I’ve lived in the Vancouver area my whole life, where it rains for 6-8 months of the year. The Pacific Northwest is very much known for its weather. I often get asked by people I meet while travelling this same question: “What it’s like to live in such a cold and rainy place?” I always say that if it didn’t rain so much, then it wouldn’t be so green and so beautiful! J
But there’s another beautiful place, a lot further down south, in Mexico called the Baja Sur. Where there’s 350 days of sun --making it a warm, tropical paradise. That was definitely a major draw for me to move from Canada to Mexico, but wait...there’s more! 😉
It’s also a slower, simpler pace, an escape from the faster pace and noisy environment of downtown city living. After getting fed up with years of paying the sky-high rent in downtown Vancouver, and not looking forward to the gloomy Fall & Winter season, I decided to make the move.
And for many more reasons --Mexico has long been the most popular country for American and Canadian expats. As of right now there are over 1 million and that number is increasing every year. Since Trump became President the peso has been crushed and Mexico is now a super cheap place to not only visit, but to live.
Right now, a dollar is worth 22 pesos. Therefore, making life very inexpensive for a single gal like myself to live in Mexico, while also giving me a quality of life that I could never afford in Vancouver. And I am in the most expensive and touristy part of Mexico.
Even with that being said, it is STILL significantly cheaper in all areas... cheap food, cheap housing, cheap groceries, cheap gas, cheaper to do outdoor activities/hobbies, and cheaper to have a fun-filled and action packed night out on the town.
The occasional sun burn, sand in everything, damaged hair, and even the odd cockroach or spider doesn’t scare me. It’s a small trade off to wake up (almost every single day) and see the blue sky, the sun shining, gorgeous tropical trees and plants, colourful flowers, and unique beautiful birds with BIG beautiful songs! (see my video below!)
I absolutely LOVE to travel and be immersed in different cultures, meet new people and learn new languages. And after going on holidays in Mexico several times, I knew it would be a great place to stay for longer than just a couple weeks.
But unfortunately Mexico has an undeserved, bad reputation, particularly in the United States and Canada. If you watch any form of American and Canadian news, you’ve likely heard negative news about Mexico. The U.S. media likes to perpetuate many myths about Mexico —mostly that it's dangerous and scary.
Some localized areas are dangerous due to the drug wars. But keep in mind, that Mexico is a huge place! And other countries, particularly every big city, have dangerous neighborhoods.
The majority of Mexican cities are safe, and statistics are often inflated by the drug wars between police and the cartels.
The reality is that if you are committing crimes, then it's dangerous for you to travel anywhere.
But if you don't have ties to the cartels, traveling and living in Mexico isn't inherently dangerous. Most of the cartel/gang activity is a result of feuds between two groups, NOT attacks on tourists.
The real Mexico is so different than the bullshit you see in the media and what fearful people say.
In this blog post and my next, I will share stories, pics and videos in hopes of letting people know what it’s actually like --gorgeous, inexpensive, safe, deep cultural heritage, and the locals are friendly and welcoming.
Of course, if you are a gal travelling and living alone, you do have to be cautious. Especially as a 6 foot tall blonde, I know I stand out! But you’ve gotta be smart, don’t put yourself in precarious circumstances.
The region I am in is breathtaking, with its white sandy beaches, bright blue ocean, and an abundance of marine life, as well as tons of sporting activities and entertainment options.
Although there are expats EVERYWHERE (I’ve met so many) I am of the belief that it is super important to interact with the locals, and make friends that are Mexicans. The locals know where to go, where not to go, who to stay away from, and where all the best deals are.
I learned to speak some Spanish, at least well enough to carry on a simple conversation and to do things like ordering off of a menu and ask basic questions at the grocery store. But English is spoken in all the touristy areas, but even in the areas it’s not, the locals are kind and helpful and try to understand you. Or better yet there’s several awesome language and translator apps that come in very handy!
I know that now is not the time to travel, but hopefully we will all be able to do that again soon-ish. And I hope that you will consider Mexico as a safe, and fun place to visit if you haven’t already.
You might also want to check out my blog post: 6 Ways How Travelling Builds Confidence
I will write another blog post about a few of my thrilling adventures, like Swimming with Whale Sharks in La Paz, Snorkeling at Santa Maria Bay, Whale Watching in Cabo and a trip out to the Hot Springs in Santiago .
Here’s some pics and videos of some of my magical Mexican adventures... 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
And here some movies I made with the 100's (probably thousands! :O ) of videos I've taken! haha! 😀