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Chapter 35 What it costs to stay at a resort in Tulum vs. a private house.

March 13, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 35:  What it costs to stay at a resort in Tulum vs. a private house.

We are doing the right thing by moving to Mexico.  I have confirmation on our decision to move there.  We just spent ten days there and it is still just as attractive to me now as it ever was.  96 days until June 17th, my birthday, and my target date for our departure from

California.  Honestly, they cannot go by fast enough.  If it was not for my son and wife, I would sign up to be put into a state of suspended animation or even a coma for the next 96 days so I could just wake up in Mexico.  Since this is not Alien or Star Trek, I will ride out these last three months knowing that we are heading to a wonderful place.  And we still have a lot of work to do before we leave.

Ten days in Mexico is what my son calls “the sweet spot.”

Continue reading “Chapter 35 What it costs to stay at a resort in Tulum vs. a private house.”

Chapter 34 Why I decided NOT to work for VipKids

February 25, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 34:  Why I decided not to work online for VipKids

I usually don’t open with a request, but it keeps coming up, so here it is: 

If you want to be notified of when I post new articles, please subscribe to USAdios.com.  We don’t email you anything and don’t send your information to anyone.  WordPress needs you to subscribe so they can notify you when content creators (like me) upload new articles.  Same thing with our USAdios.com YouTube site. 

So please subscribe to both so we can keep in touch. J

A fellow Facebooker posted something about having a job that paid $22/hour teaching kids to speak English online.  I have seen these jobs pitched many times.  Make your own hours, work from anywhere.  It sounds good.   I could do this from Mexico, or anywhere.  I decided to finally check it out.

Continue reading “Chapter 34 Why I decided NOT to work for VipKids”

Chapter 33 Free nights for you in our house in Tulum?

February 18, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 33:  Free nights for you in our house in Tulum?

We will be living where many people vacation. 

“Yeah but Tulum is a tourist trap.”  A reader commented recently.

Is it a trap?  Or just a popular destination?  To me, Disneyland is a tourist trap.  You pay $25.00 to park, another $120.00 per adult to stand in line all day, and if you need a bottle of water due to the heat, they are $2.50 each, or $10.00 every time the Johnson Family is parched.  Hungry?  You’re looking at a spending almost $100.00 to sit in a noisy, crowded restaurant.  That is a tourist trap.

Continue reading “Chapter 33 Free nights for you in our house in Tulum?”

Audible Chapters Now Available

If you enjoy reading my blog, I hope you will also enjoy listening to me read it, too.

Many readers have asked if I was going to put this story on Audible.com. I may do that later, but for now, I have recorded myself reading our story. I plan to add photos, videos, links and other things so I can offer so much more than the written word.

Please let me know if you like this addition. 🙂

If it’s popular, I will continue creating the audible version of each chapter to go along with the blog version.

Here is the link to Chapter One from June 7, 2018:

Desktop Vacation: Come with us to Tulum, Mexico. WIN and use our house for FREE.

Need a break from the daily grind? Tired of your boss, your commute and preparing taxes? Take a few minutes for yourself, breathe and allow yourself to dream that you are there. We were and we cannot wait to get back.

Take a look at our new YouTube site: USAdios.com.

We have prepared a vignette for all of you who (like us) are dreaming of escape, beautiful beaches and a simpler life in Mexico.

Continue reading “Desktop Vacation: Come with us to Tulum, Mexico. WIN and use our house for FREE.”

Chapter 31 Life is short. Do it now. Whatever it is…Get moving now.

February 7, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 31:  Life is short.  Do it now.  Whatever it is…Get moving now.

Overheard at our favorite tavern, just the other day:

Apparently, it was Bob’s birthday.  He walked in and took an empty seat at the bar. 

