Ventanas Mexico

Resources for full- or part-time life in Mexico

Provides a blog promoting living in Mexico and promotes books on learning Spanish and how to rent in Mexico.

The Joy of Tech: Tools for the Two Country Lifestyle

 

We may deny it, but secretly those of us over 50+ would love to keep up with "digital natives." What we hate is the extra investment of time required to make up for childhoods that didn't even include e-mail. 

You tell yourself that you are going to sit down and watch some of those social media or technology tutorials on YouTube, right?  That’s what I told myself too. Without a driving need, it gets pushed back.

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Until I had a goal and a fun, necessary application for what I learned, those tutorials always were carried over as something to do the next day, “When I’m fresh.” When I did do it, lack of practice caused me to forget whatever it was I learned within a few months. Not very motivating when you have to go back and re-learn it, even if it comes back to you.

Learning new technology to prepare for living in Mexico is probably how people feel about learning Spanish when they're considering moving to Mexico.  You put the studying off waiting until you get here, when you need it. 

Technology, like Spanish, is the wind beneath your wings when you live in Mexico. The sooner you learn to navigate them, the better off you'll be. 

When you live in Mexico, if you haven't kept up with technology, your relationship will have to change.  For one thing, keeping up with people back home usually takes more effort. You also have to do your own trouble-shooting since people to help you will not be as available. For me, every time I arrive to the U.S. or to Mexico, it takes about a week for everything to work the way it's supposed to.

Traveling, living and perhaps even working in another country part or full time can make you excited about using communication tools to a degree you have never experienced before.  WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, photo-editing software, on-line learning courses and social sharing sites become more of your life.  

Let's say you decide to write a book or start an online business like photography from abroad.  Having a website or blog to promote it will carry you down all kinds of electronic paths as you learn how to market yourself online.  While admittedly frustrating at times, maintaining a website is gratifying and can be an artistic outlet.

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You also have to try to keep up with the vocabulary of technology.  

When things started really taking off with online technology in the 90's, I resisted. What I discovered was my lack of vocabulary was disabling; I couldn't even describe the problem I was having to someone trying to help me.  I still struggle with that.

Fortunately, videos and forums have improved our resources, giving us material to study and a way to drill down to the basic terminology and move up from there. We can google a word like VPN, then google every word in the definition, and go back, back, back to the most basic word. 

Is it fun?  Usually not!  Yet it's crucial that those of us over 50 do it as much as we can stand. Whenever I get stuck troubleshooting a glitch, or lost in some tech help website where I have forgotten what my original question was and want to walk away,  I think back on a story I read some years ago.

The author was describing his elderly mother.  She no longer wanted to stay at hotels because she could not get used to not using an actual key to get into the room. The sliding entry card threw her. Little by little, she had lost touch until she couldn’t operate in our society anymore.  I know similar older folks who are stuck with cable channels because they never worked their away all the other ways to rent a movie, like YouTube, Amazon and iTunes.

The point is not that we need Netflix. The point is that these newer forms, and their content keep us more up-to-date. Sometimes an old technology they knew has disappeared, like albums, and they never learned how to download music. If taking the time to learn new forms keeps music in your life, I'd say that's worth the time.

None of us want to ever be the woman with the hotel key.  The technical requirements to maintain a vital two-country lifestyle ensures that you never will be. 

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Related Links:  You and your laptop, your beating heart, in Mexico - Ventanas Mexico

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Hola - I'm partner with Ventanas Mexico and author of the "Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online," a curation of the best Spanish language tools on the web, linked and organized into lesson plans. 

Don't be one of those expats who doesn't speak any Spanish!  You can learn post-50!  Get started today with the book's lesson plans or create a new plan every day.  Study from your laptop, e-reader or tablet. 

Click to purchase

You'll also need a longer-term stay to test the waters, that's where my new book, "If Only I Had a Place" is a must, giving you a system for renting well year after year.  The book also gives you a listing of rental concierges to preview your prospective house or apartment.

Renting in Mexico is different, with advantages and disadvantages for the expat. Know both sides and get the best deal with "If Only I Had a Place.