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An Expat in Mexico City: Month 1

An Expat in Mexico City: Month 1

I cannot believe an entire month has already passed. I think I say this about every new place we move to, but it simultaneously feels like we’ve only been here for a few days and like we’ve been here forever.

Life as an expat in Mexico City has been pretty amazing. I wrote earlier in the month that I feel totally in my element. I love being challenged constantly, I love that each outing is completely new and exciting. I love that we have this enormous city full of restaurants and cafes and amazing food. I’m really falling in love with Mexico City, and although I know we’re still very much in the honeymoon phase, I’m quietly confident that it can only get better.

Life as an Expat in Mexico City

It’s been a month packed full of exploring the city. Every Sunday we head out to a different suburb, eat tons of street food, and try different bars. I feel like I’ve gotten into a good routine during the week. I’m exercising everyday, I’m getting out of the house and enjoying the sunshine, I’m being productive (almost) every time I sit down at my computer. Life is good, but it’s also been exhausting.

Highlights

1. All the food.

I can’t get enough of the fresh, spicy, savory flavors of Mexican food. I know we’ve only just scratched the surface which is even more exciting. Every weekend we find a new market, a new restaurant, a new food we’ve never heard of. This month we had barbacoa, tacos el pastor, gorditas, tostadas piled high with ceviche, fried quesadillas (yes, they are as good as they sound), and empanadas that have all blown my mind.

2. There is actually craft beer here which makes me so happy.

When we first got here we didn’t see much more than what’s called “claro” beers. Light and mostly flavorless (unless you have a michelada – a beer with lime juice, chili and a salt rimmed glass). Not only did we find some amazing beers at Mercado Roma a few weeks ago, but I even found a few hiding at my local grocery store. Friday nights can now have a bit of flavor.

3. All the different neighborhoods.

Mexico City is like an onion with so many layers. We live outside the city limits, actually in the State of Mexico, not Mexico City, but it’s only about 20 minutes away from anywhere that we want to explore. Each weekend since we’ve been here we’ve explored places like La Roma, Condesa, Coyoacán, and Centro Historico. All are completely different in how they look, their vibes, their restaurants and cafes and activities. Every weekend is like visiting a different city. I love how diverse it is.

4. Speaking Spanish.

Okay this has been a challenge for sure, but I’m trying to see it as a highlight. Every day is an opportunity to better my Spanish, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Latin America. I hear it everyday, I’m forced to read it at the grocery store, on the subtitles on TV, on every sign I see outside my house. I’m fully immersed and that’s pretty incredible. I’ve been using the App Duolingo, and despite a few weird phrases that I don’t think I’ll be using frequently and it’s constant reminder that I’m only 3% fluent, I feel like it’s really helping.

5. My Work

This blog, my fashion website, my freelance work. It’s all really picking up. I wrote a post about it last week. I’m working my ass off day-in and day-out and I’m finally starting to see some real results. I feel like my writing is getting better everyday, my photography is improving (as are my editing skills), and I think I’m finally starting to reach audiences who care about what I’m saying. Being in Mexico has given me the chance to work on projects and take courses, it’s allowed me to grow my businesses and work on things that I feel truly passionate about without having to worry about running out of money. It’s been a true gift.

expat in Mexico City

Valuable vocabulary lessons from Duolingo

Lowlights

1. I’m kind of lonely.

This has been the biggest lowlight of moving here so far. Everywhere we’ve ever moved before, I’ve started a job where I have colleagues, people to speak to during the day, maybe go out for drinks with in the evenings. Since we moved here I’ve been working by myself inside our house. We live with a few people that Luke works with and there’s a house next door with more people from his company. They’re all really nice and have been so helpful with us getting acclimated, but it doesn’t help with my feelings of isolation. It’s something I knew to expect, it’s something I experience whenever we move somewhere new. I have no friends and I have to make an effort to get out there and actually make some.

2. Speaking Spanish.

Okay, it might be a highlight to be able to practice Spanish everyday, but it’s also been a huge source of frustration. I thought I knew a lot more Spanish than I actually do. When I actually have to speak it I get so flustered; I forget my conjugations, I stumble with vocabulary, and I just stare at the person who’s waiting for my response. Real cute. It’s also hard to be in a situation where everyone around you is speaking Spanish and you have no idea what’s going on. It’s frustrating when the plumber is trying to tell me why my toilet is broke and I have to try to remember what he’s saying so I can Google translate it later. It’s embarrassing when the cleaner is asking me about where something is and I have no idea what she’s saying so I say, sorry I have no idea where the bucket and mop are even though I live in this house. I know it will only get easier and I already see a difference in my comprehension, but it’s still hard sometimes.

