Interview with a Gringa

It seems that even after nine and a half years of living in Mexico, people still find it hard to believe that a Gringa would pack up her things, leave "the comfort and luxury of her homeland" and move to Mexico.  This always leads to a multitude of questions.  I know that some of you have asked a lot of the same questions, so here are my answers!

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

1.  Why did you move to Mexico?  This is never an easy question to answer.  I usually tell people it was out of curiosity.  During a visit to the States, Hubby's eldest brother kept mentioning how wonderful our life could be in Mexico.  Although we found the idea more than appealing, we quickly put it out of our minds, because I was about to give birth to our second child.

A year later, my in-laws went to the States for a visit and mentioned that my brother-in-law still wanted us to move to Mexico.  We thought about it and finally decided to give it a try.  For six months.  Well, we liked it so much we've been here for almost 10 years.  (You can read the whole story here.)

2.  Do you like Mexico?  I love Mexico!  The food, the people, the culture, the traditions.  I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't liked it here, I would have returned to the U.S. long ago.

3.  Was it hard getting used to living in Mexico?  Oh yeah!  It was very hard.  I cried myself to sleep almost every night during the first six months.  My new life in Mexico wasn't bad, but it was very different from the life that I was accustomed to in the States.  And I missed my grandparents and friends, terribly!  BUT...I adapted and finally fell in love with life here.  *For those of you who have just moved to Mexico or are planning on moving here, it does get easier as time goes by.  Just be patient!  

This quote from Maya Angelou sums it up best:  "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

4.  Do you miss the United States?  Yes.  And no.  I miss my friends and grandmother the most.  And I miss certain traditions/holidays that aren't celebrated in Mexico. 

5.  Does your family visit you?  Sadly, no.  My grandpa did come visit me 6 months after I moved here.  Pappy wanted to see where I had moved to and he wanted to be sure that I was being treated well.  He and my grandmother made another visit in March 2006, to meet their newest great-grandchild. (Jack.) 

Pappy passed away 3 years ago.  My grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, is living in a rest home.  (My wonderful Uncle looks after her.)  And my mother passed away 3 months after my grandpa.  So, I really don't have any family that can come visit me.

6.  Do you visit the United States often?  No.  My last visit to the States was almost 8 years ago.  I don't mean to sound crass, but there is nothing for me to go back to.  (See question #5)

7.  How did you learn to speak Spanish so well?  First of all, people almost never believe me when I tell them that I am 1/4 Mexican.  Then I go on to tell them the story explaining that I had to learn Spanish when my grandmother married Pappy, my step-grandfather, who was Mexican and spoke no English at all.  (Click here to read all about it.) 


    1. What a good story, you know I was in Mexico for some of Feb with the hubby, but I am always crying for the first 3 days that I am there and the hubby says how can we be happy when you are so unhappy we can't be happy together if you aren't happy here. Part of it was living with him mother and grandmother in a close living quarters. So we are trying to figure things out, I am coming to terms with if we want to be together I need to give up on some dreams and gain new dreams, I am learning now after being back here that some of my dreams aren't so important now after living without him. I can develop new dreams and I am starting to learn to love them! All the stuff I was taught that I needed I am learning that I really don't need or want anymore! Relationships are more important than any fancy china!! But good to know it will get easier in time!!! At least the hubby and I are still talking and trying to figure it all out! Ya know my uncle also told me when I got this 1400 worth of china from family and friends for wedding gifts see that cabinet that is where our china is and after 15 years and we have used it once! It is not so important and you do not need it! He is so right I was taught that I did need it, the fancy wedding ring up here which I am in the middle of selling, and the china! But, thanks for your post it is helping me and others put things in perspective! Life is short and these things are just things!

    2. I love how brave you are! Paul and I have talked about moving to a new STATE let alone a foreign country for years...maybe one of these days.

    3. I like your posts where you write about your past. I feel like I know you a bit. And I agree with Paul and Kerry, you are brave to live that long in a foreign country, especially since you seldom visit the US. Good blog post.

