North America

The So-Called Curse of Being a “High-Maintenance” Woman — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

The So-Called Curse of Being a “High-Maintenance” Woman — By Lydian Shipp

I like for my bedding to be clean and tidy. I like to cook my own food the way I want to cook it. And I’d rather not use cosmetics that use ingredients that are designed to kill me slowly. I prefer to be in charge, or at least have some degree of control when I’m not completely in charge. And I feel bad for these things sometimes. Like opinions and preferences are wrong or something.

It ...
Travel as a Self-Imposed “Time Out” — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Travel as a Self-Imposed “Time Out” — By Lydian Shipp

What is travel?

I ask myself every time I go on a trip somewhere. What am I doing? What’s the point? And I don’t mean that in a deprecative, bad way. Just in an honest-to-goodness philosophical way. I don’t have an answer… but somehow I feel it’s the right thing to do. And for the other trips we’ve taken, I remember not knowing the exact answer to why I was going or why I wanted to go in ...
Baggage and Bullshit: Thanksgiving in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Baggage and Bullshit: Thanksgiving in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Moneen is downstairs knocking on the door. He’s persistent today, probably because he’s having withdrawal symptoms and he wants to go buy some alcohol. We don’t usually answer the door when we’re working because otherwise we don’t get much work done. Normally, Moneen is a fairly nice kid. He’s missing a few nuts and bolts, but I believe he means well. We pay him for odd jobs sometimes and when he’s sober, ...
As Many Impossible Things As Possible — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

As Many Impossible Things As Possible — By Jennifer Shipp

It’s been just a little over two years since we did a major excursion out into the world. I don’t count moving to Mexico as a travel excursion because this is now “Home”. We never intended for this much time to pass, but we didn’t have a choice. Our construction project demanded our constant attention. For a long time, we thought we’d travel the PanAmerican Highway as our first Big Trip out of Mexico, but ...
Deep Drifts and Warmly Lit Windows — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Deep Drifts and Warmly Lit Windows — By Jennifer Shipp

Last night, I dreamed that I was walking through a deserted city in the dark with my computer. Deep drifts of snow covered the streets and the moon was full it cast a blue glow over everything.  I could see the dim outline of houses lined up along a deserted block. I looked down at my footprints as I made my way to a house situated on the corner of an abandoned block and there, I opened my computer so that ...
Finally Finished: Our AirBnB Properties in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Finally Finished: Our AirBnB Properties in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

A long time ago, John and I talked about owning a six-plex. That was back in the days when we struggled to buy bread and eggs. We looked at six-plexes in those paper publications put out in the mountains of Colorado about a decade and a half ago, but we didn’t have the funds to make it happen. In fact, we had no funds at all. And when we moved to Mexico, it was initially our intention to build an apartment ...
Under the Sheen of Perfection — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Under the Sheen of Perfection — By Jennifer Shipp

It could be some time until all of the things arrive. The things that I need to make all of this look and seem like perfection.

It could be some time until notable progress is made. Notable. NOTABLE…what does this mean?

The trash. The half-eaten chicken carcasses in what will become my living room. The lack of respect. The lack of consideration. The lack of love. The ...
Half-Truths and Manipulation of Myself and Others – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Half-Truths and Manipulation of Myself and Others – By Lydian Shipp

So… I’ve taken up clubbing.

And yes, I’m going to say that I’ve “taken it up” because it’s not something I plan on doing for the rest of my life. Someday, ideally sooner than later of course (but I don’t have control over that), I’d like to settle down and start a family. And if that hasn’t happened by the time I’m in my 30s, I’d like to have at least found something I’m truly passionate ...
Update on John’s Spot: At-Home Cancer Cures and Cancer Prevention Everyone Should Know About – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Update on John’s Spot: At-Home Cancer Cures and Cancer Prevention Everyone Should Know About – By Jennifer Shipp

John still has a lightly colored spot on his forehead where he developed melanoma last year. The spot doesn’t look or behave like melanoma now. No doctor on earth would diagnose him with melanoma because it isn’t melanoma anymore. It doesn’t look like melanoma and John isn’t sick. But last year, the spot was very dark and growing rapidly. We never saw an oncologist. We never tried to have it removed or ...
Life Without Facebook — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Life Without Facebook — By Jennifer Shipp

About a year ago, I started wondering what life would be like without Facebook. What would I do with the time that I normally spent on Facebook? I knew that I’d fill the time with other activities, but I wasn’t sure what I’d do. How would my face-to-face relationships change? Would I have more in-person friends? And what about my general sense of connection/disconnection from the world? I wanted to know…did ...
Flag Theory and the Financial Benefits of Crossing Borders — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Flag Theory and the Financial Benefits of Crossing Borders — By Jennifer Shipp

Today we went to INM to re-up on our temporary residency permit in Mexico. I try not to get nervous for these tramites, but it makes me tense. There are lots of reasons why. One reason is because it’s important. Another is because it has to do with the government and thus I’m powerless to fight against whatever happens to me, John, or Lydian. But I think more than anything, one of the things that makes me ...
Humans: A Natural Disaster (More Construction in Mexico) — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Humans: A Natural Disaster (More Construction in Mexico) — By Jennifer Shipp

You know what?

Life is hard.

There are tornados. Earthquakes. Fires. Hurricanes.

But the worst natural disaster is humans.

We are our own worst enemies.

There’s a man named Terrazo. He’s an old guy with sad eyes. I think he has cataracts. I think he’s partially blind and partially deaf. When I first saw him, I ...
Dear Janet… – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Dear Janet… – By Lydian Shipp

When people ask me if I miss living in the United States, the answer is always a strong and resounding “NO.” I wouldn’t trade what I have now here in Mexico to go back and live in the United States.

Even with all the various stresses that have come with moving to a foreign country, I would not have decided to stay in the US. My options were so limited there. My big dream was to go to UNL ...
On Getting Scammed: Construction in Mexico – Part 1000 — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

On Getting Scammed: Construction in Mexico – Part 1000 — By Jennifer Shipp

I wish I could be cynical about things right now. Cynical would be a step up from where I’m at emotionally at the moment. I’m working toward cynicism. If I could pick one tarot card to describe my current life situation it would be the 9 of Swords, Lord of Cruelty card. It’s not because I’m being cruel but because I’m feeling the effects of other people’s cruelty. But let me explain. When I say “cruelty”, ...
Friday Night in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Friday Night in Guanajuato Capital

https://youtu.be/GpBPUpQxrmsA group of musicians plays in the Plaza de la Paz in Guanajuato, Mexico on a Friday night. ...
Accidental Weight Loss and Other Magic Tricks – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Accidental Weight Loss and Other Magic Tricks – By Jennifer Shipp

When I was in high school and even junior high, I compulsively worried about my weight. Realistically, I had an “eating disorder”, but let’s not be dramatic. In retrospect, I would say that most Americans have an “eating disorder” in that they wish they could lose weight, they try to diet, starve themselves for a day, and then binge for three days to make up for the lost time. For me, the problem was ...
A Flood of Mud, a Flood of Crud…a Flood of Goobledy-Gobbledy-Gud: More on Construction in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

A Flood of Mud, a Flood of Crud…a Flood of Goobledy-Gobbledy-Gud: More on Construction in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp



Around 9:00 PM last night, John said, “I’m so tired…I hate to do this, but I’m going to bed.” The weeks have been long. There are so many decisions to make all the time. And he bears the brunt of it right now so he’s tired.

What color should the cracks between the tile be? Do you want the grout to be shiny or dull?

Do you want the windows to be 30” ...
What Does it Mean to Be “On Time” Anyways? — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

What Does it Mean to Be “On Time” Anyways? — By Lydian Shipp

I do my best to have a sense of humor. I really do. But sometimes, my sense of humor steams out and all that’s left of it are a few sizzling drops of cynical, dark, and angry commentary on the bottom of the metaphorical dry pan. I tell myself that it’s sort of endearing that our construction workers hum or whistle to themselves, or even break out into song at various, random times during the day as they ...
San Cristobal de las Casas vs. Guanajuato vs. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

San Cristobal de las Casas vs. Guanajuato vs. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico

A lot of people compare San Cristobal de las Casas to Guanajuato and there are strong opinions on both sides. Until last week, I’d never been to San Cristobal so I couldn’t weigh in, but now that I have I can say that I’m very glad that Guanajuato is my home. That’s not to say that San Cristobal isn’t a really cool place. It is. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of the higher altitudes in Colorado. But ...
I Have Bad Taste in Men – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

I Have Bad Taste in Men – By Lydian Shipp

The ever-changing landscape of which boys I like and why is a constant source of excitement, terror, and doubt for me all at the same time. Up until relatively recently, I’d say that one of my primary criteria for boys was appearance; I particularly liked Nordic guys (or the ones who looked Nordic, anyway). And although I can’t say that I’m not attracted to the whole tall-blonde-blue-eyed thing anymore, I ...
Bruised Banana