Home Mexico Forum Mexico Guide Moving to Mexico Real Estate Healthcare in Mexico
Mexico
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Living in Mexico Has Made Me a Better Person

By Julia C. Taylor

Summary: You didn't know Mexico was a self-improvement destination? It is.

Living in Mexico - Self Improvement

Living in Mexico Has Made Me a Better Person By Julia Taylor Thanks to living in Mexico I'm much more flexible and less self-centered. I'm so patient, I'm practically eligible for sainthood. I'm more generous and less concerned about my budget. I'm less opinionated... well, at least I'm more respectful about how and when I share my opinions. All around I'm a better person now that I've lived in Mexico for six years.

You didn't know Mexico was a self-improvement destination? It is. Putting your heart into adjusting to Mexico involves taking on certain aspects of Mexican culture as well as more deeply understanding your own culture. This process inevitably produces a more value-centered lifestyle. While each person's experience of adjusting to Mexico is their own, most people end up making conscious decisions about their behaviors and lifestyle rather than just plodding along through life reiterating the status quo and therein lies the self-improvement.

For example, Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Mexico, so as an (American or Canadian) expat living in Mexico you will have to decide for yourself if (and how) you are going to create your own Thanksgiving celebration. You end up answering important questions about your own beliefs and feelings. What does Thanksgiving really mean to you? Is it the food that makes the day or is it something else? Will you share your tradition with Mexican friends or will you search out other expats who will help make the day more like it is "back home?" Will you just skip the whole thing and read a good book? By answering questions like these about any and all holidays, which are celebrated differently from our home countries, each individual expatriate in Mexico actually has an opportunity to get closer to their own personal values.

A second example from my own personal growth in Mexico comes from examining how people interact with each other. When I first moved to Mexico, I had trouble deviating from my expected plans. If I was arriving home expecting to get online and check my email, I had trouble calmly chatting with neighbors who happened to be out watering their plants. I just wanted to get on with my own activities. I really had trouble when my Mexican husband would invite them to dinner! Suddenly, we'd be rolling out that barbeque, marinating meat, moving the kitchen table outside, and sitting around for hours, all the while I'd have this unmet need to check my email in the back of my mind. Now I'm not so focused on what I want for myself. There have been many times when our Mexican neighbors and friends have dropped whatever they were doing to come help us out or even just chat and make us laugh a little. Now I know that I can do what I want to do later, but that I'll never have another chance to enjoy that tiny moment of interpersonal communication, which is presenting itself to me.

After years of being treated this way by others, now Americans sometimes hurt my feelings. It seems as if they are off in their own little worlds and can't take time out from their daily problems or TV schedules to have some fun with me. Once I was visiting a friend in the U.S. when one of her other friends came to the door. I opened the door and since I knew her too, I expected her to stop and say hello, to at least ask how I was. A Mexican would have stood there in the doorway, shaken my hand or given me a kiss on the cheek, asked how I was, and how long I'd be staying. Then we would have entered the house together to continue the conversation with our mutual friend. That wasn't at all what happened. This person had just had an argument with her spouse and she was so busy replaying this unfortunate conversation over and over in her head that she barely looked at my smiling face and just barged right past me to go spend 30 minutes complaining to my friend. And we Americans wonder where all of our negativity and isolation comes from. After living in Mexico for 6 years I posit that we are creating it ourselves. It took me a while, but now I've learned to "put on my game face" and go out and enjoy whoever is around. Problems will be solved in their own time and they don't need to take over our interactions for an entire day. See? Mexico is good for self-improvement.

When you live or retire in Mexico, I highly recommend that you learn Spanish and make Mexican friends. While every expatriate must have at least one other expat friend who will relate with the ups and downs of culture shock, it would be a mistake to spend the majority of your social energy on foreigners. Having Mexican friends brings out the richness of life in Mexico. In general, Mexicans love to share their customs, foods, and knowledge and can show you some really wonderful new things. Having really close Mexican friends can also be a form of insurance. They will share their knowledge and contacts when it comes to legal and business matters that can be overwhelmingly different from those up north.

