Addison Brazil


Thinking about being a Digital Nomad in Colombia?

There are many reasons why Colombia is emerging as the go-to travel destination for digital nomads. Before the dreaded C-Word, people have been flying, driving, and even boating to what’s now beginning to feel like the ‘Promised Land’ for Digital Nomads. However, when you get here from where you were coming from. You will realise that this Shangri-La is not the hidden secret you might have thought it was.

In fact, according to immigration Colombia has been experiencing large waves of immigration from other Latin American countries, Europe, East Asia, and North America over the past five years.

Medellin, Colombia

Why is it so popular to be a Digital Nomad in Colombia?

With top quality of life, improvements in security, and economic opportunities Colombia is a top contender for Digital Nomads. Added to that is the fact that the international airports in all the major cities (Medellin, Bogota, Cartagena and Cali) have direct flights from major U.S cities, making access in and out of Colombia super easy. AND there are clear paths to securing a long-term visa

You may even start to feel – not like you’re discovering a Mecca – but more like you’re the last to find out about that secret your older siblings have been keeping from you.

It’s human nature to want to dissect and analyze how Colombia transformed from the conflict-ridden zone to the heartbeat of Latin America that it is now. After a decades-long war, the dedication of an entire country to rebrand the image and attract more wholesome visitors has started to turn things around. But what makes Colombia, especially Medellin, so unique for Digital Nomads? 

In this post, we will be touching on three key elements and one bonus element to explain why cities like Medellin are exceptional cities for Digital Nomads.

The top reasons for being a Digital Nomad in Colombia are: 

  • Cost of Living
  • Easy access to International and domestic flights
  • The Opportunity to explore the second-most biodiverse country in the world
  • Infrastructure

Cost of Living 

It is no secret that Digital Nomads want to save in certain areas of life to traverse the globe more often.

One of the best parts of Colombia is that you, even in the metropolitan cities like Medellin or Bogota, can live great on a lower budget compared to other cities like New York and London. Although you would be surprised by some of the prices for a 3-bedroom penthouse duplex in El Poblado. Don’t get me wrong – you can find someone to rent you a place above market value; for the most part, you can grab a steal of a deal in Laureles which is very close to the nightlife and restaurant zone of La 70 for $600.00.

Save on Food

On your first day, take a walk around the Barrio in search of restaurants catering to locals. You’ll find that they all offer a menu of the day that consists of Rice, some soup of the day (usually frijoles), and your meat choices, like beef, pork, or chicken. Although some people enjoy cooking their meals themselves, we highly recommend the menu del dia.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Cartagena, you may even see fish on the menu, which is always a nice treat. 

Inexpensive drinks with friends… 

The farther you go from the ex-pat/tourist centres, the cheaper things will be. Imagine having 2×1 beers with your amigos when beers are only 50 cents. In Colombia, that is an actual possibility. The nightlife in cities like Medellin is second to none. There are 5 principal zones to party in Medellín: Lleras, Barrio Colombia, La 33, La 70 and Las Palmas. 

The most popular, by far, is Lleras. Each zone corresponds to a different budget, so whatever the state of your bank account, you’ll find somewhere to party.

If you want American style music go to Lleras. For the best reggaeton, try Barrio Colombia, and for Salsa – head directly to La 70. 

Easy access to International Flights…

If you are a Digital Nomad launching off from Miami, you might be thrilled to know that you can fly DIRECT from home to the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in under 4 hours. If you book your flight in advance, you’ll be surprised at how much you save on your airfare. 

Suppose it’s your first time in Colombia. We suggest stopping into Cartagena first and passing through the Walled City for some coastal excitement. Otherwise, go directly to your final destination and save the trip to Cartagena for a weekend getaway, which leads us to the next point. 

Inexpensive Domestic Flights…

With over 20 airlines like Viva, Avianca, and Latam operating in Colombia, it’s easy to understand why flights around the country are so reasonably priced. You can get from Medellin to San Andres for less than $100.00 on ViVa Air. 

Explore the biodiversity

Colombia’s location is fantastic.

The country is located at the tip of South America, and it is characterized by a wide distribution of animals and plants due to the varying environmental conditions of each region and the development of the continents over time. One thing that Digital Nomads in Medellin like is to explore all that this region has to offer. 

Additionally, Colombia is surrounded by three huge mountains, which split the country into five natural regions: Andes, Pacific, Caribbean, Amazon, and the Llanos (plains). These regions offer an impressive range of climates and beautiful landscapes at varying altitudes. If you’re a bird watcher, you’d be thrilled to know that more than 1,920 bird species are to observe. Not your scene? There are 528 types of mammals and 1,521 species of fish that exist in the country.


Transportation and Getting Around…

When you think of the benefits of being a digital nomad in Medellin, or the lifestyle in general. The ease of public transportation is a must mention. Most nomads and ex-pats tend to rely on transportation apps like Didi, InDriver and even Uber, which are all reasonably easy to use. But, you can save a lot by taking the Metro to popular spots. It is much easier than you’d think! If all else fails, you can always ask one of the Bilingual support transit guides for support. 

Although this only touches on some of the benefits of living in Colombia as a digital nomad, the beautiful thing is that if you decide to take that lead, you will discover a whole host of other advantages.

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Merida is heaving with great restaurants and bars, check out our Food and Restaurant Guide below so you’re only going to the tried and tested.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The review:

🎖️Appetisers for the win🏆

I thought the Provola (cheese fried cheese) was the hero meal, but the missus thought it was the polpette (meatballs). We agreed the lasagna fritta needed a kick of spice. Overall, the appetisers were downright tasty😋, and the mains could have used a little more oomph! 

The portion sizes were pretty good. The staff were great and spoke English well!

I personally would dine here again, but the prices are a tad expensive.

My advice? Dine here with friends and go to town on them appetisers!

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

The review: 

🍽️Came for the food, stayed for the bumping music🎶

The complimentary chips and 4 very different salsas were a great start to the meal and it really only got better from there.

Pumpkin flower empanadas: Loved the avocado for cutting through the crispy and cheesy Empanadas. This appetiser was nice, ‘the calm before the taste storm’ that is to come.

Gaoneras w/bone marrow: If the crispy cheese and beef fillet isn’t enough, the baked bone marrow will have you swooning! I can not recommend this enough.

Chicken skewers: This came out good. Veggies were the hero here. I love it when something simple is done well.

Pork belly BBQ: This was a miss for us. It was the salsa verde. We knew going in that it would be there we just didn’t know the Pork belly would be smothered in it. As I like to provide solutions: I wonder if the sauce could be provided on the side so the customer can add as they see fit? Otherwise, the pork belly itself was cooked well – the green salsa’s tangy-spicy flavours threw us.

Catrin cookie: I LOVED THIS! A cookie that is half peanut butter half chocolate chip with vanilla ice cream and berry jam. What?!

