This article is from the December 2005 - January 2006 The Mexico File newsletter.
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Book Review
Head for Mexico: The Renegade Guide

by Don Adams

2003, $23.95, 351 pages, paperback. ISBN: 1553695623. 

Reviewed by Ingvald Mjonerud Hansen 

I promised the author nearly a year ago that I would write a review of his book. However, I broke my promise to the writer of this outstanding book on traveling and retiring to Mexico. I had several really good reasons. Honestly! 

It was not my fault, but the bookís fault. My wife and I have been planning our retirement in Mexico for several years. We have one entire bookshelf full of the most popular books written about retiring to Mexico and additionally thousands of copied pages printed from the internet which fill two and a half drawers of a filing cabinet. These resources cover every possible aspect related to retiring in Mexico. But Donís book was different from the whole lot. Instead of reading the book in preparation for a review, I read it avidly as one who is planning to make the move of a lifetime.  

Iíve read this book three times from cover to cover, because, really, it is three different books in one. The first time through, I read it for its wonderful entertainment value. Don is a first rate story teller. He has a gift for spinning a funny yarn and providing useful information at the same time. I found myself laughing out loud and rereading certain passages to my wife. Packed between the pages is his strong personal philosophy regarding those who retire in Mexico and how they behave once they have settled into their new environment. The book reveals a wisdom learned by someone who has been in Mexico for a while and has taken the time and effort to become in the community and individual lives of Mexicans he has come into contact with. He has insightful and practical advice to help anyone who wants to make a happy and fulfilling adjustment to the Mexican community. 

The second reading was to glean from the stories, poetry, and wisdom the information that one would need to make their Mexican move. I armed myself with colored highlighters, note cards, and pencils. I read through the book again more carefully, looking for that information that would help facilitate my permanent move. I highlighted everything that I thought I would have to know. I made notes in the margins about the websites Don recommends for further information. I also used colored PostIts for anything I felt was of particular significance. I made sure to keep the book handy since there was always some question I wanted to check out in the index. 

The third read-through of Donís book was the final planning stage. I used his book as a practical planning guide. I listed all the page numbers on the inside of the jacket cover that contained recommendations that I had to complete before I could make the move. As I finish this review, my wife and I, along with our dog, are planning to be on the road within twenty-four hours, driving, this time, to Mexico for the first time. Donís book will be the last thing we pack so that we can retrieve it quickly when needed. I am sure it will be needed.