To start, I'd like to say welcome to the site!
I'm glad you're here and I hope I can help.
Although this is primarily a site about Latin America, I also touch on other subjects. A bit further down below I've separated the content of the site into sections to make it easier to find what you are looking for.
***Check out this page for over 100 useful resources related to Latin America***
***Check out the About Me section to learn a bit about me.
WHY DID I CREATE MY LATIN LIFE?
My motivation was simple: a comprehensive travel website for men interested in Central and South America didn't exist.
I know this because I spent weeks trying to find one.
Expat forums didn't cut it - I was too young to relate.
So after many, many months of travel, taking notes and making observations, I created a resource.
Is it the best one out there?
I think so.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
If you're just interested in knowing about a specific city, you can start with my city guides. There are about 80 of them. There is a good chance that whatever city you want to visit will have a corresponding guide.
The blog articles as they appear on the homepage don't follow any particular order - when I think of something to write about, I write about it. Only my 10 most recent posts appear on the homepage. If you'd like to scroll through my blog posts chronologically, from newest to oldest, navigate to the blog page.
If you want an overview of what we talk about here, below are some categories to make things a bit easier to navigate.
My Latin Life's Minimalist Packing Guide To Latin America (Coming soon)
Best Songs For Improving Your Spanish (Coming soon)
How A Complete Idiot (Me) Learned Conversational Spanish And How You Can Too (Coming soon)
Want To Work In Latin America? Here Are Some Ways To Make It Happen (Coming soon)
My Awkward Journey To Location Independence (Coming soon)
5 Helpful Tips For Dealing With Extreme Leftist Backpackers In Latin America (Coming soon)
Resources And Recommendations
What Does It Cost To Live In Major Latin American Cities? (Coming soon)
What Does It Cost To Fly Between Major Latin American Cities? (Coming soon)
Still Can't Find What You Need?
Here's an archive of the 30 most-recent posts on My Latin Life:
Mexican elections are coming up on July 1st, 2018.
In my opinion, all the candidates are shit.
I feel bad for the Mexican people…
Hello, ladies and gentlemen!
Today, I'll be talking about some worthwhile Instagram accounts to follow from Venezuela, more specifically, Caracas.
Well, it's a place...
Vance here to talk about safety in Latin America.
Now, I'm sure you've heard the news. Latin America was, once again, ranked as the world's most dangerous region.
This isn't exactly new - it has taken this dubious title each year as far back as I remember.
But, what does this mean for you as a foreign tourist? Is Latin America safe to travel?
Let's dive in and find out.
Short one today, fellas.
While organizing my computer, I found some old photos I took when I lived in Mexico City.
I thought I'd share them with ya'll.
I'll provide some commentary for each photo.
Quick one today.
I get asked by readers and friends if I'm "fluent" in Spanish.
My answer is always: no.
Sure, I can understand...
You’d think at this point most guys would know the basics of how not to get scammed while dating online.
Unfortunately, though, that’s just not the case…
I'd like to talk a bit about how to avoid getting Scopolamined (or, drugged in general) in South America.
Anyone who's travelled down here knows that folks will try to take advantage of you. And, when it comes to scopolamine, women are the main culprits.
So, we'll focus mostly on women today (what's new, eh?)…
Short one today.
Elections in Paraguay just happened and I thought, "gee, why not talk about it?"
It is, in fact, quite an interesting country…
Today, I'll be talking again about business in Latin America. More specifically, I'll be discussing whether it's better to open a physical store or an online store.
We'll go over the pros and cons of each, along with ways you can set up shop south of the border as a foreigner.
Let's jump into it.
***This is a guest post from Charles DuFont of Tripoart***
I am Charles DuFont, I run a new website called Tripoart. I've been living and traveling around Latin America for several years. It’s a place I now call home and a place I have had many incredible experiences.
Friends, enemies, admirers and haters!
I've another post for you today. This time, I'll be talking about the best blogs about Latin America.
First, we'll break down some good blogs that cover the entire region, and then we'll get into specific countries.
Strap yourself in, because this will be a long list.
Overstaying a tourist visa in Colombia is a common occurrence. It isn't surprising - Colombia is an easy country to fall in love with after all!
But what happens exactly if you violate the terms of your visa? Will you be locked-up? Deported? Fined? Prohibited from entering the country ever again?
Here's the latest information.
I can be pretty tough on Latinos and Latin America. The region is far from perfect, and there are many things that make living down here frustrating.
In Canada, if I want to get Internet set up in my place it's an easy process. A simple phone call, and within the week there is a qualified individual in my living room setting everything up and answering any questions I may have.
Same thing goes for getting a SIM card or a bank account.
In Latin America, doing such things is a test of patience...
Here are (more or less) the steps I took to learn conversational Spanish.
I've toyed with many resources over the years, and found these ones to be the most helpful.
If you've always wanted to learn Spanish, but weren't sure where to start, this article is for you - if you proceed through all of these stages, you'll come out the other side pretty damn fluent!
