Proud ‘Expat Rebels’ recount their pandemic adventure on the beach and explain why they built a steam room in humid Yucatán

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Christopher Sherrod and Nancy Wagner are Yucatán’s ‘Expat Rebels.’

There are a lot of foreigners making Yucatán their home. When the pandemic stopped worldwide travel one couple picked a home, bought it, and started renovating it to retire into.

Christopher and Nancy started a worldwide tour back in 2016 and came to Mexico on their first stop. First going to Playa del Carmen and then a whirlwind tour to Akumal, Playa again, Mérida, and Progreso then Chicxulub and Mérida again to finally settle in Telchac Puerto.

Chris started a podcast talking about being an expat and was having fun sharing the experience when he had a grand mal seizure in early 2019, which prevented him from driving, at least so far. After a lengthy healing time being restricted to a darkened bedroom in rentals around Chicxulub, Mérida, and Progreso he started emerging to relearn how to cook and live life when the pandemic hit.

His podcast was on hold while he recovered enough to start again.

Christopher Sherrod and Nancy Wagner 

Now everyone was restricted to home and Chris had already learned how to make the most of staying home all the time.

“People are experiencing high inflation and changing home-country attitudes that are driving people to retire early to safer places like Yucatán, Mexico,” says Chris.

During the most severe part of the lockdown in Mérida, he created a vlog — a video blog —showing what it was like to live in Mexico during the pandemic. The video went on to get several thousand views.

Post-seizure, he’s found it easier to create vlogs than a podcast with guests, so he started a nearly daily series on his beach home renovation as the pandemic continued outside his walls.

Christopher Sherrod

Not seeing many videos showing what a home renovation is like in a foreign country, Chris started documenting projects and soliciting comments and sharing what was working and what he had done wrong.

Chris and his partner Nancy are the only foreigners that they know of that did not use an architect for their renovation.

“We were comfortable enough with Spanish and had a great vision of what we wanted and we didn’t want a third-person architect in the way,” Chris explains. “Nan hired and managed the construction workers to create the home and yard to fit us exactly.”

The home has a heart-shaped pool that incorporates an already existing coconut palm tree for an island. There are also concrete sidewalks from street gate to beach gate, higher sidewalls, electrical and water upgrades, and even a steam room.

“People thought we were crazy to add a steam room in a humid part of Mexico but we enjoy the benefits of a good steam on our lungs and skin,” Chris says. “Plus there is the pool right next to it as an easy cold plunge.”

The idea of being an expat in Mexico went from idea to reality in about 30 days. Chris says putting as little as possible in storage and living out of luggage and trying different places out was a lot easier. After considering nearly 30 places, they finally had enough experience to know exactly where they wanted to settle. ′


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