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Surfer and former publisher Janet Blaser. matt mawson

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of this expat from California

Janet Blaser enjoys the Mexican lifestyle and has no plans to move back to the US

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of a California woman who has now been living in the Sinaloa resort city for more than a decade and can’t imagine moving back to the United States.

Janet Blaser, formerly a food and restaurant writer in Santa Cruz, California, moved to Mazatlán in 2006 after she lost one journalism job and had her hours cut back at another as a result of the rise in popularity of online news.

A trip to the Pacific coast city in Mexico served as the impetus for her relocation decision.

“I fell in love, I felt this heart connection somehow — there were beautiful old buildings, cobblestone streets, plazas with wrought iron and the beautiful glittering Pacific Ocean, warm and swimmable,” Blaser told the financial information website MarketWatch.

“It just felt deeply healing, friendly and welcoming,” she added.

Another reason for Blaser’s move was that she spotted an interesting opportunity.

There were a lot of English-speaking expats and tourists in town but little information about Mazatlán’s social and cultural life and Blaser’s journalistic experience and ingenuity could fix that.

So in 2006, the writer and surfing enthusiast packed up her car and set her sights on starting a new life in northern Mexico. A plan to move to New Orleans was put on the backburner.

Blaser admitted to having doubts about the move but knew that staying in California would stretch her budget and leave her with an uncertain future.

During her first year in Mazatlán, Blaser worked part time as an online editor as she planned how to start an arts and entertainment publication that would provide information to the English-speaking residents of the city and the tourists who visit.

In 2007, she launched M! Magazine and continued to run the successful publication for nine years. In the same period, Blaser started a local organic farmers’ market.

The 63-year-old is now retired but remains busy: she has just published a book entitled Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats, in which 27 essays of women living happily in Mexico are compiled.

Even though her magazine publishing days are over, Blaser is not thinking about relocating north of the border even though she says she misses her three adult children and three grandkids, all of whom live in the United States.

“I can’t imagine living in the U.S. again,” she told MarketWatch, explaining that the cheaper cost of living in Mexico – Blaser lives on about US $1,000 a month – was one but not the only reason why.

“I couldn’t afford to live in the States again” Blaser said before adding that she prefers the “easygoing Mexican lifestyle” in any case.

“It’s a very different vibe here that’s kind of hard to explain. It’s not about being retired, because I wasn’t that until a year ago. It’s just a different understanding of what’s important in life, and a more relaxed live-and-let-live attitude. If something doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow, or the next day. What’s the big deal?” she said.

“. . . I’m able to actually live a more simple life and be satisfied in a way I could never before in the U.S.”

Source: MarketWatch (en)

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