- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- The Disappearing Act in Latin America
"You're living a little bit off the grid, aren't you?" my sister asked me today.
And, in a way, I understood what she meant but also disagreed in a way.
You have folks who talk more about the lifestyle of "being off the grid."
A friend of mine named Blayde is thinking of buying land in West Virginia, having his own farm and not being dependent on anyone for anything.
If he were to achieve his vision, he'd be more "off the grid" than I am by far.
For a lot of people, that's part of "living off the grid" from my understanding by having your own supply of everything that you own and produce personally.
No dependence on others for things like food or water.
Of course, I understood what she meant.
Compared to anyone she knows back home in Iowa, I'm a little more "off the grid" by her understanding in some ways.
From her usage of the term, she was referring to things like the following:
First, in the US, there are public records online that show the residency of anyone you want to look up. Down here, those public records don't show that I live in Mexico. There's a gap in understanding where I live after I left Iowa and Ohio. And even my exact address would be much harder to find for the average person down here than up there.
Second, I'm not formally employed nor is there any public way to find out where I work. Outside of hints I give on my blog, the average person with no knowledge of this blog wouldn't have anyway to "doxx" me and make me lose my income. Especially as my income comes from various sources online with no public records tying me to them.
Third, I don't have anything in my name. No house, no car, nothing.
Fourth, while I have a bank in the US, I don't have any bank down here in Mexico. So it'd be harder for anyone in Mexico to legally take money from my from my understanding. Of course, it'd be better to have money outside the US banking system also. So not really off the grid entirely there, huh?
Either way, her usage of the term had more to do with the fact that, for the average person, it'd be harder to fuck me with than your typical person in the US.
In a way, it'd be harder to find out where I live.
Harder to "doxx me" as I said and make me lose my income.
And harder in general to legally get money out of me in Mexico.
At least in her eyes, I look "more like a ghost" on paper with less of a digital footprint to boot.
But, as I said, I do reject the idea that I'm actually "off the grid" because I live in a large city and don't produce my own consumption.
Among whatever else is needed that folks who actually use that term would consider part of "living off the grid."
But, similar to Blayde, it's something that does interest me long term.
To produce my own food and other things necessary to be "more off the grid."
And, to my sister, she wondered where my need comes from to be harder to reach.
To her, I said that "it's harder to fuck with me."
There's a certain freedom I feel in life that comes with being able to more easily disappear.
And, on top of that, I don't like your average person being able to google my name and find out everything about me.
Which is ironic because of the blog I carry here.
But, outside of this blog, I don't have much of a digital footprint.
Still, to my sister, she knows me personally and thinks the need to "be able to disappear" (how I'd put it) comes from more unhealthy roots.
Especially if said desire leads to isolation.
When I think about the trajectory of my life, there are impressions that I developed along the way that shape how I live my life today.
The bigger lessons relevant to this article are the following:
- Don’t buy everything that authority says. Actually think for yourself.
- Understand that the advice most people can give you is bullshit. They either come from different life values that don’t correspond with yours, are not very intelligent themselves and/or the advice they give you is meant to benefit themselves at your expense.
- I’m happier when there’s less people with any degree of influence over my life.
Over time, I’ve realized there has always been a direct correlation between becoming happier and doing what I think is best for me with less consideration for the opinions of others.
The more control someone has over my life, the less happy I am and less my life trajectory is actually benefiting me and not someone else.
And so, over time, I’ve always had all of the above as a requisite for having a life that makes me happier than what I would be.
Though, to a degree, I think some of it led me to being more comfortable being alone in some ways.
And, I think, there was a point where I realized I'm happier being alone to a degree.
Eventually, I left home.
Of course, I could’ve gone to a state college locally.
But I didn’t see much value in doing so. I really just wanted to travel the world.
Which, to this day, I believe was one of the best decisions of my life.
Had I gone to the state college, much of that wouldn’t have happened the way it did and my life would be very different.
In all likelihood, I’d probably have gotten some job in Iowa and be less happy than I am now.
Of course, I did complete college at the advice of others.
Was it a good decision?
In a way, it helped me travel by going to the school that I went to.
However, in hindsight, I also think it wasn’t the smartest decision.
Under no circumstances would I have needed to go to college to be where I am today in life.
And I have some college debt because of it.
It was my decision either way on that one to follow the advice of others.
