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23 comments

  1. Karen Jun 7

    Hi Julia,

    Just wanted to say that I am enjoying your book immensely. You make me laugh. Only early pages but just wanted to encourage you to write more. You might inspire me to write my story living in another culture too. I can’t stop smiling about your description of gestures on the bus, “mad” looking! Sounds like me in Japan. Personal space on buses and trains sounds similar. Back to reading!

    Kind Regards,
    Karen

    PS Please do NOT publish my email

  2. Julia Taylor Jun 8

    Karen, Thanks so much for taking the time to write and say that you are enjoying Mexico: The Trick is Living Here. It makes me feel good to know that others think it’s funny too. Will you be traveling in Mexico?
    Sincerely,
    Julia

  3. Nancy Louise Jun 27

    Hi,
    I am hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction. My Father is currently back here in the states receiving some medical care. But he is anxious to return to Mexico and his wife (understandably). The trick is, he needs 24/7 care, and I am trying to find nursing homes. The one they picked they are no longer happy with. While he is semi active, his wife is not really active at all. But it would be good if they had some activity. Where can I find this information. My spanish is limited to a few greetings and emergency words. So obviously that is going to make some things harder. Dad wants to live the remaining of his life there and my sister and I want to honor his wishes. Any suggestions?? Thank you so much.

    Daughter of an expat
    Nancy Louise

  4. Julia Taylor Jun 27

    Nancy Louise,

    Your situation is a difficult one. I personally can’t recommend any nursing homes and I can imagine that some are terrible and some are great.

    The thing about Mexico is that it’s hard to know what you will find unless you can talk to someone who has personal experience with a nursing home and can tell you about it. The only place I can think of to get this kind of personal opinion is on the forum of Mexico Connect. You have to pay a fee to join, but I think in your case it would be quite worth it. I’ve used the forum to get answers about other questions and people always reply quickly and give lots of information.

    Once you sign up go to the forum. Tell them in what city you are looking and someone from that city will reply.

    Also feel free to write to me again if I can help you with anything else.

    Good luck!
    Julia

  5. Carol Ann Jul 7

    Does your book only apply to the region you are currently living in. I plan on moving to the mayan riviera. They have everything there. Where will I run into problems? I think I bought the wrong book. PLEASE HELP. Thank-You.

  6. Julia Taylor Jul 10

    Dear Carol Ann,

    First I want apologize for taking two days to reply to you. We were in a small town in Michoacan and did not have internet service there.

    I hope in the time since you wrote your email and comment you have decided that the book is useful for you. I hope that–even if the sections that are cultural in their focus aren’t of interest to you–at least the section on Documents will be. If this is not the case, I can offer you a refund.

    You ask where in Mexico my book applies since they “have everything” in the Mayan Riviera. The answer to your question is not in the where but in the how. Where ever you are in Mexico, there are different ways to live there. It seems to me that the difference in your perception of Mexico and mine has to do with differences in our economic wealth and cultural experiences.

    I too have been to Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and other places near the Mayan Riviera but when I was there I never went to a WalMart because I was traveling on a tight budget. I also visited tiny places that you may never have heard of, such as Cocoyol and Konhulich were extremely poor people were our generous hosts. We have large grocery stores here in Cuernavaca too, but as I explain in my book we choose to frequent smaller, locally owned stores in order to support local Mexicans who own their own businesses.

    My husband is Mexican and “grew up poor.” As you may have read in the introduction of my book, we had to move to Mexico against our will and without time to prepare financially. This means that we experience Mexico the way the common Mexican does, rather than the way the small percentage of rich Mexicans do or even the way most north American expatriates do.

    Despite the fact that you must have enough money to be able to live in Mexico similarly to the way you do in Canada, there are still differences between Mexico and the rest of North America. I hope that all of my readers will benefit from the cultural perspective in my ebook. I have been exposed to a side of Mexico that is hard for Canadians or people who grew up in the United States to experience. If nothing else it might help you to understand your gardener or your maid.

    Another aspect of my book that is quite unique among expatriate guides and may have surprised you is that some of the tone comes from the way I experienced culture shock. Culture shock is a result of living in a culture other than the one you grew up in and is almost universal. In fact, one Mexican woman living in Canada read my ebook and commented to me that she felt like she had the same feelings and experiences in Canada as I described having in Mexico.

    You ask where you will run into problems. Don’t worry, you probably won’t. Since you have visited 20 times you have become familiar with Mexico on your own terms and should be just fine. If you do find that you experience culture shock once you retire in Mexico maybe you will relate to some more parts of the book. I’m sorry if my book caused you undue concerns and hope that you do find something useful in it.

