|Isla Mujeres, Mexico|
Remember that really bad pickup line from the 1980’s? “So, what’s your sign?”
We are both Pisces, and that makes us just a little bit different.
By different we mean, we love water and have to live within sight of it, hence our love affair with islands.
|Bowen Island, Canada|
Our first stab at island life was Bowen Island, just off the coast of British Columbia Canada, near Vancouver. It was a small mountainous paradise, about nineteen square miles in total land mass. Back in the mid-1970’s when we moved to Bowen Island the population was only around twelve hundred people. The mixed-grade school was so small it was in danger of being closed. A student had to be invented to meet the minimum requirement of six students.
|Car & Passenger ferry for Bowen Island|
Close to the ferry dock was a very small shopping area, with a couple of places to eat and the Snug Cove General Store operated by parents, John & Evy Lock. It featured a butcher shop, fresh produce, cleaning supplies, dry goods, canned goods, and huge assortment of penny candy for the kids to ponder over.
The store was taken over by other family members who eventually moved the business into a larger space, and away from the congested ferry dock. Snug Cove General Store is still operating at the second location, but under different owners.
|Harvesting cocos from Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres|
Fast forward a couple of decades. As we neared retirement age, we once again thought of living on an island – only this time we wanted to be warm. Our choice was Isla Mujeres, just off the coast near Cancun, yeah – I know, the Las Vegas of the Beach. Now, don’t get me wrong Cancun is a wonderful vacation spot. Founded by the Mexican government in the 1970’s on vacant stretch of white sand this is where all-inclusive resorts became popular. A great experience for families, at a fixed cost.
|Playa Centro, Isla Mujeres|
On Isla Mujeres, life is simpler here. Yes, we have our share of tourists, with Cancun being only eighteen minutes away by passenger ferry.
That’s a good thing; tourism allows the residents a way to earn a living and still have the qualities of life and community that makes island living so special.
Cancun provides the benefit of a nearby international airport servicing the world, familiar stores such as Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, and Sam’s Club – making living in paradise easy, a no brainer.
|Yummy mangoes for sale just two blocks from our casa|
And yes, in the beginning we used the benefits of Cancun regularly, but as Isla Mujeres grows our trips to ‘the big city’ are less often.
We have become a part of the community, frequenting local stores where the owners now greet us by name, and usually have exactly what we want.
Should you move to a small island? Maybe. It helps if you are a Pisces, and are patient, but slightly impractical. Life on an island isn’t always about tight time-frames and schedules. Sometimes it is a lazy afternoon hiding out from the hot sun and thinking about what you should be accomplishing – mañana.
Lynda & Lawrie
|Previous life: we were both Bowen Island volunteer Firefighters.