Mexico is all about its colors

After spending a couple of months in Mexico the things that stand out to me are the people, the food and the colors. The Mexican people are so friendly, and so colorful and more than just a paper thin semblance of a person. That’s reflected in the vibrant colors of their buildings, their clothing and even in nature. From the bright red house surrounded by luscious green jungle, to the brilliant azure of the Caribbean coast.  I don’t really have the words to describe it(my wife is the writer), so hopefully some of these pictures will give you an idea. Continue reading

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Day 1:  Travel to Mexico

Traveling with kids is an interesting experience.  Traveling with anyone who has a different personality than your own can be a

This is just the Checked Luggage.
This is just the Checked Luggage.

challenge.  Everyone has different ideas of where you need to be and when and what makes for comfortable travel.  I’m an over-packer.  Romeo has to be through security before he can relax.  We discovered that Goose is a nervous traveler.

The day began early.  Everyone was excited to get started with the big trip.  A couple of our best friends met us at the house to have coffee and bagels before they drove us to the airport.   Continue reading

Why Wait? Moving to Central America on a shoestring

lightbulb-momentSo on Thursday morning I woke up suddenly at 5:30 in the morning with the thought that what if we didn’t have to wait to move? Waiting on starting my business is becoming a detriment to the business at this point. We have clients ready to pay us money that need to see progress. The thought has always been, prep house, sell house, move cheaper, start biz. What if we turned that all around? Move cheaper, start biz, sell house?

So if we could afford to move somewhere cheaper for a while, then should we do it? What are our options?

Ok for those of you that don’t know how this works, I’m kind of in love with this tool. You can use Skyscanner to search for flights and it will find anything at all for you. It will tell you what it costs to go anywhere in a certain month, week, day or whenever. Lovin it!!!

Sky1

When you leave the To field blank, it fills it in with everywhere. So I searched for flights in July, and this is the top of my search:

sky2

And then you find all kinds of treasures. Have you ever heard of Toluca Mexico? It’s the cheapest place to fly to in the entire world from Miami in July. sky3

Apparently Toluca is about an hour outside of Mexico City in the mountains, and has great weather and super cheap living(3BR’s rent for $200-500/mo). And check out the differences in the weather:


sky5

Anyway, that’s just an example of a gem I found. A place I had never even heard of before that I might want to go to someday. So back to the main story, I think we found a different solution.

As you know if you’ve been following our blog, we’ve been trying to sell our house unsuccessfully for the last 33 days. It’s getting shown quite often on average 3-4 times per week(pain in the rump), but no one is making us any offers yet. We need to step up our game on the startup I’m working on. So, we came up with a better plan.

Part of the process of our moving will be selling a bunch of our belongings, we have two older but functional cars that we can sell off, plus outdated furniture, electronics and other things. This was stuff we planned on doing after the house sells, but why wait? We calculate that we can sell off our goodies, plus savings and embark with enough to stay around 7-12 months in Central America(as long as we stay on budget). If we stay in this hemisphere, we can spend a lot less on airfare, especially as I’ll have to come back to close on the house. So we start looking things up.

Skyscanner gives me tons of options for July. Here are some of the prices:
Toluca, Mexico $68
Cancun Mexico $116 (then take the bus to Merida/Progreso)
Panama City $95
San Jose, Costa Rica $111
Medellin, Columbia $181
Cali, Columbia $233
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic $136

Now understand, that I speak spanish fluently already. That makes a huge difference in our comfort level. Goose has been studying Spanish for two years and could use some practice. And the wife would love for all of the kids to learn to speak Spanish as well. I think the girls should learn to surf, and there really isn’t a better spot than Nicaragua or Costa Rica(in spots) for waves or the cost right now. So we can go really rustic, and learn to surf in a spot like this:

cabin

Cost only $250 a month, utilities included. Nicer than where I spent time as a kid in the Dominican Republic, but I don’t think the wife would move there. Within walking distance of four surf breaks from the beginner waves to the more advanced. Ahhh to be young again.

oceanfrontI found a place in Puerto Viejo de Talemanca, Costa Rica right on the beach that will rent to us for $750/mo. This includes 2 Bedrooms, beds for five and free breakfast on Saturday and Sundays, all utilities including wi-fi, plus cleaning service. To put it into perspective most ocean front places you can rent in our hometown run $150-500 a night. That means all in for our family of five we’d be well under $2,000 a month in living expenses. Stay in the time zone, and be a short flight away from coming home.

It makes Mamasita happy because she already knows people who live there who have been talking it up. So we could probably manage to live the entire six months of my project right here pretty comfortably, and not touch a penny of the money we make from the sale of the house. So the big question is do we stick out the sale of the house, where we get a big chunk of change? Or do we get a little more risky, and make the move happen now?

Isn’t it already a risk, uprooting your family and moving away? So, why wait if you can make it happen today rather than waiting for tomorrow?

Where Should We Go? Part 3

If you didn’t start at the beginning of this series, you can read the first part here: Where Should We Go? Part 1

Option 3: Merida, Mexico

Pros

  • Cost. The cost of living difference between our current location and Merida is huge.merida map
    • Indices Difference
    • Consumer Prices in Jacksonville, FL are 71.10% higher than in Merida
    • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Jacksonville, FL are 96.36% higher than in Merida
    • Rent Prices in Jacksonville, FL are 230.14% higher than in Merida
    • Restaurant Prices in Jacksonville, FL are 103.88% higher than in Merida
    • Groceries Prices in Jacksonville, FL are 65.99% higher than in Merida
    • Local Purchasing Power in Jacksonville, FL is 240.00% higher than in Merida
    • See the full comparison chart here.

Continue reading