Following on from my last post about The Perfect Place To Live, here’s what else I’ve learned about myself during this exploration:

1. I’ve noticed that no matter where I am, when things get really difficult (kids, health, food – i.e. sourcing healthy food and cooking from scratch, exhaustion, etc.) my knee-jerk reaction is to get out of there and go to the other place. If I’m in White Rock, then I think, “Well if I was in Playa del Carmen, this wouldn’t be happening because x, y, z. So I need to get to Playa and everything will be okay.” And then vice versa. When I get frustrated, exhausted, or angry here in Playa, my automatic assumption is that changing the location (going home) will bring relief, solve the problem.

2. I’m here in the Caribbean Mayan Riviera and there are atill times when I’m cold.

3. The kids are no easier to take care of here in Playa where they are able to go outside all the time. You see, in White Rock, the kids are so much easier to take care of in the summer, than in the winter. Because when they get ratty in the house, I take them outside to the yard and presto, everyone is great.

So I had assumed that if we lived somewhere the weather was nice, the kids would be so much easier to take care of and my life would get a lot easier.

But now I’m realizing that one of the reasons they’re so happy outside in White Rock is that our yard is very well set up; trampoline, swingset, slide, monkey bars, garden for planting things, mini soccer field with nets, rope swing, and a next-door neighbour with kids similar ages who also have a trampoline – so they can jump in unison. Plus the kids can just climb over the fence and go back and forth between the houses.

Our Big Backyard (trampoline is now in the back left corner)

Here’s The Tramp – the safest one on the market, well worth the money

Here, all they can do is wander around the common area and swim in the pool. Granted, this is very fun and special. However, they can’t just swim for six hours a day. So they get bored. And yes, if we built our own house here on a double lot, we could reproduce what we’ve got at home – the construction of which would take about two years.

Playa Rental House Backyard

Here’s the bottom line: No matter where we are, the kids need a MIX of activities and pace to keep them from getting bored and fighting. For example, on any given day they need a mix of all the following activities: play inside, play outside (or even just a walk to the shops or through the forest), playdates with other kids, or a play-based activity, downtime (videos, books, Nintendo DS), helping with food prep (which they enjoy) and eating.

4. The kids are not healthier here, living in the sun, than in the rain and dark of White Rock. Again, I had assumed that if they got lots of exposure to sunlight every day, it would prevent them from getting sick. However, changes of weather here – from hot to cooler and windy – produce colds just as quickly as weather changes back home. In fact, due to the poor diet, swimming in chlorinated pools and not sleeping as well, the kids have actually been sicker here than they are back in White Rock. In one month we’ve had two of them with colds, three earaches (probably would have developed into full-blown infections if I didn