“Happy Birthday, Bob.”  One patron said and a few others who knew him chimed in.  I rarely get to visit this place.  I did not know Bob.  He looked haggard, tired and a little disheveled.  He wore flip flops in February, which I think is against the law when it’s raining outside and about 45 degrees.  He wore the uniform of men who have given up on the battle of the bulge: sweatpants and a t-shirt. 

Fiesta Like There Is No Manana, his shirt read.  Apparently, he too liked Mexico.

Continue reading “Chapter 31 Life is short. Do it now. Whatever it is…Get moving now.”

Velbon Videomate 538/F Aluminum Tripod with Fluid Pan and Tilt Head Review

https://amzn.to/2Db8AFN

Hey guys, Tom Collins here and I am obsessed with electronic gadgetry. One of my favorite hobbies is photography so I am going to review the Velbon Videomate 538/F Tripod. I bought one and I love it. The link is above and here it is again:

https://amzn.to/2Db8AFN

I have an older tripod that I bought to video our son play football years ago. Back then, I didn’t know much about photography and while I am not a professional, I can tell what works and what doesn’t. The Dynex tripod below serves a different purpose for me even though both products look similar and have similar functionality.

Continue reading “Velbon Videomate 538/F Aluminum Tripod with Fluid Pan and Tilt Head Review”

Chapter 30 I Am Thinking Of Buying This Place!

January 31, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 30:  I Am Thinking Of Buying This Place!

     *If you like photos and data more than words, this article is for you.  And me.

     Recently, I mentioned that I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things like food and entertainment while also discussing necessities like health and transportation.  These topics are all important but the main thing we need to review is where you will live.  We are talking real estate and I think we may get stuck on this topic for a while.  Why?  For most people, a home is the number one most expensive purchase (and the longest-term investment) they will ever make.  It’s also the number one question I get so here we go.

Continue reading “Chapter 30 I Am Thinking Of Buying This Place!”

Chapter 29 How Did You Do This? Can We Do This?

January 20, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 29:  How Did You Do This?  Can We Do This?

     After my last article, lamenting the hopelessly divided state of the USA, I have decided to take a totally different direction for the next several articles.  Since this is our Go Year, I will focus on trying to provide some useful information on several popular topics that seem to come up repeatedly.

Continue reading “Chapter 29 How Did You Do This? Can We Do This?”

Chapter 27 Please Don’t Read This Article!

January 6, 2019

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 27:  Please Don’t Read This Article!

I hate to do this, but I have to address the Internet trolls.  The little parasites that attach themselves to the work and ideas of others, sitting at their laptops, alone and angry, firing off nastygrams to those of us who expose ourselves to the world, hoping to do some good.  Let me explain.

Continue reading “Chapter 27 Please Don’t Read This Article!”

Chapter 26 New Year, New Direction, New Plans

December 31, 2018

Moving to Mexico: USAdios.com

Chapter 26: New Year, New Direction, New Plan, New Attitude

What if you knew the day you would die? What if you could look at the calendar and point, with 100% accuracy, to the date you would actually shuffle off this mortal coil?

What would that knowledge do to you? Would you feel angry, sorrowful, depressed and anxious? Neurotic even? Would you go just a little insane?

Or would you quit your job, sell your house, travel the world, and give your belongings away? You can’t take it with you, right?

Life and death are a bit extreme for this example, so let’s pare it back a bit. What if you knew when you would lose your job, become divorced or become pregnant? What if you had total assurance as to the day your life was going to forever be changed by an event you could not control? What would you do then?

Continue reading “Chapter 26 New Year, New Direction, New Plans”

Chapter 25: All I Want For Christmas

December 23, 2018

Chapter 25:  All I Want For Christmas

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

            Much to the dissatisfaction of my new employer, I am taking all of next week off.  Actually, it’s just three days as we already have the 25th and 26th off.  As I am a newer team member, I have not yet been truly “hired”.  This company, like many, tries to avoid giving a job and benefits to someone who may just disappear after a month or so.  I guess they have had that problem a lot, and I can understand why. The work is difficult and dangerous.  It does not pay well, either so I can see how they have had a high turnover.  The time I would be taking off is unpaid as I am not yet a true employee.  But to remedy this with an extended period (nine months) of being an independent contractor doesn’t really sit well with me.  It’s not right but I don’t really care.  It’s just play money and I’m out of here in six months anyway.

