Read an E-Book Week March 3-9

In celebration of Read an E-book Week, March 3-9, you can get La Yacata Revolution: How Not to Buy a Piece of Heaven in Mexico free from Amazon for the next few days.  

What other ebooks do you plan to read this week?

The Mexico Diaries by Daniel Theodore Gair

A few months ago I was privileged enough to be a Beta reader for The Mexico Diaries: A Sustainable Adventure South of the Border. What a read!

The adventure for empty-nesters Dan and his wife Holly begins in 2005 when they began their search for that little bit of heaven everyone hopes to find in Mexico. Making a real estate purchase on the strength of a handshake and a scrap of paper from a less than emotionally stable guy named Steven, Dan and Holly struggle with completing the purchase long-distance, wading through the quagmire of ejido land grants, and the agonizing slow legal process Mexico is famous for.

These aren’t the only challenges. There are language and communication issues, both locally and further afield. The internet being what it is in Mexico has Dan climbing trees looking for a strong enough signal to complete important financial transactions. Then there is the constant battle with the local wildlife, snakes, iguanas, lizards, and tarantulas, that just don’t agree with the new rule that their place is OUTSIDE the house. Repairs and new construction projects are stubbornly done the Mexican way, much to the new owners’ bafflement while baby goats dance merrily on the top of vehicles.

Four years, a heart attack that nearly ends the deal for the would-be eco-warriors (spoiler alert–neither Dan nor Holly had the heart attack), and a few headaches later, 40 hectares of Mexican paradise is theirs and the real work begins. A whole slew of unimaginable characters, both human and animal, make their entrance (and sometimes spectacular exits) into Dan and Holly’s lives as they endeavor to create the self-sustainable lifestyle they envisioned.

Over the next few years, Holly becomes a goat-wrangler and Dan becomes the mascot for the yearly Mayto Calbalgata horseback pilgrimages. There’s no doubt in my mind that when the time finally comes for their Mexican adventure to end they’ll be able to say that they took to heart Hunter S. Thompson’s concept of life.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and lou.jpg

So if you are looking for a whirlwind Mexican journey to sustainability and beyond I’m positive you’ll enjoy the stranger than fiction story found in The Mexico Diaries: A Sustainable Adventure by Daniel Theodore Gair.

5 star

How to Not Run Away to Mexico by Jennifer Robin Lee

If you haven’t guessed from the title, this book is chocked full of things that you SHOULDN’T do when you move to Mexico, as experienced by Jennifer who didn’t just move to Mexico once, but multiple times and with varying levels of success.not move to mexico

Her international adventures begin in 1994 when she moved from Canada to Monterrey to join the Mexican National Circus in Saltillo. Go ahead, roll your eyes, but we’ve all been young and foolish at least once in our lives. See, her cousin was dating a clown and well, it goes downhill from there.

On her second move to Mexico, she had a face-to-face encounter with the police in Guanajuato. In Spanglish negotiated her way out of a ticket with “No vas rapido. Yo tengo una plata. You tengo mi papeles. No problemo. Gracias. Adios Senor” and jumping back in her car leaving a perplexed representative of the law in the dust.

In some sort of karmic retribution, Jennifer’s Audi broke down outside of Leon and it took thousands of dollars and YEARS to get the vehicle fixed and returned to Canada.

On another occasion, Jennifer was saved by Jesus himself (well, his representative on earth Jesús anyway) from being hauled away to the slammer after a fender bender. In Cozumel, she met a hunky scuba diving instructor Raul which resulted in love and a near-drowning incident.

A Canadian custody issue meant she was detained at the U.S. border. Then years of legal travail in Canada ensued before she could return to Mexico, this time with a man from the Dominican Republic that she had met in Canada and their two toddlers. Of course, Interpol still had her name on the list and that caused some issues entering Mexico to retrieve her Audi.

When she tried to leave, well, there was a shake-down at the Mexican border and unnecessary delays at the Canadian border causing her to declare that it was the Worst. Road trip. Ever.

Then she moved to Mexico AGAIN! This time she was more prepared and the transition, while not exactly smooth, was successful.

