I didn’t expect to celebrate Halloween once we were living outside of the United States. I had heard that there is trick-or-treating in the neighborhoods here in central Mexico, but it was mentioned in an offhand way, in passing, and sounded like it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, the Day of the Dead is the big and special holiday at this time of year in Mexico. So, why am I writing a post about celebrating our first Halloween in Mexico?
“I’m not sure if you are trying to be my friend or if you are trying to kill me,” I panted to my new acquaintance, in the middle of the
torture fitness class she’d invited me to attend.
“I am friend, I promise,” she replied with a laugh. We were both sweating, but I felt like I was the only woman in the room who couldn’t get her breath. The women were like goddesses or Wonder Woman (Wonder Women?) The older gentleman assistant said, “Calm,” to me. As in, it’s okay to slow down. Maybe he was worried I was going to keel over and die. I sure was worried about that!
The following is an excerpt of the first email I sent to a friend, when I was really struggling with all the newness of living in Mexico. I didn’t realize it, but I was culture shocked. At the time, we hadn’t been here for two weeks yet. I’ve added some updates to the text to highlight the changes that have happened in half a year.
How long did it take you to adjust to life in Mexico?
Before I became an expat, there were things I was certain were true about expat life. I thought I’d move to Mexico, meet my new best friend right away, become conversational in Spanish in 3 months, and go skipping off into the sunset of a perfect life.