03.05.2021

They left the U.S. to live the 'beach life'—how much they spend and why 'we have no regrets'

Gabriella M. Lindsay (the author), her husband Vernon, and their three children in Mazatlán, Mexico   |   Gabriella M. Lindsay (the author), her husband Vernon, and their three children in Mazatlán, Mexico | Photo Courtesy Gabriella M. Lindsay via CNBC

In 2009, my husband Vernon and I got married on the beach in Mazatlán, México. At our reception, we told each other that we would one day move there.

Of course, life happened, and that dream was pushed off until later, perhaps when we were ready to retire. We had three beautiful kids, two cars, a home in the suburbs of Chicago and a dreamy white picket fence.

Still, something was missing. We were working full-time jobs, including side hustles in the fitness industry, that gave us a combined income of close to six-figures. But we found ourselves increasingly frustrated at the amount of energy it took to simply get by.

Every day, we came home feeling tired and disheartened. What were we working so hard to achieve? What was all of this “stuff” for? The house, the cars, the student loans — everything was a series of bills to pay. This was not what we envisioned for ourselves.

We constantly dreamed of living on the beach and building our own businesses so we could have the flexibility to spend more time with our kids.

Then, in February 2016, I received the call that no daughter ever wants to receive. My mother had died — unexpectedly and alone — in Mazatlán, where she and my father moved to retire.

As I slid to the floor, nearly dropping my phone at the news, a sense of realization washed over me: Nothing, including tomorrow, was guaranteed. If we wanted to experience happiness, we had to take action.

Read the full story at CNBC | Money.