The MEXICO Report
By Susie Albin-Najera
“Oh Mexico. It sounds so simple, I just want to go…” Author David Simmonds opens up his book, “Move to Mexico and Keep the American Dream Alive During These Hard Economic Times” with a quote by James Taylor followed by a story about his first time visiting Mexico in the 70’s, an impromptu road trip to Puerto Vallarta in his old, beat up, non-air conditioned VW bus with his buddy Tom.
“…we landed on the sleepy, cobble-stoned streets of Puerto Vallarta. I knew immediately that I knew I had found ‘my place’ – the place I never tire of, notwithstanding the massive construction and traffic that has now transformed my sleepy village into a bustling city of 200,000. I have since traveled to Vallarta nearly 100 times, often staying for long periods. And each time, without exception, the first thing I do is hit the streets, walking the old neighborhoods where I first camped on the beach in the south end of town.”
Over the past 35 years, author David Simmonds has lived in and traveled throughout Mexico, from the smallest, remote villages to the popular tourist meccas. Editor of The Mexico File travel newsletter since 1995 and news website Mexico Premiere since 2007, it is safe to say that Dave understands Mexico inside and out, not just from what he has read in books, but because he has lived it.
Move to Mexico covers a myriad of topics including money matters, FM2 or FM3, health insurance, doctors, cell phones, getting around, resources, water, food tips, safety, mortgages, misconceptions and much more. It also includes testimonials of those who have made the move and what their experience was like.
The book answers dozens of questions and addresses topics like:
- Who, why, what and where
- Is Mexico the right choice for you?
- Buy or rent, finance opportunities, ownership laws
- Visas, health and medical issues, daily life advice, safety concerns
- Personal advice from the author
- City profiles
I suppose the only thing I was left wondering was, what the heck do we do with our stuff here in the states? Do we ship it down, store it or sell it? Dave quickly emailed me back and here is what he said:
“It is best to buy most of your furniture after you get there. Example: most wood furniture made in the U.S. won’t hold up in the humidity and conditions of Puerto Vallarta. (They make furniture there from a local hard wood that bugs and humidity won’t destroy). Also, many people make the move and then decide after a year or two that Mexico isn’t for them (or for health reasons) – then they have to re-ship all their furniture back home. It’s okay to take some personal items, computer, etc., but in general, leave the furniture at home (or sell it). And there is the style issue – what looks good in Chicago might not look so hot in PV.”
“To move smaller amounts, many people fill their own pick-up truck or SUV. And there are international moving companies you can find easily on the web. Here is one example: http://www.mexico-forwarding.com/. I used to have an email for a guy in San Miguel de Allende who moved furniture either direction for people. He was pretty reasonable and took care of all the paperwork, etc.”
Move to Mexico is truly a fantastic resource and can be the catalyst for those who are at the tipping point, and beneficial (plus encouraging) for those who are just curious about life south of the border. The great thing about reading this book and connecting with David is that whatever questions you have about Mexico, he will answer it or find someone who can answer it for you.
Last, I did want to mention that Dave is also the director and founder of an incredible non-profit organization called ‘One Town at a Time’, whose mission is to address the living conditions of underserved villages in Mexico by providing families in these areas with tools for achieving sustainability.