Baja Email Story


And now, email from someone who has gone through the process in Mexico, and finally, on the Baja: 

A few years ago, I received my first email from Shari.  She and her husband had read my site, and were considering a move to Mexico in their retirement.  These email tell the tale – from the beginning of just thinking about it, to researching, and then actually taking that big step – enjoy: 

An early email from me, after replying to a couple of questions concerning Mexico and the Baja:


You can buy auto insurance at the border

“Hi Shari & Dan,
Thanks for the neat reply :)  The Lake Chapala area is huge –  there are expensive and less expensive areas there – takes some exploring to find what each of us wants.
I know your apprehension – yes, it’s scary – but hey – the roads run both ways – so go and enjoy the experience.
That is so nice that you will be much closer to your son in Ca.  (Barbie=Since by now, they had decided on the Baja.)
Let me know how you find Malibu.  Do be careful of the water…as you should anyplace.
Keep in touch!  Barbie”

Then, a reply from Shari after I had posted an article about the gentleman who wrote and didn’t find Mexico that much cheaper – he had purchased a home there for $375,000 and couldn’t comprehend how anyone could live on $2,000 a month:  “Interesting email from “Jim L”….especially liked your response, Barbie.  I would imagine, Ajijic is more costly; perhaps, than some other areas in MX?  It would make sense, that anyone whose home in MX is valued @ $375K+ would not be able to live on $2000+???!!!!  ‘No brainer,’ as far as Dan and I are concerned! 

“Barbie, you already know Dan and I are beginning our MX ‘semi-retirement’ cautiously, but with great excitement…we’re going to Baja Malibu…how cautious can one get?!  We have been researching/reading ‘your’ materials for over a year now…we got from you a most important message….”research, research, research…and then, ‘try it’” (something) out!  That is what we are going to do…we already know the area.  We just need to ‘live and experience’ it…to determine if MX is ‘it’ for us!  

“In short; Barbie, this period of time is:  scary….exciting…and we are consumed with all kinds of emotions, questions, anxieties, etc.  Dan and I will be on a limited income…we will have to work at ‘some things’ part-time, but (thank God!) we are still ‘young’ enough and healthy enough and have the energy to do that!.  We will be closer to our son!!!!  He and we are sooooo looking forward to that!!!!  “Thanks for all your info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our Best to You and Dick, (would like to think we’ll meet one day!) Shari & Dan (soon to be Baja Malibu!)” 


In Mexico, often even the kitchen cabinets are basically stucco.

And a bit later after a few email questions and answers between us:  “Got it, Barbie.  Thanks much!
“We are living amongst boxes – have out only the things we need for the next 3 weeks.  “Dan put our Menaje de Casa in Excel (we’ll finalize it before leaving and have it ready for the MX Consulate in San Diego for our FM3’s.)  I numbered boxes as we went.  Sent it off to the man in San Ysidro who will be moving our things across.  Dan has already told me that he does not want me to be part of that process – at the border – whatever day it happens!  We have heard and read such horror stories.  Hope ‘our’ story of the final move will be a good one…

“Received initial approval for our Sentri Passes.  Have our P.O. address in San Ysidro. In short, we are progressing! Thanks again for thinking of us, Barbie!!!!  We’ll keep you posted.” 

And still a bit later:  “Hola from Baja Malibu, MX, Quick note to let y’all know that we’re finally on line and do have a telephone.  Our tele is through Vonage – we can call anyone, anywhere at no charge,  Sooo, if/when you call us we’ll answer and tell you that we’ll call you right back.

“It’s a very very very good feeling to finally have communication with the outside world after a week without. 

“Our home is settled…comfortable and inviting. Just have tweaking of things which we’ll do during the days ahead. Have more pictures to hang, etc.  

“(Son), of course, was our first overnight visitor last Fri.  Friend Ryan (lives in TJ) brought him – Dan cooked dinner and we enjoyed a wonderful evening! Son slept in ‘his’ room (aka guest room) and slept great.  It was wonderful having him here and we hated to see him leave.  But, he’ll be back soon! He wasn’t surprised what we’ve done here and loves it. 

“Yesterday we potted some flowers.  Today I ‘gardened’ – worked on clearing away debri and dead leaves, etc., from a strip of succulence about 30′ long at the side of our house.  Will do more tomorrow.  Efran is working on installing a washer and dryer for us.   He also complimented my ‘gardening’ – said it looks wonderful. 

