We’re Moving To Playa del Carmen!

playa del carmen

That’s right, we’re moving to Mexico.

I know what you all must be thinking…wait, didn’t you say you’d have jobs teaching English in Korea by now? What gives? Let me rewind and tell you how we got here.

In our last post Shelly wrote about exactly what we’ve been up to the past few months, including how our FBI Background Checks took absurdly long. This caused us to miss our goal departure of February for Korea to teach English. We’ve officially been back home in the States for going on eight months now. It was unplanned for and frustrating at times, but we’ve both been making the best of it. I don’t mean to make that sound sad; we’ve actually been very productive with learning about blogging and living abroad, among other things.

The hiring process for Korea was frustrating, and with each passing month something seemed to be growing in the back of our minds. An idea. A faint glimmer of the realization that, as fun and challenging as it’d be to live in Korea and explore Asia, teaching English isn’t our passion. Travel is our passion. Since the beginning of this blog, we knew that we wanted the freedom to live where we want to live and work how we want to work. We just didn’t know how.

We would much rather work 24 hours a day towards our own dreams than work 1 hour a day towards someone else’s. 

We began researching ways to work remotely, and reading books like Tim Ferris’ the Four Hour Work Week. We reached out to others who were once in our shoes and are now dominating the digital nomad lifestyle. We networked with app developers, graphic designers, freelance photographers, and social media managers. With each passing day we realized more and more that we can do this. Sure it’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, discipline, and long hours – but we would much rather work 24 hours a day towards our own dreams than work 1 hour a day towards someone else’s. 

And with that, we decided in July that we were done pursuing Korea. Asia will always be on our bucket list, but for now it comes down to what we want to focus on: building our own businesses to eventually become digital nomads and have the freedom to work and travel from wherever we choose. Shelly will be pursuing graphic design and social media management, and I will be following my passions for photography and writing. We both eventually want to learn some WordPress programming and website design to expand our skill set even more.

…teaching English isn’t our passion. Travel is our passion

Once our documents were shipped back to us from Korea, and with a weight lifted off our shoulders that we didn’t even know was there, we began researching where we could now go. Central and South America kept coming up as intriguing possibilities. Costa Rica? Panama? Brazil? We needed a place where Shelly’s loyal husky, Dakota, could come with us, we wanted to be near a beach, and there had to be a relatively low cost of living.

We’re telling you all of these things (mostly because we’ve been relatively quiet over the last several months) because a few days ago we purchased one-way tickets to Playa del Carmen, Mexico! Playa is listed as a top city for digital nomads and we feel like it’s a great stepping off point towards Central and South America. There we will meet up with our new friends The Bucketlist Bombshells, learn to speak Spanish, try our best to avoid the tequila, and become inspired by our new surroundings, the people, and Mexican culture. The sense of adventure is a strong force, and it almost feels like we’re taking the jump into the unknown again! At least this time we have a little more experience and clarity on what we can expect.

We will be leaving August 11, and while there is still so much up in the air as far as being able to make this work, we are completely excited and determined! Playa has a relatively low cost of living, modern conveniences, awesome food, and a good expat community. Not to mention its beautiful surroundings and tropical climate year-round. We can already imagine kicking back in a hammock with our Mahabis on and drinks in hand. The adventurous side of us is most looking forward to swimming in Mexican cenotes, exploring the Mayan ruins, swimming with whale sharks, diving Isla Mujeres, and learning to surf.

Of course, we are also over the moon about FINALLY being able to share some incredible Tinggly adventures with you all!

I mean, just look at a few of the exciting adventures they have available in the area:

Snorkeling and Underground Cenotes Half-Day Adventure 

Full Day Rio Secreto Small Group Tour

Incredible Scuba Experience

Amazing, right? We can barely contain our excitement for exploring yet another beautiful area of the world.

We hope we’ve been able to help or inspire some of you to pursue your own passions, whatever they may be. If you want something badly enough, do what it takes to make it happen. We’ll leave you with one of our favorite quotes:

Even the biggest failure beats the hell out of never trying

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Jimmie & Shelly

15 comments on We’re Moving To Playa del Carmen!

  • Emily S

    Congratulations to you guys! This is exciting news! What an amazing adventure ahead of you.
    “…we would much rather work 24 hours a day towards our own dreams than work 1 hour a day towards someone else’s.” This, so much this. I don’t want to be trapped in a cubicle, making low wage and only getting 1-2 weeks of vacation a year, just to help make money for a man who is already a millionaire. No thanks! Your jump is so inspiring, and is something I’m working on myself. Go you!

    • Shelly Borga

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Emily! Our thoughts exactly – no way we are ever going back to the cubicle life. That soul-crushing life is just not worth it in our minds. You can absolutely make the jump if it’s something you want! We believe in you! 🙂
      Shelly Borga recently posted…We’re Moving To Playa del Carmen!My Profile

  • Julie

    Holy cow! That is an incredible decision, and one I’m sure was made with a lot of hand-wringing and second thoughts and determination. Good for you for being open to seeing what comes and expanding your skills in a way that will ultimately be valuable from an unknown location! Can’t wait to see what happens!!
    Julie recently posted…Neighborhood Guide: Battery Park CityMy Profile

    • Shelly Borga

      It definitely took a bit of searching before we decided on Playa. We can’t wait to see what happens either haha! Thanks for following along, Julie! 🙂

  • Kitty

    Hi! I found your blog searching for where digital nomads hang out in Playa del Carmen. I’m moving there myself next week. Hope we meet! And feel free to reach out 🙂

    • Shelly Borga

      How cool! Absolutely, we would love to meet up! What kind of work do you do online? Where are you moving from? Would love to connect with you via Email or Facebook, Kitty!

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  • vicki lyall

    welcome to our world – Playa! I hope you find it as fascinating and fun to be there as we do 7 years later. meanwhile we are traveling our yearly 2-3 month adventure away from Paradise and currently in Kotor, Montenegro, then 2 weeks on a greek sailboat courtesy of home exchange with our condo in Playa. welcome to Playa! be sure to join the EXPATS AND LOCALS OF PLAYA DEL CARMEN facebook page for info and help finding your way around.

  • Lisa

    Good choice! Korea is boring. LOL.
    I just hit upon your blog while trying to figure out what’s next for me. I am (most recently) from Austin and I am this moment in PDC checking it out! I’ve been a digital nomad traveler for over 10 years now and I’m working out my move to either PDC (surrounding area) or west coast of Mexico (north or south of PV). Would love to hear how it’s working out for you so far – like finding a place to live, did you drive down, bring the dog, etc. I’m staying at an Airbnb right now at 25th ave/40th st. Would love to meet up if you have the time; I’ll only be here until the 27th but shoot me an email if you have some time to meet up.

  • Tereza

    Oh, how inspiring and honest. Thank you! I’ve been struggling myself lately with the way of cubicle life so much that I almost made a mistake and rush into things too quickly. I had to step back, look at myself and start to enjoy the happiness of daily life I have NOW (because I was really annoying) – while making small steps towards my goal – open a hostel somewhere nice close to the beach. Big dream right? I’m at the very beginning… I’m going to Belize for Christmas and Tulum (very close to you, guys) for New Years Eve (30.12.-2015 – 8.10.2016) to try out few things and while having fun with my 2 friends, I’ll make a lot of notes and research.
    Greetings from Prague, Czech Rep. 😉 Ahoj!

    • Norway To Nowhere (author)


      We love everything you’re saying! Opening a hostel on the beach sounds like a fantastic idea, do you have an ideal location for where you’d like to open one up? We hope you’re able to see your dream fulfilled, and whether it’s in one year or ten years it will certainly be worth it.

      If you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

      P.S. We miss Prague so much!

  • Matt Mckenzie


    I just moved here a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been a digital nomad for the past 4 years or so, let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.


  • Ebony Nunez

    Moving to Mexico is my dream. I have always wanted to visit it at least. You are so right that travel is passion. Sometimes I think that this is the most important thing in our lives… memories from traveling. Keep posting
    Ps: Love your dog ! 🙂

  • Nina

    So happy to stumble on your blog! We work online too and just moved to playa. It’s a wonderful place and we’re loving the city already. Are you still in the area? Would love to meet up! 🙂

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