North America

No Reservations Along the Breadcrumb Trail — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

No Reservations Along the Breadcrumb Trail — By Jennifer Shipp

I love to write, but I struggle to accept that I’m a writer. Or that I’m anything. I want to be more than a writer. Or not just a writer. I love to travel. So I guess I'm also a traveler. Sometimes I've been other things too, I suppose. Movement and transition is a form of stability for me. I want to live everywhere and try everything I can. I want to live out a whole lifetime in every country or at least ...
Mars in Uranus: Warding off the Evil Eye with Silence and a Saw
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Mars in Uranus: Warding off the Evil Eye with Silence and a Saw

Two days ago, we found out that we can go ahead and build a fifth floor onto our new building. That’s good news in a lot of respects, but unfortunately, our neighbors are turning green with envy. So it’s a mixed blessing, at least at the moment. Two neighbors have aimed an evil eye at our project so I’ve been sitting inside the house today burning incense and chanting to ward off the negative vibes.<br ...
Late Night Race in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Late Night Race in Guanajuato Capital

This video was captured downtown at the bus stop in front of Del Sol (a department store) in Guanajuato Capital. About 5 minutes before I started filming, runners started coming down the street in hordes like in this video. It took place shortly after 9pm (a strange time for a race, if I do say so myself). The winners came from the other direction on the same street about 10 minutes later. ...
Loneliness in the United States: A Blog Post That’s Too Long, Too Opinionated, and Too Complex — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Loneliness in the United States: A Blog Post That’s Too Long, Too Opinionated, and Too Complex — By Jennifer Shipp

Many years ago, in China, I stumbled across a Japanese woman who’d evacuated her home country due to the nuclear meltdown that was going on there at that time. She was sitting in a park with her daughter when we crossed paths and she and I sat while her daughter taught my daughter how to use a Chinese yo-yo. This woman and I shared very few common words but I had a pad of paper and somehow, I don’t remember ...
My Personal Crisis — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

My Personal Crisis — By Lydian Shipp

What am I doing?

I ask myself this question probably at least 10 times every day with a degree of desperation so high that I have to force myself to dismiss the question or risk insanity. Sometimes, the sum of my dismissals comes out in an emotional breakdown of circular thoughts that lead nowhere. I start in one place, and end up right back where I started. And that place that I circle ...
Luggage Filled with a Lighter Lifestyle — By Jennifer Shipp
ChiapasMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Luggage Filled with a Lighter Lifestyle — By Jennifer Shipp

We’re not jungle people. Yes, there was a time when I cultivated fantasies of building a tree house in an extremely isolated place like a rainforest, that was before I’d actually been to a rainforest. Now, having racked up at several months of my life in various jungles in different parts of the world, I know better than to think that I could live with the ants, the mosquitos, and the general sense of chaos ...
Four Stories — By Jennifer Shipp
ChiapasMexicoNorth America

Four Stories — By Jennifer Shipp



I’m not sure what this story is about. Is it about the drive between Guanajuato and San Cristobal de las Casas? Or is it about biomagnetism and how to cure a disease with a couple of magnets? Or is it about how workshops in Mexico suck a little in terms of interactivity and hands-on learning?

I could talk about Julian, the fellow who sat in front of us, giddy to chat about ...
“Gimme Your Guitar” — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoUncategorized

“Gimme Your Guitar” — By Lydian Shipp

I wouldn’t say I’m new to dating/courtship rituals but… well, I’m new to dating/courtship rituals in the “real world.” Since I’m 18 now and working with adults instead of kids, it’s almost like all the “experience” I have from when I was younger is invalid. It’s not, since I’ve thought seriously about every relationship I’ve had from a variety of angles to get as much as I could out of the experience, but ...
Construction in Mexico UPDATE—By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Construction in Mexico UPDATE—By Jennifer Shipp

There’s a mirror on our bathroom door and I can see the reflection of our kitchen in it. Sometimes it helps to look at things turned backward because it’s easier to see what’s really there. The backwardness makes me look harder and study the parts that I otherwise ignore. Backwardness has that kind of effect on things. Today, when I saw our kitchen reflected back at me, I noticed that there’s a cadence ...
Weather Metaphors Matter — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Weather Metaphors Matter — By Jennifer Shipp

Today I woke up in a bad mood. I’m not sure why exactly although I have a few guesses. For one, it’s been really rainy here in Guanajuato…more rainy than usual in fact. Rainy might be an understatement. There have been landslides and torrents, overflowing flood gates. That kind of thing.

