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SONIA DIAZ of Sonia Diaz – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Walking outside the parroquia in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingRetirement in San Miguel de Allende allows the expats who move here to experience less-rushed, exploring, relaxing kind of life and to discover more aspects of themselves.

For example, I know a doctor from Canada who came to Mexico to explore her artistic side. Here, she discovered her talent in painting and making jewelry amidst the many artists and musicians of this town. They come because, maybe, they feel free and don’t feel judged.

Another example is a gentleman from England who enjoys expressing himself through his pink Volkswagen and colorful stuffed toys. He discovered he likes this playful side, and he can do that here.

There is also a large gay population adding to the diversity of San Miguel.

Some people also discover that they have the opportunity to pass it forward while contributing to the local community. They volunteer educating children, teaching English and computer skills, feeding the hungry, protecting and adopting stray dogs and raising funds for educational scholarships.
 
(Pictured: Walking outside the parroquia in San Miguel de Allende.)
Cathy Rocha – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Francisco Posada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBeing a retired woman in San Miguel de Allende is just like being a retired woman in Northern California. My days are normal and mundane, but there are also breathtaking moments. Each day is like that, so it can be whatever I choose it to be. That’s a really interesting question because people are curious and ask me, “What do you do in San Miguel de Allende?” and “Why would you go to San Miguel de Allende?”  
 
I do the same things I would do anywhere- I wake up, I run, I walk my dog, I have pots in my garden, I visit with a friend, I read the news, and I do all the things that anybody would do anywhere. Other days are more exotic than that, like if I choose to venture into town where I can see any variety of interesting events that occur, which might seem like nothing to anyone else, but would touch me in a way. Retirement in San Miguel de Allende is really just like being anywhere.
 
I first came to San Miguel de Allende just before I turned 40, on the recommendation of a friend who had worked here. I came to San Miguel de Allende in the early 70’s with Catholic charities, and my friend and I were talking about where we wanted to go, so we thought about San Miguel de Allende. 
 
My friend and I thought, “Central Mexico will be very different from going to the coast. Let’s mix them both- let’s go to San Miguel de Allende and then to Zihuatanejo.” which at that time was a quiet fishing village, but no longer. We just did it and just came to San Miguel de Allende. We flew in to Mexico City and took a second-class bus from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. Then we headed for the San Francisco posada that was right across Jardin, the main spot in San Miguel.  
 
For me, it was a feeling of home that I hadn’t felt in a really long time, so I said, “Someday, when I grow up, I want to land in San Miguel de Allende.” 
 
I met a really special friend in San Miguel de Allende the first time I came here. He’s an artist and an architect. I met his family and fell in love with all of them. My then husband and I came back the following year, in 1988, and we stayed with my new friends and their family. We kept in touch with them for many years, but then they moved to Monterey, and we lost touch with them, except when they visited us in Northern California. 
 
I began to think about retiring in 2007. I was divorced by that time, and I thought “I’ll go see if San Miguel de Allende still resonates for me,” since I hadn’t been there in about four years. Before I left, a close friend said to me, “Hey, my dad lives in San Miguel de Allende. Why don’t you go see him while you’re there?”
 
I had a little casita in La Colonia, near Centro, and since I’m always a little shy around the edges, I didn’t think I was going to go visit this friend’s dad. I waited until 3 days before I was leaving and thought I’d give my friend’s dad a call, and if he were available I’d go see him. He was. 
 
I took a bus out to visit my friend’s dad. He lived just outside of Centro in a little Colonia called Insurgentes. I took a bus from downtown to visit him, and was completely charmed. He was just this really fascinating philosopher, and we had a lot to talk about. As I was leaving his place, I passed a lot that was for sale, and I thought it looked like a place that I might want to land. I went back into Centro, found the realtor, and bought the lot. 
 
The following year, I retired, rented a little house nearby, and began the process of finding an architect and designing and building a home. I could have gone anywhere, I suppose, but I thought about what could I afford while retiring young. I spoke a bit of Spanish, and I had a willingness to learn, so I thought I could try it, and did.
 
Overall, moving to San Miguel de Allende has worked out fine for me. Then things kind of changed because my friend’s father was getting ready to move to an “old folks’ home” in Portland, as he would call it, with the help of a friend. I took him out to the area where I currently live to see if he might want to settle there, but it was not his cup of tea.
 
I met the friend of my friend’s father, who came to move him back to Portland, and we fell in love. That’s when things changed. I sold the home that I had built and thought about splitting my time between San Miguel de Allende and Northern California.  Then I went back to Northern California and realized that it really is my heart home. I decided I would make my way back to California once I sold my home in San Miguel de Allende. 
 
For me, San Miguel de Allende has changed over the years since I first came here. There was no Internet, and you connected with people by meeting with the bulletin board that you left a note on in the Jardin saying, “Let’s meet up at such and such.”  
 
(San Francisco Posada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ivy Del Pozzo of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ivy del Posso at an opening of the Gallery Relox 46 – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPeople come to San Miguel de Allende and they tell me, “I don’ know what I am going to do if I retire in this place. I would freak out because I have worked my whole life. What am I going to do?”
 
The truth is, people here in San Miguel de Allende are as busy as they want to be. There is so much to do here. There are art openings every week. We have small pocket theaters where you can go, and eat, and watch a foreign movie. There are over 120 NGOs if you feel like you want to do something of that ilk.  We have a paper here called the “Atencion,” which is also online and inside it is a weekly pull-out called “Que Pasa” and that tells you everything that is happening here in San Miguel.
 
When I first came here, before I started working, I looked in Que Pasa and not only is there a ton of things to do, but they were things that were of interest to me like language classes or art classes. We have a huge community of artists. People wonder how they ever found the time to work. They are super active and super engaged in different things. There are literary clubs and we have a great writers’ conference that comes here. There are a million things to do. So when you live here, either you have your peace, quiet, and serenity just walking around town and sitting on the park bench on the Jardin (the park at the center of town), or you can be as active as you want. There is never a shortage of anything going on here in San Miguel.
 
People will sometimes say, “Oh my god, I didn’t get Atencion this week. I just can’t do anything. I have to take a break.” And this is coming from retired people!  You can do as much or as little as you want here in San Miguel. You can just walk around town, sit on the park bench, and watch the people go by or watch the kids playing with the balloon guy.  Overall, if you live or retire in San Miguel you have your choice. You can be as quiet or as active as you want to be but you’re never going to get bored. Guaranteed!
 
(Pictured: Ivy del Posso at an opening of the Gallery Relox 46.)

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Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
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Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
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