This time next week I will be in Mexico. This post explains the rationale behind the decision.


What and why

Will I be living a life of luxury in a bungalow by the beach somewhere on the Caribbean? No. I will be in what is, by most accounts, the festering urban stinkhole of Mexico City. I’ve never been to Mexico City and have only been to Mexico once. It was for a grand total of about 45 minutes. (I was driving with my mom and brother from Dallas to Los Angeles and we spent the night in El Paso. We decided on a whim to hop over the border to Juarez. It was essentially the exact same thing as El Paso.)

I’m moving because I’m bored. I’ve lived in Utah for 6 years now (4 of which were spent in school), and it’s just time for me to move on. I grew up in places like China, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and I’ve been yearning for more adventure. My life here in Utah is too easy. I’m in a rut. I’ve stagnated. Things need to be shaken up, and I need to be taken out of my comfort zone.

Hence the move to Mexico. But why Mexico in particular? Why not Thailand or Costa Rica or Italy? For a few reasons:

    1. I plan on eventually going everywhere, so it doesn’t really matter where I start.
    2. Mexico is cheap to get to and cheap to live in.
    3. I’ve lived in Asia and Eastern Europe and been to Western Europe, but I’ve never even been south of Ciudad Juarez on the US-Mexico border.
    4. I want to learn Spanish.
    5. The vast majority of Mexican people I’ve met have been wonderful people.

I’m moving down there by myself. I don’t know anyone in Mexico City. I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t have a drop of Mexican blood in me.

And why Mexico City instead of one of the aforementioned Caribbean locales? Because I love big cities. There’s always something to do, and that’s what I’m looking for. When I’m not working, I want to be doing something, not just sitting around. And I’m at a point in my business where I’m working a lot on things that require a reliable high-speed internet connection. I need the reliability of big-city internet. Plus I plan on using Mexico City as a springboard from which I’ll launch excursions into other parts of central Mexico (Puebla, Acapulco, San Miguel de Allende, etc.).

I have no idea how long I’ll be in Mexico City. It might be a month, it might be a couple years. When I’m bored/sick of the city, I’m going to head further south through Central America and beyond. I don’t plan on coming back to the US anytime soon.

How it will affect my work

I’m taking my laptop with me, of course, so I’ll continue to do all my work from Mexico.

The plan is to work at a coworking space there in the city, either El 3er Espacio or Hacker Room (and there’s a third place that I have written down somewhere). What is coworking? Wikipedia has a nice explanation:

[It] is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation.

I’m really excited about coworking. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try. I’m not really a very social person (I’m not shy; I just like being alone), so getting out into a coworking space will force me to interact with more people. This will come in handy in a city where I know precisely zero people. Plus I’ve never really interacted with like-minded business people before. I think it will help keep me psyched and motivated.

I actually expect to get more and better work done there in Mexico than here in the US. It will be a chance for me to start again and really step up my game. Overall, I expect great things from myself and my business while I’m in Mexico.

Wish me luck! I’ll probably post here to The Backlight one more time before I leave (I’m going to try posting twice a week again), and I’ll be posting to my personal blog about my various adventures and impressions once I’m down there in Mexico.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, ideas, or suggestions!