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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere we are on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Follow the adventures of a Minnesota couple, Bruce and Mary Kelley, who at the tender ages of 55 & 54 took their jobs and shoved them, running away to Merida, the capital of Yucatan. They had very little dinero and an untested plan that has since evolved out of all recognition. To this point, challenges have worked out in wonderfully unexpected ways allowing Bruce and Mary to forge new lives in a culture they love that has really cheap prices. And now the adventure has renewed itself for Bruce and Mary who, after 4 1/2 years in Merida, have moved to Puerto Vallarta. Stay tuned and learn from their mistakes as this saga begins at the conception of their Mexican dream in the fall of 2007. You will discover that ordinary people, if they dare take the plunge, can thrive in México.

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24 Responses

  1. Siegmar Schulz - September 7, 2011

    Hello Bruce,
    while surfing on the internet I came across your Blog and I really liked it. It has a good design and a good content.
    I have a Spanish School in Itzimna, Merida and I would appreciate it if you could place my link on your Blog with the following link-infromation:

    Keywords: Learn Spanish in Merida

    Description: Come and join a Full Spanish Immersion in Mexico’s White City

    and the target:

    Kindly regads and many thanks,

    Siegmar Schul

  2. Bruce - September 7, 2011

    Hola Siegmar,

    Thanks for the kind words. You have a very nice website yourself. It appears you offer a first class language experience. I will be happy to link to you. Maybe if you get a little business from my readers, we can get a deal? 🙂


  3. Siegmar Schulz - September 29, 2011

    Sure we can. But at first it must work!

  4. Maritza - December 11, 2011

    My husband and I enjoy reading your blog. Would you mind sharing the name of the place in the photo, “Christmas in Merida”?

  5. Bruce - December 11, 2011

    Hola Maritza,

    Thank you for your kind words. The scene of that pix is the second floor balcony of Plaza Serenata, one of our favorite restaurantes. It is on the corner of Calles 60 and 61, overlooking Plaza Grande.


  6. Maritza - December 11, 2011

    We can’t wait to visit again the last week of Dec. Something about plaza grande moves me. Nice piece on Casa Lecanda. I was searching for Roger Gonzalez Escalante and stumbled across your entry. His projects are works of art! Keep sharing your experiences for those of us that can’t retire just yet.

  7. Bruce - December 12, 2011

    Hola Maritza,

    Glad you happened upon my blog and thanks for your kind words. Have a safe trip down here.


  8. Bill in Merida - September 19, 2012

    Just arrived in Merida. Living in Centro. Like your suggestions regarding small local places. I’m not sure of where they are as far as what barrios but in time I’ll get to know them I guess.

  9. roberto armendariz - September 30, 2012

    gracias por venir a mi restaurante, fue un placer´poder atenderles, espero verlos de nuevo aca, cuidense son ustedes uuna personas muy agradables y correctos, roberto

  10. Bruce - September 30, 2012

    Gracias a usted, Roberto por su comida muy excelente y su servicio muy amable. Vamos a escriber acerca de su restaurante cuando estas listo.


  11. Tingting Rimart - May 11, 2013

    Your blog is very inspiring. I hope to retire early too, like 20 years from now. Sounds pretty far, but if I can do it sooner, it would be great!

  12. Bruce - May 11, 2013

    Hola Tingting and thanks for your kind words.

    Take it from me, planning is good, but sometimes you can get “planned out” like we did. Finally, we told ourselves that we were just going to take the leap and see how things would work out, figuring that if they didn’t, well, it wouldn’t kill us. Well, we got lucky and they did.

    Buena suerte.


  13. Barb - September 4, 2013

    Discovered your blog today via YoListo. We have just purchased a condo in Telchac and plan to do the 6 month – 6 month thing in a couple of years. Just am curious why you left Merida and moved to PV! A good friend of mine who is an artist lives in Bucerias and she did the same thing you did – sold everything but her car & her clothes & drove down to Bucerias. And she loves it! I do love your blog & insite into living & working in Mexico (although I don’t intend to work while I live there) I do admire your guts for doing what you did tho!!

  14. Bruce - September 5, 2013

    Hola Barb,

    Congrats on your condo purchase, you’ll love Telchac. And thanks for your kind words.

    This post does a pretty good job on summing up why we left Yucatan for PV: https://setfreeinmexico.com/?p=3947

    Thanks for reading.


  15. Phil Loewen - January 1, 2014

    Hi Fine Folks,
    We have not met, yet! but I would like to. Sue, wife ‘o mine, and I are returning to PV beginning of Feb and staying a few weeks. Then, for the last half of Feb. we are heading out to meet up with some friends of yours, Joanne & Chuck Dueck. Joanne is looking for a place for us since they are booked when we want to be there. Anyway, if you don’t mind, Sue and I would like to meet up chat about some of the better things to do in PV and maybe understand what we need to do to retire there. mmmm. Cheers. phil

  16. Bruce - January 1, 2014

    Hola Phil,

    Sure, we’d be happy to meet up with you guys, maybe happy hour at the Sea Monkey?

    Be sure to tell Chuck and Joanne “hola” from the Kelleys.


  17. Barb Connolly - January 2, 2014

    Hi Bruce,

    You did ablog about a spice shop in old town. I can’t find it. Do you know the address?


  18. Bruce - January 2, 2014

    Hola Barb,

    Here is the blog about the spice shop: https://setfreeinmexico.com/?p=6809

    Thanks for reading.


  19. Kristina - June 24, 2016

    Good morning! I’m heade to PV 7/6-27. I was looking for a personal trainer to work with while I’m there…on my first vacation in years. In another blog someone mentioned you were a former pt and personal trainer or that you may know of someone. Any referrals would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Bruce - June 24, 2016

    Hola Kristina,

    Unfortunately I am retired from personal training.

    Most of the gyms that I know of have floor trainers that can be quite helpful, just ask for a little assistance when you sign up.


  21. Ginny - August 17, 2016

    I am a good friend of Kevin and Shelly’s. They suggested we contact you. We will be in PV 11\30 _ 12\7. Staying at Riu Jalisco. Thought it might be fun to get together for a cocktail.

  22. Bruce - August 17, 2016

    Hola Ginny,

    Sounds fun, give us a holler when you hit town. We do have other friends visiting at the same time, we’ll see what we can arrange.


  23. Ranee Milliman - November 10, 2016

    I tried to send you an email but not sure if you received it or if it went into your spam and you deleted it, but wanted to determine if you were referring to Princeton Mn High School. I may have gone to school with you. I remember a Mark Kelly and I thought his older brother was Bruce. Regardless, I have been following your blog for awhile now and enjoy your adventures and quite frankly, am a bit jealous. I just moved back to Princeton with my husband, who grew up in N.E. Minneapolis. I would love to hear from you and put together the pieces. Look forward to more of your experiences in Mexico. What triggered all of this was you speaking of Mary and stories from when she went to school at PHS.

  24. Bruce - November 10, 2016

    Hola Ranee,

    I am sorry but I did not receive your email. I’m pretty diligent in checking my spam file so I am not sure what happened. I will email you shortly.

    Thanks for reading, Cheers!

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