Renewing Mexican Visa

With our decision to use Merida as our ‘Home Base’ for awhile longer, we’ve decided to renew our Mexican Resident Visas (the old FM3) for 2-years.  We just paid our $4,640 MXN (fee for 2-years), or about $180 USD per year, and should receive our appointment for appearing at the Immigration Department soon.

We’ve determined that with the drug cartels moving their operations to the southernmost part of Mexico (bordering Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Salvador) it is just too risky to ride the scooters through those countries on our way south.  We will, instead, fly (or take long-distance buses) when visiting those countries, pretty much eliminating the risk of traveling alone on isolated highways.

Our cost-of-living in Merida is so low (approximately $195 USD pp per month) for our three bedroom, fully-furnished casa, that we can easily afford to maintain it while traveling for weeks (or even months) at a time.  And Merida is ideally located for traveling in this part of the world.  When we decide to finally relocate for a longer period of time in Central and/or South America  we will then pack up our stuff and make the move.

On a side note, I am supposed to be receiving my new Apple MacBook Pro 13 Retina tomorrow.  I am really excited about using this new computer, because so many of you have given it rave reviews.  A new learning curve to be sure, but hey it keeps me young.  It should prove to be the perfect small, lightweight computer for my traveling and photography.  My old Dell Inspiron 15 is a beast by comparison with its outdated technology.

It continues to rain daily, but I personally view that as a good thing.  Normally we’re good up until the late afternoon or early evening hours, and then the T-storms roll in and we get a good dunking.  It always cools the daytime temperatures nicely, and makes for a better nights sleep.  However, we found it ironic (and a little bit disturbing) that the season’s first named hurricane to cause damage in Mexico was Barbara.  Is my ex trying to send me a message?  Sheesh.


4 responses to “Renewing Mexican Visa

    • You’re not alone my friend. Many of my friends have shared the same sentiment. I think they’re a wee bit worried I’m going to get into trouble down here. It is much safer than most realize, and with a little prudence and planning there is no reason to get into trouble. I am getting the bug to move on, but there is still a lot to see and do here. I do have a lot of trips planned, so now that Joel’s leg is healed I think we will commence traveling more.

  1. Steve,
    Found your “Expat Journal” a couple of weeks ago, and am thoroughly enjoying. Very “Hemmingway-esque”, and your resemblance to Papa (the beard looks great) adds to the flavor of your website.
    I am a chiropractor, in the early stages of transitioning into wildlife photography, (eventually professional like you), and so your article on “being preachy” was very inspiring and well received!
    Also, I’m very interested in hearing an analysis on your newly ordered 13″ MacBook Pro, as I was seriously considering the 15″ version. Could you please, sometime after you’ve had the chance to use for your editing workflow, let us know if you still think it was the right choice, so I can’t make a more informed decision.


    • Greg,
      Thank you very much for your kind comments. I’m having a blast doing what I’m doing that’s for sure. I wish I had made the decision the pull the plug on my corporate life much earlier, but then maybe I wouldn’t be as appreciative of my new life. Transitioning from Chiropractor to Wildlife Photographer makes me think you are experiencing some of the same frustrations I experienced some time back. I thoroughly APPLAUD your goal, and wish you the very best in your efforts. Now the big question: are you a Nikon or Canon shooter? I will be following up with my impressions of the MacBook Pro 13 Retina. It was developed with photographers in mind, and I’ve not had one negative comment sent to me about it … quite the contrary in fact (everyone loves it). And the 15″ is even a better value. I chose the 13″ for its size and weight (I need something really compact and light). My brother and I travel light with only our day packs and duffels, so space is at a premium. But it’s pretty cool carrying our businesses around with us everywhere we go (he’s a writer and I’m the photog). Would love to see some of your work sometime. If you ever have any questions please contact me, I’m always looking for new friends. My personal email is: You can also friend request me on Facebook at: Stephen Dennstedt. Thank you for taking the time to write, feedback is always nice.
      Buenas tardes,

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