Mani, Austin

Who are you?

Mani. Born and raised in Mexico City. Late 20s. Traveled to 20 countries and lived in four different ones. Currently living in the US. Married to her soulmate. Passionate about travel and the arts. Travel, lifestyle, and food blogger.Where, when and why did you move abroad?

My first time moving abroad was from Mexico City to London for college. In 2009, I moved to the US for love. I’ve also spent some time in India.

What challenges did you face during the move?

The hardest challenge about moving for me is saying goodbye to family and friends. Otherwise each country has its own unique challenges, but I eventually adapt pretty well.

Are there many other expats in your area?

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Absolutely.

What do you like about life where you are?

I’ve actually written a blogpost about this. I’ve lived in 5 different states in the US and it’s very interesting how the cultures and weather in each are vastly different to each other. What I like is the online accessibility to goods – online shopping. I also like the overall cleanliness. And I also like that I feel quite safe here.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

I don’t necessarily like the American life attitude. The one that is based on all work and barely any time for leisure or taking it easy. The one that they base success in material possessions and salary, and therefore are never satisfied with their current situation, always wanting more. Always stressed about something.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

The one I described above. In Mexico, even though we have very hardworking people, people use work as a tool to enjoy life and family and friends, rather than live to work. Life is slower paced, people in Mexico are more easy going and positive in general. I’ve also written a post about the differences between Mexico and USA.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

1. For independent living, learn to cook at least the basics.

2. Say proper goodbyes, maybe have going away parties.

3. Try to get your local driving license as soon as possible.

4. Do research about the best value for necessities like mobile phones.

5. Do thorough research before applying for any needed visas or residence permits.

6. Don’t leave your most valuable and favorite things behind.

7. Try to get involved in the community to make friends. Do some volunteering, join a Meetup.com group, join a fitness class.

8. Stay light and simple in your possessions.

What are your plans for the future?

Ha! No plans. Meaning, anything goes. I have moved about 8 times, and except for the first one, they’ve all been relatively spontaneous with varying reasons and circumstances. Seeing how my life has gone in the last 9 years, I have no idea what to expect in the future.

You can keep up to date with Mani's adventures on her blog, A New Life Wandering.

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