The True Experience of Living in Mexico

If someone were to ask you what it’s like to live in the United States of America, your answer would vary depending on where you live. The same can be said for Mexico, as there are many different regions and experiences within the country. While there is no one answer to describe life in Mexico, it can be likened to a buffet of opportunities and lifestyles that are unique to each individual. While stereotypes may suggest that Mexico is all about margaritas and white sand beaches, there is much more to the country than that, although those things are certainly abundant.

When comparing Mexico to the U.S., it is important to note that both countries have varying climates, but Mexico is generally much warmer. Both countries also have diverse geographical features such as deserts, mountains, plains, beaches, gulfs, bays, lakes, rivers, and national parks. However, Mexico has the advantage of a rich and vibrant culture, ancient archaeological ruins, and world-class food.

The different regions within both countries also contribute to their unique food zones. Coastal areas in Mexico offer delicious seafood that is prepared differently depending on the region, while the middle of the country provides livestock, dairy, farmed products, and a variety of natural resources. Each region also has its own unique culture that is shaped by history and shared experiences. Just as the English language varies from state to state in the U.S., the Spanish language spoken in Mexico also has regional variations.

Given the diversity within Mexico, it is impossible to provide a definitive answer about what it’s like to live in each region. However, I can share my personal experience of living in Mexico, specifically on the Yucatan Peninsula, where my wife and I reside. Our journey to Mexico began in Ecuador in 2010, where we started our expat life. Since then, we have maintained our permanent expat status and have only returned to the U.S. for brief visits. We initially lived in the bustling tourist city of Cancun, but after four years, we realized it wasn’t the right fit for us. We decided to build our permanent retirement home in a small Maya village in the state of Yucatan. The village has a population of about 450 people, and while no one speaks English, everyone speaks Mayan, and most also speak Spanish. It is a peaceful and charming place for us to call home.

Our home in Mexico is a modern and attractive air-conditioned structure that was custom built by local craftsmen based on our plans. It is made of concrete block and stone, built on a hand-dug foundation down to the bedrock. The craftsmanship is excellent, and the total cost of the construction was approximately $38,000. We built our home out-of-pocket over the course of six months, and we were able to move in after three months even though construction was still ongoing.

Living in Mexico is relatively simple and affordable. We have a small team of helpers who take care of us and our home, and the essentials of our life cost about $1,200 per month. Our home and vehicle are fully paid off, and we can go to restaurants as often as we like. We also have help with laundry, maintenance, and cleaning, and our pets and home are well-taken care of when we travel. Despite not being wealthy, we are able to live comfortably in Mexico.

In terms of location, we are about two hours away from Cancun and the Caribbean Sea, so we can easily take day trips to enjoy the beach. We are also two hours away from the historic city of Merida and only 30 minutes from Valladolid, which is known for its Spanish architecture and vibrant market. The cost of living in our area is about 35 to 40 percent less than a small Midwestern city in the U.S. The Mexican government controls gas prices, and they are always fair. Healthcare is easily accessible, with several hospitals and clinics in our area offering affordable medications without prescriptions.

Living retired in Mexico has its challenges, such as learning a new language and adapting to a new culture, but the advantages far outweigh the inconveniences. Our life in a small village in Mexico is unique, rewarding, and economical. It required planning, flexibility, and perseverance, and while it may not be for everyone, we personally love it.

In conclusion, Mexico is a diverse country with many different regions and experiences. Living in Mexico can vary greatly depending on where you are, and each person’s experience will be unique. However, for those who are willing to embrace the culture, language, and lifestyle, living in Mexico can be a rewarding and affordable experience.

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