It was 4 AM on a weekend night.
I was sitting in my apartment in Iztapalapa over a month and a half ago with some vodka in hand.
Having a drink as I had just woken up from falling asleep at around 9 PM or so.
Back in my boomer days...
And I was playing some music that you can see here.
Rush Rush Yayo Scarface
All the while I was casually downloading some photos from my Facebook onto my laptop so I could upload them onto my blog for some of my travel articles I had put out exploring Tlahuac of Mexico City as you can see here.
When I suddenly got a message from an old guy I knew in high school named Seth.
Since I delete most of my Facebook messages eventually, I don't remember how the conversation played out exactly.
It likely started with a "hey how are you?"
Obviously. How else would it start?
And it quickly went into some questions about life in Mexico.
Seth saying something about how it seems quite interesting.
Something about how he really admires the life I made for myself down here.
And, most importantly, a curiosity on his end regarding how to have a life in Latin America also.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm always excited when someone from back home wants to have a life down here also.
I'll give advice away for free!
After all, as I wrote here, I think it's in our American interest to bring in as many Americans to the region as possible.
You have other Americans who wish for this region to be void of other Americans so they can feel like some mini Christopher Columbus with all the benefits of being the only gringo.
I'm thinking long term though.
I want my people to be flooding in everywhere.
Take this bitch over!
We didn't end with just Texas and California. We're coming all the way to Argentina too. And your bitches will be our bitches.
Anyway, I am genuinely always available to help someone move down here if they like.
Especially if it's someone I knew from life back home.
So I get on at it.
Giving him the advice I thought would be best to know right away.
Warning him to keep an eye on legal status and how to make money online especially.
Though, from what I remember, he seemed particularly interested at first in the idea of having a local job down here.
If I remember right, I think he mentioned the idea of being a mechanic possibly.
I shot that idea down quickly.
But, during our brief conversation, I also realized that I was probably jumping ahead of myself here.
After all, these are all legitimate concerns but these things need time.
Moving to another country for example is obviously a big commitment.
How would you know if you even liked the place?
Maybe you wish to try several countries or cities before picking the right one that fits you best.
And, most importantly, I think one needs to go through their honeymoon phase as I wrote about here first.
That initial period where you are just having a blast.
Hiking through the Amazon rainforest.
Canoying through waters full of ice glaciers in Patagonia.
Snorting cocaine off a Colombian hooker's ass.
Checking out the best beaches of Venezuela.
Enjoying a high quality life in a place like Rio or Mexico City.
Wait a second! One of those things is not like the others.
Along this topic anyhow, I remember meeting up with a Polish girl last night in Centro Historico of Mexico City.
She was telling me at one point about how "she could never get sick of Mexico City! Every day is an adventure!"
And, while I agree with her that there is always something to do, I personally am getting an itch to leave Mexico City as I wrote about here.
"Why?" she asked.
"Well, I've been here for a while. I love this city and could see myself living here forever but life isn't constant party when you live here versus visiting and, more importantly, I'd like to travel again." I replied.
She, on her end, was going through the honeymoon phase.
In my opinion, that's what Seth needs to break through before getting to the more serious questions of legal status and making it work financially long term.
On his end anyhow, I remember him telling me about how he seemingly doesn't have that much going on in Colorado where he is now.
I think he said he might go live with his mom at one point or something. I don't remember.
But that overall I just got the vibe from the dude that he seemed pretty bored with life over there.
He works a normal job like anyone else. Has to commute to work probably. Maybe isn't overly satisfied with the women over there.
So on and so on.
And that, by the way, is such a stereotypical story that one could make a movie out of it.
The Stereotypical Young Gringo
There is a certain young gringo back home that is like this.
They are a dime a dozen.
Seth is no different.
They are not satisfied with the work environment they are in.
Not saying they dislike it but it's not something that makes them jump out of bed going "OH GOD I CAN'T WAIT TO WORK AT THE CAR DEALERSHIP TODAY!!!"
....Not saying Seth works at a car dealership. I don't think he does. But just saying so many people have jobs like that.
And, at the same time, said young gringo is not satisfied with the dating life back home.
He might get some pussy here and there.
But it's just not overly exciting his dating life.
He's not Andrew Tate.
And, on a day to day basis, his life looks very normal.
Go to work. Eat. Shower. Shit. Fuck the girlfriend in missionary position (or watch Pornhub if there is no girlfriend). Repeat.
No Amazon Rainforst. No Venezuelan beaches. No world class cities. None of that involved.
And the young man in question wants an adventure.
I'm telling you right now, without a shadow of a doubt, that living in a shithole neighborhood of some Colombian city like Cali would be more fun and rewarding than having the life above.
Even if it means temporary poverty.
Because the motherfucker will be able to...
Fuck hotter women
Travel the world
Learn a new language
Snorting cocaine (not FDA recommended)
And most importantly....
Where even time in a shithole area of Colombia -- with the honeymoon phase still doing its magic -- will feel more alive than trying to work as a math teacher to kids who call you Mr. Faggot.
Only to go home afterwards to a 195 pound wife that would yelled at you in the morning for not putting they/them as your pronouns on Twitter.
When the Young Gringo Comes Calling
And, when you are a gringo yourself who lives abroad, it just might be the case that you get attention from back home asking "how do I do it?"
"How do I live abroad?"
Personally, I have heard of other gringos getting this experience too.
I have a friend named Blayde from West Virginia who mentioned to me not too long ago about how an old friend of his once asked him how to do it.
Years ago when Blayde was last in West Virginia, he met up with some high school buddy who looked like he had seen better days.
The dude gained significant weight. Didn't take care of himself. Dirty clothes. Drinks a few beers a day. Has a dead end job. No women by his side.
Motherfucker needs to have a questionably legal but very rad and very cool adventure in Colombia.
Everything starts with that!
Reminds me of this here from what I saw in Twitter.
Your doctor might be trying to get you on anti depressants on it but us gringos are trying to get you Mexican booty on the beach.
And you really have to ask which will solve your depression?
Well, at least to Blayde's friend, that was not the question.
The question was the same as Seth asked: "How do you do it?"
Even a man as broken down as Blayde's friend still had that young male spirit in him to do something cool.
Because even if you go back to West Virginia broke as fuck, at least you got more cool stories than all your other broke as fuck buddies back home.
And you got a sniff of what a happier life could be. And you know it is possible. That the cartels won't kill you. That things could be better.
Still, one has to ask then: what exactly should you say to the young man back home who is inquisitive about a life down here?
Advice to the Young Man
There's a few things to say.
First, don't assume that he will necessarily like living in Latin America.
For one, it could be that changes back home could fix his life and make him have a happier life up there.
There are no shortage of gringos who tried the life abroad and then ended up moving back for reasons that were not just financial (meaning the dollars ran out).
Simply put, it wasn't for them.
That doesn't mean it was a mistake though.
That small chapter in their life might've still been very rewarding (most likely it was).
And, even if they don't like Latin America, perhaps they would enjoy life elsewhere.
In Europe, Asia, etc.
If you know you want adventure, keep an open mind to other regions of the world too.
I've known guys and gals who gave Latin America a swing and they left for greener pastures in Europe and Asia.
For me, I know Latin America is what I like the most and that's that.
Second, as I was saying before, don't get ahead of yourself with the advice like I was initially with Seth.
Though Seth is smart and he took seriously what I was saying about legal and work issues especially.
In hindsight, I'm not sure if I somehow convinced him to do a life in Paraguay because I mentioned casually how it's much easier to get residency there than Mexico.
Anyway, don't scare the guy with too much information.
I truly believe the gringo needs to just party the fuck out and have a great time in his first year here before taking deeper issues seriously.
To test the waters a little bit.
See if you like it.
But also get that adventure.
After all, in some cases discussed already, we are dealing with a young man who wants adventure.
Perhaps not snorting cocaine off a Colombian hooker's ass in a sketchy city adventure.
Maybe something less crazy like going to a fancy club in Mexico City or seeing the beach in Rio.
Whatever floats your boat!
Remember that Polish girl I mentioned?