    Sincerely,
    Julia

  7. Carol Ann Jul 11

    Dear Julia, thank-you for responding to my e-mail. So you took a side trip to Michoacan- land of the butterflies. I just want to let you know a little about my visits to Mexico. First off I don’t shop at Wal-Mart unless it is necessary. I have a girlfriend who lives in Playa, & also have Mexican friends whom I dearly love. I go to Mexico to learn about the people & the rich history. I am soooo interested in the Mayan people the true people of Mexico. I spend most of my time learning about the people & their culture because it is important to me. When I arrive & the plane touches down I start to cry because I feel like I belong here. I am not rich in money, but am rich in the person I am. I bring tons of gifts for the Mexican people each time I visit. I have tried to teach people back in Canada the following… First you have to remember you are a VISITOR in another country, treat the Mexican people with respect not like they are your personal slaves while on your vacation. These Mexican people are just like you & me, they have families, & work very hard each & everyday for little pay. They are kind people trying to make a living just like us. Treat them with RESPECT & they will do anything they can for you, but once you show disrespect they can make your vacation hell. I have seen tourist yelling at workers, get me this, get me that, & think what are you doing to these people..they are NOT sub-human they are warm, kind, compassionate people trying to make a living. I have seen so much abuse to workers from tourists it makes me sick. I think, would you do this at home? but some people go on vacation & think they get personal Mexican slaves with their package deal..I tell them, no, no, no, don’t treat these people like that. Alot of people go to get drunk everyday, get a tan & tell all their friends back home they went to Mexico. haha Each time I go to mexico I need to learn something new, so I can come home knowing I took the time to learn a little bit more about these wonderful people. Playa has changed so much. I use to be able to buy these wonderful hand made tops by the Mayan woman, now the rent is so high alot of them have gone back to their villages. I find Playa too commerical for me, so each time I go I have to keep moving farther & farther south. There is alot more I would like to talk to you about but I must go for now…Take care, God Bless..Carol Ann.

    Carol Ann

  8. Julia Taylor Jul 11

    Carol Ann,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I wish everyone who comes to Mexico would be like you. I’m sure you are inpiring more people than you’ll ever know.

    Julia

  9. Kim Kakoulli Feb 15

    Hi,
    I will be traveling to Mexico shortly for a two week vacation. I would your ideas on anything that I can bring to give to the locals?? Like should I bring chewing gum for the children, should I bring trinkets to leave the maid in the hotel rooms,.
    Your help would be much appreciated.
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Thanks so much
    Kim

  10. Julia Taylor Feb 18

    Kim,

    That is very kind of you, but I have to tell you not to bring things at all. For children, a smile is all that is needed. Think of yourself more as a neighbor than benefactor.

    For the maid in the hotel, tips would be welcome. Just leave it on the table by the bed. Trinkets would be either insulting or confusing.

    If someone is selling things they’ve made, you can buy them at the price that they ask for them. Otherwise, you’re just a neighbor.

    You might benefit from my pages about being a conscientious traveler.

    Check out my page on tipping at: http://www.home-sweet-mexico.com/travel-pre-retire-in-Mexico-conscientious-tipping.html

    All the pages in the section are listed on: http://www.home-sweet-mexico.com/travel-pre-retire-in-Mexico-conscientious1.html

    Sincerely, Julia

  11. Mara Feb 21

    Dear Julia,
    Your website is awesome!
    Congratulations!
    Love ALWAYS,
    Mara Aller.

  12. Allan Jun 16

    Dear Julia,

    I am a Scottish language student that is moving to La Piedad in September to be a language assistant for a year. I have looked in several guides on Mexico in books and the internet but am yet to find much information on La Piedad. I was wondering if you had ever been there as you mention in your book that you have travelled in Michoacan? Also do you have any general tips for me being a young guy who has never before travelled in Mexico and also has no teaching experience.

    Keep up the good work!

    Allan

  13. Julia Taylor Jun 17

    Allan,
    I’m sorry, I haven’t been to La Piedad. What larger city is it near? Because of the way the highways cross Michoacan there are areas of the state that I have never been in.

    In response to your request for tips on living in Mexico, I first make a “Mexican noise” that sounds a bit like a dying bird. “eeeeeeeee” they say. I make that noise because my tips would fill a book and a web site!

    I’m curious what part of being young makes you feel that you need tips. I guess you are saying you are headed to a totally new experience. This is so exciting!

    I do have tips for the complete newcomer to Mexico and teaching (though, I’m sure I’ve written something similar to this somewhere…).

    1. Be patient with yourself. You may get ‘overloaded’ sometimes. Go to a quiet, private place and read a book, listen to music, write in your journal, or some other centering activity.

    2. Don’t try to do too much. Just “do” one thing a day.

    3. Listen a lot. What are people really saying? What do they mean? Since you will be in a new culture sometimes your first response to a situation would not be the best one. Don’t put your foot in your mouth, watch what others say and do in each setting.

