Ah, Mexico. The birthplace of the fruit of choice for every #millennial: the avocado.
On a serious note, of course, Mexico is much more than that. If you’re lucky enough to be considering starting a new life in the country, gear yourself up for what will be an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. But first up, make sure you research what life may be like there - and that’s what we’re going to help you get started with. So, without further ado, here’s our top tips for preparing to join the 1 million other expatriates based out in Mexico.
Be open to new friendships and new experiences.
We’ve all been there - when thrown into an unfamiliar situation in a new city or country, it’s easy to rush to people and places that feel familiar. However, before you know it, you’ll be stuck in the notorious expat bubble, which, as comfortable as it is, doesn’t allow for much immersion in the local language and culture. Our advice? Make as many local friends as possible - which is actually easier done than said, because Mexicans happen to be amongst the friendliest people you will ever meet. And don’t be surprised if your new friends invite you to travel across their country with them, which is quite possibly the best way to discover everything it has to offer. Which brings us to our next tip...
Remember, there is more to Mexico than Cancún (but it’s a fantastic place to start).
When most people think of Mexico, the famous beaches of Cancún and Playa del Carmen immediately come to mind. While Mexico’s east coast is indeed stunning, we shouldn’t forget that this country - of almost 2 million km2 - is full of hundreds of other hidden gems, waiting to be explored. So, we’ve come up with 3 delightfully different ways to travel Mexico:
- Take a boat out to Janitzio - an island in the middle of the country! - to experience the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations in November;
- Hire a four-by-four and drive out to the beautiful desert oasis of Cuatro Ciénagas;
- In Mexico City? Hop on a bus to the silver mining town of Taxco, officially classified as a ‘Magical Town’ due to its cobblestone streets and stunning colonial architecture.
Secure a place to rent when you are out there, not before.
We know, the ‘right’ thing to do is to have your accommodation organised prior to your arrival. Right? Not so much. As the apartments and amenities in Mexico may be very different to what you’re used to - and perhaps very different to the photos online - it may be better to actually conduct your flat viewings in person before committing to any contracts. If you’re eager to shortlist places, you can always have a browse on flatshare websites like Dada Room and message potential flatmates.
Bear in mind that many landlords in Mexico will still expect rent payments in cash. If this is the case for you, it’s likely that you’ll have to withdraw cash frequently. To ensure you minimise the risk and costs associated with these transactions as much as possible, we recommend you...
Keep an eye on currency movements.
While foreign exchange may not be high on your list of priorities, you’d be surprised at just how much money you’ll be able to save if you carry out your international payments at the right times and at rates that work best for you. Of course, we understand that - realistically - you won’t have time to watch the currency markets all day. And that’s where we come in.
As an expat, using a dedicated foreign exchange specialist like Currency UK means your personal account manager can take the pressure of handling international payments off your hands. We are able to assist you with a wide range of transactions - from salary repatriation, to overseas property purchases and rent payments, to simply providing you with rate alerts for the currencies that matter most to you - all while ensuring you avoid the extortionate transfer fees conventionally charged by the banks.
Open an account with us, and rest assured that we will help you fulfil your foreign exchange needs, so that you can focus on exploring your new home, making friends, and - most importantly - eating all the food. ¡Viva México!
Currency UK’s Mexico Recommendations:
Chilaquiles: Basically Mexican breakfast nachos - it’s even tastier than it sounds…
Frida: A fantastic introduction to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, this film is a must-watch prior to visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City.
Natalia Lafourcade: Mexican singer Lafourcade’s portfolio is made up of a mix of poetic pop songs, as well as more traditional Mexican folk music - a joy to listen to and perfect for taking your Spanish skills to the next level.
Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate): A unique novel by Mexican author Laura Esquivel - expect lots of magical realism!
Posted in Expat Resources on Sep 11 2018