“Snow Birds” Everywhere Down Here

It is cold up north now in the USA and Canada, which means it is “Snow Bird” season down here now. “Snow Birds” are people from the USA and Canada, (usually from the cold parts of the USA, like Minnesota) who live down here for six months during the winter months, and return home in the spring when the snow melts. Kind of like the birds who come down here also during the winter. (In fact I went on a bird watching tour a couple of weeks ago in Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, and I got to see some of the birds down here for the winter). More on that later.

"Snow Birds" by the pool.

“Snow Birds” by the pool.

Since I have been in Playa del Carmen condo sitting for a friend while he is out of the country, I have gotten to know some people from Canada who live down here during the winter months. Here in Playa del Carmen, it was slow and quiet, and then on November 1, and I looked up and the condos were almost full of people down here for the winter. It was like I opened the balcony door and looked down at the pool, and it was full of people from Canada and nothern USA starting on their tans.

The Canadians usually stay down here for 6 months and go back up north when the snow thaws around April or May. I mean they arrive on, or around November 1 like clock work. I have found out a lot of the Canadians still have active businesses back in Canada, but they still stay down here during the winter. I have met one woman who has a swimming pool manufacturing company back home in Canada, and several other people with different kinds of businesses, still in Canada.

I have not been around Canadians much, since I am from South Carolina I have not had much contact with Canadians intil I came here. The last couple of days I have been sitting around the pool and getting to know them. Someone once told me Canadians like to sit around down here and talk about how cold it is back home up north. This is kind of true, I heard a woman say around the pool the of day it was -10 degrees back home in Canada. I thought to myself, no wonder you are down here, way too cold for anyone to live.

snow birds 003

There seem to be a lot of Canadians in Playa del Carmen and a bunch here in Margaritas 2 condos. I have met Canadians in Belize and Mahahual, but there seem to be a lot more here in Playa del Carmen. There is a nice group of expat Canadians in Mahahual, and they even have a woman’s group that does charity work in the village.

So I have gotten to know some of these Canadians pretty good, so I asked one of them today, why she liked Playa del Carmen and Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo, the state, includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar, Tulum, Mahahual, and Chetumal, has become a big retirement destination for a lot of Canadians.

She told me she liked living here because of the “small town feel”, and if she did not have family back in Canada, she would probably live here year round. She also mentioned the good health care in Canada is also a reason they go back.

She said she has been coming here 15-20 years, and has always felt at home here, and very safe. She also said it is quick to get here, she is only a 5 hours flight away from her home, and she can leave at 7am in morning in Canada and be here by 4pm in the afternoon.

She also said another reason they chose here to live was they wanted to be by the water. Her and her husband love the Caribbean Sea and the beach. They looked at Florida and other places and decided on Mexico and Quintana Roo.

We talked of several reasons she liked it here, the diet is good here, she likes the sun, because in Canada the sun does not shine much in the winter, and with sunlight here you get all the Vitamin D you need. She also likes she can walk all around down here and get exercise, and at the same time feel very safe.

Also the diet is better here, she said. Because of the warm weather here, you tend to eat less, and smaller and healthier meals and such. In Canada wth the cold winter you tend to stay inside and eat bulkier meals and don’t get any movement because of all the cold weather and snow. Here you eat more fruits, lighter meals, and you don’t tend to over eat as much, because you are outside a lot.

One thing I can say about the Canadians here, if the sun is shining, they are out by the pool. Like I said before, I have not been around many Canadians in my travels, but the ones I have met here all seem nice and friendly. They are interesting to talk to, they give you a different outlook or perspective about life here.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

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