    4. Find a “cultural guide” you can ask questions. Find a Mexican who understands “foreigners” or a “foreigner” who understands “Mexicans.” This person can help you know good ways to express yourself in situations you find confusing or what people really mean when they say or do “X” thing. As is normal in a cross-cultural experience people will do or say things that when you “translate” them into your own culture/language are rude (and you do the same to them) and you feel “bad.” If you have a cultural guide they can help you see what is really going on.

    As far as advice on teaching, I recommend reading my serious of articles about teaching English in Mexico. They are in the section of my web site called “Articles” and might help you get some ideas to get started. I’m sure the people you will be working with will be more than happy to teach you what you need to know.

    Have fun! I hope this will be one of those big experiences in your life that you always remember and you learn a lot from. I’m so grateful for all that I’ve learned in Mexico. Write back and tell about your adventures or ask more questions.

    Sincerely, Julia

  14. Jim O’Toole Aug 8

    I do not see any mention of pitfalls in shipping your home furniture and clothes etc. into Mexico. This is of concern, since I do not want to be paying hundreds of dollars a day for shipping fees, standby fees etc. while our personal goods sit in storage in a container at some Mexican location waiting to be cleared from customs. Please let us know if there is a safe way to clear your belongings in customs. Any replies, comments etc. are much appreciated.
    Jim
    ps. We are moving from Canada to Ajijic.

  15. Julia Taylor Aug 8

    Jim,

    Congratulations on your upcoming move to Ajijic. Will you be in Mexico by the time the days get shorter and the temperatures drop?

    It’s true. Shipping goods is not something that I address in my web site. My book Mexico: The Trick is Living Here has a section on getting the permission from Mexican immigration to bring your goods. Still, that isn’t quite what you ask about here and you have an excellent point.

    I personally don’t know any tricks, but I have talked to someone who works for an international shipping company and the general idea that they gave me is that customs is a bit unpredictable. I think your best bet is to find a company that does a lot of shipping from Canada to Mexico. They have to know of any “tricks” if there are some. I know this isn’t quite the answer you had hoped for because it’s hard to trust people who get paid if your stuff is sitting there waiting!

    Why not see if you can get a recommendation for a trustworthy, experienced shipping company from other expatriates? You could try posting the same question on one of the expatriate forums on line. Some of them are really terrible, but there are some that are worth your while. You can find them by searching for “Mexico expatriate forum” on Google or other web search engine. (Don’t forget to look at the first few pages of search results, rather than stopping after the first and try more than one.)

    Another thought that I have is that the clothing you mention may be a problem. The re-sale of used clothing from the U.S. is prohibited and Mexican customs routinely stops clothing from entering Mexico from the north (who knows if they see any difference if it comes from Canada). For example, I could not mail myself my own used clothes. Period. I am assuming that you already have your “menaje de casa” and your FM3. It might be a good idea to ask immigration about customs and if they have any recommendations — especially where it concerns your clothes.

    Here is the web site for Aduana: http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx . I’ve been looking around in the site for anything that looks like it would address your question and haven’t found anything. You could try contacting them, though I’d be shocked if they actually replied to an email and the telephone number listed is for people calling from inside Mexico.

    Phew! Are you ready to move to Mexico? It’s often this hard to answer questions.

    On a lighter note, Mexican customs may be busy, but they don’t slow your items down just to be a pain. They want people to come to Mexico. If you have your paperwork done they way THEY want it done, you should be fine.

  16. bent over Jul 31

    what a joke the transito police in puerto vallarto are OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!!!these guy are nothing more than thugs with guns and badges and I can’t leave my house in the marina without these guys pulling me over for no reason at all and shaking me down and I filed a complaint the next thing I know they pull me over and threaten me and my wife and tell us something bad will happen to us if I don’t drop my complaint and I can’t tell you how many over americans and canadians that are tried and pissed off because of these thugs!!!they may dress like police but their nothing but scumbags and for every good officer this just brings them down and all respect earned is tossed out the window.if your thinking of moving here DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this is the only place in the world where I feel safer in a den of thieve’s at least I know what they are!!!!!!

  17. Julia Taylor Aug 1

    Dear Bent,

    It can be bad. I certainly wouldn’t want to take those guys on. They know each other and back each other up. I’m surprised you filed a complaint. Obviously their actions are sanctioned from higher up (the higher ups probably get a portion of their “bites”) and it’s the higher ups that are really scary. Take it easy so you don’t get in over your head.