What we ordered:

Everything above, plus:

  • x3 Limonada
  • x3 Margarita
  • Total: 1,299 Pesos (~$65 US)


After reading the reviews 

I knew I wanted to try this place, the first night we tried and it was full so we came back the next day for a late lunch – it was well worth it. The real treat here is the music and the beautiful art. The outdoor area has a stage and fantastic mural. If you are on a tight schedule, I suggest booking beforehand. We want to return so I can try the other tacos!

Ps. We went back to try the other tacos, and we were not disappointed! I suggest the Black pork tacos – flavors were just spot on. Looking for a snack? Look no further than Muslitos fuego or Esquite Catrin.

🏆The real winner of our return was Esquite Catrin which is a play on Mac n cheese🏆

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

The review:

Freshly baked pan dulce: Simple. Sweet. Quickly provided and warm!

French toast: lovely presentation and delicious! Fluffy, great portion size, and the Grilled 🍍 stole the show.

Gratin chicken enchiladas: Flavourful!  We Highly recommend. Each enchilada is packed with 🐔. With a nice spicy kick, the green salsa is spot on!

What we ordered:

  • x2 Latte
  • x1 Cappuccino
  • x1 Chicken Enchilada
  • x1 French Toast
  • Total: $495 Pesos (~$25 US)


This is a great brunch spot; highly recommended!

The 🎶 was good, the staff was attentive, and the their English was really good. I thought the décor inside was charming, and the spacing was very well done. There was a sense of intimacy.

The décor outside is equally great. The only downside to eating outside – in fact, my only criticism for this restaurant – would be the car traffic nearby.

Luckily, it is nearly drowned out by the music. Definitely the best breakfast/Brunch place we ate at in Merida.

Must try dishes in Merida:

Cochinita Pibil

Pork marinated in citrus juices and seasoned with achiote paste from the annatto seed and wrapped in a banana leaf. The dish is traditionally slow cooked in a fire pit in the ground.


A fried tortilla stuffed with beans and topped with shredded turkey, cabbage, picked red onion, avocado and pickled jalapeños. 

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Some suggestions for an unforgettable visit to the archaeological sites in Merida.

Jump to: Mayapan | Chichen Itzá | Uxmal
Other Ruins in the Area | Which One Should You Choose?

  • Don’t forget your camera or cell phone. There is so much to see! Remember there is a $45 pesos ($2 US) camcorder usage fee.
  • The Yucatan, of all the places in Mexico, feels like the safest place to drive because of its flat topography – long straight highways, w/no hills, makes for easy navigation. Just be sure to check the distance and time it will take to get there! So, if you prefer to drive, we suggest visiting the ruins in the morning for two reasons: you can avoid the heat and sun, and it will be the only time you can take photos free of inadvertent photo-bombers.
  • Bring, Bring, BRING the essentials: a bottle of water, a cap, sunscreen and insect repellent, wear comfortable shoes and light clothes (this last point is very important – we visited Dec/Jan timeframe and it was hot & humid).
  • Going as a family? Bring snacks or even a picnic basket full of goodies! In every site we visited, there was plenty of space for you to claim a spot and enjoy the view. Think you will feel self-conscious? That’s OK! We saw several locals (some families, a few couples) doing this, and I was mad I didn’t think of this. You won’t be alone.
  • Bring your swim gear and a towel. Why? There will be Cenotes nearby (think a fresh water swimming hole), because there are literally thousands in the Merida (or Greater Yucatan) region. Planning a day-trip? You can beat the heat by factoring the distance/location of a few cenotes on the way to (or back from) a site.

Map Source: Travel Yucatan

Here are the top archaeological sites in Merida to visit:


Entrance Fee: $45 pesos

Honestly, best to visit this one if you are the type to learn by touching or interacting with the things. We loved it! We did A LOT of climbing and exploring (3 pyramids, 1 round temple, and a temple dedicated to fisherman). The best part was the photos we were able to take on top of the pyramids! We suggest you get the on-site tour guide – they turn a 45min aimless walkabout into a 90min lesson about the indigenous peoples (i.e. the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, and Mixtec), their culture, and their architectural styles. This place was the most overlooked by tourists. In our 90 minutes there, there was a total of 8 other people!

Castillo de Kukulkán:

As the name suggests this pyramid is a tribute to the feathered snake god Kukulcan. In fact, the only real difference from the one you will see in Chichen Itzá is the overall size – this one’s much smaller. There are two other temple/pyramids you get to climb. One was used for ritualistic sacrifice and the other was used solely by the high priest for ceremonial requests such as beseeching Chaac the Mayan rain god for fertile lands and water.

The round temple located here was initially, like most archaeological sites, thought to be an observatory or dedication to the stars. However, it now considered a small sanctuary of sorts. Aside from pillars and roofless building, there is more to see like murals, frescos and carvings of Chaac.

Have a bit of free time, and want an enjoyable 6-8hr day trip? Mayan Ruins and Cenotes w/Antonio will be unforgettable AirBnB Experience! Just bring your gear and relax because transport, drinks snacks, and lunch is included.

Chichen Itzá

Entrance fee: $500 pesos (~$25 US) per person [Mexican Citizens get in for free on Sundays].

There is also a $45 pesos ($2 US) Camcorder fee. Roughly 45 – 60 min to see everything, but with guide expect 2-3hrs.

This archaeological site was nominated as one of the new 7 wonders of the world! As you can imagine,  everyone wants to see why that’s the case. As such, this place is crazy packed – with both tourists and desperate vendors.

It’s good to keep the below tips in mind:

  • Tip # 1: get there ASAP (especially on Sundays). The site opens at 8am and there was a line when we got there at 7:30am. This advice is for taking pictures of the temples and pyramid with far fewer people around! Once it opens you can expect 15-20mins of peopleless photos.
  • Tip # 2: Get a guide! There is so much information and sights to take in.  There will be guides (private, English speakers) making themselves available there. However, sometimes the best option is to do your research beforehand and come with a guide (AirBnB Experience was our choice).
  • Tip # 3: You will walk along a path leading to a clearing, and the Kukulcan pyramid. Your instinct will be to start taking photos immediately, but if you go around to the opposite end you will get better lighting, and less people (especially if you followed the first tip), because they will be too busy snapping photos to realize every other sides is less cluttered!

There is so much to see and learn about what was once a great Mayan city. Our tour guide was a great help in that regard. He explained the significance of the jaguar, owl, bat, and gods venerated by the Maya. He also pointed out the many carvings that can be seen on the pillars of the temple of warriors and the ‘ritualistic game’ of getting a pelota (ball) into a ring/hoop using only your hip and shoulder – played by the esteemed warriors –  the victors were beheaded as sacrifice to the Gods! Gnarly right?!

