This will be the final article in a series of “Things you need to know before moving to Mexico: Adjusting to your new lifestyle”
In this segment we will be talking about adjusting to a new lifestyle after moving to Mexico. Saying goodbye to your old life and hello to a new chapter can sometimes take a little time. After finding a new home and settling in, getting familiar with your surroundings and meeting new people can be a bit frightening.
In the beginning, taking baby steps leads to long and very rewarding strides. Don’t be afraid to go out during the day and explore your new neighborhood. Try shopping at a few local markets for your fruits and vegetables. If you live in town, there are a variety of grocery stores to choose from and yes, there is a Walmart. Shopping is actually a great resource to find other expats roaming the aisles. Don’t be afraid to go up and nonchalantly introduce yourself as being new to the community.
When cruising up and down the streets of Playa del Carmen, walk into places like salons or barber shops and get a feel for the stylist. Check out several medical and dental offices and speak with the physician and dentist. It is always a good idea to establish a local doctor. Ask about their fee schedules and hours. Doing this is the norm in Mexico and is expected. Especially in a place like Playa, where there is an extremely large expat community that also had to adapt to a new lifestyle.
Some of the most likely places to meet people are the local cafes, restaurants and bar & grills. Even if you don’t indulge in adult spirits, just order up your favorite beverage and strike up a conversation with other North Americans. We have found that these types of establishments are an easy way to develop friends and/or casual acquaintances. You can also get online and find out where many of the North Americans or expats frequent. Another good way to get to know people is by joining a church. There are several around Playa del Carmen that worship in English.
If you participated with an organization like the Kiwanis, Rotary or other international clubs back in the states, then there are probably extensions of them here in Mexico as well. The ‘Seaside Rotary Club’ is a very active association and could be another way of meeting other transplants. Meeting people is the quickest way to get acclimated to the area and have it start to feel like you are part of the community. You might want to consider joining an expat lunch or dinner club. Go online and search social media sites like Facebook or Twitter for more information.
Getting to know the town of Playa del Carmen and its people really isn’t any different than doing the same thing back in the United States. The Mexican people are very friendly and willing to help in any way they can. It will be a little awkward in the beginning. You might at one time or another second guess your reasons for moving abroad. But when things do start to fall in place and you adapt to your new surroundings, you will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. Choosing a new lifestyle is always a good idea!