When my husband and I decided to spend a few years traveling abroad, our first place of interest was Mexico. We had been to Mexico a few times, for a week at a time on vacation, and enjoyed it. Wanting to start our travels, we figured we could “try” living in
another country, and still be close enough to our home base to return if we needed to. What we have found is so much more than we could have imagined! Here I will try to break down some of the best reasons we found to move to Mexico:
Location. It is close to the US and offers a culture different from ours, along with a language we wanted to learn. The weather is more temperate than many places in the US, although you will find some hot spots! You won’t see snow, unless you are at the top of a mountain.
Economics. First, let me preface this by saying that we are not recommending you sell your worldly goods, quit your job, and pack up the kids for a move. We are assuming that you have either retired, or are living on an income that is continuous. If you work for a company that offers you the option of living in Mexico, that is also a good reason to move here!
You can live very economically in most areas of Mexico, spending less than you would in the US. Assuming you won’t need a luxurious lifestyle to keep you happy, you will do quite well. If you do crave a luxurious lifestyle, you can find that too, with spending much less.
If you are living on a fixed income you can moderate your costs in Mexico. Food costs are lower and food tends to be fresher, especially the fruits and vegetables. Most towns and villages have mercados (markets) where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish daily. You may even improve your health!
Rent costs, if you choose to rent (rather than buy) are lower. You can find nice 2-3 bedroom houses or apartments for less than $300 per month. We have friends who recently moved to Puerto Escondido, a seaside town in southern Oaxaca, and they pay $270 a month for a furnished 2 bedroom apartment, 2 blocks from the ocean. Rents can be as low as $80 per month so you can find whatever suits your budget.
If you have a car with you, you will be required to buy Mexican car insurance. As a traveler, I understand the cost can be quite reasonable (less than $300 per year). Check with the many companies that issue traveler’s car insurance for Mexico. Usually they are located in states bordering Mexico (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas)
Aesthetic Value. Living in another country tends to help a person be a bit more humble, a bit more aware of what he says, and more aware of his surroundings. You are humbled by what you don’t know, and are dependent upon others to help you. You are more aware of what you say, because, in most cases, Spanish is not a first language for you, and you are very “literal” in what you say. It is easy to understand why you are more aware of your surroundings. There is much to see that is old, well worn, or even historical.
We enjoy seeing interactions among families in Mexico. Most are very close and show affection easily. We enjoy the warmth and openness of the Mexican people as a whole.
I won’t try to explain how you should choose Mexico. It is a personal thing. But I can tell you that our experience has been a great one that we could have not had by just visiting during vacations