Is Chapala Paradise?

Is Chapala paradise?

It depends.

But before we delve into this weighty question, I’d like to fill in a page from our prior post about Sundays on the malecon.

Meet Wilbur and Carol. These two stately caballos grace the malecon most days of the weeks. Sometimes only Wilbur is there; other times, only Carol. Sometimes both.

Wilbur and Carol are our names for the two horses, given that “Wilbur” looks a lot like the leading character from one of my childhood favorite television shows, Mr. Ed. But, of course, this cannot be Mr. Ed. Horses don’t live that long. So, they’re named (by me) for the two owners of Mr. Ed.

A handsome couple, don’t ya think???

Ah, yes, now onto the question of the day. Is Chapala paradise?

There’s been some discussion of this very question around these parts lately, with several definitive “no” answers being strongly asserted.

To our minds, it’s all a matter of perception. If we interpret the word “paradise” as perfection, such as in the Garden of Eden or Shangri-La, then the answer is clearly no. We concede.

Living in Chapala is indeed not living in perfection.

Yes, there are certainly “problems” here. And adjustments aplenty to be made from life in the U.S. or in Canada (or so our Canadian friends here tell us–we have not personal experience to rely on).

If adapting life to fit into a different culture, with “rules” of social and commercial exchange being markedly different from those of Mexico’s northern neighbors, will be a problem for anyone considering expatriation here, it WILL be a problem.

Driving is different; shopping is different; infrastructure is different; housing is different; language is different; history is different; law is different.

In short, if someone expatriates here thinking to re-create their life in the States or Canada, that someone is going to be sorely disappointed.

Yet, despite this, for us, Chapala is paradise.

Back to that matter of perspective. After careful consideration, much research, and an exploratory trip with much interaction with fellow expats already here, we chose to make the leap.

Has it been easy? No. Has it been difficult? No. Has it been different from our life in the States? Most definitely yes.

The factors that make this paradise for us are many: the climate (pretty much 60 to 80 year round); the cost of living; the culture of Mexico; the food; the sheer beauty of the terrain; the infrastructure (phone, internet);  the laid-back way of life; the friendliness of public interaction; the emphasis on people and relationships.

So yes, for us, Chapala is paradise. Is it the only one on this blue planet? Definitely not.

We suggest you find your own. Paradise is what you make it.

Here, we have Wilbur and Carol. And we’re happy. That’s quite enough.

All the best to you, Bob and Bonita

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