In October 2021, I moved to Mexico to give it a 30-day trial run. I didn’t return until March 2022. Did I love it there? Absolutely! But, ultimately, I don’t think I could live in Mexico full-time. Recently, I shared that I didn’t want to live full-time in America anymore either. Consequently, after weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to move back to the country where I experienced no racism, could afford health care, and had more rights.
I leave for Mexico in August. It begins with a three-week road trip with my mom and then I drop her back at the airport and return to America’s southern neighbour. After this, I leave the state of Sonora and head to Baja California. In another post, I will explain why I chose to move my Mexican home base, but I think I’d like to get to the new spot first and see how I like it. If I do, I don’t intend to return to the United States until March 2023.
We’ll see if I change my mind, but I didn’t exactly rush back to the United States last time. Nevertheless, America does have its charms. So, while I prepare to leave America behind for half a year, yet again, here are the four things I’m going to miss like crazy―and my potential solutions.
1. Reliable Internet
As a digital nomad, I work online. If there is no internet connection, I can’t earn a living. When the internet connection is poor, I spend more time working than I’d like to. Some parts of Mexico have great internet. I did not stay in one of those areas. In Sonora, the locals and ex-pats alike complained about the terrible internet.
Every time I crossed the border back into the U.S., the first thing I would do is pull over and check my messages. I would then set a few things to download, so I could access them when I got back to Mexico. I’m hoping the internet situation is much better this time. Either way, I still have my Mexican SIM card.
I’m looking into getting an annual lease in Mexico. If I do, then my options for better internet increase exponentially. You can have a dedicated line run to your lot when you do that. We shall see what happens.
2. Mail and Packages
Like most high-risk persons and millennials, I prefer to order what I need online. I do not miss the pre-COVID-19 shopping experience. While I don’t mind shopping in Mexico, I do miss the convenience of just ordering what I need online. I have a friend who uses a special website to place her orders, but she has a much better understanding of the Spanish language and Mexican culture than I do.
Last time, my main solution was to rely on my U.S. neighbours. The American ex-pats still regularly cross the border, so I would send packages to their addresses and they would bring them back with their own big haul. This worked until it didn’t. One creepy old dude made me almost lose my $1,300 rooftop tent by not accepting the order when I didn’t return his advances. If you’re interested, I talked about it at the start of this video:
This time, I plan to keep a mailbox close to the border. That way, I can send my mail there and just drive up to get everything in bulk once per month or so. In all honesty, I’m not sure why I didn’t do this the last time I was there. I guess part of the reason was my uncertainty as to how long I planned to stay. I just kept on extending my stay for another month until I was there for half a year!
3. Unrestricted Movement
When I shared my experiences living in Mexico, I explained that this was the top reason I wouldn’t live there. There are so many military checkpoints as you move from state to state. Throw in the random checks the Federales carry out and travel just feels more and more like a hassle. Even worse, there are so many towns you’re supposed to avoid, especially with American plates and especially at night. Check out one shady, late-night encounter in this video:
I won’t say America has total unrestricted movement. It does, after all, have Sundown towns and dangerous ‘hoods. Even so, on a state and city level, I can drive from one end of the country to the other without restriction or crazy checkpoints. Although, that might change now that Republicans allegedly want women to confirm they aren’t pregnant before leaving their states.
The search for unrestricted movement is the main reason I’m moving from Sonora to Baja California. Americans and Mexicans alike travel from the northern borderlands of Baja California to the southern tip of Baja California Sur with few checkpoints and few restrictions. One friend I prepped for Mexico recently traveled from California to La Paz and back with no problems. Now, she can prep me for Baja! And, it might erase my biggest deal breaker for full-time living in Mexico.
4. Proper Road Signs
I won’t knock Mexico for their poor roads because I’ve been down my fair share of awful American roads. Imagine driving down an Atlanta highway at 70 mph and BAM! you fall into a pothole. Or, imagine driving down a highway in Arizona and, suddenly, it becomes a washboard dirt road for two miles ― and I don’t mean for construction! I have experienced these injustices. That said, I will absolutely harp on Mexico for the horrible road signs.
It is so easy to pass stop signs because they are often not luminescent, like road signs in America. My Dad laughed at me while watching me drive the first night in Mexico. So, I gave him the truck for the rest of the trip. It didn’t take him 10 minutes the very first day to tell me he now understood why I paused at almost every intersection.
It doesn’t help that the officers are just waiting for a U.S. car to misstep because they think we’ll pay up. I once got a ticket for running an amber light. I was mad as all hell, but you know what? At no point ― even while disagreeing with the police officer ― did I fear for my life. It’s insane how polite even the soldiers are while searching your vehicle with AK-47s in their arms. My actual complaint? They weren’t wearing gloves!
I’ve been to Baja California before but only in the border cities ― and I hated being there. My parents didn’t like it either. So, will the rest of Baja change my mind on whether I could live in Mexico full-time? Time will tell. Either way, I still plan to head to Canada this summer. Stay tuned!