Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bob & Nancy 'Hit the Road" - The Adventure Begins 4/26/08

(4/26/08 -- Depart Chicago)

To all our Family and Friends:

First, we wanted to let you know we're ok and give you all a progress report on our Move and "New Life". We are now OFFICIALLY Texans. Go Cowboys! For you Star Wars Fans, we successfully "wiped away all remaining vestiges of the evil empire (a/k/a Illinois)". During our brief stop in Dallas, we finalized our residency with no difficulty, obtaining our TX. Driver's and Automobile Licenses and registering to Vote. (In preparation for our formal move, we had already set up our TX. address/phone, bank accounts, and transferred all of our other financial/credit card etc. stuff to TX.). Why did we choose Texas as our "official" state of residence? Besides the fact Bob's only Aunt and only first cousins reside there (Bob's only remaining family other than his sister), Texas is free of state income taxes! Since we have no intent of returning to IL. to reside, we think we chose wisely to make Texas our new official home. And, until/unless we decide to obtain permanent residency abroad, we necessarily continue to be USA residents which requires that you have some USA residence address -- i.e. you must have some legal state residence -- of course, it would have been even better to become Alaska residents where for those who don't know -- in addition to also having no state income tax the State of Alaska actually PAYS its residents each year a 'bonus' check from Oil revenues -- C'est La Vie -- we couldn't manage that yet!).

(4/27-28) After making it safely on the long drive from IL. to TX, as noted above we stopped in Dallas and had a nice visit with Bob's only Aunt and first cousins. Then, "on a wing and a prayer" we made it all the way down to our new/temp. home in Jocotepec (Lake Chapala) Mexico (30 mins. drive from Guadalajara Int'l Airport). We needed just a little help from the heavens with our recently purchased 1999 Ford Explorer (with 134K miles on it at time of purchase) -- why that vehicle? Basically, we wanted a 'disposable' vehicle, so we don't have to worry if it is stolen or wrecked in Mexico -- though we definately wanted to make it down here, and thereafter be able to use it to get around. Then if we are really fortunate, we will be able to drive it back to Dallas to leave it there, when we next fly to Buenas Aires this November --NO, contrary to popular belief you cannot drive to South America -- the inter-american highway has a break after Panama (nor, would any Sane person want to try).

(4/29 - Overnight on the border in Loredo, TX; 4/30 -- Cross the border into Mexico)
Our drive down here really went smoothe -- NO PROBLEMS at the Border. They didn't even check Tony (our 'furry son') despite our having all of the proper papers just in case. And, getting the MX. auto permit and FMT Visa (180-day Tourist Visa) was a snap (not even any wait/lines -- as we crossed at 6am to be sure). Really, our biggest problem was getting out of our Apt. in Chicago -- took us much longer than we thought in the final days to dispose of everthing left of our personal belongings we hadn't already sold or given away -- and, to do final packing of what we were bringing with us -- probably took way too much, almost didn't squeeze it all into our SUV. We will definately have to lighten up for our airflight to Buenas Aires in 6 mos, certainly can't take all that crap. We'll just keep downsizing. Amazing how much you accumulate over time -- and, we already downsized several times, from our huge home in Naperville, to our somewhat smaller Fox Lake home, to our 3br apt. in City, and now our SUV full of last remaining personal affects/clothing. For those who think we're "nuts" (and, we know there's a lot of you out there), let me tell you the feeling is actually quite LIBERATING to relieve yourself of all of your worldly goods and allow yourself to be free to 'fly' wherever the four winds take you (not to mention the immediate stress relief from being out of the 'rat race').

(5/1 -- Arrive in the town of Jocotepec, Mexico on Lake Chapala, our first temp. home)
So far, our new temporary (3-mo.) home is pretty nice -- definately amazing property -- beautifuly 1acre walled landscape/garden -- I feel like we are in the Godfather Movie with our walled secure "Compound" -- actually, quite safe in this area -- virtually no violent crime -- at worse 'property'crime only -- ie. if home is unoccupied, not unheard of to be broken into. So far, we've been mainly unpacking, grocery shopping, and just cruising around a little bit getting to know immediate area so far. But, we'll venture farther soon. Whole point of living in this house for now, is to get to know the Guadalajara area as we search for possible future permanent home (maybe never settle down too permanently?). Also, we are going to be doing a lot of reading, and other more intellectual pursuits we never had time for before. That's a good thing! Top priority (esp. for Bob) is learning Spanish! Well, as should be obvious, we are all set up on Internet AND our Vonage phone working -- the internet and modern technology are truly amazing. So, if you want to reach us, we are only an Email or (USA/TX) phone call away. You all should have already received our new TX. permanent phone number which is working perfectly and which we will take with us wherever we live hereafter --[CONFIDENTIAL].

That's it for now -- feel free to email or call, or post a comment to our Blog.

Love and best wishes to one and all -- stay in touch! Nancy & Bob
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