Tag Archives: blogging mexico

Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading–Casita Colibrí

Shannon writes at Casita Colibrí, another long-time favorite of mine.

IMG_5418_2

What brought you to Mexico?

Even though I grew up in California, my first trip to Mexico was in 2007, when I came to Oaxaca to visit a friend. I immediately fell in love with Oaxaca, returned a couple more times, and considered eventually retiring there. The privately funded library where I’d been the director for almost 13 years lost its funding and closed in spring 2009.Full-time jobs for librarian/archivists in the San Francisco Bay Area were almost non-existent. Faced with the choice of working multiple part-time and substitute jobs to barely keep my head above water, versus renting my house and moving to Oaxaca to live a downsized and simplified life, in a culturally rich, full of life city, I opted for the latter.

What was the inspiration behind the name of your blog?

Casita Colibrí is the name I gave my first apartment in Oaxaca – a little rooftop studio surrounded by Tulipan trees. Their brilliant red-orange flowers are a favorite of the hummingbird — colibrí, en español!

What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

My blog’s tagline is “gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca” and that pretty much sums up my focus. Most, though not all, of the posts center around the State of Oaxaca – people, food, traditions, celebrations, music, art (especially street art), textiles, my garden, and the weather.

Why do you blog?

Oaxaca is an incredibly inspiring place and so I started blogging to satisfy the need for a creative outlet and really didn’t consider that anyone, other than family and friends in the US, would want to read it. To my surprise, others have discovered my blog, found it interesting, and the readership has expanded beyond any expectations. Because of that, and the wonderful feedback I’ve received from readers all over the world whom I’ve never met and several who subsequently I have met, I’ve come to feel a responsibility to make each post as informative as possible and to attempt to improve my very limited photography skills. However, I still to blog about what interests me and hope readers will continue to come along for the ride.

What is your favorite blog post?

Yikes, I really don’t think I have a favorite. If pressed, it would probably say my “About” page, as that was the beginning and provides a glimpse into how it all began.

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?

I would say, Mexican politics (national, state, and local) has been the most difficult thing to blog about. Firstly, it is spectacularly complex, nuanced, and confounding. As such, it is incredibly hard to comprehend, especially when looking at it through the eyes of a foreigner. Most importantly, Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution forbids foreigners from participating in Mexican politics. As with many things, that prohibition is open to interpretation. However, I don’t want to tempt fate and risk expulsion. Thus, for both reasons, I try to steer clear, though at times it isn’t easy.

img_9517

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?

I would have to say one of my most favorite experiences was when a male friend and I were getting ready to leave after hours spent photographing the Danza de la Pluma (a day-long Zapotec dance re-telling the story of the Conquest) and I noticed that he had a slightly panic-stricken look on his face. To my question, he replied that he couldn’t find his backpack, which he had left under a big tree which was now surrounded by spectators. All eyes had turned to the unfolding drama, as I walked to the other side of the tree, held up his backpack, rolled my eyes, and said, “¡Como mis hijos!” Everyone cracked up – especially the abuelas. It was such a wonderful reminder of our commonality.

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?

My worst experience was being summoned to my 89-year-old neighbor’s apartment one night to find that she had been beaten, stabbed and robbed. Thank goodness, she survived, regained her strength, and maintained her indomitable spirit. However, it was a horrifying experience and caused me to question the safety of our apartment complex and the feeling of refuge I had always felt when in my garden and apartment. Of course, I immediately took measures – installing motion sensor lights outside, closing the sliding door to my balcony at night, being hyper aware of my surroundings — even at home, and not being too dismayed about the concertina wire that now surrounds our complex. Lesson learned? This is something that could happen anywhere and perhaps because Oaxaca is so warm and welcoming, I’d become too complacent – I’d forgotten that this is a city with most of the same problems as cities all over the world.

If you are currently in Mexico, how long do you plan on remaining?

As I tell people, when asked, I’m here until I’m not. I have come to feel more “at home” in Oaxaca than I do when I return to the town in the US where I grew up and lived most of my life.

P1210668_crop

What advice do you have for those planning to move or travel to Mexico?

Let go of first world expectations and learn to relax, accept the differences, and live in the present. If you don’t speak Spanish, study it and (most importantly) don’t be afraid to use it (you don’t have to be perfect), treat everyone with respect, don’t assume you know best, and enjoy learning something new every day. Additionally, if you are moving to Mexico, develop a support network of other foreigners and/or locals to help you navigate the challenges.

