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Jennifer: Mexico, Eh?

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Mexico makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Mexico, etc.

My name is Jennifer and I’m from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico at the beginning of May and plan to stay for one year. I have a BA in English and work mainly in the non-profit sector.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I started blogging shortly after I arrived in Cancun. I started the blog mainly to keep my friends and family involved with my adventures and to make a bit of money on the side. Since I moved I’ve often found myself reading other expat blogs for information or comfort. I now try to include any information in my blog that might help a fellow expat, someone considering moving to Mexico, or someone coming on vacation that would like personalized reviews and/or ideas!

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

All of my blog posts were written for a reason, but I guess I like some more than others. I like my post on our trip swimming with whale sharks, our day at a rodeo fundraiser, and our day at Parque Urbano Kabah.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Mexico differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

At first I didn’t experience much culture shock; it was only once we moved past the “tourist” phase and started participating in more mundane activities that I really noticed a difference. The biggest way life differs is the pace. Life here moves slower and it’s crazy making trying to change it - you just have to accept it.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Mexico? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

My partner and I moved to Mexico rather abruptly, so we didn’t really prepare much at all for our new surroundings. I don’t think I would change much if I could go back as half the fun of moving to a new country is all the new experiences and learning as you go. I don’t think I would be learning or growing nearly as much if I had over-prepared. That said, learning some basic cultural facts involving safety and health are very important before moving to a new country.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

One day my partner and I were riding our bikes along the street when we spotted a mural on a wall that we thought was neat. We stopped to take a picture of it and the artist (who happened to live upstairs) saw us and came to his window. He explained the picture and we chatted for a while. We asked to take his picture and he said yes... but then exclaimed, “wait, wait, let me get my crazy hat!” It turns out he makes silly hats as a hobby and sells them to tourists. Since that day we have met up with him many times and consider him a friend. We even have pictures of us wearing his “silly hats.”

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Mexico?

  • Be prepared to get lost- a lot. Streets do not follow a grid pattern and many do not have signs!
  • Be prepared to wait for things for longer than you are used to and do not be surprised when people cannot give you an accurate time when something will happen
  • Always try to speak Spanish whenever possible. The locals appreciate the effort and you learn a lot faster when you are using it regularly.

How is the expat community in Mexico? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

I actually haven’t connected with any fellow expats yet. I follow some blogs but have not met or conversed with anyone personally. I would like to in the future though.

How would you summarize your expat life in Mexico in a single, catchy sentence?

Tal vez manana (Maybe tomorrow).

Francois Bertrand

"The last InterNations event was just great: I had some very nice chats with fellow expats (even Canadians like me) in Mexico City. "

Barbara Melington

"With InterNations, we had the chance to find a good bi-lingual school for our children in Mexico. They are gonna grow up as true 'third-culture kids'! "

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