It requires 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’re used to seeing; and how they manifest themselves might be different and, at first, alien to your customs. This journey of discovery is one that you’ll have to undertake consciously if you intend to create a new 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 certain whims, and 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 the well-documented contrasts present themselves regularly. Situations here will at times frustrate you or annoy you; sometimes they will appear to tease you for no apparent reason.
Mexico can also fill you with an energy and joy that will remain in you always. It’s this spontaneous tapestry that creates the almost mystical allure that has brought foreigners to live here, and live out their lives here, for better and for worse, for centuries. And when —or more precisely, 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 tread that testing path and adapt, Mexico will surely break your endeavors and send you back whence you came.
You might choose a big city, a home in the mountains, or perhaps you’ll find a tranquil place to live beside the ocean, or in the Mexican countryside. The topographical diversity here offers ample choice of locations.
Whatever location you choose, your true place, when you find it in Mexico, will be anchored in the spaces that you will come to adore but which you cannot easily define, and in the feelings you hold for them which cannot be easily expressed.
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 so often cited in lore, 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. To adapt, you’ll need to turn up with an open mind, with courage and tenacity, and be prepared to craft your own story here—on Mexico’s terms.
If what you’re seeing on the news keeps you away from Mexico, 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 requires due course. There are no shortcuts, no tricks or cheats to download, no instant answers. And as you embark on this journey you’ll never quite understand how irrelevant all your preconceptions are to become as Mexico simultaneously encourages and obliges you to find your peace amidst its contrasts and eccentricities.
If you come to truly embrace Mexico, as its closest friends who are foreign-born to these 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 discovery that brings you to being each day and a knowing within that here is where your life belongs.
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