Thursday, July 2, 2015

Our Presentation at the 10th International Living Retire OverseasConference

We were extremely honored to be invited to speak again this year at the International Living Conference held in Cancun, Mexico June 3-6. Last year was our first invitation to speak when it was held in PV at the Sheraton.

Our topic was again as the Roving Expats "Country Shopping: The Process for Having No Regrets". We were allowed 20 minutes to convey our journey that began with events that started in 2008 to our decision in December, 2011 to sell everything back in Northeast Washington, become debt free, salvage what savings we had left, and moving to a foreign country. 

Our Story:

We hit the road on July 29, 2012 and haven't looked back since. After a 3 month cross country road trip where we visited every family member and many friends in the US & Canada, we landed in Panama on November 11, 2012. We lived in 5 different Latin American countries and 11 different towns/villages along the way before choosing to call Puerto Vallarta home. 

Since the beginning, I have written entries into this blog. I also began publishing our monthly expenditures once we began our true "country shopping". This feature has truly become the "signature" of the blog. To date, there have been 4.5 million and counting views of the blog. It's also a big reason that we were approached by IL to speak. 

Mike and I flew from PV to Cancun on June 2. At the Cancun Airport, we met up with two other speakers we had met last year and were whisked away by van to be deposited at our hotel and conference location at the J.W. Marriott located on the Carribean. 

I was truly excited for Mike because he'd never been to this part of Mexico. The last time I had been there was in 1998 for an award trip I had earned as a Realtor. Being there continued to expand our travels within Mexico this past year. 

Once checking in, we had to quickly change and meet in the lobby.  We had been invited to a party being held at our friends, Don & Diane Murray, who actually live on the Cancun strip. We had first met them when we lived in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador. They were living there then but decided to move to Cancun in the Soring of 2014. We are delighted that our good friends are now a bit more accessible. 

A great evening in their home.  We were able to witness a beautiful sunset, as well, while enjoying the company of expats from around the world along with many IL staff that have become friends. Yup, retirement does NOT suck, as my good friend, Don Murray, always says!

Our room was quite comfortable and had a beautiful view of the ocean from our balcony. We enjoyed our coffee and juice every morning outside while catching up with the world. 

After meeting up with Don & Diane for lunch on Wednesday, it was time to get ready for our presentation. The Conference started at 4pm with Dan Prescher, the IL mc, doing the opening honors. At 4:25pm it was our turn to be center stage as the first expat speakers.  

With 250+ people attending the conference, we certainly had to have our wits about us. Our power point presentation had 19 slides that we used as our visual props. Our timing was perfect and with ease, we finished at 19 minutes. 

After a few more presentations, the opening day came to an end followed by a cocktail party. It seemed once again that we did well based on all of the feedback we received from attendees. It was non stop questions from attendees until the party was over. It's certainly nice to be able to give value!

The evening ended with a dinner at the Japanese restaurant, The Merkado, with friends who are expats in Costa Rica. The life of a Roving Expat means having friends who live all over the world. We are truly fortunate.

It was a great feeling to have our presentation behind us! We could now sit back and enjoy the conference and be available for questions without the anxiety. Mike and I had practiced twice to three times a day for several weeks before the conference because other than the slides, which were more pictures than writing, we were not allowed to have any notes. So we needed to know this by heart. 

On Thursday, Mike and I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time at the beach and pool. A truly beautiful spot even though the ocean waves were pretty fierce.

After another successful day of presentations, our evening ended with a large group of us at dinner at Gustino's for a most delicious Italian dinner. Love being able to spend such quality time with these fine people!

Since we are guest speakers, our attendance at the conference was limited. So on Friday the 5th, we strolled out of our hotel and back into our world of taking local busses. We had planned to spend a week in Playa del Carmen because Mike had never been to the Yucatan and we wanted to do some comparing and site seeing. 

A bus ride into the center of Cancun, a walk over the overpass walkway, and into the Centro bus station to catch the next bus to Playa del Carmen. Showing our INAPAM cards (senior discount) our tickets cost us a whole $6US for our 1.5 hour ride. Gotta love it!

So our time in Cancun came and went with a successful presentation once again. Time to move on down the road and enjoy a week in Playa del Carmen. Here's hoping that we get an invitation to speak again next year wherever it is.  We love being good Ambassadors for not only Puerto Vallarta but all of Mexico. 

I've been having computer issues, which is why these posts are so delayed. Hope to have them fixed in the next day or so. We're in WA now on our last leg of our US trip. Sitting in a coffee shop because my computer will for some reason connect to this internet but not at our daughter's home.

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Talk soon.....

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