I have no idea if she is snorting cocaine off of Colombian hookers' assholes but I didn't get that impression from her.
And she too is having a great time down here.
So your idea of adventure will vary from the next guy.
Different strokes for different folks.
Just remember to enjoy it though within reason.
And I say within reason because you do need to take things seriously someday or else you'll end up like this middle aged alcoholic German guy I once met begging me for money to see his "Costa Rican wife" as I wrote about here.
Trust me, snorting cocaine off of a Colombian hooker's asshole is fun and all.
Not that I ever tried it and, for the FBI reading this, I don't encourage it!
But do too much of that over decades and you too might end up broke in your 50s begging for money to see your Costa Rican wife.
So learn when to take things seriously eventually but remember to enjoy the start of the movie.
Third, I would like to emphasize also to the gringo back home that our lives here in Latin America are not always a party everyday.
After a while, your life here will resemble some normalcy like it did back home.
Well, for some gringos like the German guy named, I guess it never gets normal, huh?
But, for most of us, normalcy creeps its way in.
Sure, we have more time to visit museums or join festivals or whatever.
Looks more fun than life back home and it probably is.
But it's not like everyday is going to the nicest clubs of Polanco or hiking the Amazon Rainforest.
We eventually do normal things also like go to the grocery store, have kids down here, take them to school, cook food or whatever the hell else.
Fourth, I would recommend to you to do some research ahead of time before deciding on where to live.
Just make sure to remember what a lot of people are full of shit on the internet.
Like if you become interested in Latinas and a lot of the dating blogs you find online just want to make affiliate income from you.
Or maybe how some gringos don't give the most nuanced description of what life is like down here.
So on and so on.
When doing your research as to what life is like ahead of time or which countries or cities you should test the waters in, just keep all that in mind.
Finally, know when to just do it.
You can research all you want for years and decades but it doesn't mean jack shit if you don't actually just move down here.
You'll learn more anyway by living down here.
But also you don't want to be the guy who just researches all day without doing shit.
Some people are like that.
They plan forever and ever the big thing they are going to do (whatever it is) and never do it or wait too long to do it.
Sometimes you just got to say "fuck it" and go do it.
For example, you might think you don't have enough money yet.
That might be true.
But I've lived down here on as little as 300 bucks a month as I wrote here.
That wasn't too comfortable though to be fair.
Regardless, you don't need millions to make it work.
Just as a "rough estimate," let's say you spend 1,000 a month.
So maybe save up to 8,000 for a 6 month trip (6,000 plus airfare plus some extra miscellaneous money for emergency or whatever).
Boom. If you got the money, go enjoy it.
If you could, I'd recommend you save maybe a little more if you plan on staying down here longer than 6 months.
Maybe enough for 2 years? Or a year and a half?
Something like that.
Enjoy then the first few months having fun and then try to make it work remotely.
Though obviously if you can come with a remote job already it'll be a lot easier.
This is assuming you have someone to go back home to if the first trip doesn't work out financially.
Which is fine.
As I wrote here, sometimes gringos have to do that to earn USD and try again.
Just try to make it work next time and be smarter about it.
But, above all, so many gringos reading this thinking about life down here won't attempt this.
Even if they are interested.
It's simply too scary, perhaps they are not able to save up enough or whatever else.
Maybe they lose interest.
Above all though, regardless of if they do move or not (which is completely fine if they decide not to), just know it's an aspect to being a gringo who does live down here.
That it's not entirely uncommon for gringos back home to write to you asking how to do it.
In my case, Seth was the only one I can remember who wrote to me from back home.
I'm not in touch with basically anybody from back home outside of family.
So it's not likely I would get much curiosity about it outside of occasional family questions that are not about moving here but just curious about life down here.
For other gringos, maybe you'll get more attention.
Also, the more you post on Facebook or Instagram cool stories about life down here, the more attention you'll likely get.
Which is really tied back to that one point about how sometimes it might seem like some folks from back home think life here is all party when, as I said, normalcy creeps its way back in eventually in its own ways.
Even if its not 100% normal like life back home.
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
Leave any comments below.
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Thanks for reading.