¿Why Mexico?

The simplest answer would be “why not”, but it does not explain the real reasons why I decided to move to Mexico.
After arriving back from Cuba, I was hit by the reality, which was rather painful. I understood that I had to suddenly say goodbye to the life and the environment I had gotten used to during the previous eight months in Cuba.

I had to start living my normal routine and old life of working at the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Quite often I noticed that my body and thoughts were located in different places. My thoughts were adventuring in Cuba. All these signals indicated that I had sold my soul to Latin America. In my activities, I always try to put my happiness first as much as possible. If I’m happy, then everything seems to go much smoother at work as well in all the other places.

Therefore, I did not want to go to war with myself and I started searching opportunities how to move back to Latin America. I did not have any other opportunity to go on a long holiday, so I had to find work to buy food and to settle all my outstanding bills. The mission to find a job in Latin America was a little bit easier due to the fact I work for an international company (KPMG) with offices in the majority of countries throughout the world. I picked out three countries: Chile, Colombia and Mexico. In the selection of countries, I had two parameters: the size of the country (which gives a higher chance to get a job) and simplicity of Spanish language. Spanish is spoken in most Latin American countries, but in some of the countries (due to the use of slang and accents), it is much harder for foreigners to understand and speak Spanish. For example, Argentines have a very strong accent, which creates difficulties in understanding even for people who speak Spanish very well.

I contacted KPMG offices in these three countries and tried to gauge whether they have an interest in hiring an additional employee like me. It was a rather big surprise for me that all three countries were interested in hiring me. Due to different reasons, things turned to be most specific with Mexico. After the first contact, it took about five months before I finally arrived to Mexico. All the paperwork took so much time because Christmas and New Year fell in this period and KPMG’s HR department in Mexico functioned at a very slow speed. However, most of it can be attributed to cultural peculiarities.
When I informed my relatives and close friends about my plan to go to Mexico for a while, they were not excited about it at all. I understand their reaction as I had just arrived home from Cuba a little while ago and now I was going to leave again to a country that is so far away. The good thing is that they already know me well enough. If I make up my mind, I do not change my mind very easily. Also, it is important to them that I am happy. Therefore, they did not push back too much.

As of now, I have been in Mexico approximately 2 months (time flies so fast), I’ve finally sorted out everyday necessities and little by little am getting used to the local lifestyle. Based on the experience I had in Cuba, I had an overall idea what was ahead of me in Mexico. Fortunately, I didn’t get a huge cultural shock, but it is so unexpected that everything takes so much time here. For example, it took two weeks to sign the lease agreement for my apartment which contained four pages. During that time, I had to stay in a hotel. Luckily, I didn’t have to pay for the hotel myself. The second absurd situation relates to a mouse I ordered for my laptop at work. I’ve been waiting for it for five weeks and based on the latest information, I should get it in two weeks. I have an impression that everything takes so much time because the decision-making process is so long – at least three people had to give their approval so I could get a mouse. This is a pointless waste of time and resources! Throughout this settling-in process, I have felt the helpfulness and support, which has helped me a lot to get adjusted easier here.

A few words about Monterrey which has become my new hometown. Monterrey is the capital and the largest city (the population is approximately 4.5 million habitants) of the northeastern state of Nuevo León. As Monterrey is surrounded by mountains, it is also called “The city of mountains”.
Monterrey serves as a commercial center in the north of the country and is the base for many large international corporations. It is the second wealthiest city in Mexico. Monterrey is often regarded as the most “Americanized” and developed city in the entire country, even above the cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. It takes approximately 3 hours by car to drive to the U.S.-Mexico border (to the state of Texas).
There are number of nearby attractions to attract tourists, especially those interested in a vacation complimented by all of the amenities that are associated with the convenience that a large city offers. Quality restaurants, modern shopping malls, numerous museums and cultural abound here. The mountains, canons and desert that surround the city offer pleasant diversion and a wide variety of tourist activities, many of which are not readily available anywhere else in Mexico. Some of the Mexico best hiking, mountain biking, cave exploring and nature areas are located within fairly close proximity to the city.

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