Jill Holslin, a professor of Rhetoric and Writing at San Diego State University, walked away from her San Diego home and moved 15 miles south across the US border into the city of Tijuana. A growing number of expats are doing the same.
Jill Holslin's livingroom. Lately, a new crop of expats, including Holslin, has moved in to Tijuana—the cultural adventurers, the fearless, and the economically savvy.
Holslin's home office.
Derrik Chinn moved to Tijuana in 2007—for love, he says. He lives in a neighborhood called Playas. It’s maybe 15 minutes from the border and two blocks from the beach. It’s a modest split level two-bedroom, one and half-bath house.
Derrick Chin is from Ohio, and says when he first moved to California, he was told Tijuana was ugly and very dangerous. “None of my friends would go there. But I always wanted to live in another country.”
Derrick Chin's view from Las Playas. He believes one of the reasons the city has gotten such a bad rap is because the average tourist who comes to TJ assaults and abuses the city. “They come here to do things they don’t normally do—drink, hire prostitutes, buy drugs. It’s a respect issue.They feel they can do whatever they want. Nothing has happened to me here in terms of crime. I speak the language and I have a respect and appreciation for the culture.”
Drawn by its burgeoning arts, culinary and fashion scenes, more and more hipster Americans are calling Tijuana home.