Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

You can create most of this for yourself at a modest cost in Mexico City, in fact, it's what I did for the last 2 years. For the cost of my mortgage in suburban Atlanta, I rented a very large luxury condo in the heart of the hottest urban neighborhood, including service suite. Earthquake proof building, with just a few very rich neighbors (including a novella actor and expensive airbnb). 24/7 security and valet.

For about $600/month, I hired a live-in cook/head of household named Maria. She handled all the shopping and cooking, including fresh fruit every morning when I woke up, and a large mid-day meal. She made my bed every morning once I was up, and reminded me to do things that needed to be done by me.

Maria was only about 6 years older than me, but fit easily into a mom role. A mom that was never judgmental, and always sweet and accommodating. A true friend, who I could pour my heart out to if necessary. In the evenings, she played guitar and sang, which made it easy to forgive her for listening to the same pop female playlist on youtube almost every day.

For another few hundred per month, I got Denise, who would come in 3 days a week to handle all the laundry and cleaning, and help with meals and shopping. I tasked Maria with managing Denise so I didn't have to, including making her schedule and making sure she was doing what she needed to do.

During those 2 glorious years, during which I worked from home, from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I went to bed at night, I didn't have to do anything at all at home other than work or have fun. My meals were provided. My bed was made. My house was always spotless and sparkling. The fruit in the morning was always fresh, and the food in the afternoon was always delicious.

I'm constantly surprised that more people in my kind of position don't relocate to Mexico.

After a couple years I got fed up with the pollution and decided to do the digital nomad thing for awhile, which is why I've been in Europe all summer and headed to Bali and China in the fall.

I can relate to some of that, but is that really what the life of the lazy wealthy westerners degenerates into? Shouldn't we be longing for some kind of collective, inclusive new community living spaces, taking inspiration from kibbutz not ritz?

I once though digital nomadism was part of a solution to the cancerous formations we call "cities", but maybe that's just newspeak for neo-colonialism?

Neo colonialism? It's just leveraging an imbalance between markets at the expense of the imbalance itself. If more wealthy people go to a place to leverage their market advantage in a location, that market advantage pretty rapidly begins to disappear. It's beneficial to all parties involved, and consented to by all parties involved. Colonialism is not by consent.

By no means am I implying that you offer negative intentions by your comment, but the “beneficial to all parties involved, and consented to by all parties involved” line was once how some described the system of chattel slavery in the United States. Let all actors speak for themselves.

Colonialism, past the initial brutal conquest, has little to do with consent. Empires could not stand very long on brutality alone; they stand also on the consent of the victims.

I do not doubt that all involved parties do consent (although some more than others).

I am more skeptical about market advantages disappearing, as I've rarely seen any exemple of this that was due solely to market equilibrium, and I therefore consider this a fantasy -- indeed, I doubt market laws but I do not doubt the laws of psychology that make popular the ideas that are needed to justify domination (oftentimes by both ends), however remote from reality.

But maybe am I myself the victim of some lesser known psychological laws that makes me too suspicious? I'd gladly accept this possibility if we agreed not to start a thread that's been too political already.

> I'm constantly surprised that more people in my kind of position don't relocate to Mexico

> After a couple years I got fed up with the pollution

You addressed your surprise

Not everywhere in Mexico or everywhere cheap is polluted. I don't even think most Americans know that Mexico City has a lot of pollution. That's definitely not the reason.

Well the same thing can be done (minus the hot urban social aspect) all over the place in Latin America and other places as well.

I'd guess that's $800 for services, perhaps $2K for rent, and depending on lifestyle around $700 for food, drinks etc in CDMX. There's a type of deal-hunting digital nomad that would laugh at $3.5K/mo being called "modest" but the author is correct: it's quite achievable for many types of remote workers or ex-pats.

It's common for higher-end apartments in Mexico City to have a room for a live-in maid (often on the roof). These quarters are very small, often just big enough for a cot when you account for water heaters or other equipment mounted in them. I don't think I could pay someone to live in such a small space. (Yes, I know it could be a step up from wherever they're living now.) To be 100% clear, I don't know that that's what this post is describing; also some people/cultures are raised with this arrangement and so aren't bothered by it.

You are right that many of the of older high-end apartments have these tiny rooms on the roof for the staff, but I found that repulsive. The place I got was in a new building and had a proper service suite inside with a decently-sized bedroom and nice bath.

> After a couple years I got fed up with the pollution and decided to do the digital nomad thing for awhile, which is why I've been in Europe all summer and headed to Bali and China in the fall.

I left China a couple of years ago because of the pollution. We could have had a similar lifestyle 10 years ago, but today labor costs are a bit too high in a first tier like Beijing. We might consider Kunming, Guilin, or even Lijiang after our kid grows up (southwest China has the best weather).

