Living our Dream

Retiring in Tulum, Yucatan . Fun, sun, Paradise

Tag: expats in Mexico

Why I love Mexico Today

Today a day in Paradise. Over 1 year ago I had a brain hemorrhage and I almost died. The one thing that helped me get better was our dream of living here. At age 63 , healthy positive but a little stressed, I hit the bottom. My head exploded. Then I had to rest for 4 months.

I really prayed for help and guidance. Not being a religious person , but knowing there is higher energy, I listened. To my body which was consumed with a massive 4 month headache, nausea, weakness and just a huge depression. WHY ME?

I just got better. Because I knew I would. I wanted to be back in our beautiful home we just completed, my wonderful husband and dog and the new retired life we created in Tulum. Yucatan.

Today I sit with gratitude. Having a party with 25 of our closest new friends. A Star Shower Laser light show in the jungle. We brought  2 lasers from Canada and in the jungle it is black. Thousands of stars are illuminated on every tree. Connecting to the stars in the sky.

Welcome to our daily living here and I plan to write more consistent blogs.

Make it Happen! Live your tropical retirement dream now.

Why settle for less? You only have this moment and now to create your dream. Being a boomer and living in the 1950’s we always knew we could create what we wanted. It was a different era. Any job you wanted you got. I wanted to get married young and I did. Just like that.

Now divorced and finding my dream job I have always had strong visions. Working for an airline for over 30 years I have traveled the world. Always dreaming of a tropical paradise, a beach, a home with open doors and windows and the ocean breeze on my face.

Meeting my second husband we loved life. Driving on dirt bikes to the tops of mountains, sledding on our snow mobiles to 10,000 feet in the rocky mountains, fishing in derby’s and winning incredible prizes. Every weekend something new.

But then after building our dream home on an acreage in Canada we knew we loved solitude and animals and space to enjoy mother nature. I am huge into gardening and our life has take a natural turn.

Loving adventure I enticed my husband on a trip to Mexico. Everyone says it is dangerous and you will lose your head. Literally. But the culture, color, ( I am a native artist) warmth and opportunity engulfed us.

Deserted beach no people

Finally after many years of searching we found

A wonderful gated safe community of over 220 / 5 acre lots. Totally off grid and you can only build on 5% of your lot. As soon as we drove in I knew this was it. Our dream. Living in a jungle with an off-grid home. But having the amenities of Canada . We just had to clear the lot and find someone trustworthy to build it.

House exterior completed

Now 3 years later we have our home completed. This blog is about our journey to completion and now everyday adventures. We can now truly reap our rewards. I want people to know visualize that dream and never lot it go. You will be granted every wish if you know in your heart it is what you want!


Monkeys in the morning on our lot.

Monkey mama_copy

Who I am and Why I am here!

Living in the jungles of Tulum. 3 years ago we built an off-grid home on a 5 acre jungle lot in the Yucatan. We are snowbirds from Canada and plan in the next 5 years to live in Mexico full-time.

I want to share our experiences good and bad and get people excited to live their dream. Last July I had a serious brain hemorrhage in Canada. Recovering I realized you only have this minute and live your life. This is the blog to live your dream.

Permaculture home design. Living off­grid in the jungles of Tulum, Yucatan.

House exterior completedWho in their wildest dreams would attempt this. Of course Canadians from Alberta, Canada. You can do it too.

When we first started searching for property we travelled everywhere. Living in Canada power is increasing daily. We needed to find a retirement place where we could live comfortably on our pensions and not depend on increasing costs as we are on a fixed income.

International Living Magazine ( is a publication that specifically chooses developments or areas that they have investigated and chosen as a safe investment. We took the chance and decided to travel to for a chill weekend. This development is located 12kms from Tulum, Yucatan where you find the most incredible beaches in the world. Never having visited before it was a wonderful adventure.

As soon as we drove into the development we knew it was home. Each lot is 5 acres and abundant wildlife and birds. Toucans flying overhead with spider monkeys swinging in the old jungle. Natural flowering trees and mayan honey bees.

Natural sand roads intertwine between 220 lots. You are only allowed to build on 5% so the jungle is preserved. You have a bank trust and a title. So your land is safe and can be sold at anytime.

Permaculture is a sustainable design science rooted in observation of nature. Our zapote logs, that are the main structure of our home, were harvested and dried before the full moon. All the rocks on our walls came from our land, carried by our mayan workers.
With our architect and Permaculture teacher Carlos Alamillo, we designed and completed our home in 3 years. We are totally self sufficient and have not harmed the delicate jungle environment.
There are 3 areas needed for living off grid in the jungle.

1. Solar Energy.
This is the most important thing living off grid. To have enough power for the essentials of life. We needed to be in comparison to what we are used to in Canada. Living in Mexico has cut our desires back for the better.

Yes we have 3 fridges, hair blowers and AC in the 2 bedrooms. But we have designed our house to use mother nature. The Permaculture way.

All the ceilings are 14 feet high. Our ceiling fans operate 24/7 in every room on both levels. There are 10 foot screen doors with cross ventilation. We rarely use the AC. Living in the jungle the temperature is 10 degrees cooler. Open the doors at night and close during the day. Lots of LED lighting and an internet tower on our roof. We have better internet than our home in Canada on our acreage.

Our experience was to get the best person to design our system. We talked to a lot of people who had problems with their builders who included solar in their quotes. At the end they called upon our designer Tamara Lashbrook to fix their lack of energy. We had a wish list which was about 3x the amount we could afford. Tamara came with her experience and we developed our energy rated on usage. We have 18 solar panels with 16 batteries. We never run out of power. But do have a backup generator just in case.

2. Septic Wetlands.
Our development requires you have a septic system that does not pollute the jungle.
Either self contained tanks which need to be pumped out or our type of Humidales. This is a system with low flush toilet ( you can use toilet paper) which empties into a dry compost tank of wood chips and coconut fiber. It breaks down to a wonderful rich black earth with no smell. The wet refuse drains goes into a cement run with layers of rocks, wood, old plastic, with natural plants such as elephant ears, birds of paradise, banana trees which are planted in soil, topped with gravel. At the end of run you have a pipe that drains out almost pure water. Amazing. There is never any smell and the plants get so huge. Like a tropical garden.

26 humidales completed

3. Rain Water Collection

During the rainy months in Mexico you can collect a lot of water. These tanks are called cisterns and made out of cement and rebar with a lid. As long as there is no sunlight and sealed properly, so no frogs or snakes get in , the water stays cool, fresh and usable for any daily activities like bathing and watering and if you have reverse osmosis drinking. Mold will not grow without sunlight.

We have 2 (10,000 gallon) tanks. They are located under our back deck with a pump system that allows all the rainwater to collect on our clean rain water collection area, the top roof patio. It then drains down hidden pipes into the cisterns. When they are full there is an overflow onto our fruit trees.
We never run out of fresh rain water and so soft for your skin and bathing.

6 cisterns after

Living off Grid is a process. You learn how to respect mother nature and still have all the luxuries of life. This is a sustainable life living in Mexico.

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