Part 1: A glimpse of how we got here
By Melissa Bradshaw
Imagining a new life, in a new country, is exhilarating, a bit scary.
Like so many things in life, it began with a love affair. My husband, Michael, and I decided to get on a plane and fly somewhere we had never been. Los Cabos, Mexico had recently reopened and turning the big 5-0, during a pandemic, was not for the faint of heart. We were off! No fear and no turning back.
Traveling in August of 2020 was a bit surreal. There weren’t many people traveling and we felt we had the world to ourselves. It gave us a real sense of peace and solitude, unimpeded by the usual crowds, to really know and fall in love with the culture and beauty of a completely different place. It was enough for us to come back to Charleston and begin planning our return over Christmas, just four months later. We were smitten. We always research real estate when we travel, both domestically and abroad. Imagining a new life, in a new country, is exhilarating, a bit scary. An idea that would soon blossom into a reality… just three years later.
One thing is for certain; wherever we go, I imagine my business being there.
During Christmas of 2020, we traveled over the course of 14 days. We stayed in twelve different hotels and toured the lower part of Baja peninsula. Our fabulous real-estate agent would meet us in all sorts of places, showing us the differences of life in each area. We toured Los Barriles, La Ventana, La Paz, Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. It was an amazing trip and one that truly pulled on our heart strings.
One thing is for certain; wherever we go, I imagine my business being there. We talk to everyone and network like crazy, quickly finding support and demand for my business in most areas. With so many people moving there from Canada, the United States and Europe during the so-called Zoom Boom or Pandemic exodus, the area was thriving. There was absolute interest, in Los Cabos, and PLENTY of opportunity to offerWee Little Arts… in English, although learning Spanish is high on the agenda! In any case, the pieces of a very scattered and unsure puzzle were starting to come together. Fast forward. Reluctantly, we came back for the New Year. Leaving a piece of our hearts there, I was in a funk and knew we HAD TO GO BACK. In what capacity, we were not yet sure. The warm people we met, the stunningly gorgeous landscapes, perfect foods and experiences really made their mark.
Three days after returning home, out of the blue, I received a text from a woman that wanted to rent our house for 8 months. Impossible. How did she know our house used to be listed on Airbnb? We hadn’t listed it for a long period of time. When getting to know her, she said that our house popped up as it had ended its “pause” timeframe. It seemed divine. Just another example of the path clearing to what was meant for us. Now, for one of the most important parts. During this time, I had been speaking to the SC Department of Commerce. One of the directors reached out to me regarding a virtual Mission trip they were planning, with Mexico City, to export US businesses there. However, the deadline was the day he reached out. I wasted no time, applied and was chosen as one of five SC businesses to attend the virtual mission trip.
We loaded up the ‘02 Honda Odyssey minivan, in May of 2021, for an epic road trip. YES, people had doubts and said we were crazy, blinded by a dream. We were all set and unstoppable. Dog, Chelsea, in tow, four seasons of clothes and all of our spice cabinet… because priorities. We set off for a 30-day trek across this beautiful country, starting in Connecticut then coastal Maine, corner to corner. I mean, why not start there to get to Baja California Sur, right?! Always take the scenic route.
This is an absolute dream come true and we look forward to sharing it.
The adventures were plentiful. More on that later. Michael is a pro at designing fantastic trips. If you ever need someone who knows the best of this country, fine hotels and restaurants, it’s this guy. No shit. We arrived in Cabo San Lucas in July. We rented a charming villa in a beautiful boutique hotel, all within walking distance of everything we needed. WE. FELL. IN. LOVE. Making the best memories of an incredible five months, meeting new friends, fitting into a culture that embraced us and discovering how wonderful it was to really, really live a different pace in a foreign place.
That brings us here. In just two weeks, we will be moving from our beloved Charleston home for a whole new journey. It’s bittersweet, but incredibly exciting. While my business is in great hands and will continue to thrive here, I will be bringing it to children from all over the world that have never experienced it. This is an absolute dream come true and we look forward to sharing it. When I first created our Instagram account, while driving across the country, I really didn’t know what I was creating. I just knew we had to start documenting everything in pictures and video. When I look back on it, it absolutely projects exactly where we are headed. We will ramp it up, in the coming few weeks, for everyone to follow along and enjoy in the adventure. Can’t wait to share with you!
Follow us at:@aweelittleodyssey