A day long process:

Kukulcan is the Mayan feathered snake god. The Kukulcan temple, a 30-meter high pyramid, was constructed in a specific way, and for a specific reason. To inform the high priest (or upper class) when it was time to prepare for the next harvest. On March 21st (Spring Equinox), as the sun sets, it hit the pyramid in such a way that it would cast a shadow – in the shape of a small triangle – along each step of the staircase. The snake’s body was from the pyramid’s top all the way down to the sculpted snake heads at the base; completing Heaven descent to Earth.

For what purpose:

Imagine a time when the masses new little about science and nature, or lacked access to Google! If you could tell the masses when the solar or lunar eclipse would occur and/or that it will rain tomorrow, and will due so for the next three months; how would those people see/treat you? So you spend years building a structure designed to tell you just that!

Cenote Sagrado de Chichen Itza:

There is not much to see as it is cordoned off – you won’t be able to see the bottom due to the fence. It is huge! It is murky! It is dying! We had a guide for all the sites of Chichen Itzá, and was told thousands of objects were found inside: bones of small children and animals; pottery; and other ritualistic pieces. Clearly, this is not your ‘bring a picnic and go swimming at your local watering hole’ kind of event. Why come? Although it has been ravaged by time, it is steeped in history. At one time, this was the main water source for 30,000+ people! Take one look, and I think you will agree the cultural significance is grand.


Entrance fee: $495 pesos (~$25 US) per person [Mexican Citizens get in for free on Sundays].

There is a $45 pesos ($2 US) Camcorder fee. The site opens at 8am and is roughly 1hr away from Merida. I suggest you get there as early as possible. Roughly 45 – 60 min to see everything, but with a guide expect 1-2 hrs. We finished our guided tour in 90 mins.

On-site Guided tour: $800 Pesos (English) and $700 Pesos (Spanish) – there are 3 to 5 other language options. Personally, I think the service is worth it. We got Antonio (Highly recommended); he has been providing tours for 30+ years. He speaks Mayan, Spanish, English, German, and Dutch. He was also very knowledgeable, personable, and helped us understand the significance of many of the hieroglyphics and structures.

The Tree of Life:

Is a very important concept in Mayan culture, and is best represented by the Ceiba tree – a tall tree with a straight trunk, buttressed roots, and widespread horizontal crown supported (usually) by 4 branches. The branches represent the 4 cardinal directions, the roots to the underwold, and the crown to heaven. All this is important because the Nunnery Quadrangle, a 4-building structure, also represents a man-made tree of life!

Pirámide del adivino (Pyramid of the Magician):

Is an odd duck when comparing them to the other pyramids we’ve seen! For instance, the walls/layers are rounded or oval; not square in shape. The pyramid consists of 4 level consisting of 5 unconnected temples within. Overall, it is a 131ft (40m) tall stepped pyramid.

Boot shaped stones & the Mayan Arch:

Once you round the Pyramid of the Magician, but before you climb the stairs leading to the Nunnery Quadrangle, I would like you to sift through the pile of large stones scattered about. Take notice the long L-shaped stones.

Why is it important?

The Mayan Arch – with it the Mayan people were able to build structures on top of itself! The pile of stones are important because through them most – if not all – of what you see was constructed: The Governor’s Palace, House of turtles, and Nunnery Quadrangle. In fact, when climbing up to explore the Nunnery Quadrangle, keep in mind that the vaulted platform you walk upon is man-made! The natural height was the ground the pyramid sits upon.

I’d say it is busier than Mayapan, but no where near as busy as Chichen Itza. That is a shame because this place is far and away the best of the three options! So, what makes Uxmal the site to visit? It has the best of what both have to offer; the interactivity of Mayapan and the scope of Chichen Itza. However, what sets it apart will be your walk with nature! Mother Earth has left its mark here; the trees both inside and surrounding the site add a sense of mystique to your trek by obscuring your view. The humidity in this region causes plants to grow everywhere – even sprout within cracks in the buildings themselves. The fallen branches and dead leaves have mixed with the weeds and caked dirt to all but devour the base of one of the two pyramids. Suffice to say, this particular archaeological site is yet to be fully excavated – only 5% is accessible to the public.

More importantly, there are more carvings found here, and they are far better preserved. The different levels of elevation – due to the Mayan ingenuity when it comes to making man-made foundations/structures – will provide different perspectives of the two pyramids and ballcourt. While standing on the sacbebs (man-made paved roads) supporting the Govenor’s Palace, you will feel both awed by the ‘House of the turtles’ and equal to the ‘Pyramid of the Magician’.

So, which one should you choose?

Having gone to the three major archaeological sites (with a tour guide), I would like to help you choose which to visit; if let’s say you only have time for one:

1st Go to Mayapan, because you can climb the pyramids and interact with the site. The pyramids are the highest point as far as the eye can see – in all directions – you will feel on top of the world!

2nd Go to Uxmal, because it’s gorgeous – there is lush trees almost swallowing the city. You can go inside a few of the structures, there are many angles for fantastic photos, and there is a dynamite chocolate museum across the highway.

3rd Go to Chichen Itza, because the Kukulcan Pyramid and Temple of the Warriors is a sight to behold. However, it will have the most people; there are no vendors within Uxmal or Mayapan. And you will have the least amount of interaction with the structures – everything is cordoned off. Don’t get me wrong, Chichen Itza is great! It just loses a few points for me, because it’s the road most travelled.

Honorable Mentions: archaeological sites in Merida

There are thousands of archaeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula (which consists of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala). We, of course, will only concern ourselves with the many sites located near Merida.  Unfortunately, only a few were open because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We like you to be aware of the many site you can visit, and why you should.


Roughly 30 minutes from central Merida; the closest Mayan archaeological site. Expect to take 1-2hrs to explore. The 9-metre deep cenote Xlaca is also nearby.


We were told it is a journey and a half to get to (half way between Chichen Itza and Tulum), and is totally worth it if you have a flare for the adventurous. Why? It has two lagoons; a long winding sacbeob (mayan paved roads) you must traverse; several Pyramids, including the tallest (Nohoch Mul), in the Yucatan at 42 meters; and crocodiles. All this is under the backdrop of a lush Mayan Jungle. Yes! An archaeologist’s dream. The downside? It’s near Cancun so an extremely long day-trip from Merida!

Ek Balam:

Two hours from Central Merida. Entrance fee: $495 pesos (~$25 US). Expect to take 2 hrs to explore. The takeaway? The Acropolis or the ‘Black Jaguar’ figure that guards the entrance to the 32 meter tall pyramid!  There is also a Cenote (X-Canche) nearby, and this site is within an hour’s drive from Chichen Itza.

Puuc Route:

More a round-trip series of archaeological sites – Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labna.  You can also tack on Two Haciendas (Yaxcopoil & Ocil) and an extensive cave (Loltun) system. Truly, the ultimate Mayan cultural day trip.

Have you visited any archaeological sites in Merida, which was your favourite?

