Sep 7, 2007
After my whirlwind trip to Mexico last weekend, Hans and I have been trying to decide just how much time we need to wrap things up here and what we really need to get done before we go.
Every major move I have ever made has been very loosely planned. I would quit my job, make sure I had "enough" money, pack my car and leave. I did this when I moved to Colorado and New Jersey. When I lived in Australia it took a little more planning, but not much. I was young and it was as an exchange student, so it wasn't like I had a ton of responsibilities anyway.
I think we should be able to just pack up the truck and leave, but I've never had a successful business that I didn't want to go down the tanker just because I wanted to live in another place. This move is going to require slightly more forethought to make sure that the business can run as seamlessly as possible. We'd really like to be out of the office no more than two weeks or so while we move. So with that in mind, I thought I would make a list of things that I need to get squared away before we can head south of the border. Feel free to let me know if I'm missing something.
- The Pets
My sister has lovingly offered to take on our cat, Sandy, while we are away and until we decide what we want to do with him permanently. Originally we thought we would bring our dog with us, but having pets has proved to be quite a hindrance for us over the last couple years. We always have to find someone to feed the dog when we go away on the weekends or what not. It's a pain. We were thinking about things that are annoying here and whether they would be annoying in Mexico or not and it seems that having a dog would be a bigger pain than it is worth for us. So, we have to find someone who is willing to take care of the dog. We would put him up for adoption, but we really love him, he's a great dog and we'd like the option of coming and getting him or taking him back when we return.
- The Mail
Thanks to Countdown to Mexico, we've learned about Earth Class Mail. I want to get this set up for us and for the business and test it out for a couple months before we leave. Generally, we get a ton of junk mail and only a few bills and checks each month, so this might be a great solution.
- The Bills
We have to make sure that all the bills are set up to be paid online. I want to set the mortgage to auto-draft from an account every month so we don't have to deal with that. We also need to cancel any services that we won't be using and make sure that the lawn mower guy has plenty of money on hand from us to keep our yard looking reasonable while we're gone. No need to piss off the neighborhood!
- The Bank Situation
We need to figure out what we're going to do about our personal and business bank accounts. Right now they're at two different banks. We don't want to open a Mexican bank account until we deem it necessary. We're thinking that with online banking and a person on the ground in the US to help us, we won't need to use a Mexican bank. We're thinking about opening personal accounts at the bank where we have our business accounts so that everything is in the same place. We need to look into whether we will be able to transfer money between all the accounts.
- The Phones
We have our cell phones through Verizon, otherwise known as the Devil. Their phone system is not quadband or whatever- that means that the phones don't work in Mexico. Hans' contract is up this month and he's going to switch to AT&T. My contract isn't up for another year, so I need to see what I have to pay to get out of my contract with Verizon so I can get into one with either AT&T or TMobile. We need these to work before our move because while we are out of the office driving through the US and Mexico, we need to be able to answer emails and continue business as much as we can.
- The Car
I need to take my car in for service and I want to sell it before we leave. I'm currently making payments on it and there is no way I'm taking it to Mexico. It's just not the right car for down there. So I want to get it cleaned up and sold and I want to buy an older VW Golf (like 2001-2002ish) outright so that I'm not making any payments. If we decide we want my car down there, I can always come back up and drive it down. VWs are great in Mexico, so that will be easy. In the meantime, it will sit at our house or possibly on the street at my in-laws so that we have easy access to a car when we have to come back to NJ for business or whatever. It beats renting a car.
- The Visas
Once we have an actual date when we're leaving, we're going to start dealing with getting our visas here. We'd like to not have to deal with the Tourist visa and we have the income to get an FM3, but we'll deal with this much closer to leaving.
- The House
Well, I think we're not going to rent it right away in case we find that we really can't do business there. In the meantime, we'll need to make sure the pool is closed and that the yard is clean before we leave. If we decide to rent it, we might have to come back and empty it... maybe we should empty it (except for furniture) before we go... dunno.
- The Mexican Apartment Situation
I may need to fly down early, find an apartment and get it set up with internet. We need to be able to hook our router right up and have our vonage phone ready to go once we get there. Since I speak enough Spanish to accomplish this, I'm the natural choice for the person who has to do all the dirty work. Hopefully we can find an apartment where we can rent month to month or something, because we have decided that in order to work we need to have our own internet connection so we can keep our Jersey phone number.
So, that's the short list, I guess. It seems a little overwhelming, but also exciting. I'm sure I'll think of more stuff later. Anyway, I had better get back to work.