My Journey to Expat Life in Mexico

Mexico Beach

Recently, I met an inspiring woman who followed her dreams to a new life in Mexico. Kerry Baker bypassed all the naysayers and let her true desires guide her. Here’s her story. Be inspired!

My Journey to the Expat Life
by Kerry Baker

When you are naturally meant to do something, green lights will flash in front of you, telling you to “Go!..(for god’s sake) Go!” You may stare blankly at those lights at first, but once you do start moving, everything you do becomes almost effortless. Barriers drop or seem inconsequential. Continue reading

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Top 10 Things I Forget Every Time I Travel Out of the Country

Chiang Mai Thailand

For the first time in awhile I went on a long vacation to a developing country – Thailand. I was so looking forward to two weeks somewhere very unlike America.

Loads of new things were just waiting to be discovered. I could break out my rusty bargaining skills and pore over maps of unfamiliar landscapes -get lost in a completely new culture. So ready!

It was an amazing break and I loved every minute – even the not so great ones. But, here are the things I need to remember every time I travel to a new country.

 

  1. Guidebooks just ain’t what they used to be

I don’t know if I’ve become more jaded over time or if my previous bible for travel, Lonely Planet, has really gone downhill. Every year, the guidebooks for each country just get bigger and bigger – they may be getting paid by the word now. To me, most if what’s in guidebooks is essentially useless. Every place, no matter how random or “off-the-beaten-path” is now worthy of a chapter. Unless you’re living somewhere for years and need to know the minutia of every city, guesthouse and site, guidebooks are only useful for plotting a general course and maybe a place to stay – and even that is usually a crapshoot. On this trip, a friend got advice from a local of where to stay. The guidebook listed it as barely worth noting – it turned out to be a piece of paradise – that leads me to my point number 2.

What to do? Continue reading

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Life in a Resort Town – Starting a Business in Breckenridge, Worthy & Bond of The Bivvi

Breckenridge Colorado

What’s it take to start a business in a resort town? How about a hostel in Breckenridge Colorado? The Bivvi, located at 9,603 feet above sea level, was started by two world travelers who wanted to design a hostel “crafted for the adventurers, ramblers, and the mountain gurus of this world.” With a skyline that includes several fourteeners, Breckenridge was forged by miner’s who came to seek their fortunes about 150 years ago. Evidence of those days still line Main Street today. You won’t find cookie cutter faux anything here – where even the Starbucks serves up drinks in an old yellow cottage. This small town aims to keep its own special friendly vibe by preserving its historic architecture and keeping the locals nearby with a hopping downtown full of restaurants, bars and shopping – and even an art’s district – the kind where real people go and the rest try to blend in as locals.

Worthy McCormick and Bond Camp decided to make this place home after Continue reading

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Summer Jobs at US National Parks / Working for Xanterra

Rocky Mountains

What are you doing this summer? While I’m busy trying to camp and hike in as much of the wilderness as possible on weekends, some people are getting paid to live in the most beautiful national parks around the US. Jonas decided to do just that – working at Rocky Mountain National Park for his university summer break. Rocky Mountain National Park signXanterra is the concessionaire for several of the most famous National Parks, offering both summer and year-round jobs at national and state parks. While they don’t have jobs in all of the US National Parks, they cover the biggies like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the like. While the pay might be low for summer service jobs, the experience is rich and the reward is the opportunity to have the time to thoroughly explore a season in paradise. They also offer a way for international applicants to apply as well, working with agencies that can help you obtain a J-1 visa (necessary for non US citizens). And don’t think you have to be a student for these national park jobs either – pretty much anyone over 18 can apply. Xanterra also happens to have jobs on a cruise line and as a tour leader (some are international). On my latest visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is practically located in my backyard, I asked Jonas, a cashier at the Park, some questions about his experience. Continue reading

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Reinventing a Life in the Amazon – Yachana School & Lodge

