Magazine For Isla Mujeres Charities

Photo by Tony Garcia

Islaholics, Expats & 9 Signs You're Mexicanized

By Ronda Winn-Roberts

Q. What is an Islaholic?

Foreigners who've fallen head over heels with this island have been calling themselves "Islaholics" for years. A recently created Facebook group by this name acquired nearly 3000 members in a matter of months.*

A. Islaholics start planning their next trip as soon as they return home, but they aren't just dreaming; they're comparing fares & updating their "countdown app". They've got visions of seaside living when they buy lottery tickets, & they've checked out some properties for sale, just in case. Islaholics feel the first pangs of withdrawal as they settle in on the upper level of the departing ferry, and  maybe it's the wind that brings tears to their eyes, as they inhale the smell of the sea & stare intensely at the neon colors, holding memories tightly .........."until next time".

By Trina Noakes
* There's ~4500 members of that group, now that it's ~a year old. There's an Islaholicos group with ~1200 members and an Islaholics of Isla Mujeres group with ~1300 members.

Q. What do Islaholics have to say for themselves??

A. You know you're an Islaholic when.....
  • When you haven't been to any other destination for vacation in over 5 years.   MD in TX 
  • When you not only do you know how to spell and pronounce "tikin xic" you actually know what it is.    Sky nTonic 
  • You keep looking for Havana Club rum in the liquor store!    Patty Pennsylvania
  • When you look for the waste basket next to the toilet then realize you're home  TravelerNY
  • You wash your swimsuits and island clothes and put them right back in the suitcase so you are ready for next trip! Malacker 
  • You look around Isla, walk down the beach, put your toes in the sand and feel you've come home.IlovenotKamping
  • When you panic because the Playa Norte/Ixchel web cam is down for maintenance and you can't get your daily fix of the beautiful ocean. MD in TX 
  • And being at the Japanese restaurant and saying "SI" to the waitress after she repeats our order Paradisiaque
Excerpted from Isla Mujeres Trip Advisor forum  Link 

" Top Ten Signs You Go to Isla a lot"  

10.Two sentences you hear more and more: ‘You’re here again!’ and ‘Vives aqui?’
9 You are giving your new-to-the-island taxista directions.
8 Islenos ask if YOU remember them, not the other way around.
7 You have once appeared on Wentcoastal’s blog.
6 You know where Maria and her pepitas live.
5 Your Facebook friends no longer comment on how often you are there. Frankly, at this point, they just assume you never left.
4 You sometimes score the ‘local discount’ in restaurants without ever asking.
3 The minute you arrive to Puerto Juarez, you run into someone you know.
2 You know more island ‘chisme’ that you’ll ever care to know.
1 Ferry rides back to Puerto Juarez are not a sad affair, because most of the time, next trip is already planned!   By Gatine

When people no longer ask you where you’re going on vacation. They know where.
When you looking for someplace to throw the toilet paper and you’re at home. (Traveler NY)

You walk out of a store & tell the vendor  “no, gracias” (MD in Tx)

10. When you see only one person on a scooter, it looks odd.
9. You stop putting away your summer clothes … just in case.
8. You trade in the family minivan for a golf cart.
7. You start showing up at hockey games wearing your favorite team’s sweater … and shorts.
6. You ask for “la cuenta” at a Chinese restaurant.
5. You decide that flip flops fall into the “business casual” category. More formal events, of course, still require closed toe sandals.
4. You start asking your hometown friends what they’re doing for sunset.
3. You try to order pizza with lobster.
2. You have all the Spanish language stations programmed into your car’s radio.
1. When your boss criticizes for not getting something done, you look at him in amazement and ask, “Oh, you meant TODAY?”  (By D Martin...)

You go to pay for something and all you have is pesos!
You are still wearing flip flops and it's 20 degrees outside!
p.s I cry on the ferry leaving even if I have another trip planned! I hate to leave!  Mapchick.

