“People go to Florida to die. They go to San Miguel de Allende to live,” says the oft repeated saying about the over 500-year-old city in the central part of Mexico.
I can see why people might want to live there.
I traveled there in October to attend a photography workshop sponsored by the Sante Fe Photography Workshops and learned why it is such an attractive place for the more than 20,000 Ex-pats who have moved there from North America.
The weather was great. The people were friendly and welcoming. And from a photography stand point the lovely colors and textures provided terrific backgrounds for a variety of images.
During the week, we ventured out of our charming hotel several times a day to create images, returning to our class room to discus and critique our efforts. Within easy walking distance our surroundings provided a rich and varied palette of subjects.
I was immediately attracted to the colors of the buildings, the cobblestone streets and the terrain. The city reminded me of an Italian Hill town. Built on a hill with a fantastic cathedral at a high point, it made for interesting site lines and quirky spots to loiter and people watch.
The kitchen inspired colors—fruit and spice tones of corals, oranges, golds and greens captivated me. And, while we in general avoided taking pictures of the interesting doorways because they have been photographed so much they are a cliche, the architectural details were of interest to me.
I loved seeing the people in a variety of attire. Every where. Sure. It is a tourist town so the locals dress up, but I got a sense that some of it was authentic. Hope so, anyway.
I happened to be in front of the much photographed cathedral at the time of a wedding. Nothing is more fun than catching guests enjoying themselves. In this case I captured one that made me smile.
Travel and Leisure Magazine just named San Miguel de Allende “Best place to visit in the world.” I think that means it is going to get a whole lot busier.
An ex-pat from Boston who lives full time in San Miguel told me “Lots of people here are unhappy about Travel and Leisure drawing attention to our little bit of heaven. They don’t want things to change.”
I can see why.