life by lb

How I made Life more Comfortable in Tijuana

Embraced the Chaos.

It's everywhere from trash trucks blaring horns at 7:00am to fireworks on Christmas Eve and every birthday party in between, you should never be surprised by the amount of noise or activity.

I had to accept the fact and embrace Tijuana as our home, but it took 10 years. Learn to embrace a little chaos, a few unexpected surprises and see if you can go with the flow a little more than you may have in the states. It will help more than anything.

Added a fireplace.

Regardless of what others say, it can be cold here in the winter. We bought a wood burning stove - it is so cozy and embellishes everything I love about winter. Not only does it heat up our concrete home, but it adds an ambience that is just pure bliss. Cozy all winter.

It just feels like home in Colorado.

When we get around to building our own home, we plan to install heated tile floors to combat the cold. Every one of my NY friends laugh but I challenge them to stay here one night in 40 degree weather without gloves or hats.

3. Got used to Bug Season:

We don't get huge bugs here in the Playas suburb (depending how far out in nature you live). Our last house in La Isla was in the middle of a huge expanse of empty land so we would get little tarantulas, scorpions and centipedes bigger than I'd like wandering around the house.

Come ant and fly season in the summer, we chase them around like hungry birds. They are everywhere and constantly a fight when the weather is warm.

Learned to love the ocean.

You know how many times I've heard "I don't swim in Tijuana because the water is dirty. Imperial Beach is so much better" and then I smile secretly at the ignorance of that statement. Is our water not connected to Imperial Beach?

I do admit the beaches down here are not up to US standard, mostly because housing around the beaches falls down without repair and sometimes there are pipes that might funnel not-pristine water towards the beach. But without a doubt, many of these beaches are well loved and you'll find several coastal cleanup projects and groups who volunteer to make our beaches more clean.

Since I'm a Colorado girl, it was challenging for me to embrace a water mass that moves with such force. Cleaning the sticky sand of your feet has it's own set of challenges but we've come to love the sunset walks immensely.

Learned Patience

The thing about the US....there is a law and unwritten law for everything:

  • The neighbors music is too loud (call the cops)
  • Someone brought their kids to a formal restaurant and now they are crying and whining and jumping around (don't they know better, let's roll our eyes and shoot evil menacing looks their way)
  • There's a baby crying in the movie theatre (ugh, can't you shut him up!? I can't believe they brought a baby to the movies)

I'm thrilled that I didn't have to raise my kids in a generally, judgmental society that abhors anyone who doesn't follow the unwritten rules. I am by nature, a rule-bender (as many of you know), so I'm happy to know that my kids will not be scorned if they are a bit antsy at the local taco stand or restaurant.

It seems the population down here has more patience and more tolerance overall and they still raise children as a community where everyone is involved. Many times I've noted someone outside of our family putting one of my sons back in line. It was hard to get used to but I think my preference is building a community over isolating ourselves.

Of course, there will always be the one guy who lives next door to us in our pink townhome, who can't handle my 2-year old crying and whining. But that's just one grumpy, old man.

Didn't party on Revolucíon.

...and expect to tell a positive, happy story of Tijuana. Locals know to never ask for trouble and if you are getting drunk, know where to go and who to go with. My husband is for hire (tell him I told you so - he wants more of a social life ;) He will taxi you, give you tips and get you out of trouble if ever it arises because he is really good like that.

Became more Flexible.

Live on Mexico time.

If a meeting is planned for 9:00, plan to wait 15-45 minutes for the expected party to arrive. It is what it is and time is valued differently down here. Embrace it and love that you don't have to be there right.on.time.

Found Inspiration.

Street art, patches of grass, simple swimming pools, beaches, food, wine country, the breeze, fresh fruit, art galleries, street tacos, coffee shops, Turista Libre, beach bonfires, Chinese lanterns, Mariscocos, Fausto Polanco

1. Because I love Bulldogs
2. This Etsy artist is my inspiration

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