American Expat In Mexico - Interview With Jessica

Published: 20 Nov at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Mexico
Jessica Seba was born and raised in Michigan, but ever since she can remember, Mexico was where she felt she belonged. After finishing up a degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management in the US, she immediately headed to Mexico to start her new life. Jessica has lived in Puebla, Puerto Vallarta, and currently, Mexico City. She hopes to visit all of the Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) and all 31 states-- she's already half way there! Her goal in life is to help others realize and understand the vast beauty of Mexico, both beaches and beyond. She dedicates her time to spreading this message through any platform available and blogs at Mexican at Heart (see listing here)

Mexican at Heart

Here's the interview with Jessica...

Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Sterling Heights, Michigan – a suburb of Detroit.

In which country and city are you living now?
I live in Mexico City, Mexico

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
January 1st marks my Mexiversary, it will be 2 years this year (the first 8 months I lived in Puerto Vallarta). I plan on staying in Mexico forever – probably settling down with a family in Puebla.

Why did you move and what do you do?
Since I was in high school I always wanted to move to Mexico. Right after finishing university with a tourism degree (among others) and doing my internship with the Mexico Tourism Board in Chicago, the next logical step was make my dream to moving to Mexico true!
I have been working for a luxury tour operator as a Community Manager. I have also developed my own blog which has led to other endeavors, such as becoming a Mexico Today Ambassador.

Mexican at HeartDid you bring family with you?
No, but I’m an only child, so my Mom visits a lot.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I first moved to Puerto Vallarta because I knew it would make the immersion process easier. Vallarta is the perfect mix of Mexican culture and American familiarities, so I could move as slow or as fast as I wanted in assimilating myself. In college, I spent 2 months in Puebla so I was familiar with “The 5 Stage Cycle of Living Abroad”. I knew there would be hard times but that I would have to persevere.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
In Vallarta, being so young and without knowing the language, it was really hard to make friends. I graduated at 21, so most Mexicans that age are still in school and in their cliques. The friends I have managed to make along the way in Mexico City are all expats, or expat-Mexican couples.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Mexico City always has something to do and that is why I love living here. Always new festivals, exhibitions, etc. My favorite things to do are going to the markets, like La Merced. I also really enjoy spending Sundays at the Desierto de los Leones – it is a nice change of pace and breath of fresh air compared to the busy city center.

Mexican at HeartWhat do you enjoy most about living here?
Besides the fact that there is always something going on - I think Mexico City is also the best positioned location to explore other neighboring states and cities. Once a month I travel to nearby towns, festivals and Pueblos Magicos. I am constantly amazed by the different destinations because each are different in their own way.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
I suppose it’s all relative. I survive on much less than I would make at home and I live just as comfortably as I would in the US (if not more). American brands (clothes, restaurants, food) are much more expensive here and sometimes I give in which isn’t good!

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
There are some things I will never get used to. For me, the biggest negative to Mexico’s way-of-doing-things is their customer service; it is practically non-existent. No one ever has solid and reliable answers for your questions and they lack organization making it very frustrating to accomplish anything. Same with dealing with contracts and paperwork, especially getting your visa!

Mexican at HeartIf you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Patience. Situating your living, cable, cell, water, gas etc. is sometimes really hard when it doesn’t need to be – you just need to calm down, step back, and realize that it is just how they do things here.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Your passion will take you far. If you are passionate about a place or a goal you want in your life, trusting in it will help all other things fall into place.
  2. Realizing expat life isn’t what you thought it would be and wanting to return home is okay! At least you were strong enough to try it and now you can make new goals for yourself.
  3. Tomorrow is always a new day. No matter where you live, you will have good days and bad days, try not to blame your bad day on the country.
  4. Try to see the positive and rationalize with yourself when you encounter a cultural difference that frustrates you. Things are different, but you knew that coming into it, so don’t let it get the best of you!
  5. Enjoy it and live your life to the maximum!

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
So the main point of my blog is to be informational yet real. Very casual tone, sharing my story as if the reader was my BFF. I want to share all the wonderful experiences and destantions that one can encounter in Mexico (beyond the beaches). My blog also strives to be motivation for young people to follow their passion, whatever it may be and wherever it may take them.

Mexican at HeartHow can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
The best way is my personal professional Facebook; via my blog, Twitter @mexicanatheartj, email jessmexicanatheart{at}gmail{dot}com; You can also track what I do in my day to day life in Mexico City on Foursquare.

Jessica blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Mexican at Heart has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Jessica, please also drop her a quick comment below.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Susannah wrote 11 years ago:

Great interview. I can relate to a lot of what you are saying! Thanks Jessica!

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