Where do you see your blog going?

Plans are to let the blog evolve in whatever way Oaxaca inspires. It’s difficult to predict, as this is a place filled serendipity. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned since living here is to be open to finding whatever is to be found.

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading–Notes from Paradise

 

Husband and wife team, Lynda Lock and Lawrie Lock, write Notes from Paradise, also known as Notes from Isla Mujeres.  Lynda has also been featured on Surviving Mexico as an Inspirational Woman Writer in Mexico.

One of my favourite views of Isla Mujeres

What was the inspiration for your blog name?

Notes from Paradise, which we recently changed to Notes from Islas Mujeres to reflect the main interest of our readership. The original blog was just random musings sent out in a weekly email to keep our families up to date on our new life in Mexico. We thought then and still do that this is paradise. My husband and I share writing and thinking of topics to write about for our weekly article.

Summer sunset over graveyard

What brought you to Mexico?

We were close to retirement age, looking for a new adventure. We have always loved the Mexican culture.

What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

Primarily Isla Mujeres, and other areas of Mexico that we have visited such as nearby Valladolid, Merida, Tulum, the pyramids, cenotes, Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Morelia.

DSCN9817 Blog header Feb 2016.JPG

Why do you blog?

We like to entertain people with humorous stories that include a bit of information about Mexico. We write for readers who are interested in Isla Mujeres or Mexico, the culture of Mexico, traveling in Mexico, locals who live and work on Isla Mujeres, interesting personal stories about long-time islanders, island history, and stories about rescue dogs and cats.

#2 My favourite ladder photo - Chuck and Marcy's house was under construction.JPG

What is your favorite blog post?  

Our recent post on Friday, May 26th, The little castaway Iza who captured the hearts of thousands. It’s a love story about a caring woman and everything she does for the rescue dogs on the island. It’s a feel-good story with a happy ending.

2009 Mar 15th, Sunset at Ballyhoo.JPG

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?  

The five young Island men who went fishing in March of 2016 and never returned home. Writing about pain, loss, and heartache is always difficult, doubly so when you know the families of the people we were writing about.

 

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?

Learning that family is the most important aspect of the Mexican culture.

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?

Getting used to carrying cash again! Not a bad experience, just a different experience. For the last ten years that we lived in Canada, we used a debit card for everything thing. Here we had to relearn the concept of cash, and planning ahead to have enough on hand to get through the week. Bank lineups are long, and many of the ATMs in Mexico are compromised by card scammers operated by South American gangs. In this culture, we need lots of small bills and change.

If you are currently in Mexico, how long do you plan on remaining?

We don’t see any change in the foreseeable future.

2012 April 6th, #16 At Minino's  82 and 85 year old brothers play marimbas.JPG

What advice do you have for those planning to move or travel to Mexico?

Come with an open mind and an open heart. As one of my expat friends said the first time we met her, “This is not your country. You are a guest.” You are the foreigner. It is your responsibility to fit in with the local customs, not the other way around.

2012 April 6th, #15 Frigate Birds dive bombing for fish bits on northwest side of Isla (2).JPG

Where do you see your blog going?  

Our blog will always be a vehicle to entertain and inform readers. We will continue to chat with more of the old-time islanders, and with their permission write their stories for everyone to enjoy.

Where can you be found?

Notes from Paradise

Facebook Lynda

Facebook Lawrie

Mexico News Daily

Book Bub

Amazon

Instagram

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures, Inspirational Writers in Mexico

A to Z Blogs About Mexico–Two Expats Living in Mexico

Q-Roo Paul and Linda have compiled a comprehensive expat resource at Two Expats Living in Mexico (qroo.us) Be sure to check it out!
graphic232

I retired after a 25-year career in law enforcement and the high cost of living in the U.S. (especially health care) meant that either my wife or I – or both – would have to continue to work. So, the short answer is that we came looking for an amazing new life spent sipping Margaritas on a Caribbean beach — but, at a price we could afford without continuing to work.

The name of the blog is Two Expats Living in Mexico. Nothing too profound there. We moved to Mexico and this is the first blog name that popped into my head.

The blog focuses heavily on the state of Quintana Roo, simply because that’s where we live. However, I cover a wide range of topics, many of which apply to the whole country.

I began blogging just for something to do on rainy days and while I enjoyed my morning coffee. For some reason that we still don’t fully understand, the blog became popular and we’ve had as many as 155,000 views in a single month.