3. So many house issues.

Our little house has had so many problems this month. Both of our toilets broke at the same time. Then a week later, one of them broke again. Then we thought we had termites only to find out, nope, bedbugs. Thankfully our landlord got on it immediately and last week an exterminator came and fumigated the whole house while I did masses of laundry on hot wash to make sure all those suckers were goners. Maybe we’re getting all the issues out of the way in the first month?

Best Reads

I feel like I finally have time to read again. I spend most mornings with my Kindle in one hand and my morning cuppa in the other. This month I’ve been really enjoying First Stop in the New World by David Lida. It’s been a really eye-opening read about life in Mexico City. It’s very funny while also being incredibly observant. It also has some great tips for places to eat and drink and festivals to keep an eye out for.

This Beijing Life: Month 11 – Adventures Around Asia

I’ve been a long time reader of Richelle’s blog, but this monthly recap about life in Beijing was a great read. She’s incredibly honest about how hard it can be sometimes to live this expat life, but she’s also eternally optimistic.

Why We Need Travel More Than Ever – This Battered Suitcase

Brenna’s words really resonated with me. She summed up a lot of what I’ve been feeling about the news and the happenings of the world lately and expressed it much better than I ever could.

July 2016: Passive Income Report – JohnnyFD

Just wow. I only recently discovered Johhny’s website and his story is incredibly inspiring. He shows how hard work can truly pay off.

Best Eats

Every time we eat something new I think, no THIS is the best meal I’ve had so far in Mexico. It’s unreal how absolutely mind blowing the food has been. There simply is no other way to describe the head to toe joy of taking a bite of food this good. My absolute favorite? It has to be all the food we ate in Coyoacán. I cannot wait to get back there and revisit the Mercado de Antojitos for more fried quesadillas and to the Mercado Coyoacán for ceviche tostadas.

ceviche tostada from mercado coyoacan

Best Instagram Capture

I’ve been doing my best to capture and share all the colorful and quirky parts of Mexico City this month. I’m hoping to do so even more in the coming months and in August I’m pulling out the sports camera – it’s time to make vlogs again. This has been my most popular Instagram photo this month as voted by your likes. If you’re not following along yet, you can do so here.

A photo posted by Laura Bronner (@eternalexpat) on

What’s Next for August?

This month we’re heading out of the city for the first time. We haven’t solidified plans completely yet, but Luke has two weeks off and I need a beach in my life. I’m hoping to see a few places on my Mexico Bucket List! The best places to see live updates are on Snapchat and Facebook.

Thank you as always for coming along with me on my journeys. Without you there would be no blog.

**If you’re still interested in keeping up with these monthly updates, I now replicate this post in a monthly newsletter which you can sign up for in the box below.

Jen Roberts

Sunday 1st of April 2018

Happy to have found your blog. I spent last week in Mexico City and feel like it's a place I could live, which is how I found your page. I look forward to reading more. Jen

Jon

Saturday 12th of November 2016

Cool blog :) I spent a few days in Mexico City and loved it. Mercado Roma.. mmm i covered it in one of my vlogs in fact. Good luck with the Spanish, I recommend you do some language exchanges while there with others at the same level with you in English.

Jerome Eich

Friday 26th of August 2016

me and my fiancee are planning on moving to mexico with our children. so where is the best place to raise a family? we have a big family together so it needs to be an affordable but safe place to raise a family. I have been looking around but aint had any luck so was wondering if u could help me out.

JerseyGirl

Friday 12th of August 2016

Sounds like you're settling in really well, there will always be the lonely days but it's early days. Food sounds amazing I love Mexican food but there will be another level nothing like the tex mex we know. I look forward to reading more of your new life updates and remember it's all Bueno!

Laura Bronner

Friday 12th of August 2016

The food is seriously amazing, you're right, nothing like Tex-Mex - even better! Thanks for reading and for your lovely comments!

Kate

Wednesday 10th of August 2016

I can totally relate to the highs and lows of living in a land where you don't speak the language. Just remember that trying is better than bing perfect, and although it might not seem like it, you're doing way better than you think! Hope month 2 is going well xo