    4. I love your answers. It is funny to read the responses to the ones I get too all the time. I love the new blog title. (I must admit- I miss the cheese from the USA- atleast California and Oregon! Yummy)

    5. Leslie, I like this interview idea. I think it would be interesting for us Mexico bloggers to interview each other. hmmm....

    6. What a great story! (And creative post!) I have thought about living in a different country, but I'm not so sure my husband would be ok with it.

      Stopping by from SITS!

      Check out my giveaway!

    7. Wonderful story! My husband and I are always making plans to leave the states. I fell in love with Uganda on a trip a few years back and hope to settle there!

    8. Great post. Moving to mexico is so scary for me. Really it is just change that scares me most. Having lived with in the same 20mile radious my whole 27 years on this earth, the idea of even moving to another state would frighten me. People like you give me courage and hope.

    9. I loved reading this. I've been reading your blog for a while, but I'm not a big commenter. I am moving to Mexico in August, and everyone I know thinks I'm crazy. I was talking to my neighbor, who is from Columbia, and she said to me, "I can see myself moving to Mexico, but you're a GRINGA!"

    10. Love this!! I also shed a lot of tears when I came, and I almost moved back to the States after 6 months. Thank goodness I stuck it out, though :) Now that I'm into the swing of things, I can't imagine life elsewhere.

      My blog has helped me in the past few months as well. I get so used to life here that sometimes I don't realize how COOL my life is. When I get to share it with other people, I realized how blessed I am.

      Glad I'm not alone. Great post.

    11. truth be told, i'm a bit envious of those who get the chance to live elsewhere other than where they grew up. yu're brave, uprooting your family and shedding your former life, to try and live a better life.

      and, at the end of the day, if you love where you live, then why move back?

    12. great post leslie. we've talked about it too for many years and hope to retire there maybe -- it's scary hearing all the stories of the drug wars and killings. In the town where my mom used to have a house almost everyone is threatened to pay up for 'protection' or else. I love the town of Lagos and the city of Aguascalientes as well as Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding towns/area. i keep dreaming.....

    13. Leslie,
      This was such a good idea, I may have to steal it and put the same deal on my blog ;) In response to Tulum Living I ssssooo agree I miss the cheese A LOT!!! But I am fortunate enough to live about 10 hours south of Nogales so if I really really want some it is not that hard to get ;)

    14. ABBY: You are absolutely's just stuff. At the end of the day, none of that "stuff" matters.

      KERRY: I don't consider myself brave. Just persistent and extremely patient! :)

      LAURIE: I too prefer writing more personal posts, but I got a few complaints that I was living in the past. But after my not-so-brief hiatus from blogging, I am renewed, refreshed and just going to blog to my hearts content.

      TULUM LIVING: Ahh, cheese! I vaguely remember "real" cheese. :) I have actually reached a point where I can't even remember what my favorite foods were NOB. :P

      LEAH: I agree. I think the Mex-pat interviews would be VERY interesting.

      REBECA: I know exactly what you mean! Our life changed completely when we moved down here. Part of me was struggling to adapt to the new life, and the other part was trying to hold on the our old life. After the first year, I learned to let it all go and just enjoy each day.

      APRIL: Thank you so much for commenting. We had more than a few friends in the States who were completely shocked and very unhappy about our decision. Some referred to it as a step back. But it has been such a blessing. Best of luck to you and I hope you'll keep in touch! :)

      GRINGATION: Girl, you just hit the nail right on the head! Persistance and "sticking it out" is what gets us through that very difficult first year.

      CHERI: I couldn't have said it better than your very last sentence. Thank you!

      NIKKI: You are more than welcome to "steal" my brilliant idea. :)

    15. I love your blog and how you share your story. I moved to the US and experienced some of the same things you did when you moved to Mexico. It's eye-opening and challenging to leave your own country, but it is a great experience.
      Happy SITS Day!

    16. I totally know where you're coming from - I could have written this post, but change US for Canada and Mexico for New Zealand! :)

      Visiting from SITS. :)

    17. Leslie I love the way you set this up, I feel like I could have almost written this blog my self except the extended time. But I think I cried at least the first 9 mo here but then again I was prego my first 9 mo here. lol
      I love knowing you and reading your posts.

    18. This Q & A is so informative. I admire your bravery!