If I could do it again, I’m not entirely sure I would have gone to college.
If I could place my brain into the head of myself back then, I think I would’ve done what I know now works to live a life abroad.
And I would be ahead in life among several factors by 4 years.
Still, it wasn’t the worst decision of my life and it benefited me in certain ways.
Plus, being realistic, my younger self then wouldn’t have had any clue on how to live abroad.
How to make that work realistically speaking.
So, on a practical level, it was necessary in a way.
And so here I am now.
Typing from some apartment in Mexico City with 6 years abroad under my belt.
And, despite the darker days of life where I think about the past, I’d definitely say that I am happier as a result from living in Mexico than living in Iowa or anywhere in the US.
Mostly because the low cost of living in Mexico that allows for a certain lifestyle that would be harder (but not entirely impossible) to achieve in the US.
Where, in many ways, I can more easily fly under the radar enjoying life without anyone else having much control over my life or knowing much about me.
The Lifestyle Contrast
As I wrote here, I do sometimes contemplate a life back in the US out of curiosity.
I think it’s hard not to consider that when you left the US at an young age and ask yourself “is the grass greener on the other side?”
And it becomes clear that it isn’t in about 5 minutes of thinking.
To which the thought gets put back on the bookshelf for about another year.
It’s my own annual review – “should I keep living down here? Wouldn’t life be better back home?”
Something I consider as I see photos on Facebook of old friends where they have a pile of snow that they must traverse through to get to their trucks.
The crops are dead.
It’s cold as hell.
God is dead.
Then I look outside the window of my apartment in Mexico.
Only to see curvy Latinas in minimal clothing carrying mojitos to my doorstep with the warming greeting of “ola, papi!!”
Within those 5 minutes of observation, the decision is clear.
Where the sunshine of one place beats the cold of the other.
The extra free time on my hands to enjoy various women in one of the largest cities of the Western Hemisphere beats small town living.
And where does that extra free time come from?
The low cost of living!
Assuming, of course, you know how to make money online or someway to support yourself.
But, as I implied before, it’s really much more than just sunshine and Latina titties that keep me happier here.
After all, sunshine and Latina titties exist in Miami also!
But Miami is expensive.
So is much of the USA.
Realistically speaking, I could maybe support myself in the US making money online knowing how to do it as I do now.
But I’d be getting much less for my money by living up there.
And, if we’re being honest, I’d probably have to get “a real job” if I lived in the US.
I don’t want a real job!
Fuck your real jobs.
I like doing what I do now – sitting in my underwear trying to get horny dudes to jerk off to web cam models online.
With a commute of only 30 seconds of walking to my laptop versus 30 minutes of driving back to and from work in the US.
But it’s much more than that also.
By having a “real job,” there’s a real place that I work at.
With actual clients that I have to work with face to face.
Who might treat you like shit.
Where, when I was 16, I had this one creepy ass gay ass client that was in his 50s making weird ass suggestive comments to me.
What the fuck?
Or a boss you don’t like.
Who, at that Subway, was so incompetent and was the textbook definition of a loser.
And colleagues that are probably OK aside from that one who literally has OCD that gets pissed at you for not placing the lettuce properly at Subway.
I’ve been there.
And instead of doing all of that or any particular job with similarities to that situation…
Wouldn’t you prefer to just sit in your underwear playing with cam model affiliate links?
All of the above goes away…
When my sister, for example, tells me about how I can make so much more money working in healthcare in Iowa…
Then, in the next sentence, mentions her husband working 12 hour days or the workload she has been put through at times…
And she gets too that having a more intense work schedule isn't very appealing when you don't have to do that.
There’s a part of me that simply realizes we all want different things in life anyway.
For me, the extra money at a healthcare job isn’t going to do it.
Not having a boss, colleagues, commute or stupid clients is nicer.
Where I have much more limited interaction with other people.
As introvert as that sounds.
There’s a part of me that enjoys not having to interact with too many people on a day to day basis.
In fact, I can go extreme on this matter.
I can go several days without interacting with a single soul being completely happy in my own silence and company.
Of course, you do that for too long and it becomes maddening.
We all, even the introverts, do need someday to interact with somebody else.
Or else we go into a downward spiral of depression pulling all of the skeletons of the past to think about alone.
With a bottle of brandy or vodka.
