Reflections of an Accidental Nomad

Jan Baumgartner

Jan Baumgartner
August 02
A native Californian, Jan Baumgartner is a writer and book editor. After many years along the coast of Maine, she now lives full time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her essays on Mexico are included in two books, including the anthology, Solamente en San Miguel Volume II (Parroquia Press, Nov. 2010). She is a frequent contributor to Banderas News in Puerto Vallarta, OpEdNews.com, and Scoop New Zealand. Her background includes scriptwriting, comedy writing for the No. California Emmy Awards, and travel writing for The New York Times. She has worked as a grant writer for the non-profit sector in the fields of academia, AIDS, and wildlife conservation for NGO's in the U.S. and Africa. She is working on a memoir about her husband's death from ALS and how travels in Africa became one of her greatest sources of inspiration.


FEBRUARY 18, 2015 5:50PM

Facebook as Political Forum

First, let me say that I’m sure this will rub some the wrong way and if so, so be it. Second, as a writer, if I didn’t believe in free speech I’d be something other than a writer. I’d be a mime.  And even that wouldn’t be foolproof; I’d probably offer/… Read full post »

MAY 30, 2014 12:24AM

The Desert of Left Behind


Nothing ever fits in a nutshell, not even the abridged version.


Blinded by a sudden billow of dust, the hot dry winds kick up memories and desires that cannot easily be rubbed out or diminished without leaving a mirror image of what is raw and painfully tender.… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2014 6:19PM

Tracking an Injured Elephant


In Honor
Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 19, 2013 10:24PM

The Passing of Ed Bartosik

Ed Bartosik June 21, 1956-August 19, 2013

Today, Ed Bartosik passed away after his short but courageous battle with ALS. I did not “know” Ed in the sense that we place “value” on friendship. And yet, I did know Ed, at least from our brief, shared connection with ALS, the… Read full post »

APRIL 13, 2013 1:14PM

Juan Roberto's Garden

Juan Roberto’s garden was his pride and joy.  It was the pride and joy of the neighborhood, too, and no one went hungry or without the simple pleasure of freshly cut flowers. It was where he began each day and ended each night; tending to the leaves and vines, pinching off/… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2013 2:14PM

Caged Birds of P√°tzcuaro

A lake, mountains, an ancient village, flowers, a good meal; one could be content with that.

What continues to surprise is often what we don’t expect to see, that set amidst a new town or experience, can change a singular moment into a rush of memories. I suppose that… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 24, 2009 4:08PM


My husband died at home in June of 2002 from ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease.  He was the greatest joy of my life. To have found it once was a miracle, to expect it twice...

This is a love story.  And, a story of thanks.

When It Is Time To Go 

...LikeRead full post »

NOVEMBER 18, 2009 11:15PM

The Beard

                                                  &Read full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2009 8:36PM

The Heart is a Fickle Little Muscle


 "bleeding hearts"


So I’m sitting in my patio garden somewhere in Colonial Mexico, surrounded by dilapidated pink stone walls, crumbling in that old world charm sort of way, the carved cement fishes’ mouth regurgitating into the waters of the Italianate fountain,… Read full post »

JULY 27, 2009 4:28PM

Outing Montezuma

Photo by Esparta; courtesy Flickr

From the Fiction Pool ~ A Story from a Faraway Mountain Village                                 Read full post »

Reported from San Miguel de Allende, State of Guanajuato, Mexico 

Rumors, Speculation and Fear: San Miguel de Allende Copes with the Spread of Media-Fueled Alarm, Not H1N1 Flu Virus     

 For the last several days, I have watched the systematic shutting down of this… Read full post »

APRIL 10, 2009 12:47PM

The Sweet Low Down ~ Mexico Way

San Miguel de Allende - MÒÂÃÒÒÂÒéxico 2008 1119 by Lucy Nieto 

Zocalo: San Miguel de Allende    

Photo: Lucy Nieto, Courtesy: Flickr 

My Sacher Torte with Wesley   

Dodging drums, the half-naked bodies and colorful feathered headdresses of the Concheros dancers celebrating in the zocalo, we hurriedly made/… Read full post »

A Fiction Story from Mexico ~

DÒÂÃÒÒÂÒÂÃÒÂÃÒÒÂÃÒÒÂÒÂÃÒÒÂÃÒÂÒía de los Muertos / Day of the Dead. by MiMundo.org

Photo courtesy: MiMundo.org @ Flickr

Not even the sound of mariachis serenading a wedding posada along her street got her to run up to the roof terrace where before, she would breathe in the lively music and the energy of the revelers… Read full post »

Festival Day - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico by joven_60 

photo courtesy: Joven_60 @ Flickr

Regarding Mexico: Biased News, Half-Truths and Fear Mongering Fuel Paranoia of All Things South of the Border 

Not the Whole Story 

The U.S. media and federal government have stirred up a toxic cauldron media blitz that has been force-feedingRead full post »

MARCH 3, 2009 4:14PM

A Day in Mexico

2005 San Miguel de Allende 097 by MurrayJ3      

photo credit: MurrayJ3/Flickr                                      Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2009 11:19AM

Outsourcing Dating

Perhaps this already exists; God knows I’ve been out of the loop for a long time.  But why aren’t there “professional daters” – a surrogate who can step in before an actual date, test the waters, ask pertinent questions, demand to see current medical records, admini/… Read full post »

                                Reflections of a Barefoot Wanderer

               &nbsRead full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2009 12:52PM

Mexican Milagros ~ Part 2

A Barking Man, a Parrot who thinks it’s a Rooster, Drama Cat, Origins of Laughter, Beginnings and Endings, Marking Time by Church Bells


A Barking Man and a Parrot who thinks it’s a Rooster


Dog barking in San Miguel de Allende is as incessant as the church bells.  The town/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2009 7:23PM

Maine to Mexico

Getting here from there is nothing short of a milagro.  Getting anywhere from Maine is a test in patience, resilience, and a strip search of your sanity.  One might call it Sanity Profiling; if you have any trace of it left as you flee the remoteness and bitter cold, you willRead full post »