Napo River Yachana Ecuador

Who starts a school in the middle of the Ecuadorean Amazon? Proving that life can always provide serendipity, Douglas McMeekin found himself bankrupt in his forties but with an opportunity to move to Ecuador. Originally from the US, Douglas worked for six years in the Amazon as an environmental and cultural consultant for eight different oil companies.  This experience provided the catalyst he needed to begin Yachana Foundation and a way to give sustainable help to the Amazonian people.Yachana Lodge Ecuador

In 1992 he began by building six schools and training teachers in 27 communities. Continue reading

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Life in a Resort – Living in Telluride Colorado / World Class Ski Mountaineer, Hilaree Nelson

Hilaree O'Neill skiing Telluride
World class ski mountaineer, Hilaree Nelson, tells us what it’s like to live in Telluride, Colorado.

Looking to move to a small mountain resort off the beaten path that attracts a pinch of celebrity, yet still maintains its rugged charm? Telluride just might be for you. Backed up against a box canyon, the historic mining town of Telluride was established by gold miners seeking their fortune. The jagged peaks of the rugged San Juan Mountains still bear the scars of old mine sites and ghost towns haunt the area with echoes of the past. And while you may see celebrities here, they aren’t the main attraction.  Locals pride themselves on keeping it real, and the hometown artists are just as famous in town as any name brand film star. Why come here? Epic chutes. No lift lines.  No freeways – the nearest stoplight is 45 miles away. Dictated by nature, Telluride will never become a big city with large bedroom communities of workers commuting along a busy highway. It can’t.  It’s at the end of the road. And I mean that in a great way.

Continue reading

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Life in a Resort – Living in Vail, Colorado / Tracey

Tracey Flower Hiking in Vail Colorado

If you’re looking for a resort lifestyle that includes the rich and famous along with a mountain big enough to satisfy even when the lift lines are long, Vail might be the place for you.  What’s it like to live in Vail, Colorado? Though small, Vail Village resort offers bars, boutiques and restaurants high end enough to compete with the biggest wallets.  While the glamor factor is high, it’s still laid back enough and less pretentious than Colorado’s other glitzy resort, Aspen. Vail Mountain also might just have the best terrain in the state. Wide open and immense, the back bowls are legend, especially on a powder day.  Vail Valley stretches along the I-70 corridor offering an easy escape to parts beyond to explore.  A popular spot to see and be seen – Vail can sometimes be awash in tourists.  However, the long valley gives you options to get away from it all. Working for Vail resorts also gives you entre to a variety of resorts;  Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, Canyons in Park City, Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.Continue reading

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Life in a Resort – Living in Crested Butte Colorado. Extreme Skier – Wendy Fisher

Wendy Fisher Skiing 3rd Bowl Crested Butte

Crested Butte Local & Extreme Skier, Wendy Fisher tells us what it’s like to live in Crested Butte Colorado.

Thinking of living in a mountain ski resort? Each has their own distinct personality and way of life. Which one is right for you?  Crested Butte began as a coal mining town, not a manufactured ski mountain: a real community where crowds are few and the locals are the heart and soul of the town. Located smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, big city distractions are well away. A true mountain adventurer will find all they need. No busy interstates bring hordes of day trippers. Crested Butte locals work and live in town full time, making for true community events.

Crested Butte has everything a ski town offers. A full roster of summer and winter activities and a mountain that will test your skills and satisfy your need for adventure.  While the mountain is known for some of Colorado’s best in-bounds extreme terrain, there is something for everyone. This town also has the oldest mountain biking group in the world and the tracks to prove it.

A bona fide local, Wendy reveals the things that make Crested Butte special and why you just might want to live there too. Continue reading

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Aspen Skiing Company Job Fair

Aspen, Colorado Skiing

The snow has already started to fly and dreams of living the resort life are in full swing – get that Aspen ski job and start your resort life, the Aspen Skiing Company is hiring!. Check out this Thursday’s job fair at Bumps Restaurant at the base of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen from 2-6pm, November 14 – and if you can’t go – check out Aspen / Snowmass Jobs.

If you have questions or your own experiences to share, email us or post a comment!

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