    Julia

  18. Mariah Jan 10

    I am wondering if there is a hard copy of your book available for purchase. I don’t get any free time to read other than in a bubble bath, so an e-book may not work for me. I am very excited to read this book and hopefully get my millions of questions answered! My husband (mexican) is facing the 10 year ban. I am dreading going to Mexico and am hoping your book will help ease some of my worries. I have spent plenty of time in Mexico City where he is from and don’t like it at all. I hope your book will help me change my mind!!!! We have 2 daughters and I keep saying we will stay here and live apart from him. I don’t really want to separate our family just because of my fears. Any words of encouragement are welcomed!!
    Thanks!

    Mariah

  19. Julia Taylor Jan 10

    Mariah,

    I think the book will help you, maybe not to jump for joy at the idea of going to Mexico, but to have a better sense of how you can handle it and what you can do to make it a likeable experience. There is so much good to have from living in Mexico and it’s good for children, too. My son has really good social skills – better than he would have if he were from North America. You can read my article “Kooks in the Kitchen” for a tiny glimpse of all of the good that comes to children who live in the children-friendly culture of Mexico.

    I commend your bravery at not making a decision solely based on your fears. Maybe Mexico City isn’t the right choice for you. There may be another city that would be a better fit for your family. Mexico City is wonderful and has a lot to like about it, but it’s huge and intense. Consider Queretaro, Cuernavaca, Puebla, and Guadalajara for sure.

    I wish you all the best and I’m so sorry that your family is faced with such a cruel choice. The United States is not very family friendly! That is one thing you will enjoy if you do go to Mexico. It’s very family-friendly in lots of ways. Children are included in everything.

    Kindest Regards,

    Julia C Taylor

  20. LuceMaria Nov 3

    love this,I have been trying to find information inregards to living in Mexico. Thank you soo much for doing this… Also like to say that my husband also had to go back to Mexico,but I stayed back with my 4 children. I must say it has been very hard for my children, and also for me(I felt as though I lost my soul mate,my life has never been the same since)it has litterly torn my family apart. Mentaly & Emotionaly especially for my son. As time passed I evently lost contact with him. It has been 9 yrs,since I’ve last spoken with him. My children want to find him but it has been hard. He lives in Jojutla, Morelos Mexico (his name is David Luna Ramirez, I put his name,in hopping that maybe some from your viewers will know him,he will be 51 yrs old as of Dec.29)I did find out that his last employement was as a taxi driver. But for the sack of my children who are in their tweenty’s,I need to find him. Julia, I feel as though my family needs healing & closer in their life with their father. A suggestion to You Julia,before closing-if I may. Could you write about how to find individauls in Mexico,I’m sure this would greatly help loved ones who lost contact with family members. Thank you again, please forgive me -I’m not very good in writting LR

  21. Julia Taylor Nov 7

    Luce Maria,

    My heart goes out to your family. It is so horrible what immigration asks of families that have an “undocumented alien” included in their ranks: leave the country or live without their loved one.

    I’m not expert in finding someone in Mexico, but I can make a suggestion. There is really no way to “find” someone in Mexico from a distance. If you want to find him, you’ll have to go to Jojutla — which isn’t very large, by the way — and ask around for him. Since he was a taxi driver, you’d actually have a chance at finding him (as long as you speak Spanish and can strike up conversations with people). Start at the home base for the taxis.

    Morelos is a really wonderful place to visit. Even if you don’t find him, your family could have very memorable vacation — and do it on a budget.

    Check out my articles about places to visit in Morelos on this web site http://home-sweet-mexico.com/expatriate-author-articles.html/ to get started dreaming of what fun you can have.

    I wish you all the very best.

    Kindest Regards,

    Julia C Taylor

  22. pete haselden Feb 6

    Hello Julia, your book was excellent! I have been coming to Morelos with my Mexican wife since 2008, she is from the colonia Azteca in Temixco. Her family is poor by American standards of living, but they own there home outright. I am just wrapping up a 2 month vacation before I head back to Seattle, and wanted to say the violence is way overblown. Before this visit I was warned its way worse than previos years, especially in Azteca. To me it seems a lot calmer, Like my sister in law tells me if you live a straight life here, bad stuff doesn’t happen to you. I am building a home here now and within 2 years ill be living here. Thanks a gain I hope any readers dont hessitate coming to Mexico.have a great day!

  23. Anne Torres Apr 15

    Hello! I have had experience regarding police recently in Mexico. This was in Zihuatenejo, GRO. I had heard in the past from my niece(MX)that the police were non-responsive to any call of crime. In February 2015 while visiting this beautiful city we awoke to a neighbor blasting loud music at 6am. Within minutes police/military arrived and handled the situation. About a week later gun blast were heard fired and within minutes again the police/military arrived and not only combed our neighborhood but all the surrounding area asking questions and looking for any information regarding the incident. I think at least in this city the climate has changed. My husband and I will be moving here later this year and I appreciate the information that you have provided in your book Mexico, The Trick is Living Here.

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