Don’t get bogged down with how many different Authentic food experiences you can have. We were in Oaxaca City for 4 weeks and have tried some of the best restaurants on offer – also many nights of Little Caesars – and hope our experiences help inform yours!

Itanoni – Gotta family-sized appetite?

Great food for the family! The food is affordable,  nearly American-sized portions, and delicious. Best of all, you get a complete view of the kitchen – perfect for authentic Oaxacan IG/TikTok clips! I would say this place is perfect for eating delicious Oaxacan cuisine – on a budget!

Levadura de Olla Bold with a dash of quaint

We went here on an AirBnB Experience and it was the highlights of that tour! This place is all about reviving traditional Oaxacan Recipes and invigorating them with modern flavors. You must try the Stone Broth Soup!

Pan:am – Consider it Brunch’d 

  • Waffles w/berry jam: good & tasty  – 🍓 Jam put it over the top!
  • Molletes w/cochinita pibil (marinated pork): As delicious as is simple. 
  • 🍊Orange  Juice
  • Limonada 
  • Latte
  • Total: $364pesos ($17.85US)
  • Atmosphere: Music reminds me of the kind 60s rock you’ll hear in a diner. Hip! The spacing is well done, but you will always see people in your peripherals – yeah, there are a lot of people. True sign of a good restaurant, right? The food is good and well priced. Not all that hungry? Most meals have the option to cut the standard portion in half w/significant reduction in price.

Boulenc – Absolute must attend!

  • Shakshuka: The sauce was sweet, the bread perfect, and cream cheese put it over the top.
  • English Muffin: this is a sandwich, and the highlight here is the bread. Don’t get me wrong the eggs and cheese 🧀 are tasty as well.
  • Bahn Mi: don’t let the fact it’s completely vegetarian deter you – it’s perfect. The pickled carrot 🥕 makes this sandwich a crunch fest.
  • x 2 Dos Equis
  • Limonada Mineral
  • Total: $364pesos ($17.70US)
  • Atmosphere: This place is packed – Always! But there is a good use of space. I’d say the vibe is hipsteresque: You will see all types of people – mostly tourists – and the music is as cool as it is current, yet somehow not mainstream. Making the above scrumptious meal is just the side-hustle. They make delicious bread (pan) 🍞 first and foremost. In fact, their bakery (next door) has even more customers!

Zandunga – Dinner is served!

  • Grilled vegetables: quite nice 
  • Beef Empanadas: nice and crunchy👌
  • Red & Black mole chicken enchiladas: highlight of the meal – mole was smooth and rich!
  • x 2 Agua Tamarind
  • x 2 Ixtepec Cocktail (jarabe especiado, pineapple 🍍 juice, lemon 🍋, and mezcal)
  • Total: $755pesos ($37.46 US)
  • Atmosphere: Great. Smartly dressed beautiful people. The music is lively – even the rendition of Drake Hotline Bling instrumental was thoroughly Mexican! The food arrived ASAP. The staff were attentive, but knew only a little English.

Pitiona – Go for the vibes; stay for the food!

  • Tostada de Jaiba (crab 🦀 taquitos): Crunchy and the crab was succulent. Dynamite appetizer!
  • Gorditas de Tripa: Thick, grilled and crunchy corn 🌽 tortilla with the “filling” piled on top (instead of inside). The filling was thinly shredded, fried and chewy intestines. Delicious, but may not be for everybody!
  • Tacos de Lechon (pork taco 🌮): It was perfect! Thick cut of pork w/chopped chicharrón (aka crackling) sprinkled on top and a hint of guacamole. Truly the dinner’s highlight; personally, a bit more guacamole would have cut through fat. Unfortunately, this was part of a taco of the day option – I’m not sure this meal will be available on your visit.
  • Albondigas en pipian (shrimp 🦐 meatballs on a bed of mole): The mole was new to me and not my favorite, but I do not want to dissuade you from trying. To be clear, I loved its rich flavour, but could not appreciate the gritty texture. The huge chunks of shrimp and thinly sliced zucchini was the saving grace. 
  • Gasnate: Both my wife and I loved it. Very sweet but not overbearing. Only negative, small portion – it’s not the best option for sharing.
  • x 1 Beso apasionado: 
  • x 1 Limon 🍋 Margarita: 
  • x 2 Limonada 
  • Total: $1,426 Pesos ($70 US)
  • Atmosphere: This place feels fancy, and the people are dressed to impress. And it should, this is one of the most aesthetically beautiful restaurants I‘ve had the pleasure of dining at in Oaxaca City. Whether you eat inside or on the terrace, you will enjoy light music and feel the intimacy – spacing was well done here. There are several different areas on the terrace that provide a different view of the city as well as a sense of VIP, but all areas have a magnificent view of Templo de Santo Domingo!

Casa Oaxaca – Night of laughter and merriment

  • Squash blossoms filled w/ricotta: light, fresh and tasty! Small dish that will leave a powerful impression.
  • Paddle cactus 🌵 and watermelon 🍉 salad (Nopales Salad): beetroot was earthy, and the watermelon clashing w/citrus flavors were spot on!
  • Yellow Mole (vegetarian): Scrumptious! Veggie patties perfect for absorbing the flav-tastic sauce, the veggies were perfect but the broccoli 🥦 stole the show.
  • Suckling Pig 🐖: The veggies, pork, and mole were cooked to perfection. 
  • x 1 Xocontstle Cocktail (pineapple🍍, tuna, mezcal)
  • x 1 Verde es Vida Cocktail (cucumber 🥒, mint, mezcal)
  • x 1 Dos Pasiones Cocktail (passionfruit, apple 🍎, mezcal)
  • x 1 Limonada
  • Chocolate Sierra: A mountain of chocolate well worth the climb – chocolate crisps, rich chocolate ice cream, crunchy cacao nibs, and mint flakes
  • Total: $1,523.00pesos ($74.00US)
  • Atmosphere: we recommend you make a reservation. We were seated immediately, but it seems like you may have a sincere case of FOMO if you’re after a joyous social night. We were seated away from the lively music 🎶 and jubilant laughter coming from the area upstairs. However, this may be a blessing for those seeking a more intimate evening. People were spaced far enough away to be outside our peripherals! The staff were attentive, created a salsa at our table, and spoke English well. 

Los Danzantes – Did somebody say Je Ne Sais Quoi? 

