If you’ve been considering a life abroad, whether as an expat, immigrant, or traveler – Mexico is one country you’ll want to add to your list. Here are 10 reasons to help you make the leap into new experiences, a different culture, and likely a higher quality of life.
1. Proximity to the US/Canada
Mexico is close enough for a quick trip ‘home’, yet diverse and far enough to appeal to that wanderer inside of you. Taking trips to the US or Canada are affordable and quick. If you live close enough to the northern border of Mexico (Tijuana), you can literally cross the CBX Bridge into San Diego. Another perk of proximity is the ability to stock up on items in the US/Canada that may not be readily available in Mexico.
Easy Entry Requirements
Mexico’s entry requirements for tourists are some of the most laxed we’ve seen since leaving the U.S. in 2017. Mexico allows tourists, from several countries, entry for up to 180 days for a single visit. This is technically a tourist permit and you don’t have to worry about a whole page of your passport being used up on a visa. Upon entry, you’re given an FMM form (multiple immigration form) to keep and present to immigration on your departure, so keep it safe. We’ve been granted 180 days for each of our 3 entries into Mexico. It’s worth noting that you may not be granted the full 180 days but its commonplace to receive it.
Mexico’s beautifully diverse country has attracted droves of visitors, travelers, immigrants, and expats for decades! There are 1.5 million Americans alone that have chosen to call this country home. There are many reasons for this but I believe an appealing choice is how easy it is to make a smooth transition here due to the tranquil lifestyle, other like minded folks, and available amenities. Mexico IS NOT the United States or Canada but you will find familiar brands, restaurants, stores, services and facilities in larger cities that can feel a bit like home. Big box stores (Costco/Sam’s), Walmarts, fast food chains (Micky Ds, KFC, Dominoes,etc…), restaurant chains (Applebees, Outback, Olive Garden, etc…), and commercial centers are prevalent in many cities. #nojudgement
Another great contributing factor to a smooth transition are the huge expat/foreigner enclaves in Lake Chapala, Merida, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, and Guanajuato (to name a few) that have built services and supportive communities around helping new comers transition into Mexico. If you’re keen on living on the largest lake in Mexico, Lake Chapala boasts a large retirement community and claims to have the largest expat organization in the world – The Lake Chapala Society.
Cost of Living
Moving from a country where the cost of living is higher than in Mexico is a huge factor in determining your cost of living and quality of life. We’re able to stretch our dollars FAR in Mexico without sacrificing quality. We’ve broken down our cost of living in Merida and Guadalajara to show just how far the US dollar can go. Additionally, with the increase in quality of life its easier to afford services that were a mark of luxury back home i.e. a nanny, chef, cleaners, etc…
Renting and Buying Real Estate
It is quite easy to rent a house or apartment in Mexico. Housing is varied and widely available for all price points, styles, and amenities. You generally need proof of income, references, deposits and possibly a fiador (land/property owner in Mexico that can act as a guarantor). In instances where a fiador was needed as a part of the renting process we’ve been able to skirt one by offering to pay additional deposits or a few months rent in advance.
There are also many opportunities to purchase or invest in Mexican real estate. A lawyer is needed (and recommended) to walk with you through the process. International Living has a great step by step guide to get you on your way to securing property in Mexico.
Mix of Cultures
Mexico has a deep and rich history. Many cultures had/have a hand in building Mexico into what it is today. From the ancient civilizations of the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Teotihuacan and Toltec, to the short lived French occupation and the final Spanish colonization – Mexico encompasses a lot of old and new world. Throughout the small villages in Mexico to it’s bigger bustling cities, this culmination of influence is evidenced in the people, the food, the garb, and the architecture. There are even 68 indigenous languages that are formally recognized by the Mexican government. This mix of cultures is often astonishing to witness.
Beautiful and Varied Landscapes
The hardest part about moving to Mexico might be deciding where to go. Mexico boasts 5,800 miles of coastline along the Pacific, Caribbean, and Gulf waters. Mexico is also home to mountains, valleys, desserts, canyons, and volcanoes. Each beautiful part of Mexico comes with it’s pros and cons – but it’s a little hard to narrow the options down with this much amazingness.
Just as hard as selecting your preferred landscape will be deciding the climate you’re most comfortable in. Again, Mexico is not short on options. Climate in Mexico ranges from hot and humid to cold and semi-arid. Finding the right mix is all a part of the adventure.
Food is a major part of any culture. Dare I say Mexican cuisine is even a major part of American culture *gasp*. The food is Mexico is unlike any other and is as varied and beautiful as it’s people. There are seven regions of Mexican cuisine where some of the world’s most mouth-watering dishes originate. Each region is known for it’s own special salsas, moles, herbs, ingredients and cultural influences. Mexico is a foodie lovers dream and can end up being a delightful nightmare to your waistline.
Out of all the countries we’ve lived in and/or traveled to, the people in Mexico are: Simply the best…better than all the rest…better than- you get the point. We’ve even lived in the land of smiles (Thailand), and are in complete agreement that the Mexican people are a huge part of why we chose Mexico to be our current home and part of the reason we don’t mind staying longer than initially planned. The people here are welcoming, authentic, friendly and wonderful ambassadors. Most of the Mexicans we’ve interacted with are helpful (with any issue), patient (with our broken Spanish), and simply want to ensure you have a great time in their country.
It’s almost impossible to try and list all the reasons why Mexico should be on your short list of destinations abroad but these 10 give it good go. Don’t sleep on Mexico. It will surprise you when you give it the chance.