Why, hello! Actually, an “hola” would be more appropriate as… we’re now in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico! Yes, the rumors are true: Mango and I are back on the road, this time with a baby in tow. And life doesn’t get more exciting than this.
Since my last post ten months ago, time has flown by, passing faster than a proton in a particle accelerator. It’s hard to believe my sweet baby Britt will soon be a whole year old. A year old, where did my 4-pound preemie go? (Don’t think I’m not planning a big fiesta, Mexican-style.) These months have been the best of my life, the most challenging, happy, and rewarding yet, and life gets better with each passing day. I’m grateful to be in the company of this amazing little soul I call Britt. While I’m nowhere close to being a perfect parent, I’m proud of how well I’ve managed on my own and vow every day to work my hardest to be the best damn mama I can be.
This past year with Britt has been a whirlwind of joy and I’ll always treasure this time we’ve spent together (fun fact: Britt’s been using the potty since she was five weeks old adjusted). In an attempt to preserve our little life in amber, I started an online journal with words and photos of our life, laurieandbritt.com (this project is more for myself than anyone, because who wants to read the tedious drivel of a sleep-deprived new mama?). My passion for writing never wavered with Britt’s arrival and I’ve looked forward to returning to writing on this blog and continuing to explore the urban world. To achieve a balanced life where I could pursue my passions, provide Britt with excellent childcare, and live on a budget, something in our life had to give. But what? When I bumped into a single mama friend in February who told me about her plans to move to Mexico, I saw it as a sign from above: move abroad, Laurie. And just like that, I decided Britt, Mango, and I’d move to Mexico; within a few months, our life in Portland was packed into a few oversize cardboard boxes that’d accompany us south. Now we’ve been here a few months and are happily settling into our new life, after ironing out some arrival issues. Britt has a wonderful Spanish-speaking nanny, I have more of the support I need to raise Britt, housing and childcare easily fit into our limited budget, and life is generally more balanced and pleasant.
And San Miguel de Allende? This charming colonial city founded in the 1500s is full of architecture ranging from Baroque to colonial to Gothic with “the historic center remain[ing] much as it was 250 years ago” when most of it was built. In 2008, UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site, increasing its travel destination profile so much that Travel + Leisure readers voted it the best city in the world twice. Today the city is full of posh hotels, shops, and restaurants catering to droves of wealthy Mexican and foreign tourists, but part of SMA remains a humble mecca to artists, writers, retirees, and more from all corners of the world. My favorite part of the city, of course, is the historic car-free Centro, a lovely spot where locals camp out on cast iron park benches under lush, sculpted shade trees to watch tourists taking selfies with the pink Parroquia or buying souvenirs from colorful vendors wandering about.
While I’m enjoying SMA, an increase in violence and the abysmal water quality here have me wondering how long we’ll stay. (I’d be lying if I said returning to Croatia hasn’t crossed my mind.) As long as we’re here, though, we’ll be soaking up this colorful little Mexican life of ours and exploring urban curiosities, such as a semi-abandoned Mexican strip mall with the most gorgeous architectural details you’ve ever seen to what parts of the city would look like without cars to scenes from our hipster neighborhood of Guadalupe.
And just like that, we’re baaaaaaack.
Topics to explore:
Photos from our Semana Santa visit:
Top three images of us by Mukasha (@MukashaPhotography), bottom five images of us by Andrea of Shootvenirs