Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Packing for My Trip Back to Mexico

It is almost time for me to return to my home in Mexico. These days have flown by. I have met many people and heard some wonderful and some awful stories. Yesterday in the pool I talked with a man who said his brother had been kidnapped in Mexico City and the family paid ten thousand dollars to get him back. Fortunately, he was returned alive. I had just told this man that most of the violence in Mexico wasn't against the American tourists. His brother was an American tourist. No one was ever caught for this crime.  They were told to just pay the ransom and forget about it. How can an experience like that be forgotten?  Bad things happen everywhere as we all know, even just sitting in a movie theater. Safety is an illusion.  We do the best we can to feel safe and then we have to leave things up to a higher power.

My son and daughter-in-law are driving to the beach for a couple of days. I opted out. I think they need to have some time alone for a few days. I hate car trips. And why would I want to go to a cold beach? The weather is going to be twenty degrees colder there than in Portland. I will spend this time swimming at the gym and obsessing over my suitcases.

What to take back to Mexico? Before I came here, I obsessed about what to pack. I wanted to take everything, all of Mexico for my family to see and enjoy. And now, on my way home, I want to do the same thing. I want to pack all of Portland into my suitcases to have with me in Mexico. I want all the advantages of both countries.

There is so much wealth here. The yard sales are gold mines for me. Unfortunately, I am also taking back stuff for many of my friends. Small things mushroomed into larger things and now my suitcases are already almost full. I even considered paying for a third suitcase. On U.S. Airways, the first suitcase is 25 dollars, the second is 35 and the third is 135 dollars. They really don't want you taking a third suitcase. So these next few days will be focused on what I have to leave here. I certainly can't dump things I have promised to take back for my friends. Next trip......I will sneak out of Mexico so I can have all this suitcase space to myself....... (I always say this and never do it.)  

All this thought on THINGS is just a way for me to try to manage my anxieties. I won't be seeing my son and daughter-in-law probably for another year. (No more trips to Portland in the winter time for me.) It is easier to focus on not being able to take back that extra pair of shoes than it is to think about not seeing my loved ones for a year. This is the hardest part for me of living in a foreign country. No physical contact with my family. Sure, skype is a blessing but that can't replace actually being with loved ones. 

When I get to feeling teary eyed about leaving them, I project myself into living here so I can be near them. I realize then that it would never work. There is no way I can afford the quality of life here that I have in Mexico. I think I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I get terribly depressed when the sun doesn't come out. So, that isn't an option for me. I will just have to continue going through these separation anxieties and enjoy these last few days as much as I can. But at least after writing all this out, I maybe can remember WHY I get so obsessed about this suitcase packing and laugh at myself instead of taking it so seriously.  I think the key here is FAITH. Faith that there is a power greater than myself, call that power whatever you like, but there is help. I am not traveling alone.


  1. Amen to that. I hear you. I hate goodbyes. I hate being so far away from my loved ones too. My daughter is having my first grandbaby in 2 weeks. And yes, I will be there.. but I know ahead I am going to have to say goodbye and leave again.

    But.. God.. has also called me to Mexico and wants to use me there. "The Bigger Picture", I keep on telling myself.

    I want you to know that I really enjoy your blog. I am guilty of reading it and not commenting; in fact, this is my very first comment and I have been reading for a while now. I am so sorry for that. I will try to be better about that from this point on. But today, I heard you. I heard your heart.

    Please know that I will pray for you these next few days. It will be hard, and this trial of faith will test you. But- as you said, God is with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Faith is a funny thing. It is a GIFT of God, but it also comes from hearing the Word of God. Spend some time in the Word ALOT the next few days. Enjoy Him and HIs presence. He will strengthen you.

    1. Thank you Barbara, I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. P

  2. Hi Patty,
    By the way,My best girl friends name is Patty.

    I hear you! You are right about You never along.
    When you have fate and trust in something higher then human being,it dos not matter,we call them,

    Its all depend on your ability to connect with
    your own God .
    Let it go,what ever that might be,bother some to you.
    Be free of all your worry.
    Hand all to your own God!!

    Chico is waiting for you!
    Home is where your heart is.

    Have safe trip.
    Take care. min VA

    1. Thank you Min. I appreciate your kind words. P

  3. Pat, I read your blog faithfully and have commented a few times. When I read your blog today, it resonated in a very different way from how it has in the past. I was just laid off from my job of 17 years and I am 61.5 years old. I am devastated and frightened to death.

    I lived in México many years ago for a couple of years and return almost every year to visit friends, etc. It seems that my idea of returning to México to live when I retire may be happening much sooner than I imagined.

    The thought of selling everything I own and whittling it all down to a few suitcases is daunting, but I know many people, including you, have done this. I don't have a ton of money, nor will I have much more than SS when I really do retire. I am shaken to the core, but reading your stories and seeing your life give me great hope. I also suffer from pretty extreme anxiety and am a bit prone to get depressed. This situation is literally driving me crazy. Something tells me you probably understand.

    My good friends from México happen to be visiting here in a week or so. How timely for me. I am wondering what questions I need to ask them. So much worry floods my mind; I hardly know where to begin. My health insurance ends Aug 31 and I am struggling with some disability still (the reason I lost my job--they say I'm not fired--but I have no job).

    I won't whine any more here, but I just wanted you to know how much your honesty and faithfulness to your blog have helped me to believe there may be a future for me. Thank you for that. I speak Spanish fluently, so at least that will make many things easier.

    1. Thank you so much for trusting me enough to tell me about your life and your fears and worries. I TOTALLY understand. Since you speak fluent Spanish and you say you are on a limited budget, I would suggest that you look for a place outside of the main Lakeside area. Maybe even a different location entirely. Or maybe just on the other side of the lake where things are less expensive. I don't think you can get all the information you need unless you actually go there yourself to check it out. Please keep me informed and when you come down, maybe we can meet up. Good luck. Have faith that things are turning in the right direction for you. p

    2. To La Cubanofila: If you were married at least 10 years and are divorced, you can get Social Security spousal support from his account if it's more than yours. If he passed away you can apply for his SS.

    3. Thank you Donna. Very interesting information. P

  4. Hi Patricia,
    Just dropped in to wish you a good trip back! I know it is hard to pack for any trip...there have even been times when I thought it wasn't worth it! But I was wrong, it's so worth it to travel, especially when you get to see loved ones!
    Enjoy the last few days in the U.S. Hope you have good weather!
    Karen in VA

    1. HI Karen, Thank you for the good wishes. Today was beautiful up here. Did you check out Que Hora Es? On you tube? Thought you would enjoy those skits. P

  5. Hi Pat:
    Once you are back in your Mexican abode you will settle in again just like every time before. You are on your way back and part of my family our on their way to live in Chapala area. Life is not a straight line!
    Safe travels. xoxo P.

    1. Thank you P. I appreciate your good wishes. I think we all get nervous when we have to travel or when the ones we love are traveling. patricia