Still, at the end of the day, I like how I have more control over my work life.
Especially as we go along the principles in life that I carry to myself…
I've known a few folks in the US who have put in over a decade for a boss only to be fired on a short notice.
Just like that.
Sense of security is gone.
Do you really want to give another man so much power over your life that he can fire you and strip away, at least momentarily, your ability to put food on the table?
All to a job that you put a lot of loyalty to anyhow?
Fuck that noise.
Paulie fired in Rocky 6
And so being able to “disappear” from any formal work institutions is something I value.
To not have the negatives that come with them.
To not let another person have that much influence on your life.
And, on top of it all, to have more freedom in being able to say or act how I want.
You do have some people in the world who fear doxing where someone tries to make them lose their job because of stupid shit.
Being able to earn my own income online from a few sources not on public record makes me feel more free in a way from society at large.
Which, as we’ll see in the next example, is something I value – being more free from society at large (even if we’re never truly 100% free).
No Property in Name
Not that I could afford a house to begin with…
But I’ve always been skeptical of ever owning a home.
A lot of my thoughts on that can actually be summarized nicely in this video here.
Alex Becker video on homes
But, to keep it short, I don’t see it as much of a benefit to my life to own a home for various reasons.
One of them being that, in many ways, you don’t actually own it from my impression.
On top of that, aren’t there better ways to invest your money?
Especially when you take into consideration the upkeep and money you have to invest into the thing.
And, on top of that, I don’t like the idea of having something official in my name where people can find me.
Similarly, when I lived in the US, there were pubic records online showing the exact towns I lived in Iowa and Ohio.
I never came to understand how these public records knew I lived in Ohio at one point.
But they haven’t found out I live in Mexico!
And that issue I have with the public records is also one I have with owning a home.
There’s just a part of me that feels uncomfortable with the whole world being able to guestimate where I live.
Of course, there’s a bit of irony with that given I talk about my life on this blog.
In a way, I guess you can say this blog is simply therapy for me to get out all of my thoughts.
Maybe connect with someone who can relate to my life down here.
That’d be dope.
And, on top of that, I don’t mind discussing details on here because I’m still fairly anonymous in many ways.
At the end of the day, my own thinking on the house is just a bit symbolic of my mentality to people in general.
There’s a part of me that simply feels safer when there are no public records of me showing where exactly I live.
And, if we’re being honest, it’s one reason (among others) for why I move around a bit.
It comes with an extra sense of security to change locations every so often.
Not that anyone is chasing me down but it’s just a weird feeling I get from wanting to “be on the move.”
On top of that, I also just have a natural urge to move around and travel a bit.
I like checking out new areas – which is a large motivation also to change apartments every so often.
Larger Societal Changes?
Finally, I feel that living abroad has made me more resilient – at least a little bit – to some of the larger societal changes we see.
For example, when the whole Covid thing started, I genuinely wasn’t thinking about it.
It had no relevance to my life until I moved to Mexico City from Pachuca and also when my sister and dad were frantically trying to convince me to live in the US again.
Largely a fear on their end that Covid was going to bring down the world and Mexico would be a worse place to be than the US.
It’s that moment also that again illustrates how you shouldn’t take strongly the advice of other people.
No offense to them but it’s the truth.
Both of them greatly overestimated how bad Covid would be on my life and so their judgment was bad on that end.
And neither took into consideration if I’d be happier back home than in Mexico because their own values in life don’t call for a life elsewhere.
As I said, you really should take lightly the advice others give.
I’ve seen it time and time again in my life – the most I listen to myself, the happier I am.
The more I listen to others, either the more depressed I am or I more consistently find myself in lesser ideal situations.
For example, what the fuck would I be doing with my life in Iowa if I moved back at the start of Covid?
Just some random ass shit in cold as shit weather away from all my friends in Mexico.
Among other issues I have with Iowa…
But much of the above was also not taken into consideration by either of them for why I wouldn’t want to move back to Iowa.
Thus, when taking the advice of others, just remember that your more important values in life might not be applied in their calculations.
And on the topic of Covid…
For the most part, it hasn’t impacted my life in anyway.
In large part because I’ve always been more independent from shit back home.
I’ve gotten a few government stimulus checks and that’s it.
My work situation isn’t worse.
I wasn’t forced out of doing the work I normally do to make money.
Wasn’t forced to take a vaccination for work reasons.