“Anyway, lots of stories to tell you and pictures to send as soon as Dan gets them on here.  We’ve worked hard and accomplished so much in one week.  But; as y’all know, come 6p and our showers have been taken, martinis mixed and it’s cocktail time on the upper patio.  Truly a piece of heaven……More later, Love ‘n hugs to all, Shari & Dan” 

And shortly after: 

“Bueno el dia familia y amigos! (aka good day family and friends!), 

“Don’t get too excited re the Spanish….we are just beginning. LOL!… Johanna…amazing how much we are picking up; Dan more than I, but I’ll get there with a little help from “Spanish for Gringos“and our new friends, and a lot of help from Son..  He is so fluent, both in thinking, speaking and now writing.  Note:  Johanna…he will answer you in Spanish soon. He loved your email. 

“Tele just rang…can’t get anyone when we answer.  Note to all of you…we are still being ‘tweaked’ by Vonage.  A bit frustrating, but hang in there – we’ll talk via tele soon!  They are having problems and still trying to correct.  

“We are learning the meaning of….”manana!”  More tough for me than Dan.”  

How are we doing….???  It’s been 10 days here at Malibu, MX.  “First 5 days were downright strenuous.  Not bad accomplishments ‘tho for we old farts! 

“Son was here on Sat and stayed the night.  Awesome, having him here as our first fam guest to say the least.  Again, on Tues night with friends but went home that night.  Coming back this weekend, we hope, for Father’s Day….how very very special!!! He loves his ‘home away from home’.  Don’t have to tell you what it means to be closer to him! 

“Yesterday…first day of just overcast skies.  I could not seem to put one foot in front of the other….and opted not to!  No work yesterday…we literally vegetated and relaxed.  Every day weatherwise; however, is the same (similar to San Diego) – awaken to overcast sky, clears by noon, beautiful all day and early evening.  By 5:30ish, I put on longer pants and a sweater – it’s chilly on the top patio and beautiful.  Actually tonight, it’s very comfortable and we may even enjoy our first really really beautiful sunset. 

“Speaking of which, there are ships out in the ocean that we can see but have no idea what they are…perhaps oil tankers awaiting the best price???  Have to find out.  They seem to only move with the tide.  

“So much to tell y’all – and will do it in Word soon and attach.  Debbie, Bren please help your mom and dad retrieve when we do that.  Gracious!” 


“Today…puttered…then went into Rosarito (5 mins away) to the hardware store again!  They know Dan/us there!!!! LOL  Then went to Popotla, south of Rosarito, right down to the beach adjacent to Fox Studios where Titantic was filmed, and Dan bought from the fisherman fresh shrimp @ $2.00/lb!!!! (he just gave me a taste having shelled and cooked ’em all) – oh my gosh!!! delicious!!!! Cooling on ice – then we’ll enjoy some shrimp cocktail.  He bought enough to also make Shrimp Fettucini.  Prices here are incredible!!!!  


Open air taco shop

“Finally; today!!! we took the time to walk on our beach – for 45 mins.  Next time, we’ll take the camera – more pics for y’all.  Also going to send via snail mail info/propaganda re the condos/hotel/spa/Sushi Bar/Restaurant, and on and on  being built to our right and ready by Mar 08.  We met with the developer yesterday, had a tour, etc. He spent a lot of time with us.   Potential work for each of us there!  ….Sales, Reiki, etc. 

“This is way too long.  Just wanted you to know, that we are day by day adjusting/acclimating.  We absolutely love the people we’ve met here – our ‘security’ guards whose names we know, “Livvy” who runs the store, Efran (who installed our washer/dryer and does other things for Ed our landlord, and on and on.  They are all so warm, welcoming and appreciative of the things we have also done and given them (yep!!!! have had to downsize here too!!!). 

“Tomorrow….Dan and I have our appts across the Border for our Sentry Passes that will allow us OVER THE BORDER CROSSING AT NO WAITING!!!!  Can’t wait.  Son is applying for his also. 

“In the meantime, know that we’re thinking of y’all, miss you, love you much and look forward to your visits!!!!  You will not want to leave….we’ll fill you all in on best travel arrangements, etc in the near future.  

“To my ‘sisters’….which one of you told me (think it was you, Jan at the moving sale?)…you won’t need many clothes….I brought waaaayyyyy too many and will be giving more away to our new MX friends.  Carol – you were right…I live in my bathing suit and shorts!!!  No laundry to speak of from me!! 

