Crossing the border everyday from Mexico to the US

I most likely will be talking more about this in the near future, but I want to talk about crossing the border from Mexico everyday and working in the U.S. Many people cross the border everyday to work on the US side. Lots of Americans have found a little slice of heaven living on the other side of the border. Mexico has a bad rap form all kinds of stories, for the most part Mexico is safe.

Crossing by car- to cross the border by car you can be waiting anywhere from 5 min to 5 hours.

Crossing by foot – this is by far the best way to cross the border, if you are living in Mexico and need to cross the border, I think by foot is the best. One of the best reasons for this is, you can use the tram that goes to downtown San Diego that comes all the way to the border. You can park your car anywhere on the route. I would also say the time you will spend in the line will be shorter,

Crossing by bike –

Finding a place to Rent in Mexico

Rentals in Mexico are very easy to find, as a matter of fact if you got a few bucks it is fairly cheap to buy. You can find some rentals on craigslist.

Be careful using services, or other people, the best way to find a rental is, to go to the area you want to rent and call the numbers  posted on the building yourself, rentals are very easy to rent!

Living in Tijuana and crossing into the USA to work

If you live or have ever lived in San Diego, then more than likely you are somewhat familiar with Tijuana. I am not sure what it is about people and their wild stories about Mexico. The media seems to blow everything out of proportion but I wont go there. I don’t want to turn this posting into a massive rant, besides that it is another blog post by itself. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but many people live in Mexico and commute to the US to work every day. I would say most are Mexican-American but a growing percentage are American. So what would make a person do such a thing?

For one, the rent is substantially cheaper in Mexico than San Diego and it shares the same stretch of Pacific Ocean.

I just so happen to have a buddy that has recently become single, and he is about 40 years and balding… he’s not a bad looking guy, he’s just not getting much action these days, if you know what I mean.. So a few days ago he came out and asked me, “Dude.. is this the way it is from here on in?” So I asked him, how bad do you want some action? Hey, we aint talking hookers here..I said he was my buddy. But lets face the facts here, no chick wants some beer-drinking football fan, and football fans need love too. So I had an idea for him already in mind. I just wasn’t sure he was going to like what I had to say.

So what is a guy to do? Better yet what is a Girl to do? Holy crap, lets look at the reality here. If you happen to be 40 and single most likely you have at least one ex if not a few ex-wifes, owe some child support, are at-least 30 pounds overweight, some thinning hair on top, a shit ton of bills, bad attitude, bad breath and a limp-dick, you get the picture. Not exactly Don Juan, and your looking to get laid… ya! This got me thinking, I would be screwed if this happen to me! I am the Worst – all do is eat Tacos, double cheeseburgers, nachos, 3 bowls of cereal, Coke, I walk up 3 flights of stairs and I feel like the end is near.

So what does it take to live in this hidden promise-land, for 40+ single male/land of misfits men existence? The simple reply to this is not much.IM002758

Before going into all great things about living in Mexico, I thought I would go into all the hurdles you would have to overcome.

First and foremost is crossing the border. This is by far the biggest issues for people living in Mexico. Its not that you can’t, it’s just on one day it might take you 10 minutes and the next it might 3 hours. If you are working in the US, you need to have a flexible schedule. The best way to go about crossing the border is to cross on foot. The time you spend in line will be far less, and you can park your car on the US side for easy mobility upon crossing. The public transportation in Mexico is very good and you will find little need for a car there. Another side note: after crossing into the US, the Trolley is outside the door to take you to San Diego. So leaving your car on the US side is one way to cut your time spent crossing and avoid the hassle and legalities of having a car in Mexico.

Another factor people often consider is their personal safety. Of the many times I have been in Mexico, I really haven’t found myself in to many situations that I would find scary, or that I thought I was in any real danger. However, you must realize Mexico is a third world country and you need to always be aware of your surroundings. You have to be aware of your surroundings in New York or East LA as well. I don’t see you in any more danger in Mexico than anywhere else in the world.

I love Mexico on a different level, I love the freedom I feel when I cross the border. There is a carefree attitude that is pervasive in Mexico. Mexicans are generally friendly and they are hard workers but they do not obsess about work like people in the US. And they love food!

The street food is simply fantastic. A word of warning about eating street food in Mexico though. They do not have the same health codes as restaurants in the US. One way to tell if a place is likely safe is to gauge the amount of local traffic it has. If it’s very busy, you’re likely to be safer than eating at a place where the food has been sitting around all day. If you eat there enough, you will get sick. This is guaranteed because they cook with ingredients we’re not used to eating regularly, for instance, lard. But don’t worry, you can get used to it just like the locals do. There are so many things that are appealing about living in Mexico that I’m surprised there aren’t more US citizens living there. Then again, maybe that’s why the media seems to highlight the problems of Mexico because the US doesn’t want a reverse migration. Just a thought. There are so many other things I could say about it, I’m sure there will be additional posts coming on the subject of living in Mexico.

