Earning $25 an Hour Online From Stunning Playa del Carmen, Mexico
“I wanted to give my daughter a richer life with additional opportunities,” says Stacey Hansen about her and her daughter’s decision to leave New Brunswick, Canada for the coastal town of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Stacey says, “In 2017, my daughter and I chatted about what we’d like our life to look like going forward. She was moving into her teen years and we decided it was as good a time as any to make a change. We talked about it as our girl adventure.”
When picking a destination for their adventure, their list of must-haves included easy return to Canada for family visits, good schools, and a low cost of living. After considering Costa Rica, Belize, and Guatemala, they settled on Playa del Carmen and made the move in 2018.
Located just an hour from Cancún with its busy international airport, Playa del Carmen is easy to reach from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. Part of the Riviera Maya, it’s a thriving, modern city known for sandy beaches, jungle ziplines, and scuba adventures.
“Playa gives us the opportunity to be somewhere where my dollar will stretch three times further than in Canada. There’s also more to do,” says Stacey. “We came from a province where things are very spread out and if you want to do something different on the weekends, you have to drive several hours and sometimes stay overnight. In Playa, we can go snorkelling, ziplining, ride horses, or explore nearby towns at a minimal cost. In town, we do quiz night, we go to food tastings. Ella, my daughter, is a great companion. She’s up for anything.”
During quarantine, they’re doing puzzles, rock painting, and plenty of baking. Or, as Stacey puts it, “She’s baking, and I mostly read the recipes. In the past two months, she’s baked chocolate chip cookies, muffins, apple crisp, and protein bars.”
To fund this life, Stacey works remotely as an executive assistant. She’s spent her career in office administration and management, transitioning to online roles when she moved to Mexico. She uses a number of platforms to find online work including Upwork, FlexJobs, AngelList, and We Work Remotely for pay rates of $20 to $25 per hour.
“Remote work is the best,” says Stacey. “I’m able to do the work I enjoy without the stress of commutes, office politics, and dress codes. And it allows us to live in paradise.”
Stacey works traditional office hours, with weekends off. While in Playa, she’s worked remotely for both a law firm in Canada and a finance company in the U.S. With the excellent WiFi available, she can handle all the emails, scheduling, and project management duties her role entails without any issues. Her daughter attends a local school in Playa.
“My daughter and I wanted to experience something outside of the box we’d been living in. We already spoke French and English, so now she has a third language. At school, 80% of her day is in Spanish,” says Stacey.
The mother-daughter duo rent a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom house in a gated community just 10 minutes north of the city. It has a front and backyard, which is perfect for their two dogs. “It’s 10,000 pesos so about $580 Canadian (US$430), which is $400 less than my mortgage in Canada. The utilities are next to nothing. My water bill runs about $12 Canadian (US$9).”
Their Mexican neighborhood and way of life means they’re immersed in the local culture. “There’s an emphasis here on family. You especially see it now during these strange times. Every day on Facebook, someone’s doing a food drive or helping a family. But that attitude is prevalent in good times and bad. The community vibe here outweighs any negativity,” says Stacey.
They’re also fans of the tropical climate. “Neither of us like winter and in Canada, we were used to seven months of winter. Here our mental health is better. I have more energy. I feel healthier and my mind’s clearer.”
If you’re considering making a similar move, Stacey says, “Research, research, research. Talk to the people who live there. Make your list of wants and needs so you can find a place that’s a good fit for you. Keep an open mind and have a sense of humor. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Written by Jen Phillips April