The Out of Town Guests
by Paige Wigginton
The property description read, “Great for Entertaining”. Visions of sitting around a patio table, surrounded by friends & family, came into your head as you toured the home. You were finally going to have the lifestyle you wanted.
You bought the home.
The calls started coming in during the Summer when your friends and family began lining up their Winter vacation plans. The first group reached out to firm up dates with you, and it sounded like a lot of fun. You’d show them all your favorite spots and would enjoy bringing your two worlds together.
Then the second group called and you felt a slight tightening in your gut. You were caught off guard and it was so far out that you couldn’t think of a legitimate reason why they couldn’t come. You felt some control start to slip, but you went ahead and said yes anyway.
If you’re lucky that’s the last of the calls because when high season comes, you start to make connections with new people. You get excited that this new life you had envisioned is really, actually going to happen. This is such a transient community that connections happen quickly. Everyone who comes here is looking for at least one friend.
You begin to feel like you’re becoming a real expat, and then your first visitor arrives.
It’s great to see faces from home, but it interrupts your rhythm. You try to introduce them to your new friends, but the chemistry isn’t there. It makes sense. They don’t have a love for the Baja like we all do. After they leave, you try to get your rhythm going again with your new friends, but plans are now pushed out weeks as you coordinate all the calendars of your visitors and theirs.
Those of us who live here year round are patient with our friends knowing we won’t see much of each other until late Spring each year. For the snowbirds though this can be tricky. You simply can’t build a new community for yourself if you’re constantly stepping out of it. There are wonderful people living here, many of whom just bought properties like you, that you’ll enjoy getting to know. After all, no matter where we come from, we all have one thing in common, we chose to be here.
The Baja brings together people from so many different backgrounds that you otherwise would never have reason to connect with. Forget conversations that start with, “what do you do”? Instead, you’ll be sitting around a table for hours only to find out later that the person next to you used to run a law firm in another life or the person on your other side created the first mold for the Cabbage Patch kids 30 years ago. In the Baja, conversations aren’t about what you do. They’re about the experience of living here. Being an expat is an endless source for laughter as you muddle through learning to live in a foreign country together!
You do have more control over balancing these two worlds than you may realize though. You simply need to be proactive.
Mark your Calendar in Advance
Look at your calendar for the upcoming season the Summer before and carve out two weeks a month when no one can come. This way you won’t be caught off guard when people begin to reach out. After you’ve made a few new friends in town, get them to mark off some of the same weeks!
Reach out early
Send out an email to the people most likely to visit with the dates you’d love to have visitors. Most people appreciate this as it gives them some clear dates to work around. It will also help you avoid the uncomfortable silence as you hesitate when saying yes.
Group visits together
While not always ideal, try grouping visits together. Even if you get some resistance, don’t worry too much about it. As soon as their feet touch the ground in Mexico, your friends and family will transform into flexible people you may not even recognize!
If guests tend to stay with you, consider presenting another option for them of where they might stay. Lots of people own multiple properties in the Baja and will offer discounts to friends or to friends of friends. It might actually feel more like a vacation for your visitors!
Be their visitor!
Make an effort to see, or even visit, friends & family before you leave for Cabo. While not always convenient, it can satiate the need to see each other so that your time in Cabo isn’t interrupted.
We love our friends and family dearly. Time spent with them, for most of us, are our best memories. HOWEVER, you bought your home in the Baja to experience the adventure of the expat lifestyle. Don’t miss out on this chance to step into a completely different life. The chance to do so, in a place where so many other people are doing the same exact thing,
doesn’t come along often.
And trust me, it’s worth it.