Not wanting to distance ourselves from our family and neighbors up in Connecticut, we’ve been very low-key about our plans to move to Mérida. Really, it’s no one’s business, but it’s been tough to keep this project under wraps. But this week, with at least one couple on the next block, our cover was blown. And it felt fantastic.
When “Miriam” and “David” (not their real names) announced their travel plans a few months ago, we knew this would happen. They’re very chatty and amiable people, and they already knew we were in love with Yucatán. They just didn’t know the extend of our fandom, or how we invested in it, building a four-bedroom house in Santa Ana.
So we weren’t surprised when Murial (or was it Miriam?) sent me a photo from Yucatán, taken at lunch with newly mutual friends at the table. I don’t think I’m imagining things when I detected a smirk on Miriam’s face. “Recognize these guys?” she captioned the photo. Yes we did. We knew we had some ‘splaining to do.
They weren’t home more than 36 hours when we were invited (or shall I say summoned?) for drinks at David and Miriam’s house. The wine wasn’t even poured before Miriam said that she was told on good authority we actually bought property in Yucatán. I teased her a moment and even denied knowing the guys she met at lunch. But Paul shushed me and blurted it all out.
The wine flowed, and I nervously hacked at a chunk of cheddar cheese while we explained our reason for keeping under wraps what we consider financial and investment details, with emotional implications to our certain local family members. It’s not that we minded David and Miriam knowing, but with everyone on social media these days, the old six-degrees-of-separation has been reduced to maybe two-and-a-half degrees.
Happily, they understood our reticence to broadcast our plans to eventually move to another country. Everyone will know when the time comes, and there’s no sense in creating this kind of anxiety any sooner than necessary.
But telling about it felt like a giant release. None of us could seem to get out a complete sentence because we were all so excited, we kept stepping on each other’s stories.
The other sensation I felt was that Mérida is indeed a real place, it really does exist. Sometimes I think it’s a figment of my imagination because so few people up here have even heard of it, despite all the promotion it has received in the media over the past few years. Talking with our neighbors about specific spots on calle this or calle that, or comparing the relative merits of the coffee at this café versus that café, was so invigorating because I was finally able to have a conversation about Yucatán and its community with someone back home who we’ve known 20 years. (Actually, longer than 20 years for Paul… Miriam was Paul’s professor one semester back in his college days.)
I was also relieved that David and Miriam reported having a wonderful time. In their 70s, they don’t travel with the energy and confidence they used to have, but they’ve still intellectually curious and adventurous. I daresay they’d fit in right at home in Mérida, but they say they would suffocate if they were out of the New York City metro area for more than a month. I wonder. We agreed we’d have them over to Casa Nana sometime soon, and maybe we’ll convince them to stay a little longer.