10 Types Of Expats In Mexico City You'll Definitely Meet

Vance, back at it again.

I recently learned my good friend and former roommate in Mexico City is moving to Europe.

Upon hearing this news, I started to reflect on my time living in Mexico and all of the interesting people I'd met, many of whom were expats. As such, I began to wonder if the subject of expats in Mexico City was worth a blog post.

I determined that it wasn't... but I've decided to do one anyway!

How To Rent An Apartment In Cartagena, Colombia

There are many, many reasons to live in Cartagena.

Whether you're into beaches, year-round sunny skies, exciting nightlife or great local cuisine, this Caribbean city has got something for you to enjoy.

But, moving to Colombia isn't easy. At the very least you're going to need to find somewhere to live.

And that's what I'm here to help you with today!

Let's talk about how to rent an apartment in Cartagena, Colombia!

5 Reasons Why Mexico Might Be The Best Country To Live In Latin America

No matter where I travel to in Latin America, my mind always drifts back to Mexico. It has become the benchmark from which I compare all other countries in the region.

I've reflected a great deal on why I've come to love this place so dearly.

Sure, part of it is nostalgic bias; after all, this was the country that kicked off my interest in Latin America, as well as the first foreign country I've ever lived in.

But after having talked to what must be hundreds of travellers, it seems that others share my love for this country...

What Are Cuban Girls Like?

Oh, hello.

Vance here.

Today, I'd like to discuss Cuban girls.

Consider this your short and sweet introduction to the women of Cuba!

Rolling Solo: How To Go Out Alone In Latin America

I'm not outgoing.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy having a crew to hangout with, hit the bars with and bounce shit off of, but I am also very comfortable with being alone. 

I've always been that way.

If I arrive to a city where I don't know a soul, I'll have to go out to bars and clubs solo. And after much trial and error, I think I've finally figured out how to do it without looking like a rapist or serial killer.

Mexico Travel: How True Are The Warnings?

Do you want some Mexico travel action this year? Don't let the new warnings scare you off! There are still plenty of places to enjoy down south without putting your safety or security at risk.

My Latin Life's Guide To E-Commerce In Latin America

My latest of many money-making schemes has been in the world of e-commerce. 

I started playing around with it during my last trip to Peru. Appeared the country was ripe for it. Its economy was growing rapidly, and I certainly noticed people with disposal income in Lima, but there was a lack of cool shit to buy - many of the big chain American stores that I saw in Mexico that offered impossibly cheap goods hadn't made their way down, and I knew that import laws were pretty lax compared to countries like Argentina or Ecuador, and manufacturing costs were lower than countries like Chile or Brazil...

Dating In Mexico: 10 Ways To Attract A Mexican Woman

Hey, folks.

Vance again. This time, to talk a bit about dating in Mexico. 

After having spent a cumulative total of about three years here, I like to think I've learned a thing or two about how to attract Mexican women...

How To Move To Mexico in 2018: What Are Your Options?

*Updated for 2018

Alright, so you want to expat to Mexico.

And who wouldn't!

Amazing beaches, dynamic cities, friendly locals...and all at a fraction of the cost of the USA.

But, as we all know, moving to another country isn't easy. There's a process. Unless you want to live your life doing endless border hops every six months (it is an option..we'll get to that a bit later) you're going to need to meet some basic requirements before you can legally settle down south.

I'm going to go through these options with you now. Here is how you can move to Mexico.

Living In Lima, Peru

Ever wondered what living in Lima would be like?

While I've done it, and I'm here to tell you about it!

I'll discuss quality of life, women, cost of living, safety, weather, food, infrastructure etc. All the stuff you might want to know about Peru's capital city.

 

Is Mexico Dangerous? 2018 Edition

We've all heard the news.

Severed heads in Ciudad Juarez, Durango and Mazatlan.

Bodies hanging from bridges in Zacatecas and Morelia.

Grenades thrown into nightclubs in Guadalajara and Monterrey.

There's no denying that Mexico does not have the greatest reputation in regards to safety and security. But is Mexico as dangerous as it's made out to be?

How To Move To Colombia in 2018

Colombia is on the tip of everyone's tongue, and has been for some time.

