We are expats from California, now living in San Miguel de Allende

After many years in the interior design industry, retirement at the end of 2010 was welcome.  Selling house, auto and many household furnishings, we moved south to San Miguel de Allende with a highly condensed list of possessions.  Immediately immersing ourselves into the community, we have established many new friendships and activities that have filled our lives with new experiences and joy.  Writing a weekly blog about our daily life in SMA seemed the best way to keep family and friends informed about our new life.  We feel sharing the blog would be beneficial to anyone considering a relocation to San Miguel.

Hi and welcome to the forum kathymachir!

Your thread has been moved to the San Miguel de Allende forum for better visibility ;)


Hola, Kathy, welcome to San Miguel.  I see your post was two months ago, but it's just now coming up in my email inbox.  I have a couple of friends who are also ex-fellow San Diegans now living here full time, also... would be happy to make an introduction any time!

Welcome to SMA and wish you good luck while in Mexico Kathy!

We'd love to meet you sometime.  We are heading back to California for a vacation with family next week, and then traveling amongst friends.
After we return the first week in September, put us on your calendar!  Our home phone is 120-2044.

Hi All - Not living in Mexico - yet.  Lived in San Luis Potosi for 2 years a few years back and have visited 1-2 times/year since then.  However, this past year has brought very disturbing news regarding the drug related violence, kidnappings and carjackings.  It breaks my heart to hear that and wonder if it's as bad as the news media is reporting.  Would love some feedback from people living in the country.

There is an article published in the Seattle
Times which pretty well sums up our thoughts about living here.
We love living here and just returned from 6 weeks in the U.S.
Asked what we missed about the U.S. most, our reply was "nothing".
Pace of life is easy and uncomplicated and we are careful about our actions as we are really only visitors here. People are kind and gracious. There is probably no place on earth that is perfect, but we feel we have found a great place to live.
The article: … cci18.html

Hi All,

Has anyone tried learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone?  I'd like to get started on Spanish before I move to SMA.

Marcie Pais
Palo Alto, ca.

Haven't heard of many who have taken the Rosetta Stone, however, there are Warren Hardy schools here that many take.  We have a wonderful lady who comes here 3 x's a week.

Welcome to Mexico Kathy.  My wife, kids and I moved to Cancun from San Diego 2 years ago and I would agree with you that there is nothing we miss about living in the US.   I go back a couple times a year either to visit or for business.  Each trip back confirms our decision to live in Mexico.  Never been to SMA but have heard many positive things.

all the best,


Hi expatcraig,

What do you like more about Mexico versus the U.S.?

The lifestyle here in San Miguel de Allende is so much more laid-back and friendly. Mexico in general (aside from Mexico City and other large cities) is friendly and despite the indigenous being poor and have to be frugal, they readily and happily share with everyone.  Find that in the U.S!

I plan to retire next spring (2013)and am strongly considering San Miguel de Allende. I currently live in Charleston, SC (USA).  My retirement budget is rather limited (USD 1,800/month), thanks to 2008...and markets meltdown.  I am a single, well educated man and I would be seeking to rent a simple 1-2 bedroom apartment for at least a year to see if I will like/stay in SMA.  Any advice you or other blog members can give me regarding simple apartment rentals in SMA would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Hello JerryToth, do not hesitate to post an advert in the Housing in San Miguel de Allende section. It may help. :)

Thank you,

I would like to return to Mexico after living in US for 25+ years. I am in my early 40"s and would like to live in San Miguel. I need a network of people for feed back,/advice. I hope to find a job. My background healthcare administration, medical translator, interculturalist. Advice?

Hi all.  I am an artist / retired art instructor. As a young widow I moved to Puebla Mexico in the 80's for 10 years teaching art at the American school until my daughter graduated from high school and  we moved to London, England. After she married I taught art in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 8 years, then back to Texas to settle down. BUT, I have wander lust again and thinking about moving to SMA. I'd like to hear about the experiences of other single retired female expats in SMA.:/

Hello, this is Alberto, I live in San. Miguel de Allende since Nov 2011 and I consider this place very peaceful and the situation in the entire country has changed since the new president Peňa started his goberment period. In particular SMALL has not been affected since I arrived, I am a Reflexologist and people I have met down here seem to feel secure and satisfied,  feel free to comeback.

Hi all! I am Alberto, moved to SMALL in Dec 2011 and feel happy to have had taken this decision,  I am a Reflexologist with a family of 5 . I like meeting people , my Mobil phone 415-109-6689 everyone welcome to a friendship reflexologoalberto[at]

I would like to hear from expats about what it's like to live in SMA as a single retired woman. So far I've only read about married couples or single couples.

