The Queen of Plan B



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By Susan Fogel

The adventure starts here! You kissed the cubicle job goodbye, held numerous garage sales, sold the ole homestead, packed the car, and headed south.

The dreams of sipping icy Margaritas with your feet in the sand are about to come true. Well, after a lot of paperwork, overcoming obstacles, and struggling with the lingo, the Margarita lifestyle will eventually happen for you. How long that takes depends on many factors.

Andi Maynes, owner of the new concierge service, “LuvLaPaz”, is one of those factors.

“My husband’s job took us all over the world”, says Maynes. “Our first posting was in Peru. We did not know the language; we did not know the culture, and we did not even have coat hangers!” Sometimes it is the little things that can bring you to tears. How do you unpack and hang up your clothes if you did not bring hangers and none are to be found in town?

Everything was new, and everything was an adventure for Andi because she made it that way. She explains, “I could have stayed home and complained and moped about what I did not have, as many expat spouses did. Or I could get out there, meet people, learn about my new home, and make my stay interesting, pleasant, and fruitful.”

In Peru she started holding coffee dates for newcomers. In Hong Kong, she sold real estate. In Saudi Arabia, she had a driver and could get out and see and do things.

“I wanted to enjoy the experience and experience the difference.” In every country where she was plopped down; she opened her eyes and her mind. “While the countries were varied, the issues and obstacles for trailing spouses were the same everywhere.”

Andi and her husband Bruce came to La Paz to finally settle after retirement. She has been here two years, but a little less than eight months ago, Bruce died. On her own, Andi had to call on the personal strengths that helped her become an active part of the many communities where she had lived. She maneuvered through dealing with the medical system and the death of her lifelong companion and the paperwork involved. “And I did it myself.”

She can help you navigate the final illness and death of a spouse, help you if you are in a health crisis, or need a caregiver. The mission of “LuvLaPaz” is to help newcomers and settled expats move smoothly through the sometimes confusing and oftentimes frustrating paperwork of Mexico.

Andi is fluent in Spanish. She will accompany you to TELMEX, CFE, and Telcel. Do you need a maid or a gardener? Do you need to know the protocol for working properly and respectfully with your hired help? Andi can help. She held workshops in Hong Kong for expats on how to interact with their maids. She is not going to just hand you a list of resources and wish you luck. She will attend to your needs and get you through the system.

What sets Andi apart from many others who offer some of these services is that she has been in your shoes–new to town, unable to speak the language, and having to setup a home in a place where little was familiar.

“I know what newcomers and settled expats have experienced, are experiencing, and what they need. I have had to do this, over and over again, in many countries.” She goes on to say, “I am the Queen of Plan B.” By this she means that she has learned to be culturally adaptable. Whether it is substituting ingredients in a recipe, understanding what she could expect from others around her, and to not apply her privileged American standards to another culture.

“I will drive you to the doctor and translate for you. I will be politely persistent with government and service people to ensure follow-through.” Andi’s mission is to help newcomers get settled and involved and on the right path to a lovely retirement. And she knows that there are still issues for settled expats that she can assist with.

Andi plans some half-day workshops for newcomers and settled expats. Call Andi, send her an email, friend her on Facebook.

Facebook: LuvLaPaz.

Email:       Andi@luvlapaz.com

Cell:         044 612 348 1498

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