Continue reading “Chapter 25: All I Want For Christmas”

Chapter 24: Back From Dallas, Texas

December 13, 2018

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 24:  Back from Dallas, Texas

Here is a copy of something I posted on Facebook while in Dallas, Texas at the recent Escape Artist conference:

Man, does it feel good to wake up and know that I am in TEXAS.

Strangers say, “Good Morning”.  People of all races were at Bible study together Saturday night at the hotel. Staff with entry-level, service jobs are smiling, not angry.  I had MANY of those jobs coming up. I didn’t protest or demand higher wages or cheaper housing.  I worked harder, just like these folks.

A beautiful black woman who runs the hotel lounge bar calls me“baby” every time she sees me.  She rubs my shoulders as she passes me.  I didn’t call her manager, or CNN.  Imagine if I (a white man) did that to her (a black woman) in Oakland, SF or Berkeley. I would probably be arrested, lose my job and certainly get my fifteen minutes of fame on TV.

Longhorn fans were sitting with Sooner fans and Red Raider fans.  No fights.  And Texas had just lost the big game.  Could Giants fans do that with Dodger fans?

I ate “Gunslinger Chicken Wings” and no one was offended, apprehensive or shot, for that matter.

It’s so nice to be out of the waist-deep victimology of California and just breathe for a few days, with genuine people.

It’s reassuring to see that this still exists outside the whiny Bay Area bubble and the tribalism ofCalifornia.

When I tell people where I am from, they say, 
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about all the trouble y’all have been having.”
And I reply, “Do you mean the fires and mudslides?”
And then say, “Yeah…that too.”

Continue reading “Chapter 24: Back From Dallas, Texas”

Chapter 23: We Are Not That Different

November 19, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 23:  We Are Not That Different.

 

One of the many reasons we were drawn to Mexico is that a lot of Mexico resembles our home state of California.  We have deserts, coastal areas, valleys and mountains just like Mexico.  The only thing we don’t experience much is humidity, but a nice beach and a cold beer eliminate that for me.

Here in California, we interact with Mexican people every day, have incorporated their language, food and culture into our own and generally feel at home with most things Mexican.  Many of our cities, streets and areas are in Spanish:  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cesar Chavez Street and Balboa Park.  We are intertwined.

Continue reading “Chapter 23: We Are Not That Different”

Chapter 22: A Friend Killed Himself and It Reminded Me to Live.

November 9, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 22:  A Friend Killed Himself and It Reminded Me to Live.

 

Yesterday was at the same time warm and cold, enlightening and confusing.

 

The day started in the usual way:  woke up, kissed wife, hugged son as our house became filled voices, motion and the smells of breakfast.  I looked at my family and smiled.  Life was good.

Later that morning, we were going to drive to Copperopolis to visit the maternal side of my family at a park where we often had family gatherings.  We were able to use the park clubhouse for our event as one of my aunt’s lives in the area.  For some reason, the event was named the “Generation Celebration.”  I did not understand the name, but in any case, we were honoring my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary.

 

My family is complicated.

Continue reading “Chapter 22: A Friend Killed Himself and It Reminded Me to Live.”

Chapter 21: 10 Pictures and 1,000 Words

November 2, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 21:  10 Pictures and 1,000 Words

Mexico City has the worst traffic I have ever seen.  I also felt like I was going to pass out from the altitude.  At over 7,300 feet, it’s just under the 8,000 foot threshold for hypobaropathy, or altitude sickness, but I have always been susceptible to that malady.  Perhaps it’s because I was raised at sea-level, or maybe it’s because I grew up with father who smoked enough cigarettes to make Don Draper and Humphrey Bogart look like goldbrickers.

