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Leave Your Ego at The Border~Moving to Mexico Tip #1

Leave Your Ego at The Border~Moving to Mexico Tip #1

As a nearly 10-year Permanent Resident and grateful guest of Mexico, I would like to share a few observations made from witnessing some of the behavior of some of the visitors and expats in Mexico.

Please understand that my comments come from a desire to facilitate cultural understanding, appreciation, and most importantly, respect.

While my reality of living as an immigrant to Mexico is based upon my upbringing, my travels, my profession and my choices as an adult woman to raise my children in this magnificent land, it is not such a difficult-to-understand concept that when visiting or moving to another country (i.e. Mexico), that it is wise to do so with some forethought and preparation.

“Leaving your ego at the border” means to not come in and make demands. Not everything will go your way or exactly how you are accustomed to. Your host will not want to acquiesce to your every want and desire. Be open to the experience of being immersed in another culture with grace and gratitude.

Be mindful of the living room you are stepping into

  • Make an effort to learn the local language (some is better than none).
  • Study the national currency so that even a basic understanding will allow you to conduct your financial transactions with a touch of understanding, class and respect.
  • Be a keen observer of the cultural norms (and nuances) and adjust your own behavior in accordance with those–always remembering that you are a visitor and, ideally, a welcomed guest.
  • Understand that yelling at the barista, wait staff or service provider will not make your order come faster, assure its delivery in your desired state, nor make you a decent person.

A course in manners is not to be underrated 

I have witnessed enough distasteful interactions of folks who come to my beloved and adopted country of Mexico in search of “fun and freedom” that are cringe-worthy and simply shameful. As a former middle-school teacher, allow me to share an important acronym passed along to my many students: KISS

Keep It Simple Silly:

  • Be here legally Do not assume that your stay in Mexico on an expired FMM or Temporary Visa is a badge of honor for “skirting the system”. Quite the contrary, it is a total lack of respect and regard for the laws of this country, not to mention the fact that the possibility of being detained and deported doesn’t sound like a fun memory to add to your #tripreport.
  • Contribute to the local economy in a thoughtful, additive, sustainable way. 
  • Volunteer, become involved in your community, extend a helping hand to humans and animals alike.
  • Improve and care for the environment by being a socially-conscious observer, consumer and action taker.
  • Leave your ego (and fear) at the border, the dividends will be great and the rewards immeasurable.

I am aware that as a writer & Relocation Consultant, I am part of the process of this continual uptick in folks moving to Mexico. Would they have found their way here without me? Likely.

But I do feel a great responsibility to guide these “reinventions in Mexico” in a thoughtful, mindful and respectful way, so that the footprint that we expat families leave is one that carries with it the highest regard for Mexico and her people.

Mexico, your reverence for community, family, history and tradition is nearly palpable and something I will always treasure. Thank you for being home to so many of us that came looking for a better life. ¡Gracias, mi querido Mexico, te quiero!  

I hope that my words are received with the intention and spirit with which I have written them–to foster cultural appreciation, gratitude, kindness, and respect for a country that offers an open hand and gracious welcoming unlike any I have ever experienced before.

Leave Your Ego at The Border~Moving to Mexico Tip #1

Leave Your Ego at The Border~Moving to Mexico Tip #1

                                           ¡VIVA MÉXICO! 


About the author: Are you interested in knowing the inside scoop on moving to Mexico? Coastal vs. Central, Visa Process, Schooling, Housing, Medical Care & Expat Health Insurance, Car Importation, Budget, Cell Phone Service, Ins & Outs of Daily Life in Mexico? Together with my Retired Firefighter Hubby and our now 17-year-old twins, we immigrated to Mexico in 2012 from Southern California to create our lives anew. Nine years into our Mexico Adventure, we continue to help families, individuals and couples to carve out their own re-invented, re-inspired lives south of the border. If you too are interested in creating a life of design in Mexico, feel free to contact me at [email protected] for details on how I can be of service to you and your family. Saludos, Katie ☘️

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Peggy Morris April 2, 2022, 6:55 am

    After server al years of visiting Mexico, I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I recently bought a house near the ocean am eager to learn more about my community and get involved in activities and volunteering. I am a continuing student of the language .

    • Katie O'Grady April 2, 2022, 9:25 am

      Good Morning Peggy,
      Congratulations on your move to Mexico, what a grand chapter of one’s life.
      I doubt not that your community will graciously receive your efforts of involvement, including language acquisition, which we all have our own proclivity for. It is the effort that counts.
      Katie 🙂

  • Eric Bennett April 3, 2022, 12:04 am

    Genius writing as always. I would like to replace the “Border” with “Home. I truly believe egos and narcissism are the root of all that’s wrong in this world.

    I hope you and your family are well.


    • Katie O'Grady April 3, 2022, 12:56 pm

      Thank you, Eric.
      All is well with the fam and I hope the same for you and yours.
      And you are exactly right, leaving one’s ego at home is the best place to start.

  • Stephanie clair April 4, 2022, 9:14 am

    Katie you are humanity at its best! Thank you for your wisdom, kindness, and helping so many find a new way of experiencing life in Mexico. This was so spot on to what I feel when I see visitors being disrespectful …especially in the home that has so graciously invited them over to dinner. ❤️ We love Mexico and we love you! Keep up the great work.. Besitos – Stephanie

    • Katie O'Grady April 4, 2022, 4:41 pm

      Your message brings a big smile to my heart.
      Thank you, dear Stephanie…you words touch me so. Working with you was nothing but a delight and it has been such a joy to see your own family’s evolution and journey in Mexico.
      Un abrazo,
      Katie 🙂

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