(Darrel S. writes...)
Saw in your newsletter that you are headed to Port Isabel, TX. We were thinking of going to south Texas, also, but concerned about the Mexican violence there. Both Fed and State have issued travel alerts near the Mexican border. Just interested in how you may have overcome any concerns.
Coleen, the working while RVing editor replies:
When planning to go to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter, the Mexican border violence really didn't factor into our decision. I believe that most of the violence happens at night. We've never gone to the Mexican border towns at night, and we didn't plan to this winter. I also believe it happens in parts of the areas that we, as American tourists, have no business going.
We spent about six weeks in Port Isabel. We felt safe there. Like any community, they have crime. However, I don't know of any violence there that was related to the drug cartels or the Mexican violence that you ask about.
We also visited Brownsville, as well as some of the other towns in the area. We felt safe there, too -- in the parts of those communities we went to and during daylight hours.
We did alter our plans some after we arrived in south Texas, because of the news reports of Mexican violence. We did not go into old Mexico. I don't know if it was necessary to skip that side trip this year or not, but we chose to error on the safe side. Friends and neighbors in the RV park did cross back and forth without any problems. Maybe we overreacted to media hype.
We had considered going into Mexico to have some dental work done. We decided against that. One reason is that we believe part of staying safe is staying alert to what is happening around you. It is hard to be alert after you've been to the dentist and had major work done.
There are a lot of great places for RVers to spend the winter. If the reports and warnings of violence in the border towns bother you, I think you are best to avoid the area. You might as well go somewhere that you aren't going to worry about your safety. Wherever you decide to go, have a good trip. Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.