Thank you to all our new followers! Do you know all our sites?

Twitter Profile and cover imageIt’s been a great November, and it’s not even over. Thank you to all our new followers across our site and social media network for Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me. Between new email subscribers to this website (you can sign up directly from our sidebar) who get every post in their inbox, new RSS subscribers, new members of our Uruguay Expat Life Community forum, new followers of our @UruguayForMe Twitter, new people who’ve followed our Google+ Pages for Uruguay For Me (the more “just the facts” page) and Uruguay Expat Life (the more open-ended and personal/anecdotal one) in their G+ Circles, and new Facebook Page followers, that’s well over 100 new people this month.

Uruguay Expat Life - Community - Google+ 20141120 410 membersOur, no, your, Community, broke through to more than 400 members this week, after less than a year and a half in existence. Our Facebook Page broke through over 800 people who Liked and Followed it, and one of our posts got well over 700 people reached, with no “pay to play” to Facebook for you to be able to see it. That’s due to your interest, sharing, and engagement with our articles and posts. Lots of new Twitter followers, several new people Circling our Google+ Pages (those Pages are not the same thing as our Google Community – the Community is where you can post your own questions and topics!)

We’re grateful, looking forward to hearing from you in our free Community, in your emails via our Contact Us form, as comments on our Facebook and G+ Page posts, and in your replies and retweets to our Tweets. Also remember, there’s a Comment section at the bottom of every article on this website, and it uses the same ID you already probably have for commenting on so many other sites on the web.

Follow some of them? Why not follow all? We don’t always post the same things – each part of our network has a slightly different feel and style. Plus, cool ways to automatically get our newest articles – via email and RSS.

feed-icon-28x28Use our RSS feed to put all our website posts automatically on the front page of your custom web portal like My Yahoo, or in the Feedly or similar Reader apps for iPhone and Android, in the LinkedIn Pulse news aggregator, in Live Bookmarks in Firefox, or in RSS extensions in Chrome that let you follow the latest from all your favorite sites.

Favorite sites including Uruguay Expat Life and Author Susan Joyce's Lullaby Illusion blog shown on My Yahoo!

You almost certainly already have a Google ID of some kind (Android phone, tablet, Gmail account, YouTube comments, Picasa photos, Google Drive…) so why not join our Community – you don’t heed anything else new, Continue reading »

Now offering Booking.com savings & convenience direct from Uruguay Expat Life!

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Booking.com logoWe’re proud to have partnered with globally known and highly respected discount hotel booking service Booking.com to provide you with one-stop convenience for booking all your hotels for your Uruguay visit. Starting today, you can book hotels in Uruguay, or anywhere in the world, right from our site. Use the banner ad above to go directly to Booking.com‘s main website, or the handy search box in our sidebar. We’ve helpfully pre-populated it to search for hotels in Uruguay, but you can change that to any country, city, region, or attraction you like.

We, Lisa Mercer and Mark Mercer, have used Booking.com many times ourselves, both for our original exploration of Uruguay back in mid-2011, our so-called Uruguay Reality Check trip, and for the hotel stays before and after our temporary seasonal rental here in Atlántida. We’ve used other services, and many of them also are good, Continue reading »

Join the Community

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Uruguay Expat Life isn’t just a website, nor a social media page. It’s also a vibrant, interactive, online web forum. Free to all, open to all. Unlike so many of the other Uruguay-based social media “groups”, it’s not hidden from the public and it won’t be. So you’re free to browse it without being a member, to learn from what our hundreds of Community members have posted. Free to join it to ask your questions, start your own topics, have private Hangout conversations as text, audio, or video chat with others, post live GIFs, if they’re relevant or at least funny!)

Plus, we welcome Company/Business Pages to join and participate, as long as they don’t spam. That’s impossible in old-school Facebook Groups. Do you, or your business have a relevant-to-Uruguay blog? Feel free to share your updates. Just please write a customized intro, relevant to expats/immigrants in Uruguay. Write about teaching English as a foreign language, in Uruguay. Tax issues, for expats in Uruguay. Not just for expats in general. Got a blog about your life in Uruguay? Fine to share your posts, as long as you also engage on them with meaningful intros, comments and replies to other members’ comments. We’re not going to ban you just because you link to something. As long as you don’t spam.

Who is “we”? Your hosts – the publishers of this website, author and sports fitness expert and travel writer Lisa Marie Mercer, and writer, technologist, traveler, and Former Corporate Tool™ Mark Mercer. Heavily moderated against Spam, lightly moderated otherwise. Continue reading »

Uruguay Basics – 1 of a new series

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Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo

Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo ©2011 Mark Mercer

Starting a new series of posts here at Uruguay Expat Life, with just the basics. We get lots of questions in our email, social media. and other channels. Much of it keeps coming back to some of the same questions. Our several years of posts have touched on most of the regular questions, but have been in the context of larger stories, anecdotes, photo essays, commentary on news articles, or other topics.

 

 

 

Let’s start with some real basics. These will get admittedly simplified answers, but are some of our top questions we get directly, or see others asking on Uruguay-related sites.

Basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

  1. Can I visit Uruguay?
  2. Can I move to Uruguay?
  3. How much money do you need to have to move to Uruguay?
  4. What do I have to do to move to Uruguay?
  5. Can I bring my household items to Uruguay?
  6. Will my <fill in the blank> work in Uruguay?
  7. Can I bring my car to Uruguay?
  8. Can I bring my pet to Uruguay?
  9. Can I use my credit/debit cards in Uruguay?
  10. Can I get a bank account in Uruguay?

Each of those is worth a “basics” or a longer, full, post, by themselves. Many of them Lisa and I have addressed in existing posts, so please search via your favorite search engine, or the handy on-site search widget at the top of every page. Also look for our posts at our social networks, which have handy widgets on the sidebar to help you get to them. But let’s take a quick shot at each.

Answers to basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

Continue reading »

Uruguay’s election – final week campaign color

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We continue our eclectic, non-citizens but informed-residents, coverage of the Uruguayan national elections. Again, from the perspective that as immigrants legally resident in this welcoming nation, we have an obligation to learn how things are done in our new country. Just the same as we expected, when living in the USA as native-born US citizens, that legal immigrants to the USA should do. Learn how the system works. Learn and use, at least to a basic functional extent, the dominant language. Be part of it to the extent you are legally allowed – think about how it impacts you. Learn from your neighbors. Read, watch, listen to the local media in the local language.

In the past few weeks we’ve had some vocal “expats” criticize us for writing about the Uruguay election, as if it were supposed to be none of our business, none of any expat’s business. Sorry, we’re not that kind of “expat” and we’re glad we’re not. What’s more important is we’ve had Uruguayan friends thank us for covering it. Friends telling us that they appreciate how we are presenting some detailed and balanced information of how Uruguay’s representative democratic republic actually works, to the English-speaking expat/immigrant audience. Neighbors happy to get into political discussions with us, or to explain how the mechanism of the vote works. We’re gratified that our amigos and vecinos appreciate our interest and our election coverage, and we feel that you, the readers of our site who are considering moving to Uruguay, in the process, or already living here, need to understand its political environment and process. That’s why we share it with you.

Certainly if you ever want to become fully part of Uruguayan society and culture, you should be aware of its system of governance. Whether or not you plan to get citizenship or just remain as a resident, or even just do the “visa hop” (we don’t recommend that, and for most it’s not even a visa, but it’s disrespectful to the country), you will be living here. Paying taxes indirectly or directly here. Hopefully making some friends here beyond just expat circles. Perhaps employing people here, maybe starting a business here, possibly working in a job here. Learn about your new country. We’re learning, we’ve almost certainly getting some things wrong, but we’re trying to understand, and sharing what we learn.

First, let’s look at many of the colorful campaign banners and booths all over town. In Centro, at the weekly feria, out in front of the big supermarkets, on lampposts and phone poles, and on houses all around town, there are signs of the election almost everywhere in our medium-sized modest beach town of Atlántida.

What is the actual process of casting a ballot here, you may wonder. How does a Uruguayan citizen vote? Continue reading »

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