Years ago I was tasked by an editor to write a review of a book by Laura Fraser called All Over the Map. This was an Eat Pray Love style book, where the woman was down and out on love and needed a jaunt across the world to reinvent herself. I remember being very intrigued and a little bit jealous when Ms. Fraser found herself south of the border in a little colonial mountain town called San Miguel de Allende, and impulsively purchased a home with her life savings.
Five years later, I have done the same thing. Well, other than the dismal love life part (I happen to be blessed with Steve, aka the best fiancé known to woman), but the impulsive purchasing of a home part in San Miguel de Allende is just the same.
We arrived in San Miguel on a Tuesday, and by the following Tuesday, we had decided to buy a house. The Tuesday after that, we had signed the papers and forked over the money, and by the third Tuesday we had received the keys. This is not something that we were planning to do by any means, but when circumstances work out as perfectly as they have for us (and if the home has an amazing garden you can’t live without like ours does), you just have to jump in and let fate take you along for the ride. Our amazing ride was recently played out on an episode of House Hunters International (watch the episode here)!
Our new home is set in a Mexican neighborhood called San Luis Rey, a 30 minute walk from the main square that houses the pink, gothic cathedral—the focal point of San Miguel. Dusty street dogs roam our sidewalks, donkeys hang out in our front yard and the neighborhood Monday market outside our door hawks onions and peppers as large as a baby’s skull. I am told that the church down the road does a very authentic re-enactment of the crucifixion on Good Friday, complete with crown of thorns and crosses—we’ll see for ourselves come next Easter. Down the street, a white warehouse-turned-brick-oven-pizzeria turns out crispy crusted creations that we are already all too familiar with. The proprietor Jose speaks English and has jovially welcomed us to the neighborhood.
Mucho gusto, nice to meet you, our friendly neighbors say as they shake our hands enthusiastically. I think we’re going to like it here!
A special thank you Carolyn and Roger for introducing us to our lovely new home!
Photos by Steven Moore
Your new neighborhood looks and sounds fun Leslie. As to impulsive purchases, Terri and I can relate. In fact, our condo on St. Simons is a perfect example. We had just finished an RTW and didn’t own a house. Our stuff was in storage and we were just going to wander around for a bit, renting furnished apartments. We weren’t looking for a house, but stumbled into the condo and in a matter of weeks, we bought it. The most important thing that this condo has taught us is that if we keep it small and simple, we can maintain a base and still travel. Always before we would buy and sell our house, put stuff in storage and take off. That works but it doesn’t have to be so hard. If you know what you want and need, it’s not impulsive – it’s decisive. ~James
I have been visiting San Miguel for over a decade and this last September my husband and I got married at Casa Chorro. He had never been to San Miguel before our wedding, but he’d heard me talk about it so much that it was he who suggested we get married there. He loved it so much that he wants to move there I a few years, and I couldn’t be happier. I loved hearing about stories like yours, and your house is beautiful! Congratulations!
Hi Claudia, I love your story too! San Miguel truly is a special place. Steve and I will be getting married there also, but not until 2017. Thanks for watching the show, and keep in touch next time you’re in San Miguel! 🙂
We are members of the “class of 2004,” having visited here for ten days and returned to NY with a deed and the keys to a rather large souvenir, so to speak. I am a huge fan of tile, and we sometimes joke that we purchased our home (Atascadero) because I could not decide which Talavera dinner pattern I liked the best when we visited Dolores Hidalgo, I still haven’t decided, but when we gutted and renovated our kitchen: muy chido.
Haha! Those darn San Miguel de Allende souvenirs. 🙂 Nice to hear from you! Are you living in SMA full time now?