Hi Jerry, I am Alberto, father of 3 kids and my wife, we moved to San Miguel on Dec. 2011 and I still believe it was a great decision, coming from Acapulco, running away from violence,  since we arrived everything has been better, a peaceful small city, friendly people, high cultured, rents are not an impossible fact, I made a gray friend who owns simple apartments and rent goes for 250.00 USD one bdr, kitchenette, lvrm. And very secure, furnished.  Also has 2 bedroom apartment 300.00 Your budget will be more than enough to live and move around , my income is lower than yours, I don't pay rent but 3 scholarship and still have for saving a little.
Come have a look first, give us a call if you get to come .Mobil phone 415-109-6689.

What's the link to the blog?

Link to the blog:

Try this if better:

Hi Jerry
Im thinking upon reading this blog you may have just moved to SMA and wondering [since I am about to do the same thing in 12 days]~ if you are liking it there! Hope you enjoy your new chapter and would love to hear how things went!

will let you know in 12 days when I set off for SMA myself as a single woman! I think it sounds wonderful!!

Hey Julie,

We just arrived here in SM on August 11. It's bigger than we thought. The people are friendly.

We went to an Organic Market on Saturday which was fun.

Take care,

Your'e just ahead of me then! What did you do for accommodation upon arrival? I have secured an american family's lovely house in historic centro at a reduced rate for September/October [I asked they accepted my reduced offer :-)] and plan to start looking for a permanent long term rental once Im settled in. Would love to catch up with you sometime if you feel like a coffee!!
PS: i have no idea what to do about my iphone 5. I cant bear to think of giving it up but I'm not moving to SMA to pay exhorbitant cell phone bills either! anyone got any ideas,love to hear them :-)
~julie [Charleston SC]

Ditto! Id like to hear from single retired female ladies too [being one myself]. Would love to perhaps join/start a coffee group in September and get together as a support group for new transplants.


We rented an apartment (top floor of a house.) We're here for seven weeks. We are living in the San Antonio section of San Miguel. We really like it, although we are not impressed with our apartment.

Yes, it would be fun to meet for coffee once you arrive.

We are using SKYPE to make phone calls. We bought a subscription to get a Colorado number to use.

You might get a SIMS card for Mexico.

Good luck with your move!!

WE are thinking of moving to SMA  any tips on the housing market

Homeschooling keeps growing folks, I really l.ike that, San Miguel is a favorite one for homeschooling, if anyone knows where Please let me know. I'd like to have my kids enrolled

I've been a full-time expat living in San Miguel for five years now.  I'm also a Realtor with Coldwell Banker SMART and would be happy to provide some feedback on the housing market if you'd like to give me some contact info.  We can give you a quick oversight and feel for pricing and neighborhoods.

My name is Marsh Hollenberg
My wife and I live in La Quinta

Email: Marshh[at]
Phone: 760-289-6751
Skype: Marshall.Hollenberg ( I think)
Give me a call


I will be retiring in a year or so, after teaching English as a Second Language for adults for more than 20 years, and would love to live in San Miguel de Allende.  I was encouraged by the small apartments in the $300 range that you referred to in a post.  Can you please tell me how to contact the owner of the properties, an email, perhaps? 



Hi Greg,

I realize SMA is a very upscale place and many houses and apartments are quite expensive.  My income after retiring in June 2015 will be rather modest, so I wonder if there are any small one-bedroom apartments in the range of five or six hundred dollars?




$250 is a great price in San Miguel de Allende.  Can you please tell me how to get in touch with the owner of the apartments.  My email is tomclark24 (at) ...

Welcome, Kathy!

Wishing the best of luck with your retirement and relocation plans!!  We live in Vancouver BC and are going to Mexico in January on a fact finding trip.  We plan to retire there in early 2016 so you can forge the way for us [ lol]  It is a big decision but exciting at the same time. Like you living will be modest but  sunshine and happiness are FREE!!  We just joined this site today and you are our 1st message!  Take care Anne and Ross

I have used Rosetta Stine.  It is very repetitive, and I did not have much success.  Except that I do have a pretty large vocabulary as it teaches you many words.  I just never got to the point that I can speak effectively.  Still working at it. 
The up side is I can figure out allot of written Spanish because of the words I know

I work for a marketing firm and one of our clients is in Mexico and wants to develop a retirement community in San Miguel de Allende for expats from the US and Canada. I wonder what cities many of the expats now living in San Miguel originated from...any idea?


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