US.
We didn’t know if we would like Mexico, but we were about to find out.
We experienced small fishing villages, larger towns, homes in a village and homes outside a village. In the Highlands, we drove through vast expanses of gently rolling hills almost completely devoid of people, pierced periodically by soaring, snow-capped volcanoes and then, a city or a town would appear.
Over that period of about eight months, we were dazzled by the exquisite, sparkling beaches of Baja’s eastern coast, swam with our dogs in the clear, warm, calm waters of the Sea of Cortez with islands sprinkled in the near horizon, and danced with the locals in the square of a small village in Nayarit, where nearby, the jungle dripped into the sea.
We were awed by the views and experienced the serenity of village life in Jocotepec and Ajijic and we marveled at the majesty and refinement of San Miguel de Allende. We enjoyed Puebla and Cordoba. We stayed in a 400-year-old hacienda in Merida adjacent to a Mayan village and we even swam in a cenote, vibrating with translucent energy. (I am told that the ancient Mayans believed that cenotes were the entrance to the underworld, and when you experience one, you will know why.) In Quintana Roo, we visited Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum stayed in a master-planned mixed-use residential community in Akumal.
Finally, at the very southern edge of Mexico, we stopped to gaze out at the Bay of Chetumal, shared with Belize, and which the Belizeans call the Bay of Corozal. Changed by our time on the road, seeing and experiencing so many new and unexpected things, our tour of Mexico was now over, and it was time for my wife and I to make a decision on where to live. We didn’t choose to go back to the US and we didn’t choose any of the glitzier areas in Mexico.
We chose Lakeside, and we’ve been thrilled ever since.
Our reasons may not be your reasons and perhaps you may disagree, but for us, it was an easy choice. Our reasons include the pace of life and the warm and interesting people here (Mexicans and expats alike); the weather; the magnificent views nobly presiding over the prevailing and broad sense of calm and tranquility; the closeness of Guadalajara with its shopping and international airport; that it was a great place to start my new moving business; and had a cost of living low enough to enjoy it all without worrying too much about what things cost.
Even though all of us who live here are aware of these and other great reasons to call Lakeside our home, I suspect strongly that there are many more interesting, fulfilling, fun, etc., things to do here that many of us don’t know. So, each month, my wife and I will visit one of these places and report back to you, perhaps in the process making all our lives a bit richer and more enjoyable.
We’re planning on visiting places like Andares Mall, Abastos (the huge food center), Scorpion Island, Mazamitla, and others. Which others will depend to some extent on you, the readers of El Ojo Del Lago. You see, we’re counting on you to let us know which locations you think are most worthy to share with our Lakeside neighbors. You suggest; we experience and report back.
Do you have a favorite, less known place in or around Lakeside? If so, don’t keep it from the rest of us. Drop me a line right now at my email address: Chuck.Bolotin@BestMexicoMovers.com.
See you around!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com