When I started this project, I thought it would lead to new and interesting fields of research: geriatrics, creative aging, and retirement studies, to name a few. As a registered nurse turned academic folklorist, it seemed like a perfect fit. After all, I understand better than most the challeges of aging, and my second career asks people to share their stories. SMA should be my dream fieldsite.
It is, but what I did not plan on encountering here three years ago when I wrote my first grant was that this city is also home to a number of young professionals, people who come here not expecting to retire in their 40s, but to work through their peak earning years. Yes, they want to make a living in Mexico.
My first response to this was, “gee, haven’t you seen that line of creative go-getters heading north–they, at least think the opporunities are there, not here.” But the reality is that there are many ways to make a living here, and sometimes people make life decisions based on issues other than their income potentials. The coming week promises to give me some insights to the ways that 30 and 40 somethings actually go about it here.
Here is a sample of what I hope to explore:
Couples with young families who do not want to raise their kids in the U.S.
Young singles who are looking for adventure
Young singles who see a remarkable professional opportunity here
People who are developing real estate properties
People who are telecommuters
Of course, I’ll also interview the standard retired expats, but I am looking forward to insights from this new, and quite unexpected group of San Miguel expats.