Chapter 40 Adios

June 20, 2019

Moving to Mexico:

Chapter 40:  Adios

This one will be short.

It’s been over a month since my last post.  We have been busier than a Corona salesman on Cinco de Mayo with all of the contractors, open houses, inspectors, college stuff, graduations, birthdays, etc.  Life got busy.  And then it got busier when I started working again.

The Job.

I found an incredible position working online from anywhere in the world.   I’m not writing copy ads or teaching Chinese kids English at three in the morning. 

I’m not selling videos, travel articles and photos on bullshit websites.  None of that really works, anyway.  *Anyone selling “How to” generally is not very good at the actual skill they are selling.  They are just good at marketing it to you.  *Why do you think the financial advisors at JB Moneybags would be selling their time to you, managing your money, if they had their own money to manage?

I’m not going to be one of the new “digital nomads” who want to teach you how to live in Mexico, all for a price.  Most of them don’t know much.  They’ve just been there a little while and want to fund their life in Mexico selling a some knowledge you can get for free online.

That sector is saturated, but people keep trying to be the new social medial influencer.  *Except Qroo Paul.  He’s the real article and his site is amazingly useful.  I highly recommend visiting them at  And it’s free.

I’m not setting up any affiliate marketing on my site or going to try to use my “influence” to persuade you to do anything. 

I won’t be doing any podcasts, webinars or Facebook meetings that appear to be live but are really prerecorded.  They’re clever, too.  They have phony conversations with people who are not there, a little interest clicker on the bottom that indicates how many people are buying their shpeal all right next to the countdown clock.

“Only 36 minutes and 42 seconds left to buy….”  Tick, tick, tick.  Same BS on TV.  Believe me, that “right now” sale price is not going anywhere.

The current websites that pander to “escapees” or the “international” set have been peddling the same, tired ideas to wanna-be expats for decades. 

Buy teak wood futures…precious metals and gems are the future…see if your surname is on the list for a free EU passport…let us train you to work online as a copywriter while living on the beach…Belize, Belize, Belize.

I’m done with all of them, too.

Sorry, I won’t tell you about the job I will be doing, but it is 100% portable, I can do it from anywhere in the world with a high-speed Internet connection, I set my own schedule and it pays very well.

I would share the details with you, but I’m not stupid.  You might take it from me!  Just kidding.  This job takes a highly specialized skillset, licensure, decades of experience and the right connections.  You can’t do it.  Fortunately, it works perfectly for me.

I am not bragging.  I am just very happy that we don’t have to live on savings, as we had planned.  We are too young for social security, but even when we will qualify for it, I have realized that I like to work.  I need to work.  I like having something that engages me, keeps me mentally strong and involved in something bigger than I am.  It feels good to be back in the game, but with the freedom of a…digital nomad…working barefoot on the beach from anywhere in the world.

See.  Dreams can come true.

Escaping to Mexico.

Initially, we planned to escape to Mexico for a long list of reasons.  Our reasons to leave are mostly the same.  Our reasons to live in Mexico have changed.  Now it’s time for a change of plans.

Living full-time in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico has too many problems FOR ME right now.  Note, I capitalized the person with the possible change of plans:  ME. 

I won’t swim on a beach that’s knee-deep in stinky seaweed.  I tried wading in that crap up to my knees and it was creepy.  I’m not walking on that beach, spending money at restaurants on that beach or going to events on that beach. 

I don’t even like driving by that beach.  It smells like dead fish, looks like a swampy oil spill and it’s been this way for too long.  I know it’s not just Mexico that has this problem.  However, my plan was not to move to those other places.  I invested, planned and committed to Mexico.

I truly hope the local government fixes this problem.  Of all the nations that touch the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, I truly believe it will be Mexico that will come up with a solution.  The Mexican people are intelligent and the most clever people I have ever encountered.  They work incredibly hard and they love their nation.  I predict that it will the Mexicans who solve this seaweed issue for everyone.  They cannot control the nations that are creating it.  But they can design a way to deal with it on their shores.  I cannot wait to see what they do. 

I certainly hope the Mexican government works on the seaweed issue before they build that stupid train.  If no one visits, that train will be as empty as the malls in Dubai and the ghost neighborhoods of China; other speculative and grandiose wastes of money that made a few people richer than they already were and propelled political careers.

