Mexico – It’s Not All Tequila and Beaches

Living in another country is like a dream to some people. Some are envious of the idea of someone who’s off exploring faraway places instead of living a normal, seemingly less exciting life. When I’ve spoken with people who have never lived anywhere other than their home country, they have this notion that it’s something reserved for these spontaneous nomad-type people, that there’s this unattainable spark about us adventurers living our dreams.

I think that people wrongfully confuse living in another country with touring it. Being a tourist and living are vastly different, and the value of living in another country is too often overlooked.

Right now I currently live in Mexico. Some imagine it is all beaches and tequila, hot weather and sombreros, while few others express a more violent imagination of what it would be like. But it’s neither. I live here like I did back in Canada. I pay bills, I do laundry, I make my bed, I take out the garbage, I watch Netflix and I cook dinner.

The perceptions most people have of what it is like to live in Mexico are very wrong. Even I didn’t know what to expect. People have only these superficial ideas of palm trees and cheap beer, or cartels and ramshackle houses — a view that they’re unable to look past. It’s a sort of ignorance that’s understandable, but it’s one that they’ve chosen not to correct.

Let me tell you — it’s worth correcting.

Living in another country reminds you how incredible life is. Though you get used to a new routine and enjoy a new comfort, something about it gives you an appreciation for everything — things that you wouldn’t usually notice or pay attention to.

You’re reminded that time is fleeting, that your experiences are what you make of them, and that you’re such a tiny piece in this big beautiful world. And, you realize that the world isn’t as different as you expected, that everyone uses Facebook and watches Netflix.

It may not be as glamourous as you imagined, and you might wonder why move somewhere exotic just to end up in that feeling of “normal”. But really immersing yourself in another country could be what gives you that spark you envy so much in others.

It’s the living that creates that spark.

todos-santos

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We get so caught up in the “American Dream” of finding the perfect 9 to 5 job, the perfect husband, the perfect house with a white picket fence, two cars and 2.5 kids that we forget that there is an entire WORLD out there to explore!

I don’t know anyone who has regretted moving abroad but I know plenty who have regretted staying behind.

Learning Spanish

fluent

I was born and raised in Canada’s only official bi-lingual province, as children we had French classes from K-10. I’m not fluent in French but I can get by.

French and Spanish are both Latin based languages so one would think I’d have an easier time learning Spanish. But no. I find myself confusing the two languages. So I end up speaking a mashup of broken English, French and Spanish. So confusing.

It will come in time, the more I use Spanish and the less I think in French.

The Spanish lessons I’m taking at Hablando Mexicano are helping agreat deal. My husband and I were able to get into a small group class that was paced perfectly for us. Twice a week for 4 weeks. Our instructor, Ivonne, is excellent. We’re having a lot of fun and learning so much.

Bringing My Cats to Mexico

my-cat-in-mexico

As move day got closer I had more and more anxiety about how my two cats would adjust to life in Mexico.

The hated the road trip down. Savannah cats are known to be vocal and mine is quick to let me know when he’s not happy about something.  Every morning when we started off for the day, Reever would yowl. For hours. Non-stop. Finally after 3 or 4 hours of voicing his displeasure of being in the car, he would settle down and sleep.

I am happy to say they both adjusted to life in their new home quickly. I brought their favourite blankets,  beds and food dishes so they’d have some familiar smells. The place we rented is bigger than our home back in Canada – lots to explore, new smells and sounds to investigate. They are both indoor cats and love to sit by the screened patio doors watching the birds & dragon flies bath in our swimming pool.

For those people moving to Mexico and worrying about bringing your animals: stop wasting your time worrying if your animal will adjust. They will. Probably faster than you.

Peko

Peko chilling on the cooling tile floos

Moving to Another Country

thingstorememberwhenmoving

Things to remember when moving to another country.

1) Pack light. You don’t need two years’ worth of stuff. I have already realised I have brought way to many clothes, and that is after donating more than half of what I owned.

2) Know that learning the language WILL be hard. Make an effort to at least learn the basics immediately; people will be a lot friendlier if you show an interest in their native tongue, and it will help ease everyday interactions.

3) Perspective is key. Remember that good and bad things happen everywhere. No matter what you’re doing, and where you are, you’ll have your share of ups and downs — it’s not always directly related to living in another country.

4) People can suck anywhere. No matter what the country’s culture towards tourists/outsiders is, one thing will always be true: there are nice people in every country, and there are assholes in every country.

Preparing to Move

preparing-to-move

Preparing for the move and going through all the things I had in my house, I was amazed by the amount of absolutely useless stuff I had.

This isn’t really a deep or meaningful realization, but it’s a realization nonetheless. Only when you’re forced to condense your life into 2 suitcases do you realize how much stuff you have.

The Man Cold

the-man-cold

Guess what?! Yesterday my husband woke up with a cold. Not just any cold though, a MAN COLD.

What’s the difference between a cold and a man cold you ask? Well let me tell you.

A cold is what we normally know as a stuffy/runny nose, cough, a few aches.

A man cold is all that plus a whiny, grown man who can’t quite grasp why he feels so awful. He feels like he’s dying and the world is coming to an end because he feels so terrible.

A man cold isn’t fun, especially for wives. You’d think the man was on his death-bed or suffering a horrific illness. Nope just a cold. But, a man cold because you know, men can be such babies.