There’s something peculiar about my life in the US.
I never had a real job.
I worked jobs.
I had a job at Subway.
A pizza joint.
But I never had a career up there.
So on and so on…
I never rented out an apartment in the US.
You see, I left the US at a fairly young age.
Once I left Iowa, I went to Ohio for college.
So I had a dorm.
But never my own apartment outside of the university campus.
And so given the limited work experience and also never going through the process of getting my own apartment...
There are other things also.
A good deal of my friends from back home have drifted away and am no longer in contact with most of them.
Outside of a special few that I still talk to at times.
Plus, there are some family issues also.
Suffice to say, I don’t have much of a life as of right now in the US.
I could move back though if I wanted.
Though I have no intentions to.
But it was something that got me thinking….
“What percentage of expats choose to not move back because they get used to life in Latin America and become too distant from life in their home countries?”
I have no idea.
Some months ago, a reader on this blog named Dazza posted some comment on one of my articles mentioning how folks who live abroad tend to go back home after a few years.
In theory, once they past those first few years, it’s less likely they move back and they become more accustomed to life down here.
To a degree, I’d agree with that.
Though I would argue my case is also maybe a little bit different.
In large part because I simply left fairly early.
And I wonder if leaving at my young age and living abroad for 6 years now and counting has a different effect on you versus leaving when you are 40.
I have wondered how different my situation was.
I have no idea.
Honestly, I don’t speak to that many expats.
Especially not nowadays.
There’s maybe 3 I think that I know about in Mexico City that I sometimes talk to.
But I encountered a lot more expats when I was traveling through South America years ago.
Though most of those were much older folks.
And I often felt that moving back after leaving at such a young age would feel more intimidating than if you are 40.
But also especially after you have been down here enough years and....
You Get Used to Life
“How much does getting used to life abroad make you stay abroad?”
As you keep living down here….
You get used to it, no?
It becomes the “new normal.”
Especially when the bad things you don't like with life down here are not so bad....
You become disincentivized to move back and start your life back up there again.
To some, it might seem that I don’t enjoy life down here.
Though I would argue most of my struggles come from within.
As I wrote in here – more personal issues.
That I would carry with me anywhere.
And when thinking about my life down here in Latin America….
“The good, the bad and the ugly.”
And you either accept the good with the bad...
Or you move back.
For me, the actual bad aspects of living down here do not outweigh the positive.
Both the large and small.
From the lower cost of living to the nicer things like the sunshine outside.
Plus, you gain new friends here as your old ones drift away.
And the new place you live in -- Mexico City in my case -- grows on you and gains a place in your heart.
Life in Mexico City
Am I on the beach?
Where are my mojitos?
The big tittied Venezuelan women?
Well, some folks back home might imagine it to be so.
But none of those things are near me.
No beach nearby neither a Venezuelan woman.
Plenty of Mexican ones though!
But I do drink a bit.
So they got me there.
One drink to another…
And the day goes on.
Assuming I’m not stuck in an abyss of self-loathing and isolation…
I carry on the day.
Maybe do laundry.
Perhaps get a meal at Chilis.
Walk by near Metro Insurgentes where a cute little white Mexican Latina is playing the trumpet.
You throw her some pesos more than usual.
She is young like you.
And you feel sympathy for her.
Hope that she can get through whatever she is going through in life.
To pay whatever bills she needs to.
Carry it on.
Maybe Angie calls you up later.
Time to watch a movie together.
Near Metro Portales.
Or Hard Candy?
Whatever it might be.
Right after getting some gorditas together.
Before subsequently getting into the taxi back home.
Late at night around 2 AM.
Enjoying the scenery of the urban jungle known as Mexico City through your taxi window.
And another night.
Of life in Latin America.
Mexico City to be specific.
It’s not very glamorous.
Not really what people think of when they think of a holiday to Mexico.
Left out of the conversation here are my own personal demons that I deal with also.
But I’m used to it.
Like I said, you get used to it.
Life in Latin America.
Give it enough years.
And it becomes “the new normal.”
And with that…
You grow an affinity for the area.
It grows a special place in your heart.
All the friends you made in the area.
The girls you slept with.
Those you fell in love with.
The moments you had with all of the above.
Enjoying life to the fullest to how you can.
In between doing all the lame labour – groceries, laundry and more.
Together, it becomes the new normal.
Your new life.
In Latin America.
You get used to it.
And you stick to it.
Another reason to stay perhaps.
As it become apart of your life.
Anyway, thank you for reading.
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