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Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Super Suz, Nov 18, 2009.
Go into politics.
I forgot about "twisting facts and blaming others"....
You & me both pal..... You & me BOTH!!
however....I AM actually making a bit of progress on getting the wifey out to where the fun is!!
My advice...stay out of big cities and places Americans go.....
I live in centeral Mexico and I pay.....
Less than 150 a month rent and I live in a middle class neighborhood
Maid 5 days a week house cleaned and clothes washed and ironed less than 35
Water bill 10 a month
Elect 10 a month
My son lived in Honduras for a couple of years and he said the cost of living there is about half of what it costs in Mexico
You cand spend as little or as much as you like
Safety......dress down but don't look too much like a bum
I've always had that wanderlust thing - when I was in HS I said I was going to live on a boat and if I didn't like my neighbors I could just pull out of the slip and move.
I have spent some time traveling around and looking at that spot to be the ExPat in - I have found that anytime you find a realtor from CA that has moved to where you are looking it is now time to move on. They start pushing up the real estate prices and saying things like ' A view like this in CA would cost you ten times as much' Then I tell them you can still buy acres of land in MS at 1500.00 per - FORK buying a 75x100 lot for 50,000.00 in a third world country!!
Oh Yeah - I now have the retirement boat A 32ft Catamaran, but it needs a little work
You can find a lot of posts where people claim to be living on a fraction of the cost of life in the US. Glaringly absent from most of these posts is any description of the quality of life they have in Central Mexico or anywhere else.
A lonely gringo stumbling over the language and holed up in his cheap apartment -- even one with maid service, water and electricity -- is not a happy sight.
For the record I also lived in central Mexico (Zacatecas) for about two years just after I got out of the Army. But I was riding my motorcycle all over -- twice to the Yucatan -- and having some pretty colorful adventures with Mexican friends. To be there primarily because it's cheap seems a pretty lame motive.
And it's amazingly easy to distinguish between those expatriates who actually have a lively interest in local culture and the growth opportunity that lifestyle represents and those who are only there for the cheap booze or inability to function usefully in the US. All you have to do is exchange a few words with them to determine whether or not they speak the local language or at least are attempting to get beyond "otra cerveza, por favor." If they don't speak the local lingo it's a sign that the life they accept is essentially bounded by the four walls of their bargain apartment. That's sad.
You make really excellent points that reflect my observations.
People always mention that they live in a Dream Location. They never mention that they live in 3rd world conditions in a roach infested dump because anything semi-decent in Dream Location is expensive. They always compare themselves with local dirt-poor farmers and how - comparatively - they are doing great! They never compare themselves with local educated middle class that don't live in shacks and have regular housing that is comparable to US housing.
Most developing countries are only cheap if you want to live on the baseline like a _poor_ local. If you want air-conditioning instead of baking in 100 degree room 24/7, hot water in your bathroom, clean, without any bugs running around, with decent kitchen, in safe area - prices are often more expensive than in the USA for comparable standard of living. It depends on the exact country and location, and some places offer better value than others, but this is how it goes for a lot of locations.
People say they don't mind it, but it seems like very few can withstand to live on the baseline for long. It wears on you. That's why there are very few people who manage to do it long term.
Developing countries are also only cheap if you drastically alter typical lifestyle. If you plan to have kids and provide for them, you will be shocked what a good education will cost you in these countries.
And if you ever want to get a car - or anything that needs to be imported - you will find that everything is ridiculously expensive because of heavy import duties/tariffs... much more than USA prices. So if you want to maintain or try some life enriching activity - photography, ice skating, bicycling, mountain climbing, paragliding, whatever - you will find it prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult to pursue.
The only "cheap life" you can have is sitting on the beach, sleeping in your hut, and drinking cheap beer. That gets pretty old, pretty fast for vast majority of people with a modicum of motivation, self-development, or curiosity for life.
I've met plenty of people living like this and I got the impression and feeling that they felt stuck, not free.
Actually, Volvo Trucks have been experimenting with a system wherein one driver controls multiple remotely controlled trucks that all play follow the leader. :eek1
you seem to have a very slanted view.
i lived in Sayulita for almost a year and meet many people who infact did not have alot of $ nor as much required.
they key was to no debt, simplify and connect. sure they were not out eating it up at restaurants every night but they had solid connections with friends they saw every day at the beach or in the square (vrs sitting in front of the stupid TV box which most americans do). they didn't own cars and some worked part time. 1 bd rents were $250/mo for everything and food is indeed cheap. they got together with friends, bonfires on the beach, playing instruments and surfing w/ friends. there was always something going on w/ the mexican community/town so plenty of fun things happening. sure they'd have a beer or 2 but that wasn't the point.
if you ask me, they are better off than alot of the people i see back in the US, commuting in their cars & sitting at traffic lights, working all the time (to pay off all this debt that is suppose to make their lives better) and then heading home at night & just watch the make you dumb box (vrs walking their neighborhood and talking w/ neighbors). my wife and I walk most nights and we hardly see anyone yet every house is lit up w/ a TV going. in mexico you head out to the square.
it was the tourist who would show up for a week or 2 and drink like fishes however. this was there chance at escaping the drudge.
if you're gonna live poorer (& that's what this thread is about) you do ALOT better south of the border. there are tons of free to low cost things to do and see. entertainment in the US always costs money and by that I mean you can go shopping, out for a meal or pay for a movie etc.
if you don't have much $ to spend you're bored in the US as everything costs $. in mexico that is not the case.
man you and witold sure are grumpy old men. seems you just want to refute everything in this thread.
is it so hard to accept the fact that people can and do live outside the US for not much and they are indeed content & happy people?
every wonder why the US is way down on the worlds happiness country list?
while CA countries are high on the list.
