Ready to Escape the Rat Race and Thrive in a New Life in Mexico?
Many American and Canadian Expats Spend 1000s of Dollars and Years Setting Up a House and a Life in Mexico, Only to Discover that They Can’t Successfully Adapt to a New Life in Mexico and Return Home.
Many Other Expats Learn to Appreciate and Enjoy Mexico’s Relaxed Pace and Fun-Loving Spirit and Find, Like Me, Mexico Is the Perfect Place to Live Out the Next Chapter In Their Life
I Am Dedicated to Helping You Be One of the Expats Who Thrive and Love Living In Mexico As Much as I Do.
Take The Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop and Find Out If You Have What It Takes to Thrive in Mexico. If So, Discover the Best Place to Live in Mexico For You and How to Adapt and Make Mexico the Perfect Place for You.
“Mexican food is so good, you’d think the real immigration problem would be fat guys like me sneaking across the border into Mexico.“
Want to Thrive in Mexico?
Take Fifty Plus Nomad’s “Living and Traveling in Mexico” Workshop
I have known many expats that spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on setting up their life in Mexico, only to discover that they don’t like living in Mexico after all and blame Mexico for their frustrations.
The reason for their disillusion: Mexico is more different from the US than they thought. Things can take a long time to get done, the bureaucracy can be stifling, and locals (particularly those who speak English) can take advantage of expats.
The expats who succeed in living in Mexico invest time and money to learn the culture and language and realize that Mexico is not better or worse than the US but is different. They also know that they will have culture shock and need to take the time to work through culture shock when it occurs.
Don’t you think your Mexican dream is worth a little time and a small investment to learn what it takes to be happy here? Then, you need to attend my one-on-one Traveling and Living in Mexico Workshop.
Mexico is my new home and will probably remain so for the rest of my life. I don’t want to live in the US again. I have a network of local and expat friends and have grown to enjoy Mexico’s slower-paced, more human pace and vibe.
My success here is because I have studied Mexican culture, history, society, and Spanish since I was a teenager, and I feel comfortable here. Let me help you learn the culture and language necessary to feel comfortable here.
While attending the Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop online or at my home in Merida, Mexico, we will develop an individualized plan for you to live or travel long-term in Mexico. We will also explore everything you need to successfully adapt to living or long-term traveling in Mexico based on your personality, interests, and goals.
While we will discuss some logistics of setting up life in Mexico (real estate, visas, etc.), the bulk of the class will address what my experience shows is most important to develop a happy life in Mexico: Understanding and Adapting to a New Culture and Lifestyle.
I will do everything possible to ensure that your small investment in my workshop will be one of the best decisions of your life.
While we will talk about anything you like, the Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop can address the following topics:
- Determining whether you want to live or travel long-term in Mexico (or both).
- Avoiding typical mistakes expat retirees make.
- Discussing if you should buy or rent a home and have a car in Mexico.
- Unearthing dozens of insider secrets for making your own perfect Mexican experience.
- Figuring out where you want to live in Mexico.
- Learning how to adjust and succeed in living in Mexico.
- Exploring the differences and similarities between American and Mexican culture, society, and history.
- Planning a long-term travel itinerary around Mexico that matches your tastes and personality.
- The logistics of settling down as an expat retiree in Mexico, including costs, real estate, food, daily expat life, legal issues, etc.
- How to learn Spanish efficiently and successfully.
- Understanding Mexican history, economics, politics, culture, art, food, and the legal system.
- Exploring what daily expat life is like in Mexico and what you can do to make the most of your time as a retiree in Mexico.
- Understanding culture shock and how to successfully overcome its challenges.
The Fifty Plus Nomad Workshop Motto
In the living room of my house, where most of my classes are held, I had a sign made that reflects my personal motto about living and traveling abroad and learning a foreign language: Equally Logical But Different.
I first saw this motto in a classroom when I attended a 3-day orientation for Youth for Understanding summer exchange students in Japan at Stanford University. The orientation instructors kept pointing to the sign whenever they would explain how the Japanese looked at the world differently than Americans. The motto stuck in my brain more than anything I learned in school and has shaped my worldview immensely, even to this day.
My interpretation of the motto is that every culture, language, and society makes sense if you study its history, geographical situation, and economics. Traveling around the world, I discovered that most of the world’s cultures are actually more different than most people realize, but they are also well suited to the needs of their population.
