There are many online resources available for folks considering the move to Mexico. One of the best is Mexperience. Their blog, newsletter and ebooks provide a broad source of information when exploring a budget, housing and immigration requirements.
Sunrise from our porch on Laguna Bacalar in southern Mexico.
Finding Your Place in Mexico
by Matthew Harrup Pathway
It requires a good deal of courage to emigrate and start a new life in a foreign country, and moving to Mexico is no exception.
The things you need to live well, to live comfortably, and to live simply are here. They probably aren’t in the shapes and forms that you are used to seeing; and how they manifest themselves might be different and, at first, alien to what you are accustomed. This journey of discovery is one that you’ll have to undertake consciously if you are going to transform your life situation and create a distinct lifestyle for yourself in Mexico.
Full adoption of any foreign country requires compromise, acceptance, and understanding. Moving to Mexico will oblige you to change habits, surrender whims, accept life for what it is—not what you wish it or demand it to be. In return, Mexico could gift new dimensions to your life, for example, by encouraging you to see beyond your current horizon, and connecting you to friends of the kind you never thought possible.
You will witness the kindnesses and wickedness of human nature as Mexico’s well-documented contrasts present themselves regularly. It will frustrate you, it will annoy you; sometimes Mexico will tease you and play with you for no apparent reason. Mexico can also fill you with an energy and joy that will remain in you always. It’s this impulsive tapestry that creates the almost mystical allure which has brought foreigners to live here, and live out their lives here, for better and for worse, for centuries. And when—perhaps more accurately, if—you can find peace with all that Mexico is and all that Mexico is not, you will begin to find your place in these lands. If you don’t (or discover that you can’t) adapt and tread that testing path to adoption, Mexico will surely break your endeavors, and send you back whence you came.
You might choose a big city, or a colonial town, or perhaps you’ll find a small place to live beside the ocean. You might even take to establishing your own eco home in Mexico. The diversity here offers ample choices in respect of physical locations.
Whichever you choose, your true place, when you find it in Mexico, will be founded in the spaces which you will come to adore but which you cannot easily define, and in the feelings you hold about Mexico which are not easily articulated.
It has been said that Mexico deposits a certain dust on visitors’ shoes that will cause them to return: for good, or never again. The allegory fits well with the contrasts, but it would be foolhardy to encapsulate that thing—that indefinable attendance which attracts and repels so many to these complex and absorbing lands—in such black-and-white terms.
For those who choose to return to Mexico and make a home—and for those who came and have not left—it matters not how many other foreigners are living here. To adopt Mexico, you’ll need to turn up with an open mind, with courage and with tenacity, and be prepared to craft your own story here, on Mexico’s terms.
If what you’ve seen about Mexico on your TV screen scares and keeps you away, your perceptions have been hijacked before you allowed yourself an opportunity to better understand these lands, and see what others here see: a country in transition, a country which is, by and large, less violent than those places where stones are so readily thrown from glass houses.
Finding your place in Mexico necessarily requires due course. There are no shortcuts, no tricks or cheats to download, no App to give you instant answers. It doesn’t matter how rich or how poor you may be. And you can never understand how irrelevant all those things, and more besides, are to become in your life as Mexico simultaneously encourages and obliges you to find your peace amid its many facets.
If you come to truly know Mexico, as its closest friends who are foreign-born to its lands do, it will most likely be through a baptism of fire that will test your character, your mettle and your heart; through a journey of preparation and discovery that brings you to being in Mexico and the knowing within that here is where your life belongs.