I always wound up meeting a few digital nomads whenever visiting Bali.

What destination have you selected in China that has less pollution than Mexico?

99% of China’s territory has less air pollution than Mexico City.

The pollution is the tough part there. Despite the great weather normally.

Have you found anywhere else comparable that isn’t insane expensive?

> the hottest urban neighborhood

This could describe a number of neighbourhoods in Mexico City. But I'm quite interested - could you direct me to any resources? E.g. how did you find the condo?

We’re you able to drink the tap water after that amount of time?

Nobody drinks the tap water in Mexico City. Most people either buy water cooler bottles at the local store, use portable filters, or if you're lucky get a filtration system installed.

I think that’s true of anywhere in Mexico - at least it was for me in Baja California.

Most countries don’t have drinkable (pottable) tap water, actually, rich developed countries excepted.

Montenegro is not rich. Same applies to surrounding countries, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia. Tap water is drinkable all over the region.

Do you have a source for "most countries"?

https://lifehacker.com/know-what-countries-guarantee-drinkab... and https://i.redd.it/q428xlnjh2f21.png

Looks like unsafe dominates safe to me, by far. In the America’s, only Canada and the USA have potable water. In Asia, it’s only South Korea, Japan, and the rich city states (HK, Singapore, Brunei). In Africa, nothing, in the Middle East, just Israel.

Europe is the exception, but then it’s mostly just the EU countries. Serbia and Croatia aren’t listed as having safe drinking water (I assume it’s the pipes that are of concern, not source, like first tier Chinese cities).

Serbia and Croatia are probably just not listed due to lack of data or something. I drink the tap water there and so do locals. It's fine, never got sick.

I was drinking Serbian water straight out of standpipes on the mountains this summer. Not dead!

> Serbia and Croatia aren’t listed as having safe drinking water (I assume it’s the pipes that are of concern, not source, like first tier Chinese cities).

Croatian here. It's not the pipes, it's just nonsense. Tap water is perfectly drinkable in Croatia and, as far as I'm aware, of great quality.

I've also traveled and stayed in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria (in addition to already mentioned Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro) and no one mentioned anything about not drinking tap water.

The link you provided seems to be very unreliable source of information.

They are based on information from the CDC. If you have better maps that you use for your travels, please link. Not that I travel at all in eastern/south Eastern Europe, so “don’t drink the water unless in developed country” works well enough for me (I mostly travel in Asia outside the USA).

Here's what CDC.gov says about Croatia:

> Food and water standards in Croatia are similar to those in the United States. Most travelers do not need to take special food or water precautions beyond what they normally do at home.

So no, it's not based on CDC.

Both maps are just wrong. The reality is, 70% of global population has drinkable tap water, here's the data: https://data.unicef.org/topic/water-and-sanitation/drinking-...

Drank tap water in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, China, Egypt, Sri Lanka even the US and I am still here. I think it's more that you can't automatically assume if it comes out of tap it's safe. I was in Bulgaria this year and looked into it: there were like three villages with not safe water in the whole country. A lot better than the lead problem in the US. Ask people around, google and smell the water. It's probably fine.

A lot of places in Spain have safe water, but it often tastes so chlorinated you don't want to. When I was living there earlier this year, even after showering in the morning it smelt like I'd been to a swimming pool. I guess it's better than a high chance of getting sick if you have to drink the tap water though...

This map is wrong/inaccurate. Tap water is drinkable in Bulgaria too.

If you look k at the HDI, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_D... , the middle countries are Jamaica, Tunisia, Tonga. Quick searches indicate water is safe to drink but possibly not vot tasty on these places.

I don't know about "most countries" - at least, I believe it's OK to drink tap water in most of Europe and Scandinavia.

Yes, it’s pretty common in much of the developed world.

But if you think about it, it’s a pretty big waste of resources to use water purified to the point of being safe to drink for showering, filling toilets, watering the garden, washing the car, etc. The vast majority of the water you use doesn’t need to be drinkable.

Only one system of pipes and AFAIK there is nothing particularly labor or energy intensive about producing potable water (in temperate climates).

According to https://i.redd.it/q428xlnjh2f21.png, only much of Europe (EU mostly), not most (by population or area if Russia is considered).

There are lots of places where you can live like a king off the service of poor people in a country with a bad economy. (Hell, you can do it in the States)

How much was rent?

About 2700 USD

China is not exactly pollution free.

That said, how much was your room in Mexico?

I'm sure parts of China are - it's a huge country.

For example, I visited Guilin a few years back, and there wasn't any detectable pollution (I'm asthmatic, so I really feel it where pollution is bad).

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact