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La Paz Coastline Baja
4 Apr

I Love Baja! Pursuing the Dream of Living in Mexico – A Book Review

I Love Baja! by Mikel K. Miller, and Reviewed by William B. Kaliher

I Love Baja Book Review
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 2010 (USA)
280 pages, 38 photographs

I first visited Mexico in 1964. Through on-going visits, I came to know the country well.  With that background I fear I’m too critical of others’ work concerning that nation. However, Mr. Miller’s book quickly caught my attention.  I Love Baja! is a worthwhile read for anyone planning to visit or retire in Mexico, especially in Baja.

Baja contains two states, Baja California and Baja California Sur, the latter being the only Mexican state I’ve never visited.  Miller tells his story and enlightens via a series of entertaining tidbits and anecdotes’. Through the author’s eyes  the reader experiences the lifestyle, obstacles, positives and negatives encountered by native Mexicans as well as expats on the Baja.

In the first forty-five pages Mr. Miller did the best job I have encountered blending Spanish with English without being ostentatious.  I will reread those pages to learn how he managed that feat so deftly.

Secondly, despite my knowing mainland Mexico, the people and culture backward and forward, I realized I knew next to nothing of the million Americans and Canadians living in Mexico.  To discover how fellow expats resolved auto-problems to gathering together for exploratory forays into other parts of Mexico was eye opening to me, the solo traveler.

For potential retirees and explorers, the most important information in I Love Baja concerns purchasing real estate and health care. There are slight differences with these subjects between Mexico proper and the Baja, but the basic information is solid.

I was most impressed with Mr. Miller’s grasp of how U.S.  economic problems impact Mexico. The potential investor should pay particular attention to his insights. I have witnessed numerous economic crises in Mexico and the blow can be financially devastating for investors unprepared for temporary drops in the economy or evaluation of the currency.

The health care and cost information Miller provides are invaluable and a pleasant surprise for people new to Mexico.  His advice on insurance is excellent. The examples he provides of personal visits to Mexican physicians, clinics and hospitals will definitely put the newcomers’ mind at ease concerning both costs and quality of care.

From my early experiences in Mexico, I never gave much thought to restaurants beyond the fact they improved since the 1960s. Mikel Miller enlightened me on this front too.  I loved his review of restaurants. I plan to use his rating system for places I encounter in the future.  While the reader might rightly consider, food quality, location, hours, etc. most won’t consider: what kind of live music can you expect in your restaurant in the USA? That is only one example of what Miller examines that might surprise someone new to our southern neighbor.

My lone criticism of I Love Baja is its publication date of 2010. While the data is still on target, I’d have loved to have a more recent evaluation. A quick internet search revealed a pleasant surprise. Others recognized the same need and the book had been updated in e-book form. Still, I prefer hardcopy and a reader can count on the information in the 2010 edition.  For a pleasant, often humorous escape into Baja grab this book (or the e-book).


I Love Baja! Pursuing the Dream of Living in Mexico
By Mikel Miller
Publisher: (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico)
Original eBook ©2011, updated eBook ©2015
Kindle Edition, $1.44 US

About The Reviewer:  This article shared by William Kaliher, author of Mexico By Motorcycle, an adventure story and guide.