  • Mogo Mogo (fried plantain stuffed w/stew): Rich tomato 🍅 sauce. The beef and plantain combination made for a sweet stew. It cut through the sauce’s creamy richness. Playful!
  • 🥥 Coconut Shrimp w/rice in sweet and source sauce: The shrimp 🦐 was huge! The shrimp 🍤 was crunchy! The shrimp was strong with the coconut 🥥! Personally, I thought the sweet and sour clashed with the coconut shrimp, but it completely compliments the rice 🍚. An absolute pleasure!
  • New York fillet (400g) w/potato 🥔 terrine: It was Medium Rare, and my wife ordered Medium Well. So, I ate it. Yeah my cholesterol is uh terrible! If we talk about what we ordered: definitely loses a point because she doesn’t like her steak pink or bloody. If we are talking about what we got: Succulent! The accompanying potato terrine and salad 🥗were good.
  • Pork ribs in a bed of apple 🍎 & plantain puree: very nice! Loved the tenderness of the meat 🍖 – talking fall off the bone. The apple-plantain flavors made everything spot on – not too sweet, not too smokey. Don’t let the look fool you – it’s good!
  • Chocolate cascade (lava cake): Decadent! Great sharing portion. Vanilla ice cream 🍨 mixed well with the berry jam. Together they blended well with the gooey chocolate and cake.
  • x1 Elegant stranger:
  • x1 Limonada
  • Total: $1,828 Pesos (~$91 US)
  • Atmosphere: This was the 2nd or 3rd most expensive place we ate in Oaxaca City – it is perfect for a dinner date, or small group for after work drinks. The food, vibes and décor make for a perfect place to get dressed up and unwind. Spacing was well done, but there will be people all around you – couples dressed up and groups dressed smart. I suggest you make a reservation – almost guarantee it will be packed. We didn’t, but were able to leave a name and number. We were called 15 or so minutes later. Are you a tourist? I recommend requesting Omar as your waiter. He was delightful – whether anecdotes about Mexico; meal choices; or future tourist destinations!

Criollo – Now that’s smancy. No! The epitome of Fancy.

  • Ground beef garnacha w/picked onions: Crunchy! Deliciousness! Wish I could have had more!
  • Cheese ball on a bed of jalapeno puree: My wife was over the moon when this arrived. Basically, a deconstructed jalapeno popper – the cheese 🧀 cut right through the spiciness!
  • Lentil soup 🍲 w/tomato 🍅 and crispy potato: Great! Potato was crunchy and loved the flavors.
  • Cochinita Pibil: the empanada crust was crispy, and the marinated pork left a lasting impression!
  • Soft Shell crab 🦀 w/chickpea puree: Highlight of the night! The puree was creamy except for a few un-mashed chickpeas, which provided a balancing texture. I’m a seafood junkie and the crab did not disappoint!
  • Plantain and chicken smothered in yellow mole: All three make for a winning combination – great blend of sweet and savory! 
  • Chocolate cake w/chocolate ice cream and bananas: Good. Aside from the presentation, nothing really stood out.
  • x1 Tangerine Margarita
  • x1 Grapefruit Mezcalita 
  • x1 Limonada
  • Total: 2,580 Pesos (~$120 US)
  • Atmosphere: This place is fancy – best fine dining experience in Oaxaca city!  Beautiful and open courtyard – be sure to dress warm during the winter months – on a clear night you will be sure to see stars 🌃. Speaking of attire, dressing smart is the way to go! Criollo has a 7-course tasting menu that changes daily. This means there are at least 7 new reasons why you should dine here; although your reasons will be different than mine, you can still look forward to intimate music, an attentive wait staff and a dynamite drink menu. Yes, the price is steep! That’s why I recommend this place for an expensive date, family celebration/special occasion, or tourist must do! Remember, the meal will be unique, and the experience unforgettable.

Honorable Mentions

Everywhere we go we are told the places you just have to try. These are the places we just could not get to, but hope you try!

  • Tacos de Lechon – small shop that makes the best street-style pork tacos!
  • Marco Polo – A seafood lover’s delight
  • Memela Ladies – The stand is unnamed. It’s called this because sisters have been making dynamite Memelas for 3 generations. Street stand near the San Augustin church
  • La Hormiga (The Ant) – Tortas stand. Makes the best sandwiches in Oaxaca City!
  • Quinta BravaDelicious food!  We took a cooking class and it was a fantastic experience. Dedicated Chef! The restaurant is under construction currently. 

Places you can skip

El Destilado – Intimate Setting w/beautiful decor. The bar food was a miss. Best for a drink!

Gozobi – The food was good, but not great. There is a large terrace, but facing the wrong direction. Decent drink menu. You will have a nice meal. It’s just, nothing WOW’d me here – even the prices were middle of the pack. 

MezzaLuna – Big swing and a Miss!

  • Pesto Fettuccini: the flavors were not right and it was cold
  • Lobster Ravioli: tasty and creamy, but cold as well.
  • Caesar Salad: good. Nothing to write home about.
  • Margarita
  • Limonada
  • Total: $854pesos (~$41US)
  • Atmosphere: This place has a beautiful atmosphere. There were few highlights of this dinner outing: The terrace view was great.  The staff were kind, attentive, and spoke English well. The music was that kind of café jazz that adds without being intrusive. Sadly, our experience failed to live up to the reputation. 

There are plenty of towns you can visit while in Puerto Vallarta. San Sebastian del Oeste was our first trip. In fact, traveling to the surrounding towns – just like this one – is what spurred us on during the work-week.

Roughly 47 miles away; San Sebastian makes for a wonderful day trip, and the perfect retreat when the Puerto Vallartan heat saps your energy or an oceanside swim leaves you feeling more humid than when you began. Why? San Sebastian is nestled high in the mountains; where you can get a much needed injection of cool crisp air, picturesque valleys and rivers, or aging haciendas.

Apparently it is a local prank to remove the mining pick from the statue

Founded in January of 1605, San Sebastian has gone through several transformations to become the burgeoning Pueblo Magicos you’ll see before you. Initially it was a mining town that grew to 20,000+ people in the height of production. What was mined? Gold, silver, and lead.

By 1910, the Mexican Revolution was underway and many, if not most, mines were closed or closing. The city was a ghost of what it once was. Building maintenance and new construction came to a halt.

Nature’s Embrace

Which turned out to be the best thing for San Sebastian. It became a town frozen in time; even the skirmishes between the people of Pre-Hispanic Religions and Christianity were nearly forgotten. Today, tourists – native and international – started returning in droves to taste a bit of history – left behind farms and haciendas, mines, and of course the Church of San Sebastian.

Although is a slowed a bit due to COVID-19, I would say it’s a great time to visit. You pretty much get the town to yourself. Hiking paths are clear and nobody to unintentionally photobomb your must have IG shots.

What we learned on our trip:

  • Right before you drive over the Progreso Bridge there is a bakery called Carmen’s Panderia. It is the best! I would say, “It’s a reason in itself to go on the trip”! To be fair I am a sucker for fats, salts and sugar!

They make bread stuffed with different meats or sweets. We stopped there heading towards San Sebastian and on our Talpa & Mascota trip.

