Thursday, November 13, 2008

Conquer the Recession Blues - Read an EBook!

The onset of the "Oh-no-it's-a-recession" panic caused a lot of would-be travelers and potential expatriates to Mexico to put a screeching halt to not only their plans to take a trip down to my neck of the Mexican woods but they've also stopped their research. This is what most of us who have made this magnificent transition have done - research. We read, no we devour, everything we can on hotels, hostels, restaurants, rentals, real estate, and some of us delve into culture and language before making a reconnaissance trip down South of the Border to check out the lay of the land, which is something we highly recommend. It's what my wife and I did and what many potential expatriates do.

While I get the point about traveling costs as a reason to put plans on hold, I would suggest that you don't have to stop your research into visiting or moving to Mexico. If that was your pre-Recession strategy, to visit or retire to Mexico, you can continue to do the necessary research. I can't stress this enough. You've got to know what you are getting into before coming. Some make the mistake of not doing their homework. Don't let something like a Recession stop you from finding out, in the comfort of your American or Canadian home, what it is you need to prepare for a life of retirement or even just a vacation in Mexico.

Most of the expat info available is contained in just a few books. The travel aspect of Mexico is pretty much of a cinch. The ole faithful, Lonely Planet, is standing by and ready. It can sometimes be a bit off on prices of hotel and transportation costs, but this is the inherent problem with guidebooks.

Information on retiring, working, or just hanging out-expatriation-is a little harder to dig up. A lot of information is online, but often it is not very accurate. Cost-of-living is something everyone seems to want to know and this is the hardest information to give out to seekers. You simply have to realize that your cost-of-living will be the amount you need to make yourself comfortable in your new home. It will be something you can live with. How my wife and I live in Guanajuato, Mexico, is not the norm for most of the expats we know. We live like Mexicans do and thus live very cheaply. Friends of ours here in Guanajuato live like Americans in Mexico and it costs them dearly. The recession has sent some to the real estate agents to put their houses on the Mexican market. They cannot afford to keep living like King Solomon and The Queen of Sheba. What it is going to cost you in a particular place to live in Mexico is entirely dependent upon your tastes.

How, when book prices are so high, not to mention the shipping and handling costs, can the potential expatriate to Mexico find out what he or she needs to know?

I am the author of several books that are NOT selling. My competitors, at least online, don't seem to be doing any better. Though has free shipping offers for books, it doesn't appear to be moving the "Live in Mexico" genre. Times for print books are tough.

The light at the end of the tunnel may be in the ebook.

You can buy a print book that retails for a small fortune (or so it seems) for a few dollars in digital form. There is no shipping and handling and you can read these books in a variety of ways.

I know some in the "older" baby boomer age bracket who just cannot bring themselves to read ebooks. They complain that it is "too hard" to sit at the computer and read them. I personally find I can read the ebooks much faster on my larger computer screen. I get a cup of coffee, a snack, and read fast and furiously. If I want, I go slower.

The point is that there are so many ways today to read ebooks and you can get all manner of fiction or non-fiction selections. Best Sellers are often in ebook format.

PDF ebooks and Mobipocket formats are what I use most often. You can download a PDF ebook instantly and begin reading as soon as the download is complete. You can download the Mobipocket reader free and then download a book in that format and read away. I like the Mobipocket for its appearance of looking like the pages of a small paperback book.

Also, you can read these ebooks on your laptop. Sit back on the couch with a few pillows and some tea and read all night long. There are handheld devices available also into which you can download the books. It is like holding a small paperback book in your hands. It so reminds me of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine because this is how they read their literature...on handheld devices. now has their Kindle Reader, which is their handheld device. This device allows their customers to download books within seconds and begin reading almost immediately.

The costs can be substantial. One "move-to-Mexico" paperback retails for $17.95 but the ebook sells for $12.00. Stephen King's, Just After Sunset Stories (hardback) retails for $28.00 but the ebook Kindle Version is just $9.99.

The Kindle Reader is pricey. It sells for $359.00. Other readers, to host the Mobipocket versions for example, can be as low as $95.00 and as high as $700.00. However, you have to look at it from the perspective of making the cost of the reader back in the savings from paperback and hardback book prices and their shipping.

For me, dwindling planetary resources (the planet is running out of trees) is a strong consideration for going ebook and phasing out my purchase of paper books.

So, don't let the recession stop you from doing your expatriation (or traveling) research. Buy ebooks by the dozens and read to your heart's content so you can be fully prepared for your living-in-another-country adventure!


Ebooks on Guanajuato Travel and Expatriation Issues! CHECK IT OUT!

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