Search & Replace Episode S01E16: Elizabeth Sherman

Elizabeth Sherman needed to change up her lifestyle in a major way. She had the big house with the pool and the typical “American” dream, but found she was working all the time to support that lifestyle and not actually enjoying it. She wanted to feel the way she did when she was on vacation all the time. So, she and her husband made the major life decision to expatriate to Mexico! She’s able to work online and enjoy the new culture and lifestyle in Mexico that she’s always been looking for, while she’s learned a lot of unexpected things from her experience along the way. 

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialists at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode.
[00:00:11] Joe Taylor, Jr: What if you wanted to shake up your lifestyle so much, you ended up leaving the country. I'm Joe Taylor, Jr. This is Search and Replace.
Elizabeth Sherman helps her coaching clients lose weight and feel better about their bodies. But Elizabeth says she wasn't feeling so great about her lifestyle. 
[00:00:37] Elizabeth Sherman: By all stretch of the imagination, we had what was called the typical, perfect American dream. We had a five-bedroom house, even though we don't have kids and we have three cars and a pool and just as beautiful, incredible house.
But what was happening was that we were working to sustain our lifestyle instead of really enjoying what we were doing. 
[00:01:01] Joe Taylor, Jr: Elizabeth says she even kept wondering about this when trying to take time off. And that's when inspiration struck. 
[00:01:09] Elizabeth Sherman: My husband and I went on vacation in Belize about 10 years ago. And we spent a month in Belize and we kind of looked at each other and we were like, oh my God, could we really do this- live on a beach somewhere outside of the United States?
What we noticed is that no one was worried about designer clothes or handbags or what you drove or anything like that. And everyone just seemed so much happier and it just seems so much easier. Life seems so much easier that we, kind of, wanted to get out of the rat race in the US. 
[00:01:45] Joe Taylor, Jr: Those folks who try to expatriate life will tell you that the reality of living in a foreign country is a lot different than the experience you get when you're staying at a resort; and Elizabeth agrees. 
[00:01:57] Elizabeth Sherman: Vacationing someplace and living someplace are; you're looking for different needs. So someplace that I may enjoy vacationing, I might not want to live. We wanted to figure out how can we marry these two things, living in this beautiful space and also being able to work and earn money.
We love the culture. We love the food. We love the people and the art, and there's just so much richness here in Mexico. We started going to different cities and systematically trying to figure out, is this the city for us? Is this the place for us? And ultimately, when we really started getting serious about it, we put together a list of our wants. And then we started looking at, okay, which cities in Mexico fill these needs. 
[00:02:51] Joe Taylor, Jr: Elizabeth and her husband started lining up their career and personal requirements alongside the pros and cons of each of their favorite destinations. 
[00:02:59] Elizabeth Sherman: One of the areas that we really enjoyed vacationing at was Isla Mujeres, which is just off the coast of Cancun. But we really didn't want to live there because it's an island. And there were a couple of reasons. One being that you have to take a ferry there, and it just seemed like too much of a disconnect or a wall between, quote unquote, civilization and where we would be living. And the other piece to that is that the internet, my husband is a CTO of a software company and I am a coach. So I work with my clients online. And so our data needs, our internet needs are actually very high. 
When I first started doing this, no one really knew what a coach was. I was doing in-person personal training. And so it took a while for the industry to catch up to that. People now understand what a weight loss coach is, how I can help them. Now that we are post COVID, my business has actually picked up even more because people understand that they can't do things in person as much as they used to be able to. And so, it doesn't really matter where I live at this point. 
[00:04:11] Joe Taylor, Jr: So, what happens when you flip your perspective and you're living in a popular resort destination watching everyone else show up for a good time.
[00:04:20] Elizabeth Sherman: So when I was a personal trainer I used to, you know, coach my clients and oh, you need to exercise while you're on vacation, even though you're on vacation. And of, course, they would always come back and be like, yeah, I dove head first into the guacamole. Now that I see people on this side, where everything is actually more relaxed and more laid back. And I see people who- it's so interesting to see them running and running and looking so incredibly stressed out that I kind of want to tell them it's okay. You can relax. Life is going to be okay. 
[00:04:58] Joe Taylor, Jr: Moving to Mexico may not have solved every one of the issues that Elizabeth and her husband identified in their lives. But she says, she's learned a lot of unexpected things from their experience. 
[00:05:08] Elizabeth Sherman: People talk to me when they find out that I live in Mexico, they're like, oh- that must be amazing. And I want to point out to everyone that there are never going to be rainbows and unicorns, no matter where you live. Regardless of where you end up, you just have to figure out what it is that you're willing to give up and what it is that you actually want.
One of the things that I noticed that a lot of people who come to Mexico and retire do is that they don't really have a plan. They think about, oh, I'm just going to move to Mexico and I'm going to lay on the beach and live happily ever after. And what happens is, they're actually pretty unhappy because they're not investing in growing themselves. Regardless of where it is that you choose to live, you just need to make sure that you have a plan for how life is going to be different and how you want to be in that space. How is that going to change your life and what are you going to do in order to make that quality of life better for yourself, versus expecting it to happen to you? 
[00:06:31] Joe Taylor, Jr: That's wellness coach Elizabeth Sherman- who's working with clients worldwide thanks to the internet. You can find a link to her website in our show notes at 
Search and Replace was produced by Nicole Hubbard with support from Christine Benton, Connie Evans, Amelia Lohman, April Smith, and executive producer, Lori Taylor. Our theme music was composed by Alex Refire. I'm Joe Taylor, Jr.
[00:07:05] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production. 
Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns and Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. 
Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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