  • Along the winding road leading to San Sebastian is a Hacienda that was owned by Elizabeth Taylor. The legend goes, “She often retreated there during filming of ‘Night of the Iguana’. She loved it so much that she, and Richard Burton, bought it. During production and re-shoots they would throw lavish parties. Now, if you listen intently, you can hear laughter and the popping of champagne”!
  • An affluent mine owner – when production was at its height – was as consumed with security as with miserliness. A real Scrooge! The legend says “The men chosen to transport the ‘ore’ from his mine to the township could only go by night. Upon reaching the secret destination, he and the horse would be corralled into a nearby stable. Waiting for payment, in pitch black, the transporter would be attacked, killed, and buried in order to keep the final destination, and exact amount of gold or silver a secret.”
  • The Main Square is the lifeblood of this town of roughly 6,000 people. There you can choose from several restaurants to get birria, enchiladas, pozole, tamales, and tostadas. Hell they will deep fry a pig in the middle of the street. Carnitas anyone? Nearby, street vendors sell their wares which includes everything from pony rides for the kiddies to a made-to-order Michelada stand. Have a sweet tooth? you can also find cartas and fruit rolls made of agave.
  • The Church of San Sebastian is beautiful! I wouldn’t say it alone is worth the trip, but if you are there and a bit of a completionist…Cool façade and interior’s colors make you feel at peace.
  • San Sebastian makes dynamite coffee! We went to one of the haciendas and witnessed their traditional coffee-making in action.
Where the Coffee Magic Happens

There are quite a few attractions that we did not get to do on our trip, but I would like you to be aware of in case you have a day or weekend you would like to fill:

  • La Bufa Mountain viewpoint – I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see this view, but we didn’t learn about it until after we got back. You know how it goes; chest puffed up while telling your buddies all about the trip like you’ve discovered it or the only person that has ever been there, and then they ask, “Weren’t you just blown away by that view”? Apparently it is a bit further up the mountain (roughly 45mins) and you will need a 4wheel drive, but we’ve been told it is well worth it!
  • Ancient Cemetery – My taste for all things macabre soured after going to the Momias Museum in Guanajuato City. However, if you like to see a cemetery lost in time only to be rediscovered this is just the thing for you! Engross yourself in the atmosphere: ancient volcano, 19th century mausoleum for San Sebastian’s rich and famous, and nature’s embrace proving, if not slowly, nothing last forever.
  • Museums: Hacienda Jalisco & Conchita Encarnacion’s House – Both transport you to a time before electricity (Hacienda Jalisco still refuses to modernize) . The homes belonged to 19th century mining landowners and now serve as a marker in history.

Although you can reach this town by local bus – ATM Red Line (two hour drive) – there is no charter bus with a direct route.

We booked a private driver for the trip, less risky than a group tour with Covid-19 still an ongoing issue. It was a similar price to a group tour, but it gave us a lot more freedom to see what we wanted. We used Jose from Xplore with Chamaco who we’ve booked four times – while in PV – because he’s the best.

This includes a lengthy trip from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco to Guanajuato City, Guanajuato.

Are you fluent in English? Do you want to work within the comfort of your home away from home? Then tutoring English online is a sure-fire way to support yourself in most – if not all – digitally nomad developed destinations. At $10/hr, I recommend Cambly. First, because neither a teaching certificate nor an English degree is required. Second, because no lesson plan is required.

In fact, you could just have a 15-60min conversation with each student. Although, I would suggest developing a plan or style, especially if your goal is to have student consistency or receive the ever-elusive SuperTutor title – a current rating of 4.9 or higher.  

Over the past 4 months, I have had roughly 306 hours of talk-time. I have met 441 students and have had 898 total chats. With a 4.85 current rating, my goal is to earn the title of SuperTutor. This is what I have learned on my journey. I hope this helps and wish you luck on yours!

Tips and Tricks of a Cambly Tutor

Speak slowly. Slower than your usual pace.

The point here is that you will meet people of varying levels of fluency and it is best to ensure you speak to the lowest level. At least, do this until the student has shown themself to understand at a more natural speaking speed. Also, ensure you are enunciating the words. You’d be surprised how much lip reading there is! This is not to say mind the accent, rather to ensure you are pronouncing each syllable because mouth movement assists the student as well.

Verbally Mirroring the student is powerful!

It shows you are listening and encourages them to either re-word the sentence, often providing more context, or continue speaking. When you are first practicing this technique it is best just to repeat the last few words the speaker just said. Once you feel comfortable and have primed them – by repeating the last few words – at least once use any 3 to 5 words of their talking point.

 “Pictures are worth a thousand words.”

5-15mins of my class is about describing an image. Search for topics of varying difficulty on Google Images (ie ‘bike ride’, ‘cooking with the family’, or ‘interior’). Have the student describe what they see in full and complete sentences. Once they have satisfactorily described the image, ask open-ended questions about the topic (ie ‘How does the image make you feel’; ‘What do you think about X’; and ‘What do you think they were doing before – or are going to do after – the image’). Students love it because it is safe; challenging, yet engaging, and there is often a chance to learn new words or phrases. You will like it because there are many avenues for developing natural dialogue. Lastly, it is reusable! You can wait a week or month to reshow the same image and see if there are new ways the same student describes the image.

I find placing my index finger just below my lower lip, when I want a student to pay attention and/or parrot what I say, works very well.

So does cupping one of my ears when I want to hear them say it.

A light and warm smile will take you far.

Sometimes the best response to a student’s statement is a smile and a nod – if your goal is to get them to continue speaking especially.

Exaggerate your gestures.

When the student’s English is minimal, gesticulating can mean the difference between them understanding or not.

I like to ask the following questions to a recurring student.

“How are you doing”; “what did you do since the last time we spoke”; and “what are your plans for the weekend”. These three questions will get the student to speak in the present tense, past tense, and future tense. Feel free to explain why you are posing the questions (i.e. I wanted to hear you speak in past and future tense. Good Job! or here is where you need to improve)

Write out difficult words phonetically.

For instance, you may have a student who has trouble saying the word ‘usually’ so break the word down by syllable. say while typing “use-you-uh-lee is how you say usually”. This can be highly dependent on the student. If you notice it still doesn’t sound right then change up the syllables of the word until it does. Remember to make it clear that they will need to make that sound when they see or want to say that specific word.

  A great auditory method for pronouncing difficult words is to ‘clap out each syllable’.

When I was a child my teacher would have us break up multi-syllable words, thus likely difficult to say, by clapping. take “usually” for example: clap once for ‘use’, ‘you’, ‘uh’, and ‘lee’. Have the student repeat. then you say “once you feel comfortable with each sound, say it as quickly as possible”.  

‘That Reminds me of …’

Makes for a great transition from the planned lesson to natural dialogue. For example, you may be describing a picture of ‘children playing with toys’ and say this reminds me of when I was a kid. Then you can decide to talk about your childhood or have the student speak about their favorite toy as a child. Once you are practiced at this phrase, you can use it at any time – like when there is a lull in the conversation.