***This is a guest post from Danielle K Roberts of Boomer Benefits
The ex-pat lifestyle is growing in popularity with America’s retirees. In 2016, over 400,000 retired Americans lived overseas, a figure that’s grown almost 20% since 2010. And Latin American countries have a special appeal for their high quality of life, low cost of living, and ease of traveling “home” to visit loved ones.
Now for something a bit different.
Not many people know this about me, but I used to work as a cigar salesman.
Well, I was actually more of an 'exporter.' It was my job to find a way to ship Cuban cigars to the United States from Canada without them getting seized by customs.
I must say, I was very good at it. One year and thousands of shipments. Nothing ever got caught.
More on that later.
Through my experience, I was able to learn a thing or two about cigars and lucky enough to try a multitude of varieties from different countries.
Here are some of my favourites.
A night I'll never forget. My first humiliating experience with Brazilian women.
I'd arrived to Rio de Janeiro earlier that day, and I'll admit, I was intimidated. I barely spoke Spanish, let alone Portuguese, and I'd heard horror stories about violence and crime.
I had completely psyched myself out…
I don't really care about politics.
Aside from a few recent incendiary Twitter comments (usually for laughs), politics occupy very little space in my mind. As far as I'm concerned, as long as you are not posing a threat to me or those I care about, you are free to believe what you like.
That being said. . .
There is a group of people - often well-represented in hostels throughout Latin America - whose political views I find insufferable.
They can usually be identified by one or more of the following characteristics:
Figured I'd do a quick post about women in Medellin today.
Any man who's the least bit interested in Latin America has heard of Medellin, Colombia…
As someone who travels a lot, I don't have many possessions. I have two small boxes stored in Canada, and the stuff that I travel with fits into one 28" suitcase and a carry-on duffle bag. If I sold everything tomorrow, I'd be lucky to get $2000. And half of that would be my computer.
No matter. That's how I like it.
However, in spite of my predilection for a minimalistic lifestyle, there are still some strange, arguably superfluous things that I never travel without.
I'm happy to share those things with you today:
As regular readers may know, I've been playing around with doing business in Latin America.
Although I never intended to go down this path, it isn't altogether surprising - as a LATAM fanatic and as someone who's always been interested in creative ways to earn an income, it makes sense that I'd eventually try a venture down here.
My Latin Life here to give you some insight into the cost of living in major cities throughout Latin America.
Using Expatistan, I've compared the cost of living between the most-searched-for big cities on my website to help you decide where to live or travel in Latin America.
Let the showdown begin!
Toward the end of my first jaunt around Latin America, my money started to run out.
I'll admit it: I planned poorly.
I don't want this to happen to you.
Below, I've made screenshots of typical flight prices between major Latin American cities. Keep in mind that these prices will vary depending on the strength of the dollar and the time of year, but it should still provide you with some context for planning your next trip.
I bought Joe Bovino's Chicaspotting: A Field Guide To Latinas of the United States almost immediately after reading this headline from a profoundly triggered-by-words columnist at Vibe.com.
The author and I clearly share a common interest and, having done the majority of my chicaspotting in Latin America, I was interested to see how some of the traits of Latinas from various countries would translate to American soil.
I'm pleased to say that this short book not only confirmed some of my own observations, but also alerted me to many subtleties that I either failed to notice, or was unable to articulate.
Here are my thoughts:
A lot of people ask me, "yo Vance, what are the best songs to learn Spanish?"
Actually, no one has ever asked me that.
But I'm going to do a post on it anyway.
But before getting started, there are two things you should keep in mind about this list:
Hello gentlemen! It's time for your 2019/2019 Colombian Cupid review.
If you're familiar with the site, you'll know that I recommend Colombian Cupid a lot.
It's a great service, and I truly believe it is one of the best ways to meet Colombian women, both inside and outside of the country.
I'd like to tell you a story.
Not a story in the Alice and Wonderland sense of the word, but rather a cautionary tale: a few words of warning for anyone wanting to travel or live in Latin America.
It's important to listen closely, as the advice contained in this story is counterintuitive to what most people think it takes to fit in and adapt to a foreign culture.
Today, I'd like to talk about something a little different.
Against my better judgement, I've been spending more time on Twitter lately, and I couldn't help but notice a trend.
For various reasons, a lot of people think the West is going to shit.
And a lot of people want to get out and relocate to greener pastures.
Is "Escaping the West" due to cultural decline really a legitimate reason to move abroad?
Hello again! Vance here to give you your 2018/2019 Mexican Cupid review!
I decided to do an updated review because, quite frankly, many reviews for MC are outdated. In the past few years, other dating apps have moved into the Mexican market - Cupid is far from your only choice…
Ecuadorian girls are seriously underrepresented on the Internet.
Whereas you can find a plethora of information about Colombia, Mexican or Brazilian girls on Google, Ecuadorian women seem to have slipped under the radar.
I'm here to change that.