Goodbye 2020! You weren’t that bad…
It’s the last day of the year, and as I sit here in my usual all-day attire of sweatpants and a sweater sipping a little cava, I look back at this year not so much with disappointment but with motivated amusement. The year did not turn out as we would have liked as I’m sure many of you can relate to. We were not able to travel back to the States to see our parents, explore more mountain towns around Mexico, or take advantage of any ridiculously amazing travel deals to exotic places in South America.
But 2020 wasn’t a complete bust. It did have its moments that are propelling us into 2021 with new gusto. Take a look…..
At the end of January, we moved into our newly built house. Not everything was complete, but it had electricity, hot water and cable TV was installed. Almost a year later we still don’t have closets or kitchen cabinets, but you know what else we don’t have? A mortgage. We paid for our house in cash, and it’s been such a blessing, especially since the coronavirus gripped the world and we lost 3 streams of income. Luckily, we have plenty of space, crates to organize the kitchen and an extra room to store all our junk in. Plus, how can you be stressed when you have views like this from the rooftop terrace?
Tom has always enjoyed cooking at home, and this summer he was on fire! He made dishes from all parts of the world such as Vietnamese pho, Korean fried chicken and poke bowls. He’s elevated the basic taco into a gourmet masterpiece, grown his own vegetables and herbs, and makes his own harissa and Worcestershire sauce. He’s experimented more with fermentation and perfected baking bread and pizza at 7000 ft. elevation.
If you want to be inspired to cook more yourself in 2021, check out his mouth-water creations in our post: Tom’s Kitchen is in Overdrive
Many people have been reaching out to us to know more about moving to Mexico. We started one-on-one phone and video calls so we can talk about the issues that are important to each individual. The bonus part of these relocation consultations is that we are making friends with these people before they come, and they know we are just a phone call away if they need some help.
Also in January, our wine tour business had started to pick up. Unfortunately, Mexico shut down in March because of the coronavirus. Wineries began to open again in June, but we waited until they had all their health guidelines in place before advertising again in August. Since October, we started to get requests for the end of the year and 2021 wine tours. Though this source of revenue was interrupted for several months, we feel that we have a viable service to offer and have been brainstorming on tour offerings for both Guanajuato and Queretaro. You’ll see more about this in 2021.
Other Wine Opportunities
We’ve talked about other things we can do to help the wineries promote better wine tasting and tours. One of our favorite wineries, who we have become good friends of ours, hired Tom to do a 4-part training in November and we have several other projects we are working on with them that we will implement in 2021. We also had another tour operator reach out to us interested in a partnership for larger tours.
San Miguel de Allende
In March we explored another side of San Miguel de Allende through a petsitting assignment through www.trustedhousesitters.com. This gave us the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood of Guadalupe and admire the street art murals, attend an event at the Fabrica de la Aurora on the first Saturday of the month, and be present for the Conchero dancers in Centro. San Miguel de Allende is a wonderful place, but sometimes we feel limited on what we can see and do on a day trip. Petsitting allowed us to stay a little longer with free accommodations.
To read more about the art of San Miguel de Allende, check out our post: Artistic Expressions in San Miguel de Allende
Our plan was to petsit around Mexico and the world for a few years before getting our next dog. The coronavirus changed all that. If we are going to be stuck at home, why not share it with a furry baby? We searched the rescue sites and found Ocho, a 3-year old Staffordshire pointer mix who had been living at the rescue facility for a year. Ocho may not be as smart as our former dogs, but he has been highly entertaining as he chases his tail, snarfles when we give him people food, and copies Tom on almost anything he does (looking over the wall and howling). He’s also a social butterfly. He wants to play with every dog he sees, and if someone says his name, he wants to go over and greet them. Ocho makes it easy to meet other people in the neighborhood.
Paid Publishing Opportunities
Since I’ve had time on my hands and we don’t leave the house much, I finally pushed myself to submit an article to InternationalLiving.com. Even better, they commissioned me to write two more pieces about Queretaro for their website. This has given me the confidence to continue writing for publications and I have several ideas on the drawing board.
You can read two of the articles on Internationalliving.com through these links:
What Does 2021 Hold For Us?
With the new coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, we are very optimistic about 2021. Travel will increase, and we will have new wine and cultural tours. This new partnership with the other tour company will allow us to offer our tours to more people. We are creating a new gourmet food line of vinegars and jams with Ocho as the brand ambassador. Other projects are still on the drawing board, and once these have a solid foundation, we will share them with you.
We hope your 2021 is full of hope, health and happiness! What are your plans for 2021? You can share your hopes and dreams with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.