Open-ended questions are key to getting the student to open up and provide in-depth answers.

This means asking questions that begin with when, where, how, why, what, and who (i.e. ‘who is your favorite actor and why?’ or ‘When was the last time you went on an adventure and what did you do?’) Keep in mind that this method is difficult for beginners. But, if the reticence is because they are naturally shy then answering the question first will help. Sometimes the student doesn’t know what answer you are looking for, so you going first will provide a frame of reference.

I note the student’s mistakes by typing them out:

“You said: …”; “Correct way: …”; “Common Way: …”; and “Another way: …” is how I get the student to see the error. I ask the intermediate and advanced students to compare and contrast them (i.e. what are the differences between what ‘you said’ and the ‘common way’ it is said).

Ice Breaker Games


Categories (eg. colors, animals, foods) – An efficient way to get the student to say words they know and possibly learn new words. Great opportunity to transition into simple open-ended questions (eg what is your favorite food, what is your favorite animal, or what if your least favorite color) and using a simple sentence structure like subject + verb + complement (ie I like kapsa a lot, I love turtles the most, or I do not like the color green).


Collaborative Story is an engaging icebreaker where the tutor will start with “once upon a time there was …”. From there, the student and the tutor will alternate control of the story by providing a sentence or two. After 4 or 5 rounds complete the story and go over any errors. I have found typing what both they and I said was the easiest way to go over any errors.

I think Mind Meld is an odd icebreaker, but it can lead to interesting conversations. ‘On the count of three,’ both the tutor and student will ‘say a single word’ (eg tutor says ‘animal’ and the student says ‘music’). Then they reset, try again, and will continue until both say the same word. I have yet to mind-meld with a student. The game will likely end in laughter or a topic both find interesting to discuss.


Questions are the Answer – Tutor: “Excuse me, can you give me directions to the movie theater”? Student: “Did you want the directions to the regular theater or IMAX”? Tutor: “Which one is closer”? Student: “Are you driving or walking”? You guessed it! The point of this icebreaker is to answer each question with a question. There may be some stumbling with the student when initially teaching the game. But once you get going it will be as fun as it is challenging.

Links that are great for daily use

Reading comprehension and discussion:

Free English books: 

Tongue-Twisters & Pronunciation:

Verb tenses & Grammar:

Transition/linking words:

Cambly Conversation:

Are you in or planning to visit Puerto Vallarta?

I’m sure you are soon to experience many activities in this burgeoning tourist destination. One of the understated beauties of Puerto Vallarta is that it is a hub for exploring nearby towns. So, if you are looking for a delightful day trip; I would suggest you seek El Tuito, Mayto, and Tehualmixtle (a.k.a Tehua).

El Tuito, Jalisco – “Beautiful Small Valley”

Drive 52km south of Puerto Vallarta – roughly a 90min drive and you will arrive in the quaint farming town of El Tuito. What can I say, this diamond is as rough as the cobblestone-road you will ride in on. However, that is its charm! The people, who embody the modern Vaquero (aka Cowboy) lifestyle, is what makes this place a gem.

Like most, if not all, Mexican towns the plaza is the heart. Here you will see the most activity, whether it is placed to eat; presentations and fiestas; or statues and murals commemorating important local figures and events.

As mentioned before, this is a cattle ranching town. So do not be surprised by the many fine purveyors of panela or jocoque – cheese similar to paneer and yogurt cheese respectively. They often travel to bigger markets like Puerto Vallarta’s Municipal Market of Colonia Emiliano Zapata to sell their wares. In fact, we learned of El Tuito while at this municipal market tour which is part of Gabby’s Restaurant cooking class.

Mayto, Jalisco – “Little beach of love” and Turtle Conservation

This drive is 90km (roughly 2hrs15min) south of Puerto Vallarta. If El Tuito is the appetizer, Mayto is the eye-catching main course. It is amazing!

Why? This place is secluded. The kind of place, not even local tourists visit, much less know about.

The trick? keep the roads unpaved and signs to a minimum. Literally, there is just a Hotel Mayto – a 10 or so room hotel – and a restaurant, both a stone’s throw from the sea. The 7km of beachside is an ecological reserve and turtle conservation – considered the largest and most important on Mexico’s pacific coast. You ought to come here for a weekend to be honest – especially if you are searching for a romantic couple’s retreat.

That said, this is still a great place to spend a few hours soaking up the sun, marking your territory on IG by capturing the perfect landscape photo, or taking a refreshing dip in the crystal blue! Just remember to pack your sunscreen and steer clear of the sand crabs.

Tehuamixtle, Jalisco – Seafood Feast

Last and certainly not least, Tehua Bay is 92km (roughly 2hrs30mins) south of PV. It is the reason why you are this far south and well worth the drive. This is true for two reasons: – Why Addison enjoyed it: A small fishing town known for its seafood. – Why Zahn enjoyed it: a rustic town with a helluva cliffside sunset. Tehuax is perfectly situated within a bay. This makes it a safe and enjoyable place for paddleboarding, kayaking, or swimming. There is also a sunken ship in which to go scuba diving!

Transport options

We were fortunate and found a reliable private driver – Jose – Xplore with Chamaco

He was courteous and is a conscientious driver. The trip cost us 4,200 pesos (just under $200 US) and was an 8hr trip. There are several ways you can take this trip, some of which is much cheaper than our method, and it is worth mentioning that COVID-19 was in full effect so public transport was not felt to be a viable option:-

Driving Own Car or Rental Car
At ~1,200 Pesos ($52.00 US) renting a car is the best option.

However, it’s 90km of winding, often cliffside, two-lane road.

Public Transport
By far the least expensive option. The downside, of course, is the added trip-time. You will have to get to El Tuito – likely by bus – because there are no direct trips from Puerto Vallarta to Tehuax. You would then have to walk to Mayto (roughly 30mins).

Private Driver
The most expensive option and not without its benefits. The driver will likely be Bilingual which makes him/her a great guide, great for local knowledge of things to do and places worth seeing, and hassle-free driving experience. Not to mention a safer option than public transport in terms of COVID-19.

What makes a restaurant great, tell me. Good food, attentive service, and a lively ambiance? Now, let me tell you why Gaby’s Restaurant; in the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta, is great! 


Gaby’s Restaurant has developed a menu that will leave your mouth watering, whether you crave seafood delights such as lobster enchiladas and coconut shrimp; Authentic cuisine like Mole chicken and  Chile Relleno (cheese-stuffed pepper); or traditional and simple desserts like Flan. In other words, the food – From portion size to presentation – will make you hope your stomach is bigger than your eyes. 

There is also an extensive drink menu! 

We have had two great experiences, one by delivery (Ubereats) and the other was by dining in:

  • The delivery: Addison ordered the mole chicken and Zahn ordered the chicken fajitas. The food was piping hot, packaged well, and delicious. 
  • The Dine-in: Zahn had the burrito Gigante. Addison had coconut shrimp and lobster enchiladas! 

