Lifestyle as the Ultimate Luxury
How happy are you? What’s your quality of life? That’s what really matters
By Janet Blaser
What comes to mind when you think of luxury? For most of us, it’s things like fancy cars, extravagant homes, designer clothes, expensive jewelry, the newest iPhone.
A quick Google search tells us that luxury is “a state of great comfort and extravagant living,” a definition confirmed by the dictionary:
- A condition or situation of great comfort, ease and wealth
- Something that’s helpful or welcome and not usually or always available
- Something that’s expensive and not necessary
And while all of that may be true, I’d bet I’m not alone in thinking that real luxury goes beyond material things, and that it’s also quite subjective, like art or happiness. Especially as the pandemic turned our world upside-down and inside-out, many of us have realized that good health—physically, mentally, emotionally—is the true luxury. That our real wealth is measured not by a price point, but by our physical, mental and emotional happiness.
The happiness quotient
It took a trip to Mexico for me to realize I could have a lifestyle that would not only allow but support that kind of happiness. I laugh now when I remember how I struggled with that concept: that it was OK to do something—something big, something momentous and unheard of—just because it made me happy. Deeply, truly happy. That possibility was irresistible, and it’s what gave me the courage to pack my bags, shut down my life in California and move to Mexico.
That was 15 years ago, and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ve never been happier. (Link to YouTube video) I’m full of gratitude each day and have never regretted the decision to move to Mexico. And while I live there full-time, Mexico is so easy to get to from the U.S.—with minimal visa requirements—that many people maintain homes in both countries and become “snowbirds” for a few months of the year.
I’m the envy of most of my friends, many of whom have the trappings of a much more traditionally “luxurious” lifestyle than I do. Yet I consider myself rich, with a lifestyle other people only dream of, one that’s not measured by a dollar sign. I wake up every day with a smile, simply happy to be living the life I’m living, satisfied with the decisions I made that led me here.
The life you’ve dreamed of
Here in Mexico, life slows down. It’s easier to relax, and although the beaches, blue skies and breathtaking natural beauty are a part of that, it’s also the culture. Work is second to family and people are genuinely friendly. It’s easier to live a simple, more stress-free life when living expenses and medical care are affordable, people are respectful and kind and the proverbial rat race is not so pronounced.
One learns the very Mexican concept of mañana: to just let go and not “sweat the small stuff.” There’s always tomorrow!
That’s not to say material things don’t matter; your lifestyle in Mexico can easily be exactly what you want and what you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re retired, working or somewhere in-between, having a home in Mexico might just add that rejuvenating spark to a life well-lived.
A more detailed definition of luxury seems to point to exactly this understanding (although I’d disagree with the “not absolutely necessary” part!):
- a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort; a sumptuous environment
- something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary
- an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease
Life in Mexico offers all of these things and more: peace of mind, satisfaction, happiness, and the time to enjoy the rest of life—the rest of your life. It’s a “perfect storm” of elements adding up to a truly luxurious lifestyle.
Comments? Questions? Janet Blaser is a writer, speaker and author of the best-selling book, “Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats.” A semi-retired journalist, you can see more of her work and read about her life on CNBC.com and her website, www.whyweleftamerica.com, and @thejanetblaser on Instagram and Facebook.
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