Today marks the one-month anniversary when we took a leap of faith and got on a one-way plane ride to Merida. We brought two suitcases each and a small carry-on, plus two cats. It was an exciting yet stressful time. We thought we would share some of our experiences.
The City of Merida
We love the architecture and the history of Merida. We continuously find new buildings, doorways, and hidden courtyards that catch our eye.
The people here are amazing; they are very friendly and welcoming. Most people we pass on the street will give you a greeting when passing by. We haven’t heard once “go back to where you came from.” Something the Mexicans hear way too often in the states.
From previous visits, we were well aware of the sidewalks. So, no surprises there. We always tell people the most dangerous thing in Merida is the sidewalks. Just a little warning if you plan to visit, be prepared. 🙂
The one thing we don’t think we will ever get used to is the trash. We are not complaining or passing judgment. We understand it’s just how it is here. Chuck will probably turn into a street sweeper when we get into the new house.
We thought we would not have any issue with finding an unfurnished rental. However, we found out pretty quickly that most nice places were rented fully furnished. After the first week in our Airbnb, we also figured out that we would not survive long term without some of our stuff. Short term not an issue but would not work in the long run for us. So we changed gears and decided to start looking to buy.
The housing market here is pretty tight, especially if you are looking for move-in ready. We ended up finding a house way sooner than we thought we would. We’re thrilled with the decision and love the new house. We knew this was the one as soon as we walked in. It has the perfect mix of Mexican charm and contemporary amenities.
The Language Barrier
The language struggle is real, but we are getting by surprisingly well. Translation apps are our new best friend. And months of Duolingo helped with our vocabulary.
Trying to figure out food labels has also been a fun challenge. We messed up on a few odd things. But it is all part of the learning process.
We are planning to start Spanish classes next week to get a little more conversational, so we hope we can have short conversations in a few months.
The Local Food
The food here is Yucatecan. So it has a distinct flavor profile, different from what most in the US think of as Mexican food. Chuck loves the Sopes with Conchinita Pibil and Rellena Negro, and he is still looking for the perfect Chorizo. We will let you know when he finds it.
Mark, on the other hand, eats anything and keeps trying different foods. Follow us on Instagram to see pics of some of the food.
We love shopping in the Mercado. We’re able to buy meat that was killed that morning. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. The market is also filled with dozens of vegetable stands, taco stands, flower stalls, and just about every merchant you can think of.
Like in the US, we have Home Depot, Walmart, and many food chains (they are up in Norte, not close to us). We are finding that many things we use we can’t find here, mostly toiletries. So we will always have a list of things that we will ask any visitors to bring with them for us.
The Weather In Merida
Living in Florida prepared us for living in the heat here in Merida. Siestas are a real thing here! Afternoons are spent relaxing at home or in the pool. It’s just too hot to be out and about.
We also know we moved here during the hottest time of the year. Now we’re headed into the rainy season. They consider the rainy season, much like Florida’s hurricane season, from June through September or so. However, from what we see, the rainy season means two to seven inches of rain per month.
We’re looking forward to a cooler time of the year when we are more settled in and can explore.
Day to Day Life in Merida
Life here moves at a very slow pace. It has been amazing how much we have slowed down already. We have stopped stressing about things. We’re learning to move at a slower pace.
It’s enabling us to see the world without it passing us by.