I’ll just come out with it. Most of the reason you have not heard from me recently is that the financial ramifications of my move to Latin America have changed significantly. This is due in no small part to my boss’ unwillingness to take “no” for an answer. As a result, my exit seems to be following the “4-hour Workweek” formula much more closely than I had previously imagined, or even wanted.
In that book, Tim Ferris lays out his plan for separating yourself from your job in phases. The first and most critical phase is to “identify your leverage” and use it to gain the ability to work offsite. The concept basically relies on the notion that if we are left alone to get our work done–rather than sitting in seventeen mind-numbing meetings a week–we can usually wrap it up in a fraction of the time it would otherwise require. Then we simply start using that freed up time to cultivate other, more satisfying, ways to make a living. The moment I read that section I knew it applied to me, a writer of ad campaigns. However, it was also fairly obvious to me–and I’m sure to the author as well–that not every occupation works that way. In other words, it’s pretty tough to be a plumber, cop or firefighter over the Internet.
Still, I preferred to make the cleanest break possible, even if it meant cobbling together what was left of my 401(k) and living from that while I explored other writing opportunities. Then my boss went and offered me full salary and benefits to move to Mexico and remain a full time employee. The dirty sonofabitch.
As most of you know, I turned down three separate partnership opportunities to make our move to Latin America possible. I simply was no longer willing to put money in front of happiness. But with this latest proposal, I may be able to salvage a bit of both.
Living on the Baja with a First World salary is a far cry from the original sentiment I expressed when I began this blog last spring (I can almost hear Steve from Colorado sighing) but I don’t know how I can turn it down. At least for now. In other words, I was more than willing to do something impulsive, and even irresponsible, but I’m trying not to venture into full-on stupid.
I feel some guilt in all this. Here I invited you all to come along for the ride as I gave life in The States my middle finger, perhaps emboldening you to do the same one day. And instead, come January, I’m going to wind up renting a fairly sizable Mexican hacienda with a panga boat and a groundskeeper while continuing to suckle me some First World teat.
Still, the ultimate goal will be the same, I suppose: to find myself writing more art and less commerce in the very near future while broadening my view of the planet.
All that being said, Loreto is a fine place to start. Its economy took a shit a while back when Citibank decided to try turning it into Cabo. Unfortunately (or not, depending on your perspective) this caper failed miserably as America’s financial meltdown conspired with head-lopping drug cartels to pop the proverbial bubble down there. The result is a glut of empty houses that are selling for half their original prices. Many of these can also be rented while their For Sale signs fade in the Baja sunshine.
Okay, you’re still thinking about the head-loppers, aren’t you? Well don’t. From everything I can gather, most of mainland Mexico’s PR nightmares simply do not happen on the Baja. In fact, we spoke with several Mexican nationals who said they themselves came to Loreto to escape “Bad Mexico.” Even petty crime is said to happen far less often on the Peninsula.
In fact, the only real downside I can point to is the fact that they serve their fish tacos breaded. It’s kind of a nightmare.