Best way to cross the border mexico border from TJ into San Diego for work everyday

This is a follow up on the story I did about living in TJ Mexico and crossing the border to work in San Diego :

I got an email, asking me what I thought would be the best way to cross the Mexican border to work in San Diego everyday. So I told her that I would reply to her question here on my blog, so others can read.

When crossing the border into the USA, the time you will be in line waiting to cross the border will be reduced by about 30%, if you cross on foot or riding a bike. Crossing the border into the US is one of the most difficult parts of Living in T.J. But crossing on foot provides you with shorter crossing times overall, and less traffic to deal with. Just as you come out the doors into the US, the trolley is just to the right. Even the Greyhound terminal is just around the corner, it goes to LA like 3 times a day. What I would do, is park my car along the trolley route and drive from there to work or where I wanted to go. The increased exercise you get from walking is excellent. In the long run you will save money, by doing this. Especially if you are looking for a job, to fit in to this type of lifestyle, it is best to get a job that is very flexible with the time you show up. If you are able, telecommuting is really the best way to go as you can get very cheap, reliable internet service in Mexico. Crossing the border anymore than once a week gets very old, fast. This is the number one reason people move back to the US.

Another Mexico question – Mexican auto insurance

I just revived this question about buying Mexican car insurance:

Hey Scott!
I am wanting to travel in Mexico by car. I see the Mexican insurers on the side of the road right before I cross, but it is unclear if Mexican Insurance will really help. Do I need this insurance when crossing into Mexico?

Santa Barbara, CA

Thanks for the question Teri,

Let me clarify what happens in Mexico when you get into an auto accident. When you are at fault in any kind of accident that has caused another party loss, you are required to make this person whole to damaged party’s satisfaction or the satisfaction of the highest ranking official on the scene, right on the spot. If you are unable to do so, you will go to jail till someone else can bring the money to pay for you. Mexican law says: Any party that has been damaged by another has the right to be made whole again.  And that happens right at the site of the accident.

That being said – What does Mexican Insurance provide me?
Well for one thing it can keep you from going to jail, that seems important, but it really isn’t. If you have Mexican car insurance it is best to let them handle it. They will show up and settle your damages and you will be free to go. This is what you are paying for. If your car is disabled and unable to cross the border, this is a real problem.  Mexican Insurance companies are not the quickest to settle and will almost always want to repair your car.  Filing a police report in Mexico can be very challenging and is really filing a criminal complaint against the other driver.  Hopefully, these are issues that you’ll never have to endure, being a victim in a car accident in Mexico.

So what  happens if I am without Mexican car insurance?
Let me give you some tips!

#1. Never try to speak Spanish to them if you don’t know Spanish. Even if you know “some” Spanish it is best to keep your mouth shut, if they want to communicate something to you, trust me, someone with some English will show up.

#2. Work with what you got on you – Don’t worry, I think you would be surprised how far a few bucks will get you. If you feel like you are in real trouble, I think people forget, all else fails, give them the car. Tell the bank someone in Mexico stole the car, how are they going to know. If you feel like you are being hustled or apart of some con, remain calm and do your best to remove your self and contact the US consulate office. These people are for the most part harmless, they just want your money. The funny part about that is when, your car shows up in Arizona after some Mexicans kidnapped someone and it’s got 3 dead bodies in the trunk. lol!  Bank calls you, “We got your car back!”

I once had stitches in my arm from surfing. In the US, this would have cost 600-1300 in the emergency room. In Mexico it was $30 dollars. My point is, even if you kill someone, few hundred should clear things right up! lol I was joking of course.

#3. This might just be the only reason you should have border insurance, If you have a balance on your car and you are not prepared to pay it off.  Keep in mind that there will be a gap between what the border insurance offers you and what the car is worth.  If you don’t have an extra 2-4k sitting around to pay off your finance company, buy the gap insurance at the border.

#4 It is best not to be to flashy, a lower profile is recommended. Leave the jewels at home.

If you do buy Mexican Car Insurance, make sure the company is listed in good standing at the California Insurance Commission.  Every border insurance company has to have an agent listed with the California Insurance Commission – if you have problems with your insurance coverage while in Mexico, a call to the California agent can help the process along.