Do you dream of moving to Yucatan?
Every day, readers like you tell us their secret... so many dream of living in Yucatán. Our friends at the Mérida English Library and the authors of blogs about life in Merida, such as writingfrommerida.com tell us that they too receive many heartfelt enquiries. The real estate listings are oh-so-enticing, but what is it really like to live in Merida or on the Gulf of Mexico? A very common question is: "Should we live at the beach or in the city?"
Do you enjoy natural surroundings and a laid back lifestyle or are you craving cultural activities and the stimulation of urban life – a la mexicana?
Of course, the only person that can really make that call is you.
The cost of living, prices of gas, food, utilities, the availability of English speaking doctors and good quality hospitals are other topics you need information about. You want to know how insurance companies and immigration function, how to get a household help and how much these services cost. All this and hundreds of other things are very much a concern when you are contemplating such a HUGE change.
A surprising number of people hear or read about Yucatan on the internet; they conclude that Mérida is a well appointed, safe, and reasonably priced place to live. Furthermore they discover there is a good sized international community, made up of retired Americans and Canadians, business people, students and that it’s gay friendly. They are bewitched and proceed to up and sell everything in the US or Canada, and move here WITHOUT visiting first! Others come and spend a winter season along the coast and also make a hasty decision to re-locate. We see this as just a tad rash...
If you are considering moving to Mérida or the surrounding area, we suggest you first come on an exploratory trip. Rent a furnished house on a month-to-month basis and look at everything with eyes wide open. Stay a minimum of six months and make sure to include the month of May. This way you will definitely experience the heat everyone talks about. Coming to this corner of the world between October and March, you’ll enjoy “the greatest weather in the world.” And compared to the freezing cold up north, it is just that! But stick around through the summer so that you are able to honestly judge your ability to “take the heat” It’s often a deal breaker... not everyone can tolerate a daily dose of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 100% humidity.
Many people love the idea of a “mañana lifestyle”, a more relaxed pace and every day siestas. It sounds charming, but after living in Yucatan for a while, you’ll see there’s a flip side. The plumbers, electricians and delivery people from the department store (who have your beds, fridge, living room furniture or whatever) also have a “flexible hours philosophy.” Sometimes, they won't show up at the hour, or even on the day, they said they would. And the same is true for the phone, power, gas and water providers, and especially the Cable guy! Here, things happen when they happen.
In Mérida and the coastal area, many ex-pat organizations such as the Merida English Language Library, the International Women’s Club and The Mérida Men’s Club are welcoming to newcomers. English is widely spoken, there is an international airport, crime is not a daily concern, and many US consumer products are available. Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco, Sears, and many familiar restaurants will give you “a taste of home.” But obviously, if you make the decision to live here, you have to keep in mind that the one to make adjustments will be you. Adapting to the Mexican people, their language and their way of life is not without its challenges.
Prices are not as low as they once were. It is possible to move to Mexico and live on a reduced income, but if this is your plan, keep in mind that it will be difficult not to be able to take advantage of everything this place offers and you can’t expect the services to always be up to US standards, although sometimes they exceed them.
Many people are happy living here full-time, year round. Others live here from October to April and then head north for the hotter months of spring and summer. If you are in the process of deciding what’s best for you... get all the info you can! A book written by a Canadian woman with 35 years experience living in Merida has recently been released. MAGIC MADE IN MEXICO will provide you with amusing anecdotes and much insight. It’s available on Amazon.
Check out the Merida blogs and internet sites like yolisto.com, see what’s available and then make that exploratory trip! The Mérida English Library should be one of your first stops once you arrive. Taking Spanish classes is also a great way to start...
Will you be happy living in Mexico? A lot depends on what your expectations are and how you’ll manage the inevitable challenges. Can you be flexible and do you truly want to enjoy a different lifestyle and cultural opportunities? If so, you’ll feel like a kid set loose in the candy store. Good luck to you!
For help getting price quotes on moving to Yucatán, click here.