Family runs business from beach after ditching Canada for Mexico
They extended their vacation to forever.
By Jessica Hehir-Smith via SWNS
A couple moved from Canada to Mexico with their young daughter for a better quality of life - and now live mortgage free and run their business from the beach.
Christina Whiteley, 39, and her husband Ryan Whiteley, 43, officially moved to Mexico with their 6-year-old daughter Isabella in October 2021.
The couple has had the "travel bug" since they met 14 years ago and got married in Mexico, but they had never been in a position where they could actually move.
The family had been living in their home of North Cowichan, Vancouver Island, for five years, but felt like they could be doing more for their daughter.
Although they were in the top 2% of earners in Canada, Christina and Ryan felt they were living paycheck to paycheck and saw no end in sight.
They knew that the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic would affect their quality of life and they wanted Isabella to be able to live without any worry.
Both had jobs that could be easily transferred - Christina is an online business strategist and mentor, and Ryan had a background in real estate.
So they decided to pull Isabella out of school in October last year ahead of a 10-day trip to Cabo in November and extended their vacation to forever.
After 14 months in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, they couldn’t be happier.
Isabella lives a carefree life in the sunshine, Christina can run her business by the beach and they have grown closer as a family.
The family is able to afford adventures, live the lifestyle they want and rent a three-bed condo whilst they build their very own home and prepare to live mortgage free.
There were "so many" reasons why they needed a change and why Mexico was their perfect new home.
Christina said: “My husband and I have always been dreamers, but COVID was hard on us - hard on everyone.
“I went through two miscarriages in 2021 and I had very little medical care because of the pandemic. I wasn’t okay, neither was my husband.
“We decided we didn't want to sit at home and feel terrible anymore. We took control of our lives, our destiny, and chose to do something different.
“We are over the moon. As terrible as COVID was, I'm so grateful because we never would have made this move had that not happened.”
In December 2021, the family was in Cabo getting a ‘balcony view’ of their new life when Ryan told Christina it was now or never.
The housing market was crashing and they needed to sell their home in Canada.
The average house price in Victorica, Vancouver Island, is approximately $1.16 million CAD, whereas in Cabo San Lucas the average is about $353,000 USD.
They knew that selling their home would mean they could afford an amazing quality of life in Mexico.
Within a week their house was sold and they began making their move official by sorting out a car, licenses, banking, organizing their residency and finally buying a house.
They were able to fund their move - including flights back to Canada and a two-week road trip through the United States with their remaining belongings - with their online income and the sale of their house.
Initially, there was some pushback from their family but they soon realized it was a great opportunity for them and have even come to visit.
Their biggest concern was their daughter’s education.
When homeschooling didn’t work out, they found a private ‘teaching pod’ and then a private, non-profit school that could give Isabella a great education in both English and Spanish.
Christina added: “We chose Mexico because we are familiar with Cabo - we’ve been here many times and love the community, culture, food, music, and people.
“We also wanted to stay close enough that we could see family frequently and make sure our daughter still has that connection with them.
“I know people worry about the safety in Mexico but we feel safe here. Cabo is a different place - it is a tourist destination and the government wants to keep tourists coming.
“If you’re not causing trouble you won't get into trouble. Not to say random bad things don't happen, they do, but they happen all over the world.”
There have been unexpected challenges for Ryan and Christina, such as the sometimes difficult language barrier and their experiences with the unreliable mailing system.
But it is all a learning curve that has led them to be able to have their dream lifestyle.
They are not sure how long they’ll stay in Cabo, but for now, they are enjoying the Mexico chapter of their life and will always have a place in their hearts for their new home.
Christina began posting about their life change on social media apps TikTok and Instagram as she wanted to give people hope, despite the difficult economic climate.
She had dreamt of traveling the world, having a family and living somewhere tropical but had no idea how to make it a reality.
She said: “I wasn't going to waste another year moping around the house wishing things were different and expecting things to change without doing anything about it."
“There are a lot of people who want to change their lifestyle and just aren't sure how, so it's been amazing to help them create a vision and action plan to start living on their terms.
“On the other side, there is a lot of fear and anger from people these last few years.
"It's really hard to see that many have lost hope and don’t believe they are fully capable of changing their own lives.”
Christina hopes that her journey will inspire and motivate people to take action and create their dream life.
She said: “We get one life. People always think they have more time when they don't, so don't wait.
“You are capable of building your dream life. You just have to get creative and work backward from what you want.
“Be bold! Be brave! Be disruptive! You are capable of things far beyond your wildest dreams if you just have the courage to go for it.”
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