Based on the emails I receive on this blog, it is by far the number one choice for folks looking to expat to Latin America.

If you want to figure out how to move to Colombia, here are the best ways to do it in 2018.

Learn Spanish. Get Girls. A Review Of Pickup Spanish

My journey to Spanish competency has been long and tumultuous. It started with Spanish classes in Mexico (which I promptly quit after just a week), then moved on to audio courses (most of which I slept through) and finally to Latin music and telenovelas, with which I finally began making some progress.

Initially, my goal was simple: learn Spanish to meet women. But it took me months of stumbling through learning methods before I was finally able to hold down a basic conversation on a discotec dance floor (discotec is Spanish for "nightclub," by the way).

If only I had discovered a course tailored to my *ahem* ultra specific needs at the time, I would have saved myself a lot of fruitless effort, valuable time and money.

Bring in El Conquistador's Pickup Spanish course.

What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa In Peru in 2018?

 

So, you came to Peru, loved it and stayed. Lost track of time. It happens.

Now, you want to head back home to visit family, or leave the country to explore new lands. 

Only one problem: you've overstayed your tourist visa for Peru.

So, now what happens? Will you be barred from the country? Charged a crazy amount of money? Thrown into a Peruvian jail?

Not to fear, you're friend Vance is here to answer all of these questions and more!

overstayperu

 

***Updated for 2018

First, A bit of info about tourist visas in Peru

Up until recently, tourists were allowed 183 days in Peru per trip. After that time was up, they could just hop the border into a neighbouring country for a few hours, come back and BOOM, new tourist visa.

However, in March of 2017, a new law was passed stating that tourists would receive a maximum of 183 days per calendar year, meaning that once these days were up, said tourist would have to leave the country for 6 months before being allowed back in.

In effect, that means no border hopping.

 

The good news is that this law isn't being uniformly enforced.

The bad news is that...well, this law isn't being uniformly enforced.

 

Let me explain.

Although on paper you're technically not allowed to border hop and get a new tourist visa once your old one is up, in practice, many tourists have been able to do so like the good ol' days.

Many others have had a stern talking to about not being able to border hop, and as a consequence, have only received 30 days upon re-entering, as opposed to the typical 90 or 183.

An unlucky few have been straight-up turned away at the border when they attempt to re-enter.

This just makes things confusing.

Since tourists don't know if they'll be let back into the country if they try the border hopping route, many who wish to stay in Peru long term now just opt to overstay and pay a fine when they finally depart.

I'm here to tell you how the Peruvian authorities deal with such people.

 

 

What to expect if you've stayed too long in peru

If you've gone over your 183 days in Peru (or however many you were granted/asked for upon arrival), you will be fined about $1.00 USD (some says it's $1, some say it has changed to $1.25...I haven't been able to confirm). So, if you want to stay an extra 6 months, you're looking at at least $180.00 USD. The process for paying this fine is very straightforward. If you're leaving through Lima's airport, the border guard will simply direct you to the booth that is farthest on the left to pay the fine. They don't give change, so make sure you bring some small bills/coins. 

Once you've paid the fine, you're free to go! Carry on to the departure gate as you normally would.

perutouristvisa

Now, if you're crossing a border by land, things might be a bit different.

If you're lucky, they may not even notice you've overstayed (customs authorities on the border aren't as on the ball with this sort of thing).

However, if they do notice, you may be in for more trouble.

For whatever reason, border guards at land crossings are always a bit dodgier. They may try to get more money out of you than $1.00 or $1.25. And you may have to do some tedious negotiating.

 

But, all and all, the only punishment you'll face when overstaying in Peru in 2018 is a fine. You won't go to jail or be beaten or anything like that.

 

 

What About Re-Entering The Country?

You might be wondering what will occur if you violate the terms of your tourist visa, and then try to re-enter the country.

Well, that depends.

If you overstay your visa, pay your fine and try to re-enter Peru a week later, you may run into issues. Either they won't let you back in on the basis that you've already used up your 183 days in the calendar year (unlikely - it's rare that they won't let you back into the country at all), or they will let you back in and only give you thirty days or so to get your ducks in a row and get out of the country. If you get a particularly nice (or ignorant) border guard, they may let you in no problem and give you another 90 or 183 days.

***Keep in mind that, regardless of how many days a border guard issues you when you arrive, you are entitled to 183 inside the country each year. So, say the border guard gives you 90 days (indicated by a "90" written by your passport stamp), and you decide to leave after 88 days to visit family for two months. When you come back, you should still be allowed 95 more days in Peru.

In other words, it isn't clear what happens if you try to enter Peru right away after you've exceeded your 183 days. A lot depends on the border guard. I suspect that they'll let you back into the country, but I doubt they'll grant you another 183 days.

 

 

 

What is the best way to stay in Peru longterm?

Well, the absolute best way is to get some sort of renewable work or residency visa that allows you to stay in the country.

But, that's easier said than done...and beyond the scope of this article.

The second best way is to follow the law. That is, stay for six months and leave for six months before coming back.

But, I know not all of you naughty rascals will do that.

So, the third best option is simply to overstay. As I mentioned before, 6 months will cost you an extra couple hundred dollars. That's about what it would cost from Lima for a trip out of the country anyway (unless you like long bus rides). My advice is to just suck up the cost of the fine when you're sure you're ready to leave Peru.

If you choose to come back 6 months later, you'll have a clean slate of another 183 days. They won't hold your previous violation against you (unless they noticed that you've done it numerous times...then they might throw you some grief).

And if you try to come back immediately after you've overstayed, please let me and the other readers know about your experience!

 

I hope this has helped clarify things. Bottom line is that it seems Peru is cracking down more each day on tourists that exceed their 183 day limit.

Annoying for folks like us, but entirely within its right to do so as a country.

 

 

 

Until next time,

Vance

What Is It Like To Live In Mexico?

There are many different Mexicos. There is the Mexico of American media, consisting mainly of drugs and violence on the border and along the coast.

There is the Mexico of spring break - the endless beach-drinking and partying of college students.

And there is the Mexico as it's depicted by the country's own marketing campaign, a Mexico of rich culture and tradition.

It's all true. And, apart from the drug violence (hopefully!), you're likely to experience all of it if you take a week-long vacation down south.

But what is it like to actually live in Mexico?

How To Move To Peru in 2018: The Easiest Ways To Stay

Peru is an easy place to fall in love with.

Rich history, incredible food, friendly people and one of the strongest economies in the region.

But how can you live here? If you want to move to Peru, there are a number of options available.

What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa In Mexico in 2018?

***Updated for 2018

For most folks, overstaying a tourist visa in Mexico will never be an issue.

The FMM tourist card that all travellers must fill out upon arrival is valid for a generous 180 days, meaning that you can legally spend nearly half the year south of the border.

That's plenty enough time for your average vacationer, who only pops down to Puerto Vallarta or Playa del Carmen for a week or two.

But, maybe you're not the average traveller.

Let's say that, for whatever reason, you've stayed longer than six months down here and broken the rules of your visa. 

What happens when you try to leave?

Well...it depends.

 

What Happened To Venezuela? An Explanation Of The Current Crisis

You may have seen some crazy shit on the Internet recently about Venezuela.

Mass protests, moves by President Maduro to rewrite the constitution and, of course, the perpetual food and medical shortages, crime waves and violence.

So, how did all this happen to a country that was once among the richest in Latin America? 

My Latin Life's Guide To Mexican Drug Cartels: 2018 Edition

Since 2006, the Mexican Drug War has claimed nearly 200,000 lives.

And 2017 has been the bloodiest year yet, with over 20,000 recorded murders.

Drug smuggling is old hat in Mexico, dating back to the 1800s when Chinese immigrants first introduced the Opium poppy to the Sierra Madre mountains.

But why the sudden spike in violence? To get the answer, we must travel back to the 1980s.

US Visa Requirements For Latin America - 2018 Edition

Visas are a pain in the ass.

Fees, restrictions and local bureaucracy can make planning a headache. If you're not prepared, you may end up paying more than you have to, find yourself in trouble with local authorities or even being barred from the country.

The good news is that Latin America isn't as harsh as some regions when it comes to allowing Americans to stay for extended periods of time.

That being said, there are many nuances that you MUST be aware of being heading south, especially if your plan is to stay longterm.