I’m Going Broke

Steve BW WEB

Stephen F. Dennstedt

“Soon to depart Merida, Yucatan for destinations south”

People still ask me how I can afford to travel and live abroad.  My question back to them is: how can you afford to live in the USA?  I am finally leaving Merida, Yucatan, after 2-1/2 years, to travel further south (the original plan called for a stay of 1 to 1-1/2 years in Merida). I am returning to Chiapas for my first stop, and I plan on spending about a month in San Cristobal de las Casas (at an elevation of 7,000 feet) for about a month before crossing into Guatemala sometime in early October.  I just purchased my ultra-deluxe bus ticket, on ADO’s Platino bus line, for the 14-hour trip from Merida to San Cristobal for $1,430 MXN/$109 USD.  This is no Mexican “Chicken Bus.”  Luxury Lazy-Boy type reclining seats (2 seats on one side of the aisle, with 1 seat on the other side—I opted for the single seat option).  Mega leg room (unlike flying by airplane these days).  Continuous movies, air-conditioning, food and drinks—and an onboard bathroom.  It’s also an overnight bus so I can sleep most of the way.  Oh, and BTW, once I reach my destination I will be staying at a B&B for the huge sum of $121 MXN/$9.25 USD per night (not per hour, per night).  This includes a free breakfast, wi-fi, towels, assistance with tours, city maps, and on and on. Are you starting to get the picture?

A recap of my living expenses here in Merida for the past 2-1/2 years:  Rent $3,000 MXN/$229 USD (3 bedroom, 1 bath, dinning room and kitchen fully furnished colonial house); Internet $300 MXN/$23 USD; Electric $150 MXN/$11 USD; Water $20 MXN/$1.50 USD (per month/paid every 2 months); Gasoline for my scooter $75 MXN/$5.73 USD.  Add that up and it comes to a whopping $270 USD for my everyday living expenses (minus food, drink and cigars).  And world-class medical and dental care is available for a fraction of the cost incurred in the USA.  I just completed a dental procedure that would have cost me $2,000 USD plus in the USA for a mere $150 USD here in Mexico.  Ask me again how I can afford to travel and live abroad.  Sorry folks, but I sometimes succumb to my perverse nature and ratchet up the envy factor when I can.  Rather than go suicidal, plan your own escape instead.

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11 responses to “I’m Going Broke

  1. Steve yes Mexico is a great value and a nice country too. I mentioned to many folks retiring they should investigate living in Mexico.

    Look forward to Chiapas stories.

    heg

    • Gracias amigo. I love Chiapas, this will be my second visit. I wanted to spend some more time there before heading down to Guatemala. Plus, at 7,000 feet, San Cristobal is much cooler than Merida, Yucatan this time of year. 🙂

  2. Steve, I’m saving almost all of your posts, please continue with them. I’m anxious to hear about Chiapas and Guatemala. Kathy and I were in Antigua, Guatemala, in April and loved the place…it has lots of Spanish-for-foreigners schools. I’m dreaming of spending 6 weeks or so finally learning Spanish more than my caveman Spanish-without-verbs grunts.

  3. $229/day for housing and another $23/day for internet sounds a little on the high side for the rest of us planning retirement outside the U.S.
    I think my broker is paying those amounts right now here in Texas. Now if we can find those numbers for a month somewhere outside the United Socialist States of America, my seabag is packed to go.

    • I think you’re joking Rod, but to clarify for the other readers: USD stands for U.S. Dollars (not U.S. $ per day). All costs quoted are per month. A person can live comfortably down here for $600 – $800 U.S. Dollars per month.

      • Sorry. When I read “per day” in your letter, I thought the amount was daily. Let me get my passport up to date. I am ready to go.

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