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Living in Tijuana, Working in San Diego

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Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Athens, GA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:13 am    Post subject: Living in Tijuana, Working in San Diego Reply with quote

I have always had a desire to live in a Spanish speaking country (in order to be immersed in the language and become fluent). I have also always had a desire to live in southern California. I have become aware of the increasing numbers of Americans who live in Tijuana (because you can live in a VERY nice 1 bedroom apartment for about $300 a month, compared to about $900 in San Diego!), and drive to San Diego for work every day.

I have never been to Tijuana, and I know that I have heard some things about it not being a very safe place to live (although there aren't many "safe" places anymore). I was wondering if anyone knows a lot about Tijuana. Would you consider it a safe-enough place for a 22 year old girl to live in an apartment alone?

Also, what are the best, safest spots of town? I would not be moving there until about a year from now, but I was also looking for someone else who may be interested in living there so that we could either be neighbors or roommates, and have some sense of familiarity while we are starting off!

I would GREATLY appreciate it if all of you could share what you know/have experienced about Tijuana. I live in Georgia, and have only visited the west coast once, so I am pretty much clueless.

If you do not think this is a great idea, are there any other ideas you could think of that would allow me the luxury of both a Spanish speaking country and the US, all at the same time?

Please either respond through this message board or email me at!! Thank you!!
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Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Tijuana, BC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:17 am    Post subject: Living in Tijuana Reply with quote

I am a white American citizen. I moved to Tijuana when I was 22 years old, and have now been here for going on 17 years. I have never regretted my decision to come here. During most of that time I have commuted to different jobs in San Diego, although I have also taught languages here from time to time.
Perhaps because I speak Spanish and do not actively look to start problems, I have never had trouble with the police or anyone else. In fact I am convinced that I have gotten out of several possible public intoxication charges because of the novelty of my being a Spanish speaking gringo.
I would strongly reccomend Tijuana. It is cheap, California has too many restrictive policies on things like smoking, Tijuana does not, and the people are friendly.
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Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject: Living in Tijuana Reply with quote

So here is my personal opinion about living in Tijuana. It is by no means authoritative or correct.

I went to college in San Diego, and lived there for 5 years. I absolutely loved it, and would reccommend it to anyone. Although the idea of living in Tijuana and working in San Diego is very romantic, in my mind, it is not very feasible for the following reason. Commute time. Since 9/11 (and even before that), it is increasingly timely to cross the border going back into the US. Going into Mexico takes 2 minutes, but coming back across takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours in line. This does not include the commute from your home in TJ to the border crossing, nor does it include the drive to your job in SD. All told, I think you would average a 2 hour commute into SD. I knew some kids at school (USD) who did this, and they had to routinely leave at 5 am to get to the middle of San Diego by 7:30-8. If this sounds ok to you, then go for it. For me, this is my idea of hell. Traffic like this is terribly agravating and I think it would drive me crazy. If you work a 9-5, you also have to deal with SD traffic to the border, which can take about 45 min - 1 hour from downtown. Again, ridiculous.

Other than that, Tijuana is potentially "safe". It depends on you. I have been robbed at knifepoint (I am about 200 lbs, 6 ft, and dress like I have no money at all when I go to TJ) He stole my watch, 3 dollars, and my cell, which was all I had on me. I know he wasn't trying to harm me, just take money off a rich (they all think we are rich, and in many ways are) kid from the US. I was also a little too drunk for my own good and put myself in a bad situation. I hold no malice in my heart toward TJ or Miguel for this robbery, but it does happen. Hardly a person I know has not had a run-in of some sort with someone trying to take advantage of them or the Federales trying to plant something (weed, coke) on their person during a search. Bascially, you need to be very careful and on your guard. Most people are great. It is the few that you need to be careful of.

Additionally, with gas costs, I really don't think that the $600/month savings on rent is that great. Gas is very expensive in SD and it will add up fast. San Diego has some amazing neighborhoods, and I lived there for an average rent of $600/month with my own bedroom, sharing with a roomate. Not too bad. I lived 2 blocks from the beach and surfed or scuba dove almost every day.

The only real reason in my opinion to go to Tijuana is to work on your Spanish. This is legitimate, but will cost you a lot in aggrivation. You could live close to the border on the US side, or in certain spanish neighborhoods in SD to get a similar effect. (remember, most people in TJ speak english better than you speak spanish. They often seem to get tired of your failure.)

I would personally rather move to Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile, etc, which are dirt cheap to live in, and language classes run about $100 per week. Working there would be more beneficial than working in SD anyway. You get a double dose of Spanish.

So, if you have any questions, give me an email back. I'm sure others have had different experiences, and maybe the border situation has changed (it's been about 2 years since i made those trips).

I hope this helped.

Scott Humphreys
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Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not live in Tijuana! It is the shithole of the world!
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