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We became an Expat Family, as Seen on Elephant Journal

We became an Expat Family, as Seen on Elephant Journal


I check in with this every so often…74.1k views and 12.8k shares later, our story seems to continue to make its rounds.

Thank you Elephant Journal for the feature. 

Originally written in April of 2015…


After my last post “The Story of Us & How Mexico Has Changed Our Destiny Forever”, I spent the next several weeks very focused on creating, editing and finishing my article for Elephant Journal

Writing for a specific audience and platform outside of the known landscape of my blog is very different. Honestly, it was very challenging to stay within a defined word count and needing to “trim it down” and “hone in on my message”.

You see, an individual piece within the context of my blog has a definite continuity and thread tying one story to another…a certain cohesive chronology and relationship between the pieces. Standing alone, without the backdrop of my blog as a whole to support, compliment and fill in any intentional or incidental gaps…well, it’s just very different.

And my pictures tell their own story. Together with the written word, they lend enhanced imagery to the written word. Knowing that not all of the photos that I submitted with the piece would be published made getting the words down just right even more challenging.

Lastly, having a piece accepted for publication by Elephant Journal also means granting them editorial rights…a little unnerving to think of having my voice and style tweaked a bit, but it was a chance I was willing to take. I was not about to miss this opportunity to be published on such a solid, well-known platform as Elephant Journal, what with a readership of over 17 million a month!

After much thought, reflection, editing, taking a break and then coming back to do it all over again, I at last finished my article and pushed send when we were vacationing in the Yucatan during Semana Santa. The next day I heard back from the editor that they were indeed accepting it for publication! Woohooo! A Big Happy Dance broke out amongst The O’Gradys! 

Having my work featured on Elephant Journal was a game changer. To date, there have been over 74,000 views of my article “We became an Expat Family“. Not bad for a first-timer. The increased exposure has been great, creating a broadened connection with other like-minded wanderlust souls looking for (or already living) a life outside of the box and on their own terms in Mexico or elsewhere in this big, diverse world.

The majority of feedback from readers has been positive, encouraging, kind, supportive. 

Surprising (but to be expected, I suppose) was the small cast of negative nellies that felt compelled to stand in judgment of– with their chosen interpretation (or misinterpretation as it may be)– of somebody else’s life. You can see for yourself on the long comment thread below the EJ article itself. This was eye-opening and skin thickening, for sure, however, I learned long ago that “you spot what you got”. People will interpret, judge, make assumptions or conclusions based on their own personal circumstances, dispositions, life-outlooks, and experiences.

Ultimately, all that really matters is living a life of integrity and honesty, standing in truth, and being proud to do so.

I am. We are.

Saludos de Los O’Gradys in Mexico.

To see the full article on Elephant Journal, please click here: We became an Expat Family




About the author: Together with my Retired Firefighter Husband and our now 19-year-old twins who were just 8 when we immigrated to Mexico in 2012, we have created a joyful life of design and freedom South of The Border. Welcome to Los O’Gradys in Mexico! Saludos, Katie 🇲🇽 ☘️

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Lori Greene May 17, 2015, 10:25 pm

    Wishing you good luck with your surgery and hoping for a speedy recovery!

  • Roslyn MacKenzie Jones May 17, 2015, 10:43 pm

    Your In Safe Hands Katie, See You In Here Again Soon

    • Katie O'Grady May 17, 2015, 10:44 pm

      Muchas Gracias Roslyn,

      I feel that I am in very good hands with this team and I am very grateful for that…

      Hasta pronto,

      Katie 🙂

  • Paul May 18, 2015, 8:14 am

    Good luck, Katie. Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Katie O'Grady May 18, 2015, 9:19 am

      Thank you so much Paul…

      I do appreciate that.

      Katie 🙂

  • Brock May 18, 2015, 12:28 pm

    You got this Sisterrrrr!

    Love You. ❤️

    • Katie O'Grady May 18, 2015, 1:11 pm

      Now here come the tears….

      Thank you Brotherrrrr, yes I do!

      I love you too. 🙂

  • Bernice May 18, 2015, 12:45 pm

    i am very sure that God will bless a family like yours, and give you doctors with the best wisdom and care, courage for your children and husband, and that you will be well! My thoughts and prayers are with you, and beautiful San Miguel de A (awaiting my yearly visit next Jan and Feb).

    • Katie O'Grady May 18, 2015, 1:25 pm


      I am deeply touched by your kind words and wishes/prayers for me and my family. Thank you.

      I trust that I am in good hands all around. I am a blessed and lucky woman.


      Katie 🙂

  • Rick May 18, 2015, 5:09 pm

    I’ve had friends opt for surgeries in Mexico even though it would have been free NOB since they had full coverage with Medicare. They didn’t want the upheaval with travel, recovery in motels or staying with friends.

    In one case she paid $8000 for two surgeries even though she was living on on social security and it would have been free up-north. No regrets, excellent results with a peaceful recovery in her local home.

    • Katie O'Grady May 18, 2015, 10:44 pm

      Hi Rick,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me.

      Of the many reasons I have for choosing to not do this in the States, the logistics of it all is a big one.

      I especially like your last sentence….same thing I am manifesting!


      Katie 🙂

  • Lourdes May 19, 2015, 6:13 pm

    Prayer said!! From reading your blog you seem like a kind and genuine family. Only good things will come your way. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    • Katie O'Grady May 22, 2015, 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much Lourdes,

      I am now home in bed being tended to by my wonderful children, husband and Mom who came to Central Mexico from the States to help care for me.

      I am a loved and lucky lady.


      Katie 🙂

  • Carol Nicola May 22, 2015, 11:28 pm

    Hi Katie,

    Just wanted to drop a note saying how happy I am that you are through your surgery, and all went well! I know that was no small decision on your part. Did you wind up signing up for IMSS or did you pay for private care on your own? I have Seguro Popular, but am considering upgrading to IMSS.

    Thanks for any info.

    I have followed your fb page and your blog for a little while now and I have to say your life, your marriage, your love for your husband and children are so inspiring! A sunny-side up attitude like you have will take us far.

    Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery and hoping no more abdominal pain in your future!

    Hugs, Carol

    • Katie O'Grady May 22, 2015, 11:40 pm

      Hi Carol,

      What a lovely message to receive. Thank you.

      IMSS does not allow for pre-existing conditions (at the time of our research that was what we were told) and while we do have Seguro Popular, we decided to go the private route considering the type of care and specialists I needed.

      I was fortunate enough to find an excellent/stellar team in Celaya and I and my family are forever grateful for their detailed, caring, humanistic, professional care. I can’t say enough good things about the thoroughness and attention to detail every step of the way.

      If I can answer any questions, I am happy to. I firmly believe that setbacks or challenges serve no purpose if we do not help others with what we have learned from our own.

      Cheers y un fuerte abrazo,


      • Carol May 24, 2015, 8:29 pm

        Okay… thanks for the info! Let’s have a coffee when you are up and about. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

        ps…. just curious, I read your previous posts on the health topic and your concerns about pain meds. Were you able to get the kind of post-surgery pain meds you need? Another friend just had surgery and could not get them… so was curious. Gracias.


        • Katie O'Grady May 25, 2015, 6:39 pm

          Hi Carol,

          Would love to have a coffee together! In fact, I can’t wait to have some coffee!

          Thank you for your well wishes….every day I am stronger, but also know I need to take it easy.

          I just posted a new article, “Margarita from Michoacán” were I speak to the entirety of my hospital stay, including the pain meds issue.


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