Moving To Mexico – Perfecto
This blog post has been read over 3,600 times. I guess I am not alone in thinking of moving to Mexico – or somewhere else.
I am now 3+ years in. Live here full-time. My wife and I built a house (that’s it in the picture).
I am maintaining my global advertising agency consultancy and am way into a major multi-year global photography project.
I am convinced that I made the right move. San Miguel de Allende is great (and has been named the best city in the world by Travel & Leisure).
By the way, check out my 210 San Miguel de Allende portraits photography series, La Gente. Please pass it on, especially to Americans.
Side note: Americans ask me all the time about the why and how I moved to Mexico. No, it is not just baby boomers. It seems that a lot of folks want to get to either a “NEXT” thing experience or just get the hell out of today’s USA – and figure out how to go digital across the globe. I did not move for political reasons. But, hey, living somewhere where lots of people smile every day and are not addicted to Google News is a ‘good thing’.
[The Original 2016 Blog Post]
This post explains why I moved to Mexico, the where, how and provides some details should you want to follow me. Yes, you can make a living in Mexico.
The move has been a two-year process for my wife and me to decide to make the move and then choose where to live. We selected San Miguel de Allende (for its culture and high-altitude weather) over Puerto Vallarta (too beachy); Baja (too close to California); the Yucatan (way too humid); Oaxaca (a close second); Mexico City (too crazy); or Lake Chapala (boring – though near Guadalajara).
I like moving to new places and do so about every 7 years. The upside is adventure and having to creatively deal with unknowns. The downside is leaving friends behind. But, some visit and Skype plus Facetime keeps everyone face-to-face.
In addition to pure wanderlust, there are other factors that seem to make me move. Here is a new one. I recently read the Wall Street Journal article, Nature or Nurture? What Makes You an Expat? Is a lust for travel, adventure and new surroundings built into your DNA? The article covers the idea that moving and living in a foreign country might be, partially, a function of your DNA. My kids are in their twenties and they now live in Buenos Aires and Budapest. Is the Levitan DNA responsible? Who knows. But, this is an interesting concept to digest.
By the way, that’s me up above C/O of an artist’s photo booth at a Mexico City art museum.
OK, so why am I moving to Mexico?
I grew up in New York City. Went to college in Boston and San Francisco. Then moved back to New York, to Minneapolis, to New Jersey when we had kids, to London and back. And, 15 years ago my family split from post 9/11 New York metro to go to Bend and then Portland, Oregon. Was it genes? Wanderlust? Career building? I think all of the above.
We are not alone. Mexico has the highest number of American expats. The actual numbers are a bit flaky but the U.S. government estimates the number at over 1 million. These include people working in Mexico, folks just hanging out, Mexican Americans and a very large number of American retirees.
But, hey, this blog post is about me.
- Numero uno: Adventure (life is short.) See David Bowie for inspiration. ‘”Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strange) Turn and face the strain. Ch-ch-Changes”
- Our new home is San Miguel de Allende which is in the middle of the country. That’s one of its most famous scenes in the picture. SMA is one of the coolest towns in the world (yes, the world.) Here is what Huffington Post says.
- If you don’t mind skipping heat and humidity, San Miguel de Allende’s weather is perfect (high desert at over 6,000 feet.) See the map at the bottom for its location.
- The people in San Miguel are always smiling.
- It’s safe. Please stop the silly ‘gringo’ question, “Is it safe?” Get this: most of Mexico is safer than New Orleans and Detroit. And, you know that if Americans stopped doing tons of coke, meth and heroin, we’d solve the cartels problem. The key is that you don’t go hang out where they do business.
- Mexican culture combines indigenous and Spanish cultural influences. There are endless street, art and music festivals and a very vibrant art scene.
- The cost of living is about 60% of living in the USA. In our first ‘test’ year, we are renting a fully furnished 4 bedroom house with 3 days of housekeeper service and a gardener for $2,000 per month. At over 18 pesos per dollar, the dollar is as high as it has been in years.
- San Miguel has the second-best restaurant scene in the country. It has become a major weekend destination for people living in Mexico City.
- Surrounding towns deliver sweet day trips to visit hot springs, local ice cream meccas and university towns. And… truly exciting things like a CostCo and the largest shopping mall in Latin America. I haven’t been there yet but will avoid a Chili’s if they have one.
- I can easily fly nonstop to L.A., Dallas, and Houston out of two local airports and internationally from Mexico City.
- Getting a long-term visa easy. Try living long-term in the U.K. or France or Thailand.
- I’ll try to avoid CNN and FOX and MSNBC.
- Oh, and I can work from anywhere I have a laptop and WIFI. Plus, my town is conveniently in the central time zone.
Have you considered living in Mexico?
A recent research study I did testing Google Consumer Research focused on where Americans want to retire. My findings show that 13% (13%!) of Americans between 45 and 65 “have considered retiring in Mexico”. By the way, you do use easy-to-use-super fast Google Research in your business development program, right?
Who will thrive in Mexico? [Read more…] about Moving To Mexico