San Miguel de Allende


January 30, 2019

When Glenn retired in December 2017 and we moved to San Miguel in April 2018 we thought perhaps our social life would improve. Little prepared were we for the explosion!! Since we have arrived in San Miguel de Allende we have met a multitude of tremendous people, all interesting, vibrant and individual and each with their own story to tell. 

We have been lucky to meet many through our blog, which we didn’t expect but are thrilled that it has happened. Just about every week we have someone who is coming to visit or thinking of moving to San Miguel contact us asking if they can buy us a coffee and pick our brains while they are here. And we love it. Not every contact has turned out to be great friends, but every meeting is a nice opportunity to have an interesting conversation and find out about someone new and their story. 

Before we moved to San Miguel we were looking for a home to rent and put a notice on the San Miguel Renter’s Guide with Yahoo Groups. Within the first 45 minutes we had at least 18 people contact us with offers of their houses as possible landing spots. To our surprise we also had people say that they didn’t have a place for us to rent but liked our notice and our blog and wanted to meet us when we arrived to our new home town. Fabulous!!! 

We had only been here about a week and we organized a meet-up with several of the responders and had a great time learning about the ins and outs of life in San Miguel. We had also been sitting on a bench in Parque Juarez a couple of days after arriving and overheard a couple from the Bay Area talking so we started a conversation up, as one does when in San Miguel. They told us about a fun musical Sunday excursion to Zandunga and when we went and arrived a bit early we met a lovely couple waiting too. That brought together a fabulous afternoon, several more get togethers and a wonderful friendship.

That is how things happen in San Miguel. A chance encounter while standing in line at the grocery store, or sitting at a cafe table when someone asks if they can share it, or passing by the same person enough times that eventually you just have to stop them and have a chat. 

We have noticed that people do not play games in San Miguel. Most of the people we have met are very open to exploring lives with other people. And everyone shares their stories, which we love, as some of them are truly amazing, crazy and wildly fun. We have met people who have been in San Miguel for a week, and some have been here 30 years or more. 

Finding out information about every aspect of San Miguel, and Mexico is easy to do. In the USA you would never ask someone you just met about their personal business. And most people are wary of giving out too much information about themselves. Here it is an information free-for-all!!! Rents, doctors, language schools, restaurants, ailments, taxes and more are all immediately up for discussion and debate. 

People are also up for get-togethers. Want to go to a concert, check out a new restaurant or art gallery opening, go to a lecture and more, you will find someone to share the experience with you. Often times spontaneously!! 

The practice of making plans weeks in advance to fit something in to a busy schedule is a thing of the past for us. Most of our friends are retirees, many of them early ones. Some, like our friend Phyllis, work remotely only a few times a week. So there is free time to spare. But, that free time gets filled with all of the amazing cultural opportunities available in San Miguel. It isn’t a hectic life for us though. We have settled into a nice life pace that fits us beautifully, and is conducive to our better health. We have days when we don’t leave the house, when we just mellow out reading our Kindles or Glenn tries making a new recipe. Then there are full days when friends and outings call to us. We have never been happier. 

Not all of our friends are gringos, Glenn and I know a lovely couple from when he lived here in 2005 and we have started an excellent friendship with our housekeeper, Josefina among a few others. With our limited, but improving Spanish, it can be a challenge at times. But hand signals and facial expressions are universal. Glenn has travelled through Latin America extensively so he is much better than I am and I rely on him for most of our Spanish conversations.

We pinch ourselves daily that we have been able to develop such a wonderful existence. It took a lot of hard work and some extremely wise decisions to get here. We couldn’t have done it if Glenn hadn’t bought his house when he did in an up-and-coming area of Oakland which increased in value when we sold. Or if he hadn’t made the basement into an in-law apartment to rent out. And all the other elements that have lead to this move. 

San Miguel is truly a magical place for us and it has been made more so due to the wonderful relationships that we have made and the incredible social calendar it offers. 

Although off to the Yucatan for 2 months, we are already making plans with our friends for excursions and more good times when we return. That is life in San Miguel de Allende, and we love it.

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