Not saying I’m for or against the vax but I am for people being able to choose if they should take it or not. I wasn’t forced into taking it.
Regardless of your opinion on the vaccine, ask yourself the basic question: do you really want your ability to put food on the table to be at risk if you don’t inject yourself with a substance others demand you take?
Don’t you want the autonomy to say no to that if you choose to say no?
All around, my theory has proven correct.
Being able to isolate myself from society in certain ways – not having a formal employer, for example, has worked in my favor.
And my life keeps on living.
And, by not having a formal residence or job, I can more easily adjust myself to future societal changes.
For example, let’s say Mexico City becomes a shithole.
The narcos come in and start gangraping women in the streets!
Entire neighborhoods destroyed.
The Mexican President begins hitting himself in the face with a shovel while violently wanking to the collapse of society.
Whatever else needed to basically make the place unlivable.
Would suck, wouldn’t it?
But I can move the fuck out!
I don’t have to worry about a property to sell or look for a new job elsewhere.
If I really wanted to, I could relocate to an entirely new city or even new country TOMORROW.
Literally just buy a ticket to Santo Domingo with a hotel reservation and begin apartment hunting soon after.
Still have the sane sources of income.
No property to worry about.
And, when I relocate to safer pastures, I shall have big booty black Dominican woman bouncing on my dick in Punta Cana.
Or something like that.
And, in the real world, larger societal changes will happen.
Wouldn’t you prefer to have more ability to just relocate on a whim when needed?
Of course, there’s a certain sacrifice not mentioned here.
A Formal Life with a Family?
And that’s the kicker.
You can still work from home and maybe choose to never get property.
But, if you do choose a more formal life in Latin America, some things are likely to be set in place someday.
Maybe not for everyone but for plenty.
Some of those things being formal residency.
Now there is, from my understanding, some government office that knows exactly where you live.
And maybe you want a family someday?
The wife might want a house for the family!
You might also.
And, with a wife and kids, it’d be basically impossible to move the family to another country or city or even a neighborhood on a whim like that.
Would take more planning.
And so there’s the thorn in the plan for a life without formality.
Where you can, in some ways, more easily “fly under the radar.”
But if you choose to have some of the formalities above, you’re more easily seen on the radar.
In the real world, that could bring some consequences or annoyances.
Like how I wrote in this article of people extorting you for money because they claimed to have your family member hostage.
Or, as I said before, more complications (though not impossible) to relocate everyone to a new residence if your current area becomes too shit.
Among whatever else!
So let’s wrap this up?
As I look into the future, I can see myself maybe pursuing more formalities.
That being perhaps a family or official residency somewhere.
Property? I’ve never liked the idea.
Regardless, you know where I stand.
I just like being able to disappear if needed.
Be off the radar to a degree.
Though, to be fair, none of us are truly 100% off the radar.
Given they were able to find Osama Bin Laden, the best player in Hide n’ Seek, then they can find you.
But being "less off paper" does make me feel safer.
Even though, as I hinted at before, I'm not that much off the paper.
There are some gringos who take "going off the radar" or "off the grid" much more than I do by growing their own food, living in a more rural community, etc.
Still, even those gringos can be found and fucked with.
A gringo who has a rural home and the cartels come knocking demanding to take it?
It has happened to some gringos and some locals!
Nobody is completely hidden from society.
But all around much of this just makes it where I feel more at ease in life having a greater degree of autonomy and anonymity.
Where I don’t have a house owned by the bank that can be taken from me.
No formal job where my ability to provide is dependent on one man to not fire me or where it’d be harder for people to “dox me” from my income.
With several streams of more anonymous income.
No public records showing where I live exactly.
An ability to dip and relocate somewhere else literally the next day.
And so, whenever comes a day someone wants to intervene in my life, I can just “dip.”
Suck these nuts.
Obviously, there’s an uneasiness I have with having a “more formal life” and the greater challenges I see in having some of the above if I were to ever have a family
That’s a concern for another day.
Really, at the end of the day, this article is nothing more than to express one certain motivation (among others) that make me see life in Latin America as more favorable than back home.
Of course, as I always say, geography matters too.
Not all of Latin America is the same.
A more authoritarian state like Cuba or Venezuela might not be as ideal for having much of the above in life.
Regardless, that’s it really.
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Thanks for reading.