Continue reading “Chapter 21: 10 Pictures and 1,000 Words”

Chapter 20: Tired of Explaining and Tired of the Police

October 26, 2018 

Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 20:  Tired of Explaining and Tired of the Police

 

Last night, we were at our local Elks Lodge for the weekly Thirsty Thursday BBQ.  Fraternal organizations like the Elks and Masons are popular with The Greatest Generation so a Gen X’er like me, two generations away from the WWII crew, is a little outside their demographic.  Still, I love being around those people.  They are friendly, engaging and can hold an intelligent conversation.  Most of the time.

Continue reading “Chapter 20: Tired of Explaining and Tired of the Police”

Uneven Flow: Possibly the worst karaoke singer ever. Tulum, Mexico.

This kid sang his heart out, dedicated the song to his poor girlfriend who (bless her for her loyalty) watched and listened to his entire serenade.  Hats off to the kid for completing the song in earnest.  He never wavered.  I hope he kept his day job.

He gave the crowd a reason to laugh, but everyone cheered him on and clapped loudly when he finished.  His singing was awful, but his attitude was awesome.  Good for him.

https://youtu.be/S6VYnlYfx0U

Chapter 19: A Bit Bluesy But Reaffirming Our Decision

October 17, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 19:  A Bit Bluesy But Reaffirming Our Decision

 

I have spent decades dreaming of leaving California for the sunny shores of St. Somewhere, and now that the countdown clock shows less than eight months I have to be honest, I find myself already missing my home.  I look out at our small orchard of pine trees (is a group of pines an “orchard”…not sure) and I imagine one day looking at those same trees from the walking trail that lies just behind our fence.  I know I will do this, just like the ghost I can be, lurking around former abodes, remembering things as bigger and better than they actually were.  I’ve done this my entire life.  And the fact that I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else is setting me up for a seriously difficult, melancholy, bluesy trail-walk.  I am not looking forward to that.

Continue reading “Chapter 19: A Bit Bluesy But Reaffirming Our Decision”

Special Post: Part Two—Interview with Thomas Lloyd of Top Mexico

Part 2 of 2.

This is an in depth video interview done by Tom Collins of USAdios.com with Thomas Lloyd of Top Mexico Real Estate in Playa del Carmen. This video discusses various important topics about buying real estate in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico.

Thomas Lloyd is the CEO and Founder of Top Mexico Real Estate.  Originally from Indiana, he has lived and worked in Mexico for 22 years.  His story is a perfect example of another American who said US…Adios, and lived well.

Please let me your thoughts on this interview video.  And if you decide to reach out to Thomas, please tell him you saw this interview and that Tom Collins sent you.

All the best,

Tom Collins

Special Post: Part One—Interview with Thomas Lloyd of Top Mexico

Part 1 of 2.

This is an in depth video interview done by Tom Collins of USAdios.com with Thomas Lloyd of Top Mexico Real Estate in Playa del Carmen. This video discusses various important topics about buying real estate in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico.

Thomas Lloyd is the CEO and Founder of Top Mexico Real Estate.  Originally from Indiana, he has lived and worked in Mexico for 22 years.  His story is a perfect example of another American who said US…Adios, and lived well.

Please let me your thoughts on this interview video.  And if you decide to reach out to Thomas, please tell him you saw this interview and that Tom Collins sent you.

All the best,

Tom Collins

Chapter 18: A Reader Wants to Move to Tulum!

October 10, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 18:  A Reader Wants to Move to Tulum!

 

At this time, my site has been viewed almost 3,000 times.  *Not bad for a site with no SEO.  J  Many readers reach out to me to ask questions or make comments on my articles.  I answer every question and reply to all comments.

Continue reading “Chapter 18: A Reader Wants to Move to Tulum!”

