16 September 2016

Laura Bronner - Expat in Mexico

Laura Bronner - Expat in Mexico

We’ve had the chance to talk to Laura Bronner, 28, an American expat who has moved to Mexico with her boyfriend. Ms. Bronner who has been living there for two months, now works as a social media consultant and blogger.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I’m originally from the US.


Q: What made you move out of the USA?

A: I met my boyfriend in college, he’s from the UK and I’m from the US - so when we graduated from college we decided that we would both leave our respective countries and live somewhere completely different together.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: I’m living in Mexico City. My boyfriend landed a great job here that he couldn’t pass up, and since I’m able to work from anywhere that there’s the internet, I jumped at the opportunity to live in a Spanish speaking country with an abundance of tacos.


Q: How long have you been living in Mexico?

A: I’ve only been in Mexico for two months - but we’re planning to stay for at least a year, maybe more!


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: I live with my boyfriend.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: I definitely miss my family - my brothers have babies, my parents are getting older, all of my friends are getting married and having babies - I miss a lot by not being around. I Skype and FaceTime with family and friends as often as our schedules allow. Living in Mexico City is a favorable time difference for me, so it’s been a lot easier to organize times to talk, which has been really nice.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: Mexicans are warm, funny, kind. I live in a local neighborhood outside of the city center, and the people that live here are so nice and helpful.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Mexico? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: Meeting people and making friends is definitely the hardest part about moving to a new place. I have found it especially difficult because I work for myself. I’m not headed to a workplace where I have colleagues to go out for drinks with or help me acclimate. I’ve relied on groups like Internations and Meetup. I joined a running group and reached out to other bloggers that are passing through. It’s a solid mix of locals and other expats, which I like. It’s definitely one of my biggest struggles since moving to Mexico.


Q: How does the cost of living in Mexico compared to your home?

A: It’s weird – some things are WAY cheaper than they are in the US, while other things are around the same price. It depends a lot on whether you go to a local Mexican neighborhood or to the city center where things are more expensive and cosmopolitan.

  •  Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: A cup of coffee in the city center is between 30 and 40 pesos ($1.50-$2.00).

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: You can get tacos for 7 pesos (35¢) or a comida corrida, which is a three-course lunch in a local restaurant, for about 50 pesos ($2.50).

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: A meal in a fancy and expensive restaurant in somewhere like Polanco can be anywhere between $60 and $80 per person.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: I haven’t bought either, but a beer in a restaurant is between 40 and 80 pesos ($2-$4).


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Mexico is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: I haven’t had to use the healthcare system yet, but some of my friends have, and they are able to get simple healthcare at a very affordable price. You pay about 100 pesos ($5) to see a doctor, most speak very good English.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in USA or Mexico? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: If you get a job in Mexico, health insurance should definitely be negotiated into your contract.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: I think the biggest challenge is always learning the customs and culture of your new country. On the surface, it may seem simple, but there are so many small things - not showing the palm of your hand to someone, the right words for excuse me or I’m sorry. It’s important to me to get to know a place like a local - it’s why I move somewhere in the first place


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Mexico?

A: I love having access to cheap, delicious food, I love being able to be fully immersed in the Spanish language, I love getting to know locals and learning about them and their stories. Sometimes, though, being an expat in a country with a different language and different cultural norms can feel very isolating. It’s hard to make friends at first, and you make social blunders that you would never make in your own country. It’s a hard adjustment at first.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: Get out and eat locally. The best food I’ve eaten in Mexico City has been from the street vendors. The markets are another great place to explore and people watch - especially in San Angel, Coyoacan, Condesa, and Roma.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: Right now I’m focused solely on Mexico. I want to explore the city and get out and see more of the country, too. No plans for going anywhere else at the moment.


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?

A: Be open to experiencing new things and meeting new people. Practice your Spanish!


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Mexico?

A: My favorite blogs about Mexico (besides my own of course!) are Mexico in My Kitchen for learning how to cook Mexican dishes, No Hay Bronco for things to do around Mexico, and What’s Cooking Mexico for places to eat around Mexico.