I write this blog post about “Where I am Moving and Why” as I take off from Puerto Vallarta on February 21 2021 heading to Merida Mexico to complete my Temporary Residency and collect my Mexican Green Card (yay!)
I am at peace with the decision I have come to about relocating to Mexico and my decision about where I will initially settle. I say initially because I am giving myself permission to move if I decide my choice doesn’t work long term. I am not a tree I can move.
As my followers know last year I made the decision to take the leap, break up with America and relocate to Mexico.
Losing two people important to me in a five-week period made me reevaluate my entire existence in this world and specifically in America. You can read about the conclusions I came to in my blog posts “America: I am breaking up with you” and “America is a Gilded Cage.”
I decided that living a happy and peaceful life is more important to me than earning a high income. Workplaces in the U.S. are rife with white supremacy, white privilege, tone policing, and endless microaggressions. No matter how “progressive” the company or workplace it is unavoidable. Expecting that to change is like expecting water not to be wet. I decided that I’d rather be an authentic unapologetic and free human being and work for myself.
I decided to go where the peace resides instead of the money because the money will follow.
I choose Mexico because of its culture and beauty, its kind people, its beautiful language, its low cost of living in comparison to the US, and yes, its proximity to the United States of America (“U.S.”).
The U.S. will always be the place of my birth and a country that I love deeply just as a child still loves its abusive parent. But a wise and mature child will eventually put distance between itself and that parent when they understand it is necessary to their own psychological health and survival.
As a fully evolved black woman I am untethering myself from a place I love that simply doesn’t love me or people that look like me the way it should.
The U.S. will always be my home country just not my home. The people I love most will still live there so living across the world is not an option. If my elderly father or my only child needs me I need to be a 6-8-hour plane ride away not 10-18 hours
I am launching my branded location independent businesses from Mexico and I’m putting my faith in myself, and my creator that they will all be successful enough to allow me to live free going forward. I hear my late mother’s voice saying “you will be okay” and so I will be.
So where shall I live?
As know, from October 2020 to February 2021 I undertook a series of trips to and around Mexico to determine the best location for my #BLAXIT.
I evaluated each place based on the following 10 factors.
- Short distance to the nearest International Airport; and direct flight to Washington, DC area or South Florida airport in the US available.
- The temperature and climate is stable. It is not excessively hot or cold majority of months of the year. Low to No Hurricanes or earthquakes risk
- Fresh Fruit and vegetables are easy to access and find.
- Cost of Living is low. Average 1-2 BR Rent falls between $400 -$1000 per month in secure building, 5–10-minute walk to the beach, downtown, gym, pool, ocean view (if in beach town), A/C, very hot bath water (smile), washer/dryer/dishwasher in unit)
- Stable Wi-Fi and cell phone reception
- Creature comforts like Walmart, Costco, Starbucks present or nearby
- Uber is an option
- Neighborhoods are walkable and safe for walking alone
- There is a black expat community accessible to me
- It Feels Like Home
I created a Five Point Rating scale that I applied to each city/town I visited.
5 – Perfect (all of the factors are present)
4 – Damn Near Perfect (8 or more factors are present)
3 – Almost Perfect (7 or more factors are present)
2 – Probably Not (6 factors or less are present)
1 – Hell No (3 factors or less are present)
Here is a recap of each city I visited and its rating.
Playa del Carmen 2
Puerto Vallarta 4
Ajijic, Lake Chapala 2
San Miguel de Allende 4
Only two places received a rating of 4 so it really came down to:
Puerto Vallarta (PV)
San Miguel de Allende (SMA)
Both had key pros and specific cons
For Puerto Vallarta (PV)
Location – picturesque and gorgeous sunsets. Crazy gorgeous ocean views and beautiful mountains
Creature comforts like Uber, Starbucks, Costco, Walmart
Proximity to Airport and favorable routes from DMV and South Florida
Climate – very hot 3-5 months per year
Cost of living – High especially rent if I want that ocean view
Mosquitos bite like a bitch 3-5 months per year
Hurricane & earthquake risk. low but possible.
For San Migue de Allende (SMA)
Climate – eternal Fall and no weather risk i.e., earthquakes and hurricanes
Location – picturesque and old city feel reminiscent of Florence and Lucca in Tuscany, Italy
Creature comforts like Uber and Starbucks
Cost of rent sits in my sweet spot for the Mountain View I’d want
Proximity to Airport- Closest and most convenient airport is 55 mins away without traffic in Querétaro
Walmart, Costco and Home Depot are also located in Querétaro or Guanajuato City
I have chosen —Drum Roll – – – – –
San Miguel de Allende for my initial relocation to Mexico.
This may come as a surprise to many who I’m sure thought I would go for the beautiful beach town of Puerto Vallarta. But those who really know me probably aren’t surprised.
In the end I chose the place I think I am most likely to love living in short and long term.
If you know me you know that my dream retirement location is Florence, Italy. Imagine finding a town that makes me feel the magical way I do when I visit Tuscany but for a fraction of the price with a more favorable year-round climate??!!
Imagine a place where I can lease a home with a view of the mountains and Centro square for significantly less than what a similar view would cost in PV and I kinda couldn’t say no.
I also had to admit some important truths to myself.
I HATE being hot. I. Hate. It.
I also don’t love the beach – blasphemy to some I know.
I like boots. I like jackets. I like sweaters. I like ponchos. I love fall in DC. It’s my favorite time of year. 70-75 degrees and 40-50 at night is heaven to me. I hate weather above 85 degrees. I don’t love sand on my skin though I do love a rooftop pool and I do love sitting by the sea on a 82 degree low humidity day.
While I don’t care to see snow ever again, Living somewhere I can slip on my Chelsea boots and leggings multiple months out of the year warms the cockles. Especially a place where I can wear jeans and a t-shirt during the day and then slip into a sweater and leggings at night – WINNING!!!
The first day I went outside and it was 40 degrees in the am but 75 by noon I knew I was home.
I love that summer temps are only 2-4 months rather than 3-6. I love that the likelihood of it ever feeling like the devils front porch in SMA is slim.
I love that I won’t need AC but I will have a fireplace.
Shit I love that I can fly to Cali and Vegas to hang with friends in a couple hours now.
But most importantly I loved how I felt in SMA. I felt at home there. The support I received from expats of every hue as I looked at and negotiated a lease was astounding. People I didn’t know bent over backwards to ensure I had a good and easy experience.
While the black expat community is small they are like family and so consistently supportive that I feel comfortable trying SMA – so I will. I have leased a home with a beautiful view and I will move this summer.
I will of course share lessons learned as I move and settle. I know it won’t be all hearts and flowers. I know there will be stops starts and disappointments but I’m going to pray, stay positive and lean into this new life and adventure.
I look forward to living as an authentic unapologetic and free human being in San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato State in the United States of Mexico.