I use the site to share information about Mexico that I can’t easily find anywhere else. My plan is to continue writing articles that people want to read. I’ll keep doing that until I’m not having fun – at which point, I’ll just turn it off.

U.S. politics have been the most difficult to blog about. Although readers often ask me to write blogs sharing my opinions about politics, especially President Trump, it isn’t that type of blog so I always decline.

I have had so many wonderful experiences here. I guess if I had to choose just one best experience, I would say it was when I met a municipal police officer in Puerto Morelos and gave him a uniform patch from the agency that I retired from (a common practice among cops). He felt bad that he didn’t have a patch to give me in return, so he took out a pocketknife, carefully removed the stitching from the patch on his hat, and presented it to me. I was very flattered and impressed.

I haven’t had a bad experience yet. The worst thing that’s happened to me – knock on wood – is that they were out of license plates when I went to get new ones.  

We plan on remaining in Mexico for the foreseeable future.

For those that wish to travel in Mexico, familiarize yourself with your rights under the consumer law in Mexico so you don’t get overcharged for goods and services while you’re here.

As far as moving here, I would need a lot more space to cover everything. It’s probably better that you just read through my blog.

us33

I can be found at:

Two Expats Living in Mexico

Facebook

 

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

Blogs About Mexico Worth Reading–Don Day in SMA

I’ll just let our next blogger introduce himself.   Here he is, the guru of good eats in San Miguel de Allende–Don Day in SMA.

donday

My real name is Glenn Griffin and I’m guessing most people who read the blog know that. So some people call me Don, some people call me Glenn, some people call me #*%~¥€!, and most people know to not call me late for dinner (or cocktails). Using a pseudonym goes back to my freelance days when I would be working for two competing publications; cashing cheques in someone else’s name was a frequent problem.

What brought you to Mexico?

I originally came for sun, sand, sex and cerveza in the seventies. Living vicariously through newspaper columnist Paul Rimstead, who spent his winters here in the seventies, is what brought me to San Miguel de Allende in 2004.

What was the inspiration behind the name of your blog?

Don Day in SMA. It was a Spanglish attempt at Where in San Miguel de Allende but obviously not the best of puns as the number of people that “got it” I can count on one hand.  (¿Dónde en San Miguel de Allende?)

dondayface

What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

Central Mexico, more specifically San Miguel de Allende, and mostly good food and good wine.

Why do you blog?

I was lured away from journalism to the big bucks of advertising very early in my career and always had regrets. Retirement and the birth of blogging gave me the opportunity to sneak back in the side door. Food and wine have always been a big part of my life; writing about it was a natural choice. I like to think that I’m the advice column for anyone looking for the best things to eat and drink in San Miguel. My primary target audience…hard to totally take the boy away from the advertisingese…are the expats and snowbirds of central Mexico.

dondaywall

What is your favorite blog post?

After hundreds and hundreds, it’s hard to name one. My greatest joy comes from discovering a little hole in the wall with very good food that is starving for customers, writing about it and returning to see a lot of asses on a lot of chairs.

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?

Wine has always been a struggle. I thought that over time…I’ve had an extraordinary amount of practice…I might develop a palate like some of the experts. I haven’t and still might confuse a Cabernet Franc with a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Sauvignon Blanc with a Chenin Blanc. It is also difficult to write about wine in San Miguel because our supplies of individual brands are so small; if I rave about something it disappears off the shelf leaving my readers frustrated and angry (including me if I haven’t stocked up).

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?  

My best experience in Mexico has been making new friends…of which the blog is mostly responsible. I now have more great people to hang out with after 13 years in Mexico than I have after 60 years in Canada. Mexico resulted in a renaissance of my social life when I thought I was going to be spending my days in an easy chair, getting fat and bald, while reading dog-eared recipe books.

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?

I can’t think of one really bad thing. Really. Well maybe once sitting on a cactus.

If you are no longer in Mexico, do you plan on returning?  

I spend six months in Mexico, six months in Canada each year. If I didn’t have a giant-sized family in Canada, I might spend every day of my life in Mexico. I am currently in Canada. Back in Mexico for the month of August and then there from October to April.

dondayrestaurant

Where do you see your blog going?  

My blog has gone as far as I hoped it would go. I wanted to become a knowledgeable, entertaining and respected critic of San Miguel de Allende’s culinary scene and I think I’ve accomplished that. I wanted to be followed by most of central Mexico’s “foodies” and my number of subscribers suggests that. I’m delving deeper into Mexican cuisine but otherwise, my subject matter and style won’t probably change.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures