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Old 04-12-2013   #46 (permalink)
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Thanks for the banking tips, but the tax tips do not apply, I am paid in cash, so to speak so I'm not a part of that system..
You are now
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Old 04-12-2013   #47 (permalink)
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Just kidding, it's an old 1990's middle class joke..
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Old 04-14-2013   #48 (permalink)
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Hey NMA, welcome to the PDC club of young people that are able to support themselves without being chained to a desk and hours commuting in a car -- there are MANY of us here. There's actually a nice little group of us forming here, with all kinds of tech/web/entrepreneur backgrounds, and there's a social gathering at least once a month for people to network and make new friends. You'll do just fine.

I first moved to Mexico when I was 28, by myself, to Puerto Vallarta from Portland, OR. I had been there a handful of times before making the decision to move, and many of my motives were the same as yours. Most of my friends thought I was nuts, and tried to talk me out of it. One of the most memorable attempts was, "Mexico?? You know they're killing themselves to get up here, right?" My decision was made, and I remained undeterred, despite having some anxiety spells as I sold off and gave away virtually every possession I had but my car and a few personal items, which were stored at a friend's property in the country.

I had a substantial savings to live on, but I did work a little in the 4 months I stayed in PV. During that time I simultaneously fell in love with and began to hate so many things about living in Mexico. The things that other people on this thread are trying to warn you about in terms of red tape, local customs, complete effing insanity when it comes to how/why things are/aren't done, those are all pretty common things that tend to rub us Northerners the wrong way. Some days you laugh, some days you cry, and some days you gotta laugh so you don't cry. How much it all gets under your skin is very subjective, and not something anyone else can gauge for you. You'll learn soon enough.

You have more than enough income to survive here, even if you do what most young'ns like us do and party for the first month or two. You're going to be meeting a lot of people, exploring a lot of places, learning the ins and outs of life in Playa. Partying can be cheap or it can be expensive, and I'm sure you'll find your happy medium after trying out a variety of places. Based on your posts, you seem earnest and astute enough to make it work. And like many people have already said, worst case scenario: you don't like it and you go back to the States. Or you start planning the next leg of your journey. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how your wanderlust begins to flourish after living abroad for a little while. The sky is the limit.

For banking, I would recommend you check out Charles Schwab. My boyfriend and I both work and are paid online, and Schwab is an entirely online bank, save for the one branch in Colorado and one somewhere else I can't recall. Their free checking account is attached to a free brokerage account, and all your ATM fees, whether foreign or domestic, are refunded every month. They are excellent in terms of fraud protection, and customer service. I found that out quickly when my fella and I moved to PV together last year. I used my Schwab debit card to pay for dinner the first night we were there, and my numbers were stolen. Schwab was on it the very next day to check up on suspicious activity on my debit card (I did tell them I would be traveling in Mexico, but the attempted charges were made at an auto parts store), and immediately canceled the card and sent a new one at my request. I went back to the States to get it on a trip back within 3 weeks, but you could certainly have it sent FedEx (or other service) with no problem if you ran into an issue. Not a single complaint do I have with Schwab in the last 2.5 years I've used them, and I've used virtually every other big US bank there is.

I think you'll dig Playa. There are plenty of like-minded people in our age group here, and everyone seems to have something unique they bring to the table. Just being in proximity to the beautiful Caribbean Sea while rubbing elbows with people from all over the globe is enough for many of us to keep chasing our dreams. We have a fantastic Spanish tutor when you decide you want to jump into learning the language, and there are plenty of other ways to acclimate in whatever areas of interest you may have.

Word of advice: never urinate in public. Not only will it quickly get you noticed by the policia, it's just so gauche. You stay classy, kid, and everything else will be fine.

Last edited by scubavixen; 04-14-2013 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 04-14-2013   #49 (permalink)
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Travel can be the best of our ongoing educations, and it sounds like you have an open attitude and willingness to embrace all of those great things we want from a transformative experience: culture, new friends, art, good food, finding and being overwhelmed by a place of beauty…but it is, just as often, a matter of location. Recall the old saying, “wherever you go, there you are.” This might sound a bit cheesy, but sometimes the change we’re looking for is internal, not external. I type this in the gray heart of Ohio where winter refuses to leave, so perhaps I’m more than a bit jealous? Yes, I am. For sure.

I’m not much of a patriot, at least not of the “USA!” chanting variety, but I must say that some of the negativity you’re picking up on might be due to the way you’re expressing your anti-American sentiment. Given your place on the food chain, it seems misplaced and arrogant. Here you are born in one of our greatest cities; you've acquired an education and employment which allows you the means to travel extensively, an ultimate luxury. Yet everything from your username to the tone of the criticisms expressed in your first post lack acknowledgement of the opportunities you've achieved here. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m glad I can also express the frustrations and criticisms I have of my native country (and often do). I dunno. I’m reminded of the end of a cool poem by Lee Briccetti titled “Something Useful:”

Quote:
You really were born here and that is enough to get you started,
to make you rapturous and ready to fall in love again with,
among other things, the fabulous bread of your fortunate life.
Best of luck on your travels. I hope you find what you're looking for.
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Old 04-14-2013   #50 (permalink)
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Travel can be the best of our ongoing educations, and it sounds like you have an open attitude and willingness to embrace all of those great things we want from a transformative experience: culture, new friends, art, good food, finding and being overwhelmed by a place of beauty…but it is, just as often, a matter of location. Recall the old saying, “wherever you go, there you are.” This might sound a bit cheesy, but sometimes the change we’re looking for is internal, not external. I type this in the gray heart of Ohio where winter refuses to leave, so perhaps I’m more than a bit jealous? Yes, I am. For sure.

I’m not much of a patriot, at least not of the “USA!” chanting variety, but I must say that some of the negativity you’re picking up on might be due to the way you’re expressing your anti-American sentiment. Given your place on the food chain, it seems misplaced and arrogant. Here you are born in one of our greatest cities; you've acquired an education and employment which allows you the means to travel extensively, an ultimate luxury. Yet everything from your username to the tone of the criticisms expressed in your first post lack acknowledgement of the opportunities you've achieved here. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m glad I can also express the frustrations and criticisms I have of my native country (and often do). I dunno. I’m reminded of the end of a cool poem by Lee Briccetti titled “Something Useful:”



Best of luck on your travels. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Hey, much appreciated.. I'm truly far from arrogant, and while I know I am fortunate to be born in America, I'm also completely disgusted by the American government and the system in general, for many many reasons which I won't get into right now, other than to say I am very informed and actually embarassed to call myself an American anywhere outside the US

With that said, I have busted my ass, spent 80k on an overpriced education and cannot seem to surpass the 40k mark if my life depended on it.. Because of this, as well as the forementioned things, I am in search of a better quality of life somewhere else.. Life in America is about nothing more than acquiring items. I am all about acquiring knowledge and while I enjoy certain material goods, I am a simple person in that aspect. I like expensive jeans, good food and a tempurpedic bed - other than those luxuries, I don't require shit and I don't need a 5k home theater to be happy. I dri ve a Mercedes and while it is an amazing car, I ****ing hate the assumed persona that comes along with it, I am actually embarrased to drive it sometimes, lol.. And while I'm sure that seems weird to most, thats how I am.. I'd rather spend my money on experiences, travel and supporting small, local businesses.. There is not enough for me in America to remain sane, and everything is wayyyyy too comercialized for me.. Most people are so far removed from nature and the reality of America's horrible and failure bound path down the drain that I simply cannot relate to most people.. I have a completely different motive than the system wants me to have, so I have decided to leverage my advantage and get the hell out of there.. This is the ONLY way I will ever be happy, by leaving.. Most people totally cannot relate to my motive, and I understand.. But for me, its what I need to enjoy my life..

Thanks again for your input, maybe we will cross paths down there sometime!
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Old 04-14-2013   #51 (permalink)
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Hey NMA, welcome to the PDC club of young people that are able to support themselves without being chained to a desk and hours commuting in a car -- there are MANY of us here. There's actually a nice little group of us forming here, with all kinds of tech/web/entrepreneur backgrounds, and there's a social gathering at least once a month for people to network and make new friends. You'll do just fine.

I first moved to Mexico when I was 28, by myself, to Puerto Vallarta from Portland, OR. I had been there a handful of times before making the decision to move, and many of my motives were the same as yours. Most of my friends thought I was nuts, and tried to talk me out of it. One of the most memorable attempts was, "Mexico?? You know they're killing themselves to get up here, right?" My decision was made, and I remained undeterred, despite having some anxiety spells as I sold off and gave away virtually every possession I had but my car and a few personal items, which were stored at a friend's property in the country.

I had a substantial savings to live on, but I did work a little in the 4 months I stayed in PV. During that time I simultaneously fell in love with and began to hate so many things about living in Mexico. The things that other people on this thread are trying to warn you about in terms of red tape, local customs, complete effing insanity when it comes to how/why things are/aren't done, those are all pretty common things that tend to rub us Northerners the wrong way. Some days you laugh, some days you cry, and some days you gotta laugh so you don't cry. How much it all gets under your skin is very subjective, and not something anyone else can gauge for you. You'll learn soon enough.

You have more than enough income to survive here, even if you do what most young'ns like us do and party for the first month or two. You're going to be meeting a lot of people, exploring a lot of places, learning the ins and outs of life in Playa. Partying can be cheap or it can be expensive, and I'm sure you'll find your happy medium after trying out a variety of places. Based on your posts, you seem earnest and astute enough to make it work. And like many people have already said, worst case scenario: you don't like it and you go back to the States. Or you start planning the next leg of your journey. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how your wanderlust begins to flourish after living abroad for a little while. The sky is the limit.

For banking, I would recommend you check out Charles Schwab. My boyfriend and I both work and are paid online, and Schwab is an entirely online bank, save for the one branch in Colorado and one somewhere else I can't recall. Their free checking account is attached to a free brokerage account, and all your ATM fees, whether foreign or domestic, are refunded every month. They are excellent in terms of fraud protection, and customer service. I found that out quickly when my fella and I moved to PV together last year. I used my Schwab debit card to pay for dinner the first night we were there, and my numbers were stolen. Schwab was on it the very next day to check up on suspicious activity on my debit card (I did tell them I would be traveling in Mexico, but the attempted charges were made at an auto parts store), and immediately canceled the card and sent a new one at my request. I went back to the States to get it on a trip back within 3 weeks, but you could certainly have it sent FedEx (or other service) with no problem if you ran into an issue. Not a single complaint do I have with Schwab in the last 2.5 years I've used them, and I've used virtually every other big US bank there is.

I think you'll dig Playa. There are plenty of like-minded people in our age group here, and everyone seems to have something unique they bring to the table. Just being in proximity to the beautiful Caribbean Sea while rubbing elbows with people from all over the globe is enough for many of us to keep chasing our dreams. We have a fantastic Spanish tutor when you decide you want to jump into learning the language, and there are plenty of other ways to acclimate in whatever areas of interest you may have.

Word of advice: never urinate in public. Not only will it quickly get you noticed by the policia, it's just so gauche. You stay classy, kid, and everything else will be fine.
Awesome, I'm glad to hear that there's more than a handful of people my age doing the same in Playa.. Most of my friends think I'm crazy to move to Mexico, some think it's a genius idea.. The thing I hear most is about "how dangerous" it is, and my eyes are beginning to hurt from rolling in response.. lol..

I know I will be happy more than happy there and while I expect challenges, I welcome them because it'll be the price I have to pay for my own personal paradise..

I will check into Charles Schwabb, thanks for the heads up..

Also, I genuinely look forward to meeting with the remote workers, designers, writers, marketers and programmers.. I would really, ideally, like to organize a business that can be ran via the web by leveraging one another's skills.. Something to think about at some point maybe if anyone else is interested..
I hope to meet you guys!

Last edited by NoMoreAmerika; 04-14-2013 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 04-14-2013   #52 (permalink)
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Hey, much appreciated.. I'm truly far from arrogant, and while I know I am fortunate to be born in America, I'm also completely disgusted by the American government and the system in general, for many many reasons which I won't get into right now, other than to say I am very informed and actually embarassed to call myself an American anywhere outside the US

With that said, I have busted my ass, spent 80k on an overpriced education and cannot seem to surpass the 40k mark if my life depended on it.. Because of this, as well as the forementioned things, I am in search of a better quality of life somewhere else.. Life in America is about nothing more than acquiring items. I am all about acquiring knowledge and while I enjoy certain material goods, I am a simple person in that aspect. I like expensive jeans, good food and a tempurpedic bed - other than those luxuries, I don't require shit and I don't need a 5k home theater to be happy. I dri ve a Mercedes and while it is an amazing car, I ****ing hate the assumed persona that comes along with it, I am actually embarrased to drive it sometimes, lol.. And while I'm sure that seems weird to most, thats how I am.. I'd rather spend my money on experiences, travel and supporting small, local businesses.. There is not enough for me in America to remain sane, and everything is wayyyyy too comercialized for me.. Most people are so far removed from nature and the reality of America's horrible and failure bound path down the drain that I simply cannot relate to most people.. I have a completely different motive than the system wants me to have, so I have decided to leverage my advantage and get the hell out of there.. This is the ONLY way I will ever be happy, by leaving.. Most people totally cannot relate to my motive, and I understand.. But for me, its what I need to enjoy my life..

Thanks again for your input, maybe we will cross paths down there sometime!
I’m sorry, but are you being deliberately ironic? I don’t mean that question to be rude because I think you’re being sincere, but I can’t think of another way to ask it. Surely you can see the contradiction of despising the commercialism of your native country and then embracing the very symbols of a consumer culture you claim to want to move far away from? Expensive jeans? Is there a more ostentatious signifier of the Ugly American you hope no one traveling might accidentally mistake you for? A Mercedes? No self-respecting hipster on the precipice of an early mid-life crisis and looking for his lost soul in the Western night would choose such a tight-ass, suburban trust fund vehicle for the road trip (at least you have the good grace to be embarrassed by it). And what makes you think that many, many folks in Mexico, ex-pat and native alike, aren't actively pursuing these very symbols of wealth? You overpaid for your education and now you cannot hit the salary sweet spot? Compared to whom? If you don’t care about accumulating material goods why should a low salary matter ---especially if it affords you the luxury of travel?

I’m not knocking you for wanting to live in Mexico and explore parts unknown. It’s admirable and adventurous and I wish you all the good luck in the world. Just don’t exempt yourself from a consumer culture which has clearly shaped you more than you want to admit (especially when you toss it out there with the charge that the rest of us in “Amerika” just can’t relate). As for comfy, top of the line mattresses in Playa…well, the beach loungers are excellent.
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Old 04-14-2013   #53 (permalink)
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I’m sorry, but are you being deliberately ironic? I don’t mean that question to be rude because I think you’re being sincere, but I can’t think of another way to ask it. Surely you can see the contradiction of despising the commercialism of your native country and then embracing the very symbols of a consumer culture you claim to want to move far away from? Expensive jeans? Is there a more ostentatious signifier of the Ugly American you hope no one traveling might accidentally mistake you for? A Mercedes? No self-respecting hipster on the precipice of an early mid-life crisis and looking for his lost soul in the Western night would choose such a tight-ass, suburban trust fund vehicle for the road trip (at least you have the good grace to be embarrassed by it). And what makes you think that many, many folks in Mexico, ex-pat and native alike, aren't actively pursuing these very symbols of wealth? You overpaid for your education and now you cannot hit the salary sweet spot? Compared to whom? If you don’t care about accumulating material goods why should a low salary matter ---especially if it affords you the luxury of travel?

I’m not knocking you for wanting to live in Mexico and explore parts unknown. It’s admirable and adventurous and I wish you all the good luck in the world. Just don’t exempt yourself from a consumer culture which has clearly shaped you more than you want to admit (especially when you toss it out there with the charge that the rest of us in “Amerika” just can’t relate). As for comfy, top of the line mattresses in Playa…well, the beach loungers are excellent.
I guess I didnt properly explain what I meant.. I was trying to convey that those are the 3 "material" things I have, nothing more.. I have a fast, safe, high quality car because I'm into cars, not because it's a status symbol. I truly enjoy its performance, thats all..

The car is getting sold, and I am coming to Mexico with a badass laptop, some clothes, some cash, and sandles.. Thats it and I plan to acquire nothing more except a tan and maybe a cheap scooter to ride around..

Btw, I like nice fitting jeans and a comfy ass bed as well, so kill me.. I'm very sure I care much less about any material items than you do.. And thats just me being honest, no rudeness intended..

i was born and raised in a consumer culture, I know that.. But at least I realize it, don't like it, and want to get away from it.. I know it is not completely absent from Mexican culture, but it is a lot less prominent there...

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Old 04-14-2013   #54 (permalink)
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I guess I didnt properly explain what I meant.. I was trying to convey that those are the 3 "material" things I have, nothing more.. I have a fast, safe, high quality car because I'm into cars, not because it's a status symbol. I truly enjoy its performance, thats all..

The car is getting sold, and I am coming to Mexico with a badass laptop, some clothes, some cash, and sandles.. Thats it and I plan to acquire nothing more except a tan and maybe a cheap scooter to ride around..

Btw, I like nice fitting jeans and a comfy ass bed as well, so kill me.. I'm very sure I care much less about any material items than you do.. And thats just me being honest, no rudeness intended..

i was born and raised in a consumer culture, I know that.. But at least I realize it, don't like it, and want to get away from it.. I know it is not completely absent from Mexican culture, but it is a lot less prominent there...
"Consumer culture" is a lot less prominent in Playa del Carmen? OK....
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Old 04-14-2013   #55 (permalink)
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Awesome, I'm glad to hear that there's more than a handful of people my age doing the same in Playa.. Most of my friends think I'm crazy to move to Mexico, some think it's a genius idea.. The thing I hear most is about "how dangerous" it is, and my eyes are beginning to hurt from rolling in response.. lol..

I know I will be happy more than happy there and while I expect challenges, I welcome them because it'll be the price I have to pay for my own personal paradise..

I will check into Charles Schwabb, thanks for the heads up..

Also, I genuinely look forward to meeting with the remote workers, designers, writers, marketers and programmers.. I would really, ideally, like to organize a business that can be ran via the web by leveraging one another's skills.. Something to think about at some point maybe if anyone else is interested..
I hope to meet you guys!
This group may be of interest to you.

https://www.facebook.com/coworkingplaya

Buenas Suerte with your move!
Maureen
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Old 04-14-2013   #56 (permalink)
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"Consumer culture" is a lot less prominent in Playa del Carmen? OK....
I'm not talking about tourists, I'm talking about in general.. Are you trying to tell me that Playa Del Carmen is more materialistic than Chicago or Miami? The people in Playa are as stuck up and self-absorbed as in The United States? I find that very hard to believe.. I think Mexico in general is much more humble than the US, am I wrong?????
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Old 04-14-2013   #57 (permalink)
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I'm not talking about tourists, I'm talking about in general.. Are you trying to tell me that Playa Del Carmen is more materialistic than Chicago or Miami? The people in Playa are as stuck up and self-absorbed as in The United States? I find that very hard to believe.. I think Mexico in general is much more humble than the US, am I wrong?????
The way I see it, the city of Playa del Carmen in general pretty much revolves around the materialistic tourists from Chicago, Miami and elsewhere. The tourists bring their "consumer culture" with them, and from what I have seen, Playa del Carmen is happy to cater to it, and in spades. I just can't see how you plan on escaping from it while living there.

As far as the people who currently live there - well, I would imagine that you are going to find a good sampling of all types, including those who are just as stuck-up and self absorbed as you find here.

But I'm just a materialistic tourist from Chicago, so that and $2.25 will get you a ride on the L.
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Old 04-14-2013   #58 (permalink)
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I'm not talking about tourists, I'm talking about in general.. Are you trying to tell me that Playa Del Carmen is more materialistic than Chicago or Miami? The people in Playa are as stuck up and self-absorbed as in The United States? I find that very hard to believe.. I think Mexico in general is much more humble than the US, am I wrong?????
Harsh.
Generalized.
And a bit offensive.
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Old 04-14-2013   #59 (permalink)
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I guess I didnt properly explain what I meant.. I was trying to convey that those are the 3 "material" things I have, nothing more.. I have a fast, safe, high quality car because I'm into cars, not because it's a status symbol. I truly enjoy its performance, thats all..

The car is getting sold, and I am coming to Mexico with a badass laptop, some clothes, some cash, and sandles.. Thats it and I plan to acquire nothing more except a tan and maybe a cheap scooter to ride around..

Btw, I like nice fitting jeans and a comfy ass bed as well, so kill me.. I'm very sure I care much less about any material items than you do.. And thats just me being honest, no rudeness intended..

i was born and raised in a consumer culture, I know that.. But at least I realize it, don't like it, and want to get away from it.. I know it is not completely absent from Mexican culture, but it is a lot less prominent there...
How can you tell?

And if you really want to make this experiment work, maybe you should go all method, you know, Thoreau-style?

Quote:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
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Old 04-14-2013   #60 (permalink)
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Hey, peeps. Cut the guy some slack. While he's never actually spent the night in Playa, he's done research!!! He's GOT to know what the people are like who live there, right????

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May I ask... how much time have you spent in Playa??
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... You want the honest truth? ZERO.. I've been to Cancun a few times and have been through Playa once when visiting Tulum, but that's it. However, I've done my research .....
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