Editors Note:

So after two years of living full-time in Mexico my first set of friends have made the move that everyone else says they ‘wish’ they were brave enough to do. Coming to Mexico in your thirties with only a few pesos in your pocket can be a tough haul but when I speak    to those in their fifties or sixties, most say they wish they’d made the move sooner. It’s harder because we don’t have pensions or much in the way of savings and it’s not the easiest place to make a living. But you reconsider what it means to ‘make a living’ and Mexico can reset your priorities back to simpler times.

Gone are whole isles of shopping I don’t need anymore.  Whole department stores that I don’t have to stop at on my way home from work just to get a shopping fix. (Good-bye Winner’s) Gone is the constant need to update the throw pillows in my bedroom, and the guest room and the living room and the tv room and on the outdoor patio. And don’t get me started on my need to buy shoes or purses…

Sometimes the challenges can get you down. Most of us who have lived here more than six months have faced an issue or two that tests our will to remain. It took me about 6 months to stop asking “Why?” and just go with the flow. My son still laments about returning to Canada but, in all honesty, he never asks for ‘things’ anymore. He doesn’t need the newest, fastest, biggest of anything any longer. Plus he speaks Spanish now and that’s just so cool. It’s a cliché but this is character building whether he likes it or not.

So when my friends got off the plane all wide-eyed and excited to begin this new chapter of their lives, it reminded me just how excited I was when I arrived. And how much my life has changed in these two years. Without a doubt, I am still in love with this country but a fresh set of eyes helps to reaffirm my decision.

Madeline Milne on EmailMadeline Milne on Instagram
Living in Mexico full time since 2011, Madeline is a graphic designer, writer, iPhone photographer and road tripper.


  1. Hey, looks like you made a brave decision and a great one! Good for the Tribune and good for you too. And your son will thank you one day…

  2. Dear Madeline,

    Haven vacationed in Puerto Vallarta for so many years, I was not surprised to read what you wrote in your Editors Note. However, I was first dismayed, and later my blood began to boil, and finally my heart began to weep. Single women with children seem to be in the majority in Puerto Vallarta, with these women working at low paying jobs in order to support their children(s), that their men have abandoned.

    In America, some 86 percent of mothers are now single parents struggling to raise their children. It used to be the black mothers, but now the white mothers have caught up.

    I can understand your struggle, especially in a foreign country. I left home at 15 to get away from my family. I had two jobs, that supported me through my high school years. My middle school (junior high) sweetheart, when we got engaged, moved me into here parents home for a year until we got married. Instead of saving money as she had planned, I had to provide financial support for her family – so they could better take care of her.

    When we got married after one year of engagement, had a girl, and purchased a new house, my father told her that she was too good for me , told me that I spoiled my two children; my office co-workers told me that I spoiled my wife, and did not want their wives to meet her; my wife told me that she was smarter than me, and after many years of marriage, she said the other day that if we had married other partners, today she would marry me.

    Challenges such as these, are what builds character. My faults are that I think that men are cruel, and that mothers are the miracles of creation – you may take this as me being girl crazy. That has always been true. What saved me was meeting my wife at 12 years of age, marrying her at 19, and protecting and spoiling her and my three daughters ever since.

    Personally , although I like Puerto Vallarta, and at one time planned to purchase a condo and move there, I do not think that Mexico is economically stable and safe enough to live there full time – compared to my home city of San Francisco, and country of America.

Comments are closed.