By: Tony Brogdon | SanDiegoReader.com
What is your perception of Baja, Mexico?
Perception is the truth, as we know it.
If all you hear is negative about Mexico, then your perception is going to be negative. As one of the fortunate people to call Baja my home I know and appreciate how wonderful it can be living here. Thousands of Americans live in Baja and enjoy in many ways how the US was to live 50 years ago outside the gated communities.
I can remember growing up as a child when we burned our trash, built bonfires on the beach next to a family tent, popped firecrackers year round, where we always waved at all strangers and they waved back and smiled, where having a lemon aid stand in our front yard was a sign of entrepreneurship, when you could ride in the back of a pickup, and when you as got your car filled up with gas someone would check your air in your tires, your oil level and clean your windshield. Baja is not only a great place to retire due the lower cost of living, but also because of the slower pace of living. Life is more basic here including getting your gas (propane) delivered and backup water in large tanks called pilafs. Your drinking and cooking water is in similar 5-gallon containers as in the US except the cost, which is just over $.50.
A good example of such a life is a gated community strung along the coast between Tijuana and Rosarito called San Antonio Del Mar. It is how American’s can come to Baja and live next to the beach, enjoying the nightly sunsets with a background of the Coronado Islands. Each home is unique and is from 600 square feet to over 6000 square feet.
Tuscany it has a rich history and has streets with ancient cobblestone with a 15-mile per hour speed limit. It is a very quite place to live with the number one sound being the sounds of the waves coming ashore on the beach. If you prefer extremes in temperature, this would not be a place you would want to live. The ocean keeps the temperature an average 10 degrees below and 10 degrees above 70 degrees all year long. Personally after living in Baja for 2 years now I don’t miss the extreme cold winters or the extreme hot summers elsewhere.
At the northern tip of San Antonio Del Mar and across the scenic highway is a resort called Real Del Mar which has many things world class resorts have including an ocean view golf course. If you show up at noon you can practice with a bucket of balls on the driving range for $5. At 2 pm Sunday through Friday you can play 18 holes including golf cart for $25. The service is the same at much higher priced resorts.
A few miles south is Rosarito with a modern shopping center which features a food court that includes a Subway Sandwich and a Burger King. It has a theatre you can enjoy current first run movies for $3.50 and large popcorn for $3 while stretching your legs in a wide isle super modern theatre. The center also features a Super Wal-Mart, Home Depot and an Applebee’s. It has several modern Hair Salons’ that do family haircuts including a professional men’s haircut for $5. Rosarito is a resort town with many enmities you would expect such as fine restaurants and hotels and pristine beaches where you can rent a horse for $10 for ½ hour ride on the beach. The further south you go you will find a beautiful coast lined with resorts and gated communities and oceanfront restaurants with great food and entertainment.
Many people´s perception of Baja and even Mexico is walking across the border, catching a taxi to Revolution Avenue and its many tourist attractions. In city of over 2 million people Tijuana is extremely diversified as any world-class city of its size. For example, there is a suburb, which recently grew from zero population to over 300,000 in 5 years. It is very modern and has modern housing, Shopping Centers and is cultivating an emerging middle class. The regions factory production and technology goes far beyond what many are aware of. My partner William Yu and I through an entity called Ground Floor Technology work with medical Tourism companies in which 300,000 people get various medical treatments every month. We also work with an organization called Tijuana Innovadora (Spanish for Innovation) to promote and educate the general public of the many innovations, which Baja provides to the local, and International Community.
Since perception is the truth, then the truth about Baja, Mexico is that it’s a wonderful, safe, affordable, place to visit, retire too and live strong.