Moving to Mexico: FAQs Answered

I’m moving to Mexico!!!

In June, I said adiós to Madrid. Spain was my home for two years, and while my experience there was better than I could have ever imagined, I knew it wasn’t my forever place.

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In January, I started to feel restless. I decided not to reapply to the North American Language and Culture Assistants program for a third year and began brainstorming what my next move would be. The possibilities were endless. Countries in the running included Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile.

However, it didn’t take us (my boyfriend and I) long to decide on Mexico. With less than two weeks until the big move, I couldn’t be more excited.

As was the case with moving to Spain, the reactions from my family and friends regarding moving to Mexico have been overwhelmingly positive. I’m fortunate to have so many supportive people in my life.

Of course, that support hasn’t come without questions. People love me so they want to know the thought process behind my decision. Perhaps you’d like to know it too.

So, here’s the lowdown on moving to Mexico featuring some frequently (like super frequently) asked questions:

Why are you moving to Mexico?

Mexico quickly became the obvious choice for several reasons:

  1. Travel between the U.S. and Mexico is easy and affordable. I just did a quick search for round trip flights between Chicago and Mexico City the week of Thanksgiving. United has a ticket for $390, and flight time is just four hours and 15 minutes. With options like that, I’ll be able to visit family and friends more frequently.
  2. Spanish is Mexico’s national language. While I’ve been in Michigan, I haven’t been speaking Spanish on a daily basis, and it feels like a part of me is missing. I’m incredibly proud of how much my Spanish progressed during the two years I lived in Madrid. I’m not ready to stop learning!
  3. History, culture and food! Mexico is a traveler’s dream come true. My new home will be the perfect base from which to explore.
  4. Travel to South America will be more convenient. Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Bogotá: the list of places I want to visit in South America is long. Although my priority to start will be discovering my new country, I plan to keep an eye out for airfare deals to S.A.
  5. An opportunity to get to know family. My mother’s side of the family is Mexican, and although my grandparents raised their children in the United States, we still have lots of extended family living throughout central Mexico. It’s been years since I’ve visited my relatives, but I have reached out to a few and look forward to building those relationships.

Where in Mexico?

I’m moving to Santiago de Querétaro, which is located in central Mexico. It’s approximately 132 miles northwest of Mexico City. Due to outstanding economic growth over the last decade, Querétaro is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mexico. The metropolitan area, which is home to more than one million people, has been repeatedly recognized for its high quality of life. Querétaro is often lauded as one of the safest cities in the country.

Map of Mexico

Image Credit: Nations Online (Text Overlay: Backpacking Brunette)

How long will you be there?

When I went to college, I knew I’d be there for four years. When I moved to Indianapolis, I knew I’d be there for eight months. When I moved to Madrid, I knew I’d be there for two years.

This will be the first time in my life that I move somewhere without knowing the end date, and that’s something I’m very much looking forward to. It can be difficult to establish relationships and get involved in a community when you’re only going to be around for a finite amount of time. For now, the plan is to stay in Mexico (not necessarily Querétaro) as long as I am happy there.

What will you be doing?

In December, I started teaching English online for a Chinese company called VIPKID. I’m already on my second contract with the company and plan to continue working for VIPKID after moving to Mexico. Since my teaching schedule is according to Beijing time, the hours will be early. I don’t mind though. I’ll be able to explore the city in the afternoon (and maybe even have more time for blogging). Furthermore, the flexible scheduling grants me the freedom to travel!

I don’t make a fortune teaching for VIPKID, but with central Mexico’s low cost of living, I’ll have no trouble covering my expenses.

In less than two weeks, I'll be exploring the gorgeous streets of Querétaro. Image Credit: Gerardo Olvera
In less than two weeks, I’ll be exploring the gorgeous streets of Querétaro. Image Credit: Gerardo Olvera

Aren’t you scared?

Mexico has certainly had its share of headlines recently. In September, the country suffered back-to-back earthquakes which caused severe damage and loss of life. Residents of Querétaro felt the earthquake on September 19, but no one reported injuries or damages.

Also in the headlines is drug-related violence. However, what many people don’t realize is that the majority of violence occurs far from where travelers visit. As with any country, it’s important to do your research. The U.S. State Department reports that travel to the state of Querétaro is safe, and there is no advisory in effect. Mexico City does not have an advisory in effect either.

Don’t you want to settle down?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what this question even means. I think it has something to do with babies and mortgages.

Once I get to Querétaro, my first order of business is finding an apartment. I will also need to get a cell phone and open a bank account. After I have a place to live, I’ll be able to start working again. In my free time, I’m looking forward to making friends. I can’t wait to start a new book club and join a gym.

All that sounds like settling down to me.

Have you ever lived abroad? If not, would you consider it? Leave your answer in the comments below!