We can spot tourists a mile away. The Barefoot Diary definition of a tourist is not quite so tame as Webster’s cited above. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. Tourists are those people, clad in flowery shirts and big hats, cameras in hand, that wander around the world in flocks taking selfies, slowing down and meandering against the flow of foot traffic, spilling food and drinks because they can’t keep up, while exclaiming loudly, “Wow! Will you look at that…we’re not in Kansas any more!” In fact, nowadays it’s not a good idea to even look like a tourist. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are often the targets of pickpockets and petty thieves.
Phooey! We never, ever want to be labeled as tourists. EVER! This is why no matter how lost we are, we always try to “look” like we know where we are going. It’s why I don a carefully concealed fanny pack (that John hates) rather than a purse or back pack. It’s why we generally never run with “herds” of people and never do guided tours. We consider ourselves, uh, sophisticated travelers…globetrotters…experience creators…adventure junkies…anything but tourists!
Just south of Guadalajara, sister cities, Chapala and Ajijic sit on Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapala. Both cities have unique charm, temperate climates and amenities galore, which have made this area a mecca for retirees and ex-pats.
You might think that for a community focused on so many retirees, that activities would be sedate, laid-back and mundane. Oh contraire! Boredom is not allowed. In fact, even mediocre is not permitted! We had heard horror stories about safety in parts of Mexico, but found this area to be one of the safest places we’ve ever been. I ran on the highways to and from town and felt perfectly safe. So after spending a few days here, we decided that all the tales of retirement blah and fear are made up to scare “un”fun people away from this lovely area and the fun side of the wall!