I thought last week that we would be moving into our second floor this week, but the rain has ...
Video Update — Our House in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Video Update — Our House in Guanajuato Capital

In this video we give a tour of our house as it is right now, including the parts that are still being built. Most of our home is still under construction, but we were able to move in about a week ago so we could oversee the work being done and be closer to the centro in Guanajuato. ...
Hey, Blondie! — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Hey, Blondie! — By Lydian Shipp

"Oye, guerita!" Says the middle-aged man standing next to his truck outside the Mercado, giggling to his boyfriends and working to make eye contact with me as I walk down the street. I shoot him a glare. My best glare. The group of men whistle and hoot in response before rattling off a series of other perversions in Spanish that I can't understand yet, for better or for worse. I've given them what they want ...
My Pixelated Life – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

My Pixelated Life – By Jennifer Shipp

Two days ago, we moved into an apartment in our new building that we’re constructing here in Guanajuato, Mexico. We moved everything we have in and/or on our little FJ Cruiser. It took 8 trips back and forth from the rental in Marfil. A part of me is impressed that we have so little. Another part of me is pissed off with myself for having burdensome things like furniture. John put our living room ...
A Worm In My Mexican Lettuce — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

A Worm In My Mexican Lettuce — By Jennifer Shipp

There was a worm in our lettuce that we bought at the veggie vendor today. John said, “You’d never see something like that in the states and…if you did…” I finished his sentence, “…you’d take it back to the grocery store and ask for a new head of lettuce.” But rather than being upset about the worm, John and I celebrated his presence. First of all, our head of lettuce cost us less than a dollar. So whatever ...
UPDATE: Building a House in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

UPDATE: Building a House in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

When John and I lived in the United States, we built everything ourselves. As a rule, I did the carpentry and he did the plumbing and the electrical work. When we had to build really heavy things that had to be structurally supportive, we worked together. We had quite a synchrony and both of us were good at working with wood. But here in Mexico, the wood is so hard and so heavy that I could burn through one ...
How to Buy Property in Mexico and Build or Renovate a Home
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

How to Buy Property in Mexico and Build or Renovate a Home

I’m not an expert on real estate in Mexico. But my husband and I have purchased property in Guanajuato, Mexico, so we’ve been through the process. In comparison with our experiences buying property in the United States, buying a house in Mexico is easy—at least the administrative part of it. But that’s not to say that it’s without risk or that it didn’t make us nervous. A lot of things can wrong when buying ...
Curing Cancer: A Work in Progress…
GuanajuatoMexicoTips

Curing Cancer: A Work in Progress…

I don’t talk very much about the work I’ve done as a professional writer, mostly because people don’t ask, but also because it’s complicated. I’ve ghost-written everything from tech-oriented white papers about anti-virus software to ebooks about raw food diets. I’ve written what I call “corporate poetry”—meaningless emotive blips about products that are often placed on the home pages of web sites to inspire ...
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

How to Get a Mexican Driver’s License as an Expat in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

John and I have U.S. driver’s licenses, but because we moved here before Lydian turned 18, she didn’t have a “valid” Mexican driver’s license that she could use here. So last week, we made it our mission to figure out how to get a new Mexico driver's license in Mexico, or at least here in Guanajuato. Below is a summary of the experience which was easy and painless (except for the blood draw):
<br ...
Mexico Real Estate Scams: What to Know Before You Buy Property in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Mexico Real Estate Scams: What to Know Before You Buy Property in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Buying Mexico real estate as an expat isn't for the feint of heart! We bought a property in Guanajuato, Mexico by searching for interesting houses in the Chopper magazine and on Facebook groups where locals were selling things. We contacted real estate agents ourselves and went out and looked at about 15 to 20 different properties to get a feel for the market before we ever made an offer on one. In ...
Mexico Construction: How We Got Scammed and Still Survived — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTips

Mexico Construction: How We Got Scammed and Still Survived — By Jennifer Shipp

Someday, when I have time to reflect on things, I’m going to look back on the past five months of my life and say, “Wow. That’s was fucking hard.” When that day comes, sometime in the future—maybe a decade or so from now, I’ll feel it and I’ll probably think that I handled things okay under the circumstances. But right now, and for the past year and three months, I’ve felt mostly stupid, vulnerable, ...
Bruised Banana