Potential Expats Frequently Ask Me:
“What Are The Five Things You Wish You Knew Before Moving To Mexico?”
1. Have A Banking Back Up Plan. Banking here is a hot mess. You should make sure your home country allows transfers before moving, bring plenty of cash before you come, and have access to additional resources at all times while here. This has been true for my expat friends regardless of their wealth status, bank or home country.
2. Mexico Is Dog Friendly. Many people are not sure whether or not to bring their pets here. Dogs are beloved here. There are no shortage of vets, corporate sponsored dog parks, dog stores and yes, dogs in outfits on the streets!
3. Join The Newcomers Club. At first, I didn’t know what the Newcomer’s Club was, but my cultural coach insisted that I join it. Because she is always right, we did and I am glad we did. Newcomers is an excellent resource and provides you with access to maids, drivers, information regarding food products you love from home (and miss!!), and a listserv to answer questions regarding cultural protocols, and other expat dilemmas you may have. It’s also a great network for trailing spouses.
4. Shipping Is Prohibitive. Ordering clothes and goods online is out of scope unless your company provides you with mailing service. Unfortunately, our company does not offer this service. As a result, we don’t shop online. Shipping is prohibitively expensive and it’s best to stock up on whatever you need when you head home and pay the extra bag fee with the airlines.
5. “Alto” Does Not Mean “Stop”. The first few cab rides were a bit of a nightmare for me. Cab after cab tore through stop sign after stop sign.
It was very confusing for me. I was taught that “alto” meant “stop” in Spanish.
When I asked a cab driver for clarification, he explained,”In other Spanish speaking countries, I am sure that’s true. “Alto” does mean stop. Here, “alto” means slow down a little.”
I wish someone had warned me. I’d have fewer grey hairs!