Apparently, burritos are not as commonplace – in Mexico – as one might think. In fact, they are considered TexMex. Gaby’s burrito is unique because it is not filled with beans, cheese or rice. If you are looking for a burrito that has been turned on its head I would highly recommend the giant burrito. Fantastic and simply unlike any burrito you will get abroad. 

What else can I say? The enchiladas were a slam dunk and the shrimp was the alley-oop. 


We were treated well from the moment we entered. weaponized with courteous nods and kind smiles, the wait-staff was welcoming, knowledgeable, and attentive. They were just out of line-of-sight standing at parade rest in a way that would remind you of a beef-eater; until of course, you looked in their direction. They would then jump into action ready to provide a service – most likely a refill.


I recommend that you request to be seated on the balcony or rooftop. The view is outstanding. Prefer indoors? Although you will miss out on the wonderful view, the decor and music is immersive! We ate on the balcony at night. Here you get the best of both worlds; the view of the sea and, thanks to a nearby building, a 10m projection of old movies or romantic images. When on the rooftop you get an unrestricted view of the bay. 

The. Gaby’s Restaurant Je Ne Sais Quoi!

The most important aspect of the restaurant is its history. Gaby, restaurant owner, and Chef Julio, a lawyer turned lauded Puerto Vallarta chef, sit on the shoulders of giants! Their Grandfather left El Tuito to start a new life in Puerto Vallarta. Being one of the first to establish himself in this fisherman’s town turned sprawling city, he quickly acquired land and renown to eventually become its respected mayor! Their Grandmother and Mother turned the home – that is now Gaby’s Restaurant – into a luncheria (a mom and pop shop). 

Long story short – they are welcoming you into their family & home when you enter Chef Julio and Gaby’s restaurant; the waiter invites you to sit, and they present your meal. As you enjoy the first bite and savor the last, you are tasting this family’s 30-year history. So; sit back, take in the sea, a nod to the waiter/waitress, and order that third drink because you are at Gaby’s casa.

Learn to Cook at Gaby’s Restaurant!

Lastly, Gaby’s Restaurant offers a 5-hour cooking class. You will learn how to make five different salsas, mole chicken, and Chile Relleno. The best part of the whole experience was the walk to the local market (Mercado Municipal Emiliano Zapata) to see how the locals get their flour/corn tortillas and shop for meat, veggies, and fruits. 

In light of the recent events in America, we wanted to share some resources for anyone that would like to educate themselves on racism, inequality, and white privilege.

If you feel saddened by what’s going on in our world and want to help we believe the best way to do that is by educating yourself, use these resources, and find your own, there is so much good stuff out there.

I have received a lot of questions from my English students about what is going on, why the protests are happening, and a plethora of other well-meaning questions about being black. And while it is great to see so many people taking an interest and the time to ask questions, I am only one person and I’d encourage you to do your own research. Talking to people is a perfectly legitimate option but don’t make it your only option

Here are some resources and social media accounts you might find helpful.

First off if you don’t believe white privilege is real or don’t understand what it means, watch this video.

Be the Bridge

“Be the Bridge places a lot of the focus on listening to and learning from people of color. But there’s also some important internal work that white people need to do as well. When white people don’t understand some of the basic tenets of whiteness, it’s hard to fully engage in the work of racial reconciliation.”

They have a range of links and tools available, some that we found particularly useful were:

Rachel Cargle and the Great Unlearn 

Rachel offers a monthly self-paced, pay what you want syllabi.

She has also created a free document to guide readers through gaining knowledge of various heartbreaking cases of police brutality and murder in the United States. You can find that here.

“This document is to be used like a syllabi — an introduction to the work but not the work its self. 

Value to the black community is not simply in the knowledge you gain but the action you take to ensure black bodies are protected. “


Follow @ohhappydani on Instagram 

She creates the most amazing illustrations breaking down thoughts and ideas for the more visual learner.

If you have found something particularly helpful we’d love for you to share it in the comments.

As a US citizen regardless of if you are in the country to not or paying taxes to another country, you need to file your US taxes while you are overseas.

After neglecting my US tax obligations for years while in New Zealand before we left New Zealand and hit the road I knew I had to take my head out of the sand and get it sorted.

I had been in New Zealand for over 5 years without filing. Luckily there is a process for Americans in this situation – the Streamlined Process so I’m guessing it’s not uncommon. It doesn’t come cheap but it allows you to catch up with your US tax filings without facing any penalties nor any undue scrutiny by the IRS.

How much does it cost?

I’m sure it’s possible to do it yourself and save some coin but I chose to have an accountant do it which set me back $1,276 for the Streamlined Process plus the current years return.

Wondering if you qualify for the Streamlines Process?

To qualify for this amnesty program you must

  • File your last 3 federal tax returns
  • File your last 6 FBARS (Foreign Bank Account Reports), required in years when you had over $10,000 in foreign accounts
  • Pay any taxes due (often nil, once you claim one or more expat exclusions)
  • Self-certify that your previous failure to file was non-willful  (conduct that is due to negligence, inadvertence, or mistake or conduct that is the result of a good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law.

How does it work?

I filled out a quick form online at BrightTax! and scheduled a call with my assigned CPA to give them the lowdown on my situation, they confirmed I’d be eligible for the process and once I paid the 30% deposit (balance due on filing) we got underway.

I had to supply information for the past 5 years including:

  • Employer name and address
  • Dates of employment 
  • Income
  • Taxes paid
  • Deductions and expenses

I was a little bamboozled at first and reminded why I had put this off for so long but eventually figured out it was actually pretty simple and I could get all of my records from the NZ Tax service IRD and I was away laughing.

I happened to submit return during peak tax season in the states so it took close to six weeks for BrightTax! to complete but off-peak you’re looking at only 2 – 4 weeks to wrap it all up.

I was relieved to find out I didn’t own anything to IRS, phew!

What happens next?

The completed Streamlined paperwork needed to be mailed to the IRS in Austin, Texas. Being in Sayulita, Mexico where there is no post office and in the middle of a pandemic, this was the most difficult part. We ordered a DHL to collect the package for $33 on a 3-day delivery service. The next day we received a call from a lost driver, he couldn’t find our casa and didn’t speak English so we had fun trying to direct him to our location. Once he arrived we handed over the envelope and the waybill and he asked for some pesos, umm but we paid online? We showed him the receipt and whipped out Google translate to explain we’d already paid but he insisted that it hadn’t been. The transaction was showing as pending on our bank statement (in transit between our account and DHL’s) so we gave the driver the benefit of the doubt and paid, again to send the taxes to the IRS.

We’ve contacted DHL twice and not even an acknowledgment of the email so we aren’t holding our breath to get that money back.

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