Running into people we know at puerto jaurez has happened to us a few times.
You know the bus driver and he stops to pick you up
Locals ask you to be their friend on facebook
People we have met in the past, who no longer work on Isla, arrange to come over and meet you for dinner
Our trips get longer each year
We look at the Isla real estate regularly
The hotel concierge greets you as his friend and know where you are from
My wardrobe consists of mostly summer dresses and sandals   Lovebirds51

When even dear heart says "we're not going to talk about Isla again!" because every time we go out to dinner or are sitting around chatting, I manage to insert Isla into the conversation somehow - like when you have a crush on someone and can't stop mentioning their name! Workfortips

1. When a sales rep comes in and is surprised to see you and says I figured you'd be in Mexico again.
2. When you order a Negra Modelo at your local bar and they look at you with a blank stare.
3. When you have more Facebook friends that live on Isla than in the U.S.
4. When you don't bother to put the suitcase away because you know you'll need it again soon.Rick S

When your husband says "just book the trip and then please shut up" and then you keep obsessing about the trip you just booked. (KC lady 66)

As soon as the weather starts getting gloomy family and friends ask when you're leaving and for how long this time.
Acquaintances in your Canadian hometown assume that you live on Isla and visit Canada. (which, when you think about it, is almost the case!!) IloveNotKamping:
When you look at the back of vans for pastries to buy.

When you only answer the phone "Hola".
When you try to leave the bar with your beer because it's in a Bahia Tortuga or Villa la Bella koozie! CoronaGirl:

 When everyone at work starts referring to Isla as "your island" (Nashtyp)

Excerpted fromIsla Mujeres Forum on TA (LINK)

Everyone loves Isla Mujeres in their own way. Some love her seasonally, some want to see her intermittently, and others are so infatuated that separations cause them suffering & they find a way to move to the isle & become residents. 


Q.  What do Expats have to say for themselves??

A. You know live on Isla when.....

~"When you gotta borrow clothes to go to New York"! Cause you don't own a coat or sweater. 
~When going "all the way" to the north end to go to the bank seems like distant difficult travel. 
~When the dogs don't bark; so you can't sleep.          Jimmie Dotson no longer hear your neighbors rooster you used to threaten to make dinner out of.        Stacy Fernandez

 Same dogs, same roosters, same times  Roger Hardesty

When you start to buy all your clothes at Chedraui! Laurence Levy

When you go back home and and still throw your toilet paper in the basket after 2days.Roger Surprenant

When: ........ You are riding along on your motocicleta with your large bag of clean laundry between your knees, your dog on the seat behind you, you didn't bother to put your helmet on because you were only going 3 blocks and a policia municipal drives by and ignores you! Laurie Lamont

When you wash the free plastic crates from Chedraui to use as storage bins in your apartment. Sheryl Stewart

It takes you an hour and a half to walk down Hildago because you keep running into people you know. Sarah James
 ~ When it takes you an hour to buy two items at Chedraui because you run into so many of your friends and neighbors doing the very same thing.
~When you have names for the iguanas that in your yard, and know their favorite vegetables. Leanne Durkee Frye
When you discover that the large limes are in fact oranges! Julie Jones
~When you own a couple boxes of very tarnished paper clips
~ When you can honestly answer if you'll be awakened by clown horn or rooster tomorrow.  Zina Vishnevsky (RIP)
~ When you know mañana does not actually mean TOMORROW.
~When if you want fresh milk, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, sweet potatoes etc etc you need to really want them enough to do the misión to costco via boats and kami-kaze taxi drivers Kate Bahnsen

You know you live on Isla when your golf cart gives up the ghost at the bottom of a hill and a two friendly police officers give you a push to your front door. Margaret Chiffriller

You know you are in Isla Mujeres when you simply flick the ant out of your Cheerios and keep on eating. Barbara Lutz

~When the tourists downtown think that sidewalks are purely decorative and not for human usage. Isla Gringo
~Someone once said to me you know you are in Isla because everyone walks in the street!  Response by Susan Stowell

You know you live on the isla when... you see a scooter go by with a new toilet sitting between driver and handlebars. Gary Laurance

~You know you live on Isla when it is 80 degrees and you feel cold...or cool at least Sue McDonald Lo.

