My name is Debi, I live in The Yucatan
don Felipe, of The Zapata Tales recently posted about being an immigrant here in Mexico, rather than an expatriate. I started working on a comment to his post and when it got quite lengthy decided it would make for better discussion as a separate post here.
In his post he states, "An expatriate is someone who is voluntarily absent from his home country. Well, that applies, and yours truly has considered himself an expat since moving south.
But an immigrant is someone who moves to another country in order to settle there. Sounds like an expat is keeping his options open. And an immigrant has made up his mind."
He also states "It seems that almost all Americans who have moved to Mexico think of themselves, as we did, as expats. You never hear the word immigrant."
I think part of this is the very negative connotation associated with the word 'immigrant' by those of us from the good ole USofA. Regardless that for the vast majority of us, we are from immigrant stock.
I've never really considered which label best fits for me. I just know that when I was contemplating, and eventually did, move to Mexico it was for nothing other than a desire for a more peaceful, tranquil, less expensive, less controlled by others, less scary, lifestyle.
I also wanted to be close, well closer than Colorado to salt water, and I wanted to not have to be afraid, or to have to pinch every penny, or possibly have to go without basic medical care if needed.
We've liquidated the assets in the USofA, with the exception of what monies we have in financial institutions there. We came down with a meager amount of what we once called possessions, 2 cats, and a car.
The car is still carrying Colorado plates, and probably will continue to do so till it goes to car heaven. The car is actually eligible to be nationalized this year, but we are told it could cost 1600USD to do so; Which makes no sense to do on a car whose current value is about 3500USD. Nationalizing the car would allow us to put Yucatan plates on, and require the maintenance of Mexican car insurance and property tax. HMMMMM, right now we can run on our expired Colorado tags till - well forever, and we pay no property tax.
I do plan to get a Mexican driver license, but am in no hurry since my Colorado license is still valid.
Is the thought of becoming a Mexican Citizen scary? No, but I'm not sure what the benefit is to either me or to Mexico. Many of our family and friends thought that because we were moving here to Mexico we had to give up our US citizenship. We didn't, even if we were to become Mexican citizens we would still maintain our US citizenship.
Am I an immigrant, an expatriate, a gringa, estadounidense, tourist, resident immigrant, ...
I don't know -
My name is Debi, I live in The Yucatan.
Am I adjusted - Yeah, I guess so, at least I'm working on it! I speak enough spanish to handle a great many situations, and am learning more with each endeavor. I exchange greetings with my neighbors and know better than to pass through the gate or door without an invitation. I know to walk on the shady side of the street, and under an umbrella. I think in terms of pesos and not how many dollars is that. I have adapted to local stuff and don't long for too many of the old things; well except steel cut oats, and I'd love to find some miso, ok maybe I do miss a few things. I buy from the local mercados and tiendas, yes, including meat products.
I think of this as home. Does that make me adjusted?
posted Saturday, July 04, 2009