Once you have enough background about a country or language, every culture seems logical and understandable. You just have to try to put yourself into the shoes of another group of people, and it is not that hard to understand their behavior.
In addition, I have learned that there are many things from different cultures that I try to integrate into my own life and that many things I treasure about a place are often undervalued by locals themselves.
I often refer to the motto in my classes. It is a philosophy that has guided me through a lifetime of discoveries about myself and the world. I hope my motto will also help my students as well to create a dream life on the road or living abroad.
How Much Does the Course Cost? What Does the Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop Include?
The workshop lasts between 10 and 20 hours and costs $25 per hour (Mexican Peso $500; CA$ 32.50).
I am also available for individual consultation for $25 per hour. If interested, contact me directly.
Workshops are available online and in person at my home, Casa Los Dos Gallos, in Merida, Mexico. The workshop is the same cost for up to 3 people.
The 20-hour workshop covers all the topics listed above. The workshop hours and cost can be reduced if you already know some of the topics listed above (particularly where you want to live and/or travel in Mexico). There are about 10 hours of workshop content that, after talking to 100s of expats worldwide and studying expat life for 15 years, everyone should know before moving or traveling around Mexico long-term.
If you are interested in taking the workshop, sign up below for a free introductory session. During the session, we will talk about your interests, needs, and goals and decide together what your personalized workshop will cover and how long the workshop should be.
The introductory session lasts between 45 minutes and 2 hours. You are not obligated to take the workshop after you finish the introductory session.
You can arrange to take the Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop according to your timetable. You can take the course as a one to three-day intensive course or simply take a one-hour session per week over several months. Since the workshop is designed for you, we can accommodate most schedules.
If possible, I recommend most people take the Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop in Merida. That way, we can use Merida as a “real-life” classroom to supplement the lessons. In addition, you will be able to concentrate on the course without the distraction of your hectic home life.
If you attend our Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop in person at the Casa Los Dos Gallos in Merida, you’ll also receive the following:
- Two free tourist activities including possible visits to 19th-century henequin haciendas, cenotes (underground pools), beaches, nature reserves, restaurants, markets, museums, and cultural venues.
- Free airport pickup from Merida airport.
- A free Rustic Home Cooked Yucatan Meal.
- Access to my knowledge of air travel to help you find the best way to travel to and from Merida for your dollar and schedule.
Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop participants can also take:
- 100 hours of one-on-one Spanish instruction online or in-person for a $500 discount.
- The “Survival Spanish for Travelers” Workshop for $US 250. (A $US 750 value)
- The “Survival Spanish for Expats” Workshop for $US 700. (A $US 1200 value).
Why is the Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop 10-20 Hours Long?
Mexican culture, history, and society are complex and very different from the US and Canada. Every day, I see expats make costly and painful mistakes because they don’t know enough about Mexican society and culture.
I have designed the Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop so that you can avoid these mistakes and make the most out of your experiences. I could quickly expand this into a 50 or 100-hour class, but I find it hard to cut much of the material. Any shorter time will not allow us enough time to cover the material adequately.
If you are reluctant to spend this much time, I would recommend that you ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you willing to potentially put thousands of dollars and hours into establishing a new life in Mexico but won’t invest in learning what it takes to thrive in Mexico after settling here?
- Why don’t you want to invest a short time and money into finding out if living in Mexico is suitable for you in the first place?
Don’t Have Enough Time to Take Our “Living and Traveling in Mexico” Workshop?
The Yucatan Culture and Society Workshop is three hours long. It covers some of the most basic skills expats and travelers should understand to feel comfortable in Yucatan and Mexico.
The Yucatan Experience Package and the Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop are designed around your interests and needs. I come prepared to present many different topics and will cater the workshop to whatever you want to discuss.
If you intend to live in Mexico (including in the Yucatan), I recommend taking the Living and Traveling Workshop instead of the Yucatan Culture and Society Workshop. Three hours is not enough to cover what you need to know to successfully transition to a new life in Mexico or the Yucatan.
However, the Yucatan Culture and Society Workshop will give you a taste of some of the issues you need to explore further to make the most out of your new life in Mexico. It also provides an excellent opportunity, especially when accompanied by the Rustic Home-Cooked Yucatan Meal, to enhance your understanding and appreciation for what makes the Yucatan so unique.