Mexico, please take a clue from California.  People don’t want to ride a train that is right next to a highway and can’t take you anywhere the highway doesn’t already take you…unless it is VERY inexpensive, comfortable and fast.  I have seen plans for the proposed train and I am doubtful it will be any of those things.  It will probably be noisy, expensive and I doubt it will run on solar-powered electricity.

The train could also damage the quaint and effective Collectivo (jitney) bus service operators and taxi drivers who already operate on very thin margins.  Many jobs lost and few created.

*Lord, when will Uber really work in Tulum?

The train will also draw too many tourists to an area that is not ready for that kind of explosive growth.  Tulum already trembles beneath the current load of visitors.  Her roads are clogged and the natural beauty that drew the people in the first place is being destroyed by commerce and real estate development.  The developers will simply move on to the next “unspoiled and tranquil town.”  We will be left with the mess.

Crime.  The struggle is real.  We have experienced it a few times now in Baja, Cancun, Playa and Tulum and it’s scary.  There are some bad guys out there.  If you have something nice, they may just rob, steal or burgle it as needed. 

That need may be increasing. 

With hotels at less than 50% occupancy now (even with lowered “seaweed” rates) the workers will feel the pinch next and then who?  How do desperate people act?  Desperately.  The escalating crime could drive even more tourists away.  And then, the smart speculators will zoom in like the vultures that they are to get in while prices are at rock bottom just before the rebuild begins.  Hopefully.

The reports of all the drug sales and gun violence, whether those reports are real, newspaper fodder or a little of both, are keeping visitors away much as the seaweed.  A property manager I know reported that exactly ZERO of his properties have any visitors.

We are keeping our home in Mexico and plan to visit it often.  However, I think we will remain tourists in Mexico for the time being and forego the residency for now. 

We needed to find a cheaper state than California.  Well, actually we have already found one.

The Move.

Our house in California sold, so that part of the escape plan is still moving forward.  We got a very fair price and the nice couple moving in will love living here.  We wish them well.  We close escrow in 60 days and then we’re off to….a different state. 

The remote job will allow us to live comfortably pretty much anywhere we want so we plan to travel a lot.  One of my best friends lives in Europe but is working in the Caribbean so we may go house-sit for him for a while.  Who knows?  The nice thing is that we are no longer tied to our home state.  We can come home to visit and live like “guest stars”, seeing old friends and family and making the best of the short visiting time we will have.  It will be different than how it is now, living ten minutes from everyone and seeing them so rarely.  I think we will appreciate each other more.

Betty is having a difficult time with the move.  She grew up very close to where we live so leaving is a little harder on her than it is on me.  I moved here from San Francisco 24 years ago. I moved to San Francisco after I got out of the Army in the late ‘80’s.  I left home for the Army right after high school.  I haven’t been “home” in 35 years.  I guess that all depends on how you define “home”, which to me has never been an address or some sticks and bricks.  Yet, home is still my favorite place in the world.  It always has been.

The blog.

I need a break from this.  I have gotten a little tired of the way this blog has gone.  I have mentioned before how the haters can spoil the party.  Think about it:  if I told you that my jar of jellybeans had 1,000 tasty candies and one rat turd, would you still reach for one?  It does not take much to spoil something.  Ever been to a great party with revelers all having a nice time and then one drunk asshole starts a fight?  Kind of ruins the party, doesn’t it?

“You gotta focus on the positive, Tom!”

Yeah, I know.  And that is why I am not going to release this last article to the masses, only to my subscribers.  You have been my positive support and I have enjoyed sharing this with you.  But I had to kiss a lot of frogs to find you!

If I am to keep this blog going at all I may need to change directions altogether.  I just renewed my Wordpress site for another year, so I have time.  After that, I may just take the site down, turn this into a little memoir and sell the domain to one of the companies who have asked me for it.

If you enjoyed reading this, I’m glad.  I hope you got something out of it.  That was the plan.  I wanted to document a major change in our lives and map it out a bit for others who may have been planning a similar move.  I appreciate those of you who have shared your stories with me, look forward to hearing updates from those of you who are making similar moves and wish all of you the best.

The end.

Our plans changed.  We had to change with them.  We never could foresee just how all of this would end up.  I had no idea if or which university would accept our son.  I was not sure if our house would sell, where we would live and how all of that would transpire.  I had no clue we would end up staying in the USA or that I would return to work. 

All of these things transformed our lives.  Now, we are open and prepared for future changes.  This process has taught us both that we are not only capable, but strong and now have been made stronger. 

Sometimes things change and you have to change with them, or they can break you.

This chapter in our story was supposed to have a happy ending.

It did.

It had a surprise ending, but a happy one. 

We can only make plans.  When do not control the future.  If you work hard, make good decisions and have a little luck, things work out.  Just pray for health so you can enjoy your life and loved ones as long as possible.

A reader recently asked me if I had any advice.  I don’t.  But I do have some final thoughts as I close this chapter.

  • Bend with the wind, expect detours in the road. 
  • Be flexible because life can damage plans. 
  • A man who tells you that he never lost a fight never fought anyone tough.
  • Anyone who tells you that they have no regrets never lived or loved.
  • It’s very difficult to let go, to forgive and then hope your enemies have luck.

*I’m still working on this one.  Call it a goal.

I took the first step on this journey a year ago.  I’m taking the last few this summer as we transition to our new home, our next chapter.

I wish you well on your journey.


Tom Collins

8 thoughts on “Chapter 40 Adios”

  1. After our research trip to the Yucatán we have made the same decision regarding moving there. We live, we learn and the fortunate ones flow with the changes. We have no idea where we will retire right now but the answer will come.

    Best wishes on your new endeavors Tom. I’ll miss your words but completely understand. I deleted my Facebook today for similar reasons. Life is beautiful as long as we’re learning. All the best to you and yours!

    1. Thank you, Cathryn. Our decision is most likely a temporary one, but for now, Mexico just does not make sense. We’ll remain homeowners and tourists for the time being. All the best, Tom.

      1. Good luck to you. Have enjoyed your blog and look forward to hearing where your next adventure take you. Have heard about some of the things going on down that way, what are your thoughts on northern Baja? Prices are climbing but still way better than CA and weather is amazing. Have a great day

      2. Hi Suzanne. I may have mentioned it before in my blog, but if not here it is: I am done with the Pacific Ocean. I grew up on it and find it to be cold and dark compared to the beauty I see in the Caribbean. I don’t know anything about Baja as I have only been there once. It was just not for me. Good luck and thanks for reading.

  2. Good luck to you on your journies! Our plans have changed several times. We cant see the future and have to bend with the wind as you say! Ive enjoyed reading and your insight. Keep me in mind if you need a digital helper. Im looking for the same and have found the same bull crap you have. 😉

    1. Our decision is most likely a temporary one, but for now, Mexico just does not make sense. We’ll remain homeowners and tourists for the time being. All the best, Tom.

  3. GREAT post! I’ve totally enjoyed reading your blog & hope you continue posting about your journeys. I also agree with the info contained in this post. As I previously mentioned we spend 6/8 weeks per year in Playa Mujeres. After our most recent two trips we too have re-evaluated our options. What changed our way of thinking? Friends we’ve made over the years who are telling us – Don’t do it…at least right now. Their reasons included most of your points and they live there!

    We are blessed with options. Mexico is not a dead issue for us but suffice to say we didn’t rebook our next trip….yet! We’ve been preparing to be in our position many years. Our fairly new beautiful home would sell quickly but it’s paid off with no major foreseen expenses so serves as a home base for now. No bills & new cars make expenses even less worrisome. Contemplating selling one car since having two isn’t necessary anymore. We have a couple of new grandkids who will be born in the next year but we don’t have to be around 100 percent of the time when we will be lucky to see them probably 1/4 of the time if we are lucky.

    We are making a quick trip to Florida to check out a new development. It is a 55 plus retirement, resort type, leased unit community. If it pans out to be a good deal we might sign a lease to get in while there are still Premium View Units available. This is a two to ten year lease all inclusive inside & out. They have a Watch My Place program where we can leave at will & not worry. Tax wise it is beneficial for us as long as we stay 6 months per year. Who knows if it will be all it is cracked up to be but that’s the beauty of being unencumbered! No skin off our noses!!

    We wish nothing but the best for the both of you. May your road traveled be smooth, interesting as well as fun and healthy. Please do share your lessons learned and keep on writing!

    Hugs to you both, Julie and Tim

    1. Our decision is most likely a temporary one, but for now, Mexico just does not make sense. We’ll remain homeowners and tourists for the time being. Between us, we are headed for Las Vegas as our son will attend UNR so we’ll be able to save some money on tuition by being Nevada residents. After that< I would love to buy a place in Texas. More adventures! All the best, Tom.

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