Tom Peterson was born in New York, New York, and grew up in that area of the northeast until he decided it was time to start a new life in San Francisco, California, where he moved at the age of 24. During his first two years living in the Bay Area, he considered new careers in landscaping, carpentry, opening an ice cream shop, a bar/restaurant, and leading unique tours of San Francisco, among other things. What he really enjoyed most was the five trips he took across America those first two years, taking a different route, vehicle, and fellow travelers on each trip.
Before long he had adventured to all 50 states in the U.S. and decided it was time to see more of the rest of the world. His careers in the airline, film, video game, and technology industries, marketing communications, internet telephony, online sports instruction, and higher education businesses, much of it in international business development, opened the door for travel to many countries around the world.
But he longed to live in another country, learn another language, and immerse himself in the culture and with the people of a land much different from the one where he grew up. Looking south to a country he always loved, but to a part of it he had never visited, he moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a 16th-century colonial city in the historical heartland of the high desert mountains of central Mexico, in October 2015.
Living there and loving it for more than a year and a half, Tom felt like he had many interesting stories, and much valuable information to share, with anyone considering traveling to one of the most beautiful, extraordinary, and romantic places in the world.
I obviously was not reading all of the right travel magazines prior to 2015, when I first heard of San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, in the mountains and historical heartland of central Mexico. If I had been I would have known of this still fairly well-kept secret of a jewel much sooner. Among many other best in the world awards San Miguel de Allende (usually just referred to by locals as San Miguel) took 3rd place on Travel + Leisure’s 2016 “World’s Best Cities” list. With a score of 91.19 out of 100, Travel + Leisure explains how San Miguel de Allende qualified for their list: “Readers ranked cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value. We’re looking for the whole package—history, culture, exciting cuisine, modernity, antiquity, and everything in between. It sounds like a tall order, but the world’s best cities offer these attributes and more. San Miguel de Allende has seen a significant transformation in recent years… A UNESCO World Heritage site, it possesses a certain mountain-town charm that not all cities have: its friendly local feel is matched only by its energy and festivals. As one T+L voter described, ‘the plaza is their living room. It’s an art lover’s paradise.’ In addition to 3rd place on the overall World’s Best Cities List, San Miguel also placed as the number one city in Mexico, Central, and South America!” Other World’s Best Cities lists that San Miguel has been included on recently include those from CNN, Condé Nast Traveler, Luxury Travel, and Luxury Living magazines.
If you are interested in the geography and weather in San Miguel, as most travelers are when planning a trip, the municipality of San Miguel de Allende is located in the far eastern side of the state of Guanajuato. It has an average altitude of 1,870 meters (6,135 feet) above sea level. The climate in the area is mostly temperate and semi-arid, with temperatures averaging 22 °C (72 °F). Summers are moderately hot, with a rainy season that generally produces sporadic thunderstorms, similar to tropical locations like Florida and Hawaii, but without the humidity. Winters are very moderate. Moving here from the San Francisco Bay Area, and having now been through almost two full years of weather, the best comparison I can make is with the weather in Oakland, CA. For those not familiar with the Bay Area microclimates, Oakland is warmer and drier than its neighbors, San Francisco and Berkeley, because it does not get the fog from the Pacific Ocean and the Bay, and it is not as hot as the surrounding communities only 10 minutes away, because the hills keep it cooler. It has been said that Oakland has the best climate in the U.S., never humid, or too hot or too cold, and, having been to all 50 states and every major U.S. city in my travels, I believe that is true. That is almost the same climate that we have in San Miguel, except with warmer, milder evenings and mornings. As I said during all of my years living in the Bay Area, and continue to say in San Miguel, “another gorgeous day in paradise”.
Having lived most of my life, prior to moving to Mexico, in the New York City metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area of California, I was never more than a short drive away from an ocean and a beach, and loved seeing sunrises and sunsets (mainly sunsets, my favorite time of the day) over the water. I knew that by moving to San Miguel I would be giving up my close proximity to the ocean, but an expected delight has been the spectacular sunsets, on a nightly basis, from any rooftop in San Miguel, and even out my bedroom window at home.
Since the large lake in the area, La Presa, lies to the west of the city, and there are no tall buildings in San Miguel, the routinely enchanting sunsets can be seen from almost anywhere, usually going down over the water.
Are you excited about planning your next trip?
Do you want to try something new while traveling?
Would you like some guidance from a local?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this book is just for you.
Greater Than a Tourist San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato,
Mexico by Tom Peterson offers the inside scope on San Miguel de Allende. Most travel books tell you how to travel like a tourist. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, as a part of the Greater than a Tourist series, this book will give you travel tips from someone who lives at your next travel destination.
In these pages, you’ll discover local advice that will help you throughout your stay. This book will not tell you exact addresses or store hours but instead will give you an excitement and knowledge from a local that you may not find in other smaller print travel books. Travel like a local. Slow down, stay in one place, and get to know the people and the culture of a place.
By the time you finish this book, you will be eager and prepared to travel to your next destination.