Moving Mountains

There are three big hurdles to moving abroad. Well, perhaps more than three. But most of the hurdles can be jumped as you go along. There’s three that need real planning. The visa, the flight, the packing. Once upon a time, the flight and the packing went together. In the days before soaring baggage costs. And in the days before the cheapest flight (and I always want the cheapest flight!) took you on a worldwide mystery tour.

As the spouse of a Mexican, the visa hurdle is now much easier. It’s all about timing. But you’re much less likely to fall and get bruised these days. The flight? There are three options. Option one: a direct flight off season with AeroMexico can be had for about £550. Option 2: a direct flight to Cancun, followed by a killer bus journey to Mexico City can be had for about £400 plus £150. Hardly worth it then. Apart from the killer holiday in the Yucatan that comes with it!

Option 3? The last option is a one way flight from London to Mexico City. But not direct. There’s a stop in Madrid. For nearly a whole day. You’d need to collect your baggage and cart it off to a hotel then cart it back. But the flight can be had for about £400, and you get to have dinner in one of Europe’s nicest capital cities, so option three does have its appeal. The final stretch from Madrid to DF is with AeroMexico on a newish Boeing 777, so that also has appeal.

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The downsides. With option one, you get a single free 23kg bag. It’s £50 for the next one. And £100 per bag after that. There’s two of us, and one is a lady. Ladies accumulate much more stuff than us gents. Mostly shoes. Cupboards and cupboards worth of shoes. Guys tend to accumulate things in a more digital way too, which is substantially easier to pack! So option one is going to be very expensive as far as the luggage goes. Option three is no better. In fact, it’s exactly the same.

Option two via Cancun is the winner here. Shipping is free! There’s a catch though. You can only take one 20kg bag. That’s it. Want to take more? Tough. You can’t. You see, these flight are for 7 or 14 day package tour holidaymakers. They don’t give those of us who don’t want to go back as second thought. Is there a way round it? There is. Shipping. We’d be in no real rush for our baggage. Obviously, this year would be nice. Might it take several weeks? Ok. We could, if push came to shove, slum it on the Caribbean coast for a little longer than planned.

It has been something I’ve been researching. I’ve read up on international container shipping and found a few sites of interest. Getting a quote takes some time. As in, it isn’t instant. I’m used to ‘instant’, but I guess this is one area where a little patience is required. There are some questions that I need to find answers to. Will the Mexican customs guys want to tax my ‘imports’, for example? One would hope not.

Will a hurricane send our possessions to the bottom of the Gulf en route? It’s looking grim out there weather wise at the moment. But again, one wouldn’t expect that to be an issue. There must be quite a trade in moving goods and chattels far away from the UK though. We’re not the only couple looking at jumping ship. Far from it. This Guardian guide shows where we Brits are choosing to move abroad to. We do appear to be the sole couple headed for Mexico though…

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These decisions were much easier in my life before Mrs P. For my first move to Mexico city, I just picked the cheapest flight, and as for my worldly goods – I sold pretty much the lot! By the time I had finished eBaying, car boot sales and flogging/donating to friends I could fit pretty much everything I owned into two normal suitcases. And I just began again. I will probably do the same this time. But Mrs P will undoubtedly just assume I am donating my luggage allowance to her. Hey ho.

3 Comments

  • You should take a look at “RollyBrook.com.” He’s written extensively on the technical aspects of moving to Mexico. I also think Yucatanliving.com had a recent article about importing stuff.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we could put some of our stuff in the back of our truck as we at least don’t have an ocean to cross.

  • My advice is not worth the pot I could piss in, but I no longer have because I gave the pot away. I am downwardly mobile these days. The two of you are upwardly bound.

    I was going to suggest doing what you did on your first trip over. (And what I just did by giving away or trashing 60 years of accumulations in February.) You should be able to persuade Mrs. P to join you in this Thoreauean quest. You are a clever lad.

    I would then set off with my one allotted suitcase each (filled with only enough possessions that would not make a Buddhist monk blush) and head off for a delightful dinner in Madrid — that will probably cost you as much as the tariff for that second and third suit case (if you decide that Buddhism is something to insult rather than grasp).

    Either way, it is going to be fun — because the goal is worth all of the planning.

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