By Tony Devellano:
  • ~When you can usually identify a tourist's nationality by the style of their swimsuits.
  • ~When... you see an entire family on a single scooter.
  • ~When you see a large Coca-Cola refrigerator being transported by two guys on a scooter.
  • ~When you are extremely, inexcusably late for an appointment, and no one notices or comments.
  • ~You know you live on Isla Mujeres when there's about to be an election because every where you go is another parade, drumming circle, choreographed dancing, golf carts with comically large loudspeakers, etc.
  • ~ When someone asks you what your favorite place on the island, and you can't get the list to fewer than 6
  • .~When you find beauty in every single direction you look.
  • ~When Carolina the resident turtle sashay's past your table at Olivia's, looking down her turtle nose at you as you enjoy your Shawarma.
  • ~When your weekend activities are almost entirely beach related.
  • ~When you witness the lawn being mown with a large kitchen knife at a popular local eatery... (this is literal, they were cutting the grass on their hands and knees with a large knife, not even a machete. Wow.)
  • ~When no matter what your day is like, if you're on the island, you're within a kilometer of the ocean. That makes even the roughest day infinitely better than a good day in most places northwards.
  • ~When it is easier to obtain a good dog than a good hamburger (unless you know where to go...)
  • ~When... you can do all the driving you need to do for 3 or 4 days after the "low fuel" light has come on in your vehicle.
  • ~When you get a little thrill when you see a toilet with a seat on it.   
  • You know you live on Isla Mujeres when a 'child safety seat' refers to a little plank of wood between the seat and handlebars of scooter. This here scooter is all ready to take you and your spouse and 4 kids out for an invigorating ride. 
  •  Tony Devellano
  • (Excerpted from FB group moderated byTony Devellano   "You know you live on Isla Mujeres when" Link)
9 signs you're becoming a lil "Mexicanized".....

By Ronda Winn Roberts

You used to slip out of parties. Now you kiss everyone good-bye, whether you know them or not.

You find yourself holding a baby at a party. Someone asks whose it is, and you realize you're not exactly sure.

You start wearing skin tight clothing and tropical colors.

You always look for tortillas & salsa, but you're mildly surprised when a waiter sets down a glass of water.

You expect a dozen people to appear after a line starts moving. (And it's okay, because when you arrived, you asked who was last.)

You know that fruit is better with chile & limon....well, just about everything is better with chile & limon!

You've learned to palm the plastic baby when it shows up in your piece of rosca (King's cake) on Dia de los Reyes, because making dozens of tamales is a chore!

You say "Hola" and "Provecho" to total strangers, and think it is ordinary when people ya don't know talk to you.

 You become more clever at recycling and re-purposing

Photo credit: Bruce Roberts


  1. How do I access the total membership?

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  3. Definately yes Isla Mujeres is a top choice beach for a great vacation. Only tourist place, with many things to do like: Exploring its historical past, playing golf, birdwatching in the nearby Isla Contoy, Sportfishing, Fly Fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling to name just a few. Here the sea, history and adventure can be found in one place.
    You can also check out to find out more about isla mujeres and things to do while your there.

  4. Have had an amazing few days on Isla Mujeres. The food is delicious and very fresh, the vendors and restaurant and bar owners are friendly and courteous. I must however warn first timers that the assistance granted and afforded to those who are handicapped is less than desirable. Taxis and most resort/hotel staff and security are not accommodating or even helpful to those that require assistance.

    I will definitely make an effort to return to the island, to enjoy the beauty, the food and the music, but will also be sure to make additional arrangements with a different resort/hotel for my husband and I when we return.