Study at Casa Los Dos Gallos
Casa Los Dos Gallos (built around 1900) is a comfortable, recently renovated, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house (around 1400 square feet, 150 square meters) complete with modern appliances, tile floors, mamposteria (stone) walls, tiled floors, and antique, wooden carved doors. The house is in Merida’s trendy Parque Mejorada area within a five to fifteen WALK of Centro’s major attractions, restaurants, and shops.
Everyone who enters the Casa Los Dos Gallos comments on the house’s decoration. One of the things I love about Mexico is the country’s joyful quirkiness. I hope the house captures this spirit and look forward to sharing the house with students.
I love Mexican popular art and spent the first three years after buying the house collecting various pieces of art representing the diversity of Mexican regions, artists, and artistic mediums. Some of the objet d’art are elaborate and expensive, and others are simple and inexpensive. I enjoy mixing and matching art objects in unusual and, hopefully, fun combinations.
I also contracted an extremely skilled designer. He know what I wanted without even having to discuss it with me. Often, I would leave for a couple of weeks and return home to a completely revamped bathroom or bedroom. Even though his services were not cheap, I am glad that I trusted him to deliver a product that was totally different but better than I imagined.
The Main House
Classes take place in the main house. Students have access to the kitchen and high-speed WiFi. All the areas used by students have air conditioning and fans and seldom get very hot.
Bright, ventilated areas. Classes and workshops are also held outdoors, weather permitting.
More About Paul Heller, the Workshop Teacher
Pick my brain. I (Paul Heller) love Mexico and have extensive experience to help you design your perfect life (or long-term travels) in Mexico, including having:
- Spent nearly two years traveling around Mexico and visited 27 of the 31 states. I started traveling in Mexico in my childhood and have witnessed the extensive changes in the country over that time.
- Lived in Mexico (Merida) for more than six years.
- Talked to hundreds of expats in Mexico as part of my research for my seminars.
- Stayed in ten Mexican families throughout the country and participated in their daily lives and struggles.
- Read over a hundred books about Mexican society, economics, politics, history, and culture and have taken many classes about Mexico.
- Studied Spanish using many different techniques for more than forty years. I know firsthand the advantages and disadvantages of most language learning methodologies and can match you with the methods that suit your needs.
- Researched every aspect of Mexican history, culture, politics, and economics to be an expert on how living in Mexico differ from the US and Canada.
- Reviewed around fifty books on living and traveling in Mexico and can provide you with many secrets to succeeding in Mexico that these books can’t.
- Lived for a month each in most major expat communities in Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta, Baja’s Cabo region, Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, Merida, and Oaxaca.
In the future, I will partner with other expats throughout Mexico (any suggested partners?) to teach in their communities about logistics, such as buying or renting a home, getting your home repaired, getting visas, and banking. (Some possible places include Cancun and the Maya Riviera, Merida and the beach communities, Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita, the Cabo region of Baja, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, and Oaxaca).
Stay at Our Onsite Casita Lobita at a Discounted Rate During Your Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop
You can also spend the week at the Casita Lobita, which is at the back of my house, for $100 a week, 33% less than what is offered on Airbnb.
Casita Lobita is a beautifully decorated, quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of downtown (Centro) Mérida, Mexico.
A ten-minute walk from the City’s historic Plaza Principal (Main Plaza), Casita Lobita is equipped with everything you could need for a comfortable stay, including:
- A kitchenette with a coffee maker, plates, utensils, cups, and glasses
- A new air conditioning and fans
- High-speed internet access, a new TV (with Netflix), and a telephone
- A private bathroom (with a shower).
Though guests have to enter through the main house to get to the Casita, guests also have easy access to a large, fully equipped kitchen, an enclosed patio, a terrace, a laundry area, and a garden. In addition, the areas of the house that get the most traffic are separate from the areas guests need to pass through to get to the Casita.
Paul Heller and his Yucatecan friend and house manager, Juan Carlos Cab, enjoy getting to know their guests (if desired) and helping them get the most out of their stay in Merida. Breakfasts are also available upon request.
Guests will also be greeted by and get to know the world’s sweetest and most mellow dog, Lobita, which means little wolf in English. (The Casita is named Casita Lobita in her honor).
If you are taking the workshop, you can rent Casita Lobita directly through Paul Heller, the owner, for a substantially discounted fee. If not, you can rent the Casita directly from Paul Heller (email@example.com) or through Airbnb.
