Yesterday, my daughter and I got on a morning bus to go from Guanajuato, Mexico to Mexico City, a five hours twenty minute journey by bus. It’s a long journey, but thankfully, Mexico has some high quality and comfortable busses.
Due to our way of life (moving every 1 to 3 months), we’ve had to get creative with our daughter having braces. We opted to initiate care with an orthodontist in Mexico City, and travel back from where ever we may be. Hence, our journey yesterday.
As I was preparing for them, the thought crossed my mind how comfortable this all felt to us. It did not feel unsafe and did not give me feelings of uneasiness. We’ve done it numerous times, and knew there wasn’t an extreme reason to fear this experience.
It’s quite remarkable to realize what is possible to become one’s new normal.
I, like many, was susceptible to the fear stories about how unsafe places like Mexico (supposedly) are. Questions about safety are probably the most frequent questions I see when people are considering moving themselves and/or their family to Mexico.
When people ask a question about how safe Mexico is in a Facebook group, it’s unfortunate to see how many people respond with snarkiness to the genuine concerns. How is one to know the reality of a place they have never been to? If all they are hearing are the headlines and the governmental warnings, then, of course, they are going to be concerned. At least those asking the questions are challenging what they’re being told.
All this is not to say that there is no violence in Mexico. Of course, there is. I hear cartels exist here. I hear there have been violent episodes involving the cartels. I hear stories of people having money extorted from them or their cell phones stolen.
I believe a lot of people respond with snark to those questions because it’s perceived that those narratives being perpetuated are grossly exaggerated. Those narratives are not the experiences of many that live here. There may be acts of violence happening, but it’s not influencing the majority’s experiences of daily life.
Before we left the United States for our move abroad, my mind was busy going over potential scenarios and how we’d stay safe as a family in Costa Rica (we lived in Costa Rica for two years before moving to Mexico).
I had heard horror stories about in-home robberies, which also took some expats’ lives.
Having no experience in that country, my imagination ran wild. If my resolve to move there hadn’t been what it was, my fear and imagination would have likely stopped me.
Upon moving there, we asked a lot of questions to help us feel safe, and the fear from the stories diminished. Living there and experiencing what it is actually like, versus the absolutely worse case scenarios from a handful of occurrences, those imagined horror scenarios lost their power.
I look back on the sleeplessness that I experienced over my concerns, and I can understand why so many have these ideas of the supposed danger.
As we prepared to move to Mexico, I began to see the strong beliefs that many have about what it’s like here. No judgments, but many of the people warning me had very little experience with Mexico. It was the picture that was painted for them about what life is like here. I understand how that happens.
One of the common responses that I see from when people express concerns about the violence is that unless you’re involved with the cartels or drugs, you’re likely to be okay.
Now, there are people that have on occasion been caught in the “cross fire”, but that is not the norm. Although, when it happens, we hear about it, which causes alarm.
I have heard stories of people having run-ins with corrupt police or unfavorable taxi drivers.
I imagine these things do happen. Fortunately and knock on wood, I haven’t had to be on the receiving end of one of these encounters.
There are a few things that I believe keep me safe:
All this is not to say that I may not have an unfortunate encounter one day (I pray that I do not), but so far, so good.
My moving abroad journey has coincided with rapid spiritual and personal growth. Learning to trust has been a huge part of that growth. What I’ve noticed is that as I’ve trusted more, my fear has gone down considerably.
If one does not trust one’s abilities or that we are supported in this world and life, fear is a natural byproduct. We are susceptible to stories and narratives about fear when we don’t believe that we are capable and resilient to face what circumstances of life come our way.
This journey put me in situations to challenge my doubts and increase my trust “muscle”. I’ve had enough experiences where I trusted that circumstances would work out, where I would have previously doubted, and all worked out beyond what I had believed was possible.
In my opinion, the antidote to the fear we experience is to face it and to see what happens. Take a risk on a so-called risky life, and see what transpires. Does it turn out like the fear story told you it would? You will grow your trust “muscles”, and open yourself up to so much more possibilities in life.
If when you ponder these questions, you realize that you are holding yourself back and limiting yourself in life, ask yourself if you wish to continue living this way.
What beliefs about why “you can’t” come up when you consider going a new way?
Those beliefs have been keeping you contained and limited.
Despite those beliefs, if you feel there is something for you beyond what you’ve been limited to, ask yourself if it’s time to move into the more expanded version of yourself.
Whether you want support moving abroad or “simply” actualizing your dreams in real life, I’d love to be a guide for you in moving beyond.
You can get a single breakthrough session here, in which we’ll explore where you are and where you want to be, and we’ll create a “next step” bridge to support you moving in that direction.