I can honestly say that I am so glad to have not experienced even a quarter of the disasters that Jennifer experienced. But as they say, there’s a silver lining in every cloud.

So if you are looking for a bit of humor about moving to Mexico, then How to Not Run Away to Mexico is the book for you!

four star

The Move to Mexico Bible by Sonia Diaz and Beverly Wood

Are you still having trouble deciding where you want to live when you move to Mexico? Then The Move To Mexico Bible by Sonia Diaz and Beverly Wood is the book for you.

Eight full chapters are dedicated to an overview of 33 cities and 8 regions in Mexico for your consideration.  Not only are average temperature and rainfall recorded for places like Guanajuato City, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara and Mexico City, but also whether you’ll need to be fully fluent in Spanish to live there (or can get by with just a smattering vocabulary), what amenities you’ll find (like Costco and Walmart), how far from international airports each city is, and what type of medical facilities are available.

But that’s not all! This book also covers the basics on how to import your crap (oh, I mean your cherished possessions) and bring your pets into Mexico. Then there are chapters on whether it is in your best interest to import a vehicle, how to get a Mexican driver’s license, how to keep in touch with loved ones, whether you should buy or rent (and the pitfalls of both) and whether you can get healthcare in Mexico.

This book also delves into aspects of living in Mexico that I’ve never experienced like hiring household help and selling a house in Mexico.

And yet, that’s not the end. There are also sections about Spanish for expats (with cognates, false cognates, common phrases, slang and swear words) and a gringo primer on food. Also included are handy guides on making phone calls (which is more complicated than you might think), common Mexican acronyms, major holidays, and an alphabetical list of prescription drug names.

Wow! What a lot of information for just one book! No wonder the authors have called it a BIBLE!

Those of you who are still in the planning stages of your move to Mexico should definitely check this book out.

four star

Celebrate International Book Giving Day with a Children’s Book Giveaway

February 14 is International Book Giving Day! Mexico is one of 44 participating countries and I have the perfect book for you to read to a child about Mexico.

Nine-year-old Grace lives in Mexico City. Her American cousin Connor is coming to visit her family and Grace wants to show him all the amazing things there are to see and do in the area.

travels with grace

For those of you that are not in Mexico, you can find Travels with Grace on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. A portion of all book sales is donated to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage. To learn more about how you can contribute to helping the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage, please visit their site here.

Nothing beats a beautifully illustrated hardcover children’s book! So today I’d like to offer a signed copy of Travels With Grace to one lucky winner here in Mexico. Enter HERE.

Note: Winners must provide a mailing address in Mexico to be eligible.

Are you looking for other ways to give the gift of reading? You can download bookmarks and bookplates for International Book Giving Day and include them in the books you give!

Check out the official International Book Giving Day site and see if there are any events near you.

Daniel T. Gair

Daniel T. Gair is originally from Maine, U.S.A. and is currently living full time at Rancho Sol y Mar in Jalisco. Here’s what he has to say about his life.

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Mexico had loomed large in my mind since, in junior high, a friend’s older brother came back from a trip to Mexico with his buddies, and regaled all of us younger boys with stories of the adventure. Just the word itself “Mexico” seemed larger than life while growing up. In many ways, it has remained so to this day.

The property we bought in Jalisco was a catalyst for a total makeover of Holly’s and my life. We’ve transitioned from a norm of black-tie fundraisers and cocktail parties to shoveling goat poo and tending chickens. Perhaps the largest transition is that I’ve gone from a life of jetting around the world, to living quite simply, and swearing off red meat and all unnecessary plane travel in an effort to limit my carbon footprint. My main focus in life has become the pursuit of a more sustainable lifestyle, and Mexico, with its ample sunshine, and relaxed regulations, has been the perfect place to follow that intention.

Other than the above practical day-to-day belief system changes, I don’t think my underlying spiritual beliefs have changed any. My beliefs are pretty standard issue Buddhist: Live with integrity. Be as present and in-the-moment as possible. Don’t harm other living beings unnecessarily. Be kind and truthful.

I’ve gotten calmer and more disciplined in my approach to things. I’d like to believe I’ve gotten softer and kinder. I’m trying to live less in my head, more in-the-moment, and to go easier on myself, but that is still a work in progress.

Achieving basic fluency in Spanish has been a big challenge that I have overcome. I have also overcome a lot of my core, day to day fear. I’ve had a good life. What comes now is the icing.

I’d say that other than all the challenges described in the book, the most intractable challenge is breaking through culture and language barriers to achieve the fullest assimilation possible. That and reducing my carbon footprint to as close to zero as possible, which, I’m finding, is a much, much larger challenge than I had anticipated. Creating community at the property is an ongoing challenge. Other challenges I face include missing friends and family and having good pavement to ride my bike on.

I try to take care of myself by eating well, meditating, and getting some good aerobic exercise daily.

I’m deeply proud of my daughter Aja who is one of the smartest, compassionate, and well-adjusted people I know. I am proud of how well Holly and I have dealt with mountains of stress getting to this point in our lives, and, even though the tracks of our lives have diverged a lot, especially with my current self-imposed travel ban, I’m proud that we have still remained committed to keeping our love intact and growing. I’m proud of what we’ve created here at the ranch. It makes me feel hopeful when I see young people get excited by the Permaculture Principals we are practicing, and I feel empowered to see the efforts we’ve made beginning to bear fruit (literally and figuratively). Lastly, I have to say, I’m proud of the book. I think I’ve transmitted a fun, insightful read, and that the stories carry with them a deeper message of respect for culture and nature.

The day we found the ranch was the defining moment in my life in Mexico. Where we’re becoming more and more self-sufficient, I no longer care much about all the consumer choices that we’ve left behind. Part and parcel with that, I barely ever worry about money anymore. We live off a combination of investments, social security, and rental income from a couple of properties, one here, and one in the States. I also have a dribble of photography residuals. As a retired photographer, Mexico has always provided me with visual inspiration. The country folk of Mexican, with their grit and positive attitude, despite so often having the deck stacked against them, are a constant source of inspiration.

I spend my free time reading, listening to and playing music, bicycling, horseback riding, swimming and taking walks with Holly.

As for writing aspirations, for now, it’s all about pushing this little bird, The Mexico Diaries, out of the nest, and seeing if it can fly. I’ve also begun writing regular articles and book reviews for Permaculture North America Magazine, and I intend to continue with that. I am re-working one of the chapters in the book, The Ride To Talpa, into a submission for Outdoor Magazine, or possibly others. Depending on how the book is received, I may begin a follow-up. Just a few weeks ago we had a story-worthy incident where a volunteer we had headed here turned out to be on the Atlanta Top Ten Most Wanted list and was being sought by both the FBI and U.S. Marshal’s Service. We helped stall him until his capture by U.S. agents posted in Mexico city. Seriously, this shit keeps writing itself! Lastly, I have a couple of fiction book ideas that I’m kicking around.

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Take it from me, you won’t want to miss out on the adventures found in Dan’s book The Mexico Diaries: A Sustainable Adventure available now at Amazon!

Beverly Wood

Beverly Wood co-authored The Move to Mexico Bible. Here’s a little more information about her life.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was born in Toronto but spent two decades on the west coast of Canada (Vancouver and then Vancouver Island) before moving to Mexico in 2012. We work from home (we are writers, editors, producers) so we could live anywhere in the word that had internet. We briefly considered Europe as I have due Canadian/Irish citizenship but it rains in the winter like it does in BC. We were done with Canadian winters – even though the west coast is much kinder than Ontario.

We explored destinations like Costa Rica and Galveston, TX (where we spent a number of winters). CR did not have the culture, the vibrancy or the food of Mexico and while the weather was spectacular, we found the environment lacking in something. Galveston was comfortable – we had previously lived in Dallas for a year on assignment – but that was in the Ann Richards time period. We witnessed a shift in the US over the years we spent wintering in Galveston and as Canadians, weren’t happy with the direction. So we started checking out more locations in Mexico. It was all research.

To be honest, it’s our environment that has changed – our lives are pretty much the same as they were! We still work at home, so get up, make coffee, go to the office. I do have a housekeeper once a week and gardener once a week,  which was a luxury I didn’t have up north. More sun instead of winter rain, and a longer gardening season, We really don’t eat processed food as much as we did, I suppose.

I actually have a stronger appreciation for Canada, as I watch the news from Mexico (being writers and editors, we are news junkies). And I realize how incredible the health care system is in Canada. I appreciate my home country more than I ever did before. But I do think some of that is the global situation and gaining perspective from distance.

I have been trying to learn the language for six years off and on and finally my latest instructor says I would be considered ‘intermediate’ now, were I to head for a Spanish classroom (I do one on one Skype lessons with a local teacher – much easier to make that happen than a physical class for me).

Emergency medical care in Spanish (my husband has had both a gallbladder attack and an emergency appendectomy) is a gong show for me. I can’t communicate on any medical level, and I am sure they run every test in the book (private hospitals) because we are gringos and have insurance – never mind that we have to pay on our credit card and wait three months for reimbursement, My heart jumps into my throat every time anything happens that might result in a hospital visit, If anything will drive me out of Mexico it will be my own inability to manage the language well enough to deal with medical issues. And the medical system itself. Again, I was raised in Canada where one’s health care is almost taken for granted.beverly3 How does anyone persevere? I stick my head in the sand and pretend we aren’t hitting an age where things start to break. And when it happens, you deal with it. I think it’s probably true that the anxiety worrying about anything is more painful than the event. When anything happens, so far we have dealt with it. We’ll see how it goes in the future. I am very grateful that we have a country we feel is worth going home to, should we decide to leave. We don’t plan to live in Mexico for the rest of our lives  – maybe another five to 10 years. But who knows? Maybe we will. We love the way Mexico deals with death spiritually (the Day of the Dead).

The things that have always been important remain important – friends & family, being honest, not doing harm, trying to do good. We were never very material people and the typical middle-class aspirations have never been important to us. This is an interesting exercise. I hadn’t realized before articulating this but we’ve always been kind of nomads so having things wasn’t really practical. We have a 5 x 10 storage locker in Canada. We moved the important stuff to Mexico, even a couple of pieces of furniture. One is an antique Chinese cabinet that was the first item I ever shipped and imported into Canada on my own and we like it, but if it disappears tomorrow we don’t really care. I’ve gone off a bit here, sorry – but I really don’t have answers for some things. When we came to Mexico – we’d already figured out who we were. I know it can be a complete change for some – but we started freelancing 30 years ago so haven’t participated much in the rat race, lucky for us.

A defining moment for me was looking around at a social gathering in the first town we landed in, where every guest (big catered party) was gringo and speaking English. Incredible home, worth $1 million+. Half a block away, I had noticed a small house with the door open – the floor was dirt and the roof was a blue tarpaulin. I looked around and thought, “This isn’t what we came here for, I could be in any gated community in Arizona”.beverly1We have two dogs, we have a pond, a pool, a large garden. Lots of chores. Paying bills, grocery shopping in the markets – it all takes time.

We are both writers and consultants. We write books and also do ghostwriting of memoirs for select clients.  I am currently working on two ghost jobs for clients – one is a Canadian story – a successful businessman who has run airlines and pubs and the other is a tragic (true) love story that happened in Mexico. move to mexico bible

I was a real estate agent in Toronto and know Mexico well. We have bought and sold several homes in different areas and I have working relationships in assorted cities and have been consulting on possible moves to Mexico for clients. I conduct a series of interviews that helps them determine the area they would like to explore and I will find potential rentals or potential purchases for them to check out when they arrive. I can arrange any facet of their arrival and pre-planning and my co-author of The Move to Mexico Bible – Sonia Diaz – can assist with visas and other legal requirements/options once they arrive.

I can be contacted at:

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Jennifer Robin Lee

Jennifer Lee wrote How to Not Run Away to Mexico and from her experience designed an eCourse to help people NOT repeat her mistakes. Here’s what she has to say about that process. 

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not move to mexico

I use my branded name Jennifer Robin Lee online but most of my friends and close ones call me Jenn.

I’m originally from Edmonton but my heart is in Mexico City. I spend my time between these two places these days. I am a completely different person because of Mexico. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m more relaxed, more discerning, less naive, as well. I’m always changing, regardless of whether of I’m in Mexico or not. I’ve had quite a bit of challenges in Mexico which you can read in my book.

I joined the circus in 1994 in Monterrey, Saltillo. And then I ran away from the circus. The way I got started writing my book was for at least 20 years people have been telling me I should write a book. I went to the circus at 17 and now I’m in my 40s. I’ve been coming and going to Mexico for a long time. So finally I was like how am I going to get this book started? I’ve got two little children and I want to get this thing off my bucket list.

I saw a website online, Stefan James, talking about how to write a book in 24 hours. I also got a professional life coach. That’s when I set up the e-Course, in May 2017. So I decided to write a book. Then I bought the domain names and set up the website. Then I helped people with some immigration questions on the site because I was having the same problems.

After the site was developed, somebody approached me to see if I needed some videography done. I met with this Mexican guy and we ended up working together and filming at least half of what is in the intro course.

The accomplishment that makes me the proudest is building this e-course. I’m excited to get up in the morning. I feel I have a purpose. I have more emotion now as I’m growing through success than no emotion when I’ve been unsuccessful or failed. It’s just more emotional when you’re like Wow! I did this. I accomplished this. I created this. I had this idea and it came true. You have to create things in your mind before you can create them in reality. That’s the hardest part. People can’t think about what they want and then they can’t express what they want.

When I moved to Mexico the second time, I had a 6 bedroom character home. It was beautifully renovated. I just gave the keys to the neighbor, and my cat, and said I was going on a trip to Mexico. I sold it while I was gone with everything in it. It felt so freeing.

Before that, I had downsized a lot. And really cleaned up my environment, cleaned up my things, got rid of all the junky little things and everything I had was in good condition. I’ve learned that is more of a headache to have all this stuff.

There have been many moments that have defined my character in Mexico. Because sometimes there will be moments when the situation defines you. Mexico really tests your patience.

I don’t have a lot of free time. I schedule in every moment something that can be done that I enjoy doing, like going and visiting my friends. But my friends have the same kind of interests as me when it comes to business and stuff. So I’m always talking about my business and sharing ideas.

Helping others. When they have trouble, I’ll share what helped me. So that’s what I do in my spare time. I’m living my business but it’s not like I have to escape from it.

I work online. I have a certification in e-commerce. I have a specialization in SEO from the University of California-Davis. I’ve been a geek since I was 7 years old when my dad gave me my first Texas Instrument 100 computer where I learned programming at age 7. There were video games on it but I had a programming book that my dad gave me that’s what got me really into computers and I’ve been a geek since. I don’t program now, I just do web development but nothing complicated like Java. I’d love to meet more people in that work role.

My services are mostly consulting for clients who have at a sizeable amount to spend on a project. I used to do hourly, I still have some clients like that but I don’t accept any new web development work where I’m actually customizing for clients anymore.

My current goal is to help people move to Mexico and be a mentor or role model in helping others achieve success online whether it be writing, e-course development, web development, search engine optimization, networking, making videos and whatnot. Every day I work towards this goal.

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Make sure you don’t miss out on either the eCourse or the hysterical roller coaster of a ride Jennifer writes about in her book How to Not Run Away to Mexico. 

A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Place to Be in Any Disaster: A Prepper’s Guide to Mexico

A to Z reasons why La Yacata is the Best Place to be in Any Disaster discusses common natural and man-made crisis situations found in Mexico. Not only will you read about which disasters you may encounter while in Mexico but you will learn strategies to both prepare and survive these SHTF incidents. Armed with this information you will be better able to determine if Mexico is your ultimate bug-out destination when things go bad in the U.S.

A reluctant Prepper, C.E. Flores examines more than two dozen TEOTWAWKI scenarios and effectively presents historical and contemporary information to best equip you for survival in Mexico.

If you are at all considering Mexico as a future residence, you should read this Preppers Guide to Mexico to learn why C.E. Flores fully supports creating a full and satisfying life, despite the dangers, south of the border.

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