“To all my Foundation friends….thank you’s will be on the way.  The last 2.5 months have been preoccupied – hope you have understood.  You will be hearing from me.  Til later,  Peace, love ‘n hugs to you all, Shari and Dan” 


The start of a new home

And then from Dan: 

I’m not sure if I can handle another day like today.  We awoke (when we finally felt like it).  I prepared spare ribs for tonight and jalapeno quesa (jalapeno peppers stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and wrapped in bacon – then grilled).  Son was here for father’s day and because he loves us and his new second home. 

“He awoke at about 11:00 and I had scrambled eggs and bacon ready. 

“Then to make things worse we had to go for a walk on the beach.  Things are so stressful (NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 

“Son and I then played in the Baja surf.  We got back to the house and had a message from Marisol (she lives in Tijuana and is like a daughter to us).  I called her and invited her down.  One half hour later she was here so we had to go to our upper patio and eschucer et l’ oceano (listen to the ocean). 

“Then someone suggest we go to Popotla.  Shari napped while Marisol, Son and I went to a tiny beach community south of Rosarito.  I knew what to expect but Son and Marisol were amazed.  Fantastic little restaurants selling the freshest fish in the world.  We walked the beach and looked at all the fish that maybe thirty fishermen had caught.  They had oysters, cockles, quahogs. king crab, tilapia, scorpion fish, yellow tail tuna, shark, tilapia, etc   I feel like I have died and gone to heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We three had coctelles on the beach.  For those of you with weak stomachs please skip this.  A coctelles is a cup of: raw oysters, shrimp (cooked), raw quohogs, raw cockles, salsa, lime juice and Clamato juice.  This is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!  For those of you who are saying “Yuck”  I will argue til the end of the world that this is fantastic. 

“Now I have to grill the ribs, bake potatoes, cook los jalapeno quesas et elote.  

“Just in case some of you have not yet detected my “tongue in cheek” style here, this day could not have been any better unless all of you had been here.  We are ready for visitors. We love you all, Dan and Shari” 

So, just to help some of you to feel a bit more secure about your choice – but remember, Mexico and the Baja is not for everyone.  And as Shari stated above – research, research, research – and then try someplace out – see what it’s really all about – then make your final decision. 


Pure peace.

I hope this was light and enjoyable to read.  I realize the Visa series, while important, possibly was not that much fun to read, and was very detail oriented – but, that information is also necessary for your successful, easy transformation.  Barbie 

Just have to add this from an email I just got – from Pete in Tequisquiapan:  “I truly believe if we needed to we could live on 500 USD a month, It’s great here. Pete” 


Before Pete had new tile throughout.

Baja article by Barbie.

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4 Responses to Baja Email Story

  1. Pingback: Mexico Retirement Blog

  2. Barbie


    November 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Hello Barbie,
    My dreams of coming to Mexico and living as a full time expat is becoming more of a reality. I am planning to take a trip to Mexico I hope in the next 6 month to find the place I want to settle in…I live closer to to the Mexican people but close enough to the English speaking communities that I can visit if I feel the need for that…I make friends easily and I speak fluent Spanish…and mostly I love everything Mexican.
    i will be asking for places that I should stay while visiting that won’t break the bank but still nice…I have some friends that I will visit in Tepic and La Penita but not sure that I will live on the coast…way too hot.
    Anyway I am open to suggestions.

    So, if anyone has a suggestion – leave a message. Thanks.

  3. Dean

    November 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    EXCELLENT articles from some good people. I will say this without hesitation, anyone who would move to Mexico and pay $375,000 for any home in Mexico needs to have their head examined. Anyone who spends $2000 per month in living expenses in Mexico needs an emergency psycological examination to see if they have Altimers disease. The best place or location for these people who have a death wish to THROW all their hard earned money away is to move to New York City, Los Angeles or San Franciso immediatley without any delay. You are not in touch with reality and you do not belong anywhere outside the USA!
    I can just immagine how much US travel medical insurance coverage they are throwing away each month living in Mexico. Unbelieveable ignorance.
    Owning your own home in Mexico, You will live like a KING AND QUEEN in Mexico every day of the month on about $700 per month living expenses without any question and without any doubt what so ever!
    This includes living in a tourist area on the ocean coast of Mexico where there are endless things to see and do each and every day with numerous bilingual people and numerous English speaking friends and neighbors.

  4. Barbie


    November 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Amem :) (so be it – truly)

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