An ancient Hindu story goes like this:
A master had a student who had never seen a cow nor tasted milk. But he knew that milk was nutritious. So he wanted to find a cow, milk it, and drink the milk. He went to his master and asked him, “Do you know anything about cows?”
The master answered, “Of course.” The student requested, “Please describe a cow to me.” So the master described a cow: “A cow has four legs. It is a tame, docile animal, not found in the forest but in villages. Its milk is white and is very good for your health.”
After this description the student went in search of a cow. On the way he came across a statue of a cow. He looked and thought, “This is surely what my master described to me.” By chance that day some people who lived nearby were whitewashing their house and there was a bucket of whitewash near the statue. The student saw it and concluded, “This must be that milk which they say is so good for you to drink.” He gulped down some of the whitewash, became terribly ill, and had to be taken to a hospital.
After he recovered he went back to his master and angrily charged, “You are no teacher!” His master asked, “What’s the matter?” The student replied, “Your description of a cow was not at all accurate.”
“What happened?” He explained, and the master asked, “Did you milk the cow yourself”? “No.” “That is why you suffered.”
Milk the Cow Yourself
The moral of the story and how it relates to living in Mexico generally and Lakeside specifically is that there is no substitute for your personal experience. Today there is a vast amount of information available online both positive and negative about almost any aspect of Mexico or Lakeside living, traveling, current events, etc. With ~10,000 baby boomers retiring daily, there are a plethora of websites and conferences touting the benefits of living abroad, along with countless blogs, many of which are excellent sources of information and others that are not. Social media is another source of information which is sometimes accurate and sometimes not.
In a recent article published in Forbes magazine, Chuck Bolotin, a Lakeside resident, tells the well known story of the blind man and the elephant with basically the same moral. When considering a move abroad, there is no substitute for your personal experience and analysis of any location as it relates to your lifestyle, budget limitations, risk tolerance, state of health, etc.
Living in a foreign country is very different from visiting, and with all its beauty and possibly lower cost of living, not everyone is comfortable living long-term outside of their home country. A country that suits one person’s lifestyle might be totally wrong for someone else or maybe you would be happier as a snowbird (those who come to escape cold winters) or sunbird (those who come to escape hot summers) spending part of the year abroad and keeping your home base. In the final analysis only you can know after a large dose of personal experience. Websites and blogs can be a great way to start your initial research, just be careful to take those that are incredibly positive or negative with a grain of salt and take the time to compare and contrast different points of view.
One of my favorite reliable Lakeside bloggers is Jim Cook of Jim and Carole’s Mexico Adventures. Jim and Carole have lived in Lakeside since 2007 and travel extensively throughout Mexico. Their blog is a serious research blog with a large world-wide following and extensive documentation about many cities and remote areas in Mexico. When planning internal trips in Mexico, I go to their website, check the Index of Topics on the right hand side of the front page and research the area/topic I’m interested in.
Let’s Wrap This Up
By Bette Brazel, Focus on Mexico Content Manager
Focus On Mexico offers 6-Day Educational Programs to Ajijic and Lake Chapala, Mexico. Join us and learn why thousands of Americans and Canadians chose to retire in Mexico. Our programs offer the perfect balance; a wonderful vacation and an insightful, educational experience. Our expert speakers cover all topics: Health Care, Real Estate, Legal System, Safety, Immigration, Assisted Living/Care Options, Bringing Pets, Cost of Living, US Taxes for Americans, Non-Residency for Canadians, Living on the Lakeside, Investing in Mexico, Mexican Economy and much more…