Note: Smoking is permitted on the patio.
Casita Lobita is Perfectly Located in the La Mejorada Neighborhood
In recent years, La Mejorada has come to life. New bars and restaurants, cultural centers, museums, public offices, music schools, and university campuses have converted La Mejorada into an upcoming cultural mecca with its personality and identity. Casa Los Dos Gallos is in the heart of the La Mejorada neighborhood.
Mérida, recently designated as the twelfth best city for travelers worldwide by Travel and Leisure magazine readers, is a city of about a million people. It is also known as Mexico’s safest big city, North America’s third-largest colonial city, and a rapidly growing home for expats and wealthy Mexicans from other parts of the republic.
The Maya World
Merida is an excellent base to explore the Yucatan Peninsula’s ancient Mayan ruins. Experience the temples and pyramids, including Dzibilchaltun. Dzibilchaltun receives hundreds of visitors to see how the sunrise peeks through the temple door during the vernal equinox.
300 years of history
Merida’s colonial architecture from the 16th to 19th centuries is still well preserved. The main avenue running through the City, Paseo de Montejo, is lined with colonial buildings. The Plaza Principal features the murals of the Governor’s Palace, the cathedral, and the Casa de Montejo, Merida’s 16th-century founder.
American capital of culture
Merida arose from merging three significant cultures: Mayan, Spanish, and Lebanese, giving it a unique personality, architecture, cuisine, and people. Nouveau and Art Deco) buildings coexist in harmony.
THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AWAITS
With Mérida as your base, you can visit the peninsula’s world-class cathedrals and churches, Maya archaeological sites, museums, beaches, haciendas, and cenotes.
A coastal town in the Northeastern Yucatan peninsula retains its quiet fishing village atmosphere. Here you can take a boat to spot flamingos and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
The Mexican government identifies several communities throughout Mexico as “pueblos magícos” or “magical villages.” Among them are Izamal and Valladolid, which feature the region’s rich Mayan heritage and the legacy of the former Spanish colonial period.
Farther afield from Mérida, visit take two routes to discover the Yucatan’s historic haciendas. The haciendas grew a special species of agave (fourcroydes). The spines of these agave plants’ leaves produced henequen, the world’s strongest natural fiber. The fiber created ropes and cords used throughout the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Known to the Mayas as “dzonot,” cenotes are natural caverns filled with fresh-water pools, where permeable limestone bedrock allows rainwater to filter slowly through the ground, creating underground rivers and pools. Experts estimate that more than 7,000 cenotes have formed under the Yucatan Peninsula; the Mayans considered them to be sacred since, in the past, they were the only source of freshwater.
While Dzilbalchaltun is an above-ground cenote, most of the cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula are located in caves and are usually at least one hour from Mérida. The Cenote Hubiku pictured here is one of the most popular cenotes in the Yucatan. Hubiku is located about one and a half hours from Merida and half an hour from Valladolid.
Located in Yucatan, appointed by UNESCO as a World Heritage and considered one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Chichen Itza covers an area of 6.5 square kilometers. The south part of Chichen Itza dates back to the VII century and shows the Maya Puuc construction style. The central area, built after the arrival of the Toltecs around the 10th century, is a fusion of the Puuc architectural styles and the Toltec culture from Mexico’s Central Highlands.
Uxmal, located 62 kilometers south of Mérida, is one of the most important Classical period Mayan archaeological sites. UNESCO named Uxmal a World-Heritage Site for its amazing Puuc-style ornamental friezes and enormous pyramids.
Want to Know More About Living and Traveling in Mexico?
In addition to attending my Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop, I recommend reading some of my favorite books about living and traveling in Mexico:
- The People’s Guide to Mexico (unfortunately out of print since 2012)
- Todavía México: Life Beyond the Border and The View from Casa Chepitos: A Journey Beyond the Border by Judith Gille
- On Mexico Time and Mexican Days by Tony Cohan.
- Mañana Forever: Mexico and the Mexicans by Jorge Castañeda (fascinating and insightful, but I can’t entirely agree with all his conclusions).
- Even though the book is from 2013 and is ostensibly only about living in Lake Chapala, the best book about the logistics of living in Mexico is Living at Lake Chapala: Live the Adventure at Lake Chapala by Judy King.
- Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path and San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart by John Scherber.
- Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico by Barry Golson