When you make the decision to live or retire in Mexico, remember that (as is true for any move to another country and culture) there will be an adjustment period commonly referred to as "culture shock." This culture shock may hit hard at times, but it's a growth process. And, once you have adjusted to Mexico, you are sure to like the new you.

About Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Second Edition

Mexico: The Trick is Living Here is a humorous guide on how to live or retire in Mexico, useful for any extended stay in Mexico. It includes sections on the following:

  • housing and cost of living,
  • transportation including riding buses and driving,
  • eating, drinking, and grocery shopping,
  • staying healthy and health care, as well as finding doctors,
  • working and making a living in Mexico,
  • getting a residence visa,
  • bringing a car,
  • bringing household items,
  • residency issues unique to Canadians,
  • banking,
  • climate and staying comfortable,
  • international communication.
Housing and cost of living are dealt with in a completely unique way that helps the reader visualize what their lifestyle might be like once they are in Mexico. This section shows Mexico as it is so that the reader can decide for him/herself if Mexico might be a comfortable place for them to live. Key cultural information lets the reader have an insider's view of how it feels to live in Mexico and provides important tips on how to get along and understand people. This is information that takes most people years of experience to discover by trial and error and is one of the best and most unique aspects of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here. A chatty style with funny anecdotes helps the reader relate to the descriptions and feel comfortable living or traveling in Mexico the way Mexicans do, all the while making the reader laugh about the challenges. The book is full of pointers for the reader's successful transition to Mexico.

Join our Mexico Expat Forum

Visit our Mexico Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Mexico.

Read Next

8 Best Places to Live in Mexico

Expats from the United States and Canada often choose to move to Mexico or retire there. Here are some of the locations that they recommend most to others considering living in Mexico.

Healthcare in Mexico

If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health insurance for expats in Mexico, hospitals and prescription drugs.

Expat Banking: Tips for Expats in Mexico

Expats in Mexico face the challenge of successfully managing their finances while living there, and that always starts with settling on the right expat financial services. Here are some tips from expats already living in Mexico based on their actual experiences with banks there.

Expats in Mexico: Pros and Cons of Living in Mexico

Expats in Mexico share some of the pros and cons of living in Mexico. Topics covered include where to live, the bureaucracy, the people and more. Expats in Mexico seem to all agree that you'll have to come down and explore the country to find the perfect place for you!

Moving to Mexico: 8 Things to Know Before You Move to Mexico

Expats in Mexico share important tips for people preparing to move to Mexico. From banking in Mexico to finding a safe city, read these 8 tips before moving to Mexico.

About the Author

AS Mexico: The Trick is Living HereJulia C. Taylor has lived and worked in Mexico since 2002. She had a desire to share the inevitable culture shock involved in adjusting to a new society and authored, Mexico: The Trick is Living Here, a guide book for anyone who wants to work, live, or retire in Mexico. Her writing has been extolled by various experts on Mexico as honest, funny, useful, and pithy.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.

First Published: Mar 08, 2008

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

15 Expats Talk About Life in Mexico

Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there.
Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there....

8 Best Places to Live in Mexico

Expats from the United States and Canada often choose to move to Mexico or retire there. Here are some of the locations that they recommend most to others considering living in Mexico.

Expats from the United States and Canada often choose to move to Mexico or retire there. Here are some of the locations that they recommend most to others considering living in Mexico....

Healthcare in Mexico

If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health insurance for expats in Mexico, hospitals and prescription drugs.

If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health ...

Retirement-In-ApizacoAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Apizaco, Mexico

A retiree in Apizaco, Mexico talks about retiring in Mexico. He and his wife decided to move to Mexico for the lower cost of living and climate.

A retiree in Apizaco, Mexico talks about retiring in Mexico. He and his wife decided to move to Mexico for the lower cost of living and climate. ...

Moving-To-Puerto-PenascoAn Expat Talks about Moving to Puerto Penasco, Mexico

An expat talks about living in the Mirador section on Puerto Penasco, Mexico - the close proximity to Tuscon, the lower cost of living finding a rental and more.

An expat talks about living in the Mirador section on Puerto Penasco, Mexico - the close proximity to Tuscon, the lower cost of living finding a rental and more....

Mexico Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal