When we moved to San Miguel de Allende from Oakland, California we had a few things to learn, and at first, they weren’t easy. But that is exactly what we needed. We were in a pattern of doing the same thing every time when in the United States. And, I was having a particularly difficult time because I have wanted to live somewhere else. While Glenn has lived in a few other countries, including Mexico (San Miguel) I have not been able to add that, yet.
Both Glenn and I love exploring other cultures and different ways of life and have been lucky to do just that. For us, the US was getting boring and cruel, and we longed for more color, sunshine, and a simpler way of life. The divisive politics made everyone crazy. And I was in a funk.
We no longer wanted to spend hours on a freeway getting from place to place. Eating in the same restaurants. Or paying high costs. And, we saw our friends once in a while as everyone was busy with work and children.
San Miguel isn’t the answer for everything, but it sure feels that way.
We have been able to rent comfortable houses, there are great restaurants, stunning architecture, and ever-present color, highlighted by amazing sunlight and warmth.
We had trouble with the money situation when we first arrived and found out about fees at ATM’s the painful way. It is not easy to use a credit card because either the amount is too small or shop owners don’t take them. We were members of several banks, but the best way to obtain cash is to use Glenn’s Capital One 360 account. Our low Wells Fargo and Chase were of no use. We have now worked this out by using credit cards for large purchases or items ordered from the USA. We use ATM cash for daily errands, taxis, and tips.
Before we left home, we looked into various global insurances. They were pricey and only covered major medical. We knew we were going to pay out of pocket for doctor’s visits and dental procedures in San Miguel since they are inexpensive. And when traveling we will just use travel insurance to cover us.
Glenn’s insurance was easy to sign up for. But I am still having a tough time finding a policy that works for me. I am Bipolar, and that is a pre-existing condition. We have one more company to apply to but aren’t hopeful.
La Connexion is one of the mail services in San Miguel. There are several offices here. For $18 a month (pay in advance, $23 if you pay monthly) we have a post box in Laredo, Texas. Our mail is sent there and, every day they deliver to San Miguel It takes 5-10 days to get packages and an extra fee (quite steep at 17% of value) for shipping and handling.
We shop at the tiendas in town where we find most of the items we need. Then twice a month we go to the big grocery (really an everything store), La Comer for bulk or harder to find items. When we finish, we take a $2.50USD taxi back home.
Most homes have water urns that hold 20-liter bottles. These are impossible for me to pick up, but Glenn is exercising his arm muscles. We just phone in our order, and they drop the bottles off at our door.
With these things settled and figured out, we are breezing through our very relaxing days.