Joanna and Jorge 1976

The only constant is change. Over the years, I’ve quoted this apparent oxymoron over and over again. In fact, the first paragraph of Magic Made in Mexico – my book for international residents in Mexico – emphasizes this very point:

I’ve often wondered what would happen if we could recognize pivotal times in our personal journeys – the forks in the road that present themselves – do we see them coming? Does a vague premonition warn us that certain decisions are destined to truly change our path? If we could anticipate those critical junctions, would we have the nerve to follow through?

I certainly did “follow through” – but for the past several years, I have sensed more than a “vague premonition” – I’ve known that changes are not far off. In fact, the Universe has been banging me over the head with a cast iron frying pan. Yet, I have resisted. I’ve tried to divert my thoughts and actions.

Part of me doesn’t want to make any changes. For a whole gamut of reasons, I want to continue ambling along just as I’ve done up until now. And yet, another part of me feels like a diver poised with her toes curled around the no-slip tip of the highest platform – waiting for the whistle to shrill – the signal that it’s her turn to leap.

Forty-one years ago I moved to Merida. I was young – incredibly young. I did not comprehend how radically different my new world would be, but at twenty-three, I thrived on adventure. I craved it like chocolate. Now, I am almost triple that age. The life I charged into has been amazing, enriching,   challenging, and wonderful – mostly because Lady Luck introduced me to Jorge – the man who has shared the roller coaster ride. Now retired, I guess we should be settling into our dotage, resting on our laurels – taking it easy.

But gale force winds are blowing again – I feel the need to regroup, refocus and repurpose my life.

For a mishmash of practical, sensible, prudent reasons, and for some emotional, familial, climate-related, and age-induced ones – I’ve decided to move back to Canada for the “warmer” half of each year.  I will continue to live in Merida for the “cooler” half.

Those readers who know me will immediately wonder – what does “the man who has shared the roller coaster ride” have to say about all this? To be honest, Jorge is less than thrilled. This is my doing, but he is willing to give it a go. After all, if we don’t adjust, we can always change our minds and pick up where we left off. Potential for un-change is also limitless, isn’t it?

Jorge and I will probably not be able to leave Merida until June, which means we’ll be away until December.  We plan to settle in Kamloops, a city of approximately 90,000 people in the interior of British Columbia. The place has much to offer– lots of sunshine, a small university, cultural venues, and a good library located two blocks from our 2 bedroom apartment. There are paths along the river for pleasant walks, and lakes for swimming – cold swimming. The shopping is plentiful – in both farmers’ markets and malls. Local wineries and pick-your-own-veggie fields will make for some vastly-different-from-Yucatan day trips. But the best feature in Kamloops is the close proximity to my sister, Barb, and other family and friends.

And to mark this milestone, what does an earnest blogger do? Why, she starts a new blog – what else? After nearly a decade, it feels bitter-sweet to be leaving Writing From Merida. But it’s all about change, right?

After today, I do not plan on writing any new posts for Writing from Merida. From now on, you will find all my new content and some of the posts from my former blog at:

 Changes in our Lives

If you wish to follow the new blog, you need to re-subscribe – scroll to the very bottom and click on the button provided.

Changes in our Lives is still a work in progress. Be patient – it will continue to evolve – as will Jorge and I.

Joanna and Jorge 2017

37 thoughts on “CHANGES

  1. babsofsanmiguel March 19, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    Go for it! I’m thrilled for you both. I could not be in Merida in the summer and have often wondered how others survive. Have fun…….and I look forward to the new blog.

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 11:53 pm

      Thank you Barbara. I’ve really enjoyed your Chiapas posts. I have been there many times and your pictures look just like mine!

  2. C.M. Mayo March 19, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    Hola dear Joanna, I wish you and Jorge bouquets upon bouquets of happiness and health in your new adventures in Canada. I will be following your new blog, Many kind regards!

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 12:41 am

      Thank you Catherine. We will probably be in Mexico City for a few days in June, prior to our flight to Vancouver. Maybe you’ll be there at that time and we can visit?

  3. Jeffrey Scherer March 19, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    best of luck…I am sure you will enjoy the journey even more than you imagine.

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 12:39 am

      Spoken as one who is also in the midst of a enriching change… I think you will prove yourself to be right about us too.

  4. Alice Trueman March 19, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    So, you have announced the decision to the world! I was one of the very few in the family who thought that life in Merida with Jorge would work out. Now this new life will work out, too.

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 12:33 am

      I love you for your confidence and faith in me! We’ll speak soon…

  5. Alex Wallner March 19, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    Joanna! Have a wonderful 1/2 year in Canada! I will miss seeing you around but am happy for you for this plunge into another adventure! All the best of luck to you and Jorge! — I’m really looking forward to your new blog!!!! xoxo Alex

    • Writing From Merida March 22, 2017 / 7:30 am

      Thank you Alex… we will still be here until June so let’s try and get together before then

  6. Alicia Johnson March 19, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Good for you! I think it will be a very exciting new chapter in your lives. Will follow them in your new blog. Enjoy the adventure!

  7. Elizabeth Holland March 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    Congratulations on an exciting new adventure and welcome to the wonderful world of snow birds!

  8. Katrina March 19, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    this sounds like a wonder dea.

  9. Barbara Lane March 19, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    Oh my!! I wish you all the best as you take this Big Juicy Bite of Life!! We simply must from time to time! I so look forward to your new blog. Wishing you safe travels and happiness always.

  10. Maggie March 19, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    I LOVE those photos of both of you, then and now!
    And so much appreciate the authenticity with which you wrote. God bless you both as you embark on the next part of your journey. Kamloops is wonderful! I love you, Joany and Jorge!

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 12:28 am

      Thank you Maggie. I am excited and Jorge is wary, but I think it will all work out. Best wishes to you too, in the new chapter of YOUR life

  11. Judy March 19, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    Go Joanna go!!! Good for you!!! Best of luck!!

  12. Cathy van der Gracht de Pacheco March 20, 2017 / 7:44 am

    Don’t forget you have two more sisters other than Barb!

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 8:27 am

      I never forget that Cathy but I meant to say that Barb is the sister that lives in Kamloops, and of course there are nephews, nieces and grands also living there… I should have made that clear!

  13. Andrea Ohuiginn March 20, 2017 / 7:45 am

    What wonderful news! I know Jorge will enjoy the change, he is not going there blindly he has been many times over your 40 years. You are now becoming a snowbird like so many of us who summer in our beautiful country of Canada and winter in this ever so lovely Yucatan! Maybe I’ll see you when we go to Kamloops in September.
    I thoroughly enjoyed last Thursday at FILEY.

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Thank you Andrea and YES, we would love to see you in Kamloops… The FILEY was a wonderful experience for us

  14. Donna Grobell March 20, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Remember…. change is good….. change is good….. new mantra

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 10:20 am

      I have always believed that change is good but responsibilities have kept us in one spot… now things are different…

  15. José Vieira Arruda March 20, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Dear Joanna, I only have words of gratitude for you and all the writing that went into your blog. More than just writing, a lot of love and dedication went into it! Many times, more than I can count, it did inspire me and it made me feel as if I was being accompanied in this adventure called Mérida. I am so happy for you and Jorge and wish you both all the best. Obviously, I will continue to read your blog, your new blog and see what you and Jorge are up to in the Great White North. All will be well! Hugs.

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 11:38 pm

      “All will be well.” What heart-warming words – and written by you – I believe them. Thank you Jose.

  16. dcgadfly March 20, 2017 / 10:25 pm

    Looking at Magic Made in Mexico on my bookshelf as I read your note of evolution of your life. I thank you for being one of the authors who made my new life with Cindy understandable and welcoming as we learned our way here in Merida. It makes me smile knowing you will be off to spend half a year in such a wonderful and welcoming city as Kamloops. The folks who I had the opportunity to meet there during my peripatetic day were, like those I have now met in Merida, friendly and outgoing. Congratulations on your move and your continuing life as a guide to so many of the rest of us.

    Dave Allison

    • Writing From Merida March 20, 2017 / 11:42 pm

      Thank you Dave, your comment is much appreciated. I have often wondered what my readers are thinking as they read my musings. I feel lifted up by your words

  17. Juanita March 21, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    It sounds fantastic Joanna. And I truly believe that Jorge will not only get used to the change, but love it! Hugs to you both.

  18. Steve Cotton March 22, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    All change is good. But Canada?

    I hope all goes well. It will be great to talk with you about your grandfather’s paintings before you leave. I was hoping to visit my cousin in Yucatan. Instead, we are all heading to Colombia in a couple of weeks. And so goes time.

    • Writing From Merida March 22, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Hi Steve… like I said in the post, there are some good reasons for the changes. I want to talk to you too… about my grandfather’s paintings and lots more. I will send you my contacts in an email

  19. Kim G March 24, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Hi Joanna,

    Sorry for the rather tardy comment. But if you read the email I sent a little while ago, you’ll know that I’ve had my hands full.

    So, it’s Canada then, and not Mexico City. I think I had gathered from one of our earlier conversations that you had maybe gotten to the point where Mérida’s summer heat was simply too oppressive. I can certainly understand that. Just after I left your house in the Spring of 2014, it became infernal in that part of the world, at least from my point of view. Though I find Mérida incredibly charming, I can’t imagine spending even one summer in that heat; never mind the rest of my summers.

    I wish you the best, and I hope Jorge enjoys BC much more than he now consideres possible.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Which is almost always the hottest place in the state all summer long.

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