These are the Happy Highlights and Lowest Lowlights

It has been a whirlwind of a year! Even though it has been incredible, there have also been some lows. When you move your household and/or travel with kids, there bound to be highlights and lowlights. Just like with normal life. That doesn’t change just by moving somewhere new.

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A statue of an octopus raised up on an artistic pole of sorts

The artwork in Puerto Vallarta (and all over Mexico) is awesome.

Highlights of 2017

This is probably obvious, but moving to Mexico is a major highlight of the year! Since moving, we have made a lot of friends, visited many sights within a few hours of our home, and we took our kids on their first trip to see the ocean. I also love our house!

Bringing our dogs to live with us in Mexico is also a highlight. Though I was worried about them during their three day road trip (and my lovely friend who drove them across the US and into Mexico), I am grateful the trip was possible.

Another highlight for the year was interviewing Asia Citro, author of the Zoey & Sassafras series (you can click there to order the first book and also support this website). This series is a wonderful series aimed for kids ages 5-9, featuring a young girl as our heroine and her sidekick cat. Together, they help magical creatures using real scientific methods. My kids love the series. To be candid, so do I.

Some days were good. Some were “nerf dart in your eye” kind of days!

Even with all the traveling we did, coming home for Christmas was absolutely wonderful. Everything felt normal and it was as if we never left. Really, driving to our hotel on the night we landed, it felt like I’d woken up from a 7 month long dream.

Lowlights of 2017

While it doesn’t make sense that moving to Mexico can be both a highlight and a lowlight, it certainly was because moving to a new country causes a roller coaster of emotions. First, we had the hell of packing up our house and second, we struggled emotionally for the first month or two. We missed our friends and family.

A picture of the Pacific ocean, it's blue and the foamy white wave is rolling in. This was one of the highlights!

One of the highlights: seeing the beach twice in one year!

My grandmother turned 100 (a highlight) and then passed away two months later. My relationship with her was complicated, even so I was sad to not be there. I “attended” her funeral via video chat.

Overall, 2017 was a decent year of us

I feel like we are reasonably well settled in Mexico. All of us are learning Spanish, albeit slowly. We are traveling frequently, which is exciting. I’ve been so pleased that we have gotten to see a lot of less touristy places, like Los Pozos and the Santa Brigida mine.

Miles Traveled: approximately 10,000

Here’s to 2018

One of the things I want to do the most is to see the monarch butterfly sanctuary. There are several and I have to figure out which one we want to see. The butterflies are best viewed between late November and February. As you may know, especially if you watch Wild Kratts, North Americans monarchs fly from their northern locations all the way to Mexico and winter in a forest here. I happen to live near this location.

It is very likely that we will visit Cancun within the first 6 months of the year. My husband suggested last November that we try to visit all of Mexico’s World Heritage sites, like Chichen Itza (near Cancun). There are a lot, so I don’t know that it’s an attainable goal. It does make for some fun trip planning, though!

We still really want to visit Chile, Peru (Machu Picchu, of course), and Belize. I don’t know if any of those trips will happen in 2018, especially because if  we visit Chile, I really want to go to Easter Island and that adds a significant expense. I’ll hit a birthday with a zero on the end late this year and I kind of accidentally want to get my number of countries visited to double digits. But I really do love exploring the country I live in, too.

Nothing is officially planned yet, but as usual, I’ll write about what actually does happen!

Please join me in the journey and as always, go forth and travel (and take the kids)! How was your year? Did you travel a lot?

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