I don’t know if this door knocker / pull design is expressing someone’s creativity, or discouraging visitors. 🙂
If you read the Doors & Hardware Member Spotlight all the way to the end (or if you are a frequent visitor to iDigHardware), you know that I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which is where I took this photo. I’ve received quite a few questions about my newly-adopted hometown, so scroll past the photo for some FAQs.
FAQs About Living in Mexico
Are you retiring soon?
The cost of living is low enough here that it could be possible to retire early – the rent on our 5-bedroom house is the same as the rent on a 1-bedroom apartment where we lived in Massachusetts. But I’m not planning to retire any time soon – who would take care of iDigHardware?? I just turned 49, so I’ve got a few good years left in me. 😉
How do you get any work done if you’re sitting on the beach with a piña colada?
I live about a 1-hour drive from the geographic center of Mexico, so there’s no beach in sight. I have been working remotely for over 10 years, so there is really no difference between working here or working somewhere else – I just have to be self-motivated (and I am). Most people are surprised to hear that I moved, because they didn’t notice a difference in my response time or blog-posting frequency.
What made you decide to move to Mexico?
We visited San Miguel de Allende a few years ago and loved the town, and because I work remotely it was feasible for us to move here temporarily. The plan was to stay for a year and give the kids (and us) the experience of living in a different culture. Within a very short time we realized fully how stressed-out and overscheduled we had been, and started thinking of the move as a more permanent change.
What did Allegion have to say about this plan?
I have worked for Allegion (and its predecessors) since 1994, and I have a good track record. Since there would be no negative impact on my work, Allegion agreed to a year, and then to a second year. I ran into Dave Petratis (our chairman, president, and CEO) on the sidewalk outside of our Carmel office late on a Friday afternoon, and he asked me if I was going to make it home to the Boston area that night. When I explained that I would be flying home the next day because I live in Mexico, he said how great that was, and that his daughter also worked remotely. So far, nobody has expressed any concerns.
What about meetings, presentations, etc.?
About 5 or 6 times per year I go back to the US; we live 45 minutes from the airport, then it’s a 2-hour flight to Houston and another 2-hour (+/-) flight to Indianapolis. I try to do as many meetings as possible by phone (I’m in the Central time zone), because it’s tough to manage iDigHardware and everything else I do when I’m spending my days on airplanes and in meetings. My classes are offered online, and local code classes are conducted by the Allegion SSC offices.
Isn’t Mexico scary / dangerous / hot / etc.?
Of course there are locations in Mexico – and in the US – that are dangerous, and crime can occur anywhere. It is not scary where we live, but we are cautious and use common sense. We have met SO MANY wonderful people here! The weather is amazing…we live in the desert highlands at about 6500 feet. In the winter, the temperature may go down to the 40’s at night, but during the day it’s usually back up into the 70’s. During the hottest months it may get as hot as the 90’s, but then it cools down at night. Most houses (including ours) have no central heat or A/C! Right now it’s the end of the rainy season so everything is lush and green.
How has the rest of the family settled in? Do you all speak Spanish?
The kids love their school – it’s a small school with about 60 kids from 4th grade to 12th. They have made fabulous friends, and school is a 5-minute walk from our house. They went to a bilingual elementary school in the US, so they all speak Spanish – my husband and I are still working on ours. So far, my husband has been doing volunteer work here, but now that we’re staying longer he’s deciding what he wants to do for the next segment of his career (working remotely is not that easy for an electrical engineer).
Do you drink the water? Is there a taco truck on every corner?
Some houses have water filtration systems, and a water-cooler-sized bottle of water costs less than $2US. We haven’t had a lot of problems with food, drinks, or ice. If we do have a health problem, there are plenty of doctors in town and for serious issues there is great private health care available at very reasonable prices in the city about an hour away (our health insurance also covers us here). And yes – there are A LOT of taco trucks – not on EVERY corner (yet), but enough that you never have to walk too far for sustenance. 🙂