Chapter 16: We Will Be There Soon!

September 17, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 16:  We Will Be There Soon!

240 Pounds:  5 Pounds to go.

 

OK, so this is not supposed to be a diet guide, but I mentioned that part of my reason for choosing Tulum is the healthy lifestyle.  I don’t want to bring the same ME that I have lived with here to my new life there.  Part of a move like this involves a self-evaluation and there are some things that need change.

Continue reading “Chapter 16: We Will Be There Soon!”

Chapter 15: I am committed. Or I should be.

September 10, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 15:  I Am Committed.  Or I should Be.

I am the first person in my family to graduate college.  It was extremely difficult because I had no financial support, no one to guide me and no idea how the process worked.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way and it took longer than it could have, but I did it.  I had to work full time to support myself and I chose to go to school full time because I wasn’t getting any younger.  I had already done a few years in the Army and lived in Europe for a while.  I had to buckle down, so I did.

Continue reading “Chapter 15: I am committed. Or I should be.”

Chapter 14: Insurance Is Not Very Reassuring

September 3, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 14:  Insurance Is Not Very Reassuring

245 Pounds…10 pounds to my first goal of 235.  Holding steady with no change.  Stuck?

Part of leaving California and moving on to a simpler life is cutting some cords.  We just cancelled our longtime agreement with DirecTV.  As you see above, we had a LOT of remote controls…no we did not use all of them.  They just kept sending us replacements for the units we did not wear out fast enough and they stacked up.  The smaller one was for an outdoor, wireless unit on our deck.  All of it will be shipped back to them this week.

Continue reading “Chapter 14: Insurance Is Not Very Reassuring”

Chapter 13: The Broken Record

August 27, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 13:  The Broken Record

245 Pounds…10 pounds to my first goal of 235.

 

The weight loss goal I have is still attainable, but a lot harder than I had hoped.  It seems that my 53-year-old body is fighting against my “look good in a bathing suit in Mexico” dreams.  Our next visit is just over a month away and I have ten pounds to go.  I believe I can do this but losing weight at this age is hard.  Maybe I need to rethink this!

Continue reading “Chapter 13: The Broken Record”

Chapter 12: Back to School

August 20, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 12:  Back to School

245 Pounds…10 pounds to my first goal of 235.

 

Today is the first day of school for our son.  It’s just a few hours for orientation, I.D. card photos, parking lot space assignments (please let him get one…it’s done by lottery) and a somewhat modified speech from the Dean of Boys:

Continue reading “Chapter 12: Back to School”

Chapter 10: Full Disclosure is a Big Motivator

August 6, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 10:  Full Disclosure is a Big Motivator

250 Pounds

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          The photo of the calendar with the old car is in my shop.  It was given to me when I turned in my lemon 2015 Cadillac Escalade which was in the shop 13 times in 23 months.  They took the truck back, refunded almost all of my money back and gave me a calendar with old GM vehicle photos.
Keep on reading

Chapter 5: No Cure for Bahamian Fever

June 30, 2018

 Moving To Mexico:  USAdios.com

Chapter 5:  No Cure For Bahamian Fever

Our son is at that age.  He is at that age that constantly reminds us that he will be leaving us soon.  He drives everywhere on his own.  He has begun working part time earning his own spending money.  And he is constantly correcting us about things he knows very little about.  I did the same thing at seventeen.  We all did. Keep on reading

Chapter 1: We are leaving the USA and moving to Mexico!

We are leaving.  We are leaving the USA and moving to Mexico.

June 7, 2018

My wife and I are both 52 years old and we are natives of a state people used to flock to:  California.  Our state’s weather, natural beauty and diverse ecosystems have drawn people for centuries.  Our universities attracted students from all over the globe while our strong economy fueled explosive growth.  People kept coming to the Golden State to chase their dreams, recreate themselves and to expand their lives.  They kept coming and coming and coming.  Keep on reading!