As some of you know Thom and I are spending a couple of months in Mexico to escape the heat of the summer. Our location is the small town of Ajijic (elevation 5,046) located in central Mexico around 230 miles east of Puerto Vallarta. It’s monsoon season here so not only is everything green and lush, the weather is just about perfect. Ajijic is also on the edge of one of the largest and most scenic lakes in the country (Lake Chapala). We’ve rented a wonderful home with a pool (solar heated of course) that is a short walking distance to downtown and the Malecon (Boardwalk.) Town itself if stuffed with dozens of good restaurants, cute shops and very friendly people—expats and locals. Sounds just about perfect right? Well, it’s not. For one thing there are LOTS of mosquitos (remember all that green?) And for about a week we’ve been experiencing power surges on and off day and night which is more trouble than you might guess. But the thing is…in practically every single place in the world we’ve been fortunate to visit there is always something—call them power surges or not. In other words, stuff happens even in paradise.
During the last couple of weeks my husband Thom and I visited San Miguel de Allende, MX. This location captured our interest several years ago, especially after learning that this small beautiful city boasts a nearly perfect year-round temperature, warmly welcomes American visitors, and offers flights at very low costs. As with most trips, we prefer to stay in apartments or homes in order to more fully experience any location. This year we tried something completely new—a home exchange. In other words, we offered our home here in southern California in exchange to stay in another owner’s home in San Miguel de Allende. Two weeks later, we are back to share what we learned from it and why we believe home exchanging is a SMART way to travel. [Read more…]
Back when I first began writing I dreamed of becoming a travel writer. In those days travel writers wrote mainly for newspapers, magazines or occasionally a book. Then 10 years ago when I started hearing about the potential of blogging, Thom and I toyed with the idea of a travel blog for middle-aged motorcycle riders. Yes, really! That idea crashed and burned when I dumped my motorcycle at 40 mph, broke my arm and shoulder, and Thom sold my bike. Instead I spent over three years writing about the environment and everything green and sustainable before eventually focusing on what I call SMART Living. But even though writing about things I consider SMART is deeply satisfying, I’ve never forgotten that pull to write about my second love—travel. So with a three-week adventure planned in the days ahead, I decided to give it a shot—with a dose of SMART on the side! [Read more…]