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Linda: Retiring to Mazatlan

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Mexico makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Mexico, etc.

In 2009 we knew we would be retiring a year later and on a ‘look see’ vacation to Mazatlan, SIN, Mexico, for the first time, we found what we were looking for. So, in 2010 we retired from local government jobs and sold our home and cottage in Canada, sold almost all of our goods and moved down to Mazatlan to enjoy nice weather, a more relaxed lifestyle, meet other expats and still be able to live on a small pension. With the invention of the internet and Skype it makes it possible to live away from your family and friends and yet keep up with them, even daily.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

Friends and relatives were always asking what we do in Mexico. Blogging seemed an easy way to get the information out to those we know and then I started getting emails from all over the world. Seems our little life here was of interest to others.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

After spending 55 years in Canada where many nationalities move to take up residence, we could never understand why they didn’t learn English or French in their new country of choice.

After living in Mexico we now have an understanding of the whole, learn the ‘other’ language debate as is evident in these two blogs.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Mexico differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Time is of no relevance in Mexico.

Beggars are everywhere. When you realize that they are working, yes this is their job, since they don’t have welfare you don’t mind giving them a few pesos here and there. You have to remember that these people don’t sit at home and wait for the gov’t to support them. They work from early morning till late at night.

Even though people work very hard, day in and day out, for little pay, they do not complain about their jobs! Everyone sings down here…waiters, construction workers, people on the street. It’s marvelous to hear!

Driving is a whole other animal down here. No matter how busy traffic is in Canada, it doesn’t compare to it here…and yet it works!

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Mexico? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

We could have rented before jumping into buying a home right from the start, but it all worked out, but there is one thing that we should have really done …moved here earlier!

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

After selling all our goods and properties in Canada, we noticed that winter parkas were being sold in the Mazatlan in October! Hub and I both thought they were nuts, after all, Canadians know what cold is and Maz is in the tropics! Well, after being here for a couple of years, we have gotten used to the climate now and find it damn chilly even at 70°F…but when it hits 60F we’re freezing!! We now have acquired ‘winter’ clothes…sweaters, socks, long pants, scarves and gloves!! Who would have thought?

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Mexico?

  • If you’re going to start your life in Maz, don’t bring down everything from Canada. The stores are large and filled with everything you’re looking for. It might take you a while to find that special something you need or want, but almost everything is available here.
  • Get used to looking up and look down whenever you are walking in Mazatlan. Everything is concrete and there’s always an A/C poking out of window at your heads height that you will walk into and look down for the broken sidewalks. Newbies always think… ‘Why don’t they fix that damn thing…someone is going to hurt themselves!’ Relax…it’s just the way things are in Mazatlan.
  • Learn to relax! Nothing runs swiftly in Mazatlan or Mexico. Manana means, tomorrow… but it also means, just not today.

How is the expat community in Mexico? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

There was never a problem meeting expats from day one. They are everywhere!

How would you summarize your expat life in Mexico in a single, catchy sentence?

We don’t need a sentence…just one world…. ‘Paradise.’

Francois Bertrand

"The last InterNations event was just great: I had some very nice chats with fellow expats (even Canadians like me) in Mexico City. "

Barbara Melington

"With InterNations, we had the chance to find a good bi-lingual school for our children in Mexico. They are gonna grow up as true 'third-culture kids'! "

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