Live wherever you want, Eakins. Nobody here gives a damn. My intention was only to provide some perspective to balance those "tropical paradise" fantasies that seem to float around in the imaginations of those who have never been there.
And I can't help but notice that even your most impassioned advocacy of the expatriate lifestyle comes back to living on the cheap. OK, if your goal is living cheaply and hanging out in the company of other discontented gringos I agree that you can do it in many developing countries. But that ain't much to fix one's hopeful gaze upon as an alternative lifestyle. It sounds more like an alternative to life.
Ladies, please. Don't argue. One man's idea of Nirvana or Margaritaville isn't necessarily another man's ideal. That's just the way it is. And for that matter people change - yesterday's corporate warrior has a way of taking life a bit more leisurely once they have accomplished certain goals.
"hanging out in the company of other discontented gringos"
there ya going with that negativity and thinking you understand how people are. i've lived it 1st hand and know it to be the opposite.
either way that is my last response to you as you as it will go nowhere. you've got your mind set and that's it.
this is such a good thread for ideas & feedback on people doing such things, I don't want to drag it down by arguing with you.
I've got more interesting things to do.
you find and absorb the energy of those around you.
I love meeting and interacting with new interesting people, and I definately move away from folks who sit around and complain about life...it doesn't matter where I am. Being South of the boarder won't make any difference to me.
If one doesn't like hanging around negative people (and finds themselves surrounded by 'em)....then it's time to find new friends!!!
thus my life quote: VVV
Here's the thing, I want ALL of this to be true. I really do.
But in my experience, it's not true for most people. You make us sound like anomalies but actually most people would not be very happy this way. And the remaining people who do make living on the baseline work for them glance over major issues to make things sound much rosier than they really are. I am trying to bring up these issues that are being glanced over or not mentioned at all, nothing more.
As for happiness rankings, why not move to Venezuela if that dreamy location makes the top 10 list of Happy Places? It's funny how Venezuela also makes the top 10 of much less enviable lists. The only thing I pick up from those happiness indexes is that ignorance is bliss and being a poor subsistence farmer leads to content. But the problem is that this is a one way street and if one is not a poor and ignorant subsistence farmer, one can't really become one after being exposed to the world and living a modern life. (or maybe it is possible?)
IMO, ultimately one does not find happiness in some random country. One finds happiness within. One finds happiness through human relationships and personal achievement. Friends, family, children, wife - those are the big sources of happiness, not some cheap apartment near the beach.
Eakins tells it like it is. I have a homes in the US and Mexico. For me, there is no comparison in regards to the quality of life.
No wonder that the US consumes 80% of the world's opiate production but is only 4% of the world's population. None of my Mexican friends consume drugs, but practically all of my American friends are on medications either legal or illegal. Think about it. This is not Rocket Science.
But then if you are medicated, I guess this is a concept that may be difficult for you to grasp.
Drugs? Medications? The astonishing level of defensiveness exhibited here makes me wonder who's on a 'roid rage bender. So let me repeat myself: I don't care how any of you spend your time or your lives; my only purpose is to caution potential "adventurers" that the tropical idyll doesn't pan out for many who try it. I can't understand why that is so objectionable to some of you except if it reflects your own misspent hopes and you feel that our own folly is being thrown back in your faces. If you have another explanation why you go on the attack to call some of us "grouchy" and imply other motives please explain yourselves.
You may have noticed that I have spoken of knowing a number of expatriates who didn't do so well but not much about my own experience. I spent two years in Mexico and several years in Thailand living on the local economy, but instead of laying on my lazy ass at the beach with other gringos I was teaching English, learning the language and participating in the culture of both countries. But at the various teaching venues I haunted I got to know some other expats who were there for the very same reasons many of you cite: the easy and cheap -- and let's face it, privileged vis-a-vis the locals -- lifestyle. They hung out with others expats and for the most part tried to create a little world apart from both the US (which they claimed to dislike) and the host country culture (in which they had no interest). Were they happy? Most would probably say yes, but their version of happiness did not comport with mine. I think their definition of happiness was pretty close to the definition of "avoidance," meaning that there were as many negative motives pushing them into that lifestyle as attractions pulling them that way. I'm hearing many of the same things from some of you guys.
But that's cool. I don't care a bit what y'all think and you should have the same level of concern about what I think. Everything I say is directed exclusively at those who are contemplating throwing over everything and heading for the palm trees, not those who have already done it. I'm merely presenting the other side of the coin, and the fact that some of you get so outraged tells me that I may be hitting close to home.
Despierta? Ooooh, somebody knows a word of Spanish. I am SO impressed! But I woke up long ago, so thanks anyway.
I've known a lot of expats who have failed at the transition into life in another country. Happens all the time, they have returned to their home countries where they belong.
If your primary reasons on relocation to another country are for economic advantage or recreational needs, then you will probably be miserable. If you have an open mind and want to learn a new language, traditions, and the customs of another country, then you got a shot at success. We are all wired differently. Doesn't make any one of else better or worse, just different.
I've met many Anglo-Saxons in the 13 years I've been retired in France and most have gone 'home' due to the pull of family, health worries, or the realization that their plans didn't pan out. The euro-dollar/pound exchange rates have had serious consequences for some. A few cannot even afford to leave.