Tina: Los Gringos Locos
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Mexico, etc.
My name is Tina and I am from Kentucky, USA. I am married and we have four children. Our family moved to Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico in October 2013. We did not visit first. Airfare was too expensive. We sold all our belongings, except what fit in and on our vehicle, and drove south for three days to our new home. We love it here!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
As soon as I knew we were moving, I decided to blog about our adventure the day we left Kentucky. I love writing and photography and I wanted to share our experience with everyone who is interested.
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?
To be honest it has not been difficult, except for the fact that I miss my family in Kentucky very much. We were in a Spanish Bible congregation in Kentucky for three and a half years. We learned some Spanish and were familiar with the culture from this experience. I believe it helped the transition greatly.
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 believe we were prepared. We spent months making preparations and years pondering the decision to move. Mexico is different from the States and we are still learning but it's all been a wonderful change. You must be open and welcome to change to be a successful expat. Looking back and knowing what I know now, there are two things I would do differently. I would have brought our pets with us instead of finding them new homes in Kentucky. I also would have stored some of my belongings to bring to Mexico at later dates, instead of selling and giving everything away. But hindsight is always 20/20.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Put me on the spot! I had to ask my husband... A few months ago our girls were playing outside with the local neighbor kids. They asked their dad to help them translate the game Hide and Seek. Brad came inside laughing after a few minutes. Our girls were trying to explain Hide and Seek in English and the local kids were trying to explain Hide and Seek in Spanish. It turns out all the kids wanted to play the same game.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Mexico?
- Read some of my blog posts on moving. It will help with your preparations.
- Don't expect anything. Be ready for change and adventure.
- Start to learn Spanish. Duolingo and Live Mocha are free, online programs.
How is the expat community in Mexico? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
For us, it's great! We are very fortunate to have wonderful friends here in Morelia. As Jehovah's Witnesses, we found a small, local, English-speaking, Bible congregation before we moved, and attended our first meeting the same week we arrived. We were welcomed with smiles, handshakes, and hugs. They are like family to us.
How would you summarize your expat life in Mexico in a single, catchy sentence?
My blog line... Living Abroad in Latin America with Four Kids - Love and Madness Abound!