I have a few more than 10 – here goes... Living in Mexico is not for everybody. Of course neither is Arkansas, but that is for another thread on a different forum.
If you are even thinking about retiring in Mexico, my suggestion would be to come down first and find a vacation home rental in a community where you are considering and spend a month minimum there. Once the new car smell wears off you will have a better chance to see the country for what it really is, with all its warts and cultural charm together. Only then can you know if you might be a good candidate to live here and actually enjoy the experience. Some thrive here, others don't. It depends a lot on who you are.
I have made my own list of the general traits I see in folks who seem to do well down here: 1. Bohemian 2. Self sufficient 3. Thick skinned 4. Easy going 5. Adaptable / flexible 6. Open minded 7. Adventurous 8. Non-complainer 9. Culturally inquisitive 10. Doesn't believe that you can't teach an old dog new tricks In my 30+ years living in various parts of Latin America (Argentina / Venzuela / Brazil / Mexico); I have had a pretty good opportunity to see how this works. My experience is that expats who can be identified by these traits (I probably missed some others that could be included) are the ones who truly do well in Latin America.
Now you need to be able to ask yourself some questions and give brutally honest answers. Your retirement / expat life happiness may depend on that honesty. Do any of the following particularly bother or upset you: 1. Your neighbor who leaves his trash cans out, days after the garbage truck goes by. 2. Your neighbor who likes to play loud music at 11:30 at night. 3. Your neighbor who mows his lawn only once a month. When he does it is usually on a Saturday morning at 6:00 AM. 4. Your neighbor who likes to work on his car in front of his house. He has 3 more in back that he will get to eventually. 5. Your neighbor who likes to have family get togethers every weekend and their family is bigger than many mid-western towns. 6. The grocery store frequently does not have 2 of the 5 items you went there to buy. 7. Electricity going out 5 minutes before your favorite TV show is to begin. 8. Water pressure going out the evening your family arrives to spend the weekend. 9. The mechanic tells you he will have your car ready at 5:00 PM and you thought that meant today. 10. The plumber hooked up your new sink with the hot and cold water reversed. 11. Barking dogs, blasting advertising from loud speakers or honking vendors in your neighborhood at 7:00 AM. 12. Are you the type to call the police, the city zoning enforcement officer or write letters to the editor of the local newspaper for everything that bugs you about things going on in your neighborhood back home, including any of the first 11 items in the list? A yes answer to two or more of any of the above or especially to question 12, indicates that there is a strong possibility that Mexico may not be a good choice for you for anything more than vacations and an occasional dental appointment.
If you are coming to Mexico to eat the same food you ate back home, live in a home with all the same features and amenities you had back home and want to maintain basically the same lifestyle you had back home... Then just stay back home. You will probably be a whole lot happier and the locals will probably be just as pleased to have never had the pleasure of staring at your grumpy, complaining mug every day as you gripe about any and all of items 1 through 11 on the list.
The expat life is not for everybody and it isn't a Scarlett Letter or anything. Just a simple fact and being able to be honest with yourself and realistic in your expectations. If you are the type that can focus on the side of Mexico that does appeal to you and not let some of this stuff bother you too much, then you just may be able to survive life as an expat in Mexico. In fact you might (gasp) actually learn to see life from a different perspective and come to the illogical conclusion that maybe there are a couple of things a third world country can teach us. (God forbid) It is all about perspective and attitude.
Thank you BajaGringo. Questions anyone?
Enjoy the Adventure! Suzanne
Suzanne Marie Bandick
Live your Dreams Life Coach
P.S. My book: Only in Mexico You Say? The Humorous Side of Living in Mexico is available now on my site http://www.onlyinmexicoyousay.com/
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