Occasionally, a seller tries to charge you more just because you’re a foreigner. This is common with taxis, apartment rentals, restaurants, and street sellers. They figure that you don’t know the going rate so they can get away with overcharging. You just have to be careful and know what things cost before making a purchase.
I was once looking to buy a pair of cheap plastic flip flops when a guy tried to charge me 500 pesos (about $25). I just walked away l me. The going rate for cheap sandals is about 50 pesos ($2.50).
Always Being an Outsider
Even though Mexican people are generally welcoming and friendly, I still feel like an outsider at times. I don’t think I could ever fully integrate into society. Even if I lived in Mexico for the rest of my life and learned Spanish fluently, I would still be considered a gringo, unfortunately.
In large American, Canadian, or Western European cities, you have people from all over the world living and working together. Even if someone has an accent or comes from a different country they can still integrate and eventually be considered a local. I feel like that would never really happen to an expat living in Mexico.
Where to Live in Mexico
If, after reading the pros and cons, you have decided to make the move to Mexico, you have a big decision to make. Where in Mexico do you want to live? The country is incredibly diverse both geographically and culturally. Do you prefer the beach or the desert? Do you prefer a modern lifestyle or something more traditional?
Before you pack up all of your belongings and make the move, you’ll probably want to travel around a bit to get a feel for a few different cities. After settling on one, you may want to live there on a trial period for a month before making the commitment to move.
- Mexico City- For expats who don’t want to give up anything in terms of convenience or comfort, Mexico City is probably your best choice. In this world-class metropolis, you’ll find some of the best restaurants, museums, shopping, and bars in the country. Mexico City is surprisingly affordable as well for being such a large and developed capital city.
- Tijuana- This is a great choice for expats who want all of the benefits of living in Mexico without moving too far from the US. Tijuana is close enough that you can commute to work on the US side of the border every day. After work, just cross back to Mexico. This is a great way way to save some money. Living in Tijuana costs about a third of what it costs to live in San Diego. You can take advantage of many of the benefits of living in the US at the same time. For more info, check out my guide: Living in Tijuana as an American.
- San Miguel de Allende- This beautiful little colonial city is located in central Mexico in the state of Guanajuato. Here, you’ll find a large, established population of American expats, low cost of living, a comfortable climate, and plenty of natural beauty. The city is also very centrally located in Mexico which makes travel convenient.
- Guanajuato City- Located in central Mexico, Guanajuato city is known for its colorful buildings, hilly streets, and colonial architecture. This picturesque city has a great climate and a large expat population.
- Guadalajara- This second largest city in Mexico is located in the state of Jalisco in the western part of Mexico. Guadalajara offers an excellent climate, a large population, and a strong economy. This is a great choice for those who want to live in a big city.