Bonita’s Big Adventure

Cuddling on the couch this morning with Bonita, the idle notion that I needed to schedule her for a follow-up at the vet was brought to the forefront when huge clumps of fur started coming off one of her ears, revealing very raw skin. Huh.

I contacted the nearby vet. They really wanted me to go to their 24-hour clinic across town that has English-speaking staff, but I was adamant about going to the one I can walk to. I did the beach dog’s vet stuff all in Spanish, so I knew I wouldn’t have any issues. I was finally able to make an appointment to take her in for 3:00.

Bonita was happy about the walk until we got about half of the way down Calle 60 and then she decided that she did not like loud traffic coming so close to her. Finally, she planted her butt down and would not budge. Thankfully we were literally in the parking lot of the clinic. I picked her up and brought her inside. Good girl!!!

The checkup went very well. They want her on antibiotics for two more weeks and I have to clean her ear with an antibacterial shampoo twice a week for a month. She’s gained almost half a kilo since she arrived and is now at her target weight!

The vet asked if she goes out and has contact with other dogs. I explained that I’m avoiding walking her as per the refuge’s recommendation and the vet said that’s good. As it turns out, her tick disease has compromised her immune system and the odds are too high of her contracting something from a sick dog in the neighbourhood. The odd walk to keep her stimulated and able to be walked is fine, but, really, she needs to stick to the yard. So that’s settled!

Bonita was such a good girl during her checkup and after getting her blood work she launched herself into my arms for comfort, just like a child would. Awwwwwww. I’m officially her human!

The walk home was much easier because there was barely any traffic and we were facing it. The trip took half the time.

Of course this fancy city vet was muuuuch more expensive than the beach vet, but it’s the only full service clinic I can walk to so it’s worth the premium even though I know there are less expensive vets out there. The visit and blood work were about 52CAD and then her meds and shampoo were an addition 34CAD. I’m glad I budgeted high because I came in about two pesos under my max budget. 😀 I need to go back in a few days with 1,000 pesos to buy her a giant bag of her high quality premium food and then that will be the end of the big dog expenses for a few months. She’s so worth it!

Ten-Year Anniversary of the Watershed Moment of My Life

I was in Savannah, Georgia, on this day 10 years ago. Like today in Mérida, it was hot and very humid. What a great day I had visiting Bonaventure Cemetery, Fort Pulaski, and then frolicking on Tybee Island. I was living “The Life” then, debt-free, with a great job and a secure future. But something was brewing because I was so unhappy.

By this point, I was toying with making two major changes. One was throwing everything away, buying an RV, and hitting the open road. The other was simply changing cities, and I had my eye on Winnipeg.

When I returned to my hotel that evening, I had an e-mail waiting for me with an offer to come to Winnipeg to interview for a dream job with the Manitoba government.

I cut my holiday short, raced home, and got on the first plane to Winnipeg to do that interview.

In the weeks that followed, I had a lot of time to reflect on whether I did or did not actually want that job. Folks who attended my seminar at the 2011 Early Bird RV Show (or downloaded it) will remember me describing this period as being THE watershed moment of my life. I still think it was.

Ten years later, I reflect on the decision I made to throw everything away, my lost decade out there in the World, and the price I paid to find myself. Because even without having any regrets, one can mourn the things that were lost to find others.

I see so many friends my age who are asking themselves at near 40 questions I asked myself at near 30 and I’m glad I got a head start on my midlife crisis. It’s incredibly difficult to start over at 40. I don’t know if I’d have the strength at 50.

But I’m not starting from scratch and I have certitudes I didn’t have a decade ago. I’ve come to realise that “normal” isn’t that awful with a lot of caveats — I need to be my own boss, I need to live somewhere that I can feel wealthy on a small budget, I need heat and sun, I need a proper home.

I have to take a break now to pay back what my journey of self-actualisation cost me. My Bonita has a huge role to play in that — keeping me grounded so I can focus on earning rather than spending for a few years. I’m not stopped forever. It’s been six months since I moved and I already have the itch. What’s changed is that I can ignore it now. I’ve fed the beast so much that it can rest for a bit and let me enjoy being here discovering Mérida and the environs.

I’ll be getting up and going again, of course. I look forward to taking advantage of super inexpensive (less than 100CAD roundtrip if you shop) fares to go spend long weekends in Mexico City and other destinations. The quickest path to citizenship for me would be to pretty much stay put in Mexico for five full years because you cannot leave Mexico more than 180 days total in the five years preceding your application for citizenship. Five years is four on temporal, one on permanente. I’ve got a year down. The next four will fly by, especially with a whole country to explore.

That’s not to say I’m giving up on international travel. HA. I have a friend who is moving to Dubai and I’d love to go visit her there. I still want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro by the time I’m 50. I want to eat sushi in Tokyo, hike the Inca Trail, walk the Great Wall of China. I haven’t lost sight of any of that, but I want those adventures to be proper holidays where I don’t have to work. Just as I couldn’t have seen what I saw in the last decade if I had been living a “normal” life, I can’t see what I want to see in the next couple of decades without that sort of stability.

And with that, I’m off to start sorting out my visa and customs renewal paperwork. It’s going to be a very full and quite stressful week or two, but after that, I’m home free for the next three years!