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Susannah: Mexico Retold

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 Susannah Rigg and I am originally from London, England. I moved to Mexico just over two years ago and live mainly in Oaxaca, but I also spend a lot of time in Mexico City where my partner lives.

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

My blog was developed in 2010 out of a desire to show people that there is another reality to Mexico. Mexico is a country dealing with some serious and complex problems, but that is not what defines Mexico for me. There is so much magic and beauty in this country and I wanted that story to be told.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

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?

I think experiencing culture shock is inevitable when moving to a country that is so different, although I must say I think Mexicans have quite a lot of similarities to Brits (no really!). My life here is completely different. Here I feel like I really live rather than just survive. I live a simple life but one absolutely full of interesting and exciting things. Just a trip to my local market is enough to make me feel happy and uplifted. Life in London, although amazing in so many ways, was a life where money (or lack of) was always in the forefront of my mind, in Mexico a simpler life is very doable.

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

I made almost zero preparations before coming to Mexico. I literally packed my life into boxes, bought a ticket and asked a friend in Mexico City to collect me at the airport. I had no job lined up and I didn’t even know what city I wanted to live in. If you had asked me in the first few weeks, I probably would have wished I had planned more but it turned out for the best because I had the freedom and space to make those decisions slowly and I finally settled on Oaxaca.

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

I struggle to pronounce my R’s in Spanish and a few times it has got me in trouble. A recent example took place in a local coffee shop. I was feeling tired and wanted a really strong coffee so I ask for an extra shot and explained to the girl that I wanted it really strong. Well that’s what I hoped to say, however, I pronounced the word cargardo (strong/ charged) without the R and ended up asking for a really sh*tty coffee! The poor girl managed to stay professional but she always has a slight smile when she sees me.

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

  • Do it! If you hate it you can always go home
  • Save up enough money to last you 6 months- it will give you time to adjust, make friends and find work
  • Be open minded to experience a different way of living. Don’t try to live how you did at home; it will just be a struggle. 

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

In Oaxaca it is super easy to meet other expats. There are expats of all different ages and backgrounds. I have met a lot of like-minded people and a lot of very inspiring people here.

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

Like life, but better!

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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