After traveling an incredible amount this summer, we have returned to our part-time home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Our entire family has been looking forward to slowing down this winter as we settle in for a six-month travel hiatus. While jetting around the world with a family is incredibly fun, rewarding, and provides a rich learning experience for all of us, traveling so much does take its toll. Burn out can happen quickly when we don’t allow for enough downtime. That is why we are excited to spend the winter in one spot, digging deep into the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende!
We are also doing an incredible amount of research for the Family Adventure Summit while we are here. San Miguel de Allende is the 2018 location for the Family Adventure Summit which will be held October 30th to November 2nd, over the Day of the Dead! We have been busy finding local venues, making local contacts, and doing a ton of research to make next year’s Summit as amazing as the 2017 Family Adventure Summit was!
I have been sharing much of the fun we have been having in SMA in my Weekly NOW email series. If you would like to sign up to receive the weekly email to hear about more our projects, travels, and learnings, you can do so here. The following excerpts have been taking from my Weekly NOW emails.
Creating and Nurturing Community
We arrived back home to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and we are loving being back here! The community is fantastic, and there are even more of our friends here now than last time. It also feels good to be in our own space again.
This week, we’ve enjoyed meals with friends. I went to a Dad’s night and hung out with some great guys. The kids played with friends all morning one day. We’ve enjoyed time at the park. It feels great to be surrounded by so many awesome and supportive people.
We also took an Uber for one hour (or more) each way to the city of Queretaro to visit Costco! This is the first time in years we’ve been in a Costco, but we’ll be here in Mexico for the next six months, and it was great to find so many supplies that we can’t easily find elsewhere. And it appears they have online ordering so we likely won’t have to make the trip again when we want to restock!
In short, we’re excited to be back home, excited to continue making improvements to our house, and excited to get back into classes and eat more of the great food around here. And we’re excited that next week, my mom and sister are coming to celebrate Day of the Dead with us! (And I’m excited that next year, the Family Adventure Summit will be held here over Day of the Dead!)
Lesson: Good friends and family are so important to well-being. Of course, I also appreciate and need my alone time. But investing in building relationships has great rewards. Which relationships in your life do you want to foster more this week?
Celebrating the Day of the Dead
It’s Day of the Dead Week! And it’s been amazing! We had my sister’s family and here visiting us in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico all week and we had a fantastic time!
It started with watching the new Disney/Pixar movie called Coco about Day of the Dead in the local (and very nice) theater here. This movie is not yet available in the U.S. but was released one month earlier in Mexico, so we were thrilled we got to see it this week. (By the way, movie tickets here cost around $1.92 USD – even less than a large bag of enchilada flavored popcorn.)
We watched the movie in Spanish without subtitles, but we all got the gist, and many of us were bawling by the end. I didn’t think I’d like the show, as the previews looked a bit surface-level and cliché. I didn’t see how Disney could top the other Day of the Dead film, Book of Life, which I loved. However, Coco went into so much more depth about the purpose of Day of the Dead, how and why it’s celebrated, and I feel like it brought the culture of Mexico to the forefront much more fully than did Book of Life. So Coco is my new favorite Day of the Dead film.
Later in the week, we toured the local cemetery with a guide who explained the history and symbolisms of this holiday, and gave us an even deeper appreciation of the beautiful celebration that transpires here each year. And of course, the whole town is alive with markets, music, dances, flowers, decorations, altars to loved ones, painted faces, and people dressed like catrinas and catrins.
I am so excited to be able to share this holiday with the families who will be attending our Family Adventure Summit conference next year! We already have 197 people registered, and it’s still a year away! There are only a few early bird tickets left, so be sure to get yours now if you’re thinking of coming.
Lesson: Every culture has a different way of thinking about and dealing with death. And the Mexican way made me want to take more time to appreciate those I have loved who are no longer here, and to more fully treasure those who are still with me. How will you better treasure and appreciate the important people in your life this week?
Exploring El Charco Botanic Gardens
This week, we planned fun outing with our friends to the El Charco Botanic Gardens in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We had never been before, but really enjoyed our time.
San Miguel is a desert climate, and most of the plants in the garden are cacti, mesquite, and succulents, all of which have their own interesting beauty. There is a beautiful canyon with a lake, large rocks to climb, and fun paths to explore. There were also interesting insects like grasshoppers, spiders, and ants to watch.
It felt great to be out in nature, in the fresh air away from the city, even though it’s just a 15-minute drive from our house. The kids had fun exploring and playing together. And the adults had great conversation while walking through the gardens. Afterward, we enjoyed their cafe and fed our family a delicious meal of green enchiladas, ham and cheese crepes, and green juice for only $17 total. (I love Mexican food prices!)
Lesson: Living in a city, and especially in a house without an actual yard, it’s important for me to get out and enjoy nature regularly. It rejuvenates